Tuesday, July 24

Building up the base.

I have been spending the past 1 month or so re-building up my running base. I am careful not to over-exert, so I have been doing the same old route. From 36:25 mins a month plus ago, I managed to complete the same route under 30 mins this evening, through I got to say that I was pushing a bit hard just now. But nonetheless, it is a good improvement that I thought that it is about time to push a little more.

It's good that my pace and timing has improved over the month of consistent training. But as I run faster, the normal route isn't enough for me to burn my fats. Also I would need to start to raise my mileage slowly but surely so that I wouldn't be under-trained for my half marathon again. I got to go for a longer run. But it would meant that I got to run a bit slower so that I can last the duration and distance. At the same time, I didn't want to lose my speed.

So for the next 1 or 2 months, I would be alternating my workouts between endurance running when I would try to do 1 hour of running, and my usual same old route run to train up and maintain my speed. Once my muscles are more seasoned, and I can see a gradual increase that I can cover more distance within the time limit, then I would slowly consider if I should up my duration of my long run.

Sunday, July 22

Stronger and Better

It took me a really long time to finally start get going after those injuries. But things are looking good. Well it all started with my body mass index.

While this is not my first time that I have struggled with my body mass index, but this is my first time that I have serious problems cutting it down after the Taiwan experience. With that, came with the referral to the weight management centre at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. It wasn't because my BMI has reached the level to be referred but my body fat percentage is on a high side - 30 over percent, thus they did the referral. To be honest, I took the referral positive in some sense because it was high time to lose some weight, but then again if you are coming from the angle of a former competitive runner back in the school days or someone who used to be fit in the good old days, it is like a hammer blow.

What went wrong over the years?

There were a few combinations of reasons. My mental state of mind. I was constantly worried about aggravating my right ankle injury. And I didn't help myself by joining my running peers in MR. The twists and turns that my ankle had on uneven terrains and slopes in MR didn't help matters. While some would argue the twists and turns would in turn strengthen the ankle (the pain doesn't kill u, but train u concept), but it wasn't working.

And the medical status. Yes it is a fact the right ankle has a 5% permanent disability in terms of degrees of motion. But that doesn't mean that I cannot jog/run. But my organisation do not see it in the same light. So there was that fear factor that wasn't healthy.

Also with the additional weight, I wasn't sure about my health condition as well with cases of runners collapsing.

And all these became barriers. I didn't enjoy my running at all. And I cannot even run in Taiwan because of my medical status.

Thankfully the full medical check up before commencing the weight management program turned up pretty well. There were a couple of minor areas of concerns, other than that, my heart is in a great shape and there is no other issue. It was a strong jab in my confidence. Doubled with the hammer blow that I got the referral, the determination in me to roll back the years was extremely strong. The quest to lose weight and get back my health is high on my agenda, that I finally let the fear factor go. It also helps that I chose that it is right time to change my organisation. So now it's boh chup and dun care about all the stupid medical policies in place.

The mental state of my mind is much more stronger and better this time round.

I am really starting to enjoy my running again. See ya guys soon around in races! Meantime I shall stick to my flat surfaces for my training sessions.

Thursday, April 5


I am back in Sunny Singapore. But it would take a while. I was out for too long, and after enduring knee pains during the chilly weather over there, it seems that the symptoms have not gone away even returning back to SG. I must be getting old, but I would be back for more, slowly but surely. Maybe not so soon, with the ever increasing races fees, I would not rush to sign up or commit myself too early. Maybe late 2012 or 2013. Still adapting back to the lifestyle in Singapore.

Tuesday, March 15

Farewell post

Well have been neglecting this blog for a long while. Decided to write one entry before I go off in a couple of days.

The sister has discharged herself from IMH apparently after a serious conflict with the staff there. Probably helpless, she went to the press and pretended that she was really pitiful, and I was seriously angered by a comment of my late mother been the one who arranged her to work in a nightclub when she was 15. The accusation was totally false and I got really mad.

But then a couple of days later, my ex bro-in-law sms me her blog site. After I read her entries over the next few days, I realised that she has totally lost her mind. Actually it is really interesting, I wonder how someone who has lost it can maintain a blog. But she is really good in expressing thoughts in words - more accusations including one that I want to murder her, curses of me and my father going to hell, has the special ability to predict future, 4D, end of the world, past life, believing in the UNKNOWN, gods in her body, etc etc - all myths and legends within a really short time span. This is really madness, this really looks a very serious case of schizophrenia...

Well what is the meaning of carrying on? Yes I would hold on strongly to my principles but in this case, so what if I am right? This issue has developed into something out of my comfort zone, I am not sure how I should handle certain issues.

And the nieces... Well things are not that simple as well. That bonding with their mother over the years, and their love for their mother is still going strong, despite what she has done, and their "complaints" to us during their first few days after the ordeal. They rather trust their mother than anyone else, and it is made complicated with her release and her strong message in the press that she wants to get well and get them back.

Through my overseas posting is pre-arranged even before the whole incident, and there are people who questioned me about the timing. I decided to carry on with it. Seriously it is not about running away, I do need some time away to figure certain things out. I am as resilient as ever, but well there is no simple solution to the current situation. I have my concerns of my nieces going back to the mother given her mental capability if we are unable to stop her, but I am also helpless in a way that the children has not reached the maturity to see through certain things. Only time will tell.

So I guess 1 year away from Singapore isn't all too bad a thing, besides letting go of most of my responsibility in my grassroots/volunteer work which is rather sad. I have devoted quite a bit of time on them and have truly enjoyed my grassroots/volunteer work.

Also taking sometime away to re-think my priorities in life as a whole. Well I am going to be 27 this year, I need to make up my mind especially on my career, I cannot afford to keep changing goals anymore. And the flat issue on the long term, either I have to make up my mind on moving back to my dad's or I have to seriously save up for my own. I might opt for the latter, that's why I feel that everything is in place right now to achieve that simple goal if I am careful with my overseas allowance. As for the relationship, well I have my own reasons why it is not on the top of my priority, I seriously rather face certain issues in life myself than dragging someone into a mess which can get really distracting and tiring at times. But as I shared with a good friend, if I continue to be selfless, and chose to carry on to believe that way, there would never be a good time since certain issues would be in place for a rather long time. So I think I would leave the door open and shall leave it to fate.

