Tuesday, December 21, 2010

谢佳霖 Steve Seah Kah-Leng

谢佳霖 Steve Seah Kah-Leng
校友谢佳霖(1976年中四)于12月12日刊登于联合早报的访谈中把手术与艺术联系。以下是访谈的内容。

很多跟著名眼科医生谢佳霖第一次见面的人,都觉得他外表比实际岁数年轻,怎么看都不像刚年过半百的中年人。今年50岁的他,虽然是经验老到的眼科医生,但是却充满设计天分,曾为乌节路一带的豪华公寓设计示范单位,更是跑车爱好者,家里经常更换跑车款。


从小对跑车情有独钟

在位于Camden Medical Centre的诊所访问他,一头打理得时髦的浓密头发,西装笔挺,说起话来滔滔不绝。他并不掩饰自己喜爱跑车,大方地分享从服兵役后就开始存钱买跑车的嗜好。

他说:“我从小就对跑车情有独钟,爸爸妈妈不爱这些东西,但是哥哥和姐姐驾的车款是意大利车飞霞(Fiat)和丰田Toyota Celica跑车款,在70年代,这已经很具吸引力。”虽然年纪小,无法考车,但是喜爱跑车的苗子已深埋心底。

进入服役年龄,他受训半年后,顺利申请到公共服务委员会(PSC)奖学金,在本地的大学读医科5年。他说:“读完书再回去当兵,当时的薪水是1200元,不用养家,存够钱后买的第一辆车是万事达Mazda 323 GT,属于跑车款,3万元。驾两三年后就卖掉,还赚了几千元。”之后,他买丰田Toyota MR2,正式向玩跑车进军。

谢医生驾过许多不同跑车,如法拉利、保时捷等,但目前家里只留下三辆车子,一辆价格过百万的蓝宝基尼(Lamborghini)Murcielago V12,一辆日产GTR,另一辆是宝马525型家用车。他最常驾到诊所的是日产GTR,“主要是引擎性能非常好,比Lambor还特出,而且价格只有Lambor的三分一,另一原因是声音没那么吵!”

他最喜欢蓝宝基尼跑车。他享受参加蓝宝基尼跑车俱乐部的活动,经常组队到马来西亚跑车。“通常,我们清晨6时出发到柔佛,在那里吃早餐,如牛肉面、印度煎饼等,聊天聚会,来回100多公里,都是由经验丰富的人带路,我们不跑高速公路,而是其他弯曲的小路,中午前回到新加坡,挺好玩的!”他平均每个月参加一次这类活动。

他说:“跑车越玩越难脱身,有点骑虎难下的感觉,如果你要我拿这么多钱买一辆新的跑车玩,根本付不起,都是用抵价(trade in)的方式,旧的替换新的,这样继续有新款跑车可以驾。”

星期二访问谢医生,他刚从英国回来,他说去那里帮忙打点大儿子(16岁)的寄宿学校(boarding school)事宜。“新加坡的教育制度给学生很多压力,到英国读书比较好,一年多后毕业,回来服兵役,之后再打算是否再回去读大学。”

儿子喜欢跑车吗?

谢医生说:“比我还厉害,他小时候只要看到跑车的防撞杆(Bumper),就可以说出车子的款型,我有时还输他。不过,我可养不起爱玩跑车的孩子,哈哈哈!”本地举行的三次F1夜间赛车,父子都没错过。

引进“四合一”手术

谢佳霖医生行医26年,他形容手术好比艺术一样,要求完美,更要求精准。

谢医生是本地Optimax屈光中心的医务总监,也是新加坡眼科协会卸任主席,是引进这项“四合一”手术的第一个亚洲医生。这种全新的多焦点激光矫正技术PAC,除了近视、远视和散光外,它还能有效地矫正老花眼。

谢医生从1990年至2005年,在新加坡全国眼科中心(SNEC)工作,曾担任中心青光眼研究部门主管多年。之后,他离开中心,加入私人机构,在博燕综合医疗诊所工作。

他说:“这是一家销售保健补品的公司,也设立癌症、心脏、眼科部门,我是在眼科部门工作。当时诊所购买了一台先进的PAC‘多焦度准分子激光原位角膜塑形’仪器,我到法国受训后回新,开始进行这项本地全新的眼科手术。2008年,博燕结束营业,我用30万元左右买下它的眼科部门,然后成立Optimax屈光中心,这是英国和马来西亚集团的公司,为病人提供激光矫正视力和其他眼疾医疗服务。”

谢医生说,以往人们以为激光手术只可解决近视问题,如果同时患有散光和老花,就必须再安排时间另做手术,不仅要多付昂贵手术费,也得花更多时间恢复。

PAC眼科手术源自法国一名医生设计的软件,能通过尼德克准分子激光机(NIDEX Excimer Laser)治疗老花问题;它采用多区域激光切除概念来制造一个“多焦度”角膜,帮助眼球“恢复”其对近物的对焦视力,同时加强观看远物的视力。

这种以激光一次过矫正四种视力问题,只需10分钟,给予病人更大方便。到目前为止,谢医生已进行数千宗这类手术。

免费眼睛检查“巡岛”服务

谢医生经常受邀到国内外进行讲座,最令他印象深刻的是在新加坡筹办2006年“亚太眼科学会大会”(Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress),约2500名与会者中包括国内外著名眼科医生和专家等。他说,这是继1990年,本地著名眼科医生林少明教授筹办的“国际眼科大会”(ICO)之后,本地最具规模的国际眼科大会。谢医生说:“当时,我是亚太眼科学会大会的主席,压力很大,很多国家都希望筹办这类国际级的大会,这对提升新加坡的在国际间的医疗地位有帮助,此外也对旅游业有益。”

以前担任眼科协会会长时,谢佳霖医生经常主办义务眼科服务,帮助盲人协会筹款,或是给贫穷人士免费验眼。今年,他开始“巡岛”服务,到工厂区开免费讲座,给予员工免费眼睛检查、测眼压等。他说,一些员工对自己患上眼疾如青光眼等都不知道,对眼睛检查也了解不多。至今,已到本地三四家大型工厂义诊,几千人受惠。

设计示范单位

2007年,吉宝置业推出The Ritz Residences豪华公寓,现改名为The Suites @ Central,每平方英尺约1500元,找了三人设计示范单位,希望在当时经济前景不明朗的情况下,能刺激销售数字。名单中,有谢佳霖的名字。

这个33层楼高的永久地契项目,坐落于德文莎路(Devonshire Road)和圣多马径(St Thomas Walk)的The Suites,是一个拥有157个单位的豪华共管公寓项目。

除了谢佳霖医生之外,其他两人是贺诗(HAACH)总裁Ponz吴敏芳,着重设计属于名媛的口味;另一个是退休银行家。谢佳霖医生说:“我走的是专业人士路线,墙壁是黑色的,家具黑白为主调,配上吊灯等等,大概放了两个月,然后举行party,请受邀人士来参观,帮助推销一下。”那时,谢医生刚好搬家,亲自构思室内设计,因此设计示范单位不是问题。

成绩如何?

“反应很好,大家都觉得设计得不错。不过,发展商没有给我优惠价购买,否则现在就赚大钱了,哈哈哈!”

他说,艺术与设计需要很多创意,但是当眼科医生为病人动手术时,就不能把创意放在里头,它非常讲求精准,差分毫都不行。

Saturday, November 13, 2010

莊永康 Chong Wing Hong:叩问传统

校友莊永康著作《莊永康专栏文集· 叩问传统》出版了

莊永康1948年生,从1960年(中一)至1965年(高中)就读于公教中学。新加坡南洋大學理學士,倫敦西敏寺大學影視學碩士,曾任職新加坡《海峽時報》、英國廣播電臺(BBC)中文部、新加坡《聯合早報〉,兼任南洋理工大學傳播學院副教授。曾为《聯合早報》高級評論員暨專欄作家。社會工作:新加坡國家文物局委員。

现已退休。

媒體工作生涯中,曾獲日本-亞細安新聞協會獎學金(1985)、美國傑佛遜獎學金(Jefferson Fellowship, 1999)。

著作有文集《從霧都到南洋》、電影筆記《戲言》、新聞學作品《新加坡華社研究》、筆記小說《曇花鏡影》,並撰寫《化雨》大合唱全本歌詞,由作曲家潘耀田譜曲,在2001年新加坡藝術節由新加坡華樂團呈演。

以下录莊校友2005年写的一篇文章供大家参考:

中华文化并非铁板一块

新中两地有文友在本报言论版上辩论,什么是中华文化?中华文化是不是就等于中国文化?各执一词。坦白说,那确实“因为新加坡与中国毕竟是两个不同的国家,对于同一社会现象的理解不尽一致”,情有可原。


是的,新加坡的写作人拥抱“中华文化”显得那么热情如火,而对接受“中国文化”一词则面有难色。为什么?没有在“南洋”生活过的中国学人,对于某些细微的差别是难以体会的,甚至觉得难以理喻。

内里乾坤,主要在于:其一、新加坡是个多元种族、多元宗教的世俗国家,处在多元文化的区域。在这水域里面,“同化”两字是相当敏感的,本区域任何种族之中都有反应极度强烈的人,不愿被他族同化。保留传统和维护民族文化的诉求,其实也不仅限于华族。

说起来,新加坡把华文华语定为华人的“母语”,务实的原因之一,也就在于表示国家政策并没有强迫任何他族学习华文。当然这也会产生负面影响,人们往往被“一族一母语”的思维框住,语言的传习难以跳出族裔的范畴。实际上,一名马来族或印族国人为了想“赶搭中国顺风车”而猛学华文,是没有触犯任何法令的,也没有违背任何传统。

