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10 6.04.15

ISSN NO. 0218-7310

NEWS | 02 OPINIONS | 03, 08 TIMELINE | 05-06 SPOTLIGHT | 06-07












Leaving a lasting legacy Singapore's founding father played a big part in NTU's growth to an established university Toh Ting Wei News Editor

If not for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, there will be no NTU.” These were Professor Cham Tao Soon’s first words to the Nanyang Chronicle in an interview last Tue (31 Mar). The founding president of the university readily pointed out that he would not have had the opportunity to take up the position, had the late Mr Lee not made the decision to merge the old Nanyang University (Nantah) with the then University of Singapore back in 1980. Prof Cham said: “One of his legacies is actually the creation of NTU. After the merger went through, one of his three promises was to provide a better university in return. The promises he made were possible to fulfil, but it required a lot of effort.” While Mr Lee’s contributions to Singapore has been well documented, less known is the fact that he also had a strong hand in NTU’s growth from Nantah to Nanyang Technological Institute, before its evolution into NTU today. Nantah, NTU’s predecessor, was a Chinese-medium university that experienced strong support from the Chinese community — but a declining graduate employment and the decreasing value of a Nantah's degree had prompted concerns about the future of the university. Then Prime Minister, Mr Lee pushed through a merger of the University of Singapore and Nantah to form the National University of Singapore, to address the issue. Apart from promising to provide a better university following the merger of Nantah, Mr Lee also made two other promises: to use the old Nantah campus and retain the name Nanyang, and to turn the campus into a full fledged university in 10 years. These promises all rested on the shoulders of Prof Cham, who successfully fulfilled them. “The success of NTU was very important to him (as it would prove) that he was right. It was not easy to close down a Chinese-medium university supported by the local Chinese community, who formed about 80 per cent of the population then. “Hence, he had to make sure it was successful, from a political per-

spective,” Prof Cham said. Having made the promise of replacing Nantah with a better university, Mr Lee kept a keen eye on NTU’s development in its formative years. As a result, a friendship developed between him and Prof Cham, with the two having about 50 lunches together. This took place on a monthly basis, over a period of five years between 1988 to 1992. “Mr Lee would drop in (to visit NTU) unannounced on weekends, and a week later he would drop me a note with suggestions. In terms of helping me out, he was a very persistent man,” said Prof Cham.

“The success of NTU was very important to him (as it would prove) that he was right. It was not easy to close down a Chinese-medium university supported by the local Chinese community, who formed about 80 per cent of the population then." Professor Cham Tao Soon President Emeritus Founding President of NTU (1981-2002)

Among Mr Lee’s suggestions to improve the NTU campus was the building of sheltered walkways, an idea he came up with while he was on one of his incognito weekend visits to NTU. Prof Cham pointed out that NTU’s investment in landscaping then was influenced by Mr Lee’s passion for greenery. Mr Lee even made suggestions for the canopy on campus. “He did not put pressure on me, and has always given me a lot of assistance.

“Even during our lunches together, we hardly discussed education,” added Prof Cham. He noted that the drive to succeed at NTU stemmed from pressure placed on himself. In his book The Making of NTU — My Story, Prof Cham credited the lunches with Mr Lee as the reason for NTU forming partnerships with other international institutions. He stated: “Geopolitics, Singapore’s place in global affairs and the key events — all these were analysed and given Mr Lee's particular touch. “It was because I was armed with this wisdom that I began NTU’s venture into partnerships and organisations all over the world.” While Mr Lee’s involvement in NTU had reduced by the time Prof Cham stepped down as NTU President in December 2002, his impact was still felt by Prof Cham’s successor, Prof Su Guaning. Prof Su, who helmed NTU from 2003 to 2011, noted that with NTU focused on advancing its research capabilities by the time he took over, Mr Lee’s support for then-Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan — who was spearheading NTU’s drive on research — proved to be invaluable. “Dr Tan made it possible for us to make the next leap (to become) a research-intensive global university that was ranked highly globally, through creating this autonomous university framework (which reduced bureaucratic red tape when making decisions) and starting the National Research Foundation. “I am almost sure that he would have to go through Mr Lee for this, because he needed to convince the whole cabinet that it was important for Singapore,” Prof Su told the Chronicle, in an interview on 26 Mar. “The decision to become an autonomous university was the most important one. Politically, the tradition since independence has been to keep a close watch on universities.

VISIONARY LEADER: NTU's second President Prof Su hailed the late Mr Lee as an irreplaceable leader who laid strong foundations for Singapore.

HELPING HAND: When NTU's founding President Dr Cham started building NTU from scratch in the 1980s, Mr Lee was always keen to offer assistance. PHOTOS: HILLARY TAN

So when Dr Tan proposed the framework of an autonomous university to the Cabinet then, I am pretty sure he must have had the support of Mr Lee. Without his support, it would have been difficult to convince the rest of the Cabinet,” Prof Su added.

Personal touch

While Mr Lee's decisions have had lasting impact on NTU, he has also left deep impressions on some members of the NTU community. Among them was Mrs Hazel Loh, now Deputy Director and Head of Library Technology & Systems Group. A young librarian back in the late 1980s, she was assigned to brief Mr Lee, who was on an informal visit to NTU’s library. Mrs Loh, who was in her twenties then, said: “I was very excited, and felt it was such a rare honour to be selected by my boss to do a briefing for Mr Lee, who was the PM at that time. “He came across as a fatherly figure with such a nice rosy complexion. He also had a warm disposition and showed interest in what I was saying during the briefing. “With so many important areas to take care of as PM, I felt he had an interest in people to have made an effort to visit the different parts of the campus and not just meet with the key administration.” In contrast, Prof Cham was far from excited prior to his very first lunch meeting with Mr Lee back in 1988. He said: “I was very nervous the first time I met him for lunch. He had a reputation of being very forceful and stern, and I thought he was a critical man. But he turned out to be a very good host.” Prof Cham pointed out that all the meetings he had with Mr Lee left deep impressions on him, especially of Mr Lee’s thought process and long-term vision. One point, which

has stuck with him till this day, was the late PM’s thoughts on Singapore’s prospects. “I asked him how he saw Singapore’s future, and he viewed it as a small country with little needs, so he saw no problem if everyone works hard, barring world disasters. “Even though he was a bit worried about the younger generation who have never gone through any hardship before, it is reassuring to know that he thinks we will be alright if we work hard,” said Prof Cham.

“With so many important areas to take care of as PM, I felt he had an interest in people to have made an effort to visit the different parts of the campus and not just meet with the key administration.” Mrs Hazel Loh Deputy Director and Head of Library Technology and Systems Group

While Prof Su did not have any personal anecdotes to share, Mr Lee’s contributions to Singapore still left a lasting impression on him. Hailing him as an irreplaceable figure, Prof Su noted that “history would judge him kindly together with his founding team”. He concluded: “All in all, I think even those who are very much opposed to his policies in some aspects do hold great respect for him for bringing Singapore to where we are today. “Even those who Mr Lee would see as his enemies would applaud him, so I think that is a wonderful achievement on his part."







opinions As Singapore reels from the loss of her former Prime Minister and founding father, Opinions Editors Ang Hwee Min and Lo Yi Min dive into what Mr Lee Kuan Yew means to the youth of today.

NO YEW NO US: The flood of appreciation and respect on social media websites is astounding and heartwarming at the same time.


ingapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has been widely regarded as a significant contributor to the nation’s development. Unsurprisingly, his passing on 23 Mar spurred the sharing of many eulogies. They took different forms and came from varied sources, including international newspapers; Mr Lee’s own son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and other family members; and ordinary Singaporeans whose lives have been touched by the man. Tributes online include Instagram dedications and Facebook status updates, with hashtags such as #RememberingLKY and #thankYew being used to track posts. Articles posted on the social media accounts of news outlets were shared over and over again, their discussion threads bursting at the seams. Among the dedication posts, a few went especially viral, including a portrait of the late Mr Lee by local artist Ong Yi Teck, 20, created through hand-writing the former’s full name 18,000 times. In light of the deluge of messages on social media sites honouring Mr Lee’s achievements and all he has done for Singapore, it was easy for many to write off the posts as watered-down and superficial, or even attention-seeking — as much of the content found online can be. In their online eulogies, many of the more adventurous and techsavvy youth paid tribute to his legacy by penning verses of gran-

deur on Facebook and artistically composed, carefully filtered photographs on Instagram. Just as quickly, many criticised the supposedly shallow method of eulogising, asserting that the outpouring of affection and gratitude was merely a sign of a generation being washed along by collective grief. Eventually, however, the ever understanding public decided that hopping on the tribute bandwagon was merely natural — coming from a generation with purportedly little attachment to a political figure none of them had the chance to grow up directly under.

Initial impressions

Yet, it must be acknowledged that the lack of firsthand experience does not and should not prevent the said generation from appreciating the far-reaching influence of the man who shaped Singapore into the city they live in. This behaviour resembles a verse in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. The American poet wrote in his famous poem: “You will hardly know who I am or what I mean. "But I shall be good health to you nevertheless, and filter and fibre your blood.” Generations that came after the late Mr Lee relinquished his post as Prime Minister have never directly encountered his brash, nononsense governance. However, they have certainly learnt of the man with “iron in him” who has kept the body of Singapore in good health.

Finding himself a place in politics, the Cambridge-educated lawyer led the transformation of a newly-independent nation from a port city populated by migrants to the thriving metropolis we are now, through pragmatic policies often described as “authoritative” by Western media. His heavy-handed leadership remains salient in the minds of international critics. This style of governance in the founding years of postindependence Singapore appear to reflect the qualities of our first Prime Minister himself, a view cemented by national discourse and many textbooks. In an article published on the website of The Guardian on 23 Mar titled Lee Kuan Yew Leaves a Legacy of Authoritarian Pragmatism, the author wrote that Mr Lee “moulded Singapore in his own image”, which resulted in what our nation is today. Mr Lee's Cabinet’s policies have shaped us as a pragmatic yet idealistic nation, blessing us with advantages like bilingualism, clean streets, and successful public housing plans. From photogenic HDB flats to challenging Mother Tongue lessons, the youth of Singapore today have only experienced the fruits of his labour, without seeing Singaporeans of the yesteryear toiling for survival.

Filling in the blanks

Despite not knowing much of the specific details on how and what

he did for our country, one cannot escape the resurfacing of these narratives in public discourse since his passing. Singaporeans who came after his time as Prime Minister also happen to be the ones most exposed to social media sites.

"You will hardly know who I am or what I mean. But I shall be good health to you nevertheless, and filter and fibre your blood."

- Walt Whitman

The generation of instant gratification took to the sheer volume of background information on the late Mr Lee like fish to water. With numerous news reports and op-eds floating around in cyberspace, those who have consumed them have naturally gained a better understanding of our former Prime Minister. These articles not only tackled his journey in politics, but also humanised a man we all knew to be a stout-hearted individual. They highlighted his relationship with his family, and gave rise to long lost anecdotes painting Mr Lee in a different wash of colour. We now relate to this public figure not only as a politician, but also through his role as a father and husband.


Changing tides

As a generation who has only heard of the Third World port Singapore used to be, the youth of today may be chided for blindly bequeathing a founding father with overflowing gratitude and reverence. However, in retrospect, perhaps the appreciation shown demonstrates that national identity lies beyond how our nation is built. Grounding our impressions of Mr Lee in his private life further magnifies the respect Singapore holds for him. Seeing Mr Lee as more than the man who — with the help of others — cultivated our nation strengthens the narrative that appreciates the value of his leadership. It adds meaning to our collective history, and possibly gives the youth of today enough depth to resolve themselves from some measure of distaste that others have pressed upon them. But as tears fell along with the heavy torrential downpour on the morning of Mr Lee’s state funeral procession, it can be said that this is a generation that has inherited the capacity to examine its roots with nuanced understanding. A Mandarin idiom goes,“When you drink water, think of its source”. Let it not be said that the youth of today are grateful for all the wrong reasons. To be able to learn from what we know of Mr Lee Kuan Yew outside of his political life shows that Singapore’s narrative is ready to sail on to its next chapter, one beyond the shadow of his legacy.




LEE KUAN YEW: SHAPING NTU From its early days as Nantah to the present-day NTU, the late Mr Lee was heavily involved in the development and growth of the university. The Nanyang Chronicle takes a journey back in time to look at how Singapore’s first Prime Minister shaped NTU’s growth.




Nanyang University (also known as Nantah) is the first and only Chinese university established outside China and Taiwan. Undergraduate classes in arts, sciences, and commerce courses officially begin the following year.

Mr Lee makes his first speech as Prime Minister to Nanyang University students on 28 Oct. He emphasises that Nantah students should develop a Malayan consciousness, not a Chinese one, and that the university should be run as a Malayan university, not a foreign one. He also tells students that the government will take in 70 of the first batch of 400 Nantah graduates into the civil service; their performance will determine whether the government will continue to hire Nantah graduates.

Chia Thye Poh is arrested for sedition on 29 Oct. He was a top Nantah student, and is working as a graduate assistant in the physics department at the time of his arrest. He ends up becoming one of the world’s longest-serving political prisoner of conscience. Two years earlier, a massive pre-dawn crackdown by the Malaysian federal government saw 51 students arrested for suspected involvement in communist activities. More than half of the detained students were part of various university societies, and at least 10 were from the Nanyang University’s Students’ Union executive committee.

Mr Lee exchanges handshakes with students on 21 July 1967, when he was invited by the History Society to address Nantah faculty and students.




Money from the Endowment Fund is used to fund the Lee Kuan Yew Distinguished Visitors Programme. NTU has played host to a number of Distinguished Visitors, who include professors of astrophysics, political science and medicine. So far, more than 60 of these academics have come to Singapore.

NTI merges with the National Institute of Education to form Nanyang Technological University. The Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship Fund is established with contributions from the public. It aims to allow outstanding Singaporeans to pursue postgraduate studies at a local or overseas university. Meanwhile, the Lee Kuan Yew Postdoctoral Fellowship — funded by the Lee Kuan Yew Endowment Fund — is set up for young researchers in their fields of specialisation in both NTU and NUS.

The Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal award is set up, funded by the Universities Endowment Fund. The awards are given to students of top academic calibre in their programme of study. Proceeds from the sale of CD-Roms on Mr Lee are donated to the Fund as well.




Mr Lee comes to NTU for its 9th Ministerial Forum on 18 Feb. He addresses issues such as foreign talent, saying that Singapore is a cosmopolitan city: “If you don’t accept that, if you don’t understand that, then you will not understand what you are going to come up against in the future.”

As part of NTU’s Centre for Chinese Language and Culture’s 10th anniversary celebrations on 23 Jun, Mr Lee is invited to speak at the International Conference on National Boundaries and Cultural Configurations. In his speech, he congratulates the Centre on “nurturing a bilingual/bicultural elite who will enable Singapore to be an important player in the modernisation of China”.

Mr Lee is guest-of-honour at the 10th anniversary fundraising dinner of NTU’s Chinese Heritage Centre on 22 Jul.









Mr Lee highlights the need for Nanyang University to switch to using English as the language of instruction within the next five years. As a result, a joint campus scheme is introduced. Mr Lee pushes for Nantah students to take up joint courses at the University of Singapore Bukit Timah campus, as employers are unwilling to hire Nantah graduates mainly due to their weak command of English.

The University of Singapore and Nanyang University merge to form the National University of Singapore (NUS). Then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew moots the merger because of declining enrolment in Nantah. There is also difficulty in recruiting enough Chinese-speaking teachers, and Mr Lee fears that the troubled university might lower its entry qualifications. Mr Lee promises Nantah supporters that in 10 years, the old Nantah grounds will be home to a full-fledged university, that would retain the Nanyang name.

Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) is set up where the former Nanyang University once stood. Its mission: to educate and train a growing crop of potential engineers to meet the needs of Singapore’s economy.

The Lee Kuan Yew Endowment Fund is set up on the occasion of Mr Lee’s 60th birthday to fund a range of programmes in subsequent years.




Mr Lee, who is now Senior Minister, visits NTU for its 2nd Ministerial Forum on 14 Mar. NTU gives out the first 10 Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medals to top students. The medals have been given out annually since then.

Mr Lee visits NTU for its 6th Ministerial Forum on 15 Feb. In his speech on “How Singapore will compete in the global economy”, Mr Lee says that Singaporeans must dare to compete in the global arena brought about by the digital revolution in order for Singapore to remain competitive.

The Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading (LKY-STEP) Award is established, with the objective of encouraging lifelong learning. It is awarded to outstanding diploma holders to read a full-time undergraduate degree at any local public university, including NTU.




Mr Lee visits NTU for its 13th Ministerial Forum on 4 Oct. This is his first visit in the capacity of Minister Mentor. He delivers his speech to about 1,800 students and faculty about “21st century Singapore”. During the dialogue session with students, he also addresses pressing issues ranging from regional security to retaining talent in a globalised world.