To end the post, please kindly help to vote...

I have recently submitted some entries for Finding North West organized by North West CDC - to find a icon in North West District, and 2 of my photo entries have now been selected in the final 15 pictures for public voting. 40% of weightage comes from votes, so your votes are important to me.

Please kindly support me by voting...

1. Like the page Club 1835 @ North West on Facebook...

2. Then click on the link below to like my photos...

Link 1 - Cast Iron Railway Bridge over Bukit Timah Road...

Link 2 - Bukit Timah Nature Reserve...

Please strongly support link 1 to raise awareness of preservation of the bridge after the railway services is dis-continued...

Voting ends this Sunday

Friday, March 4

Ulu Pandan Our Home for Youths

As a one of the appointed New Media Champions in my constituency, I was approached the other day by staff of my CC to help produce a video for the Make Your Own "Home" Video contest organised by Nexus. Through I have no experience prior to this, I gamely took on the challenge and produced a video that focus on youths.

Please help me to vote for my video here.

Thursday, February 10


Have no mood to write recently. Have no time to run recently.

It was a really rough period. Like nothing went right.

Such a family tragedy. And it has not yet quite reached the end of the story.

What is going to happen when the sis is discharged from IMH? They cannot hold her inside forever. Supposed to be mentally fit by the time she got the go ahead. But how sure is that going to be? That is the most scary part.

Now is a matter of when. And how serious things might develop into. I dunno. I have did my ultimate best to drag and postpone it. I have told them my views so the ball is at the court of IMH and MCYS. But at least I have reached certain common understanding with MCYS: the safety of my 3 nieces.

Then come the darkest week of my work. Well the audit didn't went well. Partly my fault, I wasn't giving my all into the preparation, after what is going on back at home. Then also some sway things happened, impt keys are dropped by my men, some sabotage acts by my men, etc. It was like all the spotlights are shining at me. And that was the week before I am supposedly to get a promotion in rank. So now as I was guessing that week when all the shits hit the fans, I am not promoted as of now whereas the rest of my peers got theirs.

Such "understanding" bosses... Seriously I dun really care... They only cares about results, when things happened, all the fingers start pointing... Haha... It is just my luck that everything bad seems to he happening at the same time... But I have long grown sick of this finger pointing organization... I am ready to go after my overseas posting, i rather take pay cut than work for pp who dun even know what they are doing...

The best must be reserved for the last, met a stupid bus uncle after a community event that I was helping to organize... That uncle refused to wait for more passengers or u-turn to pick up passengers and just shut down the bus door and "kidnapped" me back to the CC alone... That was one hell of experience for a bus ride, I didn't know where he will head to... Too shocked to react...

Haha what a month (late Dec/Jan) it has been... I nv recall such a long luckless spell in my life... I hope that this year after cny will be a smoother ride for me...

Monday, January 3

Worst than expected...

I visited my nieces again yesterday. I made it a point to visit them as regularly as I can. They are getting better, and looking more cheerful as compared to previous visits on the 3rd and the 5th day. Yes there is still a small gap, because I chose to stay away from my sister, I didn't see them for a while. We used to be really close, and that gap is narrowing with each visit. And they are starting to open up and share with us details. It is a good start for their long term recovery but their sharing ended up troubling me. They are still kids, I do not see the point why they should lied to me, that is the thing about children. As they are yet to influence by certain factors, their words are the most innocent but the details that I have heard is not that innocent. I knew that my sister is not a good character, but then it is much worst than I have expected.

  • I forgot what I was talking about, I ended up asking their religion. Then they replied, "no religion". And they started revealing that the mother has made them to pray to "small ghosts" 小鬼. And it is not only one, but four.
  • The mother has "brainwashed" them, to them death is a simple thing. Dying is a easy way to run away from the problems. And they will go to heaven.
  • They revealed that the mother was involved in some illegal jackpot syndicate. That explains that the high number of computers without harddisk in the home. I dunno how it works, but they explained the majority of the flat money could be lost here.
  • The mother got the eldest niece who is only to be 14yo this year to do all the cooking for her youngest nieces. Thus explaining all the fried food using the deep fryer machine.
  • Told the youngest niece who is only to be 11yo to sew the buttons on her school uniform herself. So young how she knows.
  • Yes she dotes on them buying them stuff, a lot of stuff, but she is just not taking care of the 3 kids at all.
I dunno how much more they will share with me as we are moving forward from this. That is only certain information that I can take per day. This is really painful. Yes I long gave up on my sister, but I seriously dunno what make her like that. The more I learnt about her doings, the more I am determined that I am not going to let her go with nothing.

This person is really beyond cure, did so many bad things and hiding below the pretext of depression. I am so not going to let her have her ways. It is not easy for the closest relative to say this, but I wouldn't sign her out of IMH again. Never. If she claimed that she is having depression, then she should be inside getting treatment for her depression for a really long time.

It was for the sake of my 3 nieces back then, it is for the sake of my 3 nieces again this time round. As a uncle 舅舅, I just want them to have a bright future and we need the right environment now. I cannot change the past, but I would influence their future from immediate effect.

Sunday, January 2

Am I right?

Frankly speaking, I do not need to answer to anyone but I have decided to write down certain decisions that I have made.

I have been visiting my 3 nieces in hospital every two days or so. They are still not allowed to leave hospital as yet. MCYS is in the pict and conducting their own investigation to decide if my sis is allowed to keep them. Well after all this that has happened, I do not think that it is safe and I believe that MCYS is thinking the same. My ex bro-in-law has stepped forward, wants to take the responsiblity of the kids and fighting for their custody. He has been spending every night after work in hospital looking after the kids. The ball is now in the court of MCYS. The kids, through I dunno why was so stupidly following the instructions given by their mother, have recognised the seriousness of the matter, and have agreed to be under the custody of my ex bro-in-law. Personally, I feel that this is really the best option for the kids. From my hours spent in the hospital, I think that only the youngest niece is having a bit of issue, well being the youngest and thus closest to the sister, she misses the mother. Other than that, they are okay already and are fit to be discharged. Now got to wait for the approval of MCYS to discharge, as they have refused them to be discharged until they conclude their own investigation and make some decision on the custody.

