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Late night thoughts on Nicole Seah & what she represents for + other thoughts on the coming election. April 27, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Singapore.
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Coming back home sitting in front of my PC and re-reading Nicole Seah. I feel she has proven a couple of issues:

{A} Singapore does have talent — polical talent.

Those who are willing to stand up and fight for their cause in the most civilised way that is of integrity as well as intelligence. We have people who have the guts to do real change. Nicole seems to understand the machanics of politics as well as understood the ground level of the poor.

[B} The Issue on Elite education

She claims she is not a scholar from a coveted foreign universtiy. But then again, the local university has grown leaps and bounds to be one of the best in the world. She was also a scholar under the University’s scholar programme. So I don’t know if we can exactly say she is not an elite. Then again the real problem about ‘elites’ is not so much because of the scholarship. It has a lot to do with the over confidence and ego that tag with it. If you are great at your studies, you would naturally come to be a scholar. I don’t think being a scholar is a problem. Neither does scholar from elite schools is a problem. But in today’s materialistc and pragmatic environment, going to the top and be materially well off are seen as successful. What she has shown so far is her staunch sense for justice. The kind of earnesty in her tone is what attracted me. That would most likely be attributed to your young age and for that matter people who are idealistic tend to be far more attractive. She speaks out with a very convincing and logical tone that would make people sit up and listen to her. This is one of the most important traits of a successful politician. For this is the kind of tone that will gather and motivate crowds. If she could continue delievering this kind of assurance in her words, honor them with convincing action and not mere rethoric; I am sure she will win big in this coming election.

[C} Humility

I am definitely impressed by how she handles questions right in the face. It is no small matter that people are following her on facebook.  and due to her humilty, people are genuinely giving her their advice. She will certainly stand a great chance learning a lot within the next 10 days. No one knows how she will perform; but I know from experience that when someone who has serious thoughts on certain issues, they will fight for their causes. Such a motivation grows a kind of charisma that can move mountains. The voice of hope must be accompanied by detailed plan of action. When one is able to show that credibility, you will be sure that a fine leader is born. I like people who can strike out on their own merit. In this very respect, I do not underestimate her latent abilities. Whether she will progress ahead, we shall see her real abilities in the near future.

[D] Other thoughts on the coming election:

Today we have most of the successes in place but there are areas where I personally feel need changing. When I read through the news, though I have not managed to cover all, I have the impression that many lack life experience. The kind of life experience that entails living through hardship and experience what commoners suffer seems lacking. Even with Nicole Seah.

I do not have any political affinity for many reasons. The most pertinent one is that I don’t even like politics. But politics is a fundamental part of our lives whether we like it or not; as it is very much alive in our daily living. So I have to be at least aware. My hopes is that whichever political party is taking over the baton to govern this country has to enrure or at least solve immediate problems, probably not obviious to some but visible to many.

There are problems in different dimensions. Perhaps the real issue in this coming election is about pockets of loopholes in the policies that look great. We have world class education, but we have sky high fees. It may look low when compared with other countries; but if you were to really ask people from the ground, a lot of lower middle class and working class folks say they cannot afford fees at some of the coveted top schools. I am not perfectly sure why this is a problem when I’ve thought that there are scholarships lying around. Very often, we need to see the reality.There are people who cannot pay medical bills despite medisaves, medifunds and medicares. But the third dimension of this sort of problems really links to income and the proportion of these earnings that is spent on bills. Foreign talent has always been a topic, not so much because Singaporeans do not welcome them but because some of  these talent are not really talents but workers who come in at the expense of locals of similar calibre. Foreign talent can stimulate our economy by giving us the technical expertise that we may or are really short of. A progressive country is one that attracts the world’s best and tap on their expertise to benefit our society; allowing the locals to further their knowledge and skills to improve their innovations in both product and service. However foreigners can be a double edged sword if we do not have the tact to do so because we are a very tiny nation. Some issues are mainly about the difference in cultures. Some on the unwillingness to conform. There are many. Any unrest between local and foreigners can be dire. And because we are a small country, many things are hard to tackle.

This coming election has cooked up a lot of issues. The quality of candidates for the opposition parties has shown marked improvement. Former government scholars like Chen Show Mao joining to opposition parties is getting popular and more accepted than in the past. What I am worrying now at this point of writing is that of a chaos that might come in. This election is different from the past. It is even different from the one 5 years ago. I have never seen polarising situation such as this. But I hope I am wrong

Indeed there is plenty of room for improvement. The nature of issues today are far different than it was back in the 1950s, 60s or even till the 70s. I wasn’t born then, but to hold some of the past in the present, I have learnt a great deal from my grandparents and teachers who most of them are already deceased. In their memory, Singapore suffered through being a small country, where poverty existed. Then there was a line of unrests, social and racial riots. Jobs were unstable and chaos was rampant. The way we rise and the way we fall are very closely linked to the dynamics of the social and economic costs. I hope whoever is taking up the future debates of this coming election will address these costs seriously.— Karen Fu

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Nicole Seah – the youngest candidate of the coming Singapore Elections. April 27, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Singapore.
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I can’t help but to share quick thoughts after reading more detail of Nicole Seah. I like this candidate very much.

