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Thursday, July 13, 2017

More on Waterfall Cafe

A shout-out to all celiacs! The range of buffet anti pasti dishes at the Waterfall Cafe, Shangri-La has increased somewhat. Most of it is gluten free.












Thursday, July 6, 2017

CPF and Polyclinic

CPF Board, Woodlands

I don't suppose I will ever feel secure about money. So, for some peace of mind, I decided to pop into CPF to top up my CPF Special Account.

Seeing how my in-laws have aged, it becomes clear that there will come a day when working for a living would be arduous, if not impossible. So, having monthly pocket money given to me every month from a pool of my own money kept safe by CPF looks ok. Besides, I want to qualify for CPF Life Plan, which pays out a monthly sum to me every month for as long as I live (when I reach 65 years). To qualify I need to have $60,000 in my CPF retirement account 6 months before I turn 65 years.

If ever I become destitute, I would at least have money to buy food.... and maybe a book or 2?

It was such a pleasant experience. A tallish gentleman at the Woodlands branch Called Mr Terence Lee took me out of the very long queue when he understood that I wanted to top up my account. He gave me a form and took my IC to check the amount I was allowed to put in. He came back with a very exact amount and explained a few obscure details that he thought I might not be aware of...

- the money I put in will be stuck there till I am 55...
- moneys flow over from my Medisave to my Special Account on the 25th of each month. My top up sum could be rejected if I fail to account for these extra moneys going in by 25th of this month.

I liked him very much. He spoke to me in a Parenty-Teachery voice. When he disappeared to check my account details, other officers took over. They all approached me to ask if I needed help. They too spoke in a Parenty-Teachery voice.

I like it when Customer Service Officers talk to me in a Parenty-Teachery voice.


Woodlands Polyclinic

Then, it was time to go get my mammogram and fasting blood test done at the Woodlands Polyclinic. The Customer Service Officer on the phone had the presence of mind to line up both appointments very close to each other. I went in at 10.25 am for the blood test (appointment at 10.15am)... left for a small breakfast and completed my mammogram shortly after by 11.15 (appointment at 11 am).

There were literally hordes of people. So, I was amazed that the nurses were all so calm and friendly.  They too spoke to me in a Parenty-Teachery voice.

I think the Parenty-Tecahery voice is a very powerful voice skill in customer service. It sets the customer at ease because he/she feels looked after and it also communicates a sense of higher authority so that people won't disrespect the Nurses or Customer Service Officers.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

3 Filial Scandals

One Filial Scandal?
When one takes a bit of distance, one can actually be proud of the FamiLEE Saga. In other countries, scandals are made of real sex and real corruption. In Singapore, our scandal is when an eldest in-law goes into her deceased father-in-law's house to organise his belongings.

Gee... I dunno. I am also the eldest daughter-in-law. In fact, I am the only daughter-in-law. My sister-in-law does not cook and she does not clean. She is not even in Singapore so I have to do the ferrying to and from hospital of the old folks. I am the one who bakes them gluten free bread so that MIL's digestive problems abate. I am the one that grows organic veggies to share with them. My kids are the ones who resolve iPad problems, fix light bulbs, help her sort out SingPass issues and all that.

If it is scandalous for a daughter-in-law to organise a deceased father-in-law's belongings, then it really is a scandal to be proud of.

Ok lah... we too have real sex scandals - Michael Palmer and David Ong but this one... this one that has the world laughing at Singapore, is not really a scandal lah! I really fail to see how an eldest daughter-in-law carrying out her filial duties of organising her deceased parents-in-law's things can be construed as an abuse of power. After all, she must have been doing similar things for decades!

Another TWO Filial Scandals?
2 siblings (LWL and LHY), from filial piety, want to ensure that their Father's last wishes are complied with. Of course, these 2 are not politicians. They have no duty nor responsibility to the Cabinet.

The eldest sibling, LHL has to face Cabinet, who to a man, are dead set against demolishing the house. Unless the Cabinet is composed of mindless robots, LHL cannot simply dismiss their concerns. If he does that, he loses their respect and loyalty. If LHL loses the respect and loyalty of his immediate followers, the damage to the government of Singapore is incalculable. Given the very laws that LKY put in place, LHL CANNOT ask his Cabinet to accede to his Father's last wish, just because it was his Father. Given the laws LKY put in place, LHL would strike a mortal blow to a cornerstone of LKY's legacy...

No one is above the law. Not even the PM can bend the law in his father's favour.

