Sharing of common sense and wisdom…

Archive for December, 2011

ZHANG (iNFLATION) Prevails!!!

31st Dec 2011  SAT

By:  Blog editor

Our Recommendation Prevails! 

Earlier, we had proposed the Chinese character/word ZHANG (Inflation) to be the best choice to best describe the year 2011 for Singapore.  Read older blog posts dated 15th Dec and 18th Dec 2011.

The other words suggested by the local Chinese newspaper Zaobao are less meaningful in nature and confusing. Such as Zhen (Quake), Shui (Water), Gui (Rail) etc.

Today’s Zaobao (Morning Posts) has announced the polls result for the selection of best Chinese word by the population of Singapore. The truth is out.  ZHANG (Inflation) gained 40% of all votes and prevails as the best word to best describe the Lion City in the year.

This word has to prevail....

Even oldman says it's a nice word....

Trapped In Opportunity

29th December 2011  Thur

Contributed by:  Joshua  (Pastoral)


Like Panda, sometimes human beings are trapped without knowing it...

China’s Pandas live a seemingly comfortable life of their own.  They are being inhabited in the Northwestern part of China, taken full care by expertise staff.

But it is obvious that Pandas are approaching the tail-end of their journey on earth… They could not produce the required numbers to ensure their long-term survival.  But Pandas will never know… their fate.

Human beings, sometimes are trapped in our own “cage” or I called it “opportunity” without even knowing it.  Therefore, opportunities are within their reach yet they fail badly because of they simply don’t see it as opportunity but only hardwork.  They don’t know about the biblical story of Wisdom, read 1 King 3:1 – 15 .   Isaac Newton, the brilliant scientist, said towards the end of his life, “i feel like a little child playing by the seashore while the great ocean of truth lies undiscovered before me.” 

Many fortunate people are spending their assets away without even to pause and think.  Because they are too self-assured that,

(1)  they are still young, (watch out! By 40, you are either cooked or excel).

(2)  they are supported by parents or grand parents,

(3)  things in this world will wait for them to be ready, (oh yeah…).

(4)  they dream of becoming a “life’s philosopher”, (lots of sick ideas and blow “black smoke” like an exhaust pipe).

(5)  they lack the mind to receive God’s revelation.  (or, they are simply not prepared to do so…).

At this juncture of coming to an end of year 2011, I would like to wish all of you an exciting and blessed new year ahead. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be like what the ancient Maya people said about the year 2012.  Nobody knows God’s timing.



Efficiency For Public Or Profits?

25th Dec 2011

Interesting News Extract of Lion City

The following commentary was written in Mandarin but it carries very clear notion about a public transport company (Mass Rapid Transit) corporate culture that ultimately would impact on both the customers (public) and shareholders (profits).

The commentary was on how Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) has focused overwhelmingly on its profitability for shareholders and finally, somethings have to give way.  And, the result is major breakdown cases of the trains operation over a few days period.

The questions to be asked,

(1)  In this case, is efficiency meant for public service and safety OR efficiency in generating profits more important?

(2)  Should a public transport company (though it’s listed) overwhelmingly focus on profitability and not the public well-being?

Very interesting read.

On The Eve of Christmas 2011

24th Dec 2011

Contributed by:  Joshua  (pastoral)

Europeans on the eve of this Xmas, could only hope for long-term calm in economic landscape

Europe in general is bad. On the contrary, people in the US could hope for mid-term adjustment in economic output and gradual increase in jobs before full recovery.  Which is highly probable.

This Christmas, truly a watershed for a few significant milestone events for planet earth and nations.

#1  –  The revolutionary events in the middle east region. Overturn of suppressive regimes.

#2  –  Christ Church is no longer a peaceful land for safe living…

#3  –  Euro Zone faces tough challenges and it might not survive within the next 3 years. Some of its poorest members have to be ejected out of the economic zone to find their own destiny.

#4  –  North Korea may end up a different landscape after one year.  It’s an extremely unstable yet poorest country on earth.  The old Kim’s death might be a trigger for drastic change.  If Egypt and Libia could change, then many things are possible.

#5  –  China’s 18th Congressional Meeting (& leadership change) will take place 2nd half of next year. Both the political and economic teething issues under current climate may take a big switch.  Asia’s future depends on China to be in stable state.

On the Godly front, I would wish all brother & sisters in God a truly peaceful Christmas eve as well as joyous Christmas Day.  The challenges confronting us are as follows:

(1)  Traditional churches continue to face with shortage of Good & Dedicated pastoral staff to serve. Many are just the calibre of daily rated vine yard workers. Churches need more able shepherds.

(2)  Thinking of God and Not Studying God. Most Christians tend to study God and not thinking about God. The difference lies in “demanding God’ to do things for them as it should be the case of seeking both common and specific revelations from God. That’s why many so-called long-time Christians still asking God, “WHY”?  They completely forgot about our journey on earth is merely a “Waiting Passage”.

