fight song

here's a slightly more recent song, lollol (seems it's at least six years old). but its lyrics are good, very aligned with the modern spirit of empowerment, particularly in these distressing and anxiety-inducing times. for me, it ranks among my top few running/workout songs, next to james blunt's high, 其实我不平凡 and 氧气.

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

ge 2020

a rather satisfying close to the general elections after all.

still remember our bitter disappointment in moscow in 2015 (opposition very almost lost everything), when we moped over dinner in a cosy little restaurant that served better food than we felt capable of enjoying that night. also, the euphoria in the newsroom in 2011 (first opposition grc ever!), after which i quoted on facebook atticus finch's "courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. it's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. you rarely win, but sometimes you do." can also recall 2006 - my very first vote - when aljunied was soooooo close and yet so far... had felt less strongly about the polls back then, though i was already clear who i was rooting for and why. i see myself as a swing voter - not fully aligned with any party - so it's interesting to note that how 14 years on, my two key reasons (fairness and voice) remain the same - is it that i'm consistent, or has there been no political progress?

whatever the case, am really glad to be part of amazing aljunied and its amazing people who gave them their very first chance at a grc almost a decade ago and have stuck by them till now regardless of whatever upgrading or neighbourhood development benefits we might have forgone for our choice. am also glad to have been a part of helping to shape our nation into something closer to what we collectively hope for it to be. in the end, it's not about wanting to replace the ruling party; rather, it's really a yearning for a fairer, kinder society, with opportunity for other voices to be heard, even if not taken on eventually.

naturally, there are those who are unhappy with the outcome and believe we are headed for catastrophe. but logically speaking, singapore will not collapse with a mere four seats more granted to an elected opposition (the ruling party still holds a whopping 83 out of 93 seats!); if anything, the results should in fact further strengthen the legitimacy of the ruling party in the eyes of our international counterparts, given that we now have a more credible opposition representation. besides, if singapore were really to be headed for destruction by the mere loss of just three minister-level people, what would this say about the competence of our ruling party for all these decades??

i want to add that these three outgoing people entered politics only in 2006 (lam pin min), amrin amin (2011) and ng chee meng (2015). (excluded newbie raymond lye for whom the 2020 ge is his first foray.) under the umbrella of the ruling party, in such a short span of 14, 9 and five years respectively, one can become a senior minister of state in two ministries (lam), senior parliamentary secretary also in two ministries (amrin), and minister in pmo and sec-gen of ntuc (ng). but what of those who choose to serve in the opposition, e.g. low thia khiang (who started out in 1988), sylvia lim (2006), pritam singh (2011)? from the outset, you know you'll never get any promotions to places or roles of the kind of power the ruling party ministers wield, thereby depriving you of the opportunity to accumulate a list of state-level achievements to tell voters of how competent and hence indispensable you are. and every five years, you have to fight a repeat battle to win back your constituency. frankly, why would anyone even want to devote their lives to this, if not for an inner conviction and belief in the values that the opposition or their party stands for? not saying that lam, amrin and ng aren't good, but they're the unfortunate collateral damage that is the result of the grc system that the ruling party put in place. and not saying that jamus, tingru, raeesah and louis are necessarily so great, but it's also about giving a chance to the values they and their party stand for.

my last point for tonight is this. i remember ever so acutely the hong kong/western colleagues/friends who say so derogatorily that singaporeans have no right to comment on their cities'/countries' protests or political scene because we aren't even a democracy to begin with. i have this to say to them: sure, we may be in no way ideal, but as our elections have shown, we do at least have an electorate with the power to exercise its choice - even within a limited system with a less than balanced playing field - and which can choose to exalt its ruling leaders as praise for good work done or to take them down a peg to spur introspection and change. and this is surely better than the brand of "democracy" some others tout, that involves setting fire to those who disagree with them, assaulting people or damaging their properties, and having western-trained asian journalists summarily censoring opposing views for their unsuspecting audiences just because those views aren't aligned with their ideologies. so, whatever you choose to believe, we're still better than you.

that said, it's certainly not all sunshine and roses here. there's still a long way to go; setbacks are bound to come in time and even the best intentions on both sides of the political spectrum may be thwarted. but for now, at least, there's hope.