其二、对中国学人来说,中华文化等于中国文化,那是天经地义,理所当然。不过对新加坡华人而言,“中华”与“中国”在概念上确有不同——字面上也不一样嘛!“中华”一词多涵盖文化,尤其是五千年文化这般诗意的表达;而谈到“国”字,就未免让人想到政治的层面。

固然,从纯文字看,“顿成泽国”、“红豆生南国”、“国色天香”的“国”,是没有政治意涵的。但从冷战时代过来的人,在不同体制内生活过的人,对“国”字无疑特别敏感。在政治语汇里面,“国”可以是“一个阶级压迫另一个阶级的工具”。

是的,时至今日,我个人也不喜欢动辄以过度敏感的字眼来论文化,到头来也论不出个所以然。我只想说明,任何阴影的存在都是客观的事实,不必掩耳盗铃假设事情从来没有发生,也不必纠缠不清,让过去的阴影形成我们前进的羁绊。认清事实的本质,应该是我们探讨文化议题的态度。

其三、华人应发扬“中华文化”,这一概念是被本地普遍接受的,至少可以公开提出来而不至于那么敏感。尤其到最近,鉴于中国改革开放带来的经济机遇,政治领导层也觉得有必要阐明,华人只要政治上效忠本土,认同中华文化毫不碍事。

当然,政界的表态只不过显露气候转变了,但人们是否要多添衣裳,是否要备好帽伞,还是得拭目以待。像本地华文写作界个别人士那种拥抱中华文化的热情,终归属于少数。许多人还在想,学好华文就能搭上顺风车,有那么“神”吗?我认为,质疑态度显示新加坡人渐趋成熟,是正常的现象,不见得是件坏事。

凭借着“南洋伯”的敏感,本人对中华文化素来也作了一些观察。根据专家的定义,中华文化是指从华夏文明发源,再经过约三千年沉淀而造就的汉文明。中华文化以汉族文化传统为核心,那是毫无疑问的。且看,一直到1911年完成的辛亥革命,也要打着“驱逐鞑虏”的旗号。

然而,中华文化是否具有一般想像中的划一性(homogeneity),那么浑然天成?那倒是值得检视的。

不错,当我们从深圳旅行到乌鲁木齐,发现中国城市现代化(也等于汉化)所产生的一致性,是令人惊讶的——是不是单调,见仁见智。而根据统计,中国人口93%是汉族。不过,与此同时,那其余的7%,却代表着55个民族。

55个,是指现存的民族。在历史上消失了、被同化了、被融合了的民族,那就不计其数了。那么在中华文化铸就的过程中,汉以外的这些民族所贡献出来的血汗、养分、冲击(让中华文化知道长进),又有多少呢?

虽然亨廷顿教授的文明冲突论有人觉得太过火,但历史上文明的产生,又的确是在不断冲撞、排斥、过滤、眉目传情、回心转意、吸收、糅合,各种过程汇集而成。汉族吸收外来文化如此:即使被认为宽容开放的唐朝,也曾经大力抗拒佛教的入传——唐三臧是偷渡出关取经的,皇帝并不批准。

少数民族的汉化,尽管对他们来说是利多弊少,却也同样是个极度无奈的过程。少数民族执掌政权的时候,如元朝、清朝,虽然都得采用汉语和汉式章典制度,但也同时提出了不少与“汉化”反其道而行的政策,实行起来亦非常惨烈。

近年由于思考上述问题,对一个历史人物——北魏孝文帝,特别感到兴趣。上网查阅,发觉中国国内知识界对此人的评价也莫衷一是,发出“盖世英雄还是千古罪人”一问,数年前便已辩到天翻地覆。

限于篇幅,有机会才与大家畅谈北魏孝文帝。不过,上述这些近期辩论却已告诉我们,中华文化并不是铁板一块,只要我们能冷静旁观,文化中的各种“色彩”就会缤纷呈现,罗列眼前。

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

公教校友谈大学教育

2003年8月25日联合早报的黄佩玲报道:

三所大学领导人同意 加强合作弃恶性竞争

我国大学教育的未来发展需要大幅度改变,除了培养全方位学生之外,大学在提升我国经济竞争力方面,也应扮演举足轻重的角色。

南洋理工大学校长徐冠林教授、新加坡国立大学教务长兼副校长庄志达教授和新加坡管理大学教务长陈振忠教授,昨天下午在一场由公教中学校友会和联合早报所举办的华语座谈会上,共商本地大学教育的前景。座谈会的讲题是《新加坡大学教育的趋势与挑战》,主席是联合早报总编辑林任君。
陈振忠

本地三所大学领导人同台的情景颇具历史性。除了对大学教育课题相互交换精辟见解,三校也同意要摒弃恶性竞争,加强学府之间的合作与交流关系。

新加坡需要新模式的大学教育,变革必须大幅度,这是三名主讲者一致同意的。在席上首先发言的陈振忠教授指出,学生们为求职而读书,这一直是本地大学教育的局限。

他认为,目前的大学教育仍然过于注重专门学科,课程设计缺乏灵活性。“我们必须摒弃旧式的英国式教育,慢慢走向更多元的美式教育。可是,这个改变将是漫长和痛苦的。”

陈振忠说,新加坡管理大学还“年轻”,要建立新式的大学制度,不比两所资深大学所面临的挑战大。而且,教育制度的变革也必须从中小学做起,一路贯通。

庄志达
另外,本地大学的办学资金多达80%来自政府,他认为本地大学如果要提升水准,必须想办法寻找私人企业界的资助以发展更多教育项目。

庄志达教授同意,新加坡大学教育必须走向广泛式的,而且本地大学近年来也兴起了不少跨学科课程,例如生物工程和生化资讯。现在的学生必须对人文和科学都有基本的掌握,知识层面不会太狭隘,也不至于学无专长。

他相信,未来大学教育的挑战是要培养一批热爱终身学习、具创业精神,以及心系祖国的青年。“当国家面临困难时,有多少新加坡年轻人会想要移民?如果我们无法在小学、中学,甚至是大学教育里引进这种‘心系祖国’的思维,那我们的教育就有点失败。”

庄志达认为,本地大学也必须想办法吸引优秀的学生留在新加坡考取大学教育。“因为在新加坡的每一代领导人当中,我们需要一些接受新加坡教育、了解民情和掌握我国社会脉搏的人才。”
除了必须负起社会责任,在大众教育和精英教育之间取得平衡,新加坡大学也必须放眼世界,帮助提高新加坡在全球的竞争力,在我国的经济发展里扮演举足轻重的角色。

现在的经济发展越来越变幻莫测,徐冠林教授说,一些大学生可能在求学时选读了一些热门科目,可是在毕业后,这些原本热门的职位空缺却已经流失海外了,例如本地有不少电脑程序编写的工作,现在已经流失到印度和中国。

“因此,我们的大学需要做脱胎换骨的改变,才能适应新时代的需求。我们要培养的学生是全方位的人才,无论什么时候都能走出自己的路。”

三校领导人也同意,在培养全方位学生时,提供人文教育是重要的一环。

三名主讲者同是公教中学毕业生,在昨天的历史性聚会上,座谈会主席林任君便表示,希望借这次千载难逢的讲座,三人的友谊也能促进三大学府的合作关系。

对此,徐冠林语重心长说道,国家目前面对如此严峻的挑战,三所大学有必要更紧密地合作。他说:“三所大学各自与外国大学有很多合作,可是三校之间却很少合作与交流,甚至有点猜忌的现象。我觉得这很可惜,因为只有本土大学最了解资金国家的需求。三校应该集中资源、取长补短,为新加坡争取一个更美好的明天。”
林任君

他指出,美国大学虽然注重竞争,可是竞争大多在体育方面;在学术方面,美国学府之间有很多交流与合作。做为一个开始,徐冠林希望三校的教授们能进行更多分工合作式的学术研究。

出席座谈会的公众有600多人,除了教育界人士,也有不少关心孩子教育前景的家长。座谈会是在文华酒店举行。


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“未来是无法预测的。政府也没有全部的资料,或是一个水晶球,能预知未来的世界经济发展是怎么样。重要的是,年轻人要学会靠自己。硅谷一名企业家曾经告诉我,创业时一定要选择自己喜欢做的事,因为最后即使创业失败了,你还是有所收获。” ——徐冠林
徐冠林

“我时常拿新加坡青年和以色列青年做比较。以色列面临许多内忧外患,可是很多以色列人在美国念书,考获优异成绩,甚至成为杰出的研究生或博士,都会想回以色列效劳;很少听说他们在国家有难时会要逃离到较安全的地方。

是什么教学意识使到本地和以色列学生的意识形体有如此大的差别?我觉得这是值得 我们去研究的。” ——庄志达

“如果你选择到美国大学例如哈佛念书,一年需要付出七八万元,可是你在国大或南大的话,一年的学费可能只需要5900元。虽然本地学府和外国优秀大学还有一段距离,可是这距离越来越近。留在新加坡读大学有很多好处,而且肯定是物有所值(value for money)。” ——陈振忠

注:林任君、徐冠林、庄志达、陈振忠同是公教中学毕业生。
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Monday, November 8, 2010

高鸿发 Kor Hong Fatt - Our Oldest Marathoner

Kor Hong Fatt
Old boy Kor Hong Fatt, 78 (高鸿发, Junior Middle III, 1951) is one of Singapore’s oldest marathoners. But he does not take his status lightly.

The retired technical supervisor suffered a heart attack at the age of 70. Two years later, he ran his first 42km race. His brush with death was a shock for the man who had never thought much about exercise before. “When I was young, I would run only when I was free,” he said in Mandarin.

The attack prompted him to re-evaluate his health. “I wanted to take care of myself to prevent a second heart attack. I have to take care of my wife,” he said. His wife, Madam Wang Siew Eng, who is also 78, suffered a stroke on the right side of her body 16 years ago and needs help in daily activities like bathing. The couple have two adult sons.

