Jing Heng

1st Entry
 December Holidays

In the December holidays, I have spent most of my time doing school homework and energising myself for the next school year. I have also went overseas to Bangkok, Thailand, with my family.

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, with a population of more than 6 million. The most memorable experience in Bangkok was the traffic jam. There will be traffic jams during peak hours, some as long as 10 kilometres and taking up to hours.

The hotel I stayed in Bangkok is near a market which sells clothes and food, in the morning and night. My family have bought many stuffs especially clothes, taking the advantage of the cheap things there. We have also tasted many of their local dishes.

Sadly, we did not visit many tourist attractions as the trip was rather short ( 4 Days 3 Nights ).
In all, it was really fun. I get to understand their culture which is very different from us in Singapore. I have learnt many other things from this trip as well. I hope that I can revisit Bangkok, Thailand during the holidays.

Night Market near the hotel I was staying. 

Traffic Congestion in Bangkok at 8pm. (During Peak hours, traffic will be much congested)

2nd Entry
Poverty in Singapore 

A peek into the work of Singapore’s elderly cardboard box collectors by Joy Liu.

Article from: http://www.onesingapore.org/selling-cardboard-for-a-living-a-morning-at-collection-point/

Photo From Article. 

Extract from article: 
"Most of what he weighs are cardboard boxes — brown, of various sizes, some collapsed, most still labeled with names of the products they once carried. The man buys them for 10 to 12 cents per kg. He scribbles a few numbers on a notepad as a receipt, digs out a few bills (or more often, a few coins) from two tin containers, and hands them to his seller. Mr. Ong* has forgotten to collect his money. His bow-legged gait limits his effort to unload the boxes and few metal rods that he is selling in halting, jolted movements. He has already turned away before he is followed and given the $4.10 that he is owed. He looks at the money and points to his chest questioningly. Then, a toothless smile spreads across his face as he takes it in comprehension."

"ONE (SINGAPORE), in collaboration with J’s Restaurant and Happy People Helping People Foundation is organising a Feast of Giving, an end-year celebration for some 200 low-income elderly and cardboard collectors on Sunday 28 December."

I think although Singapore may be a very well developed country, however, it can't be a perfect country. No country is perfect in any way. It is inevitable that there will be poverty in our country.
Usually, poverty will occur to elderly in Singapore. They have reached their retirement age and they would have stopped working to make money. Many elderly will have their children to take care of them, but there will be exceptions. As begging for money is illegal in Singapore, this often leads to elderly becoming really poor and forcing them to collect cardboards to make very small amount of money.

This article is about an organisation having a year-end celebration for 200 low-income families and cardboard collectors. Hopefully in time to come, there will be less people in Singapore living in poverty. 

3rd Entry
Singapore In future 

Singapore is dwindling in population. This means that there are more older than younger people and it will have complications on the economy. 
As more older people retire from the workforce, there is not enough young Singaporeans entering the workforce to replace them and the citizen workforce will start to shrink. Companies will discover that they are unable to cope with the work they have and their production growth will decline. It will affect the economy growth 

Singapore can perhaps encourage couples to give birth to more children if they can afford to. This will help increase Singapore's population. 

4th Entry
Reflection on China's economy.

China ranks no. 2 in the world in terms of  GDP. With a population size of 1.3 billion and a land mass of 4.9m sqkm, the GDP per capita drops to only $2k. Many people are unemployed, and it therefore cheaper to hire a worker in China than in Singapore. China is also rich in coal, natural gas and steel.
When China joined the WTO, I believe that they have access to more international markets for exports and imports and even more foreign investors will enter China freely. This will greatly boost China's economic growth. Perhaps there will be one day when China's economy surpasses USA's.
With China's economy boosting, I am sure that Singapore will be a good trading partner. Many things in Singapore are imported from China and more trade can happen between China and Singapore. In the end, both countries will benefit from it.

5th Entry 
Reflection on CID Presentation.

After presenting on the picture that I feel best represent Singapore, I realised that presenting in front of an audience is not that easy. As I knew that I would be nervous, I brought my script up to present. After all, I want to engage the audience and to let them learn something new that they can take away from my presentation. I know that if I kept stumbling on my words or forget what I was going to say, I would have failed my presentation. Therefore, I have learnt that being a confident speaker is important during a presentation. 
Although I felt that I did rather well during the presentation, I believe I can do better by not bringing my script up to present. I think that I was successful in my presentation as I was rather fluent and audible. 
I feel that the class has done well in this presentation as well, despite the fact that there was a picture that was chosen by a few classmates. I was able to know and hear what my classmates were talking and I have learn new things in the presentation as well. Most of my classmates were confident and this is an important factor to presenting well. 

