Saturday, March 27, 2010

Taiwanese friends visitng Singapore

Just a few days before CNY, i was so surprised to receive a phone call at 9 pm from our taiwanese good friend Uncle Gen Hu informing that his daughter Teresa and son-in-law Cheng Hsun will be visiting Spore in end Feb and wish to call on Neo Chian and family and hope that i could help to do the facilitation and link-up. I agreed happily because i valued their frendship very much especially when he took extra care of me to bring me strolling around visiting the famous Yang Ming Shan in a rainy day (plus eating frozen pig-blood cake) when i was in Taipei in Feb 2005. Subsequently, he bringht me home to visit his wife and daughter Teresa and we went for a sumptous mushroom buffet lunch at Baigu Yuan (hundreds mushroom restaurant) in Tainmu.

Neo Chian was more surprised than me to learn about this long distance call and happily awaiting their arrival

2 Recalled getting acquaintance with Gen Hu and his wife was as far back as 1995/6 when he visited Singapore and called on Neo Chian as JTC CEO, and i helped to arrange part of their social programme in Singapore. The couple was so warm, thoughtful and kind to me (no air at all unlike other generals) even though i was just an officer and left me with a very deep impression.

3 Visited them again in Dec 2007 when we went to Taipei for the NTOs annual meeting. Gen Hu was extremely happy to learn about Neo Chian's visit after a gap of some years) and prepared well in advance for a special dinner to welcome him (4 of us accompanied Neo Chian were so glad to enjoy the extension of this warm hospitality and his sharing/wisdom of words at dinner 我们沾了Neo Chian的光). The next day, while we had our meeting, Mrs Hu and Tersea brounght Mrs Lim out for lunch and tour. And even brought us nice and thoughtful gifts to keep us warm.

4 This Feb is my golden opportunity to do my part to make them feel at home and have a wonderful holiday i n Singapore. I met them at their hotel a couple of days before a joyful reunion lunch and gathering/sharings was arranged on 27 Feb at Novena Square and subsequently went to visit our lastest offering - Resort World Sentosa over the weekend. See the happy pictures of all of us...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Singapore-Zhejiang engagement

some 50--member delegation led by zhejiang vice governor Gong Zheng was in Singapore for the 6th Zhejiang-Singapore Council Meeting and study visit from 21 Mar 2010.

I attended the bilateral council meeting on 23 Mar in Grand Hyatt and had business exchanges with the zhejiang vice governors, hangzhou vice mayor Tong (lady in white square print) and zhoushan party secretary Liang (lady in black). Both sides are enthusiatic about the future tourism engagement and education/corporate training exchange with the support of the Singapore and Zhejiang provincial and municipal leaders.

Glad to have a photo opportunity with our Minister Mrs Lim Hwee Hua and Parl Secy Sam Tan togehter with Governor Gong Zheng at luncheon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Exploring the unknown Bedok

Hardly go to Bedok so i am not familiar to the area at all. Went there this sunday to look for a delicious food outlet Sedap Corner- Asian Food Grill, recommended by friends.

After goggle to find out the location, i followed the direction given and heading towards Sim Avenue to search for Upper Changi Road, BUT, I cant find it and only saw New Upper Changi Road. So made a call to the shop and was advised to just take the Upper Changi Road all the way till passed Tenah Merah MRT station, then turn left into Bedok Road, and along the road is Bedok Food Market Centre, turn right into the car park (there are 2 entrances leading to parking), second entrance is nearer to the Sedap Corner, and there are parking lots right infront of the shop. On the same row, you will see another prominent stall called Mad Jack, but it is less crowded when we were there.

Waiters recommended the signature dish are Thai prawn paste rice and Vietnamese Beef Kueh-Tiao soup......all drinks and food are delicious according to them. The waiters and people at the kitchen are courteous and patient, so make people feel comfortable and ease to have meals and enjoy the food there. Price is reasonable restaurant price with GST eg Thai rice prawn paste is $12 inclusive of 7% GST. We wanted to order the Kaya Durian toast but it was out of stock. Will try next time.

Opposite the Bedok food centre, you will find many people having their meal at a coffee shop which is famous for their Mee Pok, very crowded but quick service, price at $3.50 per bowl.

Will never notice this delicious food if it is not recommended as it is tuck at such an unnoticable corner of Singapore. Will bring my overseas friends there in future.

