Blood Donation Appeal for Ex-Actor Chen Wencong (陈文聪): Doing the Right Thing vs Doing the Right Thing AND Doing It Right

Blood Donation Appeal went Viral
Blood Donation Appeal went Viral

Recently, there was a blood donation appeal for a former television actor, Chen Wencong (陈文聪) that went viral, generating a fair bit of media buzz and frenzy.

The appeal was first posted on Facebook and Twitter on Friday evening (28 Oct), by MediaCorp artiste, Zhang Zhenhuan (张振寰), appealing for donors with AB blood type to provide blood and platelets.

Here’s the exact message:

I’ve a colleague who is in need urgent blood and platelet transfusion. He is AB Blood group, so he can take in O, A, B and AB blood.

Please proceed to:
Blood Services Group, Health Sciences Authority,
11 Outram Road (within SGH grounds), Opposite Outram MRT station.

Kindly indicate his name “Tan Boon Chong (S7011332E)” and inform the nurses that he urgently needs blood and platelet transfusion. And to make sure you are donating for him. Please help!!!!

大家还记得陈文聪? 他曾经是一位艺人。他得了血癌, 需要大量的血液。请大家帮帮忙。希望你们可以伸出援手,到Blood Service Group 的Health Sciences Authority (11 Outram Road), 并注明是给「Tan Boon Chong S7011332E」,他的血型是AB型,所以任何血型的人都可以帮助到他! 谢谢你们的爱心!谢谢!

呼吁大家,其实他现在比较需要血小板,不只是血液。所以请捐献者捐血小板。但护士说您一定要是52kg以上,不可以是首次捐血者。这个过程会比较久,大约1-2小时。谢谢你~

-小帮手

When I first saw this appeal, I was a little puzzled as it was stated that Wencong can accept blood from ANY blood type. Logically, there should be ample supply in the blood banks. Even if there was a shortage, I believe an appeal to just Wencong’s immediate friends and family members would have suffice. Was a public appeal really necessary? Especially one which detailed the patient’s medical condition and even his NRIC number. I decided not to pass this message on as I do not want to contribute to needless alarm.

Moreover, Wencong may not even want all these attention in the first place, given that most people would prefer to keep our medical conditions private. I certainly would.

When I read Yong Wei’s summary blog post on the whole saga yesterday, I was all the more assured there is a big difference between “doing the right thing” and “doing the right thing and doing it right”.

Those who jump on the bandwagon and mass propagate the donation appeal without doing any background check are “doing the right thing”; in the sense that they are relaying an appeal for help as Good Samaritans. However, they do not realise they may also be contributing to harmful mass hysteria by spreading untruth. What if the appeal was fake or not something that the patient or his family members would be comfortable with?

As an informed and regular blood donor, Yong Wei was one of the rare few who bothered to find out more before deciding on his course of action. He was “doing the right thing AND doing it right”.

Guess what? There was sufficient blood supply to begin with. The donation appeal was unnecessary.

Without pointing fingers at anyone, wouldn’t it now seem like the artistes who jumped on the bandwagon are just capitalising on Wencong’s plight to get some media coverage (even if this wasn’t their intent)?

BBC News: Every Hour, There are 5 Births, 2 Deaths and 16 New Immigrants in Singapore

Check out this web infographics by BBC News on the world’s growing population. Most amazingly, key in Singapore for country and you will see this result:

Holy Molly! The statistics are scary when flashed in your face this way!
Holy Molly! The statistics are scary when flashed in your face this way!

At this rate, i wonder how long it will take for Singapore-born Singaporeans to become the minority in our own country, not to mention become extinct altogether. Growth is outnumbered 1:3!

Rachel and I must be two of the extremely rare Singapore-born Singaporeans who got married and give birth to a true blue Singaporean son who has to go through the discriminatory NS policy when he turns 18.

My baby Asher is a rare breed.

Movie Preview: Footloose (2011)

Leads, Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough on the poster of the 2011 remake of Footloose
Leads, Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough on the poster of the 2011 remake of Footloose

Footloose (2011) is an American dance film directed by Craig Brewer. It is a remake of the 1984 film of the same name and stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, and Andie MacDowell. The film follows a young man who moves from Boston to a small southern town and protests the town’s ban against dancing.

I am a sucker for classic movies from the 80s and Footloose (1984) is one of them. I was chatting to a few colleagues about Footloose a few days ago and we realised that if you first talk about Kevin Bacon or the 1984 version instead of the 2011 remake currently showing in cinemas, you would have sadly betrayed your very old age. This was obviously the case for me.