Mr Lee visits NTU for the 15th Ministerial Forum on 5 Sep, his last visit to the university. He speaks on the topic of “Singapore: The Way Foward”.

The 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism, organised by NTU’s Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, gets a boost from the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.





If to be remembered is to live on, then preserving the legacy of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew involves reflecting on his extraordinary life. Photo Editors Alicia Goh and Hillary Tan speak to an NTU alumnus and a current staff member who have learnt from Mr Lee.


or veteran politician M r Inderjit Singh, 55, his first encounter in 1993 with the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew proved to be a nerve-wracking one. “The lady before me took only 10 minutes, but mine lasted almost 45 minutes!” exclaimed the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering alumnus. He was commenting on his interview by the People’s Action Party (PAP) Central Executive Committee, which Mr Lee was then a member of, before he himself could join the PAP. “I thought it would be easy, but it was overwhelming for me. “When I got out later though, I felt a great sense of achievement that I had managed to debate successfully with him,” added the Member of Parliament for the

Ang Mo Kio Group Representation reason behind it. “He was going to tell the Suzhou Constituency (GRC). “He is such a precise thinker who pr ov i nc ia l gov e r n me nt t h at grasps ideas and extrapolates them Singapore will reduce her stake in quickly. I have never seen anyone a joint venture with them as things were not working out,” recounted like him before.” As it turned out, Mr Singh was Mr Singh. eventually selected to join the PAP, and became a member of the Ang “I know of no one else who is so Mo Kio GRC in 1996. obsessed with the betterment of It was only years after his inSingapore.” terview that he learned Mr Lee was listening, even as Mr Singh Mr Inderjit Singh answered questions asked by other ministers. “If he does not have a good feeling about the person he’s inDuring the official meetings, the terviewing, he would not ask the Suzhou officials requested for Mr person a single question.” Lee, who was Senior Minister then, An official trip to Suzhou, China to speak in Mandarin. in 1999 stood out vividly in Mr However, he refused and spoke Singh’s memory. in English, leaving the Chinese The trip was complicated by the translators to their job.

“He cou ld have s poke n i n Mandarin to make things easy with them, but he wanted to reaffirm that he is from Singapore and that our official language is English,” said Mr Singh. “He also did not want those of us who don’t speak Mandarin to be left out.” That last statement exemplified Mr Lee’s belief in a fair and just

society, which has allowed equal opportunities for all Singaporeans. Consequently, this was the lesson Mr Singh felt younger Singaporeans should remember the most. “A bove a l l , he t houg ht of Singapore all the time,” recalled Mr Singh. “I know of no one else who is so obsessed with the betterment of Singapore.”

“It was the year 2000, and my organisation was being honoured for our charity work.

“We were on a flight back to Singapore from Suzhou, when I saw Mrs Lee peeling a pomelo for Mr Lee.

To my surprise, she gave me a piece. It was very nice of her.”

Mr Lee personally presented me with this book at the ceremony.”




CHRONICLE 10 “We had commemorative stamps made for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 1989.

“This was the first thing Mr Lee gave all the officers in the Ministry. ‘The Complete Plain Words’, by Sir Ernest Gowers.

He did not want us to make English mistakes in our documents anymore.”

LOOKING around the small conference room, Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, 61, felt that something was not right. “Mr Lee would have noticed this. ‘Why is the room so cold?’ That was his favourite question to us before important meetings. “Mr Lee was a great observer of his surroundings,” added Mr Ong, the Director of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. To Mr Ong, Mr Lee was a man who took note of everything, even while on the streets, and was able to make interesting comments about them. “We were on an overseas trip once. He noticed f lowers growing on the side of the road, and almost immediately concluded, by considering the dry weather, that someone had to have been watering them.”

Mr Ong got a chance to experience firsthand Mr Lee’s commentary while he was a student at Georgetown University.

“I think he would have reminded future generations to tend not just to the big details, but the small details as well.” Mr Ong Keng Yong M r L e e v i site d t he sc hool while attending a conference in Washington in 1981 and had a short exchange with Mr Ong. “ He a ske d me wh at I wa s studying, and I told him that I was studying Arabic,” Mr Ong said. Laughing as he recounted Mr Lee’s reply, Mr Ong quoted: “Why are you studying in the US? You should be studying in Cairo!” That was not the last Mr Ong

would see of Mr Lee. As he started work as a Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he recalled the fierce persona Mr Lee cut. “All the new staff were afraid of him, especially on our first few days,” quipped Mr Ong. However, he soon realised that Mr Lee was friendly and charming to most people he met. “He would regularly ask each of us about our lives, just to make sure that we were all right.” When Mr Ong became an ambassador, part of his duties involved joining Mr Lee on overseas trips, including some to Israel and Jordan in 1995. He recalled how the detailoriented Mr Lee would always read up on the backgrounds of people he was meeting. “Whether you are a minister or just a student, he wanted to know your background to conduct mean-

Afterwards, all the ambassadors asked for Mr Lee’s signature.”

ingful conversations,” explained Mr Ong. Helping him with this was his ever-present wife. “When Mr Lee met other officials, he would turn to Mrs Lee and ask her the minute details about them. “Mrs Lee was like a walking encyclopaedia; a fountain of information,” Mr Ong said, a small sigh escaping him as he paused at this memory. He continued, recalling how Mrs

Lee was able to remember exactly where and when Mr Lee had met another official, or even how many children that official had, no matter his position. The former Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations sipped his coffee before he concluded: “I think he would have reminded future generations to tend not just to the big details, but the small details as well. “Even a big man has time for small things.”








Correct, not politically correct

be argued that there were others who had contributed — politicians (opposition or otherwise) and generations of citizens who toiled alongside Mr Lee.

Shalom Chalson


hen Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew passed away on 23 Mar, the state declared a week of national mourning — and mourn our nation did. In the first seven days after his passing, an outpouring of gratitude for the man considered to be one of the founding fathers of Singapore overwhelmed our country. The queues for the public to pay their last respects to the late Mr Lee at Parliament House ran for hours. Regular television programmes were disrupted to make way for tributes documenting Mr Lee’s indispensable contribution to Singapore’s progress as a nation. Foreign media and dignitaries have similarly venerated him as a “lion among leaders”, as current Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi described. However, other works punctuate this outpouring of praise with views that his legacy is less than, or even, far from perfect. Prominent examples include pieces from Singaporean writer Alfian Sa’at, and international newspapers like The New York Times and The Economist. An article in The New York Times published on 24 Mar pinpointed the “loss of personal

Salt in the wound

LARGER THAN LIFE: Even in death, our former Prime Minister continues to invoke a wide spectrum of opinions.

freedoms and government intrusiveness” as trade-offs “broadly accepted” for our country’s current standards of living. Days later, an article in the Business Times titled By gum, the West is wrong about Singapore (shared on Facebook by the current Prime Minister, no less) makes the claim that if “anyone has the right to complain about Singapore, it is the Singaporeans".

Not entirely faultless

Views painting a more equivocal narrative or acknowledging the contentious aspects of Mr Lee’s governance have been called dis-

respectful of the recently deceased and his legacy. Most of these pieces merely held the opinion that faults should not be so easily swept under the rug for the sake of sentimentality. Talking about how Singapore should accept difficult conversations and muddy the discourse on national history does not mean that Mr Lee’s efforts were entirely detrimental, nor does it imply that he is not deserving of respect. It only means that Singapore should strive towards progressing without Mr Lee by learning from his shortcomings, as well as stomaching criticism where it is due.


As the man himself is often quoted to have said: “I'm not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honourable purpose." Furthermore, those critical of the haloed view of Mr Lee and the media’s incessant focus on it have suggested that this downplays the contributions of other political figures in the nation’s development. Taking great offence at voices that are critical of a glorified perspective of Mr Lee during this period asserts that Singapore’s development can be solely attributed to the former Prime Minister. On the contrary, it can definitely

A few days after Mr Lee’s passing, Alfian shared a poem on Facebook, which evoked images of ordinary Singaporeans who are often passed over by society. Although the poet’s point was a fair one, many deemed the charges of dissatisfaction as untimely. His message of not letting collective grief readily discard other matters is worth heeding. The late Mr Lee would probably have appreciated the sensibility behind preventing his legacy from descending into a personality cult. Yet, while the discussion on the angles taken in writing national and political history is an undoubtedly important one, perhaps it is a conversation for a different time. Death, in most cases, is a great loss for those close to the deceased. But in this case, a nation mourns the death of one who helped nurture it into the way it now thrives. Though talk of change is not comfortable at the present, the time will come when it is necessary. Future conversations will include voices of the past, and they will define our nation.

Louder than words: What will you build? GRAPHIC: JOLENE TAN



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20/8/14 5:33 PM







The Briefing Room:

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

April Fools' Day bluff earns woman new BMW car

Music festival axed

A WOMAN in New Zealand called a BMW dealership’s double bluff on April Fools' Day, winning herself a new BMW worth NZ$50,000 (S$50,800). A front-page advertisement ran by the dealership promised a new BMW to the first person to arrive with a car to trade-in. They made good on their promise when Tianna Marsh turned up with her 15-year-old car at 5.30am. The dealership said that they wanted to “turn the tables and reward the first person who was willing to take the chance”.

FUTURE Music Festival and its Asian edition Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) have been canned. In a statement released last Thursday (2 Apr) by organisers The Mushroom Group, carrying on the festival “simply doesn’t make financial sense anymore”. FMFA 2015, originally scheduled for 13 and 14 Mar, was cancelled after authorities here rejected two appeals for a public entertainment licence, citing “serious concerns” over potential drug abuse. Drug incidents have also dogged both the Australian and Asian editions. PHOTOS: INTERNET

Oldest person dies

Video of cabin chaos survives plane crash

Teen charged for offensive video

A VIDEO purportedly showing the final seconds inside the cabin of the ill-fated Germanwings airliner minutes before it crashed has emerged, two European publications said. French magazine Paris Match and German daily Bild said the mobile phone video showed passengers on the flight clearly aware of the impending crash. Screams and cries of “My God” in several languages were audible. The publications claimed the video’s authenticity was “unquestionable", and that it had been retrieved from the wreckage of the 24 Mar crash. The phone had not survived the crash, but the memory card on which it was stored did, they added. THE world’s oldest person, Misao Okawa, died last Wednesday (31 Mar) at the age of 117. Okawa, who was born on 5 Mar 1898, had been recognised as the world’s oldest person by the Guinness World Records in 2013. Okawa has previously stated that she wondered about the secret to the longevity of her life, and that her life “had seemed rather short”. Guinness is now in the process of finding her replacement as the world’s oldest person.

YOUTUBER Amos Yee was charged in court last Tuesday (31 Mar) for uploading materials online, which condemned Christianity and spewed offensive remarks about former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The 16-year-old faces three charges which were committed a fortnight ago. He uploaded a video online that allegedly contained offensive remarks against Christianity and is said to have electronically transmitted an image showing obscene figures. The third charge is in relation to the video, where Yee made remarks such as “good riddance” and expressed his hope that the late Mr Lee would not rest in peace. A pre-trial conference has been set for 17 Apr.





LIV ACTIV Giveaway

News: NTU pays tribute to Singapore's founding father Over 2,000 NTU students, faculty, staff and alumni joined the nation on 25 Mar to mourn the loss of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, with a Memorial Ceremony held to honour Singapore's first Prime Minister. News Editor Toh Ting Wei reports.

Reviews: Sims 4

Love an active lifestyle? The Nanyang Chronicle is giving away 15 LIV ACTIV vouchers (worth $50 each). The contest will run from 6 to 10 Apr and winners will be notified via Facebook by 12 Apr. Check out our Facebook page for contest details.

The Sims is a popular life simulation video game where players control the lives of virtual characters. Reviews Writer Wong Wenbin shares why the fourth addition to the series still misses the mark, despite some improvements in gameplay.

Lifestyle: Makeup Dupes - Splurge Or Save?

Sports: Where is the love?

Are you burning a hole in your pocket from splurging on makeup? Lifestyle Writers Aysha Quek and Nadhirah Ismail review three branded makeup products along with their cheaper alternatives to see how they fare.

Sports Writer Tan Zhuan Liang proves that team loyalty and humanity among football fans continue to endure, despite runs of bad results and frustrations of fans who demand quick success.

S.E.A. Aquarium Giveaway

Celebrate the end of semester with a free trip to the S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa! The Nanyang Chronicle is giving away two free passes (worth $38 each). The contest will run from 13 to 15 Apr and winners will be notified via Facebook by 16 Apr. Head over to our Facebook page for contest details.

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Colon cancer treatment discovered — Page 12

Half of NTU’s modules to be online Students will soon be able to spend less time on campus after NTU announced plans to make half of its courses available online Saranya Mahendran


HE university has announced that it will spend $70 million to convert half of all its courses to an interactive online format in the next five years. Announced at the Higher Education Planning in Asia Forum on 23 Mar, the new online courses will feature quizzes and animation among other elements, and will replace the older, less interactive online materials on NTULearn. Instead of a regular two-hour lecture, students can watch videos online that are no more than 30 minutes. Clicker quizzes will be swapped for online quizzes and assignments. Professor Kam Chan Hin, Senior Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education), told the Nanyang Chronicle that these online lessons are part of NTU’s “flipped classroom” approach, where students can review course content in advance through online materials before attending tutorials. The various schools in NTU are currently identifying more courses that are suitable to be switched to the online format. However, courses which require hands-on learning, such as those with laboratory work, will not be converted. With the onus on students to take the initiative to attend the online courses, graded quizzes will provide an incentive to remain attentive. Prof Kam said: “Students will be able to score a small portion of marks from the online quizzes in addition to scoring for the graded written assignments and exams. “Those who go through the online lessons consistently will have an edge over those who do not.”

Time for change

The switch was welcomed by the majority of students, who cited greater work flexibility and saving time on travelling as things they were looking forward to. Goh Shan Jin, 22, a second-year student at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), said: “For students who work part-time outside (of school), the flexibility that online courses give will help them greatly. In terms of work, employers usually prefer to hire people who can work a minimum of

LECTURE THEATRE FOR THE FUTURE: NTU is looking to increase the variety of courses which can be conducted online in an interactive format. The university pointed out that these courses will not be replacing classroom tutorials, and will instead help to maximise learning effectiveness during tutorials. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ALICIA GOH

two days a week or more, and this can be quite hard to fit into the average NTU timetable. “Hence, with online courses, not only will these students be able to better manage their commitments in and out of school, they will also have more free time.” Brianna Lee, 21, a second-year student from the School of Biological Sciences, said: “I think this plan is good. In fact, I would be very happy because I live in Bishan. It makes no sense to me to spend three hours travelling to a two hour lecture.”

“For students who work part-time outside (of school), the flexibility that online courses give will help them greatly. Goh Shan Jin, 22 Second-year student School of Humanities and Social Sciences

However, several students were concerned that they would lose out

on more enriching face-to-face interactions in lectures. Rahimah Rashith, 23, a thirdyear student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, said: “I think it facilitates learning when you are there for the lessons physically. When a teacher raises a concept to you online, you may not understand the explanation and it takes time to clarify. “This wastes a lot of time.” Rahimah added: “Discussing work online is just like text messaging — you can spend the entire day on it because people get to reply at their convenience. When everyone has to be physically present at a group meeting, things can get done much faster.” Lim Zheng Wei, 24, a secondyear student from HSS said that he does not believe he can learn as effectively online. “It depends on what course you are taking. I major in Sociology and professors from my course always encourage people to debate and give different viewpoints. “To have a one-way lecture online would not be as useful because you’d just read the readings and

won’t learn as much.”

Self-regulated learning

Acknowledging the importance of face-to-face communication in learning, Prof Kam pointed out that the online lessons will replace lectures but not tutorials so that there will still be time set aside for questions and discussions. “Through such interaction in class, students will learn more in depth, benefit from hearing each other’s diverse viewpoints and understand how to work with their classmates to solve complex problems,” said Prof Kam. He added that the online courses are meant for students to learn course content at their own convenience before coming to tutorials for questions and discussions, in order to achieve more effective learning. To date, over 143,000 people have subscribed to NTU’s three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Coursera. Despite the popularity of NTU’s MOOCs, final-year student Tan Fan Zhi believes that traditional teaching has benefits that should not be overlooked.

“Discussing work online is just like text messaging — you can spend the entire day on it because people get to reply at their convenience. When everyone has to be physically present at a group meeting, things can get done much faster.” Rahimah Rashith, 23 Third-year student Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering student said: “NTU’s plan is good but it’s sad that there’s not going to be that teacher-student interaction, which has been so ingrained in our education experience so far, be it in our primary or secondary school.” He added: “You usually get to interact with the teacher, but to take that out and put 50 per cent of that online makes me wonder if all lessons are eventually going to take place out of school.”