He took 18 months to train for his first marathon and did this without telling his doctor. “My family was also against it but I told them that I would be careful and stop if I felt uncomfortable,” he said.

He used a heart rate monitor to make sure he stayed within 50 to 85 per cent of his maximum heart rate (MHR) and took breaks when he felt any chest discomfort. He attended running forums and read many books about running to learn how best to pace himself as he trained. The MHR is the greatest number of beats per minute that is safe for the heart. A commonly used MHR formula is 220 - (your age). One should not exceed 85 per cent of the MHR when exercising.

He paced his training regimen well, starting with slow walks on the treadmill, then progressed to brisk walks, slow jogs and finally, a full marathon.

Kor Hong Fatt has run in 11 marathons and will be taking part in the upcoming Standard Chartered Marathon on 5 Dec 2010.

But if his heart is up to it, his knees tell a different story. Four years ago, he experienced excrutiating pain in both knees while running. He had run in four marathons that year. A sports physician advised him to run less and go for physiotherapy. As a result, he cut his participation to just one marathon a year.

Every four months, he has a follow-up consultation with doctors at a polyclinic because of his previous heart attack. He is on lifelong medication and has a yearly heart scan.

For a man who seldom exercised before, running has become something he cannot do without. “One is never too old to start exercising,” he said. “I will continue running even beyond the age of 80 as long as I am able to.”

Note: Kor Hong Fatt will be taking part in the upcoming Standard Chartered Marathon on 5 Dec 2010. 

His entry to the 115th Boston Marathon to be held on 18 April 2011 has been accepted.



Many runners dream of making a 'pilgrimage' to Boston to run the world's oldest marathon - if they can meet the tough qualification time. Boston Marathon is one of the toughest marathons in the world, its is a hilly terrain to run in, with the notorious 'Heartbreak' Hill being one of them.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rodney Cheong Chin Hong 钟振风


Rodney Cheong Chin Hong 钟振风
Rodnet Cheong (Sec 4, 1985) is the Managing Director of Seiko Architectural Wall Systems Pte Ltde. The Company is recently awarded one of the Singapore's 50 most enterprising companies 2010.

The company was established in 1978 and with more than 30 years of experience and more than 100 employees, the company has made a presence in the local construction industry as a prominent specialist for Aluminium Architectural Products that include cladding systems; curtain wall; windows-&-doors; louvers & sunshades, and shop fronts.

Its factory premise is located at 16 Chin Bee Drive with an area of over 5,000 sq m.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

李显龙:母亲葬礼上的致悼词 Lee Hsien Loong

李显龙在公教接受中学教育,1969年高二毕业。以下是他于母亲柯玉芝(逝世于2010年10月2日)葬礼上致悼词的全文。他说,由于父亲李光耀忙着政治工作,因此抚养孩子的重担都落在母亲身上。思母之情,感人肺腑。

李显龙 Lee Hsien Loong
Mama has always been part of our lives. Papa was busy with political work, so she did most of the bringing up of the children - me, Ling and Yang. She nurtured us, taught us, disciplined us, took care of us, and fussed over us. She would be home for lunch every day when we came home from school, spending some time with us before going back to work in the afternoon.

Loving but strict, she enforced clear rules, encouraged us to do well, and took pride in our successes. She kept the first school prize that I ever won, for doing well in kindergarten - a pencil sharpener in the shape of tiny trophy, which is still today, in the display cabinet at home.

Not surprisingly, Mama did not shower us with expensive toys, and rather disapproved when the grandparents sometimes did. But she would visit the textile shops that used to be in High Street, and bring us home the long cardboard rolls- the tubes, which were at the centre of the rolls of fabric, and had been discarded after all the fabric had been sold. They cost nothing, but they were great fun used as telescopes, for sword fights, and endless children's games. When I had my own children, my wife and I did the same.

We would visit our maternal grandparents at Pasir Panjang regularly. Their house was on the seafront, and at high tide the water would come right in to the seawall. We would swim in the sea, and Mama would sit on the steps watching over us. Once when I had almost learnt to swim but not quite, I got into difficulty- fooling around with a pair of goggles and a snorkel, and nearly drowned. Mama had to plunge in fully dressed to rescue me. She was not amused. Today, it's dry land.
 
When the boys went away to university, she fussed over us at long distance. She was a skilful knitter, and knitted us sweaters to stay warm, one after another. I still have one of them, a favourite rust-coloured one, patched many times at the elbows but still warm.
When Hsien Yang and I got married, she embraced her daughters-in-law as her own children. When grandchildren arrived, she helped to look after them, especially my two elder children - Xiuqi and Yipeng - after their mother Ming Yang died. She and the Popo supervised the maids, took the very little ones for walks every evening, and more than made up for what I could not do as a single father.

The years passed. Even in old age, Mama kept a motherly eye on her children. She would follow my public appearances on TV and in the press, and comment on my dress or demeanour or makeup, by the make-up artiste. After one particularly long evening function which both my parents and I attended, she reproached me and she said: "You were bored stiff, and looked it". When I fell ill with lymphoma, she worried about my children again, and also about me, fretting over whether I was eating enough nutritious food like bird's nest to stay strong and fight the cancer.

On Sundays the family would gather for lunch at Oxley Road. For a time it was with all the grandchildren, who would make a fine hullabaloo. But as the kids grew up and went off to national service, or went away to study, often it would be back to just Papa, Mama and the three children and our wives, plus Shaowu, the youngest grandchild.

One Sunday in May two years ago, we had the usual family lunch. I had spent the morning on a constituency visit to Tampines, and told her they were debating whether to allow bicycles on pedestrian footpaths. She reminded me that when I was in Cambridge and was mostly a pedestrian, I had written home to complain about the bicycles being a menace, because they crept up quietly on one from behind, giving no warning except for sinister whirring noises. I had completely forgotten, but she was right. She said: "The older I get, the longer ago the things I remember". But she tracked current events too, and knew what the hot topics of the day were. I think the hot topic at that time was serving beer at coffee shops.

The next day I was in my office when my security officer told me that Mama had fallen down at home, and Wei Ling was rushing her to NNI. She had had her second stroke. The last two and a half years have been difficult on her and on the family. Now she is at peace.

Over these last few days, I and my family have been deeply touched by the outpouring of condolences and fond recollections from people of all walks of life.We've stood receiving the visitors, reminiscing, shaking hands, delighting in seeing each other again or honoured that so many have come. She touched the lives of all those who met her, and many more who knew of her only through television images, media reports, or perhaps just by word of mouth. They sensed what a special person she was, and how much she had quietly contributed to Singa¬pore.

Thousands turned up at Sri Temasek to pay their respects. Some bowed or stood in silent prayer, while others crossed themselves or did a namaste. Still others fingered rosaries, and at least one lady spun a little prayer wheel. Many were visibly moved. Mama's children and our spouses stood beside her to acknowledge and thank them all, just as Mama had stood beside us so many times before.

All of our lives, Mama has been there for us. We have rejoiced together, grieved together, and shared many milestones and critical moments together. Now we will all have to learn to live without her. But she lives on in her children and grandchildren, in our cherished memories of her, and in the persons she has nurtured us into.

徐冠林 Su Guaning

徐冠林 Xu Guaning
徐冠林1964年毕业于公教中学后转入莱佛士书院读大学先修班。1967年得到总统奖学金和哥伦坡计划奖学金到加拿大深造。2003年1月1日出任新加坡南洋理工大学校长。

2011年6月第二个任期满后,徐冠林将卸下校长职务。他日前接受《联合早报》访问时,畅谈他担任南洋理工大学的感想。以下是11月1日《联合早报》所刊登的访谈中的一些话题。

没有考虑换地办校

新加坡国立大学上一任校长施春风教授卸任后到沙特阿拉伯阿卜杜拉国王科技大学当创校校长,徐冠林校长卸任后会不会考虑换给地方办校?

他微笑但是很坚定地说:“没有这个想法,虽然有人找我。”

他说,他下来希望能花点时间探讨自己的兴趣,比如寻找一些中国方面的机缘,以及一些个人感兴趣的研究项目。另外,徐校长的小女儿明年上小学六年级,他希望能有多点时间陪家人。

“过去八年非常忙碌,我觉得亏欠了家人,所以下来是时候‘还一点债’。”

三个机缘下建立南大名声

回首云南园八年,徐校长很感谢时代给他的三个机缘,让他能在国际学术界把南大的名声建立起来。

第一个机缘是在他上任那一年,当时的人力部代部长兼教育部政务部长领导的跨部门大学素质委员会提出《大学结构及大学生人力分配检讨报告书》建议,把我国大学生的比率从20%增加到25%,增加的学额主要在南洋理工大学,每年收生从4400名增加到6000名。

于是南大在2004年设立文学院,2005年设立数理科学院和艺术、设计与媒体学院。从此,南大学生有比较全面的学科选择。

第二个机缘是大学自主,让我国大学更重视学术人员办校。徐校长在那个机缘下大刀阔斧地对教职员的体制进行改革,把门槛提高,除邀请国际知名教授前来教学,也利用增加三所新学院而来的空缺,聘请许多年轻的杰出教授。过去三年,南大总共邀请了300位国际上杰出的研究人员。

第三个机缘是政府在2006年后拨出巨额支持科研工作。从2006年到2010年,政府五年里拨出的研究基金达135亿元,使得大学有更多机会争取研究基金进行各领域的研究。

南大原本不是研究密集型大学,为吸引高端研究人员,徐冠林校长在2007年邀请安博迪教授出任常务副校长。安博迪教授曾担任诺贝尔化学奖评选委员会主席,国际学术界的联络网很强。徐校长说,这几年南大在研究基金的争取方面和国大几乎大成平手,如果不是安博迪教授,南大不可能办到。(安博迪教授(Bertil Andersson)是瑞典籍的国际知名生物化学家,2007年加入南大。他在国际学术界声名显赫,曾担任诺贝尔化学奖遴选委员会主席。)