Thanks to the folks from UIP, I caught the preview on Monday (25 Oct).

The remake kept close to the original teen rebel turned hero plot of dance being banned in a small redneck town and a city boy coming in to save the day, getting the town preacher’s daughter along the way.

The two leads in the 2011 remake, Wormald and Hough are both eye candies on screen, guaranteed to send many young hearts throbbing. Best of all, both of them can really dance too! The dance sequences make you want to get on your feet and dance yourself, especially Wormald’s dance soliloquy, trashing around in a junkyard to let out his frustrations.

Footloose is now showing in Singapore cinemas. If dance movies or remakes of 80s classics are your kind of stuff, do catch it. 🙂

Trailer:

Synopsis:
Writer/Director Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan”) delivers a new take of the beloved 1984 classic film, “Footloose.” Ren MacCormack (played by newcomer Kenny Wormald) is transplanted from Boston to the small southern town of Bomont where he experiences a heavy dose of culture shock. A few years prior, the community was rocked by a tragic accident that killed five teenagers after a night out and Bomont’s local councilmen and the beloved Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) responded by implementing ordinances that prohibit loud music and dancing. Not one to bow to the status quo, Ren challenges the ban, revitalizing the town and falling in love with the minister’s troubled daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough) in the process.

Halloween FrightFest @ Singapore Flyer

This October, Halloween creeps in at Singapore Flyer, with its rainforest being transformed into an eerie hideout of ghouls and ghosts.

The new Director and Group CEO at Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Isabelle Loh, may have ruined Halloween for many by abruptly canceling Night Safari’s iconic and very successful annual Halloween event; other local attraction sites like Singapore Flyer are quick to chip in and fill the demand gap.

I attended the media preview of the Halloween FrightFest at Singaopore Flyer last Thursday (20 Oct), together with a group of omy Blog Club bloggers. Many came dressed in a mix of scary, pretty and fun costumes in the spirit of Halloween.

Rachell and her boyfriend’s costumes especially rocked. Their make-up was so good that many found them to be even scarier than the hired professional talents! It was no surprise Rachell won the top prize for best costume of the night. 🙂

Me with Rachell and her boyfriend. I swear I cannot recognise both of them when they called me!
Me with Rachell and her boyfriend. I swear I cannot recognise both of them when they called me!
I love these two Ghostbuster characters too
I love these two Ghostbuster characters too

For the media preview, we started off with a tour in the Singapore Flyer rainforest where costumed talents were planted to jump out of bushes to scare visitors:

Entrance to the Halloween rainforest
Entrance to the Halloween rainforest
Costumed bloggers waiting to enter the rainforest
Costumed bloggers waiting to enter the rainforest
Bloggers Holly and Jacqualine posing for photos
Bloggers Holly and Jacqualine posing for photos
I like this ghost's costume - pretty lady on one side and disfigured ghost on the other side
I like this ghost's costume - pretty lady on one side and disfigured ghost on the other side
Another ghost talent
Another ghost talent
Some props to add to the scare factor
Some props to add to the scare factor

Many of the bloggers were more busy taking photos with the poor talents than getting scared by them. To be fair, some of the talents’ costumes were pretty good. The scare factor should be there for the general public who are not click-happy bloggers armed with their array of photos and videos capturing devices.

After the scary stuff, we got to take a ride on the Singapore Flyer.I think this is the fourth time I boarded one of their capsules this year. Each time, Singapore’s city landscape changes and I would marvel at how fast we have progressed (or regressed in some areas like public transport).

Inside one of the capsules
Inside one of the capsules
At the highest point
At the highest point

The day ended with a Special Halloween Brew (non-alcoholic) at the Singapore Flyer lounge. I find this a rather thoughtful, children-friendly gesture.

Costumed bloggers hanging around the lounge
Costumed bloggers hanging around the lounge
Rachell and her boyfriend were crowd magnets - everyone wants to take a photo with them
Rachell and her boyfriend were crowd magnets - everyone wants to take a photo with them
Announcing the winner for Best Costume
Announcing the winner for Best Costume
Collecting our drinks
Collecting our drinks
The Singapore Flyer Special Halloween Brew
The Singapore Flyer Special Halloween Brew

If you are interested to visit Singapore Flyer for  their Halloween FrightFest:

Tickets are priced at SGD$25 nett each for a Singapore Flyer ride, including entry into FrightFest @ Singapore Flyer Rainforest and 1 Special Halloween Brew (non-alcoholic)*

There are also special deals available on Deal.com.sg and for PAssion card members.

