Monday, December 21, 2009

Martin Huang 黄祥瑞

Seeking perfection

Top plastic surgeon Martin Huang is happiest when the result of his work goes unnoticed

Published : The Straits Times, Singapore, Monday, 21-December-2009

The teenage Martin Huang was miserable. Basic Military Training was tough going.

'I was absolutely miserable, depressed,' he says. He is just not very good with physical hardship, he admits, and the lad looked for a way out.

The son of a chemistry professor had already secured a spot to study chemistry at London's Imperial College. But he took up an option he had been thinking of - medicine.

Being accepted into the National University of Singapore's (NUS) medical school meant he could disrupt his officer cadet course and after his studies, come back as a medical officer, a vocation with considerably less sweat involved.

'Luckily, it turned out to be the right decision,' says Dr Huang, now 48.

The man, whose mother describes as being both determined and a perfectionist from a young age, has more than made up for that uninspired start to his career.

He has become a physician known to many as the public face of plastic surgery in Singapore - an oft-quoted man whose articulate views, reassuring confidence and bilingualism have made him a staple in both the English- and Chinese-language media.

He came to this position not through trying, he says. Patients come to him not because they read about him or see him on television or, he is quick to say, they notice his work on someone's face or body. In plastic surgery, it is better to be invisible, he says.

'I feel proud when my work goes undetected. Ironically, the better your work is, the less likely people will notice it. Good work is anonymous,' he says.

Those around the patient might notice something - a new hairdo or looking well-rested from a holiday - but if everything has gone well, they should be none the wiser about the work done, he says.

And luckily for doctors like him, more of them are willing to open up. Word-of- mouth recommendation is how he prefers to make his name, despite his many interviews.

'Cosmetic surgery has come out of the closet,' he says. 'Not totally, but to a greater degree than in the past. It's no longer seen as just an exercise in vanity. People are not ashamed to talk about it.'

He is speaking to Life! from his practice, The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, at the Paragon mall. Dressed in minimalist chic, in a black T-shirt and grey trousers, and surrounded by the office's shiny, futuristic furnishings, he and his practice exude taste and polish. The consultation room we use for the chat is spotless.

The prize-winning debater is forthright, as only someone who is confident enough to argue his position can be. He does not, for example, talk about getting into medicine to help sick people, as physicians tend to do. His candour is refreshing.

How he came to be one of Singapore's top plastic surgeons is in part due to his own qualities, but it also reflects society's changing values.

Not only are people more deeply interested in cosmetic surgery than ever, that interest is matched by changes in technology that stoke it.

The boom in 'facelift-in-a-needle' procedures that began in the 1990s means that a large chunk of his patients now come for Botox and filler jabs.

For example, on days when he has people for non-surgical procedures, he can see 30 to 40 patients, who are both Singaporeans and visitors from neighbouring countries. When he has to go into the operating theatre, it can be just one a day.

It is perhaps not surprising that he appears uneasy about being called a medical pioneer.

'I don't do it on purpose,' he says of the perception that he is on the cutting edge. He is simply trying to deliver the best to his patients and sometimes that means bringing a new technique to Singapore, he explains.

Take breast augmentation, he says. He holds two silicone implants, one in each hand.

One, the type most widely used, has the perfect dome shape that, when seen on a woman, has the unnatural look typical of implants.

The other type, called an anatomical implant, has a slight teardrop shape, the same shape as a real breast. The perfectly round model is still used because no matter how it is inserted, it is the right way up, making the operation much less demanding.

But for the last two years, Dr Huang has offered the more complex operation to insert the natural-looking implant.

He also believes he was among the first in Singapore to offer procedures such as IPL (intense pulsed light, a form of skin rejuvenation) and Botox and filler injections.

'It's tempting to fall into the mindset that to be successful, you have to be the first. I don't believe that is true,' he says.

For doctors, there is a downside to being too aggressively novel.

