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08 23.02.15

ISSN NO. 0218-7310


DPM TEO Ministerial Forum sees students bring issue of cohesive society to the fore

NEWS | 03











The Briefing Room:

Our news editors’ pick of interesting news stories from around the world

Ban on selfie sticks in the US extends to more locations

PM Lee recovering

POPULARITY comes at a cost for the selfie stick, with its ban now extending to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. A spokesperson noted that while there have been no prior accidents involving the selfie sticks, the ban was imposed as a preventive measure to protect artwork at the contemporary art museum. The selfie stick is now banned at several museums in the United States. The New York Yankees, an American baseball team, has also barred spectators from bringing the stick into their home stadium.

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong's operation to remove his prostate gland last Monday (16 Feb) was a success, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). A statement released on the PMO's website revealed that the robot-assisted keyhole surgery performed at Singapore General Hospital, "went very smoothly". Mr Lee’s prostate cancer diagnosis was announced on Sunday evening. An MRI taken in January of the prostate showed suspicious lesions, with a subsequent biopsy revealing a cancerous sample. PHOTO: PM LEE'S FACEBOOK

Obama not 'Antichrist'

Fifty Shades of Grey romps to top of the charts

Hackers pull off massive bank heist

OVER its opening weekend, Fifty Shades of Grey topped box office charts in the United States and Canada, taking in US$81.7 million (S$110.7 million). It was released in 57 foreign markets on Valentine’s Day, taking in a total of US$240 million globally. The movie’s earnings far outstripped another new release Kingsman: The Secret Service, which took in only US$35.6 million over the same weekend. The popularity of the movie follows the runaway success of the Fifty Shades trilogy, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. An erotic romance series, the story revolves around the sexual relationship between a young college graduate and a business magnate, portrayed by Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan respectively. NORTH Carolina newspaper The Lexington Dispatch errantly called Obama the Antichrist when it published a reader's letter on 6 Feb. The paper ran the letter with the headline “Is Obama the Antichrist?” The reader had intended to ask if Obama was the seventh king, in reference to the Bible, where God states that seven kings must come before the rise of the Antichrist. The mistake was called the “nuttiest correction of the year” by the Houston Chronicle.

BANKS worldwide have lost up to US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) to cybercriminals, in a heist that came to light last Monday (16 Feb). In late 2013, investigations relating to a seemingly faulty ATM in Kiev, Ukraine, sparked off an international probe co-ordinated by experts in Singapore and carried out by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. More than 100 banks and other financial institutions in 30 countries were affected, making it one of the largest bank thefts ever. The suspects, a group of highly-specialised cybercriminals including Russians, Chinese and Europeans, is still at large. The attacks are still ongoing, with banks refusing to comment. PHOTOS: INTERNET





Zouk Giveaway The Nanyang Chronicle is giving away 50 entry passes to Zouk for you to keep up with the Chinese New Year festivities. Each pass is valued at $45 and allows entry for two. The contest will run from 23 Feb to 1 Mar, and winners will be notified via Facebook by 4 Mar. Head over to our Facebook page for contest details.

News: Acceptance and unity important for Singapore's progress Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean addressed NTU students for three hours at the Ministerial Forum 2015 on 27 Jan. Janell Chu and Cara Wong highlight the important issues discussed that evening.

More academic options for new students

NTU announced on 17 Feb that there will be five new academic offerings for incoming freshmen in the next academic year. Other changes include longer internships and new second majors. Sub-Editor Alfred Chua finds out more.

Caught On Campus: WWII Relic Found A 100kg World War II relic was found at a construction site opposite Graduate Hall 1 on 13 Feb. The SAF Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was called into action when the war relic was identified as a Type 94 High Explosive aerial bomb.

Sports: A Gathering of Legends It was a night for the legends on 11 Feb. From Greek warrior King Leonidas to pop legend Michael Jackson, teams set the bar higher once again in this year's InterHall Cheerleading Competition. Sports Writer Lim Wei Hao was on site to witness the action.

Adventure Cove Giveaway Jump into the new term with a splash! The Nanyang Chronicle is giving away two Adventure Cove tickets. Each ticket is valued at $36 and admits one. The contest will run from 9 Mar to 13 Mar, and winners will be notified via Facebook by 16 Mar. Head over to our Facebook page for contest details.

Find us at 'Like' our Facebook page ( to receive regular updates.


UCLA to require exchange co-payment — Page 5

Keeping a cohesive society Polls conducted at the Ministerial Forum parallel those by the Nanyang Chronicle, reflecting students’ consensus on a polarised society as their top concern for Singapore Cara Wong


mid fears of unemployment and economic stagnation, the risk of societal polarisation in the future still tops students’ concerns for Singapore. The issue was raised during the Ministerial Forum held at the School of Art, Design and Media Auditorium on 3 Feb, which saw an audience of about 500 students. The theme of the forum was “Beyond the First 50 Years: Building Our Future Together”. During his dialogue, guest speaker Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean conducted a snap poll to find out key issues that students were most worried about. Social polarisation garnered the most votes, racking up 33 per cent of the 300 votes registered. In addressing this, Mr Teo stated: “A polarised or fractious society is a problem that we can do something about. It is within our power to do so, in the way we make decisions and the way we’re prepared to work with other Singaporeans.” He added that the way forward was to have a fine balance between having a common space for interaction between groups, and separate “community spaces” for them to interact within.

General consensus

The Nanyang Chronicle subsequently polled some 55 students on Facebook, producing similar results with a majority of 33 per cent selecting a ‘divided society’ as their main concern for Singapore. The next largest group of respondents were most worried about an ‘ageing or shrinking population’. Wang Meng Qing, 19, a firstyear student from Nanyang Business School, noted: “I believe that a (cohesive) society is the foundation to success in Singapore. If our society was fragmented, the current success that we enjoy may disappear easily.” Students were wary of the repercussions of having a segregated society, pointing out issues like race and religion, which might be conflicting in nature. Meanwhile, there were students who argued that a lack of voice for the different groups in Singapore — like the LGBT community — might potentially result in a

ADDRESSING THE FUTURE: Participants at the Ministerial Forum chose the issue of a divided society as their top concern, with questions being directed to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean as to how the problem will be handled. PHOTO: TANG HAO

divided society. Jerrold Ong, 23, a secondyear student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), said: “I feel that it is the government who decides who gets to speak and what they speak about, and this will eventually divide society.” This sentiment was shared by Mohammad Jahafar, 24, a secondyear student from HSS who felt that there was a need for more conversation among Singaporeans to address issues between the different groups. He said: “I think our generation is more open and ready for discussions about topics which are taboo, and the government should support that. “That will in turn make our society a more cohesive one.” With regard to Singapore’s future, majority of the students at the forum voted for an assurance of basic needs and having equal opportunities as something they wish to see in society. An online respondent remarked: “Even though our nation is quite well off with a high Gross Domestic Product, quite a number of our fellow countrymen have difficulties meeting basic needs and we need to provide them with more help. “Having assurance of our basic needs is the basis to keeping Singapore together as we are only as strong as our weakest link.”

Support for families

Students polled by the Chronicle also voiced their concern over the welfare of single-parent families.

Almost all respondents were supportive of providing more help to these families. This was highlighted in response to a student’s query raised during the forum, regarding a perceived lack of support for unconventional family structures. The student had cited a recent case where a single mother was denied application for HDB flats.

“A polarised or fractious society is a problem that we can do something about. It is within our power to do so, in the way we make decisions and the way we are prepared to to work with other Singaporeans.” Mr Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister of Home Affairs

In his reply, Mr Teo said that the government “tries their best to assist single-parent families in whatever way possible”. He added that it is usually not an issue for widowed or divorced parents to successfully apply for housing in Singapore. Mr Teo also pointed out that many societies have found the conventional nuclear family structure to be the most balanced in effectively bringing up a child, noting that “a strong and stable family has

to be one of the bedrocks to a stable society”. However, 58 per cent of respondents to the Chronicle poll felt that unconventional family structures can still qualify as strong and stable. One in three noted that it should be judged on a case-by-case basis, suggesting that a variety of factors, such as the financial and emotional capabilities of the parent, come into play when deciding the ‘strength’ of a family. Among them was Koh Wei Yi, 20, a first-year student from the School of Biological Sciences. Koh concurred that conventional family structures are the ideal backbone to society, but pointed out that a family’s well-being is not entirely dependent on the family having a conventional structure. Koh said: “I feel that the government does not accommodate the needs of single parent families well enough. “Family structure is not always a matter of choice, and there is no direct implication that a single parent is any less capable of bringing up a child and supporting societal norms.” She added: “At the end of the day, the basis of a strong society is still dependent on the collaboration between citizens and the government more than anything.”

What do you think about unconventional family structures? Opinions Writer Shalom Chalson shares her view on page 28.

POLL RESULTS Ministerial Forum (300 respondents)

What do you wish to see for Singapore as we look ahead to the next 50 years? 28%: Assurance of basic needs 21%: Opportunities for all 18%: Greater trust and mutual understanding 17%: Society with purpose 16%: Stronger kampung spirit 0%: Others What, in your view, would be the most serious concern for Singapore? 33%: Polarised/fractious society 30%: Ageing/shrinking population 19%: Economic recession/ stagnation and unemployment 10%: War/terrorism 4%: Others 3%: Climate change

Nanyang Chronicle (55 respondents) Most serious concern for Singapore: 32.7%: Polarised/fractious society 30.9%: Ageing/shrinking population 29.1%: Economic recession/ stagnation and unemployment 5.5%: Climate change 1.8%: War/terrorism







Campus medical centre grouses Janell Chu


ince moving to its new location last semester, NTU's medicine centre have faced complaints of unpredictable waiting time. Students who visited the medical centre, managed by the Fullerton Healthcare Group @ Gethin-Jones, experienced varying waiting time, with one student waiting two hours for a consultation, while another waited just 15 minutes. “The waiting room was only around 60 per cent full when I went to the doctor at 10.30am last Tuesday (3 Feb) but I waited two hours for a five-minute consultation,” said Gibson Cheng, 24, a second-year double degree student from Nanyang Business School (NBS) and the School of Computer Engineering. “I was there to get medicine for my throat infection. It's not fair to wait so long for an illness that isn’t that serious,” he added. The disproportionate waiting time for a consultation remains a common grouse among students. “The doctor seemed very rushed in his diagnosis and very quickly concluded that I wanted an MC (Medical Certificate) even though I didn’t ask,” said Eunice Lim, 23, a final-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She spent more than an hour waiting for her consultation. Located at the University Health Service Building, the medical centre is the only healthcare service provider on campus. Other clinics closest to NTU are Apex Medical

RUSH TO WAIT: The medical centre, above, is located at the University Health Service Building.

Centre, Healthway Jurong West Clinic and Dr Soh Family Clinic. They are located in the Jurong West region, two to three kilometres away from NTU and accessible via SBS bus service 179. “Since medical fees are subsidised in NTU, I’d much rather visit the clinic here. My fee was $7.70 inclusive of medicine. It's cheaper than polyclinics, much less hospital outpatient visits," said Cheng. Consultation fees at the medical centre are $3 for the first 10 visits and are free for any visits thereafter. Standard drugs are free but non-standard drugs are chargeable. The inconvenience of seeking medical help off campus especially

affects students who stay in halls. Ashley Tay, 19, a first-year student from the School of Art, Design and Media, said that hearing about the medical centre's long waiting times stopped her from visiting the on-campus doctor two weeks ago. “I didn't want to wait so long. In the end, my mom drove down to NTU to bring me out of school to see a doctor,” said Tay. However, not all students experienced long waits at the clinic. Nowell Ng, 19, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, waited only 15 minutes for her turn when she visited the clinic last semester an hour before its closing.


Time in, time out

One of the factors that affects how long students have to wait to see a doctor is the time which they visit the clinic. Clinic supervisor Mdm Lilian Thng advised students to avoid Mondays and the peak hours of lunchtime. At these times, the number of walk-ins far outnumbers available doctors and students “have to be prepared to wait”. “Students who request for Dr Calvin Tan, the clinic manager and Chief Medical Officer of the medical centre, have to wait for a much longer time,” said Mdm Thng. However, the Nanyang Chronicle understands that none of the

interviewees specifically requested to see Dr Tan. A spokesperson from Fullerton Healthcare responded to questions in an email interview. “The average waiting time is about half an hour. However, patients with complicated problems may spend more time with the doctor, resulting in a longer wait for those queuing. “Longer waiting times could also be due to a temporary and unforeseen shortage of doctors, such as doctors falling ill and requiring medical leave or doctors needing to take urgent leave for personal emergencies," the spokesperson said. In such cases, replacement doctors will arrive to fill such gaps, the spokesperson added. Occasionally, waiting times are further extended when exchange students come in for their mandatory checkups, especially if they come in groups of four or more. Mdm Thng attributed the delay to needing to dedicate a doctor to handle their checkups, leaving one less doctor to attend to those in line. Mr Jimmy Lee, Chief Housing and Auxiliary Services Officer said: “Fullerton Healthcare is our tenant. Whenever there are instances of excessive waiting times, we will investigate and address the issues. As in many clinics, there could be extenuating circumstances that result in such longer waiting times.” Asyraf Ismail, 22, a first-year NBS student, said: “The clinic is crowded every other time I go, unless it's close to closing time. I usually go when there’s nobody left.”

Rodents ratted out Shirley Chow


ats have made the news in recent weeks, appearing in soups, nesting in kitchens and infesting fields in Singapore. They have now been spotted in NTU as well. The rodents have been sighted by students in eight Halls of Residence and Canteen 2 either along stairways, open fields or in drains. Students whom the Nanyang Chronicle spoke to have seen them up to four times a day, either at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Vanessa Tan, 22, a third-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, spotted rats near the bushes while doing her laundry at Hall 13. She said: “I was outside the laundry area, which is near a drain that is damp and dirty. I saw the rat scurrying along the wall and into the drain. I think they are there because Hall 13 is near the forest, (where) conditions are dirty and unsanitary.” When asked what she thought the cause was, she added that it was likely due to “unattended food and overflowing dustbins”.

Tan hoped their presence could be addressed due to concerns over hygiene and potential diseases. “Rats are dirty and many fear that they carry germs. If there are more rat sightings, perhaps people can inform the hall office so official action can be taken,” she said. Not all students, however, were fazed by the sight of rats in NTU, choosing to ignore the one or two rats they saw. “I didn’t think it was a huge matter, or I would have alerted the hall office,” said Chia Jia Da, 24, a third-year student from Nanyang Business School (NBS). “But if they breed, what may seem like a small issue now may pose a bigger problem in the future,” he added. Another student, who only wishes to be known as Zach, agreed, and added that the rat issue could be due to NTU’s close proximity to nature. “We have Nanyang Lake and Yunnan Garden, I guess that’s where they breed,” he said. For Hall 4 at least, residents have come up with a novel way of dealing with the pests — cats. Stray cats hunt the rodents, and more often than not leave behind proof of their success.

