Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Nov 30, 2011

Sharing by Memory Corps

A section of the Memory Corps ambassadors applauded after unveiling the cloth on the screen to declare the convention open.

The Asian Civilisations Museum former building before conservation and revamp in the 1960s.

The WNR II Convention was held at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), Singapore at the River Room, Level 2, Asian Civilisations Museum on 28 November, 2011.

The ACM is located beside the Singapore River, my favorite quiet spot in the evening.

Once when I was watching the river flow with inspirations, I blog "One Way Ticket to Singapore River" here .

Photo with Lam Chun See of "Good Morning Yesterday" blog.

Last year, Chun See and Char Lee participated at the two-day "When Nations Remember" international conference where he jointly presented a paper and facilitated discussions on the topic "Capturing Memories through Blogs" .

Programme for the "When Nations Remember II Convention".

Thanks to Gene Tan, Programme Director, Singapore Memory Project and SMP team for inviting me to a sharing session at the convention.

Fellow Memory Corps Ambassador Dexterine's blog to learn more.

Speech by Guest-of-Honour, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim: "I remember when I was a kid, we were issued with the POSB “Save At School” stamp card with empty boxes for pasting postage stamps, and we would use our savings to buy 5-cent or 10-cent stamps to paste onto the card. When we complete the card with 20 stamps, we will give it to the school which will send it in to the bank, and it adds to our savings account. Till today, I still have a POSB account. The SMP aims to do the same – for every Singaporean to start the habit of saving. But, in this case, we are saving our memories and depositing them into a shared memory bank for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and for others to enjoy, and more importantly, to enrich their lives".
Chit-chat with Dr Yaacob Ibrahim during lunch and networking.

From Blogging Personal Stories to Advocating the Singapore Memory Project.


Nov 29, 2011

When Nations Remember II Conference

Mr. Shaik Kadir: Sharing by Partners of the Singapore Memory Project - Growing up in Geylang Serai.

Excerpt from The Straits Times, Nov 29, 2011:
220,000 memories sent to the bank

Yaacob calls for even more contributions of personal stories
By Cheryl Ong

Retired teacher Shaik Kadir was eight years old when his family moved into an attap house in Geylang Serai in 1953.

It was an austere lifestyle for the family of three. Mr Shaik, now 66, fondly remembers how water had to be collected from a tap that was a 10-minute walk from the house.

"Now I live in a five-room flat in Bedok, but I saw that Geylang Serai was changing and would no longer be around. That's why I decided it was important to write down my story, so we won't forget our past," he said of his decision to publish a book documenting his experiences in the kampung.

The book, A Kite In The Evening Sky, was released in 1989.

Today, Mr Shaik's story is one of the 220,000 contributions received so far that will be preserved for future generations under the Singapore Memory Project.

The project, run by the National Library Board (NLB), aims to collect and store five million stories from members of the public by 2015. It was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech in August. The process of remembering how Singapore was in times gone by is meant to foster bonding and rootedness among citizens.

At the NLB's When Nations Remember II conference yesterday - the first was held last year - Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim urged more people to share their personal stories.

Dr Yaacob recalled that in his younger days, he would collect five- and 10-cent stamps on a POSB stamp card that students could submit to the bank. The total value of the stamps pasted on the card was added to the student's savings account.

"In this case, we are saving our memories and depositing them into a shared memory bank for ourselves, our children and for others to enjoy and hopefully enrich their lives."

So far, nearly 100 volunteers have helped to document the stories online in text and video. The organisers also worked with RediscoverSG, a group of four undergraduates from Nanyang Technological University who gathered stories about Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

At the conference yesterday, the project organisers also launched an online picture database for artwork or photographs of old Singapore, called PictureSG (

Singapore Memory Project programme director Gene Tan said several campaigns will be launched next year to increase the number of contributions by focusing on themes, such as stories about one's school days.

"We're looking at getting the older generation of Singaporeans and schools to contribute their stories," he said. "I hope we can get about 1.5 million stories next year, and another 1.5 million in 2015."

Graduate student Low Jiaxin, 24, documented a story about an 85-year-old woman, Madam Kuek Saw Eng, who was a student at Singapore's first Chinese community-founded school, Chong Wen Ge School.

"We need to keep these memories safe before the tangible forms of them, like buildings or landmarks, are lost, and the generation that remembered them passes away," said Ms Low.


Nov 21, 2011

Bishan - Then and Now

Map of Kwong Wai Siew Pek San Teng c 1978. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

This photo of the Pek San Teng cemetery before land use from "the dead to the living".

Pek San Village Tea House c 1986.