As for the sister. This is really tricky. No visitors was allowed while she was in NUH. But I took a glance at her. She has since been transfered to IMH. Well I dun stay very near to IMH so I have not visited as I do not want to waste my trip. But the thing is that I do not have anything to say as well. But I heard from ex bro-in-law that she might not be charged for this incident at all because of her mental condition. And they are looking for the family to give the "love" and possibly discharge from IMH in the near future. I spent the past few days analysing the situation and decided to do the right thing. This is subjective but I have made the decision based on the whole picture.

I am challenging the authority to re-look at this case and come forward to piece everything together. I am not sure if their investigation was detailed enough since she has changed her name. I only knew that she has changed her name to some ang moh looking name when I went to the hospital. I almost didn't manage to track down. The best solution for now is for her to be in IMH for a long enough time to reflect for her actions. I knew her too well that once she is out, she will create problems for everyone. Depression is just an excuse for her actions. This person is already beyond cure.

If the newspapers and the nieces are right, she has squandered all her money from the sale of her flat in a matter of months. Over a hundred thousands gone in a while. From what I heard so far, everyone owns their own computers/laptops, hairdos that are more than 300 dollars each time (herself and the eldest niece), allows the kids to play some online games and buy those add-ons in the game, which I heard is more than 30 dollars one time, fast foods, etc. She was doting the kids so much. She is using depression as her cover not to work, but man I tell her is plain laziness. I have learnt of the horrible fact that the kids are the ones doing the house chores in the flat ever since the departure of the maid, and every meals they were eating fries, nuggets, chicken wings, etc. Yes the kids loves it but man it is most easy to cook, just using the deep fryer machine.

I have only spent a few hours with the kids, god knows how much more I can find out from them. So if I let this woman come out of IMH, where would she go with no money and no place to stay? How can I help? I am not a millionare. Given how she is squandering money, I think that I would need to be a billionare to substain. Haha.

Maybe in the end, I caused the problem - I let her have the DPS money of my late mum, which was 1000 dollars per month for about three years. It was supposedly for the care of my late mum but I let her have it. I was paying for the medical expenses of my late mum from my study allowances. I let her have 75% of the CPF money of my late mum when she was 55, which she squandered in weeks. I also lent her cash to help the family so many times that I have lost count.

I was so easily to be cheated those days. To her, I must be the best brother on earth. But when I realized that I cannot sustain her never-ending and ever-growing demands, and my life is not going anyway. I broke down.

That dark period concides - the end of the DPS money and the ceasing of the maintenace that my father was giving till I was 21. I couldn't help her anymore. I was only left with my salary and I was paying my late mother's medical and living expenses, and half of the maid's salary and levy. I am struggling to meet ends myself. I was thinking how to cut down my expenses more when I see her enjoying life, using my mother's CPF money on 42 Inch LCD TV, computer, air con, renovation, etc. And despite helping her all much in the past, and explain that I do not have the money, she kept demanded more and more.

You cannot blame me for turning my back. She has pushed me to the edge and that was the darkest days of my life. But I kept myself alive and going because of my late mother. I decided that seeing her through was then the most important duty as a son. I have then made certain decision on my sister if you have read my blog long enough. I knew that she is beyond cure already. That confession of her suffocating my late mother took the most out of me.

And now this case, with the custody of the kids now hang in the balance, she definitely will come out and wants to fight for the kids. With the law and society not on her side, it will be ugly, very ugly. If this person can kill the mother, wants to kill the kids and herself, what else she cannot do when pushed into a corner? The worst thing is that she was using the depression to her advantage. I fought against her so many battles, I knew exactly her character. She is stubborn, and she would do anything to achieve her goal. But man she is really sick.

I have decided to come clean with MCYS all the developments for the past decade. They might not have certain details as some are medical in confidence. I have made the painful and toughest decision but I have consulted my father. We have both agreed that it is not safe for her to be out at the moment, we have no ways to take good care of her, and she should warranted all the medical attention that she should deserve. I need to consider the safety of all my relatives, especially my nieces. I am willing to take the responsiblty to help with the medical fees, but I do not accept that responsibility of signing her out of IMH again. At least not very near future.

Circumstances has changed from May 2007. She promised me that she would live a good life and take care of my 3 nieces. And my 3 nieces needed their mother back then. I was doing it for the sake for the 3 nieces.

But right now, I do not think that it is safe anymore at all. I do not want to take a risk again. I believe that I have made the best decision looking at the biggest picture. It is not about right or wrong. It is the best one.

Tuesday, December 28

Should I or should I not?

This person involved is nonetheless my elder sister. I knew deep inside my heart that this day might come, but when it comes, it still came as a hammer blow. Yes to some extent, I rather dun want to be affected by this incident, but end day she is still my blood sister. I have seen her barely a couple times since I chose to stay away after learning the circumstances of my late mother's death, I made that decision because I seriously dun think that she was lying to me. I didn't blog about it, but the way she revealed the details of the process - the way she using masking tape to tape up the nostrils, mouth, eyes (she didn't want to see my late mum staring at her) and using the pillow to suffocate, how the heart was beating so fast before it finally stopped. That detailed confession took a lot out of me. So what if the body was already cremated and no way to find out the exact truth? It wasn't hard for me to make that decision that I do not want to associate with her anymore.

These few years, I buried myself with work. Living my life to the fullest. Even start to do volunteer work, making difference in other lives. I simple want to walk away, move on from my past. I tried to see my late mother's passing as a relief, she was then bedridden for six years, but then I just couldn't. It was really tough back then, but I was ready to see through the rest of her life no matter how long it is.

This feud, family dispute has been going on for so long even before my late mother's passing. Just 5 or 6 months back, I finally showed face at a dinner at the place of my father after one of the NDP rehearsal. I cannot remember the exact date, but it should be rather close to Father's Day. She was giving a huge treat to my father, apparently she just sold her place for a very decent profit in the region of 160k, that is what she claimed. I showed face to make my father happy, it has been years since we all met. But I realised upon seeing her, I have not managed to let go the burden that I have been carrying. I still couldn't forgive and forget all the bad deeds done by her. There were too many.

But then I am happy in a way, seems to me that both of us are doing good. I can better concentrate on my career and my life without the never-ending battles between us. Why break the successful formula when it is working well?