Aaron Chan, 22, a second-year NBS student, has twice been greeted by the sight of dead rats left in front of his room door, courtesy of cats living near the hall. He saw one of the cats toying with its prey before eating it. “I felt grossed out because the innards were laid out across my door, and the rat’s head was severed,” he said. However, he was against the idea of removing the cats. “They bring joy to the residents. We feed them and give them names. Perhaps we can use rat springs or rat poison to target the source of the problem,” he said. A spokesman from Rentokil, a local pest control company, said in a Sunday Times report: “Rodents multiply at a very fast rate and when there is overcrowding, some will migrate elsewhere for survival. They can travel through pipes, drains and sewers." The school authorities said that regular pest control measures are being taken to keep the rodent population under control. “The operators of halls and food courts at NTU regularly engage pest control contractors to carry out fumigation and get rid of pests,” said Mr Jimmy Lee, Chief Housing &

CAT AND MOUSE: Some hall residents have seen a rise in the number of rats caught by stray cats in NTU. PHOTOS: AARON CHAN

Auxiliary Services Officer, NTU. When asked about reports from students on the rat sightings, Mr Lee said: “Reports by pest control companies in the last six months showed that no rodents were sighted at most canteens and halls, with only sporadic sightings in one or two locations.” Chan also suggested some reasons for the discrepancy in the number of rat sightings. “Rats tend to come out of hiding at night while the pest control

companies work only during office hours,” he said. In order to keep the rat population under control, the school authorities have advised students to play their role in keeping the campus clean. Mr Lee said: “Residents should dispose food items in tightly secured plastic bags before throwing them into the rubbish bins. Students who use the food courts and canteens for their events should also do likewise so they do not attract pests.”







Forking out more for exchange Students heading to UCLA for exchange will soon have to pay more on top of their school fees to NTU Adeline Tan


he University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will join Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) and University of Melbourne (UniMelb) as co-paying schools in the GEM Explorer lineup for the next academic year. Under the co-payment scheme, students will have to fork out an additional sum — 15 per cent of the host university’s tuition fee, with NTU paying the balance. This scheme has been in practice for GIT since 2005, according to Pauline Ho, Deputy Director (Partnerships, Forecasts, Marketing and Incoming Students) of the GEM Trailblazer Exchange Team. This means that students heading to UCLA via the Study Abroad Foundation in GEM Explorer will have to pay an additional US$1,705 (S$2,314). In comparison, students heading to UniMelb will have to pay AU$1,700 (S$1,805). Usually, students who sign up for exchange through the GEM Explorer programme will only pay NTU's regular school fees without any extra payment. Ms Ho said that the co-payment scheme meant more opportunities for students to pursue exchange opportunities in the schools. She added: “NTU bought extra semester immersion spots at negotiated

student fees, so that more students can go to the United States for exchange programmes.” However, she did point out that this scheme is currently under review. With “a good list of worldwide partners and well ranked ones”, Ms Ho said that the university has sufficient exchange partners that do not require additional tuition fees for NTU students to choose from. Ms Ho added that the copayment helps in preventing the abuse of exchange spots, citing incidents of students skipping classes, failing exams and missing quizzes while on exchange. But students like Duong Nghiep Khoan, 21, a second-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences who will be going to GIT on exchange next year, disagreed. Duong said: “Academics are always my priority, regardless of any changes in the tuition fees.” While the scheme has yet to see implementation, the introduction of the additional fees would have prompted a rethink of decision for Kenneth Chan, 23, who is heading to UCLA next month. The second-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information noted that the current three-month UCLA exchange programme is relatively shorter than programmes in other universities. With certain schools (such as the UCLA film school) remaining unavailable to NTU students, Chan revealed that these limitations, coupled with the additional costs would have made him consider the possibility of other options.

ADDITIONAL FEES: Students looking to head to UCLA (above) for exchange will have to co-pay tuition fees from the next academic year, with the university becoming one of the three institutes under the co-payment scheme. PHOTO: INTERNET

Feeling the pinch

While most students the Nanyang Chronicle spoke to were concerned about the costs arising from the copayment scheme, there were some who were more ambivalent about the issue. Sun Zhong Ji, 24, a finalyear student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), paid S$2,700 in tuition fees as part of the copayment scheme when he went for his exchange at GIT in 2013. He had no regrets about the decision. “Personally, I enjoyed my experience very much. “Travelling around was also a

great experience, and I got to meet new people and understand new cultures,” he recounted. “Probably, the only thing I was hoping was that the school fees could be cheaper for Georgia Tech.” For Smrithi Keerthivarman, 21, a second-year student from MAE who will be going for her exchange at GIT next year, the co-payment did not prove to be a deterrent, due to the attraction of the university’s stellar academic reputation. Smrithi added: “I would, however, expect this payment to translate into guaranteed accommodation, more flexibility in terms of module choice and timetabling as well as

increased welfare for NTU students at GIT.” The additional cost has nevertheless posed a potential problem to some, such as Lydia Lee, a first-year-student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Lee is still currently deliberating about her choice of university for exchange. The 19-year-old said: “I would try to choose universities outside of those which require the additional 15 per cent in tuition fees. “With the high cost of living overseas, the amount of money spent during exchange is likely to be quite hefty already.”

Quad staircase to reopen next month Karl Lim THE staircase leading to The Quad Café will soon reopen for public use at the end of March, after a sixmonth closure. Located at the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), the staircase has been closed since last September after students highlighted concerns about the safety hazard it posed during wet weather. An NTU spokesperson said: “Following feedback about wet conditions during the rainy season (last year), the outdoor staircase at the Quad was temporarily closed as a precaution while a review was carried out. “Although there were no reported cases of injuries at the staircase last year, the university is replacing the current flooring with anti-slip tiles. “Together with the existing handrails, this will enhance the safety for users.” However, the Nanyang Chronicle understands that prior to the closure of the staircase, there had been incidents of students falling

SLIPPERY STEPS: The staircase leading to the eatery has been closed for the past six months due to safety concerns. PHOTO: CHARISSE ONG

and sustaining injuries due to the slippery tiles during wet weather. “It was drizzling and as I was walking down the staircase, I slipped and fell on my back. I got a bruise near my tailbone

and my lower back was sore following the incident,” said Lee Qing, a first-year SBS student. “It took me a week to fully recover,” added the 19-year-old. Germain Kwek, a first-year stu-

dent from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, was another casualty who fell in September last year. The 19-year-old said: “I tried holding on to the handrails but the

tiles were too slippery. I slipped and slid two steps down. “I also saw a girl fall beside me and she literally slid down half the length of the stairs.” Currently, students have to use a longer route within SBS to patronise the café. However, there have still been incidents of students losing their balance at another staircase within the SBS building on their way to The Quad Café. Kwek suggested: “While renovation at the outdoor staircase is ongoing, I think anti-slip mats could be placed at at the indoor staircase as a safety precaution in the event of wet conditions.” Students were not the only ones who were inconvenienced by the closure of the staircase. One of the dishwashers working at the café, who only wanted to be named as Mr Wu, said that the closure of the staircase has made it inconvenient for him to make the daily trip to his workplace. “I hope the management does something to make the café more accessible, especially for elderly folk like me,” he added.







Charting new technology

Nazri Eddy Razali


aving been involved in raising awareness for the environment as an undergraduate, it was only natural for Ng Jiawei, 33, to pursue a career with an organisation that is in alignment with his passion for water. In 2004, Jiawei joined NTU’s pioneering batch of Environmental Engineering undergraduates. In 2012, he completed his PhD in Environmental Engineering, where he did research on advanced water treatment processes. He subsequently continued to pursue his interests in water technologies and joined PUB's Technology Department as an Engineer.

Toa Payoh Hub in 2006. "Organising the event was a challenge as we had to coordinate with close to 50 different organisations, schools and entities, while juggling with our academic workload," recalled Jiawei. Taking almost a year from conceptualisation to implementation, the event was a resounding success, with more than 5,000 people in attendance.

Ground breaking research

As a Senior Engineer now at the Technology Department in PUB, Jiawei finds himself at the forefront of groundbreaking developments that strive to improve the sustainability of Singapore’s water resources. Working closely with other researchers, Jiawei's department receives R&D ideas, and evaluate Beyond the books new water technologies to see how While he thrived in his current operations can be further academic pursuits, Jiawei also optimised. matched knowledge with practice After pilot-testing some of these by being elected as the President of ideas under actual operating condiEarthlink in his second year during tions, the department then evaluates his undergraduate days. its benefits to PUB over existing conEarthlink NTU is a student-led ventional processes. PUB then works environmental club that strives to closely with collaborators to progresincrease the NTU community's sively scale-up the technology for awareness on environmental issues potential larger scale implementaand address climate change in small, tion. achievable and measurable ways. "It's especially rewarding as I One of his crowning achieveget to see how technology makes a ment as President of the club was difference and plays an important to chair EnviroFest, an intra-varsity part in ensuring water sustainability event that was held in conjunction Half Page ad to NTU.pdfin Singapore," 1 13/2/15said 2:58 pm Jiawei. with World SWWD Environment Day, at

One of the more exciting projects that he is working on involves the codigestion of wastewater sludge and food waste. After undergoing the process of anaerobic digestion, the biogas produced can be used as an energy source. The synergistic benefits of codigestion is that the produced biogas can then be converted into electricity via gas generators, and used to offset energy consumption of operational plants. "This project is different from what we have normally been doing as what was traditionally viewed as waste is suddenly seen as potential sources of energy instead," said Jiawei. This project is still in its infancy and they are currently designing a pilot plant which would be able to take in 40 tons of waste on a daily basis.

See the world

Apart from his work in office, lab, and worksites, Jiawei also gets the opportunity to travel to other countries and learn from experts and be exposed to new ideas from around the world on how water resources can be better managed. "I find my work in PUB to be highly meaningful as I am able to utilise my technical knowledge to do my part to help strengthen the resilience of our national water supply and enhance the well-being of fellow Singaporeans," he said.

IN THE LAB: Jiawei is at the forefront of improving water sustainability in Singapore. PHOTO: MATTHEW CHEW

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March, a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate the importance of water sustainability.







Singapore World Water Day is an occasion to encourage the community to build a relationship with water and encourage them to conserve, value and enjoy water through various community-led activities. Everyone is welcomed to celebrate Singapore World Water Day in their own way. Every drop counts, every contribution matters, no matter how big or small. Join us at Singapore Sports Hub, OCBC Square, 21 March 2015 from 8am to 11.30am for a host of exciting activities!



For more information, visit

Lifestyle feature



You can now whip up gourmet meals without even having to leave your home. Lifestyle Editors Chelsea Tang and Fabian Loo try out two different recipes from local startup The Hungry Chef to find out just how convenient ready-to-cook meals kits can be.


kip the long lines at the supermarkets. The Hungry Chef delivers all the ingredients needed to create a homecooked gourmet meal right to your doorstep — from raw meat to seasoning. Founded by Mrs Ruchi Ballal two months back, The Hungry Chef is a healthy, ready-to-cook meal kit delivery service that is already well-loved by Singaporeans. “Ready-to-cook meal kits are extremely popular in Europe and America, because of the increasing number of

health-conscious people. So I thought, someone should start it in Singapore,” said Mrs Ballal, when asked about her inspiration behind the brand. Armed with a strong passion for cooking, Mrs Ballal decided to give entrepreneurship a shot after 10 years in market research. Her hard work has definitely paid off — The Hungry Chef was featured in The Straits Times and also received many positive online reviews shortly after its startup.

For those interested, The Hungry Chef offers ready-tocook meal boxes that range from breakfast to dinner, and even sides. Customers also have the option of customising their orders according to the number of people they are cooking for. They will, however, need to order two days in advance before delivery. Prices start from $7.50 for an individual portion of The Hungry Chef’s classic Chicken and Broccoli with Jasmine Rice set.

ALL BOXED UP: Ready-to-cook meals from The Hungry Chef are delivered straight to your doorstep, with everything packaged in a convenient parcel.

‘CURRY-NARY’ CREATION: A dish of Ginger Chicken and Naan whipped up in minutes.

FISHY BUSINESS: Plating the Oats and Peri Peri Spice Crusted Fish.

I HAVE never considered cooking in hall. Taking a walk to the supermarket to purchase a whole range of ingredients just didn’t seem very feasible to me. But when a service like The Hungry Chef did all the legwork for me, I was more than ready to cook up an exquisite meal. Delivered in a box, the fresh ingredients are clearly labelled and sorted into different paper bags. But some of the frozen items will turn bad if left out for too long, and need to be unpacked immediately. Infographics are also included, with clear visuals and steps that are foolproof — I found that it aided in

COOKING never was my forte, but with a ready-tocook meal kit for an appetising dinner menu, I was excited to get my hands dirty for perhaps the first gourmet meal I’ve ever cooked in my entire life. The recipe I was given to prepare was a healthy main of Oats and Peri Peri (African chilli pepper) Spice Crusted Fish, with a side of Tri-colour Quinoa Tabbouleh (a traditional Levantine vegetarian dish). The tabbouleh — soft quinoa complemented by crunchy vegetables — was rather easy to prepare. After boiling the quinoa, I mixed in the pre-diced tomatoes, baby cucumbers

making the preparation slightly less daunting. The dish that I was given to prepare was Ginger Chicken with Naan (ovenbaked flatbread). All I had to do was to marinate the chicken cubes in the seasoning mix and yogurt, and throw them together in a pan over medium heat with ginger and the rest of the aromatics. Next, I let it simmer for 15 minutes before toasting up the frozen naan till it was soft and fragrant. Dinner was ready to be served — it really was that simple and fuss-free. While the naan tasted a little dry, the refreshing gravy with curry under-

tones made up for it. The chicken cubes were juicy and flavourful thanks to the spice marinade. From receiving the raw ingredients to plating the dish for two, the entire cooking process took me a mere 20 minutes. This makes it suitable for busy families and students who simply have no time to grocery shop. Those who are tired of unhealthy takeaway food can also give The Hungry Chef a shot. With specially crafted meals ranging from traditional to fusion cuisines, picky eaters like myself can finally rejoice.

-Fabian Loo

and fresh coriander, and seasoned it all with some salt and pepper. As for the pan-fried fish — all I had to do was to season the fish fillet with salt, and coat it generously with spiced oats. Fry it in a pan drizzled with olive oil till crispy and golden brown. From prepping to plating, it took a short 30 minutes for me to successfully whip up dinner for two. This gourmet meal was hardly a challenge. While the tabbouleh was an acquired taste, I did enjoy the rare opportunity to try an exotic dish. The spice-crusted fish had a smooth texture and


a pleasant aroma from the coating of peri peri spice. The fish tasted lovely as it was; however, I particularly liked mine with a dash of lemon juice. The spicy and zesty flavours complemented each other perfectly. Providing a unique experience that allows anyone to whip up gourmet meals in their own kitchen, The Hungry Chef is a concept that combines both fun and healthy cooking. I, for one, greatly appreciated the fact that I was able to live out my MasterChef dreams without having to face the wrath of Gordon Ramsay.

-Chelsea Tang



Who needs all-you-can-eat buffets when you have all-you-can shop stores? Lifestyle Writers Fatin Amira Hairy and Sheryl Tay Shu Wei introduce multi-concept stores set to take shopping and dining to a whole new level.

EAT YOUR GREENS: Vegan meals need not be bland and tasteless.

