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National mourning. March 28, 2015

Posted by @Karen_Fu in National Mourning, Singapore.
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Today will be a historic day for people who come to mourn of a fine geostrategist, leader and a very wisely creative nation planner. I am very glad I eventually made it to the wake at the Parliament House.

I also think I should count myself lucky to get a much cooler weather and a much shorter wait. Much shorter than anticipated by many others. I had thought they wouldn’t allow me to go to the Padang because I reached the MRT station only at 7.40pm and it was far from the Padang. I really sprinted. Together with the bunch who came in at the same time, we ran against the final call to the wake.

Finally made it yesterday running after time. I had thought I wasn’t going to make it because it was really a little too late but I decided to try. Reached City Hall at around 7:40pm, brisk walked to the Padang before reaching one of the tents to wait for our turn to head for the Parliament House. The walk was longer running from Raflles City to crossing the roads to reaching the Padang. But the incentive was they allowed us to walk straight into the Parliament House thereafter via security check before being briefly whisked in afterwards. It was worth the time. Waiting time was less than 3.5hours from 7.50pm to 11.10pm. 3 hours and 20 minutes to be exact. Much shorter time than what I was expecting. And it wasnt hot at all. A lot of food was unexpectedly there. The stranger surprise was they actually have food for me when I am still having some food sensitivities. The officer near City Hall MRT station kept telling me to run and it was worth the rush. I heard some one saying it was tougher than BMT (basic military training) and it drew a laugh. If you want to go, and if you really have the heart to go; somehow you will be there even though you may think it was almost impossible to reach on time at all. To tell the truth, I had wanted to give up because the time was too tight. Very glad I decided to give it a go.

While in the waiting tent, the volunteers and the SAF people kept moving around asking if we were hungry. I didnt expect any food at all. But they seemed to be worried that people may get hungry all the time. First, it was the apples, then it was the drinks. Soon after it was pasta, then it was bread, ice cream, crackers, biscuits and all. It came to a point that it became even comical. Even the kids were quite surprised but none of them were greedy to eat up everything. I was looking on in amazement. It showed care and I was told a lot of the food was donated by different organizations or even from individuals-very generous. I am still wondering who gave all the food though. At one point they were giving away one loaf of freshly baked bread to one person. They asked me if I wanted it. I didn’t because I wasn’t hungry. I looked at it and it wasn’t any kind of bread, it was a multigrain with rye flour (I think). It wasn’t cheap either, which made me thought who would give such a generous donation during the wake.

Thankfully it was a cool evening. Imagine if you would head there in the afternoon. I bet there were people being sent to the hospital for heat stroke. Yet thousands are willing to risk the weather to pay their last respects. I have never seen such a national unity before. But I do worry one thing: imagine the area was attacked, and there was a need to have such tents around to save lives, would we have the space? The cramming population is one of the agendas that I cannot agree in a time when terrorism is rampant in the world. Then again, it seemed to be ignored.

When it was our turn to move out of the tents, everyone cheered. We went through the security system very quick. Before we knew it, we were filing into the wake area.

Filed past the late Minister Mentor’s casket at 11:10pm. A sense of anguish came. You wouldn’t feel that much until you reach the feet of the casket. Then you know how much you lost. It is a fleeting moment of a life time that makes you think about life and how life could treat a person; and how some people could be so nice or mean to one another. To me, it is a sense of motivation. I am not a giant, but I can strive to do good in other modest ways. If those were the obstacles he faced and pass, then I should try to pass mine.

Everyone has their own set of problems and monkeys to face. It is only a matter of effort, wit and time to master the art of problem solving and dealing with different factors (or rather characters) in life. The process is the most difficult but we must learn to take up the challenge. For those who resort to small ways to get their goals never actually win and they are never become great people. At least they were never even a good person to start off with.

The week of mourning has been very reflective on a personal level. It rekindled the national issues and history. It opened up insights about life and it reminded me that a making of a nation and indeed anything always involve persistence and discipline with a take of very witty humour. RIP Minister Mentor, I salute thee. -@Karen_Fu

Who’s going to pay for a greener, global future? November 7, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in climate change, environment, environmental pollution, ethics, faith, Justice, man made calamity, Quick thoughts.
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Who's going to pay for a greener, global future?.

