Category: Heartlands

SKW Live – Be A Star… Why I Love My Grassroots!

By , April 28, 2013 2:54 am

Source: Aussie Pete

Well I can certainly tell you, dear reader – life is about as busy as it gets right now!!

 

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Don’t misunderstand me – I am not complaining, just perhaps making excuses why I’m so far behind with my blogging. When you mix a very busy day job and career with outside activities such as press appearances and media interviews, along with the wonderful time I spend coordinating the family around their various hobbies and interests and of course, my commitments to GRL (Grassroots Leader) community activities, I reckon it’s very lucky that I can survive with only a handful of hours sleep every night. 🙂

Coming off back-to-back weekends where I spent some time with the Singapore Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong – firstly at the AMK Task Force Work Plan Seminar held at ITE College Central Campus and last Saturday on my home turf in Fernvale (story time with the kids) – I was fortunate enough to be reminded once again of why it is that I love my involvement in Grassroots.

Story time with PM Lee Hsieng and MP Dr Lam Pin Min and the boys at Fernvale

Story time with PM Lee Hsieng and MP Dr Lam Pin Min and the boys at Fernvale

You see, last Saturday evening I was invited to take on a new persona – the choice would be mine… the ‘evil’ Simon Cowell or the more pleasant Randy Jackson. I think I opted more for the latter, as I participated as a guest judge in the grand final of the ‘Sengkang West Live – Be A Star’ competition.

The serious (and not so serious) judging panel

The serious (and not so serious) judging panel

The serious (and not so serious) judging panel

The serious (and not so serious) judging panel

The competition, which has been months in the making, culminated with this huge event held at the Anchorvale Community Club MPH. Organized by the Sengang West YEC (youth executive committee), eleven finalists took the stage one final time in an attempt to be crowned the ‘SKW Live Star’.

Prior to the event, I really didn’t know what to expect – but I really must say now that the level of young talent in our local community is astounding! Every single performer put on a real show, and in a way, I wish that each of them could have been awarded first place.

Having said that, a young lady by the name of Cheryl came on stage and clearly blew everyone in the audience away (including myself) with that difficult to describe thing called the ‘X-factor’. Judging was based on certain criteria – tone, pitch, overall talent, stage presence, presentation, interpretation (I’m elaborating a little on the what was on the scoresheet, but you get what I mean).

The Winner

The Winner

 

This winner had it all – in my comments and feedback, for one of those very rare moments I was lost for words. The remarks I did make began with a ‘Wow’! Quite literally, the ballad component of her act left me shivering with goosebumps, followed by a desire to stand on my chair and dance as she leapt into a very upbeat performance which even included a rap… Like I said, ‘Wow’!

The audience was extremely appreciative with people dancing, whistling, screaming, clapping – during the performance.

The Winner

The Winner

I am so glad and honoured to have been asked (along with Peter Leow and three other professional judges) to represent Sengkang West Grassroots organizations as a guest judge, and even happier to have witnessed all of this young talent.

In true Singapore style, there was a broad mix of cultures on display – along with the English perorming acts, we were treated to a very diverse range – from ballads sung in mandarin to what I could only describe as a ‘Bollywood style’ song in Tamil… once again, inspiring the urge to get up and dance.

I was given an appreciation award for this privelege (completely unnecessary but very grateful)

I was given an appreciation award for this privelege (completely unnecessary but very grateful)

 

Let me tell you – Life is good here on the red dot!!

Congratulations for a job well done to the YEC organizing committee

Congratulations for a job well done to the YEC organizing committee

All the judges and performers together

All the judges and performers together

Finally, some of the young crowd 'going off'

Finally, some of the young crowd 'going off'

[VIEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE ‘SENGKANG WEST LIVE – BE A STAR’ COMPETITION] 
(All images courtesy of Raymond Lee)

Kindergarten Marching Band or Rehearsal for National Service?

By , October 16, 2012 11:56 pm

Source: Aussie Pete

One of my mates that watched the video below commented that Jaime was very well-rehearsed in his debut in front of a large crowd and obviously knew exactly what he was doing… I agree completely, and this was as a result of months of practice and dedication.

