Closing thoughts of 2016

I’ll keep this year’s entry short, even though it’s been one of the most eventful and exciting years ever. I have learned so many things in this short timeframe, thanks to the decisions I’ve made to change my life. Here is a sharing of some of the thoughts that struck me this year and guide the way I live and work.

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Outrageous to legalize online gambling in Singapore

I’m outraged and I’m disgusted.

I came home from work today and read the news that the Singapore government had allowed Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club to operate online betting services.

Just like that.

No Parliamentary debate. No call for public feedback or consultation. No protests from any PAP minister or member of Parliament. No squeak from the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Maybe I missed all of that, let me know if I’ve not been keeping up with the news.

(Update: A reader shared the 2014 Parliamentary debate on this matter, thank you! This obviously flew under most of our noses. Here’s the brief 2014 Straits Times story covering it, and I thank MPs Denise Phua, Png Eng Huat, Pritam Singh and NCMP Yee Jenn Jong for trying to prevent today’s tragic situation.)

When do we really have a say?

People like to call Singapore a nanny state. Honestly, I do not mind living in a nanny state if the nanny appears to know what it is doing for the people’s well-being.

Sometimes, this nanny state insists it wants to have a conversation with its citizens to solicit your precious feedback. Other times, you do not know best, so let their experts decide.

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Why do you do what you do?

Do you know what’s the saddest thing I find about the conclusion of the City Harvest trial?

No, not that the convicted would continue to claim that their actions were right in their eyes (or God’s), or that their followers would continue to support the church leaders. These were all predictable outcomes of this long-drawn trial given the track record of all parties mentioned.

What I found sad was the lack of forthrightness of some Christian critics and the lack of a robust, intellectual defence from CHC supporters.

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Changes and More Changes: The tenth anniversary blog post

So just like that, ten years have passed since I began this blog site.

In one way, it hasn’t really changed from being a place to pen my thoughts, and to share my passions or ideas.

In another way, it has sort of chronicled the major changes in my career, my family and my understanding of myself.

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The Age Of Decluttering

An odd thing happened over the past year as I cleaned up my diet and changed my taste palate – I started to declutter the rest of my life too.

To most people, decluttering is a matter of throwing out old junk from the house. I did just that over the past few months as I finally got around to renovating my HDB flat for the first time since 2003, and fixing many of the things I implemented but didn’t know better back then.

For example, I custom-built a TV cabinet that was designed to hold an extremely heavy CRT TV and store as many DVDs and CDs as possible.

Who would know that over the next decade, TVs would become a fraction of the weight with LCD technology and that physical media would become obsolete?

Books, for me, have become a thing of the past as I moved to ebooks, freeing up an incredible amount of storage space. People say they miss the feel of paper under their fingertips. I say I don’t miss that yellowing piece of tree bark at all.

Another thing I learned over the past decade was that the more storage space I had, the more I would fill it with junk. So in 2014, I no longer have big cabinets or coffee tables in the living room. I have enough storage space to store the essential things, but every few weeks I’m going into my tiny storeroom to see what else I can throw out.

So one key trick in decluttering is preventing future clutter.

The next thing that I started to declutter was my social media life.

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