Category: Journal

  • My submission in 2012 March for CDF Essay Competition

    This is something I wrote in March 2012 in submission to the CDF Essay Competition held during that time. The CDF during that time was LG Neo Kian Hong who later went to SMRT. I was serving my NS as a conscript back then. Largely, I think I still remain fairly consistent to what I […]

  • Leadership


    This month, the core value of the month is Leadership. This is something that’s very close to my heart. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the culture in Singapore is changing. As we become more educated and developed, the voices are getting increasingly loud in many different aspects. Coupled with increasing influence from […]

  • Singapore 5G Network

    Our transition to 5G has been rather complicated as compared to changing from 3G to 4G. The technology first came out with a non-standalone version (NSA) and then now the standalone (SA) version, which promises faster speed. It is a good thing, but what complicates matters is that only certain phones support SA, and phone […]

  • Reply All

    Suppose you saw an email containing a mistake sent out to the whole company. Would you send a clarification via “Reply all”? Most of us wouldn’t because it would seem as though we are shaming the person publicly. But what is there to be ashamed of when it is just a simple mistake? Doesn’t everyone […]

  • A tale on air filter and urinals

    A tale on air filter and urinals

    The Urinals I recently visited a relatively large company. During lunch, I went to the toilet and I can’t help but noticed a strong smell. The toilet look clean hence it should not be due to a lack of up-keeping. I soon realise that all the pee from the urinals are coming out from the […]

  • A virtue is a mean between extremes – Aristotle

    I grew up during a time when smacking kids were normal, where bosses are king and where there isn’t so much nuances when it come to things like authority, gender identification, the needs and wants of individuals. It wasn’t ideal, because we were sacrificing many things for the sake of progress, adherence and the general […]

  • Thoughts on a Sunday morning

    During the pandemic, we were reminded of how important it is to have a robust supply chain. It is not just about late delivery, for some, it is about life and death. I vividly remember how worried we were when we were unable to find the milk powder that my daughter specifically need. And I […]

  • Some reflection while recuperating at home

    I recently took my flu vaccine but was still down with flu this week. It was hard taking medicine because it would mean that I will be drowsy for the entire day. Although I got a break from work, my parental duties have to carry on. Such is the fact of being a parent. What […]

  • Reflection triggered by my domestic helper

    Today, we decided to give my helper WiFi. It is something that we take for granted every day, something that does not cost us anything extra to give and strictly speaking it is not something that is essential, since domestic helpers in the past also do not have such access. Yet, looking at how happy […]

  • How to deal with bullies on the internet

    I won’t call myself an expert on the internet but I have been online long enough to know what it entails. Like what Bane told Batman: You think darkness is your ally. But I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see light until I am a man. Likewise, I was born in […]

  • To all sword bearers

    It’s very simple. If we as sword bearers cannot display discipline, cannot adhere to the rules, and cannot practise what we preach, then we cannot expect those under our leadership to do what we ask of them to do. It’s very simple. The rot starts from the top. Hence, if we call ourselves leaders, and […]

  • Equally lost

    Staying in the hospital, while unfortunate, is one of the best times to reflect on my life. You are there in the quiet room with no other sound apart from the beeping of the machines. Your kid is just right there beside you, and you thought to yourself: “What a beautiful child.” I ended a […]

  • Discipline

    I was asked recently by a former colleague if I am still writing on my blog. I told him I couldn’t find time. Furthermore, I have to exercise even more sensitivity on the things that I write now since I have switched role to defence and some of the things are by nature more sensitive. […]

  • Just some thoughts

    Recently, as I approach my commissioning, I have been reflecting quite a bit. Was it worth it? Did I regret making the decision that I have made 11 years ago? What could I have done better? I was scrolling mindlessly through Tik-Tok and I came across this short clip from House. The leading actor was […]

  • Reflection from our conversation on management last week 

    My style of managing has always been to set the right expectation. My team should understand that if they were to defy any rules, they would face the full brunt of the law. But if they were to make an honest mistake, I will see if there is ground for mitigation. However, it must be […]