GREEN HOUSE: Balanced Living is a one-stop destination for everything healthy.

Achieve a more Balanced Living


hen it comes to shopping, sometimes we just want the best of all worlds. Gone are the days of travelling to various places for different products. Behold the idea of multi-concept stores, a space where shopping becomes easier and more convenient. Located next to Sixth Avenue Centre, Balanced Living is an organic food store and wellness hub catering to health and fitness junkies. With services ranging from health consultations to weight loss programmes and workshops, it is the go-to for those seeking better health and nutrition. Their in-house café, Living Café & Deli, serves up a wide selection of healthy treats like salads, wraps and even organic burgers to make for clean and refreshing meals. Upon walking in, we were pleasantly surprised by the café’s casual atmosphere. Sophisticated yet cozy — the interior is brightly-lit and its Zen concept is complemented by soft ambient music.

Ms Amanda Lee, a regular at the café, shared with us that she has already visited the café at least five times within the past few months, and she always returns to enjoy the tranquility the café exudes. Ms Lee is not the only one; the café is a huge hit among young adults who visit the place for its healthy offerings. At Living Café & Deli, only ‘raw’ food is served. To put it simply, none of the food is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degree Celsius) — the vegan definition of raw food preparation. This method of preparation facilitates digestion and promotes effective absorption of nutrients. Moreover, additives like white sugar and artificial colourings are also not used. Our initial scepticism at the thought of eating raw food was eased as we discovered that the café does not compromise on taste. Using only vegetables, the chefs also try to replicate the taste and appearance of meat-based dishes. We dug into the Big Breakfast ($19), which

LIVING SPACE: Customers here are treated to a peaceful and tranquil environment.

included scrambled eggs, ‘raw’ eggplant, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast, complete with a side of pesto sauce. The eggplant bears an uncanny resemblance to crispy fried bacon but the common consensus was that it was chewier and less salty than actual bacon. Indeed, it was a healthier alternative, but the eggplant bacon ultimately pales in comparison to the real deal. Next to the counter, a flight of stairs leads to Balanced Living’s retail store. Health supplements, organic ingredients, essential oils and nutrition books fill up the shelves neatly, making it a convenient shopping stop for fans of organic products. But we felt that the most unique feature of Balanced Living has to be its very own in-house clinic. Here, customers can seek a variety of personal health consultations from professional healthcare experts. They offer consults for general health enquiries to detoxification programmes. Customers will have to book consultations ($100 - $260) beforehand and may also purchase the health supplements, as recom-


mended by the experts. From organic essentials to health consultations, one can bring personal wellness to a whole new level with the wholesome range of services available at Balanced Living.

LIVING CAFE & DELI 779 Bukit Timah Road S269758 Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11am – 7pm Friday: 11am – 10pm Saturday: 9am – 10pm Sunday: 9am – 8pm

BALANCED LIVING RETAIL STORE Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 10am – 7pm Saturday: 9am – 5pm Sunday: 10am – 3pm





ALL ‘PACT’ IN ONE: Pact features a combination of retail, beauty and food services all within the same space.

Pact it all up HIDDEN in a corner on the second level of Orchard Central lies Pact, a one-stop, multicategorical emporium. Home to eight different labels providing a variety of goods and services to every shopper, patrons can embark on an all-inone shopping spree. The first of its kind in Singapore, Pact brings an extravagant blend of exclusive retail and dining experience to consumers — all in one minimalistic space. The 7,500 square feet area features an open concept for each brand, focusing heavily on grey hues and sporting an industrial chic style for its decor. Our first stop was KIYONE+LIM gel nail parlour and PACT+LIM hair salon, where customers were seen pampering themselves with Japanese-style beauty makeovers. Professional manicurists and skilled hairstylists will make it their mission to doll you up in the latest Japanese hairdo and nail art designs while impressing you with meticulous Japanese service standards. Walking on, we chanced upon KILLARI, a Singapore-based bespoke jewellery brand. The line focuses on handpicking

semi-precious stones and minerals from various countries around the world before handcrafting them into sophisticated and refreshing designs. If you are looking for an accessory to spice up your outfit, the Barbed Wire Bracelet ($42 - $50) is a popular choice. The semi-precious stones come in a multitude of colours beaded into the bracelets and were a tough barrier to overcome as we tried to resist the temptation to get one for ourselves. Those who prefer a more adventurous take on accessories can don the Ylla necklace ($190/silver, $210/gold-plated), an original design featuring two contrasting coloured semi-precious stones set in a oval-shaped rotational pendant. For a new scent, you can head over to Code Deco, Singapore’s first artisan perfumery dedicated to creating scents made from the finest ingredients. With a higher concentration of natural oils, these perfumes boast a stronger sillage and lasting power with a single application — just about perfect for our tropical climate. While some scents did come off as a little too overwhelming for our liking, the Happy Blu perfume ($150 for a 50ml bottle) eventually won us over.

CLEAN SLATE: The Kilo Restaurant and Bar boasts a sleek and modern interior.


PRECIOUS STONES: The Ylla necklace is a statement piece that comes in a myraid of colours.

It is a delicate scent packed with fruity and zesty notes, accompanied by floralwood accents. Men — have no fear of being left out. Local menswear line, SIFR (pronounced “sifer”), offers quality shirts and basic tees at reasonable prices. With its main focus on consumer comfort, the brand is most well-known for its supersoft premium pima cotton T-Shirts ($39), available in a plethora of colours. With the modern homemaker in mind, SPUR Hauswerks houses home decor pieces created by both international and local designers alike. Expect quirky items like porcelain tableware with Singaporean icons, handmade children products from Made Little and even 3D printed accessories such as the 3D bow tie ($148) from Monocircus. To round up the shopping trip, we made our way to Pact’s gastronomical wing — Kilo Restaurant and Bar. Here, diners are not only treated to the chic yet timeless interior, but also to the modern Japanese cuisine the restaurant has to offer. Our favourite dish had to be the Yuzu Tai Roll — a rice roll filled with crab, snapper and tempura flakes with sweet yuzu truffle dressing ($23). Another must-try is the

Donburi (Japanese-style rice bowl) Salmon Quinoa Bowl ($18). The dish comprises a beautiful mix of vegetables such as Shimeji mushrooms (Japanese edible mushrooms) and wasabi sprouts. Kilo sure served as a delectable pitchstop for us. It was indeed an eye-opening experience, even for seasoned shoppers like us. We were amazed at the variety and choices Pact provides in just one space. With so much to do and buy — plus the added bonus of convenience — it wouldn’t be surprising at all if consumers start seeing Pact as a good alternative to the usual shopping malls.

PACT 181 Orchard Road #02-14 to #02-23 Orchard Central S238896 Opening hours: 1pm - 10pm Daily Kilo, PACT+LIM, & KIYONE+LIM are closed on Mondays








Nothing says ‘hipster cred’ more than checking in at a café in the most unexpected of locations. Lifestyle Writers Laura Kartika Naland and Jolene Ang experience it firsthand by embarking on a café-hopping road-trip — from the Far West to a disused badminton hall.

The Tiny Roaster

Brawn & Brains

Coffee Nowhere NYCC

FRESHLY OPENED: There's a new heartland café and supper hot spot.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Customers can watch baristas patiently handdrip their coffee. PHOTOS: CALVIN CHOW, JOLENE ANG


e had a hard time locating the exact spot of The Tiny Roaster due to the uniform appearance of the HDB blocks in that area. In fact, we almost missed the café due to its extremely unassuming exterior. Unlike its name, the café is a spacious oasis where brewers meticulously handdrip coffee right in front of their customers. The café, which roasts its own beans in-house, specialises in brewed coffee. All black brews are handdripped with care, while white brews are processed through their special AeroPress machine. Invented by American Alan Alder in 2005, AeroPress technology allows for speedier brewing of coffee by forcing water through the coffee beans with pressure. This results in a blend that can provide you with

a caffeine fix without any grounds or acidity. The Tiny Roaster menu offers four Black Brews, two White Brews and Affogato, with prices ranging from $5 to $7. Both of us particularly appreciated the considerate fact that the iced coffee was served with little spheres of frozen coffee shots to keep our beverages from diluting. The authentic and high quality coffee served at The Tiny Roaster makes it a mecca all handcrafted coffee aficionados should make a pilgrimage to.

THE TINY ROASTER 612 Clementi West Street 1 #01-288 S120612 Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 8pm Sunday: 11am - 6pm

ICE ICE BABY: Using frozen coffee shots as ice cubes prevents dilution.

BREWED AWAKENING: The Iced Latte is affordably priced at $3.80. All coffee served are skillfully pulled by in-house baristas.

AT FIRST glance, the ageing neighbourhood of Geylang — with its fading wall paint and empty shophouses — might seem like a ghost town awaiting the fate of the wrecking ball. But nestled among the greys of the area is Brawn & Brains, a café located at a corner of the old Singapore Badminton Hall. After navigating through a maze of HDB blocks, we reached the main road where the café was located. The old badminton hall did not stand out immediately due to its derelict state, and upon entering we began to wonder where this café really was. However, a walk to the side of the building instantly revealed the clean and sleek exterior of a café. The café, which seats up to 22 patrons, is designed with a playful mix of retro and minimalistic elements that altogether create a warm and cosy ambience. Despite having a limited menu consisting only of a small selection of wraps, sandwiches and coffee, Brawn & Brains makes up for this by constantly changing their food menu to provide variation in their offerings. One of their must-try dishes is the Panini Pressed Curried Chicken Wrap

($7.90), which has a moist filling made out of tender chicken chunks, crunchy rocket greens and onions, seasoned with mayonnaise and lime. Its wrap skin manages to stay crispy despite the moistness, resulting in a delightfully refreshing and light taste. A downside though: our food took a while before it was served. Consuming the food was also a rather messy affair due to dripping sauces and a lack of proper utensils. Customers have the added option of choosing between coffee blends or the café's own brew. Drinks are friendly on the wallet too — prices range from $2.50 for a cup of Espresso to $4 for an Iced Café Mocha. Despite its isolated location, it is certainly worth making the trip to Brawn & Brains for its affordable prices and quality food.

NTU students grousing about the lack of anything vaguely hipster around school can finally rejoice. Coffee Nowhere, a Malaysian café chain with branches in West Coast and Buona Vista, is the new goto place to dine. Located within the Nanyang Community Centre (NYCC), the café — less than a month old — is open till midnight every day. This makes it the perfect supper joint for those living in the area. According to branch owner Mr Darren Ang, Coffee Nowhere targets the supper crowd in the PioneerJurong area. “There are no good supper spots that serve caféstyle food — that’s why I decided to open my own here,” he said. The fact that the café was started up in the heartlands may seem unconventional, but it is in line with Mr Ang’s vision of Coffee Nowhere being a cozy place for families to come together. Despite only just beginning operations, the café has already garnered a steady base of returning customers, most of whom live near Nanyang CC. The food served did not taste as good as it looked. While the Smoked Duck

Aglio Olio Pasta ($15.90) that we tried was plated beautifully, the duck meat could have been better marinated to give it a fuller flavour. That being said, the meat was still sufficiently tender and easy on our palates. Their take on Eggs Benedict ($13.90) was a decent attempt too. Our only gripe was that the poached egg yolks were a little too much on the runny side — we’ve tasted better ones. Also, the coffee served was a tad too flat for our liking and proved to be rather disappointing given its steep price of $5.60 for a regular cappuccino. Those looking for something a little more than the usual hawker fare near school can give Coffee Nowhere a shot. But with mediocre food at upmarket prices, give this place a miss if you are on a tight budget.


60 Jurong West Street 91 S649040 Monday - Friday: 10am - 12am Saturday - Sunday: 11am - 12am

BRAWN & BRAINS 100 Guillemard Road #01-07 S399718 Tuesday - Friday: 9am - 7.30pm Saturday - Sunday: 9.30am - 7.30pm

LIQUID GOLD: Those who like runny yolk will like the Eggs Benedict.

Reviews spotlight

FROM PAGE TO SCREEN Following the release of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, Reviews Writer Cheah Wenqi analyses an ongoing trend of book-to-movie adaptations.

WRITTEN IN REEL TIME: A growing number of books are being made into movies to reach a wider audience.


he highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie, released on 12 Feb, is the latest to join a growing list of books that have been adapted for the silver screen. Despite being criticised for its substandard prose, the erotic novel is still listed as one of the best-selling books of all time, and its film counterpart has ignited the same frenzy in theatres. The film is part of the popular trend of book-to-movie adaptations that attempt to recreate the success garnered by the wildly popular Harry Potter film series. From Twilight to The Hunger Games and the more recent Divergent, an increasing number of adaptations have been produced to tap into the young adult market, with many more still on the way. While it is predominantly young adult fiction that has been in the spotlight recently, the act of making books into movies is not an entirely new phenomenon. Beloved 90s movies such as Fight Club, Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump originated from novels. Even film icon James Bond was based on the main character in the spythemed series of books by English author Ian Fleming. In fact, contemporary book-to-movie adaptations date back to as far as the 60s, with classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho all being derivatives of popular novels at that time.

Low risk, high gain

From an investment point of view, it makes sense for studios to produce a book-to-movie adaptation over an original screenplay. Such adaptations can count on the novel’s existing fan bases for viewership, thereby eliminating the risk of becoming box office flops. “When you watch a movie adaptation,

it’s exciting to see if what you imagined in your head matches the director’s take on it,” said Feline Lim, 19, a first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. In addition, book-to-movie adaptations also hold a creative advantage. Often, authors would have already created an expansive world within their novels, thus removing the need for screenwriters to come up with original ideas that, again, face a greater prospect of failing. The film 47 Ronin, for example, only earned a worldwide gross of $151 million despite its $225 million budget, resulting in a box office bomb of $150 million dollars.

“When you watch a movie adaptation, it’s exciting to see if what you imagined in your head matches the director’s take on it.” Feline Lim, 19 First-year student Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Moreover, adaptations have proven themselves capable of holding their own against original screenplays. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King, for example, won the highly-coveted Oscar for Best Picture at the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. In fact, The Return of The King is one of the few films in the Oscar’s 87-year history to win all 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated for. More recently, The Imitation Game — a movie based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma — was nominated for Best Picture at


this year’s Academy Awards as well. The appeal of book-to-movie adaptations also works the other way round, as casual moviegoers who become fans of a film are likely to buy the book it was adapted from. For instance, author John Green has seen a massive boost in sales for his book The Fault in Our Stars after the release of its film adaptation last year.

Lost in translation

With so much going for them, it is nevertheless worth noting that book-tomovie adaptations face a unique set of challenges too. Barring the production of a five-hour movie, it is impossible for directors to include every detail of the source material into a typical two-hour runtime. Therefore, it is inevitable that certain elements of the book will be left out. While it might not be an issue for casual viewers, this tough yet necessary move might result in the alienation of some of the book’s biggest fans. “Books like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons often leave a huge impact on the reader, raising the expectations of book fans who go to watch the film adaptations. “But these movies leave fans disappointed as intrinsic details that make the book what it is are left out,” said Chew Boshen, 25, a finalyear student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. While too much content can be a problem, trouble arises from not having enough material as well. The original The Lord of The Rings films were based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s book trilogy with a combined page count of 1,241. Meanwhile, its prequel The Hobbit produced the same number of films based on a single

children’s book with 304 pages. This resulted in director Peter Jackson having to create multiple plots specifically for the films, which felt forced and affected the movies’ overall quality. Despite featuring the same director, the later films faced criticism by fans due to their extra subplots. In addition, the final instalments of Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games were split into two parts. These methods of padding out movies give patrons the impression that studios are more interested in box office returns rather than telling an effective story.