We Christians, are waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to come. Everything is secondary to this goal.  Therefore, every day alive is a blessing.  Of course there is illness, sadness, emotional struggle, wealth & poor, loss of love ones, happiness, joy, etc., mixed packages thrown in to make this waiting journey a “spiritual experience” as well.  King David in his Psalm 97 had described it all.  The message – Be patient and have faith and hope.

Merry Christmas to all.


“QIAN” (SORRY) Is The Syndrome

23rd Dec 2011

Submitted by:  City Ah Pak

The Whole Country Embracing “Sorry”

“Sorry” has become the magic word in this Lion City apparently, for anything that’s big or small in nature.

It is more apt to use this Chinese character “QIAN” (means Sorry, remorse) to best describe the year 2011 Singapore.

Not what the newspaper editor’s suggestion of “GUI” (Rails)…

"Let's say Sorry, everybody..."

Lion City: Interesting News Reporting

18th Dec 2011

From the editor:  We have our readers submitted interesting news reports on Lion City.

(1)  Finally, Zaobao (morning news, Lion City) today puts up the Chinese word ZHANG (inflate/inflation) as one of the choices to best represent the eventful year of 2011 for Singapore. In fact, earlier our reader “A Commoner” has already suggested this word ZHANG on 15th Dec 2011 on this blog.  (Please refer to this blog post dated 15th Dec).

Now the Zaobao follows our reader's suggestion - ZHANG (inflate/inflation)


(2)   Our reader “Roadside Observer” picked this up, from the Lion City’s English newspaper.  Apparently the “whole world” in the Lion City got really pissed off by their Mass Rapid Transit frequent failures that caught ten of thousands commuters off guard and lost in their journey, over the last few days. Over the last one year, a total of 25 incidents occurred.  The public think that this CEO should resign, as reported in today’s news.

Maybe this is just another case of common corporate world syndrome – executives are often promoted beyond their capability?  We have to wait for the final judgment.

Is it a management incompetency OR specific technical problem?


Is Zhang (Inflate)! Not Zhen (Tremble)

About selecting the best Chinese word for 2011 Singapore

Suggested by:   A Commoner

15th Dec 2011

Heart-landers at local coffee shop

Come On.  It Is Zhang Zhang Zhang!  Nothing To Do With Zhen!

I am a commoner in the Lion City State. Wa-lau… Don’t tell me that newspaper people dunno about the major happening in this place is big INFLATION?!  The most pinpoint word in Chinese for this year is ZHANG (Inflate) alright.

The Chinese words XIN (New) and ZHEN (Tremble) been suggested by local newspaper are far off target.  Just be truthful and down to earth in reflection of year 2011…  keep trying,

This year (2011) everything has “Zhanged” (inflated) to a level that affects commoners livelihood, including transport, foods, property (oh my goosh), and commodities.  Oh yeah, prices for per cup of coffee at heart-land coffee shop has increased too.

My suggestion:  ZHANG should be the best Chinese word to best describe 2011 Singapore.  Leave the “Zhen” (Tremble) to Japan and Christ Church.  It has no meaning to us.


From our editor:  The suggestion of Zhen (Tremble) by local Chinese newspaper as follows.

Zhen means tremble. This is because many earthquakes in the region this year

*** Our reader “A Commoner” suggests this Chinese word: ZHANG (Inflate, or Inflation), as follows:

Best Chinese Word (Character) To Desbribe 2011 Singapore

14th Dec 2011

Commentary by:  Roadside Scholar

Zaobao of Lion City Seeks The Best Chinese Character to Describe The Year 2011 Singapore

Apparently this practice has been on for a few years. So, coming to a close of year 2011 the local Chinese newspaper Zaobao (i.e. Morning Posts) is seeking public to suggest the right Chinese character (word) to best describe what happened in the year.

The newspaper’s editor apparently suggests that the Chinese word “XIN” (it means New) is the most apt one. The reasons being, this year the island state has seen many new changes including “new normal” took place on its society.  That includes, general election stunning results, a new elected president, the new style of political change, the PM said sorry to citizens on some of the mis-managed national policies etc, etc.

Extract of Zaobao's article - XIN should be the right word.

But, but Roadside Scholar don’t quite agree with the editor’s recommendation.

The word XIN merely means “new”.  To choose such a word makes no sense at all, because Everyday Is A New Day.  This is just a “central tendency” at the heart of the issue at play. i.e. Play Safe.

To Singapore people, the year 2011 represents A Year of Change.  It’s beyond just new normal.  The changes are better than “new” indeed.  “new” may not be all good. But Year 2011 remains a year to be remembered by all (as in the Lion City) to be a change for positive scenarios moving forward with hope. With changes taking place on this land, the country would continue its pursue of excellence with better insights of what the people really want and how to rally support from people for next lap of nation building.