In October this year, Dr Huang was fined $5,000 and censured by the Singapore Medical Council for injecting patients with foetal stem cells from sheep to prevent the effects of ageing. Such treatments are not accepted by the medical establishment outside of an approved trial.

Asked about this, he repeats an earlier statement he made about how he 'totally respects and accepts the SMC and Ministry of Health's position on the matter' and will say no more.

He says his style is to be a 'fast follower'. He prefers to go in after a treatment has been proven to be safe and effective by other doctors, as in the case of the teardrop-shaped breast implants.

He agrees that more than other medical specialities, cosmetic surgery techniques and treatments evolve and innovate at a faster rate. Part of this is driven by the demands of patients.

'It's a reflection of modern society. We live in a visual world,' he says. While he is in the public eye for his cosmetic surgery work, he is still active in reconstructive surgery. His specialisation is the repair of cleft palates.

It is rare for him to turn down any cosmetic surgery request because he thinks most patients are sensible people who know where to draw the line.

But he has said no in the past to one woman who wanted fuller-looking legs. At the time, he had no answer for her, but thinks that today, with newer types of fillers, he could do the job.

He has said he used the treatment on himself as well. In fact, he and his wife Patricia, who declined to give her age, both use non-surgical treatments such as Botox and medical-grade creams for skin rejuvenation.

'I like looking presentable and I am in this business, so we try to walk the talk.'

As a medical trainee, the former student of Anglo-Chinese School, Catholic High and NUS was well into training as a general surgeon, a doctor dealing with diseases of the organs in the abdominal area, such as the appendix, gall bladder and liver.

'I wanted to be a general surgeon because it was exciting,' he says. 'General surgery dealt with conditions that were life and death.'

Then, mid-way through training, the repetitive nature of the scenarios began to bore him. There was only ever going to be one standard way to remove an appendix, he says. He also noted that the part of surgery he enjoyed most was the final sewing shut of the wound. He wanted the skin to look as good as it could, so he took extra care and pride in making the scar as small as possible.

'I wanted the skin to look beautiful. It felt so good when it was beautiful,' he says.

His mother, Mrs Huang Chai Lean, 73, a retired school principal, admits to her son's nagging need to excel.

'He is a perfectionist,' she says. He got that from her, she adds. From Primary 1, he never had to be nagged to do his homework. He would make sure it was done before he went out to play. He was just that self-motivated, she says.

He is the eldest and has two siblings, a sister, 46, who is an innkeeper in the United States, and a brother, 38, who is an imaging specialist.

His father, Professor Huang Hsing Hua, 77, is a retired emeritus professor of chemistry and the former deputy vice-chancellor of NUS.

Mrs Huang discovered her own public speaking skills after becoming principal of Tanjong Katong Girls' School and encouraged him to take part in speech competitions as a child. It would lead to his love of debating.

In 1978, he was a member of the National Junior College debating team. It reached the final of the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation's National Debating Competition. He won the best speaker award for every round except the final.

He went on to join the NUS debating team, and four years later, it won the broadcasting corporation's debating competition.

His quest for perfection in tennis - his favourite player is Roger Federer because of the perfection of the player's stroke - emerged in his teens when he trained for competition. In his youth, he was placed among the top 20 players in Singapore, outside of the national team.

Today, he still plays tennis every Sunday with a coach. It is just more efficient to play with a professional when you have little time and also because in tennis, as in everything else, Dr Huang is striving to do better. He also coaches his son, Alex, who is almost seven, in the sport.

Besides tennis, his other passion is football. He is an ardent Arsenal fan. 'My daily mood depends on how they are doing.'

He also loves performance cars and owns a red Ferrari F430 Spider, a car he loves as much for the way it sounds as the way it performs.

'It makes a low-pitched growl at lower revs but at higher revs, it makes that classic, high-pitched scream, like a Formula One car,' he says. He has also owned another make of Ferrari as well as a Porsche.

He is a co-founder and an executive director of Pacific Healthcare. The publicly listed company, the largest non-hospital-based health-care group in Singapore, had revenues of $81 million last year.