6th Entry
Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) Reflection

The China–Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (CS-SIP) was  born on February 26, 1994 when Chinese Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew signed the Agreement on the Joint Development of Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou. However, SIP was built near to the competing Suzhou New District (SND) industrial park. 
As the government has 100% stake at SND and only 35% on SIP, it ignored SIP and only promoted SND, resulting in major losses to SIP, as well as Singapore.Singapore had no choice but to lower its stakes.

“Many of our businessmen, especially in the early years, have had to learn hard lessons on the importance of guanxi ( connections) and the challenge of finding reliable partners…..The Suzhou Industrial Park venture provided practical lessons to the Singapore Government and civil servants on ‘how best to have a productive relationship with China”,he added. -Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong 

I feel that Singapore should not have carried out the joint development. There is a huge difference in terms of population, land area, GDP between Singapore and China and it is not easy at all to have a joint development. Sometimes, I also feel that we have to find reliable partners. There is a huge investment on the SIP and because of this, Singapore incurred major loses. We indeed have learnt the lesson that 关系 is really important between countries. In order for such developments to be successful in the future, we must have good connections and find the country trustworthy. 

7th Entry
Golden Age in China, Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Golden Age in China refers to the period where there is great peace and progress of the country. Tang Dynasty was one of them. It was the golden age of literature and art, such as painting, poetry and woodblock painting. I feel that this was one of the time where most people living in China was happy with the significant progress the country had made in many areas. I believe this was why Tang Dynasty is also called The Golden Age because it was one of the most prosperous time and it was at its peak economically as well.

Sadly, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, had passed away at the age of 91 on 23/3/15. He had made many significant and important contributions to Singapore such that Singapore is well developed and has a high GDP per capita. Mr Lee Kuan Yew has made Singapore into its "Golden age" now. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew led the nation through its independence, introducing new policies and build relationships with other countries, such as China and Malaysia. This has made Singapore what it is today, " The 'golden age' of Singapore, successfully achieving economical success. It is no wonder Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is the nation's founding father.

8th Entry
Should the Merlion be the national icon of Singapore?

Singapore needs to have a national icon because it will represent Singapore in many ways. The national icon will be unique and special to us and once tourists or citizens of Singapore see the national icon, Singapore will be the first thing they will think of. By using the Merlion as our icon, we are saying that Merlion is significant to Singapore.

Currently, there is no other alternatives I know that can be Singapore's national icon. The Merlion is suitable because the fish tail it has represents Singapore in the past and the lion head it has came from the story when Sang Nila Utama came to Singapore and saw a lion. The Merlion represents Singapore's humble beginnings. 

We can consider other icons such as Changi Airport. This is because Changi Airport is also well known to people for being the best airport in the world for consecutive years. 

However, we know that the Merlion has represented Singapore in The Youth Olympic Games in 2010,not Changi airport. Therefore, the Merlion is a better icon to represent Singapore. 

The criteria of national icons are that they are unique to Singapore, reflecting different aspects of its cultural life and history. The Merlion fulfils the above criteria.

It will change people aspects of the Merlion as they will now recognise that the Merlion is important and unique to Singapore. Singapore citizens will be happy to know that Singapore has a national icon. 

However, we are also assuming that the Sang Nila Utama story is true. There is no concrete evidence to support this story, and the Merlion with the lion head may not be appropriate to represent Singapore.

9th Entry
OELP Reflection.

Day 1:
I arrived at Changi Airport and saw my classmates. As I bid farewell to my parents, my classmates and I went into the departure terminal. It was my first time leaving my parents for a long period of time for a school trip, and I felt a little nervous. However, with my classmates and friends with me together on this trip, it calmed me down.
We arrived at Kaohsiung airport after the 4 hour flight and were greeted by 劉秘書 and staff. He gave us a few Taiwan snacks and drink (Pineapple Tart and Tea) and we felt really welcomed. Then, we left for the Hotel (Ten drums cultural village) feeling tired.
Taken in Changi Airport before flying off for Taiwan. That's the plane we took to Kaohsiung.