And now this? Well I somehow knew this day might come. I have discussed with my father before. Even the dinner and wine that she spent at my father's place that particular night is at least 300 dollars. Yes we were both happy that she seems to be doing good. But I somehow do not have that confidence that she will mend or change her way on her spending habits, I shared the concerns with my father many times when we catched up on meals. There were tell-tale signs when she didn't visit or call my father at all on his birthday. We discussed about it before and we just didn't know just what is she up to. My father is getting old, he doesn't really know how to save phone number and so what we just wait and this happened.

My father was the first one my nieces managed to contact during the incident, all the "aunties" and "uncles", the so-called friends of my sister that I see at the birthday party of the youngest niece are not responding already. Well the reality of life. You will have a lot of friends when you are rich, when you are in trouble, no one bother. Me, there was no way to reach me, I changed my phone number with purpose. No reception in camp was just a convienent excuse that I doubled with, I just dun want to be troubled with those nonsense and threatening smses that I am so used to receive from the certain someone.

When I received the call from my father rather early on Monday. I knew something is amiss. I dun receive calls so early in the morning from the old man. At this instance, I was preparing myself for another type of bad news, not this. Opps. Then came this. Luckily I wasn't working, and so I told my father to come over from NUH to have a breakfast before going back to his place. He didn't sleep at all, he was having a late night drinking session with friends till 4am plus when he received the phone from my eldest niece. It was too sudden and early that I have not fully aware of the magnitute of the incident, until I spoke with him. It seems that the reason for the suicide is money woes.

Frankly speaking, I am not surprised. But I am still sad that my prediction has indeed come true. The amount of luxury and new items that my father saw with his own eyes in that rented flat, is shocking. Basically my father was telling me that almost everything is brand new. There is at least 3 sets of computers, etc. Yes she has the ability to spend 23k in 3 weeks, 160k in months??? I do not have any words to describe it.

I have not went to hospital since. Read from the papers that my ex bro-in-law is there. So at least that there is no need to worry about the three nieces for now. But the sister, I dunno man. There is a huge inner struggle that is inside me for the past 24 hours. To remain the same status quo, or to try to step in. Her actions in the past has disgusted me to the maximum of my tolerance. My severe depression that I have in the past is mainly because of her unreasonable demands. My hands are tied in the past is because of her. The threats, emotional backmails to throw my late mum of the house, send the maid back, dun care about my late mum, do something nasty to my late mum were all from her. And the killer of my late mum is probably her.

I must be someone that have learnt the highest stage or enlightened by some religion that I can forgive and forget about all the past. But the thing is that I have not reached that particular highest stage of enlightenment. I have a really strong set of moral values on what is right and wrong, my conscience, my love for my beloved mum. To accept her back is to go against the system and principles that guided all my life.

So I dunno. There is no right or wrong anymore in this complicated and complex situation. I will only follow the "right" path in my heart, and do the "right" thing which I precieved as right.

May my late mum rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 15

Southern Ridges

Well it's that time of the year again, I am really determined to clear my leave this year round. Well I have not been really clearing my year-end leave for the past two years due to work committments. But with an clear end in mind and a new beginning in March 2011 in a totally foreign land, I am determined to spend this last year end leave in a much better way. It is great thus far, and I would hope that I would spend my remaining few days of leave in similiar fashion.

Before I go into the Southern Ridges Trek, let me share something on my housing issue. I have successfully extended the rental tenancy for the final term. And they finally relented and opened another option for me, which I didn't take. The resale flat option. They opened the door for me for a housing option typically reserved for singles over the age of 35. Well I acknowledge the importance of having ownership of a property, but I didn't think that I have the financial ability to pull off the deal. After all, I am 9 years short in terms of assets, and supporting my late mother through her final years after her multiple strokes, I was building up from zero asset. People always thought that I am rich after I secured the bond, but I was using my last dollars and cents for her funeral before some of my relatives stepped in to help. What a joke, I couldn't even afford a proper funeral back then. I ain't sure if I can find such a huge housing loan from banks given that I am single, and being single, the monthly installment is definitely sky high. Yes I am kinda desperate to solve the housing option on a long term, but I wouldn't risk myself to commit to something that I ain't sure that I can afford in the long run. The option is still open, maybe I would re-consider about it after I come back from my posting in Taiwan.

Alright, I shall blog in a backward fashion, I went on a trekking trip on my own along the Southern Ridges yesterday morning. The Ridges comprises 9 km of green, open spaces spanning the hills of Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park. I started my trek from Kent Ridge Park as it was nearest to my place. I went through the Canopy Walk that links the Kent Ridge Park to the museum “Reflections of Bukit Chandu”. It is funny but as a Singaporean, I have not visited this museum, I decided to venture in to have a look.


This WWII Interpertative Centre commemorates the gallantry and sacrifice of the men of the 1st and 2nd Battalion Malay Regiment who defended the western sector of Singapore in Feb 1942.

After the brief stop and looking through the exhibits, I decided to venture on my journey along the Southern Ridges. It was an unexpected pit stop in a way and I have already took 2 hours as I went into Hort Park.

Hahaha this picture best summaries about Hort Park. Well I was in Hort Park during the hottest hour of the day so well... Anyway there are many plants to see but I guess maybe my interest wasn't into gardening. I love to see but I guess not really into landscaping. But I am pretty surprised to find a large fish tank in the middle of the park.

After leaving Hort Park, I walked towards the Alexandra Arch which looks like an opened leaf across Alexandra Road, with its curved deck intersecting an arch that is tilted at a 70-degree angle.

And then after the Alexandra Arch, I reached Forest Walk. As I was in sandals, I decided to keep to the Elevated Walkway and leave the Earth trail till my next visit. The Elevated Walkway, accessed by the metal bridge, offers you the experience of walking through the secondary forest of Telok Blangah Hill at eye-level with the forest canopy.

This Forest walk led me to the third park of the day: Telok Blangah Hill Park. Haha it was not my final destination, and I didn't really know what to expect, but since I already ventured into this park, I went and take the Hilltop Walk and make my way to the Terance Garden at the top of the park.

After enjoying the view for a short while, I started to make my way towards the Henderson Wave. Through it is a just a bridge, it was one place that I wanted to re-visit for quite a while for its view. This 274 metre-long pedestrian bridge that spans Henderson Road to connect Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. At 36m above Henderson Road, Henderson Waves is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore.