“在我就任第一年,我们争取到的研究资金是3000万元左右,2009年是3亿元,增加了10倍。”

虽然南大还是以理工科为主,但由于这些机缘,徐冠林校长在任内能把南大发展成一所学科广泛的综合大学,现在还筹办医学院,这是他这八年来感觉最满意的成绩。

希望南大复名 引起轩然大波

徐冠林校长出掌南洋理工大学初期,认真地阅读了南大迂回的历史,他曾希望把南洋大学、南洋理工学院到南洋理工大学50年的历史整理好,把模糊的桥梁搭建起来。
翻阅当时的许多关于他的专访和报道,看到是一个理想主义者的热情,他希望当南大变成综合大学后,还原“南洋大学”校名。

“那是2005年确定的一个新想法。我在2003年上任时和南大校友有很多交流,他们都希望恢复南洋大学的名字。”

那时候,南洋理工大学一些学生也认为“理工”两个字并不适宜。另外,徐校长参考一些历史资料包括《李光耀回忆录》后也认为,只要南大成为一所综合大学,去掉“理工”两个字不是大问题,复名是迟早的事。

徐校长这一想法引起轩然大波。他说:“对于复名,基本上南洋大学的校友分成两派,新加坡这边比较正面,就算正面,也希望恢复以母语教学的比重。海外更复杂,海外南大校友对新加坡现在的发展不是很了解,他们的理解还停留在殖民地或者是建国初期。他们多数觉得,南洋大学的实体已经不在了,再恢复叫南洋大学,是‘冒名’,不是‘复名’。”

回想当年,徐冠林校长语气中带有感慨地说:“既然有那么多问题,我觉得把精神放在那里会影响办学,于是把这个问题搁置。”

放下这个问题后,他的思路更清楚,他认为要把南大办好,需要发挥自己的优势和特色,而南大应该维持重视理工的优势,加强科技方面的突破。如今,南洋理工大学的工科和理科占了70%,以这样的组合成分来说,“理工”两个字确确实实是南大的特色。

徐冠林校长很理性地给南大复名的事件做一个总结说:“南洋大学给我们留下的最重要遗产,一个是校园,一个是精神。我刚来的时候,南大精神没有真正传承过来,现在我认为要让南洋大学校友感到欣慰的是,我们把南洋大学‘自强不息,力争上游’的精神传递了下来。”

Su Guaning (1950– ) Scientist, engineer and academic. Born in Taiwan, Su Guaning moved to Singapore when he was seven years old. He studied at Catholic High and Raffles Institution, and won a President’s Scholarship. In 1967, he was awarded a Colombo Plan Scholarship. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada, and went on to earn a master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology, and a PhD from Stanford University.

From 1986 to 1997, Su was Director of the Defence Science Organisation, corporatizing it as DSO National Laboratories in 1997. He left in 1997 to head the Defence Technology Group at the Ministry of Defence. In 2000, he became the first chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Agency. He has also played a prominent role in national science and technology policy since 1988, helping to establish the National Science and Technology Board, and serving on it from 1991 to 2001.

Su was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 1998 and received the National Science and Technology Medal in 2003. He was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the president of France in 2005. He became president of Nanyang Technological University in 2003.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

杨一肩: 从公教中学双庆会谈起


杨一肩师 Mr Yong Yit Kin
公教退休老师杨一肩(Mr Yong Yit Kin)去函联合早报,谈他对作为公教老师的感想。联合早报今天(2010年10月26日)发表了该函。以下是杨老师的投函:

10月13日,我受邀参加公教中学建校75周年及校友会成立41周年双庆会,于香格里拉大酒店宴开百席,师友千余人同庆,气氛热闹和融。最引人瞩目的除了前老校长张世典修士外,便是退休老师也是座上嘉宾。


庆典的盛况暂且不提,公教中学校友会的活动是最有意义与令人深思的。这些年来,校友会总在中秋节前,派校友亲往退休老师家中,送上月饼与柚子,并呈上一张请柬,邀老师们参加宴会,几十年来都是如此。我是公教中学的老师,退休整十多年了,年年都收到这份礼物,心里总觉得暖暖的,深感校友们都没有把老师忘记,这种饮水思源、尊老敬贤的精神完全表现出来,这也是华文源流学校特有的优良传统。

我执教鞭30余年,辗转在5所中学执教,其中华文源流的学校如圣公会中学与公教中学令我最难忘怀,至今,犹有30年前的学生前来拜访我,有者在学业上青出于蓝;有者在事业上攀上高峰,都尚能对我敬爱有加,其他英文源流的学生,从未听过组办宴会团契,也鲜有学生登门造访。

究其原因,华文源流的学生都浸濡在儒家或中华传统的思想中,潜移默化,当然把这些优良传统铭记心中,英文源流的学校重的是学业成绩,在塑造传统精神上可能较忽略了。

现在,学校是统一的,无所谓华文底或英文底。大多学校多注重学业成绩或学校排名,学生也为了考好成绩而努力,补习再补习,这种情况,哪还顾及儒家思想或优良传统的传扬呢?

(读者中有谁能提供杨老师在公教时期的资料,感激不尽。)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010年双庆晚宴 张世典校长为学校筹得七万五千元

Bro. Joseph Dufresse 张世典修士
张世典校长于1960年至1973年担任公教校长。

今年10月13日,校友会在香格里拉大酒店举行庆祝建校75周年暨校友会成立41周年双庆晚宴,获得千名校友热烈反应,大家欢聚一堂,场面热闹温馨。

值得一提的是,83岁张世典校长把陪伴了他36年的小提琴捐出,为母校筹得超过7万5千元善款。张校长宝刀未老,拿起小提琴现场演奏了一曲自创的小提琴曲目,赢得热烈的掌声。

得知校长欲拍卖他的小提琴时,校友们个个无不为之动容,纷纷慷慨解囊,买下小提琴,并且归还给校长。而所得的善款,全部捐给母校,以学校的建设和发展。


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tay Peng Hian 郑炳贤获选为国际集邮联合会的会长


Tay Peng Hian 郑炳贤
Catholic High alumnus Tay Peng-Hian (Senior Middle 3/1961) was elected as the new President-leader of the prestigious body Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) on 10 Oct.

FIP has looked after stamp collectors and philatelists since 1926 - growing from a society of a handful European Philatelic Federations to a Federation with a network throughout the world with
  • 87 Regular Members (National Philatelic Federations)
  • 3 Associated Members (Continental Federations)
  • Promotional Members (a new type of Membership for Postal Administrations).
Tay Peng Hian started participating in FIP events as early as 1978. He was an exhibitor at PRAGA 1978. Thereafter, he has seamlessly built up 3 world class collection that won him 4 coveted FIP Grand Prix Awards:
1. Straits Settlements Classic:
Grand Prix International PHILAKOREA 1984
2. Burma Classic:
Grand Prix International POLSKA 1993
3. Netherlands Classic:
Grand Prix International PHILAKOREA 2002
Grand Prix D' Honneur CHINA 2009 (FIP Champion of Champions)
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郑炳贤自1978年首次参与布拉格(前斯洛伐克首都)邮展以来,一直热衷并积极参与国际集邮联合会所举办的各项活动。他编组的三部世界级邮集,在世界邮展中荣获了四次大奖(最近一次是在中国2009洛阳世界邮展上获得荣誉大奖)。郑炳贤于2002年在韩国首尔举行的国际集邮联合会代表大会上开始担任理事,并于2006年连任至今。
今年10月10日获选为国际集邮联合会的会长。

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

梁文福 (Liang Wern Fook) 获颁2010年度文化奖

梁文福,1964年生于新加坡。毕业于公教中学、华中初级学院。1988年以中文系第一名和文学院第一名考获新加坡国立大学普通学位,1989年获荣誉学位,同年获研究奖学金,1992年获文学硕士,目前获研究奖学金于南洋理工大学中国文化于语文系攻读博士学位。

中学时期,梁文福便开始写作,并多次在全国中学生文艺创作比赛中夺魁。他擅长于写各种文体,除了散文,在诗歌、小说、寓言和小品文等方面都有自成风格的表现。梁文福也曾多次获得文学奖项,包括国家艺术理事会在1992年颁发的第一届《青年艺术家奖》(文学)。他同时也是一位杰出的新谣歌手和著名的音乐创作者。

已出版的著作有散文集《最后的牛车水》、《自然同窗》、《曾经》,新诗《盛满凉凉的歌》、《其实我是在和时光恋爱》、《嗜诗》,小品文《批眉情》和寓言小说集《梁文福的21个梦》等。

80年代,他是新马家喻户晓、深入民心的学生歌手和创作才子,谱写一代人的本土感情和集体记忆。

90年代,他是新加坡音乐走向国际的幕后重要推手之一,通过词曲向华人世界展现新加坡的音乐文学特色。
在1996年,梁文福负责了新加坡第一出大型华语音乐剧"雨季"整出剧目的编剧和词曲创作工作。次年,他也为新加坡电影"轨道"谱写主题曲"你是不是还在"。

"他在文学界和音乐界之间搭建桥梁。" 这是新加坡著名的戏剧前辈郭宝昆曾经给予梁文福的评语。的确,如果没有梁文福,就不会有极富文艺气息的新加坡创作歌谣。由此可见,梁文福有着颇高的音乐造诣。他的作品在深入民心的当儿,却不失高雅的文艺情操;在推广音乐文学的理念中,也没有坠入曲高和寡的凄清悲凉中--相信这就是所谓的现代才子吧。

从《细水长流》、《一步一步来》、《新加坡派》、《历史考试前夕》到《担心》、《每次醒来》、《没有人》、《她来听我的演唱会》;从上个世纪到这个世纪,两岸三地不同世代的顶尖艺人和优秀歌手都曾演绎他的词曲创作,唱成经典。

梁文福昨晚(10月12日)从纳丹总统手中接过2010年度文化奖。18年前,他在同一个场合以文学类获青年艺术奖。文化奖是本地艺文界的最高荣誉,授予在艺术领域有卓越成就的艺术家。

梁文福受访时说:“世界上杰出的艺术家很多,但未必都能得到国家和民族的认同。从一开始,我就是一个怀着本土情感去创作新谣的创作者,能得到国家的认同,我实在是很荣幸。我觉得一个国家必须懂得珍惜自己的文化,如此我们才可以在国际上建立自己的文化自豪感,因此我很珍惜这个肯定。”





Singer-songwriter Liang Wern Fook, an old boy of Catholic High (Sec 4, 1980) received the Cultural Medallion, Singapore's highest honour for artists, at Istana from President S R Nathan on 12 Oct 2010.

