Singapore MRT Breakdown – People trapped in underground
I’m deeply disturbed by the video above. I do not care about how many people are saying “this is just a disruption of the services, give them time to fix it”, because it is not the main point. If you are trapped inside the train some depth below the human race living level, how would you feel? I assume most people are quite sympathetic towards others because human beings are born with kind nature. If you are thinking that this is just nothing, imagine your love ones are being stuck inside the trains. If you think that is not the worst scenario, visualise your grandparents then. I have come across some comments that the train has backup power that allows up to 45 minutes of ventilation during power failure. Even a kid would know that maximum battery lives would decrease over time – your mobile phone tells you that and your laptop has proven you that as well. What is the capacity of people for the 45 minutes of ventilation being measured? Some creative people may think that this is a once-in-a-fifty-years rare thrilling experience but I think differently. Before you attend Halloween night parties, you know you would be scared. Even if you are going for the roller-coaster ride, you should expect some breathless excitements. You know you will be fine after all. On the other hand, if the train has stopped for some time inside the tunnel and you realise it is getting stuffy with many passengers inside, you do not know if you can live for how more. If you think it can be forever safe in Singapore, the government will not be conducting emergency drills “Northstar”. Singaporeans are already warned about terrorism and scenes will flash through their minds during the lock-down during the train breakdown. You call for help and you receive none, you do not know what is going to happen next and when it is going to end. Most passengers seem to be fine except for around two who have fainted. Still, I expect quite a handful of victims could have developed some phobia after being mentally tortured for hours. All it takes is for the train officers to calm the passengers down and open the doors for ventilation. This society is being drawn a big thick line in between the very rich and the rest of the people. The rich people are managing everyone and they do not understand the rest of the people’s needs. They do not understand the basic needs for survival and the slightest integrity that even the poor people need. We are often powerless to do anything.

It is NOT as Simple as What You Are Seeing

Human beings tend to look at things from their own angles and believe solely in their own points of view. In my experience, some things may seem simple to some people but it can be difficult to many others – different people have different abilities and experiences. Things may seem straightforward but there can be many little details in order to accomplish them. For example, to open the casing of a mobile phone, an experienced user may just tell someone to pull it apart. However, some phones may require you to press certain part to unlock first. Many things are actually more complicated. I’m struggling hard but nobody can see the direction that I’m heading towards. It is a huge market that I’m exploring but I’m also entering a trade that is heavily congressed. There are many people who have stepped in more than ten years ahead of me and I’m very sure they have maximised their manpower, resources and experiences to think of creative marketing strategies – which I have seen none. My brothers and I have been thinking of ideas but nothing magnificent seems to be workable and thus, it appears to outsiders that none of us has made any effort to do any planning. I try to comfort myself by thinking that all the older companies have run out of ideas as well – at least, some people do believe in this – that I’m just finding excuses. I’m not good in prioritising tasks but at least I know what are required. I have never planned to reach for the sky before taking care of crucial things on the ground that few people can see. I do restructure my system often but it is not that I have not planned enough in the beginning stage; I’m totally new to the trade and almost greenhorn to the extent of coding. I’m proud that I have come out with ideas that have outshone most others. But my task is not all about coding a website just for clients to log in and it is also beyond online marketing can help. I have to take care of different groups of users and their interaction, and I also have to solve problems created by many humans. Things would be very different if I were working on just a blog that mainly earns through advertisement banners. But since I have started something, I’m not going to give it up. I design, I code, I write, I market, I administrate and I entertain confused people. If anyone says I should have done more, I can only smile. If anyone insists that it is easy, go and try starting an agency in Singapore such as maid agency or job agency.