Can’t stop, won’t stop

Despite these potential problems, book-tomovie adaptations continue to rule the box office with an iron fist. With a worldwide revenue of US$929 million (S$1,264 million), The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies was the second highest-grossing movie of 2014, vastly outperforming critically acclaimed original films such as Birdman and Interstellar. These statistics are not one-off occurrences either — the highest grossing movies of 2011 and 2012 were The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, both of which were films based on books. This year, more adaptations are slated for release, including John Green’s Paper Towns, as well as a remake of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Studios will continue to release these films as long as they are lucrative, and the genre is currently showing no signs of slowing down. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newly converted supporter or a dissatisfied super fan; whether you like it or not, book-tomovie adaptations are here to stay.











Promising a smooth blend of nostalgia and great music, Getai Electronica served up a generous dose of quality performances by local acts. Reviews Editor Ernest Chin finds out about the event's inception, and breaks down its notable highs.

espite lacking the reputation and star power of the more illustrious St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival and The Gathering, the inaugural edition of Getai Electronica was indisputably a success. What it lacked in scale, it more than made up for with its great lineup, feel-good atmosphere, and interesting location to boot. Held on the rooftop carpark of the People’s Park Complex, fans were treated to an aural and visual spectacle as they were charmed by their favourite local acts. Framed against a modern backdrop of the city skyline, along with the rustic residences of Chinatown that towered over the space, the setting well encapsulated Getai Electronica’s novel concept — a marriage of contemporary and retro musical influences and styles.

Homegrown passion and ambition

Getai Electronica was the brainchild of The Astral Journey (TAJ), a local band, and Lepark, a local Asian tapas joint. In an email interview with the Nanyang Chronicle, TAJ’s bassist Timothy de Cotta revealed that the partnership began when Lepark’s Lionel Ang and Carmen Low invited TAJ to showcase their latest EP at a rooftop bazaar they were planning to hold. What began as an idea for a single-band show subsequently grew in size and ambition, culminating in the large-scale event that was Getai Electronica. “After seeing the rooftop (carpark), bigger ideas came into my head and I asked (Ang) if he wanted to do a live music event featuring more than just one band — like an all-day or half-day thing with a totally local lineup,” said de Cotta. “(We decided on Getai Electronica) because it was in the middle of Chinatown, and the acts I had in mind to curate had a more modern, synthy, and electronic element to them. It wasn’t your typical getai, but one that featured these edgy bands,” he further revealed when asked about the inspiration behind the event’s quirky name. From then on, there was no turning back for the team, who was driven by their passion

for music and their desire to make a tangible contribution to the local music scene. “We really wanted to do something for local music and culture. We mainly wanted to dispel the nauseating notion among Singaporeans that local music is inferior to what radio and popular culture glorifies. We have talent, really world-class talent that needs a stage,” said de Cotta. Despite their immense task, everything was put together within a mere two weeks. Ang and Low took care of the food, beverages, and licensing requirements, while TAJ handled the design, sound, and curation of the event’s lineup. “I thought of the bands I wanted to curate, thinking along the lines of groove, soul, and alternative electronic music. I wanted some variation in the lineup so we could pace the night and also keep people focused on the music,” shared de Cotta. Within three days, the event's lineup, boasting an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from psychedelic rock to disco-funk and soul, was confirmed. Due to the minimal publicity, the team only expected a crowd of 200 people. To their surprise, the response was phenomenal. “All I did was create a poster and a Facebook event page, which the bands and Anglow Group (owner of Lepark) shared and updated. Before we knew it, 600 people had confirmed their attendance in the Facebook group itself,” revealed de Cotta. With that, the stage was set for a night of good music — and it sure did not disappoint.

New age getai

Despite bearing a similar name to the traditional and flashy stage performances, Getai Electronica was far from a typical getai. Doing away with the rows upon rows of plastic chairs commonly seen at getais, fans were instead seated on the bare asphalt flooring, mere metres away from the bands. Instead of elaborate set designs and fancy lighting, the event’s stage was plain, merely consisting of wooden pallets and simple standing lights that illuminated the space as

PERFECT PAIRING: .gif's performance showcased Weish's (right) signature drawling vocals and Din's (left) beats.

SETTING THE STAGE: Spacedays' groovy set paved the way for a night of fantastic performances.

the performances continued into the night. In spite of the simple setup of the stage, the sound quality remained clear and crisp — no mean feat given the open-air setting and windy conditions. Even with the minimalistic and no-frills setting, concert-goers were treated to a cosy and intimate session. A communal spirit pervaded the space, as members of the different bands walked among the crowd, interacting with fans and friends — the night was truly a microcosm of Singapore’s vibrant music scene.

The fantastic five

Fans were quick to snap up the attractively priced tickets to the event. At $6 a pop, they were able to enjoy backto-back performances by five highly-rated local bands, along with a complimentary beer — fans definitely got more than their money's worth. Spacedays kicked off the event to a sizable number of fans who had gathered in anticipation even before the band took the stage. Reverberating through the space, their sound seemed to gain a new dimension. The band's display fully justified their position as one of Singapore’s favourite local acts. Disco Hue kept the party going, and despite their youthful demeanour, appeared unruffled by the occasion and the crowd. Featuring a series of original songs and a cover of Girls by The 1975, they swept through a smooth and laid-back set of discofunk and electronic tunes. As the sun set, highly-anticipated electronic duo .gif took to the stage. Fresh from their Laneway success, they came with much hype — and they did not disappoint. Despite the event’s smaller scale compared to Laneway, .gif, comprising vocalist Weish and producer Din, spared no effort and delivered an immersive performance. Weish’s banter with the audience between songs was particularly endearing, a reminder that despite their growing success, the band remains grateful and connected to their fans. Following them was TAJ, who put up a

groovy and rousing performance that got the audience swaying along to their signature blend of jazz and hip-hop. After .gif’s cool and down-tempo tunes, TAJ’s performance was the perfect invitation for fans to put on their dancing shoes. As the night went on, the crowd showed no signs of fatigue, and was visibly energised by TAJ’s upbeat brand of music. Rounding off the night was The Good Life Project. Despite being the largest ensemble, they were cohesive and polished throughout. Early in their performance, they invited the crowd to get on their feet and let loose. The band's soul and jazz-infused tunes proved irresistible, as the crowd obliged, staying on their feet till the end of the set. As the event drew to a close, the common consensus was that the slew of quality performances left fans wanting more. “What really drew me in was the celebration of local music. Local artistes have more confidently come into their own, and fans are reciprocating by lending support to their fellow Singaporeans. As Tim (de Cotta) said, it was a night of good music, not just local music,” said Joseph Koh, 24, one of the many who left feeling more than satisfied.

Exciting times ahead

For those who missed the event or are eagerly anticipating more, it seems they will not have to wait for long. According to de Cotta, rather than taking time off to celebrate their success, the brains behind the event are already planning a series of follow-up activities. “Watch out for something in April, and maybe in June too. There will also be smaller fringe events, like the Lepark Sessions at Lepark Restaurant on 28 Feb,” said de Cotta. “It’s going to be real tasty if you know how we like to do things,” he promised. With such passionate and determined visionaries shaking things up, the local music scene is well primed for something great. For the love of great music and homegrown talent, here’s hoping the future brings us more revolutionary events like Getai Electronica.






tech review

In our brand new Tech Review segment, Reviews Editor Jared Alex Tan tries out the Canon Powershot N2, a point-and-shoot camera designed specifically to capture the perfect selfie.




elfies are becoming an increasingly relevant part of today’s society, and companies such as Nikon and Panasonic are now designing cameras specifically with this growing trend in mind. Canon has always been one of the biggest players in digital photography, and the Powershot N2 is the industry giant’s latest attempt to remain at the forefront. As the direct successor to the Powershot N released in 2013, the N2 boasts an upgraded CMOS sensor and processor, as well as several design improvements to help users take the perfect selfie with ease. With built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and social media sharing capabilities, the N2 seeks to integrate itself into the progressively connected lifestyles of its users.

Good things come in small packages

The first distinctive feature of the Powershot N2 is its size. With dimensions of 8.1 x 6.2 x 3.2 centimetres, the almost square-shaped camera is as small and light as a GoPro HERO4. The N2’s compact size allows it to fit into even the tiniest of bags. Its extreme portability makes it an ideal camera for travel and casual photography. The N2 is equipped with a mere three buttons. With the power and playback buttons on one side and mobile connection on the other, the N2’s minimalist design is easy to use, even for the technologically challenged. One noticeable absence on the N2 is a dedicated shutter button. Designed specifically for selfies, the N2 takes photos using a shutter ring situated around the lens itself, eliminating the hassle of awkwardly searching for a top button when attempting to take a selfie. While the Powershot N features a shutter ring as well, the N2 improves upon this innovative feature, now allowing photos to be captured by pressing down on any part of the ring. This upgrade means that users can now hold the N2 in the essentially any position and still be able to take a picture easily, allowing for more creative shots. Like its predecessor, the N2 offers a 2.8-inch touch panel LCD screen for framing and reviewing pictures. One major improvement is that the screen is now able to flip up to 180 degrees, transforming the N2 into a front-facing camera. This flip screen — coupled with the shutter ring — makes the N2 a viable choice for selfie lovers.

A unique set of problems

Equipped with a 16.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, the Powershot N2 performs best when taking portraits, concealing blemishes while still highlighting the best features of the face. Unfortunately, landscape photos taken with the N2 do not come out as well as its portrait counterparts. The distinctive soft edges produced in the photos are meant for faces, and prevent anything in the scenery from popping out, making pictures look bland.

When it comes to its ability to focus, the N2 also falls short. Despite possessing several shooting modes, the N2 does not allow users to choose the point of focus. Instead, it forces users to rely on its own artificial intelligence to determine the subject. This might be a deal-breaker for those who are looking for greater control over their shots. The N2 boasts an 8x optical zoom, which performs surprisingly well even at its maximum. That said, handling the zooming by twisting the shutter ring can sometimes be tricky due to the N2’s size, and the ring's sensitivity can cause the user some trouble in obtaining the desired amount of zoom. Once the photos are taken, however, the N2’s mobile connection button allows pictures to be easily shared over social media. The accompanying CameraWindow app also allow smartphones to connect with the N2 to act as an external remote, among other things. One feature the N2 is marketed with is the “creative shot” mode, where the camera creates six variations of a single shot. While the user first selects one out of four categories — retro, monochrome, special or natural — six out of a possible 46 filters are then randomly selected by the camera to create six different photos. The creative shot mode feels more like a gimmick than anything, but might be a point of interest for those looking to experiment with photography, albeit in a rather arbitrary manner.


THE BREAKDOWN PROS: The N2's compact size makes it highly portable, and the shutter ring system allows for easier selfietaking. Picture quality also complements portrait shots. CONS: There is no way for users to choose the point of focus, and it can be difficult to operate the zoom function using the shutter ring. Landscape shots are bland, and the improvement in picture quality when compared to camera handphones is miniscule. The Canon Powershot N2 is available at most electronics stores at $399.

Head to head

With smartphones regularly improving their capabilites with every new iteration, how does the Powershot N2 match up? When pitted against the in-built camera of an iPhone 6, the phone's photos possess a higher dynamic range, though the images taken by the N2 are clearer when further magnified. Overall, the differences are miniscule, and the average consumer might see little sense in getting an entirely separate camera for such a trivial improvement.

Final thoughts

Canon ambitiously designed the Powershot N2 with the intention of simplifying the selfie, and the camera performs commendably in that respect. However, the N2’s handling of everything else, like landscape photography, leaves much to be desired. It seems as if Canon invested all its effort into perfecting one thing, and compromised on every other aspect in the process. With the growing capabilities of smartphones and the quality of their built-in cameras, the N2 pales in comparison, lacking evidently in its picture-taking versatility. Though a definite improvement from its predecessor, the N2 still seems like an afterthought — it's a lacklustre attempt at jumping on the selfie bandwagon, ultimately making it difficult to recommend this product.

RESULTS MAY VARY: While the Powershot N2 handles faces well in selfies (bottom), landscape photos (top) come out bland and uninteresting.







movie review

Biography, Drama (M18) Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern 116 min



uman beings are vulnerable, be it emotionally or physically. In Wild, one woman pushes the boundaries of both as she embarks on a journey of personal redemption. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée of Dallas Buyers Club, the film is full of powerful, poignant scenes that most viewers can no doubt commiserate with. Based on the memoir Wild: Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, the film follows American novelist Cheryl Strayed as she falls from grace after the passing of her mother. A history of destructive behaviour has led her down a slippery slope of psychological torment and physical debility, and the path to recovery is riddled with obstacles and setbacks. Wild showcases these through Strayed's arduous journey of trekking the Pacific Crest Trail that serves as a metaphor for her pursuit of a fresh start in life. Alternating scenes from Strayed's past and present reveal the disparity between her life then and now. Even though Strayed is subjected to harsh elements while trekking, the hardship of

ROCKY ROAD: Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) embarks on solitary hike in search of redemption. PHOTO: FOX SEARCHLIGHT

life on the road pales in comparison to the tumultuous life of debauchery she had back home. The serenity and peace of Mother Nature offers Strayed respite from the claustrophobic city life that trapped her in a cycle of infidelity, drugs and alcohol. Wild is a film without a climax. Every scene in the film’s 116-minute duration is just as important and crucial as the next, and Strayed’s story is one so captivating that viewers will be eager to uncover more of her troubled history. The film, however, still feels dreary at times, and viewers might find it difficult to keep track of Strayed's journey as the

settings often change dramatically within a matter of minutes. Those willing to stay on through the entirety of the film, however, will be rewarded with the experience of a heartwarming tale of triumph and redemption, as well as majestic panoramic shots of the Pacific Crest Trail in all its glory. Reese Witherspoon delivers an Oscarworthy performance as Strayed, presenting a skilful depiction of a tempestuous character experiencing a gamut of emotions from ecstasy to desolation behind an apathetic facade. The audience sees Strayed most of the

time with a backpack strapped across her chest, her petite frame standing out in stark contrast to the gargantuan bag. Accentuating the fact that it not only takes emotional exertion to portray Strayed, Witherspoon’s physical tenacity is also undeniable. Laura Dern, who plays Strayed’s cancerstricken mother Bobbi Lambrecht, puts up a heartbreaking performance. Dern’s chemistry with Witherspoon is palpable despite their mere ten-year age difference. The duo’s convincing performance as mother and daughter effectively adds to Wild’s strong narrative. Their relationship is multifaceted and develops as the film plays out. Wild sees Strayed and her mother constantly butting heads, but their encounters in later scenes evolve into tenderness as Lambrecht is diagnosed with cancer. Strayed also encounters numerous male travellers throughout her journey, and these scenes with them provide an added sense of tension in Wild and set it apart from typical Hollywood fare. With the recent influx of biographical films, Wild sets itself apart from the rest through its sublime portrayal of its subject’s shattered psyche and the human condition at large. While its unconventional narrative might not be for everyone, those willing to invest their time into Wild's story will be pleasantly surprised with one of this month’s most sincere films.