Low turnout for NTU's World Water Day Poor participation rates at World Water Day event organised by NTU Earthlink sees only 500 participants

and water conservation messages. The record was presented to them by guest-of-honour Grace Fu, Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources. She later went on to honour Mr Lee Kuan Yew in her opening speech for the event, held two days before Mr Lee's passing.

Cara Wong

“If we are able to carry on this good work, Singapore will have a better future from where he (Mr Lee Kuan Yew) left us."


Singapore World Water Day (SWWD) event spearheaded by student environmental club NTU Earthlink saw a disappointing turnout, with slightly over half of the estimated 1,000 participants in attendance. The event, themed Water and Life, was held at Jurong Lake on the morning of 21 Mar. It was part of a series of ground-up initiatives proposed by the Public Utilities Board (PUB). This low turnout was in contrast to nationwide SWWD celebrations, which altogether attracted a record 400,000 participants. Ruskin Ong, 24, President of the NTU Earthlink Club, said that despite not having achieved their target, he considered the turnout “pretty good”, since it was their first time organising this event. The absent participants, however, did not go unnoticed by invited guests. Thomas Lim, 44, Chairman of Yuhua Zone 5 Residents’ Committee said: “More participants should be invited in the future, especially students, since there are so many schools in the area. “We need to bring the message (of water conservation) to them. It would be more educational for them (the younger generation)."

Grace Fu, 44 Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources

EARLY BIRDS: Participants of NTU's World Water Day event take part in the mass qigong exercise by Jurong Lake, one of the event's PHOTO: ALICIA GOH highlights.

Similarly, Asha Pandey, 21, a second-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, felt that they could have attracted a bigger crowd by involving more organisations in the setting up and operating of educational booths. “They could have brought in more partners to showcase their projects. This would attract more people to come and view the booths," said Asha, who was manning the NTU Green and Sustainable Technologies Society's (GSTS) booth. The booth set up by NTU GSTS was one of the six that provided

educational information on water conservation and sustainability.

"More participants should be invited in the future, since there are so many schools in the area. We need to bring the message (of water conservation) to them." Thomas Lim, 44 Chairman Yuhua Zone 5 Residents' Committee

Other participating organisations included The Dorsal Effect, which advocates against shark finning, Engineers Without Borders, and NTU’s Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute. Activities included a twokilometre Mass Walk and a fishing clinic conducted in a collaborative effort by NTU Anglers’ Club, and The Gamefish and Aquatic Rehabilitation Society. The event highlight saw River Valley High School set a Singapore record for creating the “largest mosaic made out of bottle caps". Pieced together using 50,000 bottle caps, it featured SG50 greetings

Crediting Singapore’s water security to Mr Lee, Ms Fu noted that it was his vision and commitment to water conservation issues that assured Singapore obtained a selfsustaining supply of water. “We have the technology and the capability. If necessary, we can work towards water selfsufficiency, and that has given us tremendous confidence as a country,” said Ms Fu. She added that this confidence stemmed from Singapore overcoming its weakest link of dependence on others for water. Ms Fu also added that the best gift Singaporeans could give to Mr Lee would be to carry on the fight for clean water sources and treating water as a precious resource. “If we are able to carry on this good work, Singapore will have a better future from where he left us.”

New treatment for colon cancer discovered Karl Lim A RESEARCH team consisting of 13 scientists from NTU and Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet (KI) have found that an existing chemotherapy drug used to treat patients with leukaemia could also prevent and control the growth of colorectal tumours. The discovery spells new hope for patients afflicted with colorectal cancer in Singapore. The cancer was among the top three most deadly cancers in the country from 2009 to 2013, according to an interim report by the Singapore Cancer Registry. The cancer is also one of the top three most common illness worldwide. Almost 95 per cent of colorectal cancers start out as malignant tumours, which will turn aggressive and may spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. The main treatment in the early stages of colon cancer is through resection, where the affected section of the intestine is removed through surgery.

CULLING COLON CANCER: NTU scientist Dr Parag Kundu in his lab, with the images of mice colon tumours on his laptop.

Published last Thursday (2 Apr) in the academic journal Science Translational Medicine, their research findings are a breakthrough as there are no drugs available in the market to prevent the recur-

rence of tumours in the large intestine after cancerous tumours have been surgically removed. Conducted over a period of five years at both NTU and KI, the multidisciplinary study revealed that


Imatinib, an enzyme blocker widely used to treat patients with leukaemia, blocks a signalling pathway related to a group of cell receptors called EphB. This blocks tumour initiation at

the stem cell level by half, and significantly reduces tumour growth and proliferation, said Dr Parag Kundu, one of the two principal investigators in the team and a senior research fellow in NTU. “In mice which mimicked human colon cancer, Imatinib was shown to prolong their life span,” Dr Kundu said. “The drug was also effective in increasing the survival of mice, which had late-stage tumours and rectal bleeding,” he added. Similar effects were observed when Imatinib was tested on colon tumour tissues taken from human patients. The other principal investigator was Professor Sven Pettersson, Professor of Metabolic Disease at NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and senior principal investigator with the National Cancer Centre Singapore. “Our work has important clinical implications, since Imatinib is a potentially novel drug for the treatment of tumour formation and cancer progression in patients predisposed to developing colorectal cancer,” said Prof Sven.







Uncovering a deep passion Nazri Eddy Razali


riven by her passion for Geotechnical engineering, Woo Lai Lynn dug deep to go where not many had gone before, literally. After graduating with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering at NTU, Lai Lynn carried on to complete her Master of Science (Geotechnical Enginering) in 1998. That same year, Lai Lynn joined the then Ministry of Environment under the sewerage department. “After completing my Masters, I heard about the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) project and as I had grown to love tunneling works, I wanted to be a part of it,” she said. She started out as a project officer in one of the six tunnel contracts during Phase 1 of the DTSS project. In 2001, her department was then transferred to PUB, Singapore's national water agency, after it was reconstituted to be the single water authority in Singapore. The overall concept of the DTSS is to use deep tunnels to intercept the used water flows in existing gravity sewers and channel the flows by gravity to centralized water reclamation plants that are strategically located at the coastal areas of Singapore. Before this, used water in Singapore was conveyed via a series of intermediate pumping stations found across the island.

“Despite the expanding demand, there was not enough land available in Singapore to sustain such a mode of transporting used water. Looking forward, we needed something that would sustain us well into the future, while preserving our water sources,” Lai Lynn said. DTSS is thus seen as a more cost-effective solution as it frees up land for other developments.

“It’s only through going to the worksites and talking to people that you’ll learn a lot more than if you were to confine yourself to the office.” While Phase 1 was completed in 2008, Phase 2 will extend the deep tunnel system to cover the western part of Singapore, which includes downtown developments. Now, even though she is the Deputy Project Director for DTSS Phase 2 Conveyance, which includes the tunnels and the link sewers for the project, she intends to continue going down to the sites everyday when construction commences. “It’s only through going to the worksites and talking to people that you’ll learn a lot more than if you were to confine yourself to the office,” she said. Such is her passion for her work

that she even went down into the tunnels while pregnant. “I didn’t see anything wrong with it, although the Safety Officer kept fussing over me,” Lai Lynn said jokingly. Having been involved with DTSS projects for more than 15 years, Lai Lynn can also fall back on many memorable experiences. “I had a particularly challenging project where there were great variations in ground conditions. My happiest moment was when we finished the tunneling works for DTSS Phase 1 in 2005,” Lai Lynn recalled. Another unforgettable experience involved carrying out inspections while cycling along a 12kmlong tunnel. “As the tunnels were cylindrical and slippery, one really needs some skill riding a bicycle in such an environment. I recalled falling off my bicycle many times," she laughed. “Despite that, it was one of my most memorable experience as not many people have been in a sewer tunnel, let alone cycle in one.” Currently, Lai Lynn is devoting her time to the planning and preliminary design of the DTSS Phase 2 conveyance system. This includes the planning of alignments, securing of land for the tunnels, link sewers and air management structures, and coming up with design concepts to make the system perform in a reliable and resilient manner. "I am very happy to be involved in something that I have always been passionate about.”

PLANNING AHEAD: Not afraid of getting her hands dirty, Lai Lynn is used to spending time at worksites. PHOTO: GOWRI SOMASUNDARAM

Is water your calling? Is water more than life to you? Do you envision water as an asset that extends beyond the environmental realm? Can you see water as a resource that brings people together?

You can be involved in many exciting projects including:

Developing Singapore’s water resources

Reaching out to the people, private and public sectors

If you answered yes to the above, welcome to our world – one in which water integrates with business, community, urban development and more. You can play an active part in developing and managing Singapore’s water resources, reaching out to the people, private and public sectors, resource planning, and growing Singapore into a global hydrohub.

• New reservoir schemes such as the Punggol-Serangoon Reservoirs • NEWater and desalinated water

• Partnerships with the community, industries and international agencies • Strategic marketing and communications initiatives

Managing Singapore’s water resources • Water treatment and used water treatment • Network management • The Deep Tunnel Sewerage System • Reservoir and drainage management • Transforming Singapore into a City of Gardens and Water with the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme

Growing Singapore into a global hydrohub • Creating a more vibrant water industry • Building expertise in water management • R&D in water technologies including the phycological aspects of water quality • Being involved in the Singapore International Water Week, an event that brings together the who’s who of the water industry

–––––––––––––––––––––––––– Requirements –––––––––––––––––––––––––– We are looking for Engineers in Civil, Mechanical, Electrical or related engineering disciplines who are passionate about building an exciting future in the Singapore’s water industry.

Interested candidates, please log on to or Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Lifestyle mugshot



While it may be the dream of many to attend an award show, NTU students Jeremy Kieran Ng and Nicole Ang are organising their very own to celebrate inspiring content creators on social media. Lifestyle Editor Chelsea Tang chats with them to find out the motivation and challenges behind organising the Singapore Social Media Awards 2015.


wo brains are better than one — but it’s still hard to imagine that both the brains and brawn behind the inaugural Singapore Social Media Awards 2015 (SSMA) come from first-year students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI). Jeremy Kieran Ng, 21, is a designer and photographer. At the age of 18, Jeremy started playing around with Photoshop and found himself immersed in the world of design. Yet, despite his love for design, he admits that he has plans to dabble in video production to see where it will take him. Nicole Ang, 19, is an avid Wes Anderson fan, and has her ambition geared towards broadcast, and filmaking, just like the renowned director. She feels that the media industry in Singapore does not give local creators enough opportunities to shine and has always wished to honour local content creators for their grit and effort. With social media becoming a wider platform that is increasingly pervasive for people to express themselves, almost anyone and everyone can be a content creator. In light of that ideal, the duo’s brainchild was conceived — the SSMA is a digital campaign and awards show that celebrates the effort put in by homegrown personalities on social media and the content they create. The upcoming awards show will feature nine awards from a diverse range of quirky categories, such as ‘Breakout Star of the Year’, ‘Grid of the Year’ and ‘Fashion Icon of the Year’. Despite having to juggle schoolwork and the progress of the SSMA, partners-in-crime agree that the experience gained through organising such a large-scale event was like no other. Living a double life may be hard at times, but Jeremy and Nicole bubble through the interview with great enthusiasm.

The SSMA sounds like a huge undertaking. What were some of the diffculties the two of you faced? Nicole: It certainly is! The SSMA started from ground zero. Within a short period of three months, we had to develop the voting website, curate the nominees and raise awareness about the campaign. Jeremy: The internet community moves really quickly so I felt pressured to move fast in order to catch the wave. We didn’t have guidelines to follow or mentors to advise us. Making decisions was really tough because of these obstacles as we had to put a lot of thought into everything and make sure that our rationales were justified. Why roll out the campaign now when the two of you are currently still studying? How do you juggle the demands of school work and SSMA preparation? Nicole: A lot of good ideas go to waste because people tend to save them for later — that’s why we wanted to get started on it right away. The workload was unexpectedly intense. When Jeremy first shared his vision with me, I had no idea it would require so much effort. For example, he forced me to generate custom links each time we sent our website to sponsors and nominees, so we could track the traffic sources on our site. It was really tedious but the information we got from this was incredibly useful in keeping the performance of our web traffic in check. Although we were drowning in the workload, a lot of the things we did were very much related to what we study in WKWSCI. I remember paying very close attention to Professor Mark Cenite’s lectures on copyright and fair use because we didn’t want to run into any legal complications.

There certainly is no campaign out there like the SSMA. So how exactly did this idea come about? Nicole: In recent years, we’ve noticed numerous talents and personalities emerging in the online community.

Jeremy: On the surface it seems like a simple campaign to organise but in reality, we spent our breaks between classes and late nights crafting press releases, visuals for the website, constantly updating our multiple social media channels, and gearing up for the final video productions.

Jeremy: And at the same time, we see the mainstream media running grand award shows such as the Grammys, the Oscars and more locally, the Mediacorp Star Awards. We wanted to bring these two ideas together and organise a campaign dedicated to selfpublishers and content creators online.

The award categories are indeed wacky — were there any inspirations or rationales behind the creation of these categories? Nicole: We wanted to feature a diverse group of content creators (photographers, musicians, YouTubers). These award categories were made generic enough so that

SOCIAL (MEDIA) BUTTERFLIES: The duo, Nicole (left) and Jeremy (right), decided to organise the SSMA because of a shared interest in scouting for inspiring content and their creators online. PHOTO: HILLARY TAN

we could keep them in subsequent years. But we are open to introducing new categories to fit new trends on social media. Off the top of my head, I’d like to include an award for writers as well. This could be either for online journalism or literary works. Jeremy: I shared our campaign with a WKWSCI senior’s Final Year Project (FYP) team and ended up collaborating with them. Their campaign, called Broll Face, was an initiative to foster a friendlier online community. We felt that their objectives were very much in line with ours, hence we introduced a ‘Broll of the Year’ award to recognise some of the Brolls (an internet slang used to describe people who make the net a more conducive platform for expression) in their hall of fame.

“A lot of good ideas go to waste because people tend to save them for later — that’s why we wanted to get started on it right away.” Nicole Ang, 19 First-year student Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

What were the criteria that you looked out for when shortlisting the nominees? Nicole: While we based this on quantitative figures (number of views, size of following, rate of growth and etc), we didn’t want to make the campagin a popularity or numbersdriven award. Original, creative and inspirational works were still considered for nomination even if they didn’t have the highest number of likes or views.

Jeremy: The simplest criteria is that the content has to be produced or published within 2014. We then go on to assess the quality of the production and how the community received it on social media. At the end of the day, this allows outstanding works to shine. If a personality is really famous but doesn’t share new content for the year, we cannot list him or her as a nominee. It gives everyone a chance to be on a level playing field and hopefully inspires excellence. Describe each other’s working style in one sentence. Nicole: Jeremy has a very strong vision but he isn’t stubborn about it and is always open to discussion. Jeremy: Nicole is like the devil’s advocate and she thinks of the worst things that could happen, but that really helped us prepare for the worst case scenarios. Nicole: I’m not the devil... Now that the online voting is closed, what are some other things people can look forward to? Nicole: We will announce the winners over a series of online videos. Unlike big award shows with exclusive red carpets and premieres, we wanted to keep it simple. A YouTube awards show would also fit the whole theme of a digital campaign. Jeremy: Aside from finding out who the winners are, viewers can also look forward to exclusive interviews and guest performances in the SSMA playlist. We’ll be making the announcement at the end of April.

For more updates on the Singapore Social Media Awards 2015, visit their Facebook page at







HUMANS OF ANGKOR The Angkor complex is the jewel in Cambodia’s crown, drawing in over two million tourists annually. Sports Editor Matthew Mohan travels to Angkor to speak with some of its inhabitants — as much a part of the complex as are its temples.


nveloped by the Cambodian countryside, the ancient city of Angkor lies in disarray: some temples painted lichen-green by the sweltering climate, others pockmarked by the scars of time. Angkor was the heart of the Khmer Empire and home to 750,000 people. But now, it stands abandoned and hosts hoards of intrepid travellers daily, each eager to explore within its walls. As I begin my very first day in Angkor, Siem Reap, I too stand among their ranks, albeit with a different mission. Having already experienced Angkor for myself on a previous occasion, I have made the trip especially to listen to the stories of its remaining residents — individuals who eke out a living under the shadow of world-famous monuments.


MY FIRST stop at sunrise is the royal reflecting pool of Srah Srang, a huge reservoir lying placidly behind a lone palm tree. Disembarking from my tuk-tuk, I am swarmed by children who rush out from makeshift stalls to hawk postcards, their slippers smacking the dusty ground as they encircle the auto rickshaw. They follow me up to the viewing platform, giggling and thrusting Angkor memorabilia in my face. A petite young woman follows close behind, with multi-coloured fabrics draped on her arms. Her name is Keo. Keo is 20 years old and the third of seven children. As the children try their hardest to promote their products to me, Keo shyly speaks of how she has been working since the age of five. She beams with delight when I compliment her English and says she picked up the language by constantly interacting with tourists.