  • Excellence for us is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

    I was thinking about my second child, who is in NICU, as I typed this, scrolling through LinkedIn, when I saw a post by CCS, one of our ministers. He spoke about BHAGs – big, hairy, audacious goals and how Singapore has always set itself for big things. It made me wonder and reflect on […]

  • Pragmatism, not idealism

    As Singaporeans become more educated, we concern ourselves increasingly with ideologies and ideals. There is nothing wrong with that, after all, we can never reach perfection but it should still remain a goal. Ideologies and ideals allow us to direct our policies and actions toward where we aspire to be. It allows humanity to reach […]

  • Working on my legs, fingers, and brain at the same time on a Sunday morning

    While it is good to have a feedback channel that’s easy to access, organisation should also keep a proactive lookout for changes in situations and actively solicit feedback from the ground. This is not simply done by creating long list surveys, which may cause fatigue and user going through motions. Instead, it is to look […]

  • Lunchtime Reflection – Career Choices and Maintaining Our Core Competencies

    My child was warded during the peak of the COVID-19 period for her bilateral nephrectomy. It was nearing the end of my minimum service term for my previous career, and I thought about my next career move. At the same time, due to COVID, some returned to their home country for fear of a lockdown. […]

  • On discipline and education (as well as being open to constructive criticism)

    On discipline and education (as well as being open to constructive criticism)

    I am working in NIE today in an ungoverned lounge for postgrad students. The tables were segregated, and people were sitting far apart. When I entered, I was expecting to see people with their masks off, but it surprised me that every one of them was doing the right thing. It is a Sunday. Who […]

  • Bedtime reflection

    I wrote an article some time back that received quite a few “likes” on respecting the rest time of others. Ever since, people have been wary of disturbing me on weekends. There are a few points I want to make: I have no issues with touching work on weekends. I have problems with unnecessarily disturbing […]

  • Appraisal

    Recently I posted my official appraisal from my previous engagement. It was a positive one. Initially, I was a little concerned about getting one at all since it took quite some time. The testimonial nicely concluded my stint at OBS. When I first joined, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Having left my previous organisation in […]

  • A not so serious post on why Computer Engineering > Computer Science

    Recently, there has been much discussion over the starting salary of fresh graduates. Many were surprised at how a Computer Science graduate can earn more than a Medicine graduate. After all, in an Asian context, you are a failure unless you are a lawyer, doctor or engineer. Just kidding. What this post is about is […]

  • Growth Mindset

    Today I attended a workshop on “Growth Mindset”, and I want to spend some time to address one crucial point. A growth mindset adopts the attitude that one is fluid and able to change. Compared to what we were taught in the past, where IQ is immutable, and our brain neurons remain fixed, a growth […]

  • Johari Window by Benjamin Alexander Chua

    The Sun Tze art of war mentions: Know your enemy and know thyself, a thousand battle, a thousand victory. Knowing oneself will allow one to understand their limitations and blind spots and take countermeasures to eliminate them. I have worked with the Johari window for a long time since I was an OBS instructor. Hence […]

  • Optimising your bandwidth before an important virtual event/meeting

    Basics Turn off background applications – Whatsapp, Telegram, other file synchronising apps like Google Drive Desktop App, etc. (Technical user can use Netstat command to find out active channels) Be in direct line of sight of your router. Use LAN cable if possible. Reduce the resolution of your webcam. Change to 360 instead of 720. […]

  • How algorithm is making us a “closed-loop” (or even towards extremism)

    This is something that I have been advocating for years – We need to expose ourselves to differing views in order not to be a “closed-loop”. Birds of the same feather flock together. It is a known fact that humans tend to assimilate with individuals who are similar to them. To prevent social disintegration, Singapore […]

  • Intentions VS Action

    Intention VS Action A friend and I had a debate recently about intention vs action. I think that it is more important for one to pay attention to their intention and ensure that it is pure and not malicious. However, my friend feels that intention is inside, which no one can see. Hence it is […]