It is one thing when you own a company or are CEO of a company you founded. You can take unilateral decisions just because you are The Boss. LHL does not own Singapore. He does not own the Cabinet. Singaporeans voted in the Cabinet. LHL's hands are really tied.

So herein, we have ANOTHER 2 filial scandals. LWL and LHY are filial in wanting to ensure their father's desire is carried out. LHL is filial in wanting to preserve the kind of governance LKY wrought.

Proud of Our 3 Scandals
In the midst of those who call for this family to cease and desist in their social media war because we are all a bit tired by the kacang putihs LWL and LHY are throwing out as scandals, I think we have a good problem.

Come on lah... find me another country that makes a BIG deal out of a dead leader's last wish. Find me another country where the dead beloved and honoured leader literally die die also does not want to be honoured like Ozymandias. Look over at North Korea! Fella not dead yet and he already has commemorative statues made of himself. Find me a country where a public "Scandal" ensues because 2 kids wanna be filial to the father's last wish and another kid wanna be filial to the father's lifetime work.

Who Must Win?
To me this is clear. The government cannot lose this fight. If the government yields to the threats and tantrums of LWL and LHY, it is tantamount to...
(1) dealing a blow to LKY's legacy of the rule of law
(2) admitting that it is guilty of abuse of power

If the matter had stayed private and LWL/LHY had patiently awaited an outcome, then there was every chance that the government could back down and discreetly accede to the demolition wish of LKY. Right through the parliamentary proceedings of the past 2 days, the 2 siblings continued the Facebook war. In a sense, threatening our PM (and the government) and making outsized public accusations of impropriety has painted the whole issue into a corner.

This is a fight the government cannot afford to lose. If it demolishes the house because it wishes to honour LKY's last wishes, then it makes a mockery out of the Rule Of Law that LKY put in place. It must win this fight to protect LKY's most important legacy, not because it is LKY's legacy... but because every Singaporean depends on it. It now is no longer about a house. It is about whether one man's dying wish can over ride a government guided by policy and law.

If the matter had remained quiet, discreet concessions could be made. Now that it is in the public, demolishing the house also demolishes a cornerstone of LKY's system of governance.

The only way out, and I hate to write this, is for LHL to contest the 7th will in court, void it... and preserve the house with its private areas within, demolished. There is no other way to protect the country that LKY left us.

Singapore is Soooooo Square and Nerdy
Singapore is sooooo square and nerdy that we actually have a scandal rooted in filial piety!! This reminds me of the time our friends were flabbergasted that our family was too square and nerdy  to own a TV. It was predicted that The Son would grow up stupid and only academically excellent. I was proud of owning no TV back then. I am proud of The Son today.

What a blessed woman I am to mother a family of square nerds and belong to a nation of square nerds.






Fullerton Bay Hotel, Saturday Brunch

Compared to some other buffets, The Fullerton Bay Hotel's Saturday Brunch may not have a wide enough DIVERSITY of food (you know, oysters etc...). Hence, the prices are more reasonable. However, if you are a roast beef fan, you will love this place. The roast beef is very tender and succulent. I am pretty sure this place does sous-vide because when I eat eggs here, they are au point, and when I last ate lamb chops, those were melt in the mouth tender too.

Good value for money for Father's Day 2017... and I really love the HIGH HIGH HIGH ceilings! 













Pork Knuckle at Causeway Point

When we first moved into Woodlands more than 2 decades ago, it was really the backwaters of Singapore. There were glorious sunsets and heaps of trees everywhere we looked. The provision shops looked like something from the 1970s, with a Milo tin hanging on a pulley from which the store owner would give you your change.

Oh well... for good or for bad, things have changed immensely. The provision shops are all air-conditioned. Shops like Esprit and Uniqlo have opened shop. Up until recently, I had to drive to Guthrie House in Bukit Timah to get the most delicious pork knuckle in the world from Cold Storage. Imagine my surprise when I saw rows and rows of pork knuckle at Cold Storage Causeway Point. Woah! Now I don't have to drive to upmarket Bukit Timah anymore. My little kampong has gone up in the world!

The men at the booth were very pleased with their pork knuckle. Clearly, they took pride in their work. I bought one and I will say this. This was by far the best pork knuckle I have ever bought from Cold Storage or tasted anywhere else.

The skin was THIN and crispy. How did they do that?!

Anyway, it turns out, these guys also said that Woodlands Causeway Point has fresh pork knuckle every day. I was like... "Really ah... Life cannot get better than this!"

The Best Pork Knuckle in Singapore

The Best Pork Knuckle Artists in Singapore