Dr Liang is a pioneer of the popular music movement "xin yao" (新谣) that started in the 1980s.

In his 25-year music career, Dr Liang has worked with scores of famous singers and won various industry accolades.

"In the past, the Cultural Medallion is only given to serious musicians, whereas I write popular music. So I feel this award is a national recognition of the effort of Chinese songwriters who have been writing popular music all these years," Dr Liang said.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mr K Ravi

Mr Ravi, a former teacher of Catholic High who taught Lee Hsien Loong (Pre-U 2, 1969) paid respect to Mrs Lee Kuan Yew (Madam Kwa Geok Choo) who passed peacefully at home at 5.40 pm on 3 Oct 2010. Mrs Lee Kuan Yew was mother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Ravi has now retired from teaching and is 76 years old.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Interview: Lim Kia Hong 林嘉丰

The Sunday Times carried a story of Lim Kia Hong (Catholic High, Sec 4 1973)  on 5 Sept 2010. Here is the report:

Love has lots to do with Mr Lim Kia Hong's success as the largest distributor of computer systems, software, peripherals and networking products in South-east Asia and Hong Kong.
His love of new shiny gadgets and tech products led him to set up an IT distribution firm 27 years ago.
Because he loves thinking of fresh marketing ideas to introduce new gadgets to people, he would still do the same thing all over again if given another chance as a young man.
'I'm a man with a lot of love and passion. You need to love and be passionate about what you do in life. Otherwise, it's difficult to continue to do a good job,' said Mr Lim, 57, in his office in Leng Kee Road.
Because of this love, he does not mind if his entire waking moments are taken up thinking about tech marketing.
'I've notepads everywhere, next to the TV, in the drawer and shower. When I get ideas, I jot them down. Otherwise, I may forget them,' he said.
Mr Lim's love affair with tech began at the University of Washington, Seattle, which he joined in 1979 after his A levels at Hwa Chong Junior College. He was enrolled in the university's School of Business and Accounting, but he found he did not like accounting, and instead opted for marketing and information systems.
On completion of his course, he returned to Singapore in 1982 to finish the remaining six months of his national service.
'I was a naval project officer but since I'd studied information systems, I was one of a few people familiar with computers in 1982. So I was posted to Mindef (Ministry of Defence) headquarters to be part of the ministry's computerisation project,' said the soft-spoken Mr Lim.
He found there were many things like diskettes, cables and software that he needed but were not available in Singapore. He began buying them from the United States for Mindef.
Soon he was hooked on this process of looking for new things to buy. He decided to start a company. But his first venture with a friend went south in less than a year because while he was interested in microcomputers, his friend was focused on bigger office machines called minicomputers.
He then convinced his brother- in-law, Mr Lim Hwee Hai, to go into business with him to start SiS (Scentek Information Systems) Technologies in 1983.
The company began with a $100,000 investment from Mr Lim's father who was in the commodity and manufacturing business. The money went into paying for the goods they bought from the US. The office was shared with his father's company.
'We shared his office in Boat Quay. He had his table on one side. By the time, I put in our table and two chairs, it was a tight squeeze. HH (Hwee Hai) and I had to climb over the table to get to our chairs.
'My father bought us two Chinese chairs which were a little lower than the normal office chairs which let us squeeze into them,' he said. He still has the two chairs in his office.
The early years were tough. Customer visits turned out to be educational talks because he ended up teaching them about what a computer was, what a CPU (central processing unit, which is the computer's brain) was and what word processing was.
He made sales calls during the day. At night, he cleared paperwork. He logged 18- to 20-hour work days and learnt to make do with four hours of sleep each night.
His father worried about him because he did not see him at night or in the morning. In an attempt to stay at home more often, the young Mr Lim installed the office telex machine in his bedroom. Phone calls to the US were costly at US$30 a minute then. Sending a telex was cheaper. Trouble was, the click-clack of messages as they came in ruined his sleep. A week later, the telex machine was back in the office.
But his bedroom became a storeroom, filled with diskettes and printer ribbons. Since his room was air-conditioned, it prevented the ink from drying up and the diskettes from getting mouldy.
In the first year, Mr Lim rang in $150,000 in revenue. The company was profitable and they had five employees. The initial list of products soon expanded to include software for networking and e-mail, productivity and security programs, wireless equipment and, more recently, smartphones.
'We brought many US companies to Asia such as 3Com, a networking company. We were its longest distributor until it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard last year.
'I brought in all the e-mail software like ccmail and Novell mail. I also introduced Aldus PageMaker and other companies like Symantec and Trend Micro to the Asian market.
'At one time, we had products competing against Microsoft until we became their distributor in 1995. Now we're Microsoft's top distributor and we work very strategically to launch new products,' said Mr Lim.
Even before the Government's encouragement to regionalise, SiS had opened offices in Hong Kong because Singapore was just too small a market. Today, SiS is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it was listed in 1992.
It was also listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2004. Its group revenue last year was US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion).
SiS has a network of 10,000 retailers throughout South-east Asia and Hong Kong. It represents an A-list of companies including Hewlett-Packard, Adobe, D-Link, Asus, Apple, Canon and HTC.
It has no plans at the moment to go into the two giant growth economies, China and India.
'I can take the risk and just open offices there. But my gut feel is that China and India are not ready for distribution. SiS would need deep pockets to penetrate such big markets,' said Mr Lim.
He attributed his success to his staff, some of whom have been working with him for about 20 years.
'In every country, we've about 10 to 15 people who are key to our business, but they are not in heavyweight positions. For example, in the distribution business, you've to be in delivery and warehouse. So the delivery guy and storekeeper are key to the business. Without them, my goods may not be delivered and my stocks unaccounted for,' he said.
He and these people have struck a close relationship over the years, socialising over dinners. He knows their families 'and we share our experiences of kids growing up'. He is married with four children - two sons and two daughters.
Because of China's rise as an economic power, he is persuading his elder son to consider attending a Chinese university and his elder daughter to take higher-level Chinese in secondary school. He himself is effectively bilingual. His alma mater is Catholic High School.
With nearly three decades of doing business, he believes that entrepreneurs must always 'be prepared and never say die'.
'This is about failure. I learnt from my school basketball coach who said that every time the team played a match, he wouldn't know if it would lose or win. But the team must be prepared. If we lost, then we'd pick ourselves up, learn what went wrong and think about ways of winning the next match.'
The other lesson is to try new ideas. SiS, he said, was the first to do taxi-top advertising when then NTUC Taxi launched this new advertising concept in the mid-1990s.
Breaking new ground in marketing strategies is 'like falling in love with a woman when every waking moment is spent trying to please her', he said.
Another tip for wannabe entrepreneurs, he said, is to learn to love the competition. 'Good competition keeps me on my toes, raises my standards. Lousy competitors, I don't like.'
Ideas come from his dreaming, which he admits is his full-time job, leaving the day-to-day operations to his brother-in-law.
'I dream about my love: the new technologies, how to market them. I dream about new corporate strategies and how to overtake my competition. That's why I don't dream at night. I've a nice job which hasn't changed since day one and which I love.'

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lim Kia Hong 林嘉丰

One of our old boys, Lim Kia-Hong (Sec 4, 1973), is among the 2,400 specially-selected Torch Bearers for the First Youth Olympic Games (YOG) being hosted here in Singapore. The YOG will take place from 13 August to 26-August-2010. Kia-Hong participated as a relay-runner last Saturday, 7-August, in the Ang Mo Kio vicinity. The relay will cover a distance of 305 kilometers – equivalent to travelling the entire length of the island six times.

Lim Kia Hong is Chairman and CEO of SiS International Holdings Ltd.

Founded in 1983, SiS is one of the largest distributors of computer systems, software, peripherals and networking products in Asia.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, with regional offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, SiS offers manufacturers an immediate access into Asia with a well established network consisting of more than 10,000 resellers, retailers, system integrators, software houses, value added resellers and OEMs strategically located throughout the region.

SiS represents and has earned its reputation as the Preferred Distributor by a number of the world's most renowned manufacturers including Acer, Adobe, Apple, Asus, AutoDesk, BenQ, Canon, Cisco, Computer Associates, EMC, Emerson, Epson, Fortinet, Fuji Xerox, H3C, Hewlett Packard, HTC, IBM, IBM Software, Infocus, Lenovo, Linksys, Microsoft, Novell, Symantec, Veritas, VMWare, WatchGuard, Western Digital.

SiS is a public listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Old boy (Lee Hsien Loong) meets old boy (Lim Kia Hong).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Joshua Goh 吴钧龙

A Catholic High old boy Jushua Goh is one of five recipients of the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship 2010. Joshua Goh is also one of five President's Scholars in 2010.

OCT Joshua Goh (Catholic High Sec 4/2007) will read Chemistry at the Imperial College in London. Joshua is at the centre in the picture below.