With that, I have reached the last park of the day, which was the Mount Faber Park. Decided to find and take a look at the Merlion Sculpture, I only heard before that there is one up here in the park, but have never seen it with my own eyes.

Since I have already walked thus far, I decided to visit the ship-looking structure at the other end of the Mount Faber Park, which is Marina Deck Restaurant. What attracts me is not the food, but the presence of many terrapins around the structure. =D

And I was in time to see the employee or cleaners from the restaurant feeding the terrapins with left over food that they were going to throw away. As the weather is starting to threaten to pour, I quickly make my way out of the park via Marang Trail.

I ended my 5 hours trekking trip with a good and deserved lunch at Seah In Food Centre. Haha. And It was really lucky to have reached the food centre when the downpour began.

Actually this was not my first time being to the Southern Ridges, I was there before with the R2unners but we were running then but it is like a couple of years ago. To revisit the place again alone especially on a weekday morning, it provides me the chance to feel that peace and quietness. And I believe that I would revisit the ridges in the years to come, well no one would take the same path. And there are many paths to take to reach the same point, I believe there are still many things that I have yet to see. I might not be paying a lot of attention on the plants, I am more focused on the animals, insects, the scenary views nowadays, who knows that I would be focusing in the plants in the years to come. It really depends on your perpectives, just like how you look at things, I do not believe that I would take the same identifical pictures or walk all the same path the next time I went back.

Monday, December 6

Post SCMS recovery - Running goals 2011

Took 2 days of leave for the post SCMS recovery as per my normal practice. I must said that the recovery so far is rather good. Through my left ITB flared up rather early in the run, but I have not been limping so much as compared to last night. Oh received a rather late notification that there is a dinner with my extended family last night. At first, I declined as I was doing the very important "body maintenance" when he called, but after I woke up at almost 6pm, I changed my mind and went over to Bedok. But oh man it was rather challenging, the normal walk to the MRT station which normally takes me at most 10 mins is now taking me at least 20 mins, the same walk from Bedok to his flat also same same. So it took me almost 1hr 20 mins to reach. But I guess that the walk that I forced myself to do last evening was rather useful in my fast recovery and of coz down to the fact that this year round, my legs are more seasoned.

Back to the dinner, no no it was not with my elder sister, I do not think that I would have endured so much pain to be present. But the dinner was with my uncles and aunties, and my tang meis and biao meis who are now enjoying their school holidays. Being the midway point of my generation, there was already a huge age gap, i think is a decade, between me and my tang meis and biao meis, and it doesn't help when I sometimes dun get notification to go for family functions from my tang jies and tang ge. So I better showed up before they forget my existance.

The place was at the coffeeshop at my father's place, which i thought was a nice gesture, my father whom dun drive after his retirement; it was a company lorry that he was driving. And being driving/riding for many many years, he is actually quite a noob when it comes to bus and smrt services. The dinner went well i guess, nice chance for every one to catch up a bit.

Well the SCMS half marathon is my last race of the year. So it's time to reflect on the past year. All in all, I think it was still a great year in terms of running. It starts with a really bad and sour note with a DNF for my Passion Run 2010 when I missed the cut off timing to run the full race. Of coz I was doing the run with a big beer belly which I brought back from the 3 months stint in Germany. Then came the training runs which I totally changed my training method from what I was doing in the past 2, 3 years. And we can see vast improvement gradually from the Milk Run in July to the subsequent 3 x 10km races in Oct, which saw 10km personal best reduced to just over 1 hr. That was already pre-operation fitness level in 2006. Even the run yesterday morning which didn't went so well, it was almost 2007 level... For me to roll back the years, despite the additional weight that I am now carrying, was not something that I have expected in 2010 race calendar especially after the way I started it..

My 2011 running resolution was to finish the unfinished business that I have left yesterday morning. It would be a welcome bonus if I go under 1 hr for 10km. But I have set my mind on improving my half marathon timing. I would not be going for a full definitely. The 2nd full would come eventually one day, but I believe if I cannot run a couple half marathon with a decent timing and comfortably, i would not make the leap. Yesterday was close in a way, I was really cruising in the first half, I have hardly reach for the next gear of my engine except for the portion when I was running in the carpark of Resort World Singapore. But well the stage for 2011 is set, it would be the same as 2010, a few short races - 10km races or a bit more, with one or two half marathon.

Am really tempted to do my next half marathon at Sundown, but haha I dunno man, I should be in Taiwan by then. But then again, I could still be in Singapore. I have a gut feeling that something is brewing over my posting. Maybe I would just secure a slot and see how later. But Sundown has the elements I want, less heat and a rather flat course which should aids me in my goal.

Is going to be pay day soon, haha quite amazed to see a little bit of money left in my salary bank account, that is after deducting the short term savings amount. The sum is small and quite insignificant to some, but as compared to my spending in the past few months, or maybe years when I need to tap on funds from my emergency savings and bonus. I think this was a good start.

All this must attributed to the class that I attended almost a month ago. Maybe I am overdoing it but I am recording down almost every transactions and purchases that I am making. It made me to think twice in making certain purchases and provide a good avenue to analysis my spending habits. And I have cut my taxi rides to work to just two in 3 weeks, when it was almost everyday at its peak.

And I have identified my next target to cut for the month: I am spending quite a significant amount of my personal expenses on coloured drinks - be it in camp or outside camp. Hmmm ya I believe that it would be a welcome news to my weight also.

Haha I would need some determination on this... I always have the habit to drink the cold drinks since young. And I believe the habit got quite bad ever since my fridge is spoilt after switching it off 3 months in Germany. Been spending on Big Gulps quite often. So yeah it's time to cut the habit. And I am considering to use part of my bonus on a new, but smaller and cheap fridge so I can use it for chilled drinks. Haha I have been KIVing the fridge decision for quite a few months as I am awaiting the decision of my rental flat tenancy issue. Probably it's about time.

Sunday, December 5

SCMS - post mortem. So close yet so far

Didn't achieve my primary aim of a personal best. Missing it by 25 seconds. Finishing in 2 hrs 54 mins 40 secs.