The company suffered a loss of $11.8 million in the same year, the first since its founding in 2001, because of the cost of a new heart and cancer centre and a shareholder dispute.

His single-doctor practice is a subsidiary of Pacific. In Singapore, there are about 30 doctors with various medical specialities in the group, operating out of Paragon and Wisma Atria. It also has centres in China, Hong Kong and India.

He had no specific urge to be part-owner of a large corporation, he says. It was incidental. He and some like-minded doctors and dental surgeons saw the value of being part of a larger group and decided to form the company in 2001, he says.

Dental surgeon William Chong, 47, chief executive of Pacific Healthcare, first met Dr Huang in 1999 at a medical conference in Singapore and found him to be 'intelligent and perceptive'.

'I shared my frustrations that medicine was too piecemeal. Everyone was looking at the patient from his own perspective,' he says. The seeds for Pacific Healthcare were thus planted.

'He is an extremely meticulous person. He demands a lot of himself and his team. During surgery, he will put something in position and if he finds that it does not look good, he will redo it to make sure that everything looks perfect,' says Dr Chong of his colleague.

Cocktail parties and gala openings are where one imagines a doctor might want to be seen in, especially a plastic surgeon, but these events are not on his to-do list.

He gets many invitations but says he has no time to attend. Work starts at 8.30am and goes on for a few hours after the official closing time of 9pm on Thursdays and 6pm on other days.

While some plastic surgeons see an uptick heading into the year-end party season, Dr Huang says it is usually chock-a-block all year round at his clinic.

After work, home is where he wants to be. His family bungalow in the Clementi area is designed by childhood friend and renowned architect Wong Chiu Man.

The home boasts long, sleek lines and a unique style of decorative concrete, called form-finished concrete. Wet concrete is held in timber moulds and when dry, takes on the texture of the wood, giving an interesting visual effect. It is these small details that catch the surgeon's attention.

His clinic, too, is designed by Wong's firm. Its stark white colour scheme and futuristic look give it the look of a spaceship.

He married Patricia, a former air stewardess, in 1993. They were introduced by a mutual friend. She is now a housewife and Alex is their only child. He says he is trying to cut back on work to spend more time with his wife and son.

Recently, the family took up skiing, which they enjoy doing in Japan.

But there is a sense that work will always be important. Today, two decades after he started practising, he still speaks with the tone of someone who feels lucky to be in such a fascinating field.

'Each person is different and you have to do things differently for each person. Everything you do has an aesthetic consequence. That is an incredible challenge.'

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kwok Kian Chow 郭建超

Kwok Kian Chow studied at Catholic High from 1962 to 1973.

Here is a news report published in the Straits Times entitled 'Art Gallery Company Set Up' on Wednesday, 18-March-2009.

Art Gallery Company Set Up

The upcoming National Art Gallery will have its own company to run it.

Called The National Art Gallery, Singapore, it is formed under the National Heritage Board.

This was announced at a press briefing on Tuesday by RAdm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Information, Communications and the Arts.
He also announced the appointment of Mr Michael Koh, CEO of the NHB, as the CEO for the Gallery. Mr Kwok Kian Chow, currently the Director of the Singapore Art Museum, will also be Director for the Gallery.

'As a company, the Gallery will have more freedom to seek out its own partnerships and sponsors and establish something unique,' said RAdm Lui.
The Gallery will have full operational autonomy and its own board 'to allow it the necessary flexibility to be a nimble and effective organisation, and help fulfill its ambition in becoming a world-class visual arts institution," he added.
'This arrangment ensures accountability for its performance, financial discipline and responsible management.'

RAdm Lui also pointed out that under this arrangement, the Gallery would be able to tap and contribute to the national collection, which is under NHB's charge.

'With the Gallery under NHB family of museums, there is greater synergy in the sharing of resources in terms of expertise, capabilities and networks, as well as joint shows and festivals,' he said.