EAR TO EAR: With a bubbly attitude, Re greets tourists with his brightest smile.


Re clearly knows his stuff, and drops snippets of information as he saunters through the narrow corridors, while I struggle in vain to keep up. We emerge at a long central hallway and Re tells me how the cult-hit Tomb Raider was filmed at the exact same spot. He adds helpfully: “Angelina Jolie used to run down this long corridor!” As the sun burns high in the midday sky, and my tour draws to a close, we stop for a break under a massive banyan tree. Re shares how he prefers working at Banteay Kdei despite the stream of tourists lacking in comparison to larger temples. “I like to work here because it is near my village. I can also pray at the big Buddha at the front of the temple three times a day,” he says. The 29-year-old harbours hopes of being an official guide in the future but tells me that it comes at a price, literally — a guide license costs US$2,000 every five years, and that is money he simply does not have. While that may deter others, Re makes the best of the situation by beefing up his language skills during his daily night classes in Siem Reap, the nearest city to the Angkor complex. He tells me: “For now, it is okay for me to be an unofficial guide. If the police come, no problem, all the people here are my friends.”


THINKING CAP: Despite her limited education, Keo speaks a variety of languages.

“I can speak four other languages. Russian, French, Japanese and Khmer,” she adds matterof-factly. She then beckons me into her shop, a sturdy bamboo hut covered with intricate, interwoven palm fronds. Her wares ranging from t-shirts plastered with “I Love Cambodia” slogans to garish elephant print baggy pants are folded and hung neatly. Keo opens her stall from 6am to 6pm everyday, and heads home at noon for an hour long lunch break. As the sun sits comfortably on the horizon and more tourists trickle up the path to Srah Srang, Keo wistfully reflects on past ambitions. She says: “I wanted to study medicine in school and be a doctor, but I had to stop studying after primary school to help my family.” Life as a roadside stall owner in Angkor may seem tough but Keo says she is contented. “Usually I make about US$20 on a good day and that makes me happy enough,” she adds. As I get up to leave, I joke that perhaps Keo could close her shop for the day if I purchased one of her tablecloths. Smirking, she replies: “Maybe if you bought ten, I’d be able to close.”

Re BIDDING goodbye to Keo, I lumber across the road and chanced upon an unobtrusively quiet temple complex. Banteay Kdei, more commonly known as the Citadel of Cells, was originally built as a 12th century monastery. Following a shaded path into the recesses of the temple, I am greeted enthusiastically. “Where are you from sir? Are you looking for a good view? Go to the tree at the back of the temple,” a man clad in a crisp white dress shirt grins at me from behind a pillar. Meet Re, an unofficial guide at Banteay Kdei. I negotiate a small fee with Re and he whisks me off on a comprehensive hour-long tour. “The cover photograph of the 2002 Lonely Planet guidebook was taken here,” he tells me with great pride, gesturing at a doorway festooned with intricate Apsara (beautiful female spririt) carvings.

THE last Angkorian I run into for the day is 10-year-old Samnah, who spies me slinking out of the gates of Banteay Srei — a temple constructed in striking hues of deep red sandstone, a 40-minute drive from Banteay Kdei. Her hands clutching glistening pieces of fruit encased in translucent plastic bags, she shrieks hopefully: “Banana, mangoes? Very cheap. Only one dollar!” Clearly a little entrepreneur who has learnt to diversify, she pulls out a stack of postcards from her pocket, beckons me over and offers me ten for a dollar. I tell her I’ll make the purchase if she tells me which temples in Angkor are depicted in each of the ten and she immediately obliges, rattling off the names with ease.

FRUIT OF HER LABOUR: Despite her tender age, Samnah supports her family and attends school concurrently.

With the ice broken and a dollar bill exchanging hands, Samnah tells me how she juggles both school and work. She says: “I go to school at 6 o’clock in the morning, finish at 11 o’clock and come here. I will stay here, and sell bananas and mangoes until 4 o’clock.” Pausing for a beat, she adds: “And after that I will go back to school for English lessons.” I marvel at her tenacity despite her tender age — a trait that shines through, as with the other residents of Angkor that I spoke to. We chat for a few more minutes, vainly attempting to communicate in her broken English and my non-existent Khmer before our conversation inevitably dies down. As I turn to leave, Samnah has just one last question for me. “Now which fruit do you want?”

16-17 LIFESTYLE foodsnoop

There is no longer a need to dress to the nines or burn a hole in your pocket to enjoy gourmet cuisine. Lifestyle Editors Chelsea Tang and Fabian Loo search for new generation hawker stalls that serve such dishes in unexpected settings.


ourmet cuisines are often synonymous with elaborate restaurant interiors, high service standards and of course, a painful price tag. In an increasing trend, stall owners are infiltrating the heartlands and serving such foods in the most mundane of places. Citing reasons such as lower rent and the ability to make it more affordable for customers, we find out if such places are truly worth braving the tropical heat.

Salut Coffeeshop TOUTED as an ‘atas kopitiam’ (highend coffee shop), Salut Coffeeshop, is an eatery like no other. Located in the mid of housing flats and vehicle repair stores, this coffee shop has different stall tenants, each with their own specialty. Turning the tables on traditional restaurants, Salut, which is French for ‘hi’, greets customers with a wide range of gourmet cuisine from Western fare to dessert treats at under $20. This price tag is definitely not what you would expect to find at a usual coffee shop. Embarking on a quest to differentiate themselves from the usual kopitiams, tables in Salut are set using a blue checkered table cloth. Despite the unique aesthetics and gourmet cuisine, the coffee shop retain the traditional ceiling fans; customers will have to bear with the heat.

Accounting for taste

To combat the sweltering heat, diners can quench their thirst by grabbing a refreshing handcrafted drink from Brown Sugar by Eskimo. Prices start from $3.90 for a medium-sized beverage, and its menu is comparable to most bubble tea stores – from flavoured yakultinfused drinks to traditional milk tea. Craft beers ranging from $7 to $11 are also available at Swiss-

German stall Stew Küche. Rather than the usual practice of using a buzzer to notify customers that their food was ready, Two Wings sent a text to our mobile phones instead. We sure held high hopes for their Chicken Wings ($8.50 for four pieces) that boast a catchy tagline, ‘One Is Never Enough’. The staff recommended their homemade chilli sauce to go with their crispy treats. While the chicken wings were adequately crispy, we felt that it was average at best. Its redeeming factor had to be the accompanying chilli — the zesty and tangy notes from the lime in the sauce was an amazing complement to the dish and made the wings less cloying. To satisfy our seafood craving, we tried Seasalt’s signature dish — Mussels in Garlic Cream Sauce ($16). Other favourites include the Hand Battered Fish With Fries ($9) and Grilled Snapper Fillet With Fries and Greens ($12). The mussels were served with baguette slices and came straight in the pot it was cooked in, which made for a rustic presentation. A stall with an extensive seafood menu, Seasalt’s mussels did not disappoint in terms of freshness. However, the accompanying garlic cream sauce did leave something to be desired. The garlic fragrance was almost imperceptible and was inadequately

TAKES THE CAKE: The Ondeh Ondeh Cake was the highlight of our meal.

ON THE (CHECKERED) TABLE: The food at Salut Coffeeshop is not worth a salute.

infused into the cream sauce. This came as a big dismay to us considering that it is one of the stall’s signature dishes. Those in the mood for something exotic should give Immanuel French Kitchen a try. Boasting popular French dishes such as Burgundy Escargot ($12.90) and Foie Gras ($16.50), Immanuel French Kitchen brings to you convincing French cuisines at pocket-friendly rates. We decided to order ourselves the crowdfavourite, Pork Belly ($16.90). While the dish may sound typical, its preparation process and taste sure aren’t. Cooked in true kakuni (Japanese braised pork dish) style, the pork belly slices were served with Duxelle mushrooms (sautéed mixture of minced mushroom, onions, shallots and herbs in butter), an onsen egg (egg poached inside its shell with firm but creamy yolk and runny whites) and potato foam. Both of us emptied the bowl in mere minutes — this dish definitely earned two thumbs up. Each component of the dish blended well with one another and every mouthful was pure bliss. The pork belly was meltingly tender, and had the perfect ratio of meat and fat in every slice. Every bite was soft and chewy at the same time. The potato foam tasted light, yet still managed to retain a buttery and creamy texture. Similarly, the onsen egg


was silky smooth and was a great complement to the potato foam. The mushrooms were well sautéed and seasoned with bacon bits as garnish, giving it a nice finishing touch. On the whole, the dish won us over with its complex taste — a wholesomely blended medley of different flavours.

Short and sweet

We then ended our meal with a sweet treat from dessert stall In The Backyard. This two-week old bakery is the most recent addition to Salut. Serving classic favourites like cupcakes ($3.50 each) and sliced cakes ($4.50 to $7) inspired by local flavours like an ondeh ondeh (glutinous rice balls with brown sugar filling), we decided upon the all time favourite Ondeh Ondeh Cake (pandan cake with palm sugar). At $6 a slice, the cake was enjoyable right down to the last crumb. It effectively captured the essence of the traditional ondeh ondeh — from the moist pandan cake to the fragrant coconut shreds and pandan-flavoured frosting. In an interview with the Nanyang Chronicle, owners Lim Kai Yuan, 29, and Phua Jia Min, 27, were confident that Salut’s location was “a good starting point” for their business. In fact, they are not at all worried about the crowd flow at Salut, despite what it lacks in

ambience and air-conditioning. “While Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest periods, we see the most interesting crowds at night – from families to office workers,” said Mr Lim. With the exception of Stew Küche, all the stalls do not charge Goods and Service Tax (GST), making prices much more affordable than restaurants.

Hot and bothered

As such, it seems as if people are willing to bear the stifling heat for such gourmet food — the eatery was packed even on a hot Friday afternoon! However, we were not the only ones who were affected by the warm temperature. Many of the stall owners appeared to be hot and bothered by the heat, and were rather unfriendly and aloof. Despite Salut’s novel concept, we felt that the prices of the food sold were not reflective of its quality and the overall ambience of the coffee shop. We definitely have reservations about coming back here.

SALUT COFFEESHOP 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-40 S51119 Operating Hours: 11am - 10 pm (Closed on Monday)




CHRONICLE 10 A Noodle Story

NOODLING AROUND: This bowl of noodles consist of elements found around Asia.

WITH the sole item on its menu being the subject of rave reviews online, it seemed as if A Noodle Story was on its way to becoming the next big hawker hit. We held high expectations of what they took pride in — being the first and only stall on the island that dishes out “Singapore-style ramen”. At first glance, this bowl of noodles did look impressive.

Ah Bong’s Italian SERVING up sophisticated Italian dishes with fancy names such as the Fresh Pappardelle with Red Wine Bolognaise and Sweet Risotto With Coffee, one would expect the menu of Ah Bong’s Italian to belong to that of a café, or perhaps even a classy restaurant. But amid the constant yelling of “kopi” by the uncle from the drinks stall, the whirring of ceiling fans and the shared stall space in a coffee shop lies a humble storefront with a handwritten menu consisting of only five dishes. Having only been in business for six months, founder Mr Chris Ng, 38, opens his stall every day for only four hours — or less. Initially taken aback by the exclusive opening hours, we later found out that the food served at Ah Bong’s sells out fast due to the limited portions prepared every day. With its authenticity and affordable prices, it’s no wonder that their stream of customers never seems to end till the food’s all out. Making a beeline for the ordering counter upon arrival, both of us decided on the chef’s specials

It comprised six different ingredients – Hong Kong-style noodles, fried wonton, Vietnamesestyle crispy potato-wrapped prawn, Japanese onsen egg and cha-su (chashu), and a generous amount of sliced scallions as garnish — all tossed in the stall’s special sauce with the dried noodles. The noodles were surely the highlight of the dish — they were

of the day — Mac & Cheese ($6 with truffle oil, $5 without), Navy Bean Carbonara ($7) and an Earl Grey Crème Brûlée (a dessert dish of custard topped with caramelised sugar at $4). Consisting of penne, bacon, shiitake mushrooms (mushrooms native to East Asia) and cheese sauce, topped with a drizzle of truffle oil, this updated version of the classic Mac & Cheese sure packed a punch. The light flavour of the Parmesan cheese from the sauce came through sufficiently and was made more decadent with mild truffle notes — a combination that held up well within the tubular walls of the Penne pasta. Plus, the additional ingredients of bacon and shiitake mushrooms gave texture to the otherwise mundane dish. The Navy Bean Carbonara is Mr Ng’s take on a ‘healthy carbonara’ consisting of linguine, white beans, bacon and sage. Unlike usual carbonara, this dish does not contain any cream at all. Instead, the ‘cream’ is replaced with soft white beans, which perfectly complemented the al dente (pasta cooked so as to be still firm when bitten) linguine. Served on a plate with traditional

SQUARE MEAL: Ah Bong’s Italian serves a hearty meal worth Instagramming.

tasty, springy and cooked to the right consistency. It was a perfect combination with the dry sauce, which exuded a mild, salty fragrance due to hints of dry shrimp. Coupled with the Hong Kongstyle fried wonton (small dumplings with savoury meat filling), it almost felt as if we were digging into a plate of authentic Hong Kong-style wonton noodles. The crispy potato-wrapped prawn was an interesting component of the dish. With shreds of deep fried potato skilfully twirled around a fresh and succulent prawn, there was a balance between crispy and chewy in every bite. The addictive crunch of the potato shreds made it a treat to eat. A common ingredient in Japanese ramen dishes, the thinly sliced chashu (pork braised at low temperatures, and seasoned with honey and soy sauce) served at A Noodle Story was tender with thin layers of fat. While the texture hit the bull’s eye, the meat was disappointingly bland. A marinade with a stronger flavour would do the near-perfect chashu slices more justice. However, the onsen egg was executed with great precision — the yolk was silky, and the whites were nicely set on the outside, while

still retaining a slightly runny consistency around the yolk. Just half an egg wasn’t enough to satisfy our cravings! Priced at $5.50 a bowl and boasting a gourmet galore, this noodle dish makes a good alternative to the usual hawker fare, and comes at a more affordable cost compared to ramen joints. Unfortunately, we felt that the hype was somewhat overrated. Although the different elements tasted great on their own, the grandeur of the dish was overshadowed by the lack of coherence among the overly rich mix of ingredients, cul-

minating in a combination of taste that we could not get used to. What’s more, we’re still searching for the ‘Singapore’ element in this “Singapore-style ramen”.


7 Maxwell Road Amoy Street Food Centre #01-39 S069111 Opening Hours: Mon - Fri, 10am - 7.30pm (Closed on weekends and public holidays)

OUT OF PLACE: A Noodle Story serves gourmet ramen in a hawker centre.

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED: Those planning to visit Ah Bong’s should take note of their short operating hours.

chinese motifs, the essence of Ah Bong’s Italian was captured in its entirety through its presentation — a fusion of the East and the West. Having a penchant for all things Earl Grey, we definitely could not give their Earl Grey Crème Brûlée a miss. Served in a small and plain ramekin, we had our doubts at the humble size of the dish. Our worries were unfounded — the intense and distinctive citrus essence was fully infused into the silky custard. Coupled with the caramelised sugar crust, every bite was accompanied with a delightful crunch, and we found ourselves licking our spoons clean. Though we were disappointed by the meagre portion, it nonetheless still served as a great pick-me-up

should you ever be craving for crème brûlée. Ah Bong’s menu has dishes like Crab & Mac and Lala (Asian clams) Aglio Olio included — with an exquisite and creative menu that changes every other day, it must be difficult working in such a modest space. Thus, Mr Ng’s choice of location begs the burning question: Why not a café? “That’s because I once had amazing pasta in a ‘hole-in-thewall’ pasta shop in Sicily, and that inspired me to create my own rendition of delicious Italian food in unpretentious places,” he said. Glancing over at our empty plates, he added: “I make fresh pasta every day, and there have been more regulars appearing. I want to make Italian food available

and accessible to everyone.” Indeed, Ah Bong’s is a hidden gem, serving up affordable and star-quality food in the most unassuming of places. We have yet to find another food joint that sells fresh pasta at $7. If there’s anything we took away from Ah Bong’s (apart from satisfied bellies), it certainly was to never judge the food served by its location.

AH BONG’S ITALIAN 56 Eng Hoon Street #01-46 S160056 Opening Hours: 10am - 2pm (Closed on Sunday)







THE DARK SIDE You no longer need to be kept in the dark – Lifestyle Writers Aysha Quek and Nadhirah Ismail shed light on two of the latest night activities you never knew existed.