Joshua is also the son of our old boy Goh Eng Ghee (Sec 4/1971). Goh Eng Ghee is currently the Deputy Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.

The four other Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship recipients, also 19, are bound for British universities. They are:
  1. Catholic Junior College alumnus OCT Joshua Goh, who will read chemistry at Imperial College in London;
  2. Midshipman Soh Kah Lake, formerly of Hwa Chong Institution, who will take up chemical engineering at University College London (UCL);
  3. His fellow Hwa Chong alumnus OCT Tay Jian Hua, who will study economics at UCL; and
  4. RI (Junior College) alumnus OCT Seth Jun Hao, who will read aeronautics at Imperial College.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

马炎庆 Baey Yam Keng

马炎庆, 1987年公教中四毕业。
以下是联合早报的报道。

“海燕等人” 新戏 《内衣阁》 打开“内衣阁” 触碰敏感地带
(2010-07-08)

联合早报● 周文龙
 
国会议员马炎庆和太太林海燕呈献的限制级舞台剧《内衣阁》,内容和台词非常大胆,但林海燕却不担心会引起审查问题。她说:“批评政府并非错事,最重要的是不应一味批评,还需有艺术良知。”

马炎庆则说:“《内衣阁》可能涉及一些敏感地带,但我相信我们有足够的社会空间。”
本地议员马炎庆和太太林海燕呈献限制级舞台剧《内衣阁》,请来MM、SM和PM,一起在台上大谈内衣论?

哈,原来这些名称指的并非我们的内阁部长,而是剧团里的职位。
由 “海燕等人”剧团呈献的新戏《内衣阁》,有着MM、SM和PM等角色名称,令人联想到我们的内阁资政(MM)、国务资政(SM),以及总理(PM)。

但《内衣阁》编导林海燕说,这些名称只是跟观众玩文字游戏,博得观众会心一笑,并非直接针对任何一位内阁部长。
事实上,所谓的MM、 SM和PM,指的即是剧场最重要的三个职位:行销经理(marketing manager)、舞台监督(stage manager),以及制作经理(production manager)。

林海燕说:“约3年前,我无意中发现我们剧场的几个重要职位,简称竟然跟我们的内阁部长一样,这个巧合性让我觉得有趣,也让我联想到我们的剧场环境,或许跟我们的政治环境非常相似,我可以借用剧场环境去看一个更大的政治空间,表达各种政治隐喻和联想。”
有趣的是,林海燕的丈夫马炎庆,是《内衣阁》的监制,同时也是丹戎巴葛集选区议员。

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quek Ser Aik 郭斯奕

Quek Ser Aik is an old boy of Catholic High (Sec 4, 1969). Here is a report in the Straits Times.

May 10, 2010
Going to Gobi
By Nicholas Yong

ASSOCIATE Professor Quek Ser Aik is heading to the Mo-Kia-Yen Gobi Desert for a third time for the annual Gobi Desert Business School Challenge next week.

At 56, he is the oldest member of the 10-man team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, which will be taking part in the 110km trek across the desert for the fourth time since the event started five years ago.

He says: 'It is a strange feeling to be walking 'alone' in the desert. It is so big and dangerous, and there is a very real sense that you are the only person around for a few kilometres.'

The 110km endurance challenge re-traces the journey of the Tang dynasty monk Xuanzang, or Tripitaka, on his journey to the West along the Silk Road almost 1,500 years ago. It is organised for networking purposes.
From May 16 to 19, nearly 240 people from 12 business schools in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore will cross the desert on the borders between Gansu and Xinjiang provinces in China.

The NUS team comprises six men and four women, including staff and students. Among them are permanent residents, Chinese nationals and a German student. Last year, NUS finished last out of 10 teams.

Assistant Professor Song Zhaoli, 39, second-time participant and team leader this year, says it was because they did very little training this year. Subsequently, five members got injurede on the first day and struggle to carry on. They were also unfamiliar with their GPS equipment and were hampered by poor quality equipment - their water bags leaked, leaving them dangerously short of water.

Prof Quek adds: 'To be short of water in the desert is no joke. SOme team members almost got heatstroke. One female student was even hallucineting.'

Nevertheless, everyone perservered till end in four days.

This year, the team will be better prepared. On top of individual training, they have been doing thrice-weekly 7km treks with 5kg backpacks as a team and recently did a 28 km trek at MacRitchie Reservoir. They plan a 40km trek before setting off.

Professor Teo Chung Piaw, 44, acting deputy dean of the Business School, is going on trek for the first time. 'I have been started walking the 8km from home to my office, which I never thought I would do before.' he says.

Prf Quek adds, 'This year, we are prepared because of Professor Song. He insisted that we do our preparation. In previous years, we hardly trained. Last year, I basically just showed up.'

The beauty of the environment is why Prof Quek is going for the third time. He says: 'At the end of the trek, it is so exhausting that you just remember the romantic parts. When you are walking, your mind is clear and it's very good time for reflection about work and family and different thimgs. Some people do it by the poolside, I do it in the Gobi Desert. You also remember the camaraderie, just like in the armi.'

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

张东孝 Daniel Teo Tong How: 变公教旧校舍为艺术中心 张东孝砸250万回母校听钟声

Daniel Teo studied at Catholic High from 1956 (Jr Middle 1) to 1961 (Sr Middle 3). Below is a report by Zaobao today:

  公教校友、煌孝集团主席张东孝对母校感情深厚,他事业成功后不忘回馈母校,去年和好友一起标下由两栋建筑组成的公教中学旧校舍,虽然租期只有九年,却不惜投下250万元改建成综合艺术中心“222 Queen Street”。当他再次听到校舍隔邻教堂传来的嘹亮钟声,觉得就是那少年时代熟悉的钟声召唤他回到母校。
很难想象,当年在旧公教中学课室默默上课的少年人,有一天会成为新加坡的著名房地产发展商。更值得一提的是,他要让自己的母校旧貌换新颜,在新时代里,为它找到新的使命,使它在几个月后,成为一个具特色的多元综合文化艺术中心,同时不忘保留母校的历史和文物,在建筑中设立校友厅,也拟议兴建一个公教博物馆。
■ 悠扬的钟声唤醒回忆
  这名公教的优秀校友,就是67岁的煌孝集团(Daniel Teo & Associates)主席张东孝。他的夫人是新加坡著名芭蕾舞蹈家吴素琴。张东孝本身曾留学澳洲学建筑,对于音乐、舞蹈、美术、集邮等都有浓厚的兴趣。
  访问当天中午,窗外忽然传来隔邻教堂的嘹亮钟声,他感触良深地说:“这是我最熟悉的声音”。也许就是这阵阵悠扬的钟声,一再唤醒这位老校友在公教六年学习生活的回忆,使他毅然砸下250万元的重资,为一座废弃了20年的旧四层校舍,注入新的生命和活力。他说:“刚搬进来时,发现这里的情况非常糟糕,厕所卫生条件差外,电线很多被人偷窃。本来学校是和教堂相连的,后来已被一道灰色围墙所分隔。”
■ 为文化区增添光彩
  在回忆校园生活时,张东孝说:“当年有很多儿童修士,给我留下深刻印象,他们一律剪光头,非常可爱。不得不提的是创校校长、法国籍的劳爱华神父,后来的张世典修士和宋宝书修士,后者到马来西亚创立吉隆坡的公教中学时,我们还经常有联络。”

  张东孝一度是公教校友会董事。对于自己目前的一系列努力,他说是在回馈母校和社会。
  旧公教中学位于奎因街和滑铁卢街之间,校舍在原址已经矗立了75年。张东孝说,集团去年和另一名志同道合的好友刘先生(Andrew Lau)成功标到这个由前后两栋建筑组成的旧校舍,并把它取名为“222 Queen Street”。目前整个维修工作还在紧锣密鼓进行中,预计工程将分段在四至六个月内完成,可以预知的是,到时将为这个新加坡最有文化、艺术环境和气氛的地区,增添异样的光彩。

  近几年来,在多方面合作下,本地有不少旧建筑改为艺术场所,其中如附属于新加坡美术馆的“8Q当代美术馆”,前身是公教附小。而位于爱美丽山的Old School展馆,曾是美以美女中的旧校舍。空置多年的Alkaff公寓,未来也会改建为综合性画廊、博物馆和餐馆的休闲去处。


  当局认为:拥有丰富历史的建筑物大多位于黄金宝地,具有人潮众多,交通方便,靠近市区的优点,这可帮助发展商和经营者节省重建的庞大费用。
■ 希望公教校友捐献文物

  重要的是,正如张东孝所说:“这些旧建筑都富有历史和艺术观赏价值,虽然目前新加坡只有百余间保留性建筑,我们这次的租用期也只有短短九年,在翻新时,还是要照顾到保留建筑和历史古迹的条件要求。”
  那么,旧公教中学又会留下什么珍贵文物和遗迹?