Bishan Then .

Bishan over two decades ago was a plot of land in Singapore where the tens and thousands of dead people were buried in a resting place, rest in peace. Buried under the ground, and their tombs were seen on the surface.

The descendants will pay their respect every year during the traditional Qing Ming for prayers and offerings to the ancestors of Singaporean Chinese.

During every Qing Ming, my family and I to follow the same tradition to pray and offerings as filial piety duties to my parents. However, my late parents were not buried on land.

They were cremated at the Kong Ming San Buddhist Temple and their ashes were kept in their respective urns, located with addresses like those in apartment blocks and unit numbers and identified with each of them a photo displayed on the urn at the crematorium.

While travelling past Bishan each time, I wondered how much Bishan has transformed in physical appearance in space and time.

On this blog, Bishan in the past is shown only with a map of Bishan, courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS).
Bishan, estate, located in the Central Region, lies between Ang Mo Kio Town, Toa Payoh Town and the Central Water Catchment area. It is a young housing estate made up of two older villages, namely Kampong San Theng and Soon Hock Village. Bishan with three sub-zones, is bounded by Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 to the north, Central Expressway (CTE) to the east, Braddell Road to the south and the Central Water Catchment Area to the west; and inclusive of Kallang River, Bishan has a total area of 743 ha. Modern landmarks are the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) Marshalling Yard/Depot; Bishan MRT Station next to Junction 8 Complex with Bishan Bus Interchange at Bishan Town Centre; Raffles Institution; Catholic High Primary and Secondary School; Bishan Stadium, Sports Hall and Swimming Complex; and Bishan Regional Park.

Kampong San Theng dates back to more than a century ago. The village and its resulting temple were built by three pioneers of the Kwong Fu, Wai Chow Fu and Siew Hing Fu prefectures in Canton, China. They also set up the Singapore Kwong Wai Siew Free Hospital at Serangoon Road. The Singapore Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng, a charitable organisation by a federation of 16 clans of the Cantonese community in Singapore ran and managed Kampong San Theng. In 1982, the area was redeveloped. Today the Peck San Theng Temple/Columbarium, housing more than 100,000 niches, serve as a gentle reminder of the past. Part of the larger Kampong San Theng, the second village - the Soon Hock Village - is a predominantly Hokkien village, famous for the production of sesame oil and noodles. The Chinese architecture of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Complex with its temples, funeral parlours, columbarium and niches is an imposing sight along Sin Ming Avenue.

Source: By Cornelius-Takahama, Vernon written on 15-Mar-1999
National Library Board Singapore
Comments on article: InfopediaTalk

Bishan Now is a photographic journal with help of NAS from the same domain sources with acknowledgement of thanks for non-commercial purposes.

On this blog to express as I rambled, observations from a personal perspective:

Why is land not grown on earth the way flowers, fruits, vegetables and plants could be planted from seeds?

The first rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis)was successfully transplanted in Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1877, from seedlings taken from Brazil to the Kew Gardens in the UK. Ironically, it was Malaysia, not Singapore which became the world's biggest producer of rubber. Singapore do not have more land as natural resources than Malaysia. Wasn't this "foreign" plants which we don't have enough land for rubber industry for Singapore's economy assets.

Land is God created. Land is wiped out from earth by various natural disasters and calamities ...e.g. tsunami, flood, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, heatwave, or landslide. The distribution of land is allocated in unequal sizes to each country, big or small.

Land utilisation is man-made for the benefit of the masses, for the people and the country. In economic terms, "the basic relationship between scarcity and choice"

Only if more land could be "planted" or "manufactured" in Singapore...

One way by "land reclamation from the sea" and another to recover from existing cemeteries to use land development for building houses, roads and transportation and other urban redevelopment projects. In other words, the "dead for the living" to give way to sacrifice in land scarce Singapore.

Bishan Now .

HDB Housing Estate at Bishan

Bishan MRT Station

First MRT train at Bishan on 8 July 1986.

First MRT train at Bishan on 8 July 1986.

President Wee Kim Wee's first MRT train ride at Bishan c 1986

First Lady's first MRT train ride at Bishan c 1986

President Wee Kim Wee's first MRT train ride at Bishan c 1986

Bishan Park

Bishan Fitness Park

Raffles Institution @ Bishan

ITE College @ Bishan

Architectural model of ITE College @ Bishan

The completed ITE building at Bishan.

Bishan Junction 8

Mr Lim Lian Hai's "Light for Life, Life for Light" photography galleries
was captured with light and life of Bishan Park here . Awesome masterpieces.