He then went on to say that the marching band reminded him of the structured marching at Singapore’s annual National Day Parade and suggested that perhaps Jaime was being primed for his future in National Service  🙂

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I kind of doubt that, but it was wonderful to watch and when the crowd screamed in appreciaton at the end of each segment, I was filled with an uncanny sense of pride. Later, Jaime told me that he was extremely excited and amazed when he marched out to see so many people watching.

The performance was part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 “Singapore Kinderland Sports Fiesta” held at the Toa Payoh Indoor Stadium.

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The day itself was themed around, “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s about having fun” – and this was reinforced by the fact that every single child received a gold medal at the end of the event.

Kudos to the organizers and well done to the kindergarten staff members who went above and beyond their duties as school teachers to make this day a memorable one for all.

Casey also had a great day watching his ‘ge ge’ and was also beaming with pride when he saw his efforts in the marching band – I think his voice was louder than the rest of the crowd combined.  🙂

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Although the day was never about winning, it was quite amusing to see how serious some of the parents took the family and parents events… Sammi’s team came first in the ‘Let’s move as a team’ event (a variation of the old three-legged race) and we combined with Jaime to be a part of the first placed team in the ‘We are a Happy Family’ segment.

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Somewhat disappointing was our efforts in the Yio Chu Kang Kinderland team for the ‘Tug-o-War’. If my back was not feeling old and sore before, this event just sought to remind me that I’m not as young and strong as I used to be… (of course I’m kidding – there was no disappointment – we had an absolute blast with our fellow parents)  🙂

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Watch the amazing Marching Band Video here (remember, these kids are only Kindergarten age):

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Again, thanks to Kinderland and the staff and volunteers. Special congratulations to the band master, Mr Victor Tan.

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Jaime had his own “End of day Gold Medal Celebrations”:

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Feeling Sexy and Patriotic at the Same Time – NDP 2012

By , August 3, 2012 11:11 pm

This August 9th, Singapore celebrates it’s 47th birthday.

So it’s time to get mobilized and do your patriotic duty! The marketing guys at Mentos have provided us with a ‘viral video’ and message to do just that (to be honest, how the mint making giant associates themselves with Singapore’s low birth rate and ageing population by promoting the ‘making of babies’ is quite beyond me – but what the heck, this video is absolute gold!)

I shared the clever rap called ‘National Night’ with many friends and colleagues today, but when I got some blank stares from some ang moh mates who didn’t get all the humour, it dawned on me that many of the references would probably be lost on them… Aside from the obvious ‘making babies’ message of course.

The fact that I found it hilarious (along with most of my local buddies), is I believe, attestation to my successful integration as a heartlander and Singaporean PR.

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Strangely, this affirmation is enough to make me feel proud and patriotic in my own way… as we do every year, we have our national flag displayed in the window of our HDB loungeroom, the mini flag is waving as we drive with it attached to our car window, and this year, I’ve even got a Singapore flag as an iPhone 4S cover!!

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On another note, for many years now, we have ballotted unsuccessfully for tickets to attend the National Day Parade (or NDP preview) at the bay… but this year it’s a different story!! Donning our red and white, we will be heading down tomorrow (4th July) to bask in the glory of the event preview. How exciting, right?

NDP Tickets

And who knows… once the fireworks are over and the kids are in bed, we may just do our own civic duty and create our own fireworks before the 9th August (if I’m lucky). But to be totally honest – ‘putting a bao in the oven’ is not on our agenda right now! 🙂

So sit back and enjoy the video – and for those who don’t get all the humour in it, I make no apologies – come and live in Singapore!

Finally, for those who don’t know the English meaning of the Malay words of the Singapore National Anthem, ‘Majulah Singapura’, I found this version online with English translation – goosebump worthy, or not!!?

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NB: The logo for this year’s NDP, is the ‘Orchid Star’ and the theme is ‘Loving Singapore, Our Home’!

Source: Aussie Pete

2012 Community Dialogue – Sengkang West to Grow 80% by 2015

By , July 9, 2012 1:31 am

As a Grassroots Leader, one of the highlights of the year, is the annual Community Dialogue Day. Aside from the regular local ‘meet the people’ sessions with Dr Lam Pin Min, the Dialogue Day offers the opportunity for residents to share their observations or concerns, ask questions and feedback on issues that affect the community as a whole.