Sharing a commentary reply that I think I should ‘pay it forward’… :’Everyone’s learning. I’m too. I think one of my best decisions in life so far is to have my tertiary education done in the UK. The countryside itself has taught me a lot. Without nature, there is no nurture. Without our biodiversity, we have no future. Hence I could say we are all stakeholders of a dying globe. For the price of man made destruction, we shall all pay dearly through poorer health and economic well being. Its all related. All of us need to pay for a greener global future only differing in extent and capacity. Or perhaps such establishments or countries who do not heed nature’s call are already beginning to pay the price they have put in. Nature has its uncanny ways of evening out with unfairness. I call that,’the Nature’s Law of Justice’. Cheers from the equator.’- Karen Fu

3 big events for the last 3 weeks – terrorism, green design + Obama May 11, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in design, life challenges, terrorism.
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I am back with  some interesting design posts and thoughts for these 3 weeks.. During which 3 big events have happened :

1. One of the JI leaders in Singapore Mas Selamat has just been caught after a year in running away from authorities.

2. New technology to cut down greenhouse gases by designing a ‘green plane’.

3. US President Obama’s recent handling of the tax evasion problems in the quest to keep jobs at home (US).

I have been wondering since if any of these events are really going to value add life ? I will first focus on  Mas Selamat, followed by my other points 2 and 3 for now.— 1: Mas Selamat is finally captured with the help of the Malaysian authorities recently. I thought the hard copy of the Straits Times headline on Sunday (11 May 2009) was somewhat complacent. It wrote in its sub-headline that Mas Selamat’s attempt was only a School boys feat:’20 laps of the swimming pool’ with waters that are ‘4 stories deep’ was easy and  any school boy could do it. If that were a simple feat, then why was Mas Selamat able to escape from the local prison ? Bearing in mind that he is crippled, swimming across the Johor Straits under the coast guards’ eye would deem a very real fact that he was an extremely determined man of wits and guts. How could that be a simple school boy’s feat is really beyond me. Unfortunately his courage and intelligence went into a destructive force. Should he been still in the loose, I bet Singapore would have been in an unimaginable catastrophe.

Terrorism is a dangerous act that  destructs both the terrorist and others. Its a loser’s situation whichever angle you view it. In 2001 September 11, the US witnessed their first unexpected attack on their land. It was an event that 2 planes piercing through not only their buildings in New York, but their hearts as well. It was a lesson  not just for the Americans but for the world to remember – we simply cannot overlook and take peace and formidability for granted.  For since then, a series of other attacks has sprung up  in India, Spain, Indonesia, and attempted attacks here in Singapore. This came in with the freshest memory of the Mumbai attacks.  They are all linked and you’ve got to think why all this has been ongoing. It is frightening to see that a peaceful landscape be always overshadowed by this constant darkness of terror.

We should never be complacent and arrogant about any cause of terrorism because it could actually stem out from our daily carelessness and thoughtlessness that we may not be conscious about what we say, do or act. I believe no one wants to fight and kill people out from a complete nothing. I suspect it  stems out from a misunderstanding of cultures. Maybe you and I are guilty about it without knowing it.  When such problem is left untreated, it usually blows out of proportion. I often believe that most of the hatred could be tamed down or completely eliminated, if we could be more sensitive and careful in the way we treat others. It is sad that Mas Selamat went into this route of anger and destruction. It doesn’t do him good and definitely not in any good for his immediate family and relatives. I don’t know what his story is about but I am sure something must have provoked his anger. Whatever the anger is, we must learn from this lesson that anger only leads to more anger. And when that anger goes beyond the boiling point, it will explode. If we look back in history, all these daily fights between countries, people and within business competition stem out on the pure greed, inconsiderateness, and a sheer lack of wisdom – the type of intelligence that we need to save ourselves and others the sanity that we need in this crazy world. We need to ask hard questions why people choose to do such self-destruction and killing of others; and onwards to look for win-win situations to never repeat the same mistakes again like our forebearers have  done.  I hope we could cool ourselves down amidst our hectic pursuement of wealth and self-interest to ponder about what life  really is.  I think this definition is crucial in setting the foundation of a healthy living that benefits all. There are many ways to a good life. It doesn’t need to be done in a heartless way to get even  and  ‘win’.

Other references:

Some small interesting sites about terrorism: http://www.politicalbase.com/forums/topic/is-terrorism-ever-politically-correct/1118/

causes of terrorism: http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/terrorism?gclid=CKep-MGlspoCFVEwpAodchPlcA