-Lilian Lee

singles of the month


THE BLACKER THE BERRY HALCYON BIRDS Kendrick Lamar Top Dawg Entertainment

Broken Back Self-Released



KENDRICK Lamar's new song The Blacker the Berry serves as the rapper’s response to the recent criticism on his supposed failure to acknowledge institutional racism in America. Lamar spits one ferocious verse after another at racism personified, sharing his brutally honest take on racial injustice within the country. With hard-hitting lines like “You hate me don’t you/You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture”, Lamar’s intense delivery seethes with aggression and urgency. The track hits an eventual climax, where his rapid-fire rapping leaves him breathless. Despite the menacing undertones, the track isn’t a personal affront to critics nor a riotous call to arms, but a message that Lamar, like his community, hurts for every Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

UP-AND-COMING singer-songwriter Jérôme Fagnet, who, under the moniker Broken Back, continues to make waves in the indie electro-pop scene with his latest single Halcyon Birds. The track exudes an infectious tropical vibe with its idyllic mix of jangly guitar chords and a dash of electronica. Fagnet’s raspy vocals and folk-leaning style have drawn numerous comparisons with Australian singer-songwriter Matt Corby, as well as German indie-folk band, Milky Chance, but his unique style grants him a sense of individuality. Despite wistful lyrics like “One last smile and fingers crossed, is how you left the lover's seat”, the song thrives on a catchy and upbeat rhythm that will leave you hitting the replay button.

A FINAL adieu to founding member Chris Walla who left the band, and lead singer Ben Gibbard’s ex-wife, actress Zooey Deschanel, Black Sun speaks about the reconciliation of past and present. Despite the tinge of regret that permeates the song, it is also an invitation to leave the past behind and move on. Featuring waves of synths and guitars, Black Sun’s dark and brooding sound greatly deviates from the band’s older material, but Gibbard’s soothing vocals lend a sense of comforting familiarity. If the song is any indication of what fans can expect from their upcoming album Kintsugi, the element of emotionally raw lyrics is still likely to feature heavily throughout the album, despite its new sonic direction.

AS THE perfect sneak peek to their third studio album, Darling Arithmetic, Villagers return with their latest single, Courage. The marriage of feather-light guitar strums and soothing vocals by frontman Conor O’Brien makes the track an easy listen. The lyrics are simple, yet insightfully strung together, as seen from “It took a little time to be honest, it took a little time to be me”, and are sure to strike a chord with listeners. Courage looks into the significance of one of the most overlooked, yet essential kind of love — self-love. With subtle palettes of the piano and mellotron in the background, the song pivots away from a complex narrative to an intimate one as the title echoes throughout the atmospheric track.

-Ernest Chin

-Jerlin Huang

-Nicole Ang

-Jerlin Huang

Death Cab For Cutie Atlantic Records

Villagers Domino Recording Company







16-17 DAPPER







Watching cheerleaders form human pyramids, it is easy to overlook the obstacles they faced during their training sessions. Photojournalists Derrick Chin and Gowri Somasundaram follow the arduous journey of a cheerleading team in their preparation for IHCC 2015.


ollowing the tenacious example of their captain, the cheerleaders from Hall of Residence 9 tirelessly prepared for the Inter-Hall Cheerleading Competition (IHCC). Inspired by her seniors during Freshman Orientation Camp 2013, Pearl Sng, 21, a second-year student from Nanyang Business School joined the Niners’ cheerleading team right after camp. “It would have been my first and last chance to be a cheerleader,” Sng said. Unfortunately, a technical glitch during last year’s IHCC resulted in a costly mix-up, and a shaky start to Sng’s cheerleading experience. “It came as a surprise to us and we faltered as we were not prepared for it. We all felt quite sad afterwards,” she added. After that disappointing beginning, Sng began rising through the ranks, and eventually took over the reins as team captain at the start of the current academic year. However, with seniors making up

only a third of the team’s members, she was left with an inexperienced squad, which was mainly made up of freshmen. Adding to her troubles, more members dropped out midway, while others struggled to cope with the intensity of the sport. Of the 24 remaining cheerleaders who stayed and persevered, Sng remarked: “Passion and interest is what makes it fun, and also what makes them stay.” With that in mind, she focused on making each session as enjoyable as possible. New cheerleader Jayson Ng, 22, a first-year student from the School of Mechanical Engineering, noted that the team culture was one main reason for many newer members persisting through the tough training sessions. Being supportive of each other during training sessions, and never blaming each other after unsuccessful attempts helped to boost the team morale. As the competition date drew

near, the team learnt to help each other cope with unexpected circumstances while striving to execute their items smoothly during their late-night practices.

“Passion and interest is what makes it fun, and also what makes them stay.” Pearl Sng, 21 Cheerleading Captain Hall of Residence 9

This year’s competition saw the Niners improve from 15th to 10th place, serving as a testament to the great team effort. Though they may not have won this year, redeeming the hall pride lost last year was much more important for the team. As such, Sng is extremely proud of their accomplishment. “I am so glad they managed to pull themselves together during the competition.”

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR: The Niners, with Captain Pearl Sng, 21, in the centre, end their performance with a resounding cheer. It is a proud moment for them as they finally gave the amazing performance they spent so much time and effort to perfect. 09 FEB: The cheerleaders sit down on the steps of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Tired after yet another practice session, they wait for the debrief. This activity is crucial in ensuring that they learn from their mistakes. It is two days from the big day and they are all serious about it. 11 FEB: The emcees build excitement in the crowd by encouraging the various hall residents to cheer for their respective cheerleading teams. The loudest hall gets to bring home the title of “Most Encouraging Hall”. DEFINING MOMENT: The base team members have to be very careful. Any sudden movement can destroy the delicate balance and cause the flyers to fall. The amazing scene explains why the audience’s applause turns up a notch every time they see the flyers lifted off the bases. CHEER CAPTAIN: Sng doing her warm-up before a practice session. Her persistence in the face of setbacks explains why Hall 9’s cheerleading team has seen an improvement in their rank position.





09 FEB 22:26

11 FEB 21:15

11 FEB 23:12



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成龙抵新 宣传《天将雄师》 —— 刊25页


盛港巴士启用一个月 反应渐佳

盛港接驳巴士服务,提供三趟班次,虽然前两班几乎坐满人,但最后一班搭客明显较少。 他说:“学校提供盛港学生 以考虑往其他道路行驶,如在 邱振毅,刘芸如● 报道 接驳巴士像是个迟来的春天, 即将抵达南大时,从惹兰巴哈 中文编辑 每逢早上给我们盛港的人们带 或双溪加株的出口驶出,这将 大 上 个 月 正 式 实 行 盛 港 来温暖。希望学校可以多加宣 有助于让这趟搭客量日益增加 往 校 园 接 驳 巴 士 实 验 性 传,让更多人知道盛港接驳巴 的服务更加便捷。” 计划。据记者们现场观察,目 士服务的存在。” 区域接驳巴士时段有限 前该巴士路线使用率和其他区 不少学生虽然住家靠近提供 繁忙时段塞车 域路线相比还是较低。 的实验性区域接驳巴士,但因 使用该巴士服务的学生也 中文系一年级陈君权(23 岁)透露,虽然越来越多学生 面临一些问题,并给予反馈意 为目前服务还存在种种局限, 开始乘坐该接驳巴士,但用率 见。生物科学系四年级白迪祥 导致他们还未使用服务 。 居住在蔡厝港一带的黄雪玲 不算太高,尤其是最后一趟, (25岁)说,该接驳巴士服务 通常都有不少空位。他担心学 因早上繁忙时段需途经克兰芝 (21岁,中文系3年级)表示, 于去年9月1日启用的蔡厝港接 校可能因而在下学期取消该巴 高速公路,面对塞车问题。 他提议:“巴士路线或许可 驳巴士服务,服务时间有限, 士服务。

无法配合她平时的上课时间。 她补充:“我有想过提早起 床乘搭接驳巴士上学,不过发 车时间都太早了。服务时段太 少,不适合我每天乘搭。” 居住在巴西立的廖敏妤(23 岁,中文系4年级)觉得南大 提供长途接驳巴士服务用意是 好的,但宣传上明显不足。 她表示:“我本身其实不太 清楚在家附近的淡宾尼巴士是 否还在运作。我认为接驳巴士 服务时间太早,不太适合每个 人乘搭。我想我应该只有上8 点半的课才会搭吧。” 针对盛港接驳巴士反应不如 预期,南大住宿与后勤处负责

人李淑德回答本报询问时说, 学生对于盛港接驳巴士的良好 反应是值得鼓舞的。他也表 示,要是因为交通及天气因素 影响,而导致巴士放慢行驶速 度,这是校方无法控制的。

校方考虑增加趟次 他也说:“校方会继续与南 大学生会紧密合作,并考虑是 否应该增加更多趟次或者永久 性提供盛港巴士服务。目前, 淡宾尼和蔡厝港的接驳巴士服 务正在继续运作。” 校方表示,现阶段还未有计 划在其它地区地铁站提供类似 的接驳巴士服务。


摄影: 邱振毅

南大华人学生团体 春晚接乙未 靳昕 ● 报道 中文编审

年即将到来,南大校园 里喜庆的氛围日渐浓 厚,校内的几个华人学生团体 为迎接新春纷纷热火朝天举办 精彩纷呈的春节庆祝活动。 中文学会首先于1月29日邀 请了本校校长一起与同学们共 庆新春;中文系则在2月13日当 晚举办了《春到南洋喜羊羊》 新春晚会。目不暇接的节目与 活动让这个春节气氛变得更加 火热!

校长参与中文学会新年庆 距离过年还有两个星期,南 大中文学会就风风火火地首先 举办了《珍朗迎春送南洋》新

春嘉年华庆祝新春到来。“珍 朗”一词取自《襄阳记》,古 义为羊,取古代绵阳吉祥之意 博个新年好彩头。 活动当日的节目包括了节 令鼓、古筝、相声、歌咏、扯 铃、和华族舞蹈等等富有华族 特色的表演,台下观众还可以 通过与主持人互动或参与游戏 赢得各类礼品与礼券!此外当 日活动还向学生们派发新年礼 包,同学们的反应非常热烈。 学会还请来校长为活动开 幕。校长Bertil Andersson虽 是洋人,但庆祝起华人新年来 兴致勃勃,写起书法来似模似 样,可见华人新年的感染力果 然不同凡响。 嘉年华副筹委邱嘉贤表 示:“活动目的除了庆祝新 年,还希望能让不能回家的游

子们能感受到新年热闹的气 氛。同时,我们也希望能把农 历新年这个传统节日介绍给来 自其他国家的交换学生和别族 的同胞。” 邱嘉贤也透露,今年中文学 会的庆祝会提前举行,全是为 了能够配合校长的时间而做出 的调整。 新春晚会是南大中文系每年 的重头戏。除了师生齐聚,已 毕业的学长姐们也会抽空回到 校园,通过整晚的游戏与活动 与大家一起迎接新年。晚会上 也举行了抽奖活动。 好事多磨,即便被幸运抽 中,同学们要领奖却还要回答 一道与过年习俗、娱乐或学业 相关的题目!好在主持人贴心 准备了各种提示,才让同学们 都满载而归,尽兴而返。

南大中文系师生们于2月13日欢庆农历新年。 摄影: 南大中文系系学会







新年期间 应注意饮食卫生 邱振毅 中文编辑

月八日,媒体报道远景小 学 (North Vista Primary School)百名师生疑似食物中毒 事件,为本地今年多起食品卫 生事故又添一桩。 从今年1月发生的Hotpot Culture火锅店菜肴内出现死老 鼠和军营食堂发生士兵集体食 物中毒来看,类似食品卫生出 现问题的事件一再发生,对本 地民众食品安全的信心已经造 成严重打击。

在外用餐 注意餐馆卫生 从多起饮食安全的事件来 看,本地的卫生条件是否在逐 渐退步,仍然是一个值得关注 的问题。 农历新年将至,对于“民以 食为天”的本地人,在如此重 要的节日之际,食品安全格外 重要。 佳节期间,到餐馆吃团圆饭 是一些国人的习惯。食品处理 不当,如果再次出现类似影响 食品安全的事故,造成的影响 恐怕会扩大。 在选择餐馆同亲朋戚友们聚 餐,享受佳节喜悦时,不妨先 针对餐馆卫生标准先做判断, 如通过网上食物评论,查看该 餐馆的食物卫生反馈意见,让

享用美食前更安心。 农历新年的到来,除了在选 择餐馆时要尽量选择那些向来 享有高卫生水准名声的餐馆, 在家里准备与享用美食时也得 注意卫生。

家里备食也得保持卫生 处理食物时,建议在处理生 冷肉类时,应该先洗手,并带 上手套,以免脏手造成食物污 染。烹调时,或许应该带上口 罩,以免在咳嗽或打喷嚏时, 将口沫滴到食物里。 另外,建议在佳节期间,把 厨房打扫干净,避免烹调食物 的地方成了滋生蟑螂和老鼠的 温床。 谈到新年饮食,火锅是本地 华人新年传统用具。烹调火锅 时,应该确保汤一直处于沸腾 的状态,并且保持肉类够熟。 肉类不熟很容易导致食物细菌 无法完全消灭。 在捞鱼生时,也可以考虑使 用熟鱼片,以防止不新鲜的生 鱼片造成食物中毒。 使用餐具时,也避免用同样 的餐具装拿生食与熟食,还有 尽量使用公筷公匙。 无论新年期间是外出或在家 里用餐,注意食品的安全是事 关重要的。 只有保持食物的卫生,才能 让一家大小都身体健康,过个 太平年。


港大学生会民主选举的矛盾 胡雪曼

五年前,在《苹果日报》 上指责大陆人是“蝗虫” 的海报刊登之际,“中港矛盾” 还是一个陌生的新词。可是随着 后来的反对大陆双非孕妇赴港产 子、奶粉限购令、“光复上水” 和“占领中环”等一系列抗议活 动,中港矛盾从生活,经济到政 治一步步激化,大学校园亦不能 幸免。

“内地生”被标签化 几个月前香港大学学生叶璐 珊一定不会想到,她参选学生会 康乐秘书的决定会让她的名字出 现在各大报纸网站。一时之间, 叶璐珊发现自己处在中港矛盾的 风口浪尖。 叶璐珊来自中国广州,小学 是少先队员,中学时是共青团 员,到港大念书以后参与了香港 大学学生素质拓展联合会(Un-

ion of Students External Exploration,简称USEE)。USEE 曾于2014年暑假举办迎新营,其 中的高桌晚宴邀请了政协委员王 耀莹作嘉宾。王耀莹是“香港各 区专上学生同盟”(HKTSA)的 创办人,而该组织一向被认为有 亲共倾向。 目前2月14日港大2015年竞选 结果已揭晓,叶璐珊所属的团队 落败,可是余波一时仍然难以消 散。 此次事件在中港矛盾的大话 题下不过平常小事,但是我们从 中一窥,却不难发现各方立场其 实都入情入理,各具苦衷,却难 以调和。

