Old Toh Tuck Campus

The old Toh Tuck Campus of Millennia Institute used to be the premise of dysfunctional Toh Tuck Secondary School which was closed down in 1991 due to low intake of students.

After that, it was vacant for a couple of years before Jurong Institute, one of the Centralized Institute moved into the premise in 1995 from their original location, the current Juying Secondary School. Centralized Institutes were set up to cater to the needs of students who would like to take up A level course at a 3 year program apart from 2 years which the Junior Colleges are doing.

However Centralized Institute program became less popular with more students opted in for a more tertiary education – The Polytechnics. Therefore many closed down and eventually left with Jurong and Outram Institute. In 2003, the two schools finally merged into Millennia Institute with 2 different functional campus.

I went into Millennia Institute (MI) in the year 2004 after failing my E-Maths in O Level and didn’t want to go into Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Partly, I felt that I could not blend into the ITE culture of the Bengs and Lians at that time that the other alternative would be to take an A level course so that hopefully I can do a Bachelor Degree in NUS.

I guess the reason why most MI graduates during my time (I do not know now) did not go to local universities because our grades in O level was not comparable to JC students. My sister who was getting a aggregate of 6 in O levels eventually made it to NTU studying in JJC.

So because I went into the school in March 2004, I did not join the orientation and being 2 years older than most of my classmates, I felt kind of hard to blend in. But thank god, I still managed to keep some of my friends in close contact.

The school compound was built in the 1960s did not undergo major upgrading like other schools. Probably because it was used as a temporary location to house schools that undergo the Prime Program.

After Millennia Institute moved to their new campus in Bukit Batok in 2007, the Old Toh Tuck Campus became the temporary school building for Bukit Batok Secondary School for the next 2-3 years before it was again abandon. It is not sure whether the government will demolish the school compound to make way for new condominium establishments or for other purpose. But the kampong style of the building still very much remains notslagic in my mind.

The school has quite a big field which we spend 2 hours of Physical Education per week to keep fit. I believe the field was even bigger before Bukit Timah Primary School building stands there.

During raining days, it is almost impossible to hear anything from our teachers during lessons because of the zinc roof especially if your classroom is on the 4th level. I was lucky that in my final year, our class was one of the few that shifted to an air-con room.

From the bus stop, I took a picture of the car park and block A. Level 1 of Block A used to be the Staff Room and Dance Studio and Level 2 is all the computer labs. I remember during Year 2, we spent quite some time in computer lab revising for Year 3.

The side of the 2nd photo used to be the fish pond which many teacher student counselling session was held there. It was very therapeutic sitting there in the afternoon especially you have a long day. Some lessons days can stretched up to 5.30 pm.

I think if camera phone was available at that time, I would have taken many photos of the school at that time. I guess if we turn back time, I might not have entered MI and would have work and do a part time diploma. But this is a part and parcel of life. Eventually, I did earned my bachelor degree after graduating from MI, 9 years later. This place holds both sweet and bitter memories.


Kin Kin Chili Pan Mee

It has been quite a while since I did a blog post on food. A lot of people who know me personally knew that I love taking food photos. But most of them never got published online and at the end of the day, I forgot why I took those photos for. Maybe it is to remind how good or bad the dish taste or to remind those gatherings I went.

Sometimes I do regret taking too much photos. Currently I have around 6000 over photos to categorize and place them in order.

Well, today’s post is about one of my favorite food – Chili Pan Mee…

Before last week, the only one that I have tried was the Food Court I went while I was holidaying in Penang. It has the spiciest chili, so satisfying with the taste and the texture of the noodle. The only downside was portion was small and rather expensive.. I think it was selling for RM8. (I had good exchange rate so I can’t make noise.)

So, to reminisce the taste of this dish, me and my sister with her bf was around Kallang Area which was rather near to Kin Kin Chili Pan Mee. I remembered when it first started, the queue was rather long and because I don’t stay in the East Side, I didn’t get to try then. Although I heard reviews wasn’t fantastic but still I felt, worth to give it a try.
This house specialty is around $5.50 per bowl. Includes Anchovies, Minced Pork, Meatball, fried shallots and 1 egg. 