But I am still glad over my mental toughness. To finish so close to my PB despite a busted knee pretty early in the race.

Woke up at 0445 hrs to try catching the trial SMRT service specially extended for the half marathon. Supposedly to wake up even earlier but it was such a challenge after the Ulu Pandan Dongzhi Celebration Dinner the night before. I didn't sleep till around 12mn.

Managed to reach the Buona Vista train station just in time for the first east bound train which was slated to arrive at 0527hrs and oh man the timing was spot on. I thought I would see more people making use of the train service but man the worst is yet to come.

Have to transfer to NEL at Outram Park station to get to Harbourfront. That is where the train got really crowded but luckily I managed to get abroad at first attempt. All in all, it was great for SMRT to provide the early train services. Managed to save on the taxi fares. Haha.

Reached Harbourfront at 0600hrs and started to walk towards the start point which is on the Sentosa Bridge. And bumped into Bee, Sotong, Ray and his spouse I suppose at the start point. I think there were many runners relying on public transport, strangely there weren't many runners around by the time I reached so I ended up to be pretty ahead at the starting pen.

And so the race started, I was on the way of achieving a good PB... I am really close to the 2hr 30mins pacers after 10km plus... Everything is going well, I have controlled my pace pretty well, every km was under 7min/km, and I was not even breathing hard and pushing yet. But suddenly things went horribly wrong, my left knee just gave way out of nowhere. Seems to be ITB (Iliotibial Band) as accordingly to Bose...

Was reduced to walking pace for the next 3km which took eternity to complete. Easily 30 mins. Every stride was painful and I couldn't open my stride. Haha one of the many slopes we got to overcome.

At 14km, I took a look at my watch, I believe that there is still a small chance of a low PB if I just keep going. That's where I started to try open my stride a bit and run a bit after some heat rub but couldn't substain for long due to ITB. So I run a bit, walk a bit, stretch a bit and push myself towards the end point.

But at 18km, the problem got even worst. I think I have overcompensated my left side, my right calf is threatening to cramp anytime. Haha that's it. I cannot open my stride liao. So just jog a bit and walk most of the part back to the end point. I knew that i was pretty close to my PB, and I tried to jog towards the end line, but hahaha cannot man, my right calf almost going to cramp man. So I just limped my way past the end line.

Am really glad to see so many familiar old faces. Besides, I bumped into Cheow at the end point and Meifang also, we somehow will bump into each other at the end of almost every races that we were in together, no matter how crowded the place is. =P

Anyway thanks goodness, I didn't sign up for full. Haha I cannot imagine how am I going to deal with the race with the knee busted so early in the run?

Hmmm I must be lying if I said that I am not disappointed at all. I knew my body well enough to know that I was in much better shape as compared to the past few years. I believe as long as I kept going, I would cut the personal best of mine real soon.

So what have went wrong? I think that I was too overly confident in a way. I already read that there are going to be quite a few slopes in this route, especially in Sentosa. But haha I have failed to prepare myself for them. I have been only running on mostly flat routes. The slopes are most likely the cause of my ITB.

The mileage? Hmmm I know that it was a bit on the low side. But I think that I will keep them low for next year training. My improvement over the year has came due to the fact of "efficient" training. Past few years, I have going for LSD alot, but mostly are aimless, and "just whack only to see how far and how long I can run". This year is a specific short distance with a specific pace. And I keep repeating it to try to push my timing faster, or just go under the targetted pace. It is more kind to my legs in a way, especially my ankle. Not so much repetition of impacts as compared to superb long and slow runs. I do not think I would want to change when it is working well for me.

To sum it up, I think that it's just not my day. I ran out of luck this morning. But I WILL BE BACK.

Just that it's not possible to plan for any races next year yet. I still dunno where will I be next year. I have yet to receive the confirmation of my overseas posting and rumours are that it has been held back. Let's wait and see.

Saturday, December 4

All system set and ready to go...

Turned out that I have not been running for close to 3 weeks now, due to my on-off flu and the wonderful weather for the past few days, but I am raring to go and make history. My aim is to get a personal best for the distance. As of how fast would that be, i shall leave it to form.

I must be rusty from the lack of the run. And my left knee is still swollen from the fall on Tue during the paintball challenge with my men. And I wouldn't be resting early tonight due to my involvement in the Ulu Pandan Winter Solistice (Dongzhi) Celebration Dinner as part of the organising committee. It is my first involvement of project led by the CCMC (Community Club Management Committee), who knows maybe I would venture out of just YEC (Youth Executive Committee) into multiple Cs in the near future...

But I see this as challenges that I would need to overcome. And these are not enough to stop me. I am so going to be at the start line tml morning, and push my limits to the end line.

Tuesday, November 30


Despite my best efforts to highlight my special circumstances that I should be allowed to buy a new flat on my own through many offices, HDB is very relucant to accede to my appeal. The official stand was that the public housing policies are pro-family in orientation. With limited resources and subsides available, the priority is given to the housing needs of families. As an individual do not form a family unit, there wouldn't be any exception. This reply came after writing a really long and bare it all letter to the highest office the state has.

As for the rental tenancy of the current flat, the reply was that the branch office would need to know more about my income and savings before considering granting a FINAL term tenancy.

Hmmm I got a bit agitated. I went to the branch office this very afternoon to seek some assurance after my branch cohesion. I would need some kinda of confirmation badly, I have exactly 2 months left to move out if I got to. So I got assured that the FINAL term tenancy of another 2 years would be granted when the extension is due in the coming weeks.

Well does it solve the problem? The same old problem remains. Just another temporary housing solution. Not that the long term housing solution that I really crave for. And it being the FINAL term tenancy means that I would definitely move out by Jan 2013 if I am single and earning more than the salary ceiling. I would be only 28, going 29. The same old problem remains. I would be still be caught in the middle of nowhere between the public housing policies. Still 6,7 years away from the magical age of 35. It doesn't solve the problem at all.

They just keep expecting and encouraging me to go find a spouse. I almost wanted to ask the young female officer if she is still single. Hahaha jokes aside, there were mentions of my sister. I do not know how these people can still expect me being in good terms with my sister after her confession connecting her with the death of my late mother.

I guess that this is no point to get really upset over this matter. I will just take this into my stride, and extend the rental tenancy for the last time when it is due pretty soon.