  • Ahead of the curve

  • Politics

    Politics is not a dirty word. Many times when we hear the word “politics”, some immediately have a negative connotation. During a meeting, I mentioned this word, and I noticed a few expressions changed. Politics is not inherently a dirty word. It highlights one of the critical elements that determine if a project can be […]

  • Dominance does not equate to aggression

    What is interesting about this video is that it mentions that someone being dominant does not mean that the person has to be aggressive. I remember that I was one of the two Ds in the group when I did the DISC test many years back. Immediately, I felt that it created a certain impression […]

  • Why we should not micromanage

    In an adult world, if you are given a task, you are expected to do it. And when someone doesn’t do it, they should be coached and managed accordingly. Micromanaging should not be used as much as possible, although it can get things done well in the short term. We should not assume that individuals […]

  • Owning up to mistakes

    I believe that when a team makes a mistake, the leader always has responsibility for it. However, I may not always readily admit my mistakes in front of my team because I want them to take ownership. In front of my boss, I will say that the fault is mine. But this is a side […]

  • Personal Branding

    I recently reached out to a few friends as I wanted to write them a recommendation on LinkedIn. But I discovered that they do not have one. Having some experience in headhunting, I cannot emphasise how important this is. I have realised that people who do good work sometimes do not put themselves out there […]

  • Why sometimes leadership by example doesn’t work

    Some always tout leadership by example as the model to follow, stating that if you want someone to follow your lead, the best way is to lead by example. I remember this quote:  “The world is changed by your example. Not your opinion.” I generally also agree with that. Indeed, I think leadership by example […]

  • Something that greatly influenced me


  • 22 November 2021

  • In loving memory of Peter Jezreel

    Today I got to know that one of my friends have passed on. He was age 32.  I met Jez in polytechnic. He was one of the brighter ones in class. He first went to ITE, then to polytechnic and finally to NTU. During NS, he also became an officer. Post-graduation, he signed on. We […]

  • 16 November 2021

    Yesterday, my mother’s dog passed away. The dog has accompanied us for many years, and I think it has lived over a hundred years if we were to convert it in human terms. My mother was crying still this morning and we were trying to comfort her. I later went to my room and my […]

  • 15 November 2021

    Today, one of my colleagues asked me about the most challenging part for me in the University and how I overcame it. This is what I have shared: I am not sure what do others think about this. Throughout most of my career, a large part of it has been being an educator. I believe […]

  • Why we should refrain from disturbing our colleagues on their rest day

    Some time back, I tried to share this with someone in their first career: Try not to disturb someone during their rest day. Honestly, there is nothing with being a first careerist. Everyone has to start somewhere. I remember being in my first job and I also hate being discounted just because it is my […]

  • 14 November 2021

    We often thought that things are one dimensional until we learn how to see in different perspectives. For a child, things are always absolute. It is either right or wrong, black or white, higher or lower. But often, things in real life are multidimensional. Until someone is willing to open up their mind, it is […]

  • 11 November 2021

    I am at home today due to reoccurring chest pain. I wanted to try out TikTok since it is the latest thing, but I decided not to. I am still not very used to seeing myself on camera, and I think people come to the platform for entertainment, not thoughts. That said, I realised that […]

  • 10 November 2021

    Sometimes when I meet someone, I tend to share a lot. And this can seem strange to others. Why am I sharing so much? Why are my views seemingly so strong? Why do I seem so sure of myself? Am I lecturing? I share my thoughts excessively because I am not sure how long I […]

  • Feedbacks

    I have always struggled with feedbacks. Sometimes, it seems to be that people are only doing it for the sake of doing it and has no genuine interest to know exactly how they are faring. Then there are some who always gives five stars regardless who they are rating. It is nice, but what we […]

  • 09 November 2021

    I have shared earlier that I am going to stop writing. But I realised that by doing that, I lost a tool to reflect and a means to communicate with whoever wants to communicate. Sometimes, I am not so good with words, and writing remains an excellent tool to externalise my thoughts. Hence, I have […]