So, as a Roadside Scholar, i would think that the best Chinese word to best describe Year 2011 Singapore should be “CHANG” (i.e. Universal Constant).  Because, the Only Constant Is Change.  The word Constant also means Consistency In Practice as well as Constancy To Purpose, achieving progress without upheaval.  Look at the facts, Singapore has been through quite drastic changes in social & political landscape, including increased political awareness, accountability of office bearers (i.e. those who failed must be let go), new style of (govt.) communications with masses, emphasizes helping the weak & poor groups, etc.  Yet all these are taking place in a calm and rationale manner.  This is Change with Constant Consistency.  This is what we called “Fine-tuning”.  So, change is good this time around.

The word XIN (new) suggested by the newspaper editor is too weak to reflect any specific meaning of positive changes.  Good try…

GUYS, therefore this is the right Chinese word for 2011 Singapore: 

CHANG has much more deeper meaning... it's about Change that carries universal consistency

Thinking Aloud – Respect Gained Through Self-promoting?

9 Dec 2011  FRI

Thinking Aloud…

By:  Ah Peng  (Lion City, Asia)

Respect Must Be Earned.  Not Through Self-promoting

I read ST Saturday’s news article report printed on the Straits Times about the new army tagline and really got confused.

I am a citizen and had served my National Service for my country. Over the years we have seen quite a few tagline changes in the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), including the Army, specialist arms, etc. However, this is one campaign (of tagline change) that I feel so strongly that I should express my two-cents worth of comment. I am sure that I am not alone in having such a thought.

Throughout my education and life experience, I always have the notion that Respect is earned and not through self-promotion or proclaimed. Unless time has changed in which even a national institution needs marketing slogan to feel good about itself and, hope to use such a self-promoting tagline to rally better public support. If truly this magic word “Respected” is that powerful, then today we would find many prestigious institutions using it in their tagline, including Harvard University, Cambridge University, Singapore Post, etc. and the US Army…. it will be a long list. People would respect the US Navy SEALS, the Marines, British Royal Marine Commandos and even the military status of the ancient Ottoman Empire but don’t think these institutions go about self-proclaimed of “Respected”. Their actions prove it all.

There are many ways to project the SAF, through improved systems, training, public media reports, involvement with the society, overseas participation in peace keeping missions, etc. Yet, there is no need to be overly obsess about the word “Respected”. It is definitely NOT a magic word that could instantly turn the SAF into a “more respectable” force and national institution. We Singaporeans, are fully aware of the significant of the existence of SAF and the key role it plays in our nation building. Over the years SAF has transformed into a respectable and a serious force to be reckoned with and well-regarded in the region. So, nobody is saying the SAF is not quite respectable and need to promote it through marketing tagline. Worse still, that it uses such a tagline to solve a problem that never existed.

The reason seems to be that, “Update is part of new campaign focusing on troops involved in recent ops”. The general (Army Chief Ravinder Singh) said that the new tagline is “reflective of the army’s vision to be ready in peace… and decisive in war”. I fully agreed with what the general had said. But, why not just keeping the Ready & Decisive for the new tagline? Must we always need to have a three-wording tagline to be sophisticated? By adding the word “Respected” to its tagline, the SAF does not gain any mileage indeed. Anyone who think that by adding such a magic word (?) in logo or tagline would instill greater sense of motivation, pride, honour into its membership and the population must be very simple-minded. Such tagline (of overly self-promoting nature) used for some consumer products may gain for themselves short-term awareness but definitely it won’t work for a serious institution.

I remember someone said this before, “A military unit has to go through blood and thunder to be respected… and honoured”. The ultimate mission of SAF is to guard and protect our nation and its people. Respect will always be there, in the heart of all its citizens and even the international community, if the SAF continues to perform its roles as we all know, consistently and remains ready.

“Naked” Cars & “Naked Truths”

5th Dec 2011   MON

Contributed by:   Roadside Observer

The Naked Side of Human Mindset

China is full of nonsense and lessons for us to learn from.

The latest syndrome and phenomenon in Beijing is the “naked” cars running on Beijing roads.  These cars have no license plate on them.  So that they could “shoot” across junctions, violate all sorts of traffic rules and yet, prevent themselves from being caught.

Obviously these so-called “naked” cars belong to siblings of senior Chinese officials and cadres.  Policemen learned through their lessons not to interfere.

In fact, in human mind there’s also a “dark side of naked truth” embedded within.  We tend to choose to ignore certain evidences and information and only filter through those information we want to accept as “Facts”.  The Beijing traffic policemen are doing just the same.  They choose to ignore these “naked” cars on the road…

In some societies, many “naked truths” are being ignored, due to either political, social or cultural reasons. Strangely, one of the factor that causes such “naked” syndrome is mindset.

Another similar syndrome is what my friend told me about this “naked philosopher” who kept telling the whole world that he’s very frustrated about his gf kept sticking to him; but continues to “glue” to each other.  This is another type of “naked soul” which badly needed attention from others but, trying very hard to take things as if he’s forced to accept such goodies.

The traffic police can't see ... the license plate.

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