The $300 million Gallery to be housed in the City Hall and former Supreme Court buildings is on track to open in 2013.

The former Supreme Court building will house South-east Asia art, while the City Hall will have a Singapore Art Gallery, showcasing Singapore Art.
The Gallery will also have a Children's Museum within the City Hall, that is specially designed and programmed for school children and families. The public will also be able to access the rooftop plaza, which will have large public spaces, with a variety of F&B outlets and art installations.

陈世集 Tan Tee Chie







Saturday, December 19, 2009












从上世纪90年代开始,杨医生就开始了红色文物收藏之旅,至今,他已收集了3000多件 “宝贝”。这让他在新加坡还拥有了另一个响亮的称号——“红色收藏家”。在这条路上,杨医生又不知不觉地被那个年代的精神所感动,而从单纯的文物收藏转变为学习、研究、推广毛泽东思想。他在自己的母校新加坡公教学校(也是新总理李显龙的母校)开辟了“中国文物展示柜”,在社会上不定期举办“毛泽东学习小组”,并向青少年介绍中国的发展状况。杨医生还有两个更大的心愿,筹划个人的“2008年中国文物展”和建立一座大型红色中国博物馆,将自己数十年的心血与更多人分享。

Gan Boon San 颜文山

Gan Boon San (颜文山, Sec 4/1978) completed his secondary education at Catholic High in 1984. He is currently working for Sun Microsystems.
Gan Boon San
President, Asia South
Sun Microsystems

Gan Boon San is the President of Asia South GEM (Geographically Established Market). In this capacity, he is responsible for strategizing and ensuring a consistent, integrated and responsive customer experience to deliver growth and profitability across Asia South.

Asia South covers a diverse portfolio of 14 countries. They include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Businesses in Asia South are conducted through direct offices, Sun Equity Partners, and supported extensively by business partners.

Boon San was previously the Chief of Operations, COO, of Sun Asia South where he supported the Asia South President in implementing strategies and executing plans across Asia South to drive and grow the business regionally.

Before joining Sun in 1999, Boon San was the Chief Operating Officer of Horizon Technologies Pte Ltd where he oversaw and managed the company's education and SI businesses. Boon San spent more than 10 years in the National Computer Board of Singapore (NCB). His last held position was the Cluster Chief for the Education Cluster. Other portfolios handled by Boon San included, heading the Japan-Singapore AI Centre - a joint venture between Singapore and Japanese governments on artificial intelligence, IT industry development and IT planning and development for various ministries.

Under a scholarship from NCB, Boon San graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with BSc (Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Distinction) in 1985 and MSc (Computer Engineering) in 1986.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fast Track to an S-Chip CFO Job

Two of the Catholic High old boys, Jong Voon Hoo (1988/Sec 4) and Edwin Goh (1986/Pri 6) were featured in the 13 - 19 April 2009 edition of THE EDGE SINGAPORE.

In the article "Fast Track to an S-Chip CFO Job", Leu Siew Ying writes "The rush of S-Chip listings in recent years created an a...venue for Singaporeans with an Accounting background to quickly rise to the positiong of chief financial officer. Amid the crisis of confidence plaguing the sector now, however, have their dream jobs become career killers?"

Check out the details here:


Sunday, December 6, 2009

K K Fong 冯家权:没有下一次了

K K Fong (Fong Kah Kuen) studied at Catholic High in 1960s.

Here are two reports about him in 1999 and 2009 respectively:

Tomorrow, the World
Singapore's High-tech Hero Wants to Log You in
By ERIC ELLIS September 23, 1999 TIMEasisa
Web posted at 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, 7 p.m. EDT

From the outside, it's just another eight-story industrial building in suburban Singapore. But step inside and you could be on the set of the next James Bond thriller, the ultra-high-tech lair of a quixotic autocrat bent on world domination.