媒体角度:校园电台 另外,叶璐珊公开信中指责 校园电视台预设报道立场,采访 中涉及与选举无关的隐私。但亦 有观点认为在港大 Campus TV公 开的电视短片中提到的内容仅仅 表示对叶同学身份的怀疑,也并

未体现对内地生乃至共青团的偏 见,构不成所谓的人身攻击,侵 犯人权。 媒体在选举中所扮演的角色 特殊,对于观众感兴趣的、有敏 感性的话题穷追不舍本是职责之 一。 实质上被港大Campus TV“起 底”报道的候选成员并不止叶璐 珊一人,而在仅有报道叶同学的 电视短片中也将大量的时间分配 到了播放叶同学接受采访和自我 解释的部分。 但对于香港同学来说,在这 样的运动中愿不愿意接受一位内 地学生作为学生领袖带领是个很 大的问题;而对于叶同学来说, 这种参与其实隐含了很大的风 险,尤其她现在仍旧是内地居民 的身份。因此没有当选也未必是 坏事。 这个事件中无所谓是非,成 长在截然不同的环境下,大陆学 生与香港学生唯有互相理解,才 能减少矛盾。








南大首次单独组队 妆艺献缤纷 黄俊杰,陈旭爽● 报道

年一度的妆艺大游行 (Chingay Parade)今年 将于2月27至2月28日举行。恰 逢新加坡庆祝建国50周年,今 年的妆艺大游行将是有史以来 最盛大的一次。 为庆祝国家建国的里程碑, 我校与往年不同,今年首次单 独派出了一支由40人组织而成 的代表团参加。 代表团从今年一月初起就已 经开始排练。负责本项目的学 生委员会主席关翰阳表示,目 前大家已经对舞蹈很熟悉,妆 艺的创意总监也对南大团队的 编舞非常满意。

多元文化交织 音乐响起,排好队形的表演 者们纷纷随着欢快的节奏翩翩 起舞。 代表团所用的舞曲是经典新 加坡爱国歌曲组成的串烧,如 《小人物的心声》、《城里的 月光》、《Chan Mali Chan》、 《Munnaeru Vaalibaa》等等, 与团队呈现的主题“我爱新加 坡”紧紧相扣。 不只歌曲与舞步体现出多元 种族文化,本校的表演者也来 自亚洲不同国家,除了新加坡 本地学生之外还有来自马来西 亚、中国、印度、泰国和日本 的学生。 其中不少表演者也表示自己 是在朋友的鼓励下参加妆艺演 出的。 电脑工程学院的一年级学 生Aditi Dutta表示:“我在这 里交到了新朋友,大家都很友 善。” 另外,来自日本的三年级交 换生吉田飞鸟是表演者里为数 不多的男生之一。 他选择到新加坡当交换生, 一方面是为了能够学习中文, 一方面也是希望能够更了解东 南亚历史。 妆艺的排练对他来说是课 外活动(应是额外活动),不 过他在排练时还是十分认真卖 力。

排练过程艰辛 南大代表团的编舞只有大约 三分钟,但是单在演出当天这 套舞蹈便需要一连重复六次。 演出前,表演者每周都需要 参加两次校内练习,每次练习 可长达三小时。 除此之外,表演者还需要 在周六时到F1赛道参加集体彩 排,每次彩排时可长达四到五 个小时。 有表演者表示,练习的次数 略嫌过于频繁,以致没有时间 去参加其他活动,尽管出席率

南大妆艺大游行参与者为表演项目进行彩排。 只要求75%,负担还是不轻非 常重。

使用幽默教舞 编舞者Priya Ramani 和丘家 镐在团队排练的过程中不断细 心观察与纠正容易被疏忽的细 节,并反复示范。 对于这个过程,丘家镐开玩 笑地说他“很抓狂”。 但是,他也说:“辛苦不辛 苦要看个人的喜好。” 幽默的他为了让动作形象更 为生动,还会用上许多搞笑的 形容,比如“想象你是牛仔女 郎狠狠地挥舞着套索”,惹得 团员们捧腹大笑。 团队也中有不少是初次参加 这类演出的同学,演出过程虽 然不容易,但苦乐必定长存于 心中。 关翰阳说:“这是个特别 的机会,是我以前从未尝试过 的。我想这对我来说会是个毕 生难忘的经历。”








娱乐 影评 电影播映室


为宣传新片 不与儿子过年

电影:《天将雄师》 主演: 成龙,崔始源,约翰· 库萨克,阿德里安·布洛迪 类型: 动作,历史


照片:Encore Films 提供 摄影: Encore Films 提供



年2月10日,成龙携《天 将雄师》主创好莱坞巨星 约翰·库萨克、奥斯卡影帝阿 德里安·布劳迪、韩国偶像崔 始源,以及国内女星林鹏、王 若心赴新加坡宣传。

是创下了亚洲电影新纪录级的 大手笔与高标准,投资愈600 亿;800位演员、300位工作人 员以及200匹马在中国西北的沙 漠里辛苦拍摄了足足一年。成 龙表示对票房有信心,《天将 雄师》是一部观众看了绝不会 失望的电影。

诚意满满的“老式打斗” 以和平为主题 2008年,成龙与李仁港导演 决定合作;历时七年后,基于 一个真实的古罗马故事,电影 《天将雄师》应运而生。 《天将雄师》讲述了两千 多年前的一支“维和部队”在 西域的茫茫荒漠上维护种族和 平,并且帮助胡汉化敌为友的 故事。 成龙表示他拍这部戏就是出 于一种使命感,希望《天将雄 师》在世界各地同步上映的时 候可以使各地人们感受到和平 的重要。 《天将雄师》的拍摄与制作

成龙说,《天将雄师》的 动作戏沿袭了他一贯的“很笨 的”拍摄方法。没有采取滤镜 等新技术,而都是一刀一剑的 老式打斗。成龙说在整个拍摄 中他每天都受伤,被砍。但是 他认为自己在动作片的设计上 是走对路了,这种传统打法使 他得以工作至今。 饰演一位“打女”,匈奴安 族冷月的“龙女郎”林鹏也说 成龙对武术要求高,每天她都 在压力中度过。 林鹏也是拍摄中受伤最多的 演员,甚至遇到了“威亚”突 然断了,从两米空中坠落的“

险情”。 成龙透露,影片中即使是没 有武打经验的演员也学习得非 常快,因为没有花拳绣腿,而 成龙一直倚重的成家班也出力 良多。

不会与儿子一起过农历年 成龙在发布会上称本命年 (2014年)过得不顺利,而 2015年则时来运转。 成龙笑说他现在不喜欢马 了,改喜欢羊,因为“小王八 蛋”今年出来了。 但成龙说农历年他不会和儿 子一起过,过年期间一样要为 《天将雄师》的宣传出差。“ 电影比见家人更重要,家人迟 早都是要见到的。” 当被记者问道房祖名的时 候,成龙表示他不能代房祖名 说话。 但他表示,他会支持儿子的 复出,成龙还透露说,儿子出 来后首先的工作就是完成没有 录完的专辑。

作片《天将雄师》讲述 的是西汉年间,西域都 护府大都护霍安(成龙饰)遭 奸人陷害,被刺配至雁门关修 城。随后恰好遇到罗马将军卢 魁斯(约翰·库萨克饰)带着 被哥哥迫害的罗马小王子逃亡 至此。 两方军队从一开始的兵戎相 见,发展成情急之下的共同求 存,到影片后头惺惺相惜,化 敌为友。 然而,大王子提比斯(阿

电影:《麻雀王》 主演: 杜汶泽、李国煌、莫 小玲、曾志伟、朱咪咪 类型: 喜剧


照片:Clover Films 提供


影《麻雀王》是一部以麻 将为题材的贺岁喜剧片, 讲述的是蝉联十届麻将王皇天 霸(李国煌饰)向亦是同门师 兄的第一届麻将王白中发(杜 汶泽饰)下战帖,打算在来临 麻将王大赛中一决高下。 电影聚集了新、马、港等笑 匠参与演出。剧组也费心思找

德里安·布洛迪饰)也随后带 兵追杀到了西域,并与霍安的 好兄弟殷破(崔始源饰)有所 勾结。最后,霍安与卢魁斯联 手,一同在大漠上展开一场生 死之战。 该片的制作成本据称高达 6500万美元。场面特效都非常 壮观,场景中的大漠风沙、西 域古城也都很逼真。 从中,可以看出编剧有心在 银幕上重现或还原骊轩古城当 时的风土人情,尤其是在体现 不同族群的风俗、打扮、和语 言不同这方面,下了非常大的 工夫。 然而影片中的古罗马士兵说 的却是英语,而成龙饰演的霍 安在极短的时间内就会自如掌 握英语的能力也让人觉得有失 真实感。 影片中不乏高质量的武打镜 头,这回看成龙,一招一式足 见气势恢宏,只是少了他昔日 的轻松滑稽,而多了种沉重的 使命感和悲愤,这显然和霍安 这个角色的设定有关。 片中的男性角色是比较出彩 和具有多面性的,但是女性角 色在相比之下就显得没那么有 深度了。 贯穿全片的主旨也很鲜明, 那就是歌颂跨越不同种族的友 情,提倡和平共处和英雄大 义。电影呈现的方式似乎有点 过于刻意,但不可否认它传达 的信息是正面的。 (文/陈旭爽)

来了香港资深演员曾志伟和朱 咪咪客串。片中参杂不少粤语 的麻将术语幽默对白,为电影 增添不少笑点。 杜汶泽在片中的演技尤其 值得赞赏。他在电影中饰演了 一个为了隐瞒身份而成为酿豆 腐店老板的角色,演技十分生 动。尤其是片中面对父女“同 台”比赛前,白中发对女儿说 的一番话,更是让他以浅白易 懂的对白点出人生中胜负是其 次的道理。 美中不足的是, 与历年来香 港的贺岁片所用的大结局模式 一样,缺乏新意。 话虽如此,这是新加坡首部 以赌博为题材的电影,借用了 新、港、台观众能产生共鸣的 赌博为题材,点出了胜负及金 钱无法买到幸福,将麻将桌上 的道理引入现实生活中。电影 在观众一片笑声后,也带出温 馨及富有教育性的一面。 另外,电影在少于两小时将 故事的起承转合交代得十分清 楚。电影皆大欢喜、和好如初 的结局画面也让人不禁 为之动 容,可说是适合阖家共赏的贺 岁佳片。 《麻雀王》在2月19日于本 地各大院线隆重上映。 (文/黄俊杰)


Citizens over politics

A TOPIC that has dominated Singapore’s front pages recently — Aljunied-HougangPunggol East Town Council (AHPETC)’s mismanagement of its accounts. The investigations by the Auditor-General’s Office into AHPETC’s accounts were disseminated on 9 Feb, the latest development in a longrunning saga. The report found major financial lapses, including the unexplained disappearance of more than S$20 million. Various Members of Parliament (MPs), including Law Minister K Shanmugam and mild-mannered Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, have dramatically criticised the Workers’ Party (WP) for its irregular handling of AHPETC’s accounts. Parliament became an arena for mudslinging, as MPs voiced their concerns. Some examples of strongly worded one-liners include Mr Heng’s “We saw a big wayang in this house”, and National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s comment on committing hara-kiri. But should Parliament spend two days debating such municipal matters? This recent saga highlights an instance of poor governance that directly affects its residents. Town Councils ought to be transparent about where

public monies are going. Although the AHPETC saga is significant, sacrificing more important debates on national issues for municipal concerns is not the way to go. And certainly not in such theatrical fashion. Taking multiple potshots at AHPETC, and by extension WP, the MPs seemed more like caricatures of themselves than thoughtful leaders of a First World country. Local newspapers dedicated whole sections to the drama, which grew more tiresome and ridiculous by the hour. This case also shows that dwelling on petty political fighting is unhelpful to the people they serve. Due to political differences, WP has found it difficult to manage its own Town Council. WP leader Low Thia Khiang shouted exasperatedly at Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “Nobody wants to work for me. That is the problem, Prime Minister!” Since all Town Council services exist regardless of the incumbent party, one may question the inefficiency that comes with the politicisation of Town Councils. Perhaps the needs of citizens should weigh more in this situation. The public should be informed through Parliament debates — not be subjected to their MPs’ histrionics.





Abigail Ng Parveen Maghera Austen Choo Gui Jing Yi Jerone Sim Kelly Phua Lum Hui Yi Sng Min Yee Jin Xin

NEWS EDITORS Shaun Tan Toh Ting Wei


CHINESE EDITORS Chong Yoke Ming Kiew Zhen Yi


SPORTS EDITORS Matthew Mohan Nur Amyraa




Chelsea Tang Fabian Loo




Ernest Chin Jared Alex Tan

PHOTO EDITORS Alicia Goh Hillary Tan VIDEO SUPERVISORS Nerissa Tiong

Trisha Lim

Zailani Ismail

Jenny Yu

Jolyne Tan Sheena Wong Tim Wong


Lau Joon-Nie Roseline Yew Jane Ng Zann Huang


A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI)

Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446 Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board of The Chronicle and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of Nanyang Technological University, its employees, the students or the Council of the University. Signed opinion columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist and are not necessarily those of The Chronicle. Printed by KHL Printing Co. Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968 WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

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frankly, my dear

A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts

Taking the right shot

PLAY OR GET PAID?: Sometimes the choices you make affect your life profoundly.

Shaun Tan News Editor


ou can have a PlayStation 3 (PS3) or a camera. Choose one and then let me know what you decide on. Those were my father’s words to 17-year-old me in 2009, a month before Christmas. Over the course of the year, I had made known my desire for both gadgets to my parents, subtly hinting at what my potential presents could be. Not wanting to splurge more than $1,000 on a DSLR camera that might have gone unused, my father made it clear to me that he was wary of my increasingly expensive gift ideas. He had every reason to be cautious, after financing expensive but eventually abandoned hobbies of mine previously. My father wasn’t particularly keen on the PS3 either, as he was concerned that I would end up getting too attached to it, neglecting my studies in the process. I agonised over the decision for a week. What if I honed my photography skills and produced amazing photos with my own camera? If I became good enough, I might even earn money from being a photographer. That sealed it for me. The idea of making my own money while pursuing something I was passionate about was far more enticing than playing video games. I have to admit: it wasn’t a

purely logical decision. The idea of receiving acclaim from family and friends for taking great photos helped scratch a narcissistic itch. I did not want to be like Vivian Maier, whose brilliant street photography was accidentally discovered in a garage sale only after her death. I wanted my work to be seen and acknowledged. I was gifted the DSLR with a reminder to not neglect it even if I lost all interest in photography, and so I started shooting. “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst,” goes the quote from renowned street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and he was absolutely right. I wasn’t a savant in photography, not by a long shot, but I certainly thought I was. As a result, I ended up being less than receptive to criticism from lecturers and friends. It took me a couple of years of shooting to agree with their points of view. It was a struggle to hone the skill I had chosen to pursue. I did pro bono work to gain experience but a client’s goodwill wasn’t helping to pay for equipment upgrades. I eventually ventured into music photography, an area where two of my passions met, and started improving much faster than before. A few years later, in 2013, I found myself fidgeting nervously in an interview room at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), flanked by three faculty members poring over my photography portfolio. I had submitted my application extolling my experience in writing for local and international publications but for WKWSCI, good writers are a dime a dozen. I’m not saying that writing is an easy skill — I simply needed something else


to separate me from the pack. That was my photography. The modern world wants employees who aren’t just specialists but ones who are skilled in various departments. Jack of all trades, master of some, you could say. My interviewers seemed fairly enthused about my photography, as they asked me about the shoots I had done. In essence, my varied skill set played a big part in securing my spot in NTU. Apart from helping me nab a place in a popular university course, photography has started to give me the opportunity to boost my finances. Although I still receive some allowance to get by, photography gives me the financial leeway to save and instead spend on things I really want. A couple of years ago, my father said something that reaffirmed my decision: “You, I don’t have to worry about. You’re a survivor; you will never go hungry.” This, to me, was one of the highest compliments I could hope to receive from my father — that he respected my ability to derive income and earn my keep. I can afford a PlayStation now but I choose not to buy one. I value improving my photography and do not want to inhibit any room for growth. Gaming would eat away at my time and hard-earned money. I’m glad my father made me decide between photography and a PS3. Maybe in an alternate universe I went with the PS3 instead. In that universe, I am not constantly being trashed in FIFA by my friends. But I live in this world, where what seemed like a simple decision to develop a passion paid off, affecting my life for the better in ways I could never have imagined.