Mr Benny Thio (PBM, Chairman CCMC), Dr Lam Pin Min (MP Sengkang West and Grassroots Advisor), Mr Raymond Chua (BBM(L), Chairman CCC), Mr Peter Breitkreutz (Grassroots Leader, CCMC Member)

Mr Benny Thio (PBM, Chairman CCMC), Dr Lam Pin Min (MP Sengkang West and Grassroots Advisor), Mr Raymond Chua (BBM(L), Chairman CCC), Mr Peter Breitkreutz (Grassroots Leader, CCMC Member)

Along with the local MP, Dr Lam, Mr Raymond Chua, BBM(L) (Chairman of the CCC) and Mr Benny Thio, PBM (Chairman of the CCMC – of which I am a member), the group of panelists also included representatives from LTA (Ms Margarita Loh) and the AMK Town Council (Mr Chris Goh).

Panelists

Panelists

The morning began on Sunday, 8th July at 9am, at which time breakfast was served and residents and Grassroots representatives from the various Sengkang West zones were offered the chance to network and engage informally.

By around 10am, the Anchorvale Community Club Multi-Purpose Hall was quite full, and the dialogue session commenced.

Dr Lam began with a short presentation of the various activities and events that have taken place over the previous 12-months, along with insights into the significant number of improvements, constructions and beneficial changes that have occurred, are currently being undertaken or are slated to begin, looking out through this year, into to 2013 and out to 2015 and even 2018.

Although I consider myself well versed and knowledgable in what ‘has’, ‘is’, and ‘will be’ taking place in my local community, I must say I was nothing less than amazed at the various things covered off in this presentation of which I was not aware.

For example, I have always described Sengkang West to friends, colleagues and readers of my blog, as ‘one of the fastest growing communities in Singapore’. If only I had truly understood the speed at which we are growing!!

I learned today, that Sengkang West will grow in size (population) by a staggering 80% by the year 2015!! That is a huge increase by anyone’s standards.

Of course, I have seen the new estates and blocks pop up over the last three years, have been aware of the massive improvements in public transport, increases in covered walkways, and witnessed the many upgrading activities. But not until today, did I understand how much was still yet to come.

The following is a listing of the HDB estates being built just in Fernvale (the west side of Sengkang West, and where our home is).

New and upcoming HDB estates in Fernvale

New and upcoming HDB estates in Sengkang West

This does not include those opening up in Anchorvale, the H2O residences (first private condo in the constituency), the upcoming EC in Fernvale Lane (opposite our block on the Fernvale side and opposite Greenwich V on the YCK Road side) and of course, the new schools on the way in 2013, the hospital that will be completed by around 2018, the new shopping mall being built on the vacant block next door to Fernvale Point (which will be 2/3 the size of Compass Point), and to accomodate all of this, the further planned improvements to public transport, and even new roads being built – including the current construction to move traffic off Jalan Kayu and on to a parallel ‘feeder’ to the TPE direct from Yio Chu Kang Road.

GET YOUR HEAD AROUND ALL OF THAT, MY FRIENDS!!

Two new schools opening in 2013

Two new schools opening in 2013

At the outset of the dialogue, it was made clear to all that the day would be better framed as a ‘sharing and feedback’ session than straight ‘dialogue’. Residents were encouraged to pose questions to the panel and to share their observations openly and candidly.

All credit to everyone in attendance… the ‘sharing’ and ‘openness’ was in fact just that! It lasted until around 12:30pm in the afternoon, at which time lunch was served.

It is fair to say, that it would be easy for such a session to easily turn out to be an opportunity for concerned or dissatisifed residents to air any grievances in perhaps a not so ‘healthy manner’… once again all kudos to those in attendance for civility and contructiveness!

Among the issues raised and the questions posed, were concerns of a (new to SW) ‘working mother’ with child care opportunities in the area, school enrolments and inefficiency of transportation.

Also, a non-working mother asking about subsidies; Residents seeking clarification on the GST credit program; questions surrounding CCTV in elevators and how to curb bicycle theft in particular estates; how one local high school will be cutting Tamil and Malay classes in 2013 and another local primary school leaving the exhaust fans on in their kitchen areas late at night causing enough noise that some residents have lost valuable sleep – All of which were answered well by Dr Lam and the panel and with an intimate amount of knowledge. For a couple of items, clarification will be sought by the appropriate departments / functions and the residents will be advised of the response and actions.