The Dr. No figure is one of Singapore's most colorful Netrepreneurs, K.K. Fong, whose very company, I-One International, hints at his over-arching goal to be Asia's Internet king. (Sounds like ... "I Want International?")
Silent suited operatives tap into massive databanks housed in windowless lofts and are linked by sliding doors that turn seamlessly into walls after they are passed through. The square-jawed team connects by video-link to colleagues around the world, via 24-hour cameras, and they are then beamed to an Arctic-chilled executive suite filled with Chinese antiques.

If he wasn't so jolly, Fong Kah Kuen could easily be the Bond genre's archetypal scheming genius. With his vision-a-minute patter his speech oozes charisma. "I am not a technologist. I am an enabler," cackles the 46-year-old Netrepreneur. "I want this to be part of everyone's life." Was that a hint of maniacal laughter?

Fong fashions himself as the flag-bearer for Singapore's "wired island" approach to technology. Fong's touch-screen Internet street kiosks on Singapore's shopping thoroughfares dispense everything from news and weather to e-commerce, banking and beyond. Want to see if your girlfriend is in your favorite Boat Quay hangout? A couple taps as you walk by a kiosk and a Webcam scans the bar. Send her flowers, or an e-mooncake? Tap again for a live video-conference with a florist and then a baker. You can do it from Orchard Road, from the housing board's heartland or from New York City via the Internet, with all of the details logged into Fong's vast databank. At least that's the theory.

The reality is far more mundane. After a sparkling debut in March followed by a wildly successful public offering, Fong's booths, so far, seem to have failed to capture the wider public's imagination. Part of the problem is that they are difficult to use, ergonomically awkward and quite slow to boot up pages. Skeptics, and I'm one of them, say their best use so far is to shelter from Singapore's sudden rainstorms. Everyone seems to have experimented with one to go shopping and, anecdotally, four out of five say they seem like a good idea but need a lot of work.

Fong, however, is undaunted and says he is a man ahead of his time. He aims to have as many as 8,000 kiosks sprinkled across the island-and beyond to the rest of Southeast Asia, where Internet access is still limited by low incomes and selective technologies.

If all goes to plan, that day will make K.K. Fong richer than Croesus. He's already doing well. Fong took I-One International public on June 28 in a US$30 million float that by the end of the first day of trade was suddenly worth US$150 million, such is the local fervor for anything to do with e-commerce. That a businessman like Fong is anywhere near a stock exchange in an ultra-regulated corporate regime like Singapore is remarkable, and evidence of the technological revolution under way. Nine months ago, Fong had committed one of the gravest sins a manager can do here-not pay his share of the Central Provident Fund, Singapore's enforced national savings plan that anchors the island's economy and wealth.

I-One was then called Xpress Print, a hard-copy printer of bank and stockbroking research reports, items not exactly in high demand during the financial crisis. The bankers knocking at his door weren't always clients, he jokes. Profits were down 80%.

Then the vision thing happened for Fong. I-One was born and Singapore had a new high-tech hero, albeit one double the age of the average geeky Netrepreneur and who had never used a computer until he was 35. Come what may for I-One's clunky kiosks, that in itself suggests anyone can be reborn on the Net.











Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lim Jim Koon 林任君校友

Lim Jim Koon studied in Catholic High from 1956 - 1967. Below is s short introduction of him.

Lim Jim Koon, the editor of Lianhe Zaobao, was born in Singapore in 1949, and graduated from Nanyang University with a BA (Hons) degree in Government and Public Administration in 1973. He joined the Chinese-language daily Sin Chew Jit Poh, the predecessor of Lianhe Zaobao, in 1977 and has risen through the ranks of translator, foreign editor, local news editor, executive editor and associate editor to become the editor of Zaobao in 1995.

Lianhe Zaobao is the flagship Chinese-language newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings and the foremost Southeast Asia Chinese daily with the widest reach and greatest influence among Chinese readers the world over. To date, Zaobao is the only foreign Chinese-language newspaper permitted to circulate in China . As the person responsible for the overall running and editing of Zaobao, Lim also oversees, the Internet edition of Zaobao. Today, with a daily pageviews of 8-10 million, is one of the most popular Chinese online news sites in the world and is particularly well-known in China.