The Saber Authority


very Sunday evening, Bishan Park transforms into a battleground for lightsaber duels. For Star Wars fans who wish to live out their lightsaber dreams, this is one activity that cannot be missed. Armed with the vision of merging function with fantasy, sci-fi fans Reza Emmanuel, 38, and Kong Ming Jie, 29, founded The Saber Authority in October last year. Both of them had wanted to make lightsaber duelling an aesthetically beautiful yet useful activity with techniques that could be applied to real-life situations. With Mr Emmanuel being a certified self-defence instructor and Mr Kong, a local distributor of lightsabers, working together allowed their dreams to turn into reality. Besides being the first provider of lightsaber lessons in Singapore, the people behind The Saber Authority are also purveyors of custom lightsabers imported from the United States. Quickly gaining popularity among the masses there, local sci-fi fans can now experience the Star Wars

Skyhigh Trampoline Park SHOULD you ever yearn for a jumping good time, Skyhigh Trampoline Park is the place for you. The first trampoline park in Singapore to offer a unique night segment from 7pm to 9pm daily, Skyhigh undergoes a transformation during its ‘Neon Nights’ segment. It turns into a dark and enclosed area, and ultraviolet (UV) lights are reflected from almost every corner of the park. Founder Ms Danny Zhang Rehman had always wanted to try out her crazy yet innovative idea of allowing people to “jump as well as have a bit of fun under UV lights”. With that goal in mind, she opened Skyhigh Trampoline Park, with ‘Neon Nights’ as the park’s highlight, early last December. Even though it is situated deep in the Serangoon Gardens neighbourhood, the building’s colourful graffiti will help goers locate it. Loud terms such as ‘Jump High’ and ‘Play!’ hype players up even before they enter the main playing area. The interior does not pale in comparison — bright and bold colours such as yellow and red line the perimeter of the different zones, foreboding the visual spectacle that will ensue once the lights are turned down. At 7pm sharp, the lights will be dimmed; UV paint, wall tape and ceiling fans will illuminate the park instead. For a full immersion into the ‘Neon’ atmosphere, customers may choose to purchase cosmetic-grade neon face and body paint from the counter at $4 a tube. Though your initial movements may feel

universe right here in Singapore. Class commenced under the cover of the night sky. When we first held our lightsabers, we were surprised at how heavy they were! We found out later that the weight was essential in giving us a better grip, and hence better control of the sabers during duels. Upon switching them on, it was almost as if we were transported into a Star Wars film. True to the movies, the lightsabers came to life with their signature buzzing sound. With the glowing sticks juxtaposed against the dark, swinging them created almost hypnotic trails of light that are sure to make passersby stop in awe. However, not everything is inspired by fiction. The fighting manoeuvres are based on different Asian martial arts, from kendo to taekwondo and wushu. We started off by learning the basic strokes and footwork before progressing on to more advanced techniques. The steps looked deceptively simple when demonstrated by the coaches, but took us a quite a while to grasp. Our masters were extremely patient and made sure we Padawans (a Jedi in training) understood

slightly clumsy, the darkness is actually an advantage if you're a beginner. Under the cover of dim lights, we weren’t shy to get our groove on or replicate parkour moves we’d seen in the movies. Rather than being a hindrance, the darkness gave rise to a unique and more intense jumping experience. We jumped over hurdles, did cartwheels and played leapfrog while aiming to bounce as high as we could in the air. These were all stunts that we would never have been able to

all the steps well before challenging us to a proper duel. Being able to finally spar with the coaches was an honour for us — we were thrilled that they thought we were ready to put what we learnt into combat practice. The pace of the battle was much faster than it had been during training, and we were forced to think and react on our feet. Despite deflecting most of our attempts at jabbing or striking, witnessing the lightsabers dancing under our control and clashing into one another was what made this experience truly like the movie. Not only was the match exhilarating, we found ourselves perspiring profusely by the end of it. It definitely felt like we were fending off the Dark Lord’s cronies. Just like the franchise, this sport’s popularity is undeniable. It has attracted a diverse age group — from the young to the young at heart. According to Mr Emmanuel, his youngest participant is a five-year-old

child, while the oldest is in his 50s. Classes are priced at $80 for four lessons within a month. Do not worry if you do not own a lightsaber — it will be provided! Undeniably one of the most enjoyable ways to exercise, we would be lying if we said that we did not feel like true Jedi warriors after the class. All that was missing were Jedi robes to complete our Star Wars experience. Indeed, the Force is strong with this activity.

accomplish if not for the trampolines. The highlight for us was definitely the huge foam pit – we held a mini somersaulting competition and hurled ourselves repeatedly into it. By the end of it, our hair was all frizzled and messy, our shirts drenched with perspiration, and we were breathless from all the tumbling and laughing. There really is no better and more fun way to work up a sweat than engaging in mindless trampoline competitions.

Skyhigh Trampoline Park is almost as big as two soccer fields. Sparing no space, even the walls running along the edge of the park are lined with angled trampolines, allowing thrill-seekers to safely practise their Matrixstyle wall-running impressions. Do note, however, that the park is not air-conditioned — all the bouncing about may leave remnants of perspiration that could make the cushions slippery and prove slightly unsanitary to some. Apart from that, basketball fans will be glad to know that the park has also installed several basketball hoops. With trampolines as the ‘court’, even amateurs can slam dunk. The experience that we had at Skyhigh was like no other. Accompanied by catchy tunes by pop artistes, we felt especially energised while jumping and singing along to the infectious lyrics of the music. Before jumping to conclusions and dismissing it as just another trampoline park, do consider Skyhigh Trampoline Park’s ‘Neon Nights’ for the time of your life. Admission fees are at $10 on weekday mornings, $12 on weekday afternoons (from 1pm onwards) and $15 on Friday afternoons and weekends.

THE SABER AUTHORITY Classes: Bishan Park 1 (open space beside Cornerstone Café) Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 Kids (Aged 7 - 12): 5.30pm - 6.30pm Adults: 6.45pm - 7.45pm

SKYHIGH TRAMPOLINE PARK Burghley Lifestyle Hub 45 Burghley Drive #01-05/06 S559022 PHOTOS: CALVIN CHOW

Opening Hours: 10am - 9pm daily

Reviews album review



Death Cab For Cutie Indie Rock Atlantic Records



he music of Death Cab for Cutie has always been reflective of frontman Ben Gibbard’s life experiences. Over the course of seven studio albums, listeners have received an insight into

the singer’s life through a collection of highly poignant songs, showcasing his thoughts on a variety of subjects including love and loss. In recent times Gibbard has had much to write about, following the departure of founding member and guitarist Chris Walla last year and his separation from actress Zooey Deschanel in 2012. Unlike previous albums, however, the now-trio’s latest effort is less about lament and more about acceptance. While there is still an inherent melancholy present, there is also a sense of Gibbard coming to peace with the losses in his life. That sentiment is reflected in the album’s title, named after the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold and treating repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise. Kintsugi starts strong with the opening track No Room In Frame, and the resignation in Gibbard’s voice is immediately noticeable. The track manages to sound both upbeat and wistful at the same time, and lyrics like “And I guess it’s not a failure we could help, we will both go on to get lonely with someone else” effectively set the mood for the rest of the album.

The album reaches the apex of its sorrow early, with Black Sun and You’ve Haunted Me All My Life. The two prove to be some of the band’s darkest material yet, but tracks like The Ghosts of Beverly Drive hint at some optimism within as well. Some songs appear to draw inspiration from the band’s earlier work. Little Wanderer, for example, sounds like a spiritual successor to their 2004 single Title and Registration, while the Acapella-esque Hold No Guns could easily pass off as a track in Gibbard’s 2012 solo album Former Lives. As the album enters its second half, the band adopts a seemingly happier tone with Everything’s A Ceiling, Good Help (Is So Hard To Find), and El Dorado. In these tracks, Gibbard’s lovelorn lyrics are deceptively hidden behind an almost danceable sound, but this change in style is a welcome addition to an otherwise sombre track list. After experiencing a temporary high, Kintsugi’s two closing tracks then return to a mellower sound. Ingénue signifies a renewed sense of hope for the band, while the piano-driven Binary Sea sings of acceptance and is a fitting end to the album.

Put together, the eleven tracks form an emotional collection of highs and lows. It is only after listening to the album in its entirety that listeners will realise that Kintsugi documents a journey of coming to terms with the circumstances in life and moving on. On the whole, though it might not match up to some of their best work, Death Cab for Cutie manages to tread some new ground while retaining their signature sound. While their previous album Codes and Keys (2011) was criticised by some for its experimental nature, the band seems to have returned to form with Kintsugi, and may have grown up a little on their way back as well.

THE TOP THREE 1. No Room In Frame 2. Binary Sea 3. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive -Jared Alex Tan

singles of the month


LOUD PLACES ft. Romy Madley Croft

HOLDING ON ft. Josef Salvat & Niia


Of Monster and Men Republic Records


FOLLOWING the announcement of his solo album In Colour, Jamie Smith, better known by his stage name Jamie xx and as a member of the Electronica trio The xx, released Loud Places as a preview to it. Featuring vocals by bandmate Romy Madley Croft, whose soft crooning is backed by a brooding bassline and simmering beats, the track initially bears an unmistakable resemblance to The xx’s signature sound. Smith gradually weaves a soaring choir sample and cheery handclaps amid Croft’s confessional, gently melding the disparate elements into a densely layered piece. While the track never quite reaches an emotional apex, it retains an understated complexity, making it quietly impressive.

AN EXPERIENCED songwriter who co-wrote Sam Smith’s hit Stay With Me, William Phillips is also a rising producer, having released three EPs under his moniker Tourist. Holding On may be driven by Phillips’ familiar heavy synths and pulsating beats, but the emotional duet between Salvat and Niia is particularly striking, their back-andforth capturing a palpable tension between two lovelorn individuals. When paired with Phillips’ melody, which alternates between a piano arrangement and skittering beats, the combination mirrors a rush of conflicted emotions. As the track peters out to a muted end, there is no cathartic closure; only a lingering longing for the past.

FOUR years after the release of their debut album My Head is an Animal, Icelandic folkpop band Of Monsters and Men (OMAM) is finally back with a new song titled Crystals. While not as immediately catchy as their breakthrough single Little Talks, the track features a distinctively OMAM sound, as the energetic, yet contemplative singing by the band’s two vocalists are layered over minimalistic guitar riffs and an anthemic barrage of drums. With poetic lyrics like “I’ll wither so peel away the bark, because nothing grows when it is dark”, Crystals is a promising preview to their upcoming sophomore album Beneath the Skin, which will be released later this year on 9 Jun.

A PROMISING new single, Turning Back Around serves as a teaser for RHODES’ new EP of the same name, which will be released on 12 Apr this year. RHODES has shared that the track is about “running away from something”, a recurring theme throughout it. Like quickening strides, drumbeats slowly gather and rumble alongside his soothing vocals, evoking a sense of rising tension, and building up to an emotional climax. As the song fades away, RHODES’ voice echoes hauntingly in the distance, reminiscent of a never-ending attempt to escape. With his talent fully justifying the comparisons with Adele and Jeff Buckley, the future is bright for this rising star.

-Ernest Chin

-Ernest Chin

-Jared Alex Tan

-Lydia Teo

Jamie xx Young Turks

Tourist Polydor Records










How hard is it to be a Electronic Dance Music superstar? Reviews Writer Jerlin Huang finds out if she has what it takes to be a bona fide Disc Jockey.


TURNING THE TABLES: DJ-ing might not be as simple as the professionals make it out to be.


ou see them at parties, shopping mall road shows and of course, clubs. Whether you enjoy their bass-dropping antics or not, Disc Jockeys (DJs) are nevertheless becoming an increasingly common sight in today’s society. As a fan of music, the art of DJ-ing has always been fascinating to me. DJs seem to possess an infectious energy, and their ability to command a crowd is certainly a talent. To be completely honest, I had always imagined the activity to be a fairly easy affair. It seemed that all you had to do was press a few buttons and twist a few knobs. How hard could that be? To indulge my curiosity, I decided to attend an hour-long crash course at Le Sens’ Music and Dance School. Filled with turntables, mixers and more vinyl records than I could count, this humble studio hidden in the basement of Selegie Centre seemed like a good place to start my DJ-ing journey.

Learning from the pros

My instructor for the day was DJ Christopher Columbus, 32, the owner of Le Sens’ and founder of a group of deejays who — very aptly — call themselves Group Of Deejays (or G.O.D for short). Christopher Columbus first discovered his interest in DJing while working as a bartender in a nightclub, and saw it as an opportunity to experiment with music and improve on a song’s original sound. With a mere 200 to 300 people currently in the scene, the local DJ community is a small but passionate one. In fact, Christopher Columbus was one of the 113 DJs who broke the Guinness World Record for the “Longest Club DJ Session Relay” last year, where they took turns to perform in one continuous set. The professional DJ had opened Le Sens’ three years ago in an effort to cultivate a growing interest in Singapore, and offers workshops catered to beginners looking to pick up the craft. He was quick to point out, that the perceived simplicity is one of the biggest misconceptions of DJ-ing. It can take more than a year to learn the basics alone. Moreover, while it's possible for talented individuals to secure a gig within six months, it is only for those who are willing to put in eight hours of practice every day.

But long-held perceptions are not easily broken, and I still found the difficulty hard to believe. I asked the DJ to teach me a few basic tricks, hoping to clear my doubts once and for all.

Harder than it looks

The first thing that caught me off guard was the fact that there were more than just “a few” buttons and knobs on the mixers. There were countless rows that all looked the same, and it was confusing to simply comprehend the setup in front of me. With years of experience under his belt, Christopher Columbus effortlessly manipulated them to create a multitude of club-worthy sound effects. As Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk blasted through the speakers, it briefly felt like I was standing on a dance floor rather than a studio. As Christopher Columbus passed control of the decks to me, I was immediately overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the interface in front of me. Despite his best effort to teach me as simply as possible, I had difficulty multi-tasking between monitoring the songs, keeping time and activating the effects at the right moment. The thumping bass beats certainly did not help my concentration either. Even when he tried to teach me supposedly easier tricks, I still could not replicate Christopher Columbus’ deceptively straightforward actions. DJ-ing was quickly proving to be one of the most concentration-intensive activities I had ever done — there seemed to be something to do at any given time, and even losing focus for a few seconds meant I ran the risk of missing the drop. I learnt this fact the hard way on multiple occasions, where my lack of awareness resulted in an awkward transition, and me essentially ruining the song for my imaginary crowd. Finally comprehending its actual difficulty, I found it hard to believe that DJs could do this in real time without making a single mistake, especially considering that their sets could go on for hours on end. DJ-ing was evidently not as easy as the professionals made it look, and the confident, almost nonchalant demeanour that they portray while on stage is probably only achieved after hours and hours of painstaking practice.

A newfound appreciation

As my short, yet intense session came to an end, I left Le Sens’ with a newfound respect for the art of DJ-ing, and I realised the dedication required was so much more than I had originally perceived it to be. That being said, however, one should not shy away simply because of the learning curve. It certainly seems like a rewarding pursuit once you get the hang of it, and I can imagine it to be incredibly satisfying to make an entire crowd move to a single beat. So sign up for a class should you have the slightest interest. Who knows, you might find yourself headlining Zoukout instead of attending it.

A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH DJ CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS "Reading the crowd. If you only play Top 40 tracks and people who are 30 to 40 years old don't know that kind of music, they'll eventually leave." - on a DJ's biggest challenge "It's okay to start from scratch, but if you want to become a swimmer, you have to touch water. If you want to become a DJ, you have to listen to music." - on whether you need musical knowledge to be a DJ "Believe it or not, bankers. I'm not sure why, but probably because they're stressed up or something." - on who most of his students are

LE SENS' MUSIC AND DANCE SCHOOL Selegie Centre 189 Selegie Road #B1-08 S188332

WATCH Jerlin try her hand at DJ-ing at










As the school term draws to a close, Chief Editor Louisa Tang and Dapper Editor Lydia Teo share their choice picks on novels well worth a read during the upcoming holidays.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Paula Hawkins $27.77 at Books Kinokuniya

Published by Riverhead Books


here is a reason why The Girl on the Train has topped the New York Times best sellers list for the past nine weeks, and deservingly so — a stunning debut from Paula Hawkins, it is a thriller that is absorbing till the very last page. The novel begins simply enough, chronicling the seemingly mundane daily commute of the protagonist, Rachel, on the early morning train. She has always liked looking out of the window at the suburban homes passing by. The train never fails to stop at a particular signal, giving her a moment

to observe the same residence every time. She is endlessly fascinated by the inhabitants of this Victorian house — a couple whom she names Jess and Jason, who appear to be living the perfect life. One morning, she witnesses something that, in a matter of seconds, turns her whole world upside down. She becomes increasingly intertwined in the series of events that revolves around the disappearance of Megan, one of the novel’s key characters who is eventually revealed to be the woman she referred to as ‘Jess’. In the novel, Hawkins writes from the viewpoints of three different characters — Rachel, Anna and Megan. Skilful at character development and adept at balancing the three distinct voices, her writing allows the characters to develop naturally as the story progresses. The characters are complex creations, an accomplishment in which Hawkins deserves much praise; they are engaging but not entirely likeable, fundamentally flawed but absolutely compelling. The story unfolds at a breathtaking pace, as shocking revelations are made one after another, leaving the reader to pick up the bits and pieces in an attempt to figure out what exactly transpired. Despite the clues (and this is perhaps the most brilliant part of the novel), the reader is nowhere close to solving the puzzle until the last few pages. The Girl on the Train is a book that you cannot put down once you start; it is all-consuming as you go along the sharp twists and turns, leaving you increasingly desperate to find out more. With such an explosive debut, Hawkins is definitely an author to look out for.