  他说:“我非常希望能发动校友有钱出钱有力出力,尤其捐献一些珍贵纪念品给公教博物馆。目前找到一个杯子,是李资政夫人当年把两位公子李显龙总理和李显扬送到公教读书时的家长纪念物。公教校友广泛分布于社会的各个领域,相信他们手头,一定有许多宝贵的公教文物。”
  另外,维修后的综合文化艺术中心,除了保留原有的楼梯、木门、壁画,墙上的校徽,黑体的书法校名也重新粉刷,上色,公教校友熟悉的四楼礼堂中的学生画作,也是重点保留项目之一。”
80%空间作艺术用途
  张东孝谈到综合文化艺术中心的具体用途和规划时说,整个四层楼的可用面积是6000平方公尺,在维修完成后,其中80%将作为艺术、文化用途。

  基本规划是:注重新的概念和传统的保留。目前使用的是二楼和四楼的空间,出租率高达70%。 


  ●一楼:

  全部冷气的一楼,将作为餐饮用途。但经营上不走高格调路线,服务对象是一般公众人士,定位在提供快餐,让上门的顾客至少有五六种口味选择。
  ●二楼:
  艺术与画廊将是主打。目前已成功吸引到一家德国画廊Art Trove前来。
  这里也是张东孝展示私人收藏品的美术馆。有好些绘画作品,是当年他在金炎路与一名瑞典画商共同开办画廊时的收藏。
  目前在二楼展出的,是公教前美术老师冯所尧的“创意美学系列”水墨画。
  ●三楼:
  这里将是3D电影院所在地,也是音乐学院、摄影艺术工作室和乐活健身室。同时是一间大型校友厅,以后供校友活动的地点。
  ●四楼:

  四楼将为公教校友带来最多温馨回忆。这里是目前的小型校友厅和未来的公教博物馆所在地,过去则是学校礼堂。


  之所以利用这个空间,是因为它的屋顶够高,空间也够大。校友们将可回来观赏当年他们在这里的墙上留下的众多画作。
  四楼也是“新加坡芭蕾舞蹈学院”的新址。过去该学院一直在福康宁山的艺术中心活动,目前共有学生500多名。

Monday, April 5, 2010

吴韦材写黄伟光老师 Ng Wai Choy

吴韦材,公教校友,全职作家,以小说、散文、杂文、诗、游记等文体发表过不少作品,其中尤以游记风靡不少读者,并掀起一阵年轻人的自助旅游热。

1983年,他与一位摄影同伴做长途自助式旅行,并在《联合晚报》发表游记,一共持续三年。1987年开始在《联合早报》发表游记,称为《背包走天涯》。其他著作有《吴韦材怪谈》、《解连环》、《泥土手记》、《九个半女人》,其中《泥土手记》获得1991年度散文组全国书籍奖。

1997年离开南极后,他到中国北京电影学院电影导演系学习1999年底回国。现在专注于舞台剧演出项目,最新剧作为《友善角落》、《生命中难以承受的猪》(我爱猪猪),最新著作为《吴韦材异境奇幻》及《吴韦材错体古典》。 2000年,他在互联网上设制一个属于自己的网页,称为摇摇网(yoyonet.com)。内容丰富,画面精美。网页内容共分成十大栏目,即《情爱生活》、《饮食男女》、《精品文化》、《美丽世界》、《新元素时代》、《家居空间》、《健身所知》、《网友优 待》,而《车迷乐园》及《近期推出》还在筹备中。在这些栏目中,又分成许多小栏目,如在《文化精品》中,又包括了《激情感官》、《收藏家与艺术鉴赏》、《雅俗共赏》、《电影弹赞区》、《接触吴韦材》、《娱乐前线》、《传统戏曲荟萃苑》,让网友能在这里接触到艺术工作者、作家、名人、主持和学者,互相交流人生品味与心得。

今年三月,校友会组织了三峡游,这是他四月5日在联合早报发表的有关文章。文章里特别提到了今年八十多岁的黄伟光老师。

‘  校友会组织三峡游览团,80余名不同年代的校友一齐畅游。更教人值得高兴是,我还看到张校长和两位教过我的老师。校长与老师,年纪也都确实老大了,但他们精神状态都很好,更幸运是一路上只要有机会,我都能跟随在长者身边,尤其黄老师,那头偶尔飘飘然、积累着人生丰富智慧般的白发,还有慈祥可亲的言语,有时甚至还来点幽默,让我这趟旅途倍感温馨难忘。
其实是,我自己年纪也不小了。我想假如不是现在的我而是20年前的我,相信这份感触还不至于如此强烈。可现在我也是个老师了,有些心情,现在的我就如有了默契般,也明白了多一些。
我相信黄老师也有过他自己的老师。就如同在我生命里曾经有他出现的这一段时光。或许以前,日子匆忙的我没时间去细细回顾这些过往,但如今老来我就明白了,人的一生形状,更多时候是在不断的回顾里塑模成型的。
这就像,我最初写游记时总喜欢原汁原味的现场感,写到后期我才发现,一座山一片海一个城市所能给我最确切的体会,其实是过后重新在自己思维里将它们再次塑模起来的时候。就因有所沉淀,所以倍感清晰,就如那座山那片海那个城市,真正烙上自己的体会,那才是真正到过的。这也就如一个人,一段过往,或是人生的某个阶段,也因为凝合上自己不断反复的回顾,它们才越加真实地牢固起来——除非我刻意铲掉自己少年时代让它随风而逝,但假如无论那时代是甘甜是苦涩我都认为是自己一生里无法分割的部分,那么我更愿意使它们坚固起来,那就是我,而我要完整的一生。
旅途上有位92年毕业的小学弟很天真地问我,当然,问这问题时他只是一片坦然的直觉,他问:“你们每次聚会无论多人少人都是这样一齐唱校歌的么?”我说,“对啊。”他问, “不会觉得怪怪么?”我笑笑说,“不会啊。”看他神情还是不甚明白,我就安慰他,“你现在还小,等你年纪再老大一些,等你一天感到有些自己青春年少的记忆渐渐被磨得模糊时,你就会大大声一齐跟着唱了。”我都还没告诉他,唱校歌有时唱到感觉涌来之际,好像唱完就可以坐下来上课,感觉空中就像有个熟悉瞬间,虽闪电而过,却那就是真实。
旅途上,黄老师的手常扣在我臂弯里,下梯级时,他会稍稍用力,黄老师是我们训育主任,他教学风格还是挺严厉的,除教授课文,黄老师更多时间是教我们这班猢狲如何好好做人,当年年少的我,并没强烈感觉到这一课人生启蒙是紧紧地扣在他的指引上,如今在我臂弯里,在这绵延不断的山峦和这源远流长的江河间,我真真切切地感觉到这指引过我的手,除了人与人的信任与温暖,也确切地感到在一个老师与一个学生之间,其实就是一份深深凝成的情谊。
快半世纪了。半个世纪前这些师长掀开我们人生道途的启蒙,半个世纪后今天,我们还能携手并行于山水间的美好人世,一分,一秒,都是珍惜。’

Saturday, March 20, 2010

巫顺昌 Moo Soon Chong

巫顺昌于1964年毕业于公教高中二。他于2010年3月16日逝世,享年63岁。生前是新加坡体育学校的首任校长。以下是联合早报3月19日报道李显龙总理(也是公教校友)对巫顺昌的评价。

我国需要更多像巫顺昌这样热心献身栽培新一代,而且又能成为莘莘学子楷模的教育家。  
- 李显龙总理

李显龙总理称赞已故的体育学校创校校长巫顺昌,是一位脚踏实地、献身服务的教育家。

他昨天在致给巫顺昌夫人黄瑞娥博士的唁文中,赞赏巫顺昌对华文教学的热忱。在1998年担任学校华文教学委员会委员时,就客观地理解了双语教育政策在日渐普遍讲英语环境中的挑战,协助委员会拟定好一些改善华文教学的建议,包括创设供华文程度较弱学生选修的“华文B”课程,以及建议南华中学成为第10所特选中学。

李总理也表扬巫顺昌协助创建新加坡体育学校,以及在担任该校第一任校长时所制订的正确办学方针。

他说,我国需要更多像巫顺昌这样热心献身栽培新一代,而且又能成为莘莘学子楷模的教育家。


李总理致给黄瑞娥博士唁文

敬爱的巫夫人,

巫顺昌先生逝世噩耗传来,我深感难过。

巫先生在教学专业服务了36年之久,不愧是一位资深教育家。他热爱体育,待师生谦逊随和,执教不倦。人们将永远怀念他。

初识巫先生是在1998年,那年他在我设立的学校华文教学委员会中担任委员。当时,他是圣公会中学的校长。我发觉他是一位献身服务而且脚踏实地的人。他客观理解我们双语教育政策在日渐普遍讲英语环境中的挑战,对华文教学充满热忱。他深知学生在学校该学习什么以及该采取哪一类措施协助学生更好地掌握华文。他的丰富经验和见解,协助委员会拟定出好些建议,包括创设供华文程度较弱学生选修“华文B”课程,以及建议南华中学成为第10所特选中学。

2002年,巫先生协助构想和策划我们全新的新加坡体育学校,并成为这个两年后开课的学校的校长。教育部和社会发展、青年及体育部特地邀请他担当这个重任,就是为了确保体校能够成功而且顺利开办。他在体校从无到有的建设过程中以及为该校制订正确办学方针方面,起着举足轻重的作用。2004年,我在巫先生的引领下参观了体校。他对体校引以为豪,无庸置疑的全体教职员和学生在他英明领导下也深深受到激励。这可从该校做到体育训练与学术教导方面保持平衡的情况,以及栽培出多名杰出运动员的事实中显现出来。

我国需要更多像巫先生这样热心献身栽培新一代而且又能成为莘莘学子楷模的教育家。

谨此致悼


李显龙

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tan Chin Tiong 陈振忠

Old boy Tan Chin Tiong, who is the President of the Singapore Institute of Technology was in new recently, as reported by Today newspaper on 10 Mar 2010:

Although it is not officially the Republic's fifth university, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) president Professor Tan Chin Tiong seems certain on the direction his six-month old organisation should take.

In an interview with MediaCorp, Prof Tan said that among SIT's long-term plans is "that we will evolve into a university".

"It will take a while (so) for a start, we will leverage on the foreign universities first ... When we have the capacity, our end point is that we want to offer dual degrees together with the foreign universities," said the 61-year-old, who is also one of the founding academic members of the Singapore Management University (SMU).

"But along the way, we will tweak the equations and get more dimensions to the template."

Things can be said to have progressed quickly since Prof Tan took the helm of the institute, which was formed last year to provide another route for polytechnic students to upgrade and obtain industry-relevant degrees.

