Thanks to AirAsiaSingapore Facebook Page contest, I won a pair of tickets to witness the first football match at the new National Stadium. The biggest satisfaction was to do the Kallang Wave again, after so many years, and it was even better as I waved with son for the first time.


The last I did the Kallang Wave was probably during the Malaysia Cup days were the grand old dame saw many glorious goals. Who can forget Sundaram bicycle kick vs Brunei? Then, the stands were slightly further from the field because of the track.

The new stands at the new National Stadium can be moved so that when it comes to football matches, you can get a closer view to the pitch.


Unfortunately, the pitch looked rather patchy, especially from the brown spots. More work has to be done for the pitch to provide more quality football entertainment.


The match, in general, was as predicted to be one sided with Juventus scoring the first goal with a cheeky free kick. The Singapore defensive wall, assumed that it would be high curler from outside the penalty box, jumped when the ball was kicked, but instead it was a low drive to the bottom left of the goal. Singapore's goalkeeper was also expecting a high curler.





The next goal came from a penalty. 

The second half was more exciting than the first, presumably Juventus were now used to the pitch and the temperature and up the tempo in the game. 



The game needed the Singapore Selection to score a goal and most in the audience were quite supportive when the Singapore team made an attempt to attack the goal.

The return of the Kallang Wave was indeed the highlight of the match. Hopefully we get to see more Singapore games with results to make the return of the Kallang Wave a more permanent feature.

During my Army days, one of the unwritten rule we were told was that you could do what you want, but don't get caught. SMRT's response to the woman defecating publicly at their Holland Village station seems to support the unwritten rule above and this poses a danger to transport security.

SMRT wrote, in a reply to Temasek Review's query,

Please be assured that should any of our staff spot a member of the public committing such unlawful acts, they will most certainly approach the person and put a stop to it. He/ she is also likely to be issued with a Notice of Offence (NOO) and a summon from the National Environmental Agency (NEA).

However, this incident had occurred away from our staff’s line of sight. Whilst our staff would endeavour to ensure that our stations are looked after properly, they would also need to attend to other duties and passengers as well. Hence, constantly focusing on CCTV would be counterproductive for them. On that note, we seek the public’s assistance to report any unlawful acts upon sight, immediately to our station staffs so action could be taken to address such problems.
The reply was signed off by Ang Siew Tee, Customer Relations, SMRT Corporation Ltd

The reply raises a few eyebrows.

First, the reply " incident had occurred away from our staff’s line of sight" can be perceived as SMRT's attempt to resolve all responsibility for the incident. This also can be perceived that if anything is done illegally at SMRT stations and as long as it out of their staff's line of sight, nothing can be done about it.

Alarm bells are already ringing in my head. What if something more sinister were to happen at the station and the incident occurred away from their "staff's line of sight'? Does this mean that SMRT will allow this even more sinister and illegal activity to happen?

SMRT has highlighted that it is "counterproductive" for them to be constantly focusing on CCTV. This can be seen that incidents on the CCTV are not taken seriously. What if, again, something more sinister were to happen? Will it be then considered "counterproductive" for SMRT?

Since 2010, security at SMRT depots have been breached three times. In 2010, two vandals managed to cut through the security fence at SMRT's Changi Depot and spray-painted graffiti on the outside of one of the train.

In August 2011, yet a similar incident occurred at the Bishan Depot and that resulted in graffiti also spray-painted on one of the trains.

In May 2014, another train was also found to be sprayed with graffiti but all signs pointed to an inside job.

In the earlier two cases, SMRT installed close-circuit television to enhanced security. However, from SMRT's reply to the Holland Village incident, who is watching these CCTV and is it "counterproductive" for them to do so?

Dr Kumar Ramakrishna, head of the Centre for Excellence for National Security at S Rajaratnam School of International Studies was quoted to say,
This is hypothetical, of course. If they find out who is responsible is indeed from within, then certainly that calls for more stringent background checks.


One of the potential scenario one could think of from a homeland security point of view, for example, one of cases we’ve had in Singapore — in the past a few cases actually — of self-radicalised individuals, these cannot be entirely ruled out.

It always pays to be prudent. This is just a case of vandalism, but in future who knows, it may not be a case of vandalism, it might be worse.
The Holland Village incident might just be a case of public defecation, but what if in future, it may not be a case of public defecation, it might be worse. Would SMRT then also reply with the same line of thought?

Many Singaporeans on Facebook was shocked to see a photo of a lady defecating in public at the Holland Village MRT Station.

Such act of public "bombing" is extremely rare in the clean and green garden city that the initial reaction by some was that the image was photoshopped to add fuel to the argument that Singapore has one too many foreigners.