But I am definitely not letting the matter go so easily. There is a flaw in our public housing policies which needs to be fixed. With the rising of divorce rates, increase in single parent family, dsyfunctional and low income families, but the children are now receiving better education and be able to secure good employment based on merit. I am pretty sure that there would be more such cases in the coming years. And I would be fighting for what I think is only right. It is not for myself anymore, it's for the rest of dsyfunctional and low income families. To be caught in the middle of nowhere between the public housing policies after climbing up the social ladder is just so wrong. Machiam sending the wrong signals that we should have just stay happily as "dsyfunctional and low income families".

I sincerely believe that there should be some type of safety net in place, maybe interim rental till the age of 35 for the child if something happened to the parent. Or some kinda of options to buy the current rental flat, or a new flat, which is now lacking in our housing system.

Sounds like mission impossible for a nobody to make it happen. Haha but one must dare to dream.

Oh ya, if you are going through a divorce, or you know of friends going through a divorce. Please strongly encourage them to buy a flat if can afford. Please do not rent a place, not even from HDB. I am sure that you wouldn't want your only son or daughter to be in my shoes now after you are no longer around. Please do not commit the same mistake that my late mother had.

Sunday, November 28

Hardly the best preparation

Hahaha I was hoping that I wouldn't be typing this. I thought that it was a blessing in disguise when I fall sick 2 weeks plus from the half marathon. Hmmm but it is becoming a nightmare in a way when I have yet to recover fully after 1 week plus. And I have not been running since then, and I got this feeling that I have already put on a couple of pounds. Hahaha. I think that I am at most 70%, but damn I think that I must really try to squeeze one or two short runs before the big one on Sunday.

Hmmm well the stars seem well aligned for a PB before the illness. I am not that sure about that at the moment but I know that I have the ability to go under my PB for a half marathon, well the standard that I have set in 2007 is not very high anyway (2 hr 54mins) . It's about time to raise the standard bar. I have a strong feeling that I can go under 2 hr 30 mins this time round. Maybe even faster but I shall not be overly ambitious. I would be very happy le with under 2hr 30mins considered my longest mileage per run is only 10km.

I have "recovered" from the previous post. The past have made me into a person who I am today, but what matters most is the future. The only way forward is to learn from the mistakes, and the past, and make sure that I do not commit them in the future, and the least I take reference from the past would be better.

The last thing that I need to convince with strong references from the past is the housing issue. The soonest I can get it over with - either getting a permanent place through HDB or I find someone real soon. Would be ideal. But I shall not be dwelling on the issue, it is like the calmness before a storm. I am just waiting for the renewal letter which should arrives in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 21

To say or not to say

I have hidden a secret in me for many years. I thought that I will never face this issue and can bring this safely into my coffin. Hahaha but life has such an interesting arrangement for me that this secret is surfaced from the bottom of my heart. I just need some revenue to vent it all out so that I can move on.

I just found not long ago that my ex is happily married recently from new media sources. And the world is so small. The husband was one of the lecturer at Nxxxx. I didn't know about this yet when I attended the last course which was taught by him. Only after that, through new media sources, then I found out the possibility but i wasn't sure yet as there was only a picture. So today, I bumped into him again and the chance to confirm it.

Hahaha I dunno why did I go confirm it? Perhaps that I should have just left it. I must say that it was rather emotional after that. Hahaha I thought that I should have long overcome it but I guess that I didn't.

The parting back then was really really sour. I must have really hurt her.

But what is the secret that I have been carrying with me all along? I have never shared with another one so openly before. I have in fact did it on purpose back then. I just wanted to get rid of her at that point. It is not that I do not love her at all. But I was in no position to guarantee her happiness 5, 6 years ago given my circumstances back then. I was really self-fish to have go into a relationship with her in the first place. Upon self-realization of my "wrong move", i just pulled the plug off, with the "main power still switched on".

I didn't even bother to reply her letter for an answer. It was sudden, swift and decisive, and with no explaination. I just did what I thought was right. It was really the best way, I really meant good but my execution skills was really poor that my actions was percieved as "Bad and self-centered".

It was something that I have been carrying with me for a long while. The end note was so sour that we never meet again, and I thought that it will never be surfaced again. But meeting someone who is so close to her now, the old wound opens up through I know that it's pointless to rake up the past.

The class became a rather emotional one as I reflect on the past more than concentrating in the class. Hahaha and I was stuck in a to say or not to say situation throughout. But I decided that something are better left untold but I really need some revenue to just let go of this emotional burden so that I can move on.

Thursday, November 18

Clearing leave

Hmmm well clearing leave for the rest of the week. Shiok.

Made good use of the time to settle some personal adminstrative stuff earlier in the morning.

Went to POSB and wind up my SAYE (Save As You Earn) account that is opened 4 years ago. Initially wanted to change the instruction of the account once the account has matured. But the bank has since moved on to cease this scheme and now offers MySavings account (MSA) nowadays. As the scheme is technically no longer active, there were techinical difficulties in changing the instruction upon maturity. And thus in the end, I decided to close it. Hmmm it's for simplicity as well, I only want one account for my short term savings, much simple and neater to maintain.

I then proceeded to CIMB at Knightsbridge at Orchard. Hahaha. Hmmm I applied for the internet banking facility when I opened an account with them but I realized that upon reaching home the other day, that they didn't give me anything leh. Probably the staff has left it out, so I went back today to apply for an ATM card and the internet banking facility.

And then I went to Starhub @ Plaza Singapura. Finally did the right thing by terminating my Starhub phone line which was not used for 2 years. I have been donating to Starhub for nothing Hahaha. Well no more hubber discount, but I guess that I more or less covered it up after reducing my basic tier to just 3 groups just now. What's next? Maybe would downgrade my internet package. Hmmm that will depends on how my expenses would be like.

Making use of the time to do a little bit of house cleaning. Hmmm gathering all unecessary stuff that are new but gathering dust at one corner of the flat - mostly stuff that I got for free through running events. I would be selling them at the Ulu Pandan Family Day Flea Market. Almost all of the proceeds would go to the Ulu Pandan CCC Bursary 2011. It is really for a good cause. So why not?