How to Purchase:

Walk into any of Singapore Flyer’s ticketing counters on-site or call or email at 6333-3311 or sfsales@adval.com.sg to pre-book.

* All tickets are valid for Friday (28 Oct) at 9pm & 10pm and Sunday (30 Oct) at 9pm & 10pm only. Saturday’s tickets are sold out.

The Winner for the LoBlography Blogger Challenge Singapore is…

… not yours truly of course!

I was sick for most of the contest period and had handed the La Sardina lomography camera to my sister-in-law, Eunice to play with instead.

Even though I did not complete the challenge, the folks from LOMOGRAPHY.COM were still nice enough to send me a Lomography Button Set:

Shutter Buttons!
Shutter Buttons!

They also give me 20 piggies (equals to USD20) to purchase stuff online at their Online Shop.

Thank you very much. 🙂

And now… to announce the winner.

The winner that the judges deemed to have the most creative entry is… Sasha Gill! Sasha gets to keep the La Sardina forever.

Ms. Popular went to Rachell Tan, who had the most comments, likes, and shares for her entry. Rachell scores a brand new Lomo LC-A+.

Congratulations to both Rachell and Sasha. 🙂

On another note, the La Sardina had just introduced two atas lomography cameras to its range – Beluga and Czar, with gold tone metallic deligh, Flitz the Blitz flash  and wide-angle lens:

La Sardina Caviar Edition
La Sardina Caviar Edition

For more information about these two cameras or to make a purchase, check out the lomography.com website.

Singapore brand Fabrix’s tribute to Steve Jobs

Plugging this for Fabrix as I like to support Singapore brands. Fabrix has launched a special edition sleeve ‘Fifth October’ as a tribute to Steve Jobs.

Fabrix's tribute to Steve Jobs
Fabrix's tribute to Steve Jobs

The sleeves are selling at a non-profitng price (according to Fabrix) of US$10, exclusive of shipping costs. Each sleeve will come with a random quote card, bearing a message from Steve Jobs.

Here’s the full media release from Fabrix:

The passing of Steve Jobs is a great lost to the entire Mac Community or rather, to the world. He was a true visionary, a great leader and an inspiring soul destined to changed the world. He has connected the world with his passion and his ideas. He challenged conventions and shaped the way we enjoyed technology today. Here at Fabrix, we would like to pay a tribute to him, cause without him, we would not be doing what we love today.

We have hence created a special tribute sleeve to immortalize him. We named this special edition sleeve ‘Fifth October’ because that is the day the world lost Steve Jobs.

Throughout Steve’s Apple career, his trademark look spotting the black turtleneck top paired with blue jeans has garnered a cult following and we figured that is exactly how we would like to remember him as. With that image in mind, we created the sleeve in black and blue denim split into halves and stitched together in ultra minimalism style.

As a form of respect to him, this sleeve will not bear any branding or labels. It will be shipped in a special drawer box in Black and Gold. Each sleeve will come with a random quote card, bearing a message from Steve Jobs that we feel has inspired us.

This sleeve will retail at a non-profitng price of US$10 because we believe that every and anyone who would like to own it should be able to do so without a pinch (we just need to recover the costs on our side).

Lastly, a note to Steve – If you’re still listening, just wanted you to know that you’ll always be remembered. RIP.

Chen Show Mao’s Maiden Speech in Parliament Rocks!

Chen Show Mao is a breath of fresh air in parliament. As MPs from the ruling party took the opportunity to cast cheap pot shots at opposition MPs or sing praises of their own party’s achievements, here is someone who thinks of Singapore and Singaporeans first before party interests.

I particularly like this quote which he used to frame his maiden parliamentary speech: “… differences are not divisions. It is the intolerance of differences that will be divisive”.

Short and sweet.

Why can’t all the MPs work as one to make Singapore a better place for all Singaporeans after being elected into parliament?

Show Mao reminds me of US President, Barack Obama, with the same quiet charisma, but steely grit and inspiring speeches.

Here’s his full speech via the Workers’ Party website:

Mr Speaker, Thank you, and congratulations.

Following our two elections this year, some commentators tell us that Singaporeans’ political differences are rising to the surface. Many of our leaders have expressed their concerns about the differences. They warned of divisions and called for unity. I’d like to remind us that differences are not divisions. It is the intolerance of differences that will be divisive.