However, a query by a concerned Facebook fan of the SMRT (Official) which resulted in a reply proved that the incident was real and not edited.


Wrote SMRT,

Hi 林漢文, SMRT cleaned the area at 4pm, after a passenger notified station staff of the woman's behaviour at 3:50pm.

Interestingly, the photo originated from here where it was shared almost 2000+ times. The incident was photographed slightly before 2pm. Were there 2 hours of stink before it was cleared?

Reaction to shock is sometimes denial. This is seen in reactions when some patients are first told they can cancer. In this case, the denial came in the form of trying to explain that the photo was photoshopped.

Singapore has very strict laws on public urination and defecation.

According to the Environmental Public Health Act, Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations:
“No person shall urinate or defecate in or upon any street, arcade, vacant land, river, canal, ditch, drain or watercourse or in any place to which the public has access except in any sanitary convenience provided for such purpose.”
I wonder if SMRT and the Ministry of Health will launch a "No Shitting In Public" campaign after this incident.

I interviewed a few potential candidates for a Marketing Executive post in my company as I was looking for someone to help me take over some of my work.

I could say most of them came prepared, except for one job application who came rather aimlessly for the interview. If you are looking for a job, the lease you could do is come prepared or with confidence.

Here is an open letter to those who are considering working with me as a marketing executive.

1. Please visit the company's website before the interview

The first question I will ask the interviewee if he/she visited the website to learn about the company. This is a gauge of the interviewees' interest level in the job. In this Google enabled world, all it takes it a search and you can find almost everything recorded on the web.

The abovementioned interviewee admitted he didn't visit the website so he couldn't explain what our company do. Though I appreciated his honesty, but that will only take you so far.

The other 4 candidates took an effort to visit the website. One even searched LinkedIn to find out about the company, the boss and even me. Compared to someone who did not even visit the website, how can one not prefer an interview who took the effort to go to the web to learn more about the company?

2. Blogging is a criteria

I believe I could be one of the few B2B marketing managers who will ask their blogging skills. I gave every interviewee similar task to blog about the recent Facebook downtime and how it affected Facebook and its users.

News blogging is an essential part of the marketing as it helps to bring an audience to the website. This is even more important as we have a regular content marketing plan via edm where we identify potential leads.

This writing assignment measures how well you write, how much you have researched and how well you have listened to instructions.

Yes, a blogging assignment goes beyond just writing itself.

Unfortunately, there was one interviewee whose blog post when off tangent to what I asked for and was unforunately penalised in the selection stage.

3. Show some confidence during an interview

You could be nervous during an interview but you have to do show some confidence during the session.

This is important as the marketing executive would also need to make cold calls to generate sales leads. Confidence often plays a part in getting the appointment.

Here are three simple pointers to get ahead of the competition. Hope when you applying to work with me and you come across this post, it will help give you an heads up.

At one of my previous job to write about the IT media industry, something like a paparazzi of the paparazzi, journalists and writers on the good side used to complain to me about some lazy PR practices. Usually, the complains will be off the record, but with Facebook, bloggers in Singapore are taking to the social networks to complain about the "dark side".

Catherine Ling, of Camemberu.com, started the ball rolling by posting on Facebook why PR folks email and ask for her websites states when they can easily be found on the site.



Other bloggers joined in the fray and immediately commented that the PR person was probably too lazy to go check the states for themselves.

Adrian Eugene Seet commented, "Plain laziness. Especially when they ask for Facebook, Instagram and social media sites."

For the record, the stats for Camemberu.com can be found at the bottom of her blog. If the PR is too lazy to read about her profile, it can be found here.

Eunice, of Travelfolio.com, received an email, marked urgent, to ask her for her profile, which she commented, " Don't be lazy can? Especially when it's not like I want to work with you."

Popular Singapore blogger added his comments to Eunice's quote by saying "Once you have to ask me, it means you didn't do your homework. LOL."

Again, the profile for Travelfolio.com can be here.

It seems the bad habits in the PR industry do die hard and is being handed down from the older generations to the younger ones.

During the heydays of IT print journalism, PR folks will call to ask journalists to ask what they cover when reading their publications would have easily provide them with the answer. Asking such questions showed that the PR do not even read the publications they are pushing the clients to appear in.

The Internet has made it even easier to search for the bloggers' profile. If the profile cannot be found, then such questions are justified. But if it can be found just by surfing through the pages, and if the PR can't even find that adds questions to the capabilities of the PR to do digital PR.

One of the biggest problems I feel is that the PRs do not invest in a proper CRM solution which will help keep a record of the bloggers' profiles which can be retrieved on demand when needed.

PR needs to start to eliminate such bad practices as the new generation of content creators would go straight to their favourite social networks to complain about the PR. Off the record comments are heading to dodo status.



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