-Lydia Teo

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC V. E. Schwab $18.95 at Books Kinokuniya Published by Tor Books

MAGIC, deceit, bloody twists, a world consisting of four Londons and a complex cast of colourful characters. That’s what you get with A Darker Shade of Magic. The novel is unlike any other of its kind, which breaks out of the genre’s norm with great aplomb. For starters, Schwab asks you to believe in a world with four parallel Londons: Red, White, Grey, and Black Londons. It may seem ridiculous on the surface, but the world building is top-notch, as is the evocative writing. Schwab’s descriptive prose brings scenes like Red London’s Night Market to life. Successfully melding elements of reality and fantasy together, Schwab captures the


Kazuo Ishiguro $28.84 at Books Kinokuniya Published by Faber and Faber MANY have waited breathlessly for the release of The Buried Giant — after all, it is the first novel from acclaimed author Kazuo Ishiguro after a decadelong absence. Best known for the hugely popular Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prizewinning The Remains of the Day, Ishiguro tackles the weighty issues of love and lost memories in his newest novel. Set in medieval Britain, the book follows an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, as they travel in search of their long-lost son. As the pair traverse through the mystical land of Arthurian England filled with ogres, dragons and sword-wielding knights, they encounter several challenges and a host of interesting characters. From the get-go, readers are plunged right into the couple’s confusing present and an even hazier past. It seems rather confusing why the two suddenly left their dwelling in search of their son, who they can barely remember. It is soon revealed that no one can recall their past, their memories supposedly robbed by the

vibrancy and atmosphere across a multitude of settings — readers will find it easy to immerse themselves in the grandeur of the world she has created. While Schwab’s four Londons feature iconic landmarks found in contemporary London, she makes them her own through the unique brand of magic that thrives in the world of her vivid imagination. Each and every one of these fictitious locales possesses a sense of mysteriousness and attractiveness. The book’s protagonist, Kell, is an Antari — a race blessed with the ability to travel between worlds, and mastery in the manipulation of magic. A complex and multi-faceted character, he is strong enough to root for, yet vulnerable enough for us to sympathise with. Other characters include a loudmouthed, thieving, cross-dressing pirate, Lila; the sadistic royal Dane twins who rule Black London with iron fists; another Antari, Holland, with less than noble intentions; and

heavy mist caused by a she-dragon named Querig. A recurring dilemma is whether the slaying of Querig is necessarily good — should the dragon’s demise be desired, for the return of memories sparked by its death could possibly reignite old feuds and rivalries? Or should the dragon’s existence be accepted as a necessary evil, ensuring that history and its tragedies remain buried to preserve the peace that now exists? For Axl and Beatrice, their journey causes bits and pieces of their past to resurface, and the return of their memories also threatens to shake the seemingly undying love they have for each other. When the novel starts, we are convinced that they are but a loving, elderly couple living our their old age together. However, as they continue on their journey, fragments of the past start to resurface, hinting that their relationship might not be as perfect as it seems. Ishiguro’s writing is slow and steady. He does not rush, allowing him to slowly unveil his masterpiece: a beautiful fantasy world filled with bizarre creatures, all products of his brilliant imagination. The most evident display of his commendable literary skills lies in his achronological ordering of the story — the reader is sometimes thrown into the next scene with no idea how he got there. Ishiguro then cleverly travels backwards to fill in the missing details, a stylistic notion that reflects the book’s broad theme about an erosion of the past. Ishiguro has successfully tried his hands on many genres, and The Buried Giant marks his first foray into fantasy literature. However, one thing remains constant in his stories — his penchant for exploring relationships and capturing the complexities of human nature. The Buried Giant is essentially a book about the importance of remembering. Are we not all products of our past experiences and memories, whether good or bad? Ishiguro does not give an easy answer, causing the reader to ponder over the profound questions he raises, making the book an immensely satisfying emotional and intellectual read.

-Lydia Teo

Rhys, the requisite promiscuous prince. Kell and Lila must team up to protect a mysterious relic in Black London from those who wish to claim it at all costs. Keeping the story focused on the adventure, Schwab stays away from pairing the two up romantically while keeping their dynamic fresh. Their chemistry is unquestionably one of the book’s highlights. The breakneck pace of the story may get overwhelming at times, but the unexpected twists make up for it. Loyalty is also a key theme of the book. Kell finds himself constantly tested, and his biggest decision about where his fealties lie leads to a fiery ending. Ultimately, the intricate and harrowing plot will keep you on your toes. Plus, with a sequel to come some time next year, you won’t be fully deprived of Schwab’s fantastic world after turning the last page.

-Louisa Tang









With the release of Insurgent, moviegoers will be treated to yet another installation of an action series driven heavily by the notion of romance. Reviews Writers Cheah Wenqi and Wong Wenbin share their take on the depiction of love in movies, and its relevance across genres.


LEARNING FROM THE BIG SCREEN: How accurately do different genres of movies portray love and romance?




ove stories never seem to leave the picture. Being a sucker for romance movies, I readily welcome a good love story in every movie I catch. However, recent Hollywood films have sometimes made me feel like they overexploit every human’s innate need to feel loved, making those films repetitive and predictable. In action flicks like Transformers and the iconic James Bond movies, we can almost always find a rather shallow depiction of love between the male leads and their female counterparts. Much to my dismay, such cheesy antics that contribute little to character development or plot progression continue to reel moviegoers in.

Filmmakers should explore romance more realistically, allowing movies to move away from clichéd plots which come up short in terms of creativity and originality. With its fast-paced sequences and young, good-looking cast, Insurgent certainly lives up to the expectations of a typical Hollywood blockbuster. Given its wealth of futuristic ideas, one would expect ample time to be spent on developing the leads’ role in the society, or exploring societal concerns. Sadly, the movie is too concerned with the love story between its leads. By allocating insufficient time for a deeper exploration of its unique storyline, the film is diluted of originality, making it just another predictable love story. Superhero movies like Thor, Iron Man, and the Spiderman series also incorporate

romance as a crucial plot element. The love stories in them are more meaningful because they help to humanise the superheroes so that their characters and stories are more emotionally relatable, especially when they have to choose between love and responsibility. Yes, the presence of romance in all genres of movies will definitely be here to stay, and it’s all right that it will be. Despite that, filmmakers should explore romance more realistically, allowing movies to move away from clichéd plots which come up short in terms of creativity and originality. Addressing other forms of love can encourage more original plots, which may be lacking in the overly-commercialised Hollywood scene. Apart from their impressive plots, films like Whiplash and Interstellar hit close to home with their in-depth portrayals of love. Nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay at the recent Academy Awards, Whiplash is unlike other music feature films such as the Step Up series. Dwelling less on romantic love, but more on the love for music, Whiplash helped to emphasise the prevalence of other forms of love. Interstellar achieved great balance with its complex scientific theories that, at the heart of it all, thoroughly discussed different ideas of love. Its storyline was augmented by its unique exploration of love in relation to time, making it extremely memorable. If Hollywood filmmakers are willing to shed light on love in its different forms, perhaps rampant plot clichés in many blockbusters can be reduced. When that happens, we can all look forward to a more vibrant cinematic experience that explores love beyond the superficiality that is so prevalent today.


"WHEN LOVE TAKES OVER" LOVE has always been such a pervasive theme in movies that I have difficulty imagining how most top-grossing movies would play out without the injection of love into their plotlines. Though I may not be a major fan of chick flicks, I still find myself subconsciously pairing up the leads, quietly rooting for any fleeting or definite signs that my idealised pairing of characters — or ‘one true pairing’, as these couples are commonly known as — will eventually materialise. Nevertheless, I sometimes wonder if the element of romance is truly necessary in other more dynamic and fast-paced genres, such as fantasy, action movies and thrillers. A science-fiction trilogy, the Divergent series presents a dystopian future where citizens are sorted into factions based on social affiliations and personality traits. There is a great deal of potential in discussing the ethics of social classification, and questioning the idea of an individual’s place in society. However, the bulk of the screentime is spent on the romance between its central characters Tris and Four — which ultimately, is neither convincing nor well-developed. Given the wealth of larger thematic issues that could, and should have been explored, the half-baked love story becomes all the more disappointing. When writers trivialise love by giving it such superficial treatment, it creates a rather distasteful experience. But with that said, I do agree that the inclusion of romance in films is necessary as a means to enrich the plot — only if it is not dealt with such superficiality that trivialises love. Otherwise, it should be excluded to avoid distracting viewers from its main message. For example, the romance between Ron and Hermione in the Harry Potter series was handled very deftly. It fit in naturally with the plot development, being

intricately woven into the dynamics between the characters. The inclusion of their romance was a nice touch to an already well-established storyline, making it a welcome supplement that was not overwhelming.

Ultimately, we cannot shy away from the inclusion of love in movies of any genre. It is so prevalent precisely because it is a common denominator we all share. Going further, The Avengers movie in 2012 demonstrated how a film can still become a major blockbuster despite a lack of romance. Was there a female lead? Yes. Was there a male lead? Yes, an abundance of them, in fact. Did they have to hug, cry and declare their unyielding love for each other before proceeding to kick alien asses? No. The writers did not resort to using a love interest to keep viewers engaged, but instead entranced the audience with a generous dose of nail-biting action and charmingly witty humour. Ultimately, we cannot shy away from the inclusion of love in movies of any genre. It is so prevalent precisely because it is a common denominator that we all share. I am not proposing a future where romance and other genres exist in clearer dichotomies, because that, realistically speaking, is impossible. In addition, I, for one, love a good dose of ‘feels’ in movies. I am, however, hoping that screenwriters can once again realign their focus on the story, and re-evaluate the role of love in non-romance genres.





On Michelle: Open Back Cape: Depression, $119; Split-Back Shirt (White): Depression, $47.50; Boxed Harem (Mesh): Max Tan, $529; Optical Illusion Block Heels (White): Depression, $92.50.




DAPPER subsect

On Anna: Cheongsam Tent Dress: Max Tan, $499; Socks: Uniqlo, $9.90; Heels: H&M, $69.90.










On Scott: Waterfall Caftan: Max Tan, $359; Netted Shirt (White): Depression, $49.50; Dual Zip Creepers: Depression, $199; Pants: Photographer’s Own.




DAPPER subsect

On Andrew: Geometric Fin Sweatshirt: Depression, $155; Metal Buckle Harem Shorts: Depression, $169; Shoes: Photographer’s Own.

Photography Joel Lim Styling Lydia Teo Assistant Stylist Jess Ng






NTU-IGS_IPP_Outreach_AD_POSTER_KokHon_FA_EditAug14.indd 1

A student. An employee. A solutions seeker. Kok Hon is one and all. With the Industrial Postgraduate Programme (IPP), he is empowered to pursue fulltime PhD studies while conducting research at DNV GL, Singapore. Find out how you can make the most of the opportunities. ABOUT IPP & OPPORTUNITIES

Singaporeans & Singapore permanent residents are eligible to apply

21/8/14 3:58 PM

南大绿化节 传承绿化新概念 —— 刊30页


南大校园明年起开放更多新宿舍 张育铭● 报道 中文编辑

大校园将在接下来的两 年内开放多六个新宿 舍,3600名学生将会受益。 随着去年先驱宿舍( Pioneer Hall)和新月宿舍(Crescent Hall)的开放,南大住宿与后 勤服务处(Office of Housing and Auxiliary Services,HAS) 马不停蹄,继续兴建新宿舍。 南大将在2016年和2017年内 陆续开放新宿舍给学生居住, 让更多的学生有机会体验住宿 生活。

随后,校园将于2017年的 新学年开始前再另外开放三个 宿舍。这三组宿舍位于南洋湾 (Nanyang Crescent)十五号宿 舍旁,提供1800个住宿位置。 南大副教务长(学生生活) 郭建文副教授表示,基于学生 的宿舍生活是南大整体教育经 验的一部分,校方也在进行筹 划,为学生们扩展住在宿舍的 机会。 至于新宿舍是否会影响学生 的宿舍费,以及入住宿舍的分 数等问题,校方发言人表示, 学校将在接近宿舍开放时,才 提供更多的资讯。

学生对新宿舍表示欢迎 校方明年先开放三个新宿舍 将在2016年8月落成的 首三个新宿舍位于南洋道 (Nanyang Avenue)和惹兰巴 哈(Jalan Bahar)入口处,坐 落于九号和十号宿舍对面。这 三个新宿舍能够容纳多达1800 名的住宿生。

新宿舍的来临颇受好评。住 家位于东部的黄金辉传播与信 息学院大二生周宇华(21岁) 得知消息后非常开心。 “这对三年级和四年级学生 来说,是很好的消息,因为他 们将会有更多的机会享受宿舍 生活。这也代表我明年会有更

位于南洋道正在建筑中的三个宿舍将在明年8月开放。 高的机会获得宿舍位置,这让 我感到非常高兴。” 但是,有学生对校方的安排 表示关心。

南大商学院大一生李伟立 (21岁)说:“校内的宿舍向 来都有各自独特的风俗。学校 一次过开放那么多新宿舍,这

摄影: 吴思颖 些新宿舍恐怕不够时间建立自 己的风俗,在短期内可能在宿 舍比赛中吃亏。学生们的宿舍 经验也有可能不够充实。”

冻酸奶连锁店又优 近月来人龙大减 张育铭● 报道 中文编辑

内冻酸奶连锁店llaollao 营业一学期,有学生观 察店面往日人龙不再,生意逐 渐变差。 著名冻酸奶连锁店又优 (llaollao)去年12月中旬于南 洋理工大学南区教学楼食阁口 福(Koufu)开幕,在新学期 开始时轰动全校,深受学生欢 迎。前往食堂用餐的学生也经 常看到长长的人龙站在店前。 南大校园的又优分店所售卖 的产品和校外的分店一样。但 是,业者考量到顾客群大部分 由学生组成,所以产品价格比 外头来的便宜。 有学生观察,又优店面的 人龙近月来少了许多,有时候 甚至一个人都没有,似乎也喻 意“酸奶风潮”已告一段落。 南大商学院大二生王薇韵 (20岁)分享说,她之前排队 买冻酸奶时,需要花上15至30

分钟的时间;但现在只需要短 短几分钟,等候时间明显减少 许多。 王薇韵认为这是好事,因为 她现在能够在课程之间的短暂 时间购买自己喜爱的冻酸奶。 但是,她也说:“长期下去, 又优必须找到能够维持生意的 办法,才能够继续在校内营 业。”

奶产品。 “我和朋友们常常因为觉 得排队购买酸奶会花上太多时 间,这也间接影响我们吃午餐 的时间,所以我们会为了赶上 下一堂课而放弃排队。”

不愿具名的南大又优经理受 本报访问时说,人龙减少的现 象也没有影响该店的业绩。 “我们从去年底开始营业至 今,生意都没有太大的改变, 只是顾客们开始分不同时段前

来,所以人龙会显得较短。但 是,我们认为到目前为止,我 们的生意还是很成功的。” 她也表示,又优若生意减 少,将是经营人担心的一个大 问题,他们会继续观察,确保

生意能够继续维持 不过,也有学生对这个现象 不以为然。 黄金辉传播与信息学院大一 生余思蔚(19岁)说:“我认 为又优的生意得看时间,有时 人龙较长,有时则较短。和校 外的又优分店相比,校内店面 的顾客一定会较少,排队的人 也自然较少。但是,我认为他 们能够维持生意。” 语言学与双语研究系一年级 生胡煜诗(20岁)则表示,这 个现象或许也会鼓励更多学生 尝试,或回去又优分店购买酸