Lim served as board members of several statutory boards, including Public Transport Council, National Arts Council, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Civil Service College and National Heritage Board. He is presently an advisor to the Center for World Chinese Media Studies, Peking University.





Choo Thiam Siew

Old boy Choo Thiam Siew (朱添寿) studied at Catholic High from 1958 to 1969.

He is currently the President of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), a leading arts institution established in 1938. Prior to this, Mr Choo was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council, Singapore from 1997 to 2003.

Here is a news report on him in 1998:
Lion City stalking global arts title
Sunday Morning Post. June 14, 1998.

BY Zeida Cawthorne

Judging by the line-up for this year's festival, future projects may dare to challenge the island's reputation for predictability.

SEXUAL bliss is clearly not on the cards for the couple in Superfriends At The Hall Of Justice, but she refuses to give up without a fight. "Satisfy me, satisfy me!" she screams in frustration as she straddles him on a chair.
The actors may not be doing a full Monty - in mock risque fashion, they have stripped down to black bodysuits - but Haresh Sharma's production for Singapore's The Necessary Stage, definitely has impact.
At the Drama Centre in Fort Canning, a mostly young audience laps up this taboo-busting piece - homosexual undercurrents, graphic miming, 'f-word and all - at the 1998 Singapore Festival of Arts.
"Tell me: as a woman, were you offended by the masturbation scene?" a perturbed Choo Thiam Siew asks the next day in his office.
"We've had some feedback on Superfriends and I'm wondering if we should suggest that they tone it down a bit."
The dilemma facing the executive director of Singapore's National Arts Council (NAC) - presenter of the month-long festival which runs until June 28 - is something new for the Lion City. Suddenly, all sorts of unprecedented liberties are being taken and the guidelines are looking fuzzy.
Will heavy-handed censorship prevail in the squeaky-clean metropolis whose moral guardians recently saw fit to chop the lyrical nude painting scene in Titanic? The next two years will be testing. In response to the region's financial meltdown, Singapore has decided to create a new annual arts festival - shorter and leaner, but rich in Asian content - and hopes to have it in shape by the year 2000.
Like its prime model, Hong Kong, Singapore has invested hugely in the arts and this year's S$8 million festival, featuring a bevy of imported heavyweights - among them, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Twyla Tharp - plus action-packed Fringe and WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) programmes, has been the biggest ever.
"We planned it in late 1996, so we had the budget and sponsors in place, but in future the festival has to be smaller," Mr Choo says. "My biggest worry is sponsorship, though I believe Singaporeans will support a major annual arts festival.
"It will continue to be international, but focus on the best of Asia. Next year's festival will be a bit of a test run. The one after will be the important one." In fact it will combine two annually alternating events - the Singapore Festival of Arts and the Singapore Festival of Asian Performing Arts - and be reshaped in ways which the NAC hopes will prove a winner.
Providing it achieves the right mix - genuinely fresh and exciting regional fare balanced with top drawer attractions from further afield - Singapore should achieve its objective, though it will not be plain sailing.
Deeply entrenched conservatism will be one obstacle and this year's festival opener illustrated another. With such a profusion of riches to choose from, a seasoned artistic director would have been loath to settle for the worthy, but very tired Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company - but then again, the NAC does not believe in having artistic directors for its arts festivals.
Still, if selection by committee has obvious pitfalls, the eclectic, often stunning lineup for '98 has also proved the NAC lacks neither sophistication nor daring.
It certainly boasts some formidable talent at the top.
Indeed, between them, Mr Choo and chairman Liu Thai Ker have wrought much of that modern miracle visible throughout the lush island.
"When 1 took on this job in 1995, 1 chopped off the 'horti' and kept the 'culture'," says Mr Choo, the New Zealand-trained visionary responsible for the greening of Singapore.
"Frankly, it was a real shock. Despite my experience in strategic planning, the arts presented me with a completely different horizon and 1 thought: why me?"
"Choo Thiam Siew is quite a poet and artist - actually, a wonderful calligrapher - and very well versed in all the arts," observes Mr. Liu, the urbane architect who went on to Yale after completing his degree at the University of New South Wales and, in 1989, became the founding chief executive officer and chief planner of Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority.
"Back in the early '70s, 1 remember taking photos of pigs' waste flowing over footpaths and visiting parts of Chinatown where there were 900 people per hectare and most of the buildings were firetraps," says the man who revolutionised public housing in a way no city in Asia - and few elsewhere - has equalled.
Today's clean, green, fastidiously planned Singapore may remind Hong Kong cynics of a vast Discovery Bay, but as the venues for the Festival of Arts sharply remind, there is much to envy.
The twin elegance of the Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall; the old-world charm of Jubilee Hall at the Raffles Hotel; the former Catholic schools which have been brilliantly transformed into the Singapore Art Museum (presently hosting the festival highlight, the Origins Of Modern Art In France: 1880-1939) and trendy disco and dining favourite Chijmes (once the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus) - Singapore oozes history and heritage, and the arts have been a key beneficiary.
Other major conservation projects, including the second wing of the Asian Civilisations Museum, are in full swing, though the real excitement centres on The Esplanade, the performing arts complex at Marina Bay, due to open in three years' time, complete with a 2000-seat Lyric Theatre and 1800-seat concert hall.
As old buildings undergo facelifts and new ones rise, the obvious question is whether Singapore has the talent to fill them. Certainly, it does not have a long tradition in theatre training - things only started moving in the '80s - though that is not necessarily a disadvantage.
"In Singapore, 'good' acting used to mean British accents and that is still the prevailing sentiment in some quarters, though things are changing," notes Goh Su Lin, general manager of The Necessary Stage.
"We're now seeing a lot of contemporary theatre - often using other local languages and Singlish - which is attracting young, enthusiastic audiences.
"Here, we start with ideas and develop works from them - hence the company's name. Most of the older theatre groups are similarly experimental and it's the newer ones which are mainstream.
Usually, it's the other way round, so it seems we've broken the mould in Singapore."
Many would question Ms Goh's bold assertion, but there is a bigger challenge to consider.
Now that the Hong Kong Arts Festival has the international field largely to itself, will it meet the demands of the new millennium - or allow Singapore to realise its enthusiastic hype and become Asia's Global City for the Arts?