Quite a large number of residents of all ages were in attendance

Quite a large number of residents of all ages were in attendance

A couple of common themes surrounded transportation (notably the 163 bus service), and how the operators will cope with the huge increase in population by 2015, and health services (the three ‘M’s).

Nearer the end of the session, one gentleman hailing originally from Beijing and now a 10-year citizen of Singapore, put forward his concerns over many issues from over-crowded transportation and taxation thresholds to importing of foreign talent. All points were noted and very well answered and dealt with by the panel.

As well as gaining personal value and insights from the entire session, I was very glad to meet up and have some 1-on-1 time with residents that I already knew (surpringly, quite a large number), as well as quite a few I was meeting for the very first time.

Thani, Dr Lam, Sourajit and Pete

Thani, Dr Lam, Sourajit and Pete

Also encouraging, was the large number of attendees (in a non-election year) – it goes to show you how passionate this community of Sengkang West is. We may be growing at a huge rate of knots, but with the input and feedback of the people on the ground, Sengkang West will be able to pre-empt the waves before they hit the shore.

It is quite clear to me, that the constituency is already way ahead of the curve, and it makes me proud (as I have always said) to shout the catch phrase out loud – “Sengkang West – Our Home”!

Click here to view more photos from the Community Dialogue Day

Source: Aussie Pete

Breaking News: Australia Invades Singapore!

By , March 14, 2012 11:42 pm

aussiesoldiers2Any residents of Sengkang West (specifically in the Fernvale area) could be completely forgiven for thinking that our local area was being ‘invaded’ by Aussie Ang Mohs the Saturday before last!

In fact, it was a sight to behold – the infamous ‘Singapore Wombats’ Australian Rules football team had their first training session of the year, not at their home ground at Turf City, but rather they graced our presence on the open field opposite Fernvale Primary School.

Although it’s been a couple of seasons since I donned the footy boots and hit the paddock with the Wombats myself, I’m still on the mailing list and a fan of the Facebook page. There are quite a number of new (and younger) faces these days, but also a good many of the ‘old boys’ as well.

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My wife and my orthopedic surgeon have both banned me from playing this brilliant hard full contact sport (the 6-week stint with a numb arm and chronic back pain saw to that), but when I saw the email and Facebook update that training would be happening at Fernvale, I immediately pumped up the footy and got Jaime and Casey fired up for a run and kick.

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The locals might also have looked on in wonder as the football kicked around the park was oblong in shape as opposed to round, and that the players were constantly touching it with their hands – considering the field is most commonly used for soccer, the bewilderment would be understandable.

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It was great to catch up with my mates again – I was impressed to see them make the trek to the heartlands – and my own boys had a great time… it’s very obvious they’ve got ‘Aussie’ in their blood, displaying an uncanny ability and skill that seems to pass from generation to generation in my culture. 🙂

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I’m also impressed at how tough Casey’s head is – when the hard ball was kicked some 40-metres and landed smack in the middle of his noggin’, it bounced off again… knocked his hat to the ground, but he remained on his feet – cried for about 5 seconds and then laughed at the fact that his sunglasses remained intact.

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In all, I reckon that the boys thought they were at a fashion parade – a couple of the Wombats said they looked as though they were part of a K-Pop band – hats and glasses – but in fact, Jaime was worried about the heat and glare, and once he dons the cool shades his brother Casey always has to follow suit 🙂

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Footnote: Not long now until Jaime is old enough to join the Auskick (junior kids aussie rules footy) over here – hopefully I can get to sign him up next season!

Click here to view all photos in this set

[View Original Source]

How Foreigners Can Truly Integrate In Singapore Instead Of Just Mixing

By , December 14, 2011 1:49 am

Source: Aussie Pete

Regardless of which country you come from or where you live, one of the most satisfying ways of achieving self-fulfillment and personal growth and at the same time forging very tight and often unbreakable bonds with your neighbours and fellow local residents is through community volunteer work.