摄影: 吴思颖






本地人民在科技时代的生活冲击 靳昕 中文编审

日在地铁站看见一个有意 思的告示。告示板上画 着一位女士边看手机边走路, 结果差点上了反方向的电动扶 梯,还迎面撞上了扶梯上的行 人;标语大意则提醒乘客要专心 走路,小心安全。 但笔者认为,告示的读者 群是眼睛离不开手机的“低头 族”,而且电动扶梯都会上错 的人又怎么会注意扶梯旁边的 告示牌呢? 其实,乘客因使用手机而导 致的安全问题已经不是新的议 题了。 根据公路交通定制并修正的 法案,本地现今已经禁止驾车 者开车时使用手机。初犯者可 被判监禁最长六个月、罚款最 高1000元,或两者兼施。 网络民众也提议应该对行 人实施类似法令,让行人在过 马路或行走时不得使用电子产 品,以免造成意外;加上政府 如今需要动用司法途径解决问


现今社会,科技对人们生活的各方面都产生了影响。 题,突显了事态的严重性。 此外,新加坡已出现国人对 电子产品的过渡依赖,这也已 经影响到人们的身心健康。 据笔者观察,现在多数的家 长都让孩子们从婴儿时期就开 始长期接触手机或平板电脑, 这不仅对孩子的视力造成极大 伤害,孩子从小培养的记忆力 与精神集中能力也将减少。孩

子们短暂的集中能力除了减弱 课业上的表现,他们的耐心、 细心程度也将受到很大影响。 然而,大人都没办法以身作 则,又如何对孩子晓以大义? 电子产品的普及势不可 挡,“科技”也确实为生活带 来了便利与快乐。人们不可自 拔地渴望得到着各种电子产品 的更新换代,并且不惜个人储

蓄购买和使用越来越先进的各 种应用软件。 这个趋势似乎跨越所有年龄 层,导致人类被科技产品奴役 的现象:就连以往最抗拒科技 的乐龄群体中开始有很多人开 始学习使用平板电脑和手机, 通过各种应用程序和朋友聊 天、打游戏等。 笔者觉得,如何区分“想

要”和“真正想要”的,或许 会是一个更迫切的问题。 电子产品的设计本来就满足 使用者不同的需求,也延伸出 不同档次,但功能相同的电子 商品。 在电子商品多元化的时代, 如何在价格与功能上取得平 衡,或许是决定现代消费者购 买电子产品最重要的因素。

“花园城市”环保事业仍需努力 邱振毅 中文编辑

际上享有“花园城市” 的新加坡,在政府自1963 年不遗余力的努力下,街道两 旁如今树木成荫,生机勃勃。 国人能在建国50年后的今天有 着舒适的生活环境,不忘有清 洁工人每天辛勤工作,使街道 整洁干净,几乎毫无垃圾。 然而,“绿化”如今非是 种植几棵树丛和树木的简单过 程,其中也包含许多其他元 素,包括国家对环保的重要意 识。而本地近年来为响应国际 社会对于环保的重视,也依样 画葫芦地推行各类环保计划。 但是,民众不仅没有环保的 意识,而且还反应不一。对于 科技、商业发展先进的新加坡 来说,这反映本地的环保事业 发展仍显得不足。 例如,政府在十年前有雇佣 环保公司人员定期到不同的组 屋区收集旧报纸、旧衣物及铝 制品等可再循环物品。然而, 居民如今得自己进行垃圾分 类,再到组屋楼下把垃圾放进 一个蓝色的环保箱里,而且也 有居民曾目击清洁工人把物品 全部丢置在一起进行处理。 另外,国家环境局和新加坡

环境理事会自2007年起开始推 行了“自备购物袋计划”,鼓 励国人在上超市购物时,选择 使用自己的环保购物袋,并且 将每个月的第一个星期三设定 为“自备购物袋日”,而且还 会因此和顾客收取使用塑料带 的费用。 据亚洲新闻台在2007年5月的 报道,这个计划开始时,不少 民众都认为花几角钱买个塑料 袋没什么大不了,因此无法培 养到超市时特地自备购物袋的 好习惯。

国人非乐意参与环保 为了再提高民众对环保的意 识,相关当局在一年后,再和 超市机构安排增加了“自备购 物袋日”的次数,如今多数超 市改以提供消费回扣的方式, 让公众有比较热烈的响应。然 而,这也显示出国人并非是完 全乐意参与环保运动的。本地 环保运动的设计机制应更完 善,像可以考虑免费派送环保 袋,来鼓励人们时常自备购物 袋,以达到预期目标。 政府不妨通过社区活动鼓 励民众提升环保意识,也可以 参考其他国家的环保政策。例 如,台湾自1999年以来就以法 律途径,安排著名的“垃圾 车”每天都到台湾的大小城

虽然多数组屋楼下设有环保箱,但真正将垃圾分类再循环的人很少。 市。每当音乐播放时,民众会 将分类好的垃圾拿到垃圾车丢 弃。

国人也应该响应政府及民间 发动的各类环保活动,以充分 利用资源,尽一份心力保护地


球。笔者深信,在政府和民间 团体的带动下,新加坡的再循 环事业将会有所改进。






南大 绿化节 传承绿化新概念 陈旭爽● 报道

南大学生组织“地球之 音”(NTU Earthlink) 年度举办的绿化节(Greenfest),今年的展览名称“协 同”(Synergy)更是强调了 个人付出行动改善环境的重要 性。 环境与水源部长维文医生出 席了展览的开幕礼。 他在演讲致词中表示,将新 加坡打造成花园城市是已故建 国总理李光耀的先见,并希望 这个理想能在年轻一代得到传 承。 校内各热衷于环境绿化的社 团及校外组织也在为期两天的 展览中,分享了各种环保与绿 化的学生企划。

环保应用程序 南大“绿色校园”(EcoCampus)借助环境与绿化节的 力量在活动当天推出了手机应 用程序POWERZ。 该应用程序以多人在线游 戏形式进行,让使用者可通过 日常生活中做出节省电源和水 源的举动,如:关掉没使用的 电器,从而累积分数,互相较 量。 这些分数随后可用来换取食 品券或幸运抽奖机会,将来可 能还能换取书籍和交通券。 南大校务总监兼副校长 ( 研究)蓝钦扬教授说:“这个 程序将日常习惯游戏化,帮助 南大达到节省能源的目标。全

校通过程序参与节省能源的计 划,我们不仅能提高意识,也 能提高能源效率。” 应用程序的开发员预计让 使用者通过游戏培养节能的习 惯,学校每年能省下200万元的 能源使用费。 维文医生在致词中叙述李光 耀生前节俭的习惯,从不容忍 任何浪费电和水源的举动。 他说:“学校今天推出的计 划,非常符合我从他身上所学 习到的好习惯。”

环境与水源部长维文医生也莅临绿化节,为举办两天的绿化节揭开序幕。 负责照料它的固定团队。”

老挝社区活动 “地球之音”所举办的 “环保大冒险”(Ecoventure)义工们去年以爱心传达

环保理念,在老挝村庄为村民 们安装太阳能电池板,也教导 当地学生们英文和环保知识。 随着去年活动的热烈反应, 今年的义工团队打算重返老 挝,让义工们拥有两周的服务


与学习体验。本届团队学生 负责人王家豪(化学与生物医 学工程学院二年级,22岁)表 示:“这一次的义工们可看到 去年义工付出的努力是否起作 用,并在基础上加以改进。”

打理方草园,从学生做起 土木与环境工程学院三年级 学生李锦龙(22岁)在跑步时 偶然发现了位于南大惹兰巴哈 入口处的南大社区芳草园(NTU Community Herb Garden),目 睹两名年长园丁辛勤地打理两 英亩大的芳草园,触动他的助 人之心,决定帮忙号召学生一 同照料芳草园。 芳草园除了定期提供学院草 药以作研究,也提供不少草药 治疗的药材。 芳草园内的草药也因为不 适用农药,吸引来各种各样的 蝴蝶,也为芳草园增添不少色 彩。 目前,李锦龙的学生招募 还处于初步阶段,参与者的具 体工作安排、时长等都尚未确 定。 不过,李锦龙表示,他的第 一步是想让学生们对这个活动 感兴趣。 他说:“我希望同学们也能 发现芳草园的价值,成立一个





Divided over Amos Yee WHAT an impact a 16-yearold can make. In the span of one week, Singapore descended into heated discussion over a certain Amos Yee. In an eight-minute YouTube video, which has since been taken down, the teenager criticised the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew before launching into a tirade against Christianity. He was later arrested on 29 Mar and slapped with three charges, which include the deliberate intention to wound religious or racial feelings. His expletive-laden video, uploaded on 27 Mar, came shortly after Mr Lee passed away, and contained remarks such as: “Everyone is scared, everyone is afraid (that) if they say something (politically incorrect), they will get into trouble, which, give Lee Kuan Yew credit, that was primarily the impact of his ‘legacy’. “But I am not afraid.” Not frightened, but perhaps a little foolhardy for someone who has just graduated from secondary school. Needless to say, the online furore that transpired from Yee’s comments was farreaching, and equally, if not more, fiery than Yee’s own. Many criticised him, labelling as him disrespectful and lacking in proper upbringing. There were also some who thought Yee’s arrest was an overreaction by the authorities

in an attempt to regulate freedom of expression. Indeed, the notion of ‘free speech’ is a tricky path to navigate — when does freedom of expression cross the line to be deemed insensitive? Consequently, does the freedom to say what one thinks mean a freedom from responsible and considerate speech? While some quarters applaud Yee’s bravado for making remarks that many are afraid to give, others disapprove of his inflammatory and ill-timed comments. But responsible speech also applies to those criticising Yee. The witch-hunt that ensued was equally uncalled for. Some netizens denigrated his family, accusing them of not inculcating the right values in him. However, netizens’ exceedingly negative comments aimed at retribution are not unfamiliar — remember the Sim Lim Square incident? Considering the plethora of viewpoints online, it serves to remember that two wrongs never ever make a right. Perhaps the way forward is to examine why Yee made the comments rather than dwell on what is already done. It would take a great deal of patience by our society to lead by example and guide individuals like Yee towards behaving in a more sociallyacceptable manner.





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


CHINESE EDITORS Chong Yoke Ming Kiew Zhen Yi


SPORTS EDITORS Matthew Mohan Nur Amyraa



Shaun Tan Toh Ting Wei




Chelsea Tang Fabian Loo

REVIEWS EDITOR Ernest Chin Jared Alex Tan

PHOTO EDITORS Alicia Goh Hillary Tan VIDEO SUPERVISORS Nerissa Tiong

Trisha Lim

Zailani Ismail

Jenny Yu

BUSINESS MANAGERS 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)

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frankly, my dear

A column by Chronicle Editors on issues close to their hearts

Not mixed up

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Taking pride in being biracial allows one to enjoy and learn about different cultures.

Matthew Mohan Sports Editor


rom a young age, I have never had any problems with my racial identity. But, as I was born into a family with an Indian father and a Chinese mother, things for me have always differed slightly from the norm. During Chinese New Year, I toss yusheng (raw fish salad) with gusto and shout “yam seng” vociferously when I toast to good fortune. At the same time, I also indulge in the odd Tamil movie marathons on Vasantham and stuff my face with murukku (a savoury Indian snack) during Deepavali. This may seem like I enjoy the best of both worlds. However, choices, and subsequently, sacrifices have had to be made. In primary school, my father allowed me to decide between taking Tamil or Mandarin as my second language. And as any reasonable six-yearold would, I chose the language that appeared simpler. Written Mandarin, with all its characters and strokes, seemed a smidgen easier than the cursive and somewhat confusing Tamil script. To round off some truly intuitive thinking, since schools called the subject ‘Mother Tongue’, it literally meant just that to me. If my mother’s tongue ‘was’ Chinese, Mandarin my choice would be. My decision at that young age turned out to have a significant

impact on my life. I studied Mandarin up to my GCE ‘A’ Levels and enjoyed an education that has placed strong emphasis on my mother tongue. In secondary school, I learnt to appreciate aspects of Chinese culture, studied calligraphy and sang my school song in Mandarin. On the other hand, I cannot speak more than twenty words of Tamil — I am left grasping at straws when my relatives converse in rapid-fire Tamil. Or Tamil at any speed, for that matter. Clearly, this has shaped who I am today — an Indian who speaks Mandarin. And I am comfortable with that. There are others, however, who are not. My Mandarin teacher in secondary school forced me to adopt a Chinese name for the sake of Mother Tongue lessons. The fact that I told her I didn’t want one didn’t matter — there was an itching need for her to define who I was by a Chinese moniker. When I told her that my father hadn’t given me a Chinese name because he hadn’t given me a Tamil name either, she didn’t seem to understand. She couldn’t come to terms with the idea of someone learning Mandarin without a Chinese name. I was then bestowed the name of Mo Han for two years. I never had the heart to tell her that it was my father’s name, not mine. Thankfully, this happened more than five years ago, and she seems to be among the minority in Singapore who find it difficult to understand the nuances of having a mixed-race origin. Our society has not only become more accepting of mixed marriages; it now recognises those with atypical ethnic lineages.


In 2011, the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority implemented the “registration of double-barrelled race options for Singaporean children born to parents of different races”. While this may seem like a mere paper formality to many, I remember being elated at the news. It felt as if my biracial heritage was finally being recognised. This could also have been due to the fact that ‘Indian-Chinese’ sounded a lot cooler than ‘Indian’. With my own insights about my ethnic heritage being a significant part of my identity, it is worrying to note that many others in Singapore do not feel the same way. Although the majority of Singapore’s population come from families of single ethnic descent, I notice that many, however, seem to be forgetting their ethnic roots. They are more comfortable relying only on English, and have lost spoken proficiency in their mother tongue. Perhaps, in this day and age, some might see being progressive as ditching one’s ethnic identity and language. Personally, I grow more aware of the ideals and values of both races each time I interact with my extended family, and reflecting on the contrasting cultures has made me more conscious of my unique cultural heritage. I count being born into a mixed family one of my biggest blessings in life. But it remains one of my biggest regrets to this day that I did not take up Tamil as a third language. Ultimately, regardless of how I look or what I speak, I am proud of who I am, and I hope that others too will someday appreciate themselves for who they are — whether mixed or not.






canteen talk

Influencer influenza

Recent accusations of an online smear campaign by telco Singtel has put advertising ethics in the spotlight. The Nanyang Chronicle asks students to share their views on the role of social media influencers in the realm of marketing.

I think social media is a good way of advertising and sharing information, but perhaps not for facilitating direct sales. Joan Chen, 23, MAE, Year 4

INSTA FAMOUS: Influencers may lie about their true intentions for the interest of marketers.

Annabel Tan


dvertorial, sponsored post and paid review — these labels are disclaimers often used by social media influencers, such as bloggers, to let readers know that an opinion or review was published in exchange for monetary payment. As the term suggests, social media influencers (also referred to simply as ‘influencers’) are people who have considerable reach online, and can hence influence the opinions and behaviour of others. They are seen as more relatable than the A-listers but still have a substantial following. Today, influencer advertising is all the rage because it generates significant word-of-mouth ripple effects for marketers. Discovering this pocket of untapped potential has led to a growth in the influencer advertising industry over the last few years. The number of followers an influencer has on his or her social media account strongly correlates to his or her advertising power. Companies marketing products leverage on the fact that consumers follow personalities, especially on social media, because they are able to relate to their lifestyles or views. In turn, individuals are more likely to trust the influencer’s opinion of a product or service.

Losing faith

But what happens when this trust is broken? Issues on ethical advertising have recently been at the core of spats in the industry. A key instance is the incident between popular blogger Wendy Cheng, better known as Xiaxue, and social media agency Gushcloud. In the latest instalment of the ongoing drama, Xiaxue leaked an email brief on her blog, alleging that Gushcloud had instructed their influencers to complain about rival telcos to promote a youth mobile plan by Singtel. One influencer, Eunice Lim (better known as Eunice Annabel), who saw her Instagram follower count fall to 150,000 after the incident, had explicitly stated that the com-

plaints she tweeted, while participating in the Singtel campaign, were “not an ad”. When consumers found out, many stopped following her and left hate comments on her social media accounts. If companies and influencers abuse social media marketing, trust in the entire trade may diminish, collapsing the industry before it reaches its peak. It is precisely because of the online advertising industry’s potential reach, that regulation becomes exponentially more important. It is crucial to look at the reason why consumers trust these influencers in order to create effective, wholesome and well-rounded regulatory frameworks. Although the relatability of these influencers to their followers is important in explaining consumers' trust, perhaps the market for social media advertising is still a rather naïve one.