Things that we don't want to remember are most likely unable to be forgotten

Many incidents are dwelling within me and I cannot let go of them no matter what.
When I was a teenager, I already had many dreams in mind to accomplish – mainly are my websites. I had many never-ending projects, which were not benefiting me in term of financial. Those were the days I could afford to help my friends whenever they approach me.
Situation has worsened over the years. More friends are coming to me and most of the tasks are more time-consuming than ever. At the same time, I’m struggling harder with my own life to build a better tomorrow for my family and I. The quantity of the requests has, although, decreased since I have lost touch with many friends, but the “quality” has upgraded.
I started helping Tze Khit with his websites and design work for marketing until he insisted to pay me some money for the work. It was my form of support for a great friend who was beginning with his career. Ever since I started my tuition agency, I found it almost impossible to lend him a hand anymore. He offered to employ me on a full-time basis and I had to reject him, which was making me feel very uncomfortable all these while.
A couple of months ago, Joei approached me to help her to design four posters for her students’ competition. My tasks were already “at my throat” and I rejected her immediately, knowing that I could not “swallow” anymore project. That was an ultimate slash at my heart because she was one of the most beautiful women in heart I had met. My principle since young “nice people should be rewarded” has been haunting me till today. To others, it is very common to reject any call for help, but it is the last thing I want to do, especially to a special lady.
I’m used to sacrifice myself for friends and even friends who are not very close to me; I set aside my work for them. Things are not as simple anymore because besides making my life extremely difficult, my actions will disappoint many people who have been pinning high hopes on me.
Don’t tell me you have experienced it personally, or studied my horoscope or handwriting – nobody can understand how I’m feeling. My situation is far worse than what you can imagine. I’m being hit internally and externally, by myself and others. The pressure is enormous, not to mention about the long period of endurance, which still exists.
I want to make the world beautiful. I want all beautiful people to have beautiful lives so that they can create a beautiful world for others as well. This is a dream, which is impossible to reach – but I’m persistent not because I’m stubborn because I see the importance of it.
My memory is never good but somehow these are the things that can be trapped inside my brain for long. Yes, I have forgotten many unpleasant things almost entirely until somebody mentions about them, but they have definitely bothered me longer than other people.
Being unable to help my friends is one of the worst nightmares I can have, but since months ago, I have met the most incredible incident. When Gilbert told me Raymond had just recovered from cancer, I was totally traumatised. We were very good buddies, together with Peh, during our NS slavery days but Raymond started to stray away somehow due to his busy schedule. I could not afford to spend enough time to keep in touch with all my good friends.
I feel like a shit. My tears fill my eyes every now and then till now, just like how the scene of my dad passing away have been dwelling on me. I was never there for my good friend when he needed support the most. I don’t even know about his critical illness until he has recovered in miracle. What kind of a friend I am? I feel like punching myself sometimes.
My life sucks because I have been such a failure.
Whenever I mention about how I hate my current lifestyle within or at the bottom of any blog entry’s content, it does not mean that I dislike only what have happened as mentioned inside. It is not only about the problems I’m facing in my work, not just the failure to live like a normal person as expected by others, not mainly on the things I can’t do for my friends, not simply because I’m being treated worse than a dog by someone, but many other issues that are bothering me.

Back to Volleyball after More Than a Year

I finally made my first step into Choa Chu Kang ITE’s sports hall on Thursday. Both Jingkun and Tze Khit asked me down coincidentally for volleyball. Frankly speaking, I was itching for it since long ago.

The hall was fantastic. It was gigantic and could hold up to twelve badminton or four volleyball games at a time. It was the first week of the ITE holidays and thus I had less chance to see my ex colleagues and students. I managed to meet Ah Lei who was currently working in the CCK’s gym.

I was glad that I was not totally wasted after missing the game for more than a year. At least, my services were perfect and could somehow pose some threats to the opponents at the same time. I probably played calmer than usual and that covered up my lost skill. I knew I could do so much better in other areas while stamina posed a major issue as well.

If it was not for Tze Khit, travelling would be a major problem for me. We met up at the Tanjong Pagar market for dinner before we went down in his gym’s van. Along the way, he persuaded me to work for him permanently for his new web venture. He trusted me in my professional in web building. He also highlighted to me on my own business.

To me, it was useless to work for others and earning peanuts when I was a workaholic who would sink in totally. I would rather continue to push my tuition agency to a greater height while enjoying the freedom. Even though my business was not doing well at the moment, it had great room for improvement – I was very down-lucked in my online marketing progress. When Tze Khit pointed out that the time I had spent was too long, I could only sigh that I was handling too many things alone that I could not focus. If I had the time to treat my business as a sideline so that I could find a job, I would rather work on some blogs to earn through AdSense.

That night, thoughts went through my mind. For all I knew, I needed to expedite on the progress of the web development.

Losing Friends in Life

In life, we get to meet new friends often. Some get to stay while some move off to a more suitable crowd.
“Hey, they are very nice people…”
Sometimes we sigh after we move on to a different environment when it takes extra effort to meet up with one another to the extent that we eventually quiet down the meeting. This is somehow inevitable for we have new commitments at new places and time does not spare us.
A worse way to part with friends is through miscommunication or a drama by third party, and in some cases, the third party is a common friend.
One of the worst situations I had been through was when I received a sudden confrontation from a good friend regarding how I had backstabbed him over a project. I wanted to quit the team due to time constraint and thus I did not wish to further get involved by speaking up for the unfairness of a major decision. Somehow, someone conveyed my thoughts to him behind me and definitely in a very twisted manner to sore our friendship.
A group of friends tried starting a business together to put their personal skills into good use. It was initially a zero-dollar start-up plan but after weeks when they realised some money had to be pooled in. The leader’s decision was that only the members who were going to contribute money would be the shareholders. Why would anyone give up his current career and struggle for months in the new project which may not work out in the end, just to pray hard to become an employee in the new company and able to get back the wages for the months of hard work?
I would love to help my friends like how I used to do since I was a child, but I am never young anymore to neglect my own future. I can no longer afford to do free freelance work that require lots of time.
Months later, I realise my friend count in Facebook has reduced by one. This is an extremely bad way to lose a friend, which has been haunting me, causing fears that history may repeat any time soon due to probably jealousy.
It is extremely ridiculous for adults to lose friends in this manner.