was on friday introduced to the 全民K歌 and 全民party apps. was fun; would do again. a friend said the circuit breaker may well break us all before breaking the virus' chain of transmission. i believe it! i glance out of my windows at such odd hours and find so many more households' lights still on these days than in the past. now i kinda wish i'd opted to clear all my leave this month instead of in the next couple of months; fanzhen nothing to do, what difference would it make - i want my immediate gratification now. perhaps i'll feel better and differently when i actually get back to work tomorrow. gah.



nice rendition of karen mok's original. it starts getting really good only in the middle after around the 2.5-minute mark when they start harmonising, imo. been a boring couple of days, very boring, but then i don't hope for an end to this boring, cos it's better than stressful and intense.

growing pangs

heard this song on the radio on sunday night. lots of chaos going on out there right now, but on a personal level, things are going very well indeed (albeit having to be bound at home for the next few days). sure, i still miss being the apple of someone's eye, 那种受人家呵护的感觉、被人家捧上天的滋味; but we all have to grow up. exciting days ahead. :)

破灭的美梦 一个又一个
别人总爱说 妳已长大了

学会化妆 去遮掩些什么
学会先沉默 再察言观色
本来的我呢 快不记得

在心里 的孩子 扮大人 的样子
一开始 有意思 后来双眼总潮湿

在心里 的孩子 盼谁来 讲故事
让不安失望 暂时静止

雷雨不来 又哪有彩虹呢
能自我安慰 是必修的课
不确定我是 变得随和

在心里 的孩子 扮大人 的样子
一开始 有意思 后来双眼总潮湿
在心里 的孩子 盼谁来 讲故事
让不安失望 暂时静止

在心里 的孩子 后悔曾 很固执
太好奇 许多事 不顾后果的尝试

在心里 的孩子 常祈祷 有天使
借一双翅膀 逃离现实
不爱看自己 哭的样子

in which jj teaches me new things

i now like jj's version of 不能说的秘密 much better than jay's original.
and i guess life's like that too. building new loves upon past loves, moving on.

i used to like the original a lot, have memories built upon it, in particular one of myself in my final year in uni, dreamily crossing the long overhead bridge above the busy expressway dividing bedok reservoir and kembangan to teach tuition, this song playing from my earphones, worrying about the looming deadline for my thesis and yet impatient to be done with school and start work. those were really the best days of my life.

now i find jj's version so much more powerful and emotive. 你说把爱渐渐放下会走更远.
my hk chapter can now be considered closed (well, just days from close); i'm very eager to embrace what lies ahead. :)


thanksgiving 2019

dear journal, it's thanksgiving so i'll give a little note of thanks here. i'm thankful i have a God, who, despite my daily disobedience, parted the red sea for me and then brought me on this long walk all across and around the desert and finally canaan is just over yonder! i am thankful that this belief that He is real has helped me hold on for so very long to this distant hope and will no doubt continue to sustain me in the days ahead. ever so often i come back to this conclusion that i repeat to myself all the time -- i guess we'll only know for sure if He is really real after we're gone, and by then it wouldn't matter if He isn't, but it'd be an eternity of regret if He is.

i'm thankful for the people who love me and who genuinely care about me. and those who've been infinitely understanding and supportive, and those who just seem to get me. i'm thankful for safe spaces. i'm thankful for privilege, and that even when i feel i've been unjustly treated by others, i can eventually still recognise that "has not God and life so often tilted the balance 'unfairly' to my advantage?" i'm thankful that i've been so very blessed, after all.

of course it's so much easier to be thankful when there are things for one to be happy and hopeful about; i need to bear in mind that this, too, will pass. in the days ahead, i want to remember to be more contented with what i already have and i want to try to be a kinder person. though i may need to revisit this very often as a reminder, lol.

i would like to have another cat.

the “singaporean” status symbol, lol

the other day my laoban told me that hk landlords and housing agents seem to view singaporean tenants like some sort of status symbol that’ll add to the appeal of the flats they’re renting out. like they’d say “ooh, the previous tenants were singaporean...” with some kind of reverence and awe, like people should hear that and immediately decide to rent. random tidbit. lulz