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In my case, as a foreigner settling into Singapore, it has also been a means to achieving a very deep level of integration in my heartland community. Not only have my local relationships developed from ones of ‘familiarity’ into those of ‘strong friendships’, as a Caucasian married to a beautiful Chinese wife with two absolutely adorable Eurasian children, I feel that although we may be considered a ‘minority’ (racially) in our local estate, we feel completely accepted by those around us. There is never any animosity and I have learned that the colour of my skin or country of heritage is of absolutely no consequence in my day to day interactions.

Sure, when we first moved to Singapore all those years ago, living in a condo in Woodlands, we were both scared and intimidated… we were not sure at all how we should go about integrating, earning and giving respect and gaining acceptance. For the first couple of years, we were certainly not doing a great job of it at all. In fact, we even took people staring as a sign of dislike toward us – when in reality, what we considered may be a ‘coolness’ from local Singaporeans at the time, was probably more due to inquisitiveness and curiosity.

Let me tell you for a fact… open your heart and lives with no pretense and you will surely find (as we have) that Singapore is one of the most warm and kindest societies on this planet.

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palogoAs a part of my collaboration with notatourist.sg, I wanted to reach out to fellow foreigners looking for ways to integrate and become accepted as part of their local community, by offering some brief guidance and key links on how they can offer their services through Grassroots volunteer work. (Please note, the following information is far from exhaustive, and I strongly encourage you to have a surf around the People’s Association website – link attached at the bottom of this article).

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As my role as a Grassroots Leader in Sengkang West, the past year has seen a very exciting range of activities and the number of new personal and family friendships are too many to count…. from working with Residents’ Committees on block parties, divisional activities and events (I even had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Lee at our Sengkang West Wellness Day) to the huge Halloween party we held at the CC in late October, for which I was co-chairman of the organizing committee. It’s been a huge year!!

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Specifically, although my main role is as a member of the Anchorvale CCMC (Community Club Management Committee), I often also work closely with my local Residents’ Committee on things even ‘closer to home’… in fact, I even patrol our estate with the local constabulary as part of the COP (citizens on patrol) – in collaboration with the police force, it is known as the ‘Neighbourhood Watch Zone’ program.

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For more information on what the CCMC does, click here. In summary, Community Club Management Committees (CCMCs) “help build, manage and maintain all our Community Clubs (CCs). CCs are the common meeting ground for residents from all walks of life by providing numerous recreational activities and learning opportunities. CCs also connect residents and the Government by providing relevant information and gathering feedback on national concerns and policies. Each CC serves about 15,000 households or an average of 50,000 people”.

Within our CCMC, are five executive committees – Senior Citizens’ EC, Women’s EC, Youth EC, Malay Activity EC, Indian Activity EC. Through this network, we “promote racial harmony and social cohesion through the various cultural, educational, recreational, sporting, social and other community-based activities organised specially for residents.”

The full list of organizations and committees available for volunteering can be found on the PA website, under the Grassroots Organization section.

To sign-up as a volunteer, simply go here and register your details and interests.

One of the most common questions I get asked on signing up as a volunteer, is “But I don’t live in a HDB estate, how can I get involved?”… Well fret not, dear friends – residents of private housing estates can still play their part by joining a Neighbourhood Committee.

Still in doubt or need extra advice, please feel free to reach out to me directly via email or comment.

I found the following ‘structure’ chart sometime ago on another blog which illustrates nicely, the various committees and how we come together:

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People’s Association Main Website – Click Here

We Love Singapore – For The Record

By , December 5, 2011 12:15 pm

http://www.aussiepete.com/2011/12/we-love-singapore-for-record.html

I am very saddened that I have no option but to pen a response to the increasing number of blog entries and forum posts popping up all over the place online in the last few days.

I wouldn’t like to suggest that some people seem to have too much time on their hands, but why someone feels it is important enough to research my blog and other articles to try and discredit me or my motivations for living in Singapore or becoming PR is totally beyond me.

Anyway, to set the record straight, I wanted to put forward my position on a few items and just move on (I’m not interested in getting into flame wars with online trolls).

DECISION TO BECOME PERMANENT RESIDENT

Regardless of the quotes taken out of context from an article written on my blog some 3-years+ ago, our decision for becoming PR was not for the sole intention of buying a resale HDB flat. We have become PRs because we love Singapore, it is our home, and we had made a ‘pact’ even prior to relocating here many years ago that if we were to really integrate into the local community, we wanted to do it ‘boots and all’ – moving to a foreign country is no menial task – it takes much courage and planning. Our first attempt to achieve this, was by moving to Woodlands (as opposed to doing the stereotypical expat thing and surrounding ourselves with other foreigners).