Being media literate

This incident has also highlighted the need for media literacy — trust can only be broken if one puts too much of it in the superficial advertising industry. Instead of placing responsibility only on influencers and advertisers, consumers should learn to be more critical and discerning with regard to posts by popular influencers. It should be recognised that many influencers, especially the high-profile ones, make a living from advertisements and are hence bound by contract to do as media planners say. Consumers have had little or no prior exposure to such forms of advertising as it is a relatively new phenomenon. As a result, media literacy in this area is still largely in its infancy. Hence, stricter regulations may be necessary to guide its growth at this juncture. For an example of how strict regulations can work for advertisements on up-and-coming social media websites, we can look to the UK, where regulating authorities seem to be stricter and more decisive. In November last year, the UK


Advertising Standards of Authority banned videos uploaded by a couple of British YouTubers for an Oreo campaign. The videos did not obviously appear to be advertisements as they were stylistically similar to the typical ones uploaded by the pair. However, Gushcloud and their influencers have yet to face consequences for the smear campaign and ad-masking stints. This could be due to the lack of regulation in the industry here. Although the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice states that all advertisements should be “legal, decent, honest and truthful”, the onus is on companies to adhere to the rules. Also, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) does not have any regulatory oversight on agencies such as Gushcloud or individual influencers due to the industry's self-regulating nature. ASAS can merely refer the cases to the Consumers Association of Singapore when the code is broken, who may then address the issue.

Two-way street

ASAS recently announced it is working with key industry players and media companies to draft its first set of advertising guidelines for social media. It will take the input of all stakeholders to draw up regulations as it will impact the whole local media industry, including consumers. Until this framework is in place, it would be wise to operate based on the concept of reciprocity. Influencers should remember that their popularity is often due to their relatability and ability to provide their common man's two cents on everyday topics. However, learning to assess and evaluate the trustworthiness of content in the media that one consumes is more important than heaping endless criticisms on influencers who have admitted to making poor choices. Without trust, influencers will lose their treasured influence. However, whether we choose to put our trust in influencers we look up to is a decision we must all make for ourselves.

We should be able to accept views different from our own and not merely have blind loyalty to these influencers. Suhaidah Yusof, 26, NIE, Year 2

Perhaps for many influencers, what started out as a hobby is now their job. They are earning a living in a cut-throat world. Ang Choong Hwee, 26, EEE, Year 3

I think it is necessary for sponsored posts to be declared as such. It’s unethical not to let viewers know that the influencers were paid to promote products. Charis Choo, 19, WKWSCI, Year 1

I only consider what influencers say to be opinions, and they hold less weight compared to that of someone I know personally. S Shiva, 23, HSS, Year 1






10 CHRONICLE sportstalk


A new sporting challenge Interested in the variety of sports electives offered by the School of Sports Science and Management and want to find out more? Sports Writers Tan Zhuan Liang, Lim Wei Hao, Neo Jie Yao and Sports Editor Nur Amyraa share their experiences from some of these courses.



magine my delight when I received a notification that I had been allocated the Floorball module. Amid a busy semester, the module offered me a muchneeded reprieve, and a chance to reacquaint myself with the sport I had lost touch with for a couple of years. Right from the first lesson, our coach, Mr Wan Rizal, warned us of the rigours of this particular module, given the intensive nature of the sport. He further joked that everyone could expect to lose some weight following the end of this module.


A year ago, I decided to drop the Hockey module after attending my first session. Although it does not require any prerequisites, the students in the class seemed clearly experienced, given their skilful and comfortable handling of the ball, which they displayed in the few drills we did. Daunted, I chickened out. But this semester, I was allocated


SLOTS for sports modules are highly coveted, and the Soccer elective has always been oversubscribed. Word has it that it is tougher for a freshman to be allocated a sports module as compared to final-year students. Yet somehow, I found myself allocated a slot in one of the classes as a freshman this semester. There is a wide disparity of skills between some individuals. However, all that is required is pure determination and hard work. During the individual technical


AFTER four semesters of futile applications, I was finally accepted into the Badminton module during my special term in May last year. At first glance, it looked intensive, with the six consecutive tri-weekly trainings. The class consisted of badminton enthusiasts with differing levels of experience — ranging from greenhorns to ex-school representatives. Despite the skill disparities, the class dynamics were fantastic as


the module for the second time after being on the waitlist for only two days. Although I was greeted with different faces, I encountered the same old situation — there were still many experienced students. However, I decided to stick around despite my being intimidated by the more experienced players. That decision seems to have paid off. I have gotten more acquainted with the nature of the tactical game, learning how to switch up my plays and create space for my tests, many could successfully manoeuvre with the ball and execute the tricks with ease. Much of the credit goes to the coach, Mr Rameshpal Singh, who had been patient throughout. Yet, it is important to exercise caution, especially during the weekly 11-a-side game which is held at the end of every class to give students exposure to a real game. Although an overzealous attitude might bring out the best in you, this could result in injuries, as Mr Singh warned us. Moreover, the class is made up of both genders and the physicality of

everyone mingled during training drills. The conducive learning environment was fostered well by the coach, Mr Ng Kean Mun, a former national pole vault record holder. He monitored each student’s progress weekly and provided us with tips on how we could improve. Eventually players who persevered and showed diligence throughout the trainings improved tremendously. There were also practical tests and mini-tournaments (singles and doubles) towards the closing weeks to gauge each student’s progress.

In a span of three months, you will be able to master the basic skills and knowledge of hockey. teammates in a short time. I even had a lot of fun in the process. This has largely been due to a dedicated coach. For the past few semesters, the man in charge has been Mr Nordin Manaff, currently the coach of

I definitely did! Certain training drills required non-stop running, which involved passing and receiving the ball while on the move, a crucial skill set in floorball. In addition, we had to practise shooting while dribbling. Sprinting up and down the courts was also a given when we practised transition plays. Having played floorball for Meridian Junior College previously, I felt that the training sessions for this module were not as complex as I thought them to be. However, the intensity is comparable to what I had experienced back in junior college. Despite the competitive minitournaments held during the end of every session, everyone still has

considerable fun. The only downside of the module is the exhausting nature of the sport. I often find myself struggling to stay awake and focused in my lectures afterwards. I would still recommend this module to everyone as the learning curve is not as steep as one may think. It could serve as your preperation for the annual National Service Individual Physical Proficiency Test or simply a fun way for those looking to get in shape. Word of advice though — try not to schedule any lessons after the session!

Millennia Institute (MI) and Victoria Junior College women’s hockey teams. Not only is he encouraging, he also takes the initiative to set up friendlies among his teams, giving beginners a better sense of the game. A few weeks ago, we had a match with his MI team, which ended in a goalless draw. For anyone looking to try out a new sport, I strongly recommend this module. In a span of three months, you

will be able to master the basic skills and knowledge of hockey. However, stamina is key in this sport, given the distances you have to run on the pitch. It might be tough catching your breath after the mini games in class. But of course, you will not be disappointed with the jokes Coach Nordin cracks every now and again, and the entertaining learning atmosphere he creates.

- Neo Jie Yao

- Nur Amyraa it is understandably toned down. Over time, my skills improved and I have gathered a fair amount of technical knowledge through the theory component. That being said, I would recommend this module for anyone — experienced or not — to give it a shot. Personally, I find it a joy that I’m able to do something I love as an actual module. All you really need is an interest in football and you’ll definitely have a field day.

CHALLENGING FOR POSSESSION: Two students fight to win the ball.

Eventually, players who persevered and showed diligence throughout the trainings improved tremendously. The technical assessments on the execution of various shots were not easy despite my past experience as a player in Bedok North Secondary School, given my self-imposed pressure to succeed. However, the assessments were


useful in highlighting our areas of weakness, eventually spurring us to improve further. In one of the tournaments, I was paired with a weaker player. We faced different opponents who adopted different gameplays, leaving us to immediately change our game plan whenever we conceded consecutive points. In the process, we discussed the various tactics we learnt in class. From this, I learnt the importance of adapting to the pace and tactical play of the game quickly. In retrospect, I believe everyone improved over the six weeks and

- Lim Wei


the mini-tournaments provided a fun yet realistic assessment for the students. One drawback of the module is that it requires plenty of selfdiscipline. Training on different moves and footwork out of the usual lessons is also a must should you wish to see an improvement. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend this module as it pushes you physically, tests your reflexes and makes you more agile.

- Tan Zhuan Liang

34-35 SPORTS


In the last edition of the semester, the Sports Desk looks not only at some of the best and worst, but also the funniest and most heart-warming gestures from various athletes in the sporting scene over the past 12 months.




Novak Djokovic (Tennis)

Safuwan Baharudin (Soccer)


he 23-year-old not only earned a contract with A-League Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC), but has also gone on to excel in Australia. While he primarily plays as a defender, he functions just as impressively as a midfielder, fullback and striker. To date, he has already notched two goals for MCFC. MCFC’s head coach John van ’t Schip commented that “Safuwan is a mobile defender who is calm and composed on the ball, and makes quick and good decisions”, while British columnist Neil Humphreys called him “an evangelist selling Singapore football”. A true Singapore son.

OUT of the 15 singles tournaments he played in 2014, Novak Djokovic won an impressive seven. He also took home his seventh Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July, taking out Roger Federer. Beyond his tennis prowess, he also displays great sportsmanship. During a face-off with Radek Štepánek in Wimbledon, Djokovic alerted the umpire of a mistake in judgment, giving away a crucial game point to his opponent. Despite that disadvantage, he went on to win the game and the tournament — as well as a place in many of our hearts.

SURPRISE OF THE SEASON Kei Nishikori beat Novak Djokovic (Tennis)

THERE is always a first for everything. In September last year, world number five Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese — since Ichiya Kumagae’s semifinal finish in 1918 — to win a spot in the US Open finals after beating Djokovic. Although Djokovic seemed to make a comeback with a convincing 6-1 win in the second set after having lost his first, Nishikori firmly held his ground in the third set. Nishikori then went on to honour his country with a 6-3 victory in the final set. This was in spite of a toe injury Nishikori had been struggling with since July 2014. The gruelling semi-final eventually ended in the Japanese’ favour with a score of 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.


Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson (Soccer) BESIDES filling the backline of the Manchester United defence, Phil Jones is “the man with many faces”. Just google his name and you’ll be in for a good laugh. But on 22 Mar, Jones was not only inspired by the team’s performance in the 2-1 victory against Liverpool but also by the classic hit Titanic. In an aerial challenge for the ball against Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, Jones perfectly replicated the iconic scene from the movie. However, Jones certainly needs a few more lessons from Leonardo DiCaprio on how to look the part.


Robert Kidiaba (Soccer) FOLLOWING his team’s excellent comeback against rivals Congo in the African Cup of Nations quarterfinals, the eccentric DR Congo goalkeeper broke into his shuffle celebration dance. WATCH: watch?v=Ogaft-ZGy0w






José Mourinho (Soccer)

“I think there are four moments of the game where you can write “I took the opportunity to take a selfie with myself at the Grevin

the story of the game: minute 30, minute 33, minute 43 and Museum in Paris. The one to the right is made of wax and the one to minute 69. I repeat for you, I make it easy for you: minute 30, 33, the left is made of steel.” 43 and 69. The game had four moments. Don’t ask me more questions because I won’t answer.”



THE national bowler was crowned Sportswoman of the Year at the 2014 Singapore Sports Awards — but the award was merely a balm for narrowly losing her crown to New Hui Fen at the 47th Singapore Open just hours before. Still, she accepted her defeat with grace, staying on form en route to the Incheon Asian Games. There, Ng, New along with Jazreel Tan and Cherie Tan combined to perfection and brought home a prized gold medal in the women’s team event, beating rivals South Korea by 71 pinfalls.

THIS was a FIFA World Cup team dubbed “unlucky” by football critics after losing their star forward and choice defender before their fourth outing at the tournament. The team failed to progress past the group stages in 2006 and then failed to qualify in 2010. Still, the much-ignored younger sibling overshadowed by football heavyweights Uruguay, England and Italy in their “group of death” had the last laugh, suffering no losses and emerging tops. It took third-placed Netherlands and a last-gasp penalty shootout to end their quarter-final run.

Shayna Ng (Bowling)

Costa Rica

COMEBACK OF THE SEASON Houston Cougars (American Football)

BIGGEST FAIL Nick Young (Basketball)

THE LA Lakers shooting guard wins this one for celebrating a three-pointer that did not go in against the New York Knicks. Young turned away in celebration — his arms raised in victory. WATCH: watch?v=JG_wClmLUh8

DURING this college football encounter between the Houston Cougars and the Pittsburgh Panthers, the Houston Cougars trailed by 31-6 with one remaining quarter to go. A lesser team would have bowed out and conceded the tie but just when everyone wrote them off, they roared back into contention, scoring an incredible 29 points in 14 minutes. The Panthers had no reply, as they were left speechless by the Cougars’ comeback. The tenacious Cougars went ahead with a minute left to go and by then, the Panthers were the team that was down and out. A spectacular show of resilience and a reminder that the game is never over till the final whistle goes.

BIGGEST UNDERACHIEVER Mario Balotelli (Soccer)

THE notorious Mario Balotelli has always had a reputation for running into trouble. Super Mario — as he is affectionately known — has hardly found form since his move from AC Milan. Out of 25 appearances for Liverpool, he has only scored a miserly four goals. Granted that he required an adjustment period due to the new environment, a player of his quality should be performing much better. That being said, we have seen some improvements in terms of tracking back and controlling that foul temper of his — with literally the help of the fans. Mario needed to be restrained by fans from an altercation with Chris Smalling after the two clashed in Liverpool’s 1-2 defeat to rivals Manchester United. Here’s to hoping for a better 2015/2016 season for Mario in the Barclays Premier League — if he still wears the red of Anfield, that is.


Winners and losers — Pages 34-35

Goals of the season

As the 2014/2015 season comes to an end, we reflect on yet another year filled with wonderful goals. Hard-pressed to choose a top three? No fear, for here is our selection of the top trio of goals from the Barclays Premier League, Spanish Premiera Liga (La Liga) and UEFA Champions League.

9 December 2014 — Aaron Ramsey vs Galatasaray


hen a goal leaves your teammates gobsmacked, you must be on to something good. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey now knows how that feels after his ridiculously sensational goal against Galatasaray — our pick for goal of the Champions League. As a headed clearance bounced towards him 28 yards from the Galatasaray goal, the Welshman twisted his body and struck the ball on the half-volley. The shot arrowed into the top right-hand corner of the Galatasaray goal and all hell broke loose. As the midfielder stood figuring out how to celebrate his phenomenal effort, teammate Yaya Sanogo stood open-mouthed for a good five seconds, while Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny walked over to congratulate Ramsey as the goalkeeper clasped his head in his hands. Manager Arsène Wenger described the goal as “absolutely unbelievable” and we are inclined to agree. Probably one of the best that the Champions League has ever seen, on the same level as Zinedine Zidane’s volley against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.


22 February 2015 — Philippe Coutinho vs Southampton OUR pick for the best goal in the Premier League thus far is from Liverpool’s mercurial magician Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho’s goal just about edges out Matthew Phillips’ scintillating strike against Crystal Palace and Graziano Pelle’s excellent bicycle kick against Queens Park Rangers. The Brazilian is having a season to remember and has been one of the key men for the Merseysiders with his scorcher against Southampton the icing on the cake. Picking up a pass from Lazar Markovic, there seemed to be no imminent danger for the Southampton backline who stood off the midfielder. But they were in for a rude shock. Coutinho took a touch and, without warning, curled a screamer past goalkeeper Fraser Forster that glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net. As Coutinho celebrated his wonder strike, the crowd at St Mary were stunned into silence. So were we. Not only was the strike a sublime one, it was also of vital importance as the win moved Liverpool within two points of a Champions League spot, and now keeps the hope of a top four finish alive. Spectacular? Check. Important? Check. Goal of the season? Quite possibly.


4 October 2014 — Saúl Berjón vs Levante CRISTIANO Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may be sweeping the accolades and toppping the scoring charts in the Spanish La Liga, but the award for goal of the season eludes them. This surely goes to Eibar forward Saúl Berjón for his volley against Levante, who narrowly beats Columbian James Rodriguez’s volleyed goal against Grenada. While Berjón’s goalscoring record hasn’t been that great, only notching three goals in 25 appearances for Eibar, this strike is certaintly one that will be remembered for a long time to come. With his team trailing 2-1 to strugglers Levante, Berjón popped up with an excellent goal in the 70th minute. As the free-kick drifted in from the left-hand side of the pitch, the forward met the ball with a sumptuous volley from outside the box. Berjón’s strike — reminiscent of past efforts from ex-Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes — flew past the Levante goalkeeper and almost broke the net on its way. Eibar went on to draw the match 3-3 after a 90th minute equaliser and clinch a valuable point to bolster their survival hopes. But the winner remained Saúl Berjón. There are good volleys and great volleys; Berjón’s certainly belongs to the latter category.



The Nanyang Chronicle Vol 21 Issue 10  
The Nanyang Chronicle Vol 21 Issue 10