I would like to quote a man who is not able to join us here today. In a newspaper interview, former Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo related what a Roman Catholic cardinal told him about the late Pope John Paul the Second. The cardinal had drafted, “Even though we’re all different because we speak different languages, we are one”. The Pope corrected him. “No, it is not even though we’re different, we are one. It is because we are different, we are one.” Mr Yeo then said, “I thought that was so profound and beautiful. In my first speech to the United Nations, I repeated that story because in the UN, it is also because we are different that we are one. To be a human being is to be different. The whole logic and driving force of biological life is diversification. An imposed unity is a false unity; it’s a contradiction in terms. To me, that is a core position, and Singapore is an expression of that core position.”

Singapore is an expression of that core position of diversity, and this must include political diversity in this day and age. Let me state quite clearly how I see myself as an opposition member of this parliament. I may challenge government policy in parliament, but I do not by definition oppose government policy. It does not mean that I do not support the government in its work. It is very simple. I am an opposition MP and will perform my role to voice alternative and opposing views in the law-making process, based on my party philosophy. But I submit to laws properly made because I believe they express the sovereign will of our people. You see, I do not believe that Parliament is just form, and no substance. I have been elected to serve in this Parliament and will do what I can to help make it work for Singapore, make it a First World Parliament after our own fashion. As an opposition MP, I am not the enemy of the government, I am a Singaporean and a patriot.

I believe that our community will come out of robust debates stronger. Not just in Parliament but in larger society as well. Social cohesion will be strengthened when we give people, including our young people, room to voice their views and grievances and participate in community affairs. This is being recognized in households and at work places around us and is affecting how they are run. There is no reason not to learn from it. But we must start from a position of difference, not a forced unity.

How do we move forward from a position of difference?

A wise Singaporean wrote to me recently on Facebook, “the key is always to set our ‘devilish’ pride aside and for both parties to communicate.” He did not mean political parties, but any two parties in a position of difference. He goes on, “The aim is not to impose one’s view over the other but to find as much common ground as possible for the good of the common objective both parties have… And yes, I have always practised this in the office and with the wife…so far so good.”

How do we expand the areas of common ground to accommodate political differences? I believe it will be best done through strengthening institutions that are non-partisan and capable of commanding the respect and allegiance of all Singaporeans in spite of their political differences. The office of the Presidency, for example. President Tan clearly intends this. In his swearing in ceremony he said, “I will strive to strengthen our common bonds and our core values that underpin our society. …Whatever your political views,… I will strive to the best of my abilities to represent you.”

The government in the addenda to the President’s address said, “The building of friendship, understanding and trust amidst increasing diversity will be supported through organisations such as the People’s Association and grassroots platforms such as the Inter-racial and Religious Confidence Circles.” We welcome this.

Let us Singaporeans take our cue from the President. Look for what Singaporeans’ different visions have in common and take our next steps in these areas of common ground. Let us ask ourselves “is there more we could do?” I believe that it would always be possible to find common ground among Singaporeans, even if it might now take greater efforts on the part of those of us here in this House. But it is possible – they call politics “the art of the possible”.

HUMAN CAPITAL

Mr Speaker

In the addenda to the President’s address, the government announced its plans to, “significantly enhance the transport infrastructure, quality and opportunities in education, healthcare and housing”. We endorse the goal. And we will hold the government to it.

We believe that Singaporeans in recent years have been underserved by enhancements in these areas. We believe that most of these enhancements are best thought of, not just as increased expenditure, but as investments in the human capital of our country, with long term benefits to our society, such as the productivity increase that the government calls our “fundamental economic challenge”. Adam Smith wrote many years ago about investments in a person, such as by the acquisition of new talents, he wrote, “such acquisition of talents always costs a real expense, which is a capital realized in his person. [but] Those talents, as they make a part of his fortune, so do they likewise that of the society to which he belongs.”

Many economists have long regarded expenditures on education and healthcare as investments in human capital. They produce income and other useful outputs for the individual over long periods of time. They also produce external benefits for the rest of society. When growing disparity in wealth suggest that more and more households may not be able to make the investments that may be needed to give their children a place at the same starting line as their cohorts, it is even more appropriate for the government to increase public investments in the human capital of our young people.

This is one of the goals the government set in the addenda to the President’s address: “Through our investment in Education, we ensure that every child, regardless of family circumstances and background, has access to opportunities.” That access to opportunities has to be meaningful and available to everyone.