When I penned the article all those years ago about beating the increasing rental market by purchasing a property here, I was highlighting the fact that rent money is ‘dead money’ and to invest in ourselves as opposed to lining our landlord’s pocket was an easy decision – this would be applicable no matter which country we were living.

Living in a condo was just not doing it for us – we still felt like we were on an extended business trip and did not feel at home… almost like we were shutting ourselves in, so we decided to go down the HDB resale flat path, as this gave us the opportunity to meet more locals and to potentially give back to the community in which we so dearly wanted to integrate.

This has worked for us – our best friends are our neighbours. We gladly and proudly actively participate in the community, and I am extremely active in the local grassroots in Sengkang West – spending most weekends and many weeknights on such activities.

We have no secrets or ulterior motives. Singapore is our home and we are proud and feel very blessed that we have been so welcomed into our neighbourhood and community! I make absolutely no apologies for this.

In no way have we mocked any system as a few people seem to be insinuating in these forums.

NATIONAL SERVICE FOR OUR BOYS

Another issue that seems to be a topic for these forum trolls, is around a comment I made in an interview (also more than 3 years ago). I suggested at the time, that I felt it a disadvantage of becoming a PR that our boys (both born here) would be liable for National Service.

On this issue, through my local mates and close friends, I have come to learn more about the process and what NS entails. These days, I do not actually feel it is a disadvantage. I have grown to believe that along with our children playing their part in their birth-country’s obligations, NS has shown to instill a discipline and sense of pride that would be difficult to attain through other means. I am therefore supportive of this requirement for male children of permanent residents.

CITIZENSHIP

The colour of my passport seems to be a giant bug-bear for a small cross-section of people. In a recent interview with the Straits Times, I stated that although I had thought about SG citizenship, ‘at this juncture’ I was not ready to give up my Aussie passport (while there is no opportunity for dual citizenship).

This has lead to much speculation as to my motivation and reasoning. Quite frankly, this is a very personal decision and not one to be taken lightly – in my culture, to give up one’s citizenship is akin to turning one’s back on their heritage and even their family. Just as I respect and totally accept other cultures around me, I would have hoped that my culture and upbringing would at least be tolerated.

This is my reasoning and it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I one day intend to return to Australia (which is not even in our thoughts right now), nor is it so that I could rort or mock any system or process.

MY INCOME

I have worked very hard to become successful in my career (over decades). This has been at the sacrifice of my personal leisure and my family time. Along with long, hard hours, I spend much time volunteering in the community. How much I earn as a result of my professional endeavours is absolutely nobody’s business and has no bearing on my love for Singapore or our decision to live in a HDB estate.

Thanks for reading – I hope this clears the air somewhat.

It is important to note, that we LOVE our home – Singapore! We are happy and blessed to be here and we will continue to integrate and assist others to integrate into the local community. We have no other  intention right now, but to remain here, and perhaps one day (as the years move forward) we will take the next step towards Singapore citizenship. In the meantime, please accept our good intentions and respect our wish to be good neighbours and friends.

Cheers, 

Pete

Community Bonding in the Heartlands

By , November 2, 2011 10:27 pm

Just a very quick article to applaud the hard work of a group of very focussed and talented young Singapore Polytechnic students. Also to thank all the rest of the volunteers – grassroots people (CCMC, RC and Sub-Committees) and all of the other student helpers.

The atmosphere was electric

The atmosphere was electric

The ‘2011 Halloween Spooktacular’ at the Anchorvale Community Club at Sengkang West took place on Saturday night (29th October) and featured the first ever ‘Heartlands Halloween Haunted House’.

To say the event was a resounding success would actually be an understatement! Just a few short weeks ago, we were getting worried that we had only sold just over 300 tickets for the night. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and we had to put a freeze on ticket sales (around 1,070 sold) or we would have risked not having enough goodie bags.

An early arrival in costume

An early arrival in costume

The event was due to start at 7:30pm, but by 6:30pm – while it was still daylight – the first of the residents began showing up. This enthusiasm and excitement continued into the evening. With other walk-ins, the number of attendees was well in excess of what we ever could have imagined. By 8:00pm, the plaza area was completely full of people and the queue to get into the haunted house at the multi-purpose hall was already stretching as far as the eye could see.