Flamed for flames As the world reels from the aftermath of two ISIS terror acts in quick succession, Opinions Writer Tanya Anthony debates on the need for media sensitivity and its role in news reporting today.


n early February, extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) posted a video depicting the immolation of Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kasaesbeh in graphic detail. While many media organisations reported the pilot’s gruesome death via description of the video, Fox News took it a step further by airing disturbing stills in its news commentary programme. It subsequently posted the full 20-minute video on its website. Members of the public as well as media groups have criticised the decision to share the video as disrespectful. British news outlet The Guardian labelled the act “the theft of the dying man’s dignity". In an article for the Daily Mail, British journalist Piers Morgan asked: “Why compound the misery of that man’s life ending by acting as some kind of complicit voyeur?” Yet, Morgan later retracted his denunciation after watching the video, claiming that it opened his eyes to how dire the situation was. The reversal in his opinion demonstrates the tension between our wish to accord respect to others and our human curiosity that is not intentionally malignant, but also not easily satisfied. As long as the issue at hand does not affect us personally, there is a general human tendency to adopt the position of the voyeur when tragedies strike. This is further compounded by the fact that many of us are desensitised to violence.

More flies with vinegar

People are drawn to desolation in all its raw, mangled glory. One need not go beyond popular and critically acclaimed media such as The Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter films to recognise this. Explosions, the lives lost in glorious battles, human tragedy — graphic and violent content has become normalised in films and video games to a point where we respond with either unabashed

on their website is thus seen as capitalising on the victim’s violent death to support and reinforce its view of Islam as a religion that promotes the use of violence.

Beyond mere stories

FANNING THE FLAMES: Does the lack of media sensitivity add fuel to the fire in the war on terrorism?

curiosity or apathy when we see violence in reality. This is especially true in the digital age: social media platforms are instantly flooded with pictures, distressing eyewitness accounts, shallow exclamations of shock, and the occasional ill-timed joke. The media has taken advantage of this tendency towards morbid curiosity for increased publicity and viewership. The phrase ‘any publicity is good publicity’ is evidently not limited to the world of entertainment. The stunt pulled by Fox News is testament to this. The channel’s ratings remain miles ahead of its competitors, despite the criticism it has garnered thus far. However, the primary purpose of news outlets is to provide and report balanced information. The flamboyance and flair generated to sustain the audience’s attention in films and shows should not be

used as a crutch in the field of news reporting. Yet, competition is tight in the media industry. Higher viewership ratings tend to attract sponsorships and revenue from advertisers. Thus, many outlets resort to sensationalist methods, such as deviating from objectivity and concocting dramatic headlines in order to turn heads. Spreading a video that vividly depicts a violent murder then becomes the exploitation of an innocent individual’s suffering for commercial gain. Fox News’ contentious editorial decision brings to attention once again the never-ending debate on media ethics.

Blurred lines

In America, the Society of Professional Journalism has laid down a general code of ethics for journalists to abide by. However,


given that each news outlet has its own political or ideological bias, it would be difficult to arrive at a consensus on ethical boundaries. One of the rules in the code is to “avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do”. Many are guilty of breaking it. Fox News has defended itself by claiming that it was imperative to share the video in its entirety so that the public would realise “the reality of Islamic terrorism”. Their statement seems like a weak attempt to justify their turn to sensationalism. The news channel has also been repeatedly called out for perpetuating false stereotypes that promote Islamophobia. In response to a previous case of brutality by ISIS, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros even remarked that the cruelty of ISIS will come as no surprise if one studies the history of Islam. The act of sharing the video

At the intersection of journalistic freedom, media ethics and political ideology, it is worth remembering that an action with positive intentions can still lead to negative outcomes. From the video's publicity, alKasaesbeh has become yet another indistinct figure on the seemingly unending list of those caught in the crossfire of the war on terror. The spreading of the video does not ensure that he is remembered at his best, nor does it assist his family in recovering from this senseless loss. Instead, it desensitises viewers to violence, and turns his death into the latest conversation topic. His execution has become an opportunity for us to express shock and outrage at the abhorrent actions of others without any lasting impact. A better way to honour the deaths of al-Kasaesbeh and the many others that have been watered down into sensationalised news stories is to avoid sharing and viewing their last and most horrific moments. Instead, spread information that preserves the image of the people they were. A devout Muslim, alKasaesbeh was a brave member of the US-led military coalition in Syria, and a loving husband now mourned by his devastated widow. Rather than regarding every subject as an opportunity for the next attention-grabbing headline, news organisations should view them as they are — people. If news outlets were to stray from their duty of objective reporting, perhaps they should stray on the side of humane subjectivity and approach each episode with empathy and respect.

Timeline of high-profile ISIS hostage killings








Unorthodox but not undermined Shalom Chalson


n 3 Feb, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean visited NTU for the annual Ministerial Forum dialogue session. In line with Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, the forum’s topic was “Beyond the First 50 Years: Building Our Future Together". One prominent issue raised at the dialogue was Singapore’s stance on unconventional family structures. Quoting a recent case of a single mother being rejected in her application for a HDB flat, a firstyear student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences asked if Singapore was moving towards a more conservative view of family structures. Mr Teo replied that many societies regard the conventional family structure as the most balanced for bringing up children effectively. What is the origin of this particular notion of family and why is it important? The ‘conventional' structure here refers to a nuclear family, which comprises a mother, father, and their children in a single household. This structure focuses on the marriage of a heterosexual couple. Unconventional families, on the other hand, include the singleparent household, the childless

BREAKING CONVENTION?: Abandoning tradition to complete the nation. GRAPHIC: ONG XIAO HUI

family, families with non-marital cohabitation, and families with parents of a single gender. Due to the long list of presumable benefits, the standard structure is more widely accepted. For example, a resulting sense of ‘normalcy’ is said to promote better psychological and social development, and hence a higher chance of success later in life. Most importantly, many still believe that conventional families contribute to achieving stability, which in turn, leads to a stronger workforce and society. This stability originates from the idea that children tempered by

both a father and a mother are more likely to be sufficiently adjusted and well-equipped for the world, in line with the prejudices on gender roles many individuals still hold today. For instance, some would say that a mother should nurture her children, while a father should bring home the bacon. When the conventional family structure is preferred over the atypical, it implies that the latter cannot provide stability or fully and successfully develop equally outstanding children. Many who think this way fail to consider why stability is harder to achieve for the unconventional.

Louder than words: Aftermath

Trying to mitigate the issue by encouraging a traditional way of life severely and perhaps unfairly disadvantages those who live in an ‘unorthodox' manner. It can be easy to forget that families outside the conventional structure actually do exist. In addition to financial woes and stress faced on a daily basis, these families bear the brunt of laws and policies that encourage nuclear families while also disadvantaging the unconventional. By stressing the importance of the nuclear family, these policies reinforce the associated negative stereotype that causes members of unconventional families to be marginalised in a vicious cycle. They therefore have a harder time establishing the equal footing required to attain any real success. In addition, these policies prevent them from acquiring stability. If they had less to struggle with, perhaps they would be just as capable of raising well-adjusted children as any other family. The aforementioned benefits, therefore, are not necessarily exclusive to the nuclear family. Singapore’s current policies that favour the nuclear family may stem from our history as a collection of kampungs, when communal living was predominant. It encouraged the nuclear family,

pegging alternative lifestyles with negative connotations. But times are changing. The Singaporean narrative has become more complex and we are now host to a variety of perspectives and circumstances that differ from tradition and the norm. While the past has had its moments, not everything old is necessarily gold. What would today be if slavery and racial segregation were still considered acceptable? As more facts are gathered about life, humankind, and the world that houses us, our attitudes towards what is permissible or impermissible shift accordingly. And societies have come a long way morally — most established hierarchies of the past are being phased out. Some no longer exist. Marginalising some members of society is, therefore, primitive in and of itself. In line with the ideology of a meritocratic nation that seeks progress and equality, policies that necessitate those values should help establish equal footing measured by talent and ability, and not based on any socio-economic background. If unconventional families are allowed to continue struggling due to a lack of opportunities and support, Singapore will lose a group of people who could have otherwise contributed greatly to its nation.








canteen talk

You booze, you lose

The new liquor control law that was passed in Singapore last month drew mixed reactions from the public. The Nanyang Chronicle asks students to share their views on the new law and how it affects them.

I think it’s a matter of how effective this policy is. Do we have enough manpower to dispatch police officers everywhere to enforce this law? Azman Shah, 28, NIE, Year 3

DON'T BLAME IT ON THE ALCOHOL: Many call the efforts to curb rowdy drinkers extreme.

Annabel Tan


rom around 9pm till the wee hours on weekends, groups of youths throng Clarke Quay’s Read Bridge, sharing bottles and cans of alcohol. Buying booze from convenience stores to drink before hitting nearby clubs like Zouk or f.Club is a pre-party habit for many. Soon though, this will all become illegal. This is due to the new Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill that was passed when Parliament sat last month. From 1 Apr, late night public drinking and alcohol retail sales will be restricted islandwide. Little India and Geylang will be designated Liquor Control Zones with stricter limitations. What appears to be yet another interventionist policy is causing the ‘nanny state’ label to resurface. In trying to strictly police a regular social activity, the new law exemplifies the overprotective approach our government has been adopting in regulating the behaviour of its populace.

Mothering or smothering?

To guarantee stability, policies often trade limits on individual freedom for community benefit. Many local academia and media outlets have been debating for years on this method of governance. Between giving the community some leeway to tackle its own problems and stepping in to directly implement policing, Parliament does not seem to trust our society with the former, hence resorting to the latter. But considering how much the nation has developed over the years, this lack of trust can seem rather absurd. In this case, the law exerts unnecessary or even unreasonable control over those who simply enjoy having drinks to unwind, and do so responsibly. Reportedly, the law aims to reduce violent and public nuisances. However, its terms are perhaps overly harsh, akin to killing an ant with a sledgehammer.

The umbrella nature of the ban dismisses the reality that most Singaporeans drink peacefully. While one cannot deny that the buzzing atmospheres of drinking spots seem to be disorderly hotbeds for drunken brawls, most of Singapore’s nightlife often ends in stupor, not fistfights. In addition to the law’s extensive coverage, the process of creating a solution to address midnight rowdiness has also been criticised due to the seemingly inadequate consideration of public opinion. Even though the Ministry of Home Affairs cites strong support from the two public consultations it conducted, the discussion it facilitated could have afforded to be more extensive. Only 624 members of the public took part in both phases of the public consultation. For a Bill that would affect millions, this is a rather small and unrepresentative sample size.

Not just drinks

This new liquor law is a recent case, but not the only example of Singapore babying its citizens. Media censorship is also unusually extensive here, and invites controversy ever so often. In September last year, the Media Development Authority banned the Singaporean film To Singapore, With Love on the grounds of undermining national security. The documentary, directed by Tan Pin Pin, featured Singaporean political exiles sharing their stories on how and why they ended up leaving the country.

Policies and laws have to first recognise our society's maturity in handling diverse views. While these views may not resonate with the official narrative of Singapore’s history, they do not necessarily dismantle the social fabric of our nation. Shielding the public from conflicting points of view in order to ‘protect’ them from ‘untruths’ is exactly in line with this mother


knows best mentality. This approach infantilises the populace and ultimately restricts critical engagement with our nation’s historical discourse. However, as we build the more delicate ladders of social construct expected in a first world country like ours, one must realise that regressive laws that undermine the maturity of our citizens may do more harm than good.

Learning to grow up

As we move beyond fulfilling our fundamental needs, our society must learn how to grapple with conflict as a community. But to do so, policies and laws have to first recognise our society's maturity in handling diverse views. It is time to let the public have a bigger hand in shaping the nation. When the Liquor Control Bill was first introduced to Parliament in January this year, the austere terms of the Bill surprised many members of the public. Although the review of liquor control measures begun in 2012 as a response to complaints of late night public nuisances in certain areas, some felt that the Bill came out of the blue. In light of this reaction, perhaps more discussion could have taken place before passing a harsh law restricting a common social and recreational activity. Come April, when the law is implemented, let our nation be the judge of this policy that seems to criminalise a regular social activity. Singapore has come far in its 50 years of independence, but such mothering will prevent us from developing as a mature society. With the progress our nation has achieved, we deserve to be socially and politically literate, active members of society. On the cusp of our Golden Jubilee, let’s exit the nursery and move away from relying on our government to resolve our differences for us. Singapore needs to realise that it cannot stay stuck in its Peter Pan Syndrome, or risk stagnating further development. To a nation finally leaving the nest — let’s drink to that.

Those who want to drink responsibly should be able to do so. Singapore should move away from being a nanny state, but not completely. Hafizah Beevi, 24, HSS, Year 2

We should educate people on responsible drinking instead. Now clubs have the monopoly and can overcharge for drinks. Choy Bing Han, 21, NIE, Year 1

Singapore may not be mature enough to cope with having no restrictions, but the ban does not need to be this harsh. Vanitha Maniarasu, 20, SPMS, Year 1

This ban will affect me financially. Most university students can’t afford drinks at clubs and bars — that’s why we have them outside. Yu Wen, 24, MSE, Year 3








To stay or to go? Lim Ching Ying


afuwan Baharudin, Singapore’s first footballer to play in the Australian League, spent his debut match for Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC) on the bench. The promising 23-year-old — named The Straits Times Athlete of the Year just last year — had been handpicked and is currently on a three-month loan from Lions XII to MCFC. He joined MCFC shortly after the club’s mid-January training camp in Abu Dhabi. Safuwan started his second match for MCFC but was substituted in the 60th minute for a striker — the club then lost 3-0 to rivals Melbourne Victory. As ominous as the Singaporean’s experience may sound, MCFC coach John van’t Schip heaped praise on him in front of the media, citing his fearlessness and versatility. After all, the club had fielded the defender in a midfield position, placing him far out of his comfort zone. The young centre-back then went on play a full 90 minutes in his next game and aided the club in keeping a clean sheet against Wellington Phoenix. Safuwan is not the first Singaporean footballer to accept an overseas contract offer, but his experience may be the most followed due to the relative prominence of the Australian league. After all, in Singapore where domestic league match tickets cost less than those at the movies, it is hard for talent to be spotlighted,

much less in the international footballing arena. While overseas training stints are frequently arranged by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), actual contract signing remains rare. This explains why in 2013 the Singapore footballing community was shocked when Hariss Harun declined an offer from top-tier Portuguese club Rio Ave, citing personal reasons that included National Service commitments. While he does not regret the decision, Hariss still considers plying his trade in Europe as something on his bucket list.