When I first read her name in the papers, I had thought she was just  another candidate in her 20s trying to make a ‘win buck’ out of this election and didn’t bother to read anymore. Up until today, Nomination day, when I was skimming through the election map online that I really look into the candidates in more detail. I’ve skipped past a lot and skim them off like fat from full cream milk, especially when candidates are just purely young, having merely the usual credentials and talk nothing much. I don’t buy these.

What impresses me most is that Nicole has a very mature sense of life given her age. She seems to know how to handle the media in the most earnest way. Nothing huge in her credentials, just down to earth talk about what she had seen and what she thought she could do in her own right. — beyond many 20-somethings or even those who are way into their 30s, 40s. And some sneaky times, right into their old age. She presents herself who starts small and reads into what others are suffering. I hope she will fully do what she pledges. Taking the plunge into the real change takes more than guts. You need the perseverance and the due diligence & especially intelligence to beat all kinds of people and issues that will stand against you in the test of time. It is hard. And by due means, more than difficult in the face of the real world where power and politics are present. How will she do it? I cannot be 100 percent sure. By the way she speaks, she shows an unduly confidence way beyond her years. To make a full assessment of her, let the coming 10 days show how she interacts and debates with different media sources and with other candidates. She is pitting against one of the toughest wards — Marine Parade GRC where SM Goh Chok Tong is in. Her chances of winning the election may be low, but I believe her life has changed. I also feel she is under employed somewhat. A position in the parliament would be her good call in the near future.

I am impressed!

Got to run off for now. Just thought I must post this. — Karen Fu

Dare you make this Change – a proposed ministerial nominee for the coming Singapore elections « Daring to Change April 20, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Singapore.
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I just couldn’t resist taking the time to pick out the important lessons off from her talk when she received her commendation from Venerable Jingkong some 3 years ago. I may have missed a couple of points,but I think I have somewhat covered most of the pointers. I only have pockets of time to do this and I thought the best format would be in the form of a ‘poetry’. And I call this ‘Dare You Make This Change’ — Lessons from Hsu Chih. She is an extremely humble person, but I thought she’s got lots of cool factor that is humble yet gutsy; old yet young. Here’s my shot for the day:

想年轻 就年轻!

Think young and thou shalf be young!


很浪费时间

干嘛
买菜  洗菜
又煮菜
餐餐洗碗
多麻烦 !


Eating is a waste of time

Why waste it on

Buying food, washing them

& cooking them

After whish

the hell of washing follows

What a chore!

不如看书
做有意人的事情  更妙 !


Might as well read books

Do chores to benefit mankind  Such is a pure wonder!


只有爱人的宗教
没有别的
心清静
头脑只为为众生


She

Only harbors the idea of Love

Love is her religion

Nothing else.

The heart is at peace

And the mind is for humanity

切勿动干火!
因为
发脾气  浪费时间
伤害自己 伤害别人


Boil not your head

‘Cos

Fuming churns away your time

Harms yourself & others

不拿病人的钱
人家给她的钱
她全给其他穷人
交水电   房租
买粮食

Not taking patient’s money

Whatever money that is given to her

She passes it on to the poor

To pay for bills, rent

To buy food.

她从不浪费


照顾的人很穷,

所以
一定一样跟他们一样的穷


She never wastes

‘Cos

there are many poor people to take care of

That’s Why

she feels she needs to be as poor as them


她信仰是个‘爱’
永远爱世人 爱众生

Love

Is her mantra

Always love humanity, love all fellow beings

她投其四好:
存好心,说好话
行好事, 做好人
百年功绩
就在她 执着的博爱


She focuses on mainly four beliefs:

Keep a good heart, say the wise words

Do the good deeds, practice being a good person

100 years of achievements

lay on the principle of compassion.

苦人太多,贫穷人太多
跟最穷的人一起往来
她的生活要比他们好,她的心不安
这是真的,不但自己心不安
穷人看了会怕;


Sad people are many, poor people are many

Mingle among the poor and interact with them

She feels uneasy when she is better than them

This is real: Not that she feels uneasy

The poor who sees the better off are uneasy

必须过和他们同样的生活
跟大多数人打成一片
就是和平共处的苦心状举!


Henceforth the effort to experience the poor’s life

Be part of the majority

Such heartfelt emphathy is the foundation of peace !

– compiled in the stanzas in the middle of the night by Karen Fu…

Night All !

PS: The basis of peace formed by Teresa Hsu may be a tall order. If not almost impossible, but I believe that if we could move towards the basis of empathy in her direction, we would have sorted out a lot of problems in life. The essence of thrift, sharing and compassion could take us all out of misery that is stemmed out from jealousy, greed and poverty.

If there were no age limit, I would really like to vote for Centenarian Hsu Chih as a minister. Perhaps a designated special post for her to serve as a life’s inspiration that there is always hope, faith and love for people who have a passion for life. I think its very meaningful. And she deserves it.

A minister is a respected leader who selflessly give to his / her people in action that is as solid as his/her words. Her almost 100 years of track record is nothing short of brilliance. Her humour belongs to some of the finest. Her tenacity is one of the toughest, for she stands by herself, for herself and for the people whom she used all to care and cherish. Albeit her age, she thinks clear, sees clear and hears very clearly. Perhaps a little slow now. But considering her heart is golden and her thoughts are pure; if there were a chance, she would be great mentor at the very least.

I truly admire her substance. Something that is grown over time in the sheer test of poverty and hunger; who shines and get noticed because people accidentally discovered her.

She is a definitely a national gem and I think we are very fortunate to have her ! — Karen Fu