Arrival in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, late at night.

Day 2
We went to Hakka Cultural museums and tried some of their food. (It was our first lunch in Taiwan) It was delicious and totally different from the food we usually eat in Singapore. We have also learnt many things about the Hakka Culture, such as the structures of their houses and practices. Indeed, it was a fun day having learnt so many new things.

However, we did not behave well this day.
1, What I felt I did incorrectly
- I shouldn't have laughed/talk  too loudly/ talk when teachers or tour guides are speaking, or when it is unnecessary for me to talk.
2, Why is it incorrect
- This affects the class as a whole, leaves a very bad impression on the tour guide and bus driver, especially when the tour guide is explaining something very important to ask yet we do not listen to him and even talk when he is speaking.
3, What will I do tomorrow?
- I will definitely do my best not to talk in the bus or when it is unnecessary to do so. I will behave better tomorrow to leave a better impression of Class 2H on the Taiwanese people and our teachers.

Day 3.
We left the cultural village we stayed in for the past 2 nights. After watching their exciting drum performance, we went to Eternal golden castle, Chihkan towers and Anping fort. These are monuments which are really old and are well preserved till today. Every monument has a story behind it and visiting these monuments indeed left me with a deep impression on me. It's not a usual sight in Singapore as Singapore can't afford much land for such monuments
Chihkan Tower

Eternal Golden Castle

I hit the 添丁鼓 . It was obviously accidental.
After having observed the Ten Drums Cultural Village, that was once a sugar factory, I realised that cultural is very important to the Taiwanese. They will try their best to preserve these history monuments and their cultures, as these are significant and valuable to them.
I am impressed by the cultural performances they have put up for us, as well as how well they have preserved such valuable icons and monuments.

For the past 3 days, OELP is rather educational. We have visited many attractions and museums, and I really look forward to the next few days in Scared Hearts and my buddy.

Day 4
This is our first day in Sacred Hearts School. Students and teachers, as well as Liu 秘书 And Ding 校长, warmly welcomed us to Sacred Hearts. I didn't expect Sacred Hearts to make the effort and put up many wonderful performances especially for us. We also visited the Yunlin Cake Towel before going to Sacred Hearts School

Day 5 
This is our second day in the school. We attended a physics lesson about static electricity with balloons. Everyone else succeeded in getting the plastic string to float in the air, except me. :( Nevertheless, it was still an exciting lesson. I had made more friends ( and added them in facebook ), and learnt about static electricity, in Chinese...

Sacred Hearts School

Siluo bridge

Very huge watermelons. I think the 41 of us only managed to eat 1 of the watermelon.

Day 6
Day out with buddy. We went to JianHuShan Theme Park in Yunlin county. There were many things that we could play with, and I even tried out their roller coasters (G5). It was Scary yet exciting, and also my first time taking a roller coaster, On our way back, my buddy even bought me bubble tea with pearls, the tea that I would really want to drink again!

Jian Hu Shan theme park 

bubble teaaa

Day 7 
Last day in Taiwan. We visited the 921 Earthquake museum.  It was different from what I thought. It may look small in the photo, but it actually is big when we visited there. It is a huge museum, and I have learnt about how earthquakes form, as well as the 921 Earthquake.
921 Earthquake museum

The photo below was taken while on our journey to the airport back to Singapore. It was a really enjoyable OELP trip

Cost of living:
I have asked my buddy and his families about the Cost of Living in Taiwan. Basically, they are satisfied with the price of food, medical expenses. However, they are not satisfied with the price of housing. (My buddy told me that condominiums there are roughly about TWD 7 000 000, not really affordable for them.) To them, owning a house is not that affordable. I have observed that most of the things in Taiwan roughly are of the same price, if not cheaper by a little, compared to Singapore.

My buddy told me that he does go for tuitions, and showed me many tuition centres along the way to the theme park. Just along a stretch of road. roughly 500 metres, there were already at least 10 tuition centres along the roads. This shows that many students in Taiwan actually attend tuition lessons frequently. I can tell that the competition for better results in school and for the future is also very strong.
There are times in the morning (7.15am) when students self-study, and they usually end school at about 5pm. Students get a 10 minute interval between each lessons, which I think can greatly help them to digest the information or get a short nap for the next lesson. It is very helpful, and we should implement this in RV.

Ten Drums Cultural Village

Poem created by me:

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