Unfamiliar pastures

Although playing overseas seems to be the dream, it is undeniable that the challenges that await players are daunting. Few of us know of FC Metz, the French Ligue 1 club that signed youngster Adam Swandi for two years in 2013. Even fewer can identify, let alone pronounce, Hungary’s Kaposvári Rákóczi FC, the Division Two club that offered Ahmad Hakimputra a one-year professional contract during their 2012-2013 season. Playing overseas seems to come with little glory, without an adoring home crowd. It can in fact be a lonely experience from the changing rooms to the field. Although the S-League may not be as established as many overseas leagues, Singaporeans still do follow the progress of their favourite teams. Some even call news corporations’ sports desks to demand for more

ONE FOR THE FUTURE: At just 19, Adam Swandi is one of Singapore's brightest young talents.

Hungarian club’s reserve team. Adam, on his return, has been selected for the national team on several occasions but only played for the U-19 team in Metz. These are players who could potentially reign the field in Singapore but have to struggle against far more and far stronger competition on other shores.

updates on the S-League. Undeniably, there remains an audience for football at home, no matter how small it may be. Another drawback for these players is a lack of playing time or the risk of being fielded in unfamilar positions. Hakimputra, 24, or Putra as he prefers to be known, was used as a winger instead of a striker in the

STRUTTING HIS STUFF: Safuwan Baharudin (right) in his league debut for Melbourne City FC.

Taking a risk

Many athletes, not just footballers, are willing to leave their families behind and take the leap of faith in hope of gaining experience in an arena that far dwarfs our tiny country, even if it is only for the short term. Adam, now 19, points to the higher standards of football in Europe as a major factor for his desire to remain playing for overseas clubs. The tougher competition there gives him exposure and experience that cannot be obtained locally. While these players may be “getting out there”, it remains a concern that playing for reserve teams — like in Putra’s case — may compromise on their actual time spent on-field during matches. The high cost of living overseas is also a practical issue. Fortunately for Putra, his club funded him during his youth contract. Adam, being a recipient of the Singapore Olympic FoundationPeter Lim Scholarship, had his expenses covered as well. For those not lucky enough to have their expenses paid for, the benefits of playing overseas certainly would not outweigh the estimated costs. While it is a stretch to imagine that playing for smaller clubs overseas could pave the way to the


golden gates of the English Premier League, these opportunities bring milestones that are no less thrilling. Safuwan, for example, is now included — perhaps even immortalised — in the video game FIFA 2015 alongside football greats that we can name by heart. Furthermore, an outstanding stint could open doors to opportunities for players to showcase their talents on leagues that feature prominently in Europe such as the La Liga.

New opportunities

For Brazilian player Filipe Augusto, his time at Rio Ave led him to a new opportunity at La Liga club Valencia. This was after his manager Nuno Espirito Santo changed teams and brought him along. No one could have seen it coming. Yet, to argue that Hariss could have enjoyed the same careerchanging move would be Mondaymorning quarterbacking. Even so, Felipe's example only illustrates the sea of possibilities that are open to a footballer who plays overseas For now, Safuwan sees himself as “an ambassador of Singapore”, while the FAS hopes that more young footballers will follow in his footsteps. Indeed, this is a small but sure way to bring a part of local football to the rest of the world. While we may not be present to watch our players shine abroad, their exploits certainly inspire all of us to keep on dreaming. For maybe just one day, in the not so distant future, we will have our very own football star gracing the glamorous stage of the Barclays Premier League.







sports talk

No room for tradition There is more to the SEA Games than winning medals through the addition of sports that are obscure to every other country except the host nation.

Nicole Chan


new edition of the South East Asian (SEA) Games always brings to sports fans new hopes and expectations, and more notably, a new series of 'traditional sports’. These may be native sports or sports reintroduced to the games because the country’s athletes are proficient in it. The additions are allowed as they are seen as a form of respect to the host. However, the introduction of these sports have always been hotly debated by participants of the games from all over the world. This June, Singapore will be hosting the SEA Games. As opposed to adding eight traditional sports as in the previous editions, this year Singapore will see only six — netball, floorball, pencak silat, petanque, traditional boat race and water-ski. Other traditional sports such as kempo (Japan), chapteh (Singapore) and vovinam (Vietnam) have been included in past editions, but not this year. And just as well, for Olympic Councils across South East Asia are seeking to keep these games to a minimum, as they hold little meaning to other countries. Although excluding more traditional sports may see

KICKING THEM OUT: Only six traditional sports will be on showcase in this year's Games. PHOTO: INTERNET

Singapore losing out on more medals, I believe the Singapore Olympic Council has made the right decision. There is more to the SEA Games than winning medals through the addition of sports that are obscure to every other country except the host nation.

Integrity compromised

Over the years, traditional sports have been subjected to ridicule.

A recent case of contention was the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar. Five Olympic sports (table tennis, lawn tennis, badminton, gymnastics and beach volleyball) were removed, resulting in a flurry of unhappy countries. In return, Myanmar's proposal for the Games included 14 traditional sports, nine of which were martial arts that were unfamiliar to others. As a result, heated opinion pieces emerged from Singaporean media;

Thai officials expressed in The New York Times that it was “worthless to hold the Games”; and the Philippines threatened to pull out. The Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia commented in an interview prior to the 2013 Games: “They did not include tennis for what reason? They’re not good at it. Why did they add seven more golds in dragon boat? It’s theirs (to win).” Garcia also contended that the Philippines could have increased the number of medals given for basketball, their niche sport, when they hosted the Games in 2005. Instead, only one indigenous sport was added that year, without any other changes made.

Freedom of choice

Allowing a host country the liberty to add and drop games as they please seems like self-validation. Myanmar’s Sports Ministry director U Htay Aung insisted on their right to make decisions and brushed off negative sentiments, for “there are always complaints at the games”.

While these sports may add elements of cultural richness to the games, I believe they ultimately serve only to benefit the host country and that competitive events are unsuitable platforms for such cultural sharing to take place. Openly replacing Olympic sports with one’s own specialities might compromise the professionalism of the SEA Games and send a message to other nations that they are free to add sports on their whims and fancies. Dr Tan Eng Liang, chairman of the SEA Games Federation Exco, said in a recent interview that his committee wants “to do things more professionally, more transparently and allow meaningful discussion”. I believe traditional games should be appreciated because they contribute to regional identity. They set us apart from Western countries, which compete strongly in the Olympics — additions such as chapteh would be quite a challenge for them. As a result, these games give Asians something to be proud of. Perhaps more low-key amateur competitions involving these sports could be organised in the near future to raise the international profile of these traditional games. But this appreciation should not extend to internationally established competitive events like the SEA Games, or these competitions will soon be reduced to nothing more than child’s play.


Dortmund spiralling into abyss Neo Jie Yao

FEW would have expected the shocking capitulation of Borussia Dortmund this season. From the lofty highs of challenging Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title for the past few seasons, Dortmund are currently languishing a mere point off the relegation zone, as of 19 Feb. Under the guidance of head coach Jürgen Klopp, who has been in charge since 2008, the team enjoyed success after success. They won the Bundesliga title in 2011 and 2012, reached the Champions League final in 2013, and won the DFL-Supercup in 2013 and 2014. So what changed this season?

Misfiring strikers

Losing Robert Lewandowski — their top scorer for the past three seasons — to Bayern Munich was a big blow.

But Dortmund seemed to have the situation under control when they moved quickly to secure the services of Italian striker Ciro Immobile and Colombian hotshot Adrián Ramos, from Torino and Hertha Berlin respectively. On paper, the signings seemed to be a perfect fit. Both of them had stellar seasons at their previous clubs, with Immobile winning the Italian Serie A Golden Boot award last year with 22 goals, and Ramos scoring 16 goals in his most productive season in the Bundesliga to date. However, both strikers are nowhere near replacing Lewandowski's exploits for the club, and they have contributed only a paltry return of five league goals so far. Immobile in particular has struggled to acclimatise to his new teammates, surroundings and league. The irony is that Immobile is just as his name suggests. He is more of a penalty box predator than a player who creates chances for his

teammates like Lewandoski did. Ramos, a striker brought in to play second fiddle to Immobile, has also failed to impress, leading many to question whether he can fit into a big club like Dortmund. Losing a striker like Lewandowski may have been a huge loss but it seems that failing to sign a striker in his mould has cost Dortmund just as much.

Struggling defence

Dortmund's defence has also been shambolic at times and they have only kept four clean sheets in 20 league matches this season. At this moment, it seems their defence has issues with communicating and severely lacks a certain decisiveness. Their recent match against Augsburg encapsulated Dortmund’s woeful season. The team’s nervousness was evident throughout the game, and Dortmund eventually caved, allowing Augsburg midfielder Halil Altintop to dribble freely down the

middle of the penalty box. Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer then scrambled over to make a half-hearted challenge, leaving Raúl Bobadilla unmarked to slot home the winning goal. Lacklustre defending like this has plagued them for the whole season, further compounded by individual mistakes and a general lack of confidence. Young defender Matthias Ginter has appeared nervous on countless occasions, while the experienced Neven Subotic has been a shadow of his former self, struggling for form and fitness since his return from a lengthy knee injury. As if things weren’t bad enough, Dortmund’s first-choice goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was dropped following poor performances.

Confidence and luck

Dortmund’s confidence has taken a critical hit with the run of poor results, aggravated by the absence of several key players due to injury. It is also remarkable that in most

of the matches they lost, Dortmund actually had more possession and shots than their opponents, according to match statistics. Their display against Hertha BSC last December was especially wasteful, where they had 18 shots compared to Hertha's five, and an incredible 71 per cent possession. Luck does not seem to be on their side — with the amount of shots they have had, you'd expect a couple to go in. As Dortmund heads into the second half of the season, it seems as if all that could go wrong has already gone wrong. Poor signings, mounting injuries and a terrible defence have caused a season that has been almost laughably unfortunate. But Dortmund still has enough talented and capable players who should be able to turn the team's fortunes around. They seem almost too good to be relegated, say the pundits. After all, once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up.


Dortmund’s demise — Page 31

An underdog story

attend matches and to be the “extra player” for the team. This was key to boosting morale and fostering hall spirit.

Tan Zhuan Liang


he Inter-Hall Games (IHG) have always been fiercely contested and dominated by the so-called ‘sports’ halls — namely Halls of Residence 2, 3, 6 and 16. Mentioning Hall 14 in the same breath with these sporting powerhouses would have been unheard of. In fact, many would have scoffed at their chance of excelling. Going against the overwhelming odds, Hall 14 turned the tide this season and has done remarkably well, giving the ‘sports’ halls a run for their money.

Future goals

Looking ahead, Tan said: “Next year, we will raise our expectations and aim to improve in every sport. “Of course, we hope to attract more athletes to our hall to increase our competitiveness in IHG.” With new expectations on the horizon, the sports teams have to readjust and prepare their teams for the next season as they bid farewell to the final-year players. “As a few of our sepak takraw seniors will be graduating soon, we are bound to lose some of our stable and better players. “However, our freshmen this year are rather talented — I am quite confident that they will be up for next year’s IHG,” added Chua. But for now, the future can wait. The residents of Hall 14 can savour the moment and pat themselves on the back for their remarkable achievement.


This IHG season saw Hall 14 shining not just in their niche areas of volleyball and softball but more importantly, in other sports as well. Hall 14 leaped up to the finals in a quarter of the 20 sports which they competed in during the Games, with their volleyball (male and female), softball (female), soccer and sepak takraw teams clinching top honours. In the same period, they have won three finals, in contrast to their lone championship win in volleyball last year. Labelled as a dark horse from the start of this season, Hall 14 has gained prominence and beat Hall 3 with a score of 2-0 en route to their first ever overall victory in the sepak takraw event. Building on their semi-final defeat last season, the male volleyball team emerged champions after a convincing 3-0 win over title favourite Hall 13. In a thrilling final against main rivals and fellow neighbour Hall 15, the female softball team managed to claim first place with a one-point difference. While the ‘sports’ halls still dominate in other events, Hall 14 showed marked improvement by clinching at least a top four position in eight sports this year, on par with the standards of its ‘sports’ hall rivals.

Secrets of success

Hall 14’s accomplishment reflects their players’ fortitude and commitment to the IHG. Jeremy Tan, president of Hall 14 and final-year student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) said: “It was honestly hard work and determination that brought us to where we are today.” “Getting the captains to organise trainings as early as possible helps them identify their key players for each sport and hone team spirit,”

HITTING A HOME RUN: Hall 14’s female softball team emerged champions in this year’s IHG.

the 25-year-old added. Initially faced with the usual low placements in most sports, Hall 14 players stayed committed and remained undeterred. They instead took it in their stride to train hard and give their best in matches. Football captain Lin Yaohong, 22, a first-year student from the School of Computer Engineering, said that special preparations were key to his team’s impressive progression in the IHG. “We actually had food restrictions for the team throughout the season as we believed a proper diet is the key to enhancing our performance on the field,” said Lin.

practices every week and eventually increased to three as we felt that our team was not consistent enough during the preliminary rounds in IHG,” said the 24-year-old thirdyear EEE student. Meanwhile, Hall 14’s volleyball and softball teams have always been regulars in the semi-finals and finals. That is no surprise, as they are the hall’s niche sports. Female softball captain Ho Sin Yan, 21, a second-year student from the School of Humanities and


Social Sciences said that defending their crown only spurred the team further. She said: “Other halls will be training hard for next year’s games, but we have to train even harder than them in order to retain our position.” Behind-the-scenes support from their 14th Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) has been also been key. The JCRC played an active role in encouraging more supporters to

“It was honestly hard work and determination that brought us where we are today.” Jeremy Tan, 25 Final-year-student School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

“We trained once a week because of time constraint, but the intensity and concentration during trainings were always phenomenal.” Other than giving credit to senior players who contributed to their championship triumph, sepak takraw captain Francis Chua said that increasing the number of practices helped his team. “We started out with two

SMACK THAT: Hall 14 battled it out with their Hall 2 counterparts in the female volleyball finals.




Softball (F)



Volleyball (F)



Volleyball (M)

Semi Finals





Sepak Takraw

Semi Finals


The Nanyang Chronicle Vol 21 Issue 08  
The Nanyang Chronicle Vol 21 Issue 08