There was no crowd over at the outlet and restaurant is air conditioned.

Ok, the egg yolk was supposed to be slimy not cooked. It was a small disappointment here. Chili was not spicy and probably because it was left outside for quite sometime as we didn’t get the fresh ones. As all of us is rather hungry, we add on their handmade fishball with spinach soup.

Surprisingly, their handmade fishball was springy which I have seldom taste in now in our hawker centres.

They do not offer a variety of side dishes which was such a pity.. I like to have main dish plus side dishes…especially when I could eat up a cow. But I guess this was enough.

Verdict: I do not think I will return as I find the food average. Chili was the main focus but it was not spicy as it claimed! There was no returning crowd shows that this dish was not able to stand out in Singapore. But I do hope they could improve even though I would rather have this dish in Malaysia.

P.S. There is another rival shop just next to Kin Kin Chili Pan Mee which maybe is worth to try the next time round.


Artist and Empire Part 3 

I do not know how much more photos did I took but here we finally come to the crux of this exhibition – The Great Britain Empire. From the East to the West, the British owned vast numbers of colonies which granted them immerse wealth and rise to become the most powerful country in Europe. I think it has to attribute to the fact that Tea and spices became increasingly important thanks to the growing population that Europeans began to search new land and opportunity. Industrial Revolution became the catalyst , in conquering new lands and bringing the local people under their rule through superiority of technology and artillery. Great Britain, who was the major beneficiary of the Industrial Revolution, indeed had the edge over other European powers.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 by Arthur Pan. 

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning ruler in history, took over the throne as the Monarch of Great Britain Empire on 2nd June 1953 at the age of 25 in Westminster Abbey. Her coronation was first in the history to be televised which allows millions of people to witness the event.

The artist for this drawing was Arthur Pan, a Hungarian portrait painter who also painted Winston Churchill as well.

I always wonder, how was it like being Queen of England? Had her Uncle, King Edward not given up his Throne for Wallis Simpsons, she might not be the 3rd in line in the monarchy.  Here her portrait showing her a demure and yet young, dignified posture represented much hope for the people of in England especially the time after war. She was indeed beautiful and her love with Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip was no secondary to Queen Victoria. As compared to her sister, Princess Margaret, she was more responsible and less wild.

The Secret of United Kingdom’s Greatness (Queen Victoria Presenting a Bible in the Audience Chamber at Windsor by Thomas Jones Barker in 1863. 

According to the story behind this painting, the bible is the focus in this painting. An African Envoy asked Queen Victoria on behalf one day that how Britain had become so powerful in the world and she handed him the Bible saying, “Tell the Prince that this is the secret of England’s greatness.” This painting had a hint of mockery towards the Monarchy for masking exploitative nature of Britain’s empire making effort. It seems like it was liberation for the colonies but the fact that they went to Africa because it harbors most resources that can benefit the empire. During my Pre-U days, I always heard about this term called “White men’s burden.”, it seems to display in the influence throughout the empire.

Violet and Gold by Frederick McCubbin in 1911, Melbourne 

This painting presented the landscape of Australia after the formation of Commonwealth of Australia. Artist Frederick McCubbin captured the light and the atmosphere which he lives in. The golden light was a reflect of the splendor of Australia at that time. Personally I feel that the light was drawn to perfection as it softly shine on the character in this drawing. It feels more real life than photography when you look at the actual artwork.

The Selector’s Hut by Arthur Streeton in 1890.

This was even an earlier artwork by another artist. From this drawing, you can see that the reflection and scenery was very much real here. This was one of my favorite artwork too!

Sorry, I didn’t take down notes for this painting. But this clearly shows a British Lady in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

In a corner on the Macintyre (the Bushranger) in 1895 by Tom Roberts.

One of my favourite paintings as well.. It doesn’t looked painted.

Well… have to pen off from now. It is dinner time here.



Everyone around me agrees that we are experiencing more people behaving less polite or worst still barbarism. Be it in school or at home, we are taught manners from young till adulthood and it is such a shame that some people just didn’t get the learning in their head.

