Archive for August, 2006


Friday, August 25th, 2006

We received invites from SC, one of the organizers at to catch a local screening of the documentary ‘Passabe’. I caught last saturday’s screenings, while Wai Kay caught the sunday one.

What is ‘Passabe’?

“In the run-up to the vote for independence in 1999, the Timorese village of Passabe was a base for hundreds of pro-Indonesia militiamen – East Timorese who participated in a rampage of violence that climaxed in a bloody massacre. As families continue to grieve, questions remain unanswered. Who took part in the killings? Who is to blame? Shot over the course of a year, this film documents a quest for redemption and forgiveness.”

Documentaries aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But what interest me about Passabe, was that it was about a country and a process that I was unfamilar with. I realized that I had no clue where East Timor was, and until my brother kindly informed me, I had no clue that it was the youngest country yet to exist. We can’t know everything, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to enhance one’s general knowledge of the world.

When I was younger, my association with Africa was that of barren lands and starving kids due to the numerous ad campaigns to help their nation. When I met a Nigerian on one of my jobs, I realized I knew nothing about Nigeria, but yet was too ‘pai seh’ to ask, as I thought it would made me appear ignorant or possibly be an insult to him. On hindsight, having been an alien in a foreign land, when ever in doubt about another’s culture, just ask. Most will be more then willing to tell you about their country. Better that then pretending to know when you don’t.

As a result of ‘Passabe’, I now know more about the place then I formerly did, and that to me, is worth the watch alone. To find out more about this film and it’s screening time and places, visit the website.

National Day Speech

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

(via channelnewsasia)

National Day Message 2006
by PM Lee Hsien Long

My fellow Singaporeans,

After the past few years upgrading and restructuring our economy, Singapore is in a much stronger position than before. Our strategies are working, and our economy is growing and creating jobs.

For the first half of this year, growth was 9.4 percent. For the full year, MTI has raised our growth forecast to between 6.5 and 7.5 percent. The strong economy has generated 81,500 jobs in the first half – the highest number in a decade. More than half of these jobs have been taken up by residents. Our efforts to re-design jobs and re-skill workers are also helping more older and lower-skilled Singaporeans to upgrade themselves and earn more.