Jack-O-Lantern Decoration competition

Jack-O-Lantern Decoration competition

If attendance alone was not enough, the atmosphere was just electric. I’m guessing almost half of the residents came in costume, some of which must have taken hours (if not days) to prepare… and everywhere you looked, there were people bonding, laughing and having a general ‘blast’ of a time.

Winner of the best dressed competition

Winner of the best dressed competition

The demographic of the crowd was also very interesting – everyone from the young families – parents and children, senior citizens and of course, the young adults… teenagers and early 20’s. It really was a complete cross-section of our close-knit community in Sengkang West… In my Grassroots leadership role, I couldn’t help feeling quite proud and excited as one of the key organizers of perhaps the most successful and fun event ever in our constituency!

Absolutely – this was Community bonding at it’s best!

Congratulations to everyone involved…

Click here to see hundreds of pictures from the event

The picture below, is my family with the Guest of Honour, Dr Lam Pin Min (yes, I’m the one in the mask – quite an improvement to my everyday look, right?):

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A Sea of People

A Sea of People

Putting on a brave face in front of a very frightening Snow White in the Haunted House

Putting on a brave face in front of a very frightening Snow White in the Haunted House

Source: Aussie Pete

A Beautiful Sunny Day In Sengkang West – Happy Birthday!

By , May 15, 2011 2:32 am

On 8th May, 2011 (day after the general election), Sengkang West celebrated its 5th anniversary with our Community Day. Nearly 3,000 residents braved the hottest weekend of the year, to attend the celebrations.


As usual, with any community event, and especially one of this magnitude, so many volunteers came out early to prepare for the day. Given the late evening before (it was around 4am before any of us got any sleep after the excitement of the general election vote counting), it was a mighty effort from all concerned, and given the timing, was not without logistical challenges in the days leading up to the event…

From Mickey (who is pictured here below with his kick-start of a double-shot of coffee, and who also happens to be my co-chairperson for what could just well be the hugest community event for 2011, which will be happening this October – big secret right now, but keep your eye out for the announcement as the date gets closer), the PCF, RC and CCMC members and groups, to our guest-of-honour, Dr Lam Pin Min, who (after about 9 days of campaigning), I suspect had very little sleep at all after being re-elected as the Sengkang West MP for the next 5-years. It was fantastic to see so many people cheering and congratulating him on the result – in my humble opinion, I think the citizens made a very good decision at the polling stations… if the reaction of the residents at the community day is anything to go on, Dr Lam is very popular indeed.


 

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WTH MOMENT!!

Before the event… preparations underway – it was a bit of a Mr Bean beginning for me – sweating and somewhat muscle-sore after spending a lot of time arranging around 400 chairs into position, while taking some pictures of the PCF teachers, the strong wind blew a large whiteboard into the air, only to land corner-first on the top of my head. The loud ‘bang’ was enough to draw the sympathy of everybody around, and many people came to my aid. Of course, wanting to always appear to be the tough man, although I was very embarrassed, I pretended it didn’t hurt at all… when no one was watching, I slinked off to the toilet to clean the gash on the top of my head and wash the blood from my hair – I still have a lump on my head today 🙁



As usual, I cannot post pictures of any of our community events without the mandatory ones of my kids looking cute:

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I had to include an image of the ‘Mountain’ of goodie bags that were prepared for the residents… the artwork for the bag design was created by ‘yours truly’… after much discussion and voting on a variety of designs, images and fonts that I offered up, we (the organizing committee) finally agreed on this one:



A beautiful sunny day in Sengkang West – looking back at our estate from Fernvale Point… not a cloud in the sky!!


Below are some more pictures from the day. I snapped around 600+, and it’s always difficult to pick the right few for my blog, so be sure to view the galleries by clicking the following links:

Sengkang West Community Day – Gallery 1
Sengkang West Community Day – Gallery 2
Sengkang West Community Day – Gallery 3

















 

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Source: Aussie Pete Legacy Blog

Born To Be A Leader

By , April 24, 2011 8:56 pm

Dr Lam Pin Min

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Source: Aussie Pete

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