Besides, I would need to plan a mass exodus of my personal belongings if I got to move. Or it's like killing two birds with one stone, and for a good cause. So I am gladly doing it. =P

Financial Literacy

Hmmm I attended a workshop titled, "Working with Low-Income Families on Financial Literacy" by a group of finanical consultants from the threesixty consulting group as part of my grassroots work last Sunday. It was a rather last min decision as I have missed the registration deadline. It was timely as I wanted to learn more about saving money. And the course approach is kinda "helping yourself before helping others". Well it's really true. How to go about teaching them cutting budget and saving money when one dunno how to do himself/herself? So everything just fall in place - this workshop must be one of the most enriching ones that I have attended. And the deal with the group and NACLI is that they cannot sell any products during the class, so it's purely "teachings and advices". Well how often that you have a group of finanical consultants talking to you without trying to make profits.

I wouldn't say that I have become a financial "guru" overnight. I am just doing what I didn't do in the past. No one plans to fail but I have failed to plan - I didn't plan my budget, I didn't monitor my expenses, I didn't really have a saving plan in place, be it long term or short term. Thus I have the tendency to spend beyond my means. But it has not reached an alarming level because the only good point of my present planning is that I have a good level of emergency funds around. So a little bit of over-spending didn't hurt but it just cannot goes on.

And thus I started to plan and put everything on an excel sheet. And I got really shocked by the amount of money that I am pouring into bills. Hmmm partly it's due to the fact I am paying cash for my HDB rental flat. Haha. Which prompts me to make adjustments to my other bills, I have cut away certain channels on Starhub TV that I have not been watching regularly. No more HBO, VV Drama, Kids programmes. And I just took away Sports group. That's just unlike me. Hahaha. And I am taking actions to terminate the phone line that I have not used for two years.

I have set up a short term saving plan. But not the long term yet. I am monitoring my expenses religiously over the next few months and study my spending habit before making the decision. But I will definitely make a decision before I go Taiwan. Besides, I am awaiting the development of my rental flat status. Well I did what I possibly can to present a strong case that I should be allowed to buy a flat directly from HDB due to my special circumstances. I am now resigned to wait to see what they have to offer me. If they allow me to stay on in the current rental flat, rather high chance the rental will go up, that means that my expenses will go up and I would need to make adjustments either to the short term saving plan or the amount that I can put into the long term saving plan. That requries careful planning and thus I am not rushing into things. And I really need to establish my spending first.

But one thing is for sure, I have ruled myself out on getting a room on my own. I do not think I can balance the accounts. And thus how if HDB's replies is going to be negative? Haha everything happens for a reason, I cannot tell you exactly what is/would be my plan. Just like what I said, no one plans to fail. I dun plan for HDB to say NO. Hahaha. But I would definitely find a way out if it really happens. Given the amount of rough patches life has for me, this is definitely not the end, it is just another beginning.

Thursday, November 11


It took me so long to realize that it is just not working.

I defended my actions to stay out and to spend quite a significant amount of my monthly salary on transportation so that I can have work life balance. But being a lazy bum that every minute of sleep is so important to me, I have been taking taxi to work most of the mornings, if not every mornings. This has been a habit for close to 2 years now I guess. And because of that, more often than not, I ended up having little savings or no savings at all, or even over-spending what I am supposed to spend. Hahaha that sounds like my elder sister and my father when it comes to budgeting, maybe the family is just so bad when it comes to managing the dollars and cents.

But recently partly because of the housing issue, I am looking deep inside myself. I am thinking why do I ended up in the situation that I am in. I realized that it's me. I have not been saving much since my late mother's passing. I used to be very thrifty when I needed to support my late mother's expenses. But all these seems to have disappeared over the years. Perhaps the sense of urgency to save was not there anymore. But my inability to save leads to me not actively finding a girlfriend. Because my mindset was if that I am struggling to save or I am overspending, definitely that I cannot afford a girlfriend.

And taliking about work life balance. And got life or no life. Does it means that booking out every night and waste my time playing games on Facebook = got life? Yeah there are interactions with friends but often than not, most of them are virtual games friends. Would there be meetings with them physically? Chances are rare.

I still dunno what is the outcome of the flat. But I guess that I am kinda preparing myself for the stay in life if things didn't go as well as I want it to be. But everything happens for a reason, I am trying to look at the housing issue from a positive prospective, it would be great financially if the worst case scenario happens. It would free me from some bills but it would be quite inconvienent without a place to call home. So there are pros and cons.

I have made up my mind to stay in most of the times, but I would book out if I have something on, like grassroots meetings or gatherings.

Damn what did I took so long to learn my lesson? But at least I finally learnt.

Friday, November 5

Waiting is the most painful.

Well I know the 2nd appeal to buy a flat has reached the relevant authority. But then since then, there is no news. Frankly speaking, with each passing day, I have less time to execute whatever needs to be done if the appeal fails. This rental tenancy of my Ghim Moh Flat has only 87 days left. Hahaha come to think about it, that is not much time left.

I am not sure what HDB has to offer me. If by expressing my interest to buy, doesn't bring me anywhere as I dun fufill their criteria to buy due to my lack of family nucleus. I think that I would have a strong case to argue with them to carry on renting my present flat. But haha I dunno whether i would succeed since I also dun fufill their criteria to rent due to my salary over the ceiling set by them and my lack of family nucleus. What could be the worst possible scenario? No place to stay?

I may have sound negative in most of my blog posts and Facebook. But hahaha I am facing this problem head on and positively. I think I have done what I can possibly. Yeah I was thinking to write to the Straits times forum before but hahaha I guess I rather not till the election is over. Hahahaha.

Anyway even if the decision by the authority is going to be negative, I guess that I am ready to face it. The most economy solution is to stay in the camp, while renting some storage space for things that I couldn't bring them in. Maybe I will go extra mile to get permission to bring them all in. Alternatively, I would extend my overseas posting to the maximum period to 3 years. Neither way would solve the problem for the long term but I guess that they would be the best short term solutions for now. But it doesn't come without challenges, I am so dependant on Internet nowadays, it could be quite a challenge to kick the habit.

And the community work, I am quite divided on this actually. I haven make up my mind on this. Supposedly as Grassroots Leaders, I should support govt policies but now these housing policies are putting me in doubts. Yeah this is rather personal here. I guess that I just need some time off to straighten my thoughts.