Notebook shopping

First time went to IT Show in Singapore on Mar 14. 2010 after the "push" by friends around, even though it has been staged for so many years and have been told it was very very poupular and crowded.

On Sunday 14 Mar after lunch with church comrades, 5 of us led by Steven and Catherine went for a notebook shopping spree in Suntec City. At first, i wanted to park my car at Suntec, but after advice by Steven, i decided to swing to raffles city car park instead to avoid the hugh queue to get into Suntec car park, and the decision proved to be sound.

wow, never see Suntec so pack before, really peolpe mountain people sea, people no entry!! Everywhere is crowd, escalars, lifts, lobby, entrance and exit....every level from 1st to 6th, and the worst is the product and sale hall...ten of thousands of people.....once u entered, u got soak into the e-wave, consumers and sales reps are all busy engaging each other......must say that all sales reps are very enthusiastic and couretous with good products knowledge unlike u go to ordinary shopping mall to buy fashions, most of the sales executives not quite sure the range and features of the things they are selling......this is mainly because the incentives are different. The sales reps at the IT Show are all driven by handsome sales commissions.......they would engage you till you make up your mind.....

we shoped around at Toshiba and Fujitec, from low to high range, from smallest to 14 inch notebook with latest hardware and technology....with the advise by our dear IT expert friend Ka Fai and Steven.....we are armed with knowledge and resources....... and coincidentally bump into Doris who joined in the force subsequently.

The sales are very competitive.....the latest u enter the game with more people in your group, you stand to win the race as there is better bargaining power. After talking to more than 4 sales reps and applying "divide to conquer" tactic.....we managed to get the best price of some $1500 nett for the latest Toshiba Protege M900 with free Window 7, extra hard dics pwoer etc etc
The search for the place to install the hard disc power is like a refugee journey......everybody is in the rush.....but luckily the technicans there were so professionally and prompt in their took less than 10 no complaints...

In total, after nearly 3 hours' checking and comparing exercise, we bought 3 sets of latest Toshiba Portege M900 (u cant find the specs in their website yet, it is a higher range than M780) and one Toshiba mini notebook at S$810......and using UOB credit card enabled us to have a feee travel bag over S$2,000 purchase and 2 movie tickets (lucky dip) for less than $2K. Please see weblink to Toshiba products

Features of Toshiba Portege M900: Intel Coretm i3-330MMobile Intel HM55, Express Chipsetintegrated 802.11BGN2GB DD3, Memory320GB Hardisk Disk13.3 WXGA superview, Super Multi DVD Double Layer DriveNvidia Geforce G310M (ext 512MB), Built in camera, Built in card readerBlueToothWindows 7 Home Premium

Happily got it back home (brothers and sister were excited too) and get started to play with the great help of my IT colleagues/friends.......thanks alot to Alvin's unreserved support and assistance.....he is now the best IT mentor i can turn to........thanks very much!!

It is really a very good learning and fulfilling IT shopping spree.......1st time buying notebook for myself in my career.......would encourage friends to go and see for your self and experience the interesting IT show in Singapore, understand it is 4 times a year, and you will realise that there isnt any recession AT ALL........and the visit is very worthwhile especially you get your favourite product at best price!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tsinghua reunion

Attended the launch of corporate business programme by China Tsinghua University and Raffles Business Institute on 7 Mar and was surprised and glad to meet up with the Principal of Tsinghua University Hu Dongcheng after a lapse of about 7 years.

Got to know the Principal during a 2-week Executive Programme for Civil Services conducted in Tsinghua University in 2002 to better understand China culture and practices. It was my first time undergoing a course in China and the outcome was very enriching. Principal Hu was very hospitaible and even hosted us to welcome dinner while we were there.

Subsequently after I joined STB and visited Beijing in April 2003 with colleague Edmund to hold meeting with the Chinese officials of our counterpart, he specially took time to meet us together with his fellow colleagues Cui Guowen and Lan Lang in the campus to renew contacts. Understand that Cui will be retiring this year and he himself will also be due in 2012. Hope both of them can come to Singapore for more often to have more learning exchangea with Singapore institutions to broaden our network and learning experience.

Time flies and those were the days. Happy to see him in Singapore to launch the Chinese business education programme for professinal executives wanted to enhancing their capabilities with Tsinghua.