Similarly, for many expenditures we make outside the areas of education and healthcare, If we just take an expanded view of the returns from these investments, we will be able to see their long-term benefits.

Take elder care for example. Our investments in this area do not just benefit our elders alone. They enhance the productivity of working family members who worry about their care. They sustain and unlock the rich social and cultural capital embodied in our elders, which enhance the efficacy of our economic capital. More importantly, taking good care of our elders who built the nation is the right thing to do in the “fair and just society” that the President wishes for Singapore. It strengthens our sense of community. It is consistent with the values that we wish to impart to our children. These are all intangible but significant returns on our investments.

This is part of our nationhood: these are the bonds that will hold us together in times of trouble.

Our social harmony needs to be sustained and cultivated, carefully ministered. We must invest in these efforts.

“People are the real wealth of a nation”, declared the United Nations’ inaugural Human Development Report over twenty years ago. “People are the real wealth of a nation,” this is especially true for our nation. Let us put our people at the center of our government policies.

Let us invest in Singaporeans. Invest in the future of Singapore.

Significant investments cannot be made all at once. In addition to fiscal discipline, we would need to watch out for inflation, for effects on our currency and competitiveness. But the investments must be made. So we should start now and engage in a long term sustainable investment pattern for the good of our people.

CONCLUSION

Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister concludes in his National Day rally speech that “ours is an improbable nation”. I cannot agree more with his call for all Singaporeans to treasure and fight for our improbable nation.

I would like to add that an improbable nation will be made more probable for future Singaporeans by the politics of possibility.

Mr Speaker, sir, I support the motion. And now in Chinese.

在今年的两次选举之后,我们许多领导人都提到团结的重要。全国人民现在必须上下一心,步伐一致地向前迈进。

他们有人认为新加坡有政治分裂,不利於团结与将来发展。但是各位想想,这分裂是怎么造成的? 是因为社会出现了不同的声音,还是因为不能包容不同的声音才会造成分裂?

“政者正也, 子帅以正,孰敢不正”,“为政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而众星拱之”,“风行草偃”,这些都是孔子说的来形容好的执政者,意思就是,一个好的领导者,只要有 信心,有正确的方向,有好的道德与能力把政绩做出来,人民自然会乐意跟著他走。不需要害怕国家分裂,强调团结。

爱国的权利不是任何一个政党可以独占的。一个党再伟大也只是国家的一部分而已,不是国家全部啊!陈独秀说过,"党外无党,帝王思想。"在民主社会里,有不同的意见,不同的建议,是很自然的事情。这也是好事。

其实孔子三千年前就已说过,“君子和而不同”。和谐,可却不尽相同。晏婴说过:乐团只演奏一个音符,谁听得下去?白开水上再加白开水,谁喝得下去?一个和谐的社会,不只有一种声音。而是每个人很和平的在法律的範围内发表他的看法,从事政治活动。我们不必防民如防贼。

在中国历史上最伟大的贞观之治就不是一言堂式的全民团结,就是有喜欢諌言喜欢说真话不怕被唐太宗讨厌的魏徵,才有了贞观之治。

在这国会的任期里,希望明理的执政党可以做唐太宗,而我们来做魏徵,开出太平盛世,而不是一个执政者独断,而小人唯唯诺诺的世代。

我屡次与国外的人接触,大家似乎有一种感觉,觉得新加坡守成有馀但开创不足,似乎欠缺了那创新的能力。在这全球化的竞争下,我们国家不是应该培养出更多有主见、有创造力的新一代吗?

李前总理在演说中也说了他担忧我们年轻人,生活太过安逸。可见李前总理也想过这问题。真正完整的人格、独立的精神,是不可能在一个凡事听从独大的执 政党,凡事唯唯诺诺的环境下生成。我们要我们下一代有创新、有独立自主精神,就不能不在政治上、精神上给他一个自由竞争的环境。这要求及这深深的忧虑不安 其实是隐藏在许多新加坡人心中,在全球化激烈的竞争下,我们的竞争力难道只能靠执政党的完全控制来达成吗?

所以我们在野党是为了国家的好,才提出建言与批判,爱国不是执政党的专利,希望我们能在各自的岗位上演好自己的角色,这样我们的国家才能有活力、创造力的向前进步。

最後我要提醒执政党除了对自己有信心以外,对国人也要有信心。但我也要感谢执政党,把新加坡建设成一个成熟的法治社会,让我们在野党,可以在一个合法的基础上与执政党并存,竞争,为人民服务。

谢谢。