Recently there was a big incident happening between an old man and a couple arguing about seating at Toa Payoh Hawker Centre. As a result, the barbaric couple was arrested within 3 days, thanks to social outcry. What happens if no one uploaded the video of the bullying and the poor old man will have to suffer such injustice.

Just this afternoon, I was accompanying my mom into a mobile phone shop. As I walked out, a man in his fifties was pushing the wheelchair of an elderly lady towards me. I had no more space to move because there was another elderly man sitting just outside the shop. The man should have slow down his speed came crashing into my foot.

The old lady was apologetic but the man not even feeling a bit of remorse, continue to wheel the old lady away.

If he would have said “Excuse me”, I could have stayed away. Or even after the wheelchair came crashing onto me, he could have said, “sorry” instead of the old lady.

I think courtesy is dead seriously.  I do not think my incident is as serious as the old man at Toa Payoh but little things in life shows how societal changes affect upbringing of the next generation especially if this guy has children of his own. They will become more self- centered than ever.

Internet Love Scam

From the initial web blogging to the current social media lifestyle that the cosmopolitan world is living in, we are open to vulnerability of revealing personal information about us to strangers. Maybe to some people, it is a channel to be famous, know more connections and earn fast money. Many successful bloggers did but there are huge number of us did not.

What happens to the information you posted online ?

What happens if DPA does not save you from companies getting your information illegally ?  Or people creating fake accounts of you doing illegal stuffs behind your back?

What if you meet someone who wants to scam you because you are lonely with your partner or if you are single for the rest of your life?

Law cannot protect you 100% but you can do it yourself.

Recently, there was a guy whom I met through Facebook claimed that he was from Los Angeles and wanted to add me to know me as a friend.

Out of curiosity, I added him because he looked very attractive on Facebook and wondered how will someone like him will like to know me. I am not belittling my own looks but if someone claims to be oil and gas and a director of a company, you will also be tempted to know why.

So we started chatting and initially I had suspected his command of written English. There was a lot of spelling mistakes and the things he said does not make any sense. But I still played along with him to see what will the development evolve to. As usual, the commitment to message getting lower.

Then to my surprise, one day he decided that he will be posted to Canada for work and asked me if I could give him my full name and address. His reason was he need to send me some gifts. I thanked his gesture but refused to reveal anything further as I felt it was sneaky. He persisted to the extent of demanding.

Then I decided to do a quick analysis and this is what I analyzed.

  1. His Facebook account does not reveal any friends or any photo album even after he added me which was rather weird. All the photos on his account are all profile pictures and even so they looked like it was taken from different periods of that man’s life and posted up on the same date.
  2. He could not talk deep. When he says he loved reading, I asked him what book are he reading currently. I even did a test to tell him the book that I just finished recently, he was not even to be able to provide this information. I guess he must have either known that I was testing him or he simply do not know what I was saying, meaning his native language is not English to begin with.
  3. His notes to me were copy and paste from internet. I have always doubted that someone with his command of English, could suddenly write splendidly. Therefore, I did a search and Bingo! He did copy and paste. Which means, he might not even know the meaning to what he was sending.
  4. The man in the Facebook profile was using an Iphone 6 Plus at least. However, his number showed that he wasn’t using an Iphone at all! This means, this guy must have stolen the photos of this man and assumed his identity. This is madness. Imagine there are at least 1 Billion Facebook users in the world and you are not able to track whoever save the photos you posted!

Therefore after my analysis, I conclude that the guy that I am chatting with is a Fraud. I blocked him immediately from all means to prevent him from contacting me. Apparently, his profile was removed from Facebook as well. I hope the real owner of the photos reported him. Imagine the shock the man received, you wouldn’t want your profile to be stolen.

Luckily I was levelheaded enough not to believe such people and their honey words. What if I was not alert enough and provided all my personal details, I could have been having coffee with the police any time. I hope that social medias or even the internet community can have a stronger security platform to prevent users from falling into scams with the bad people.

However, I do feel it is the responsibility of internet users to screen off what can be posted online.  This post shall served as a personal experience for the public.