Although these programmes were originally slated to start in 2011, SIT and the polytechnics here will launch its first programme for eight degrees in partnership with five overseas universities from August.

According to Prof Tan, SIT is able to start a year ahead of schedule as it has been able to tap on the strong relationships that the Ministry of Education and other ministries and agencies, such as the Economic Development Board, have with overseas educational institutions.

Schools partnering with SIT include Germany's University of Technology, Munich, for electrical engineering and information technology; and the United Kingdom's Newcastle University for naval architecture, offshore and marine engineering.

The DigiPen Institute of Technology and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas - both from the United States - will also team up with SIT to offer degrees in animation and game design and hotel administration, respectively.

Finally, the Culinary Institute of America will also offer a degree programme, although details are not available as yet.

Said Prof Tan: "The five overseas universities that we are partnering in our first wave of degree programmes have a presence in Singapore and are already offering their programmes here or have been receiving polytechnic graduates in their home campuses".

Not only are these partners familiar with the Singapore education system, they also "have confidence that it produces high quality polytechnic graduates who are able to articulate into their programmes", he added.

Education Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen told Parliament yesterday that not only will SIT's unique model bring together these renowned institutions here but "these leading partners will add value and recognition to our polytechnic diplomas as they provide advance standing".

Graduates will also be able to obtain to obtain degrees after two years instead of three to four, said Dr Ng, who is also the Second Minister for Defence.

The participating institutions have been chosen not only because they are leaders in their respective disciplines but also because SIT "wants to create degree opportunities not offered by the other schools. We play a role in offering diversity in the education space", said Prof Tan.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic's director of planning and projects office, Mr Peter Lam, described the new courses offered by SIT as "both affordable and very attractive".

Prof Tan said the challenge is to let polytechnic graduates know that "their route to the universities does not lie only with the National University of Singapore, the Nanyang Technological University or the Singapore Management University". (The fourth university - the Singapore University of Technology and Design - will be ready in 2011.)

Prince Peter Jacob, a 25-year-old who is pursuing a naval architecture degree at Newcastle University, said: "There is a high demand for qualified engineers, especially in the marine industry."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Catholic High Old Boys Hold Senior Positions at PSA International

Port operator PSA International recently reshuffled several senior management positions. Two of those affected are old boys of Catholic High. There are David Yang ( 杨勃 see picture) and Kuah Boon Wee (柯文伟 Sec 4, 1982 )

The head of PSA's European operations, Mr Pierre Timmermans, has stepped down with immediate effect and will leave the company at the end of the month - for reasons not specified.

Mr David Yang, PSA's head of the Middle East and South Asia, will now move to run the Europe and Mediterranean operations based in Antwerp.

The current chief executive of Singapore and South-east Asia, Mr Kuah Boon Wee, will, in turn, head the Middle East and South Asia operations. He is being replaced by current Singapore terminals chief operating officer Tan Puay Hin.

Head of group business development, Mr Kenny Ong, will take on a larger portfolio in becoming CEO of the Americas, heading the company's operations in Panama and Buenos Aires from Singapore.

These top executives are all part of PSA's eight-member senior management council headed by group CEO Eddie Teh.

Here is a brief introduction of Kuah Boon Wee (see picture).

Kuah Boon Wee is currently the CEO of PSA Southeast Asia & Singapore Terminals. He has overall responsibility and accountability for Singapore Terminals as well as the PSA Group's portfolio of operating terminals, investments and expansion in the ASEAN region. He also sits on the Senior Management Council (SMC) of PSA International (PSAI).

Boon Wee has worked in senior management positions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia and has a proven track record of corporate achievements.

Before his current position, he was the Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of PSAI. As Group CFO, he was responsible for the Group’s world-wide finance functions, including Financial Management, Treasury, Risk Management and Corporate Secretariat. He joined PSA Group in March 2004.

Prior to PSAI, he was the CFO for Singapore Technologies Engineering, a major listed company on the Singapore Stock Exchange. In his position as CFO, he played a key role in steering the company towards best practices in corporate transparency and quality reporting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Raymond Ng 吴良蒲

Raymond Ng, founder and managing director of Ray Alliance Financial Advisers, was interviewed by the Straits Times and the report published on 31 Jan 2010 (Sunday).


Ng is an old boy of Catholic High (Pre-U 2, 1974).

Mr Raymond Ng, founder and managing director of Ray Alliance Financial Advisers, is constantly on the lookout for different investment instruments to complement his portfolio.

When it comes to his personal investments, he believes that diversification is the key.

Last year, Mr Ng, 53, invested $50,000 in a financial product that is relatively unheard of here. He now 'owns' a share in five privately run automated teller machines (ATMs) in Canada. As part of the deal, he potentially gets a cut each time someone uses one of the ATMs. And it comes with a money-back guarantee at the end of five years.

He also ensures that he has set aside six months of emergency cash reserves before parking his savings in unit trusts, stocks, insurance and land banking.

Mr Ng was an insurance adviser at local insurer Great Eastern (GE) Life for 18 years before he decided to venture out as a financial adviser.

After leaving GE in 1997 where he was the group sales manager, he set up insurance broking firm RP Insurance Agency with a partner. He sold his shares in the firm two years later and set up Ray Alliance Financial Advisers in 1999.

Prior to joining GE in 1979, Mr Ng worked in United Overseas Bank (UOB) for 18 months as an internal officer. A former Catholic High student, he obtained a diploma in banking and finance from the Institute of Banking and Finance in 1978.

He has been a fellow member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance since 1985.

Last year, he became president of the Association of Financial Advisers Singapore (AFA), which has 28 member firms.

'It is my vision for AFA to be the bridge between our members, the regulator and other stakeholders. It should be the platform to represent the views of advisers as well as the catalyst to upgrade the professional and ethical standards of advisers,' he said.

Mr Ng is married to housewife Regina Seng, 49, and they have two daughters, Sihui, 21, and Yiling, 19, who are studying at the National University of Singapore.

Q: Are you a spender or saver?

I may not be considered a good saver. I save 20 per cent to 25 per cent of my income. However, I spend within my means, which is around half of my income, for basic needs. I use the balance for investment.

Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?

I have a total of 15 credit cards and two corporate cards. I usually use four of them. I settle all my credit card bills promptly and in full. I withdraw $500 from the ATM two or three times a month and as and when I require cash. I always keep $500 in my wallet.
Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?
I consider myself a moderate aggressive investor and I manage my own investments.

I park six months' worth of emergency funds in fixed deposits. My portfolio comprises 40 per cent in unit trusts, 60 per cent in stocks, an exchange traded fund, insurance and other alternative investments like land banking and the ATM investment.

In terms of unit trusts, I am 60 per cent invested in Asia with the balance in property funds. For stocks, I own mainly blue chips like Singapore Press Holdings, Fraser & Neave, DBS Bank and DBS Land. I look for good dividend payouts and long-term capital appreciation. In 2007, I invested C$30,000 (S$39,000) in Canadian land. My target portfolio returns are around 10 per cent to 12 per cent per annum.

My insurance premiums amount to $40,000 a year and I own term, endowment, whole life, critical illness, medical and personal accident plans.

My life cover is $3 million while that of my critical illness is $1 million. I have another $1.5 million personal accident cover.

Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?

I grew up in a rented three-bedroom shophouse at the site of the current National Library in North Bridge Road. I am the youngest in a family of seven children.

My father died from brain haemorrhage when I was nine months old and my mother raised my siblings and me single-handedly. My father left behind a small provision shop and practically no cash. Mum managed the provision shop after his death.

He did own an insurance policy and the family received a $20,000 death benefit. Because of that, I developed a passion for life insurance. I also learnt to be independent and thrifty from a young age. To earn my keep, I gave tuition during my secondary school years.

Q: How did you get interested in investing?

When I was working in UOB, I invested in my first stock which was the initial public offering of DBS Land. I later joined the insurance industry and gained more exposure to investments.

I invest in accordance with AFA's principles, which include not buying anything that I don't understand. That explains why the majority of the 28 AFA member firms did not get involved in selling Lehman's Minibonds even though we were approached to do so.

Q: What property do you own?

I bought a three-bedroom terrace house in Upper Changi in 1992 for about $730,000. It has a built-in area of 2,800 sq ft and a land area of 2,000 sq ft. I recently renovated it for $150,000. Its current value is about $1.5 million.

In 2007, I bought a 1,500 sq ft freehold condo unit in Katong for $1.8 million. I sold it for $2 million last year. It was rented out at $5,000 a month till then.

Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?

I splurged on a pair of Rolex King watches, which had a hefty price tag of $40,000, for Regina and myself. This was when I closed my first big insurance sale in 1983 and my commission amounted to $80,000. I wear my Rolex only on special occasions.

Q: What's your retirement plan?

The term 'retirement' does not exist in my dictionary. I will choose to work at my own pace as I let my accumulated wealth work for me. I would need at least $5,000 a month for my family in my golden years.

Q: Home is now....

A. My home is the three-storey terrace house in Upper Changi Road.

Q: I drive....

A. 2.4-litre silver Toyota Harrier.
WORST AND BEST BETS

Q: My worst investment to date...

I lost $150,000 when the prices of my Malaysian Clob shares fell in the late 1990s, when Malaysia unexpectedly banned trading of its shares on Clob in 1998. I was holding stocks like Idris Hydraulics and North Borneo Timber. My initial investment was $230,000.

Q: My best investment to date...

In 1999, I invested $15,000 in the Keppel Telecom Fund and made a profit of 80 per cent, or $12,000, in less than eight months.

Ray Alliance is also a very good investment. I set it up with $150,000 and have invested a total of $300,000 in the firm so far. The firm is now worth $2.5 million. It has 28 advisers and five staff.