It is my character that is ruining me

I was glad that my brothers had kept my mum entertained with her cell phone earlier on so that I could concentrate on my work.
I was some kept breathless worse than ever with the amount of work piling up.
I remained in my usual contradiating self after all these years, having problems with my priority. I failed to reject friends over and over again.
I could never forget when I was struck with the old Nokia phone that could not read half of my contacts for more than three months, Mike told me he actually planned to buy me an iPhone 4. Even though I did not want him to spend on non-essential items on me, his words had strike me badly.
I could not even fare for myself to help others. The number of times I refused to take a break at the verge of breaking down laughed at me. There were plans for creative as well as critical jobs but I was ransacked totally off my time.
Yes, it was true that I had spent so much time helping others instead of trying to get out of my own poverty, I did not deserve any gift from people who cared so much for my success in life.
I knew my situation well but it was my born character to help others, especially the kind ones. Everytime I stabbed myself to lend my hands to friends, I felt guilty to myself and people who cared for me.
Nobody could understand my woes and few could realize the supposed-to-be little amount of time they could squeeze out from me for their convenience’s sake had stalled the progress of my cumulative result.
I often have to draw myself away from people to avoid more entanglements. Sometimes I mock to myself having to reject freelance jobs that can raise my personal portfolio.
Life has been a great torment all these years.
Skai Chan @

Mike and I were Criminals for a Few Minutes

Mike and I were crossing Pinnacle Duxton towards the Kopi Tiam on Friday early evening. We saw three policemen talking to a guy from a distance away. Just a few seconds later as we were reaching our destination, we were stopped by the police from behind at the stairs. They requested for our identification cards immediately without telling us what was going on.

Since we were wearing smart causal and our faces were more than pleasant that we hit up well with any stranger soon, it was really weird for us to be checked; moreover, we were empty-handed. Judging from the distance they had tried to catch up with us after they finished the business with the previous guy, they were trying hard to hit a quota before their dinner.

One of them was doing the job of verifying our identification cards by calling back to probably their office while the other two, including a lady, were looking around rather than to chat with us. I thought they could be friendlier and also try to get some feedback from us, rather than treating us as suspects.

I was very delighted to finally witness policemen doing patrolling in Tanjong Pagar like this. I might not have walked around the neighbourhood everyday but it really showed how rare it was because I had already stayed here for over twenty years. Of course, I had met policemen in the neighbourhood before but they were busy doing investigation probably because someone had called to seek their help.

During the period of time, I felt quite awkward because the passers-by might mistake that we had done something illegal. If I were among the policemen, I would definitely try to initiate conversations and smile.

After that, I kept wondering why the policemen were doing their patrolling at such early hour when the sky was still bright. In my opinion, crimes such as robbery would more likely to happen at night. I am very sure that there is no patrolling around Tanjong Pagar Plaza at night because there are still many topless guys sleeping all over the places, such as resident corners.

I hope things will start to improve.


Grant Me the Peace

When I’m trying hard to debug some coding till I’m on the verge of collapsing, I really appreciate people to refrain from giving me the stupidest disturbance.

Yet, very often, I’m not granted the peace.

I’m working hard for everyone’s good sake. I do things for multiple good purposes and that is why I have to hesitate often to make clear decisions and push forward.

There are too often that people do not understand a single thing that I’m doing.

Life is really Fragile

It is not a good start of the year and perhaps it ended really badly last year.

The departure of Kenny was quite a piece of shocking news since he had been a very healthy and energetic. I thought his career was promising. I did not ask around but it seemed to be that he started off with persistent bad cough.

The recent news of Mingen meeting an accident in Thailand proves to me once again how fragile life can be. Initially I thought it was because of his reckless driving but he was actually knocked down by a lorry while walking alone on the pavement in the night. He has survived but on the other hand, he has lost his left eye. I did not usually talk a lot to him but we used to play volleyball and go out together in the past. It was hurtful to watch a loud guy landing in such situation.