Published in the Sunday Morning Post. June 14, 1998

Friday, December 4, 2009





Wednesday, December 2, 2009

李昭铭校友 Dr Lee Chiaw Meng





Dr Lee Chiaw Meng
By Koh Lay Tin
Written on 2001-11-02
National Library Board Singapore

Dr Lee had studied in Catholic High School and Chung Cheng High School before he obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in 1960 at the University of Malaya. After graduation, he worked with PWD until 1961 when he went to Britain for higher studies and to obtain industrial experience.
He obtained a PhD in engineering from the University of London in 1965 and returned to join Singapore Polytechnic as a lecturer in civil engineering.
Dr Lee stepped into politics in 1968 when he scored victory in the General Election to become the MP for Farrer Park (13 April 1968 to 13 December 1980). He moved over to Tanah Merah (13 Dec1980 to 3 Dec 1984) when Farrer Park was abolished as a constituency. He was best remembered as the Education Minister, a portfolio that he held from 1972 to 1975.

He died of duodenum cancer on 23 May 2001, leaving behind his second wife, Lyn Lee, three sons and two daughters.

Appointments in Parliament

03/08/1968 - 10/08/1970 : Parliamentary Secretary for Education.
11/08/1970 - 15/09/1972 : Minister of State for Education.
16/09/1972 - 01/06/1975 : Minister for Education.
02/06/1975 - 30/12/1976 : Minister for Science and Technology.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

杜崇智校友 Toh Shung Chee

你认识这张相片里面的人吗? 他就是我们的老校友杜崇智先生。