Among my FYP team of UOW, we had been mentioning about Jeremy, our lost team-mate, almost every time we contacted each other. He was a very friendly and outgoing guy and our team consisted of friendly guys, and thus we had no clue why he disappeared out of a sudden when things were going smoothly. I organised a meet-up recently more than a year after Jeremy’s sudden disappearance, which was a few days before the FYP submission and presentation. Soon Siong was telling me that he had added someone by the name of Jeremy in Facebook and the person seemed to have updated his account recently. After that night, I went to check the account and realised someone had used his account to post pictures of his tombstone. It was almost half a year after the FYP, he had left us.

I am not sure why I have been making my own life so difficult. I never know how much lifespan I have but I am sure that I need money to survive in order to achieve some of my goals. If I were born in a silver spoon, you would see the improvement in charities clearly.


Being Cheated to Church Event for Second Time

[Saturday, 18 December, 2010]

I was busy with the tuition blog and eventually I updated the website with Google Map. The display refused to show the new location and I wasted a lot of time trying out. I also finished up some minor amendments for the tuition’s flyer. Lastly, I updated email and password for a tutor who got it wrong. I went to bed at 5am and I had problems dozing off again.

I was woke up by the drilling noise after 9am. My younger brother went Johor for his eyes check-up and he left some minor tuition assignment tasks for me to follow up. Since I did not handle it before, I took very long to figure things out.

I went down to have lunch with Mike before buying some stuff such as mop for the office. Then, I brought him up to my house so that I could finish up the work. He finally saw clearly why I needed a better working space.

We touched up the painting work in the office before starting to fix up the IKEA furniture. I was exhausted. Mike’s watch was slow for forty-five minutes and I was shocked when I checked the time with my lousy phone and his car’s clock. After he sent me home, I got changed and rushed off to Expo.

I felt relax when I called Caiping and realised I was even earlier than her. I grabbed myself a sandwich at 7-11 and started chewing, while I prayed hard that the Magic Show she invited me to was not a conspiracy. I had a taste of being conned to a church event by a male friend and a MLM one by another female friend many years back. Furthermore, I was so busy and exhausted, and yet I made myself available for her. I had interrogated her before accepting the invitation from her and I really hoped my intuition was wrong.

Caiping arrived with her friends and some of them were distributing Christmas presents. I felt uneasy and it was the first step towards unveiling the ugly truth. However, since she was a very religious person, I assumed her closed friends should be of the same religion as well, and thus I gave her the benefit of doubt. As we moved towards the exhibition hall, I saw big banners of City Harvest Church. Since the church could have booked a large number of tickets, I skipped it. After meeting other friends of hers, the guy let out clues by asking me if I were from her group and she tried to stop him. Later on, he asked me if it was the first time I went for a church event. Everything was clear.

In order not to make things look bad, I swallowed up my anger and played on to test my patience. The crowded place was a big turn off. We moved in and took up the seat. When she told me the magician was her pastor, it was nothing shocking to me anymore. As the show began, I felt quite boring since I did watch Taiwanese magic shows on television that were much more impressive. The dances made me sleepier for I was just expecting for “magic” shows.

The worst thing that I had expected did happen. It was a conspiracy to get non-member to join them. They tried to intimidate every non member indirectly by using the mass power – taking account that most of the viewers were their members, they instructed everyone to put their heads down. I was not sure how many strong willed smarties with integrity had refused them like me since I tried at least not to show disrespect and thus I did not turn back, but some people had walked off. It was one of the most disgusting moments that I had witnessed in my entire life when twisted words of nonsense were pushed into everyone’s ears.

Anyone could have started a religion and claim himself as the appointed one, which the special someone had instructed him to spread the religion through his dream. As accordingly to the tales I had heard, since there was no evidence to prove that the dream was a fake one, everyone should believe the guy. I was proud that I was clear that I would only believe if there was evidence. A sane person should not believe something just because there was no evidence to show that it was a crooked up story. It required a really good speaker to do a good job though.

When Caiping asked me about the “message”, I gave no comment since I was too tired and never wanted to waste my time to debate. I did not want to turn friendship sour as well just because of some craps. I could not blame her since she was just one of the victims.

It was one of my greatest hobbies to take photos with pretty girls but I avoided being included in any of the photos. I was quite worried that through Facebook, I would be located and I would see or hear things that I was very annoyed with. We took MRT off and I took a different direction at Tanah since they were going to Bedok 85 for supper.

This incident, together with the previous two, would definitely put me on guard in future when any old friend tried to ask me out.

My younger brother’s friends were at my time. The bedroom was probably too squeezy for them that they had to sit in the living room. I was with them for a while before I went inside the room and dozed off near midnight.