Thursday, August 04, 2005


Control, this is Blue Leader, we are approaching the Padang for flypa... oops overshot, let's go arou.... oops, we're over Batam, going arou... oops, we're over Woodlands, turning agai.... shit, we're past Tuas... coming round to the Padang agai... shit! Changi liao!
Above all, noisier than all, thems fighter jets and choppers have been making circles all over the island practicing and practicing so that they can get it just right. I've missed half a dozen calls on my mobile because of the racket they've been making, and I've been shouting more than I usually do. At the coffee shop downstairs of my office, a taxi-driver on a coffee break looked up at the be-circling jets and said, WAH LAO SINGAPORE! ROAD JAM NOT ENOUGH MUST SKY JAM! Above all: Economy Rice to the rescue Economy Rice to the rescue. (Tsunami relief efforts, Jan 05) On a more serious note while my ears are still ringing, Serene Luo of the Straits Times called today to tell me of a 99 year old Samsui woman who wants to attend the National Day Parade, but who can't get a ticket. She says that she's tried calling everyone, but her pleas have fallen on deaf ears (see lah, fly aeroplane so often some more!) Serene writes:
She's Madam How Cheon Mui, a Cantonese woman from the Samsui province in Guangdong, China, came to Singapore in the 1930s, leaving her husband and children back home while she worked here. Distinguished by their navy blue outfits and bright red headgear, Mdm How was one of those women who helped build the DBS building in Shenton Way, and Changi Airport in the 1970s.

Her husband is long gone; the last time she went back to China was some 18 years ago. She now lives in Grace Lodge in the Sengkang area, after she took a nasty fall a few years ago.

A member of the public, Anthony, called up a colleague after she'd written an article last week about two samsui women in their 70s who will be taking part in the parade. Anthony is a distant relative of Mdm How's. He's appealing to us to help find an extra ticket to this year's parade for her. Because she's wheelchair-bound after the fall, he was hoping to get two or three tickets so his parents can take her to the parade, and explain it to her (she speaks Cantonese only). But if that's impossible, just one ticket will do, and Anthony will even pick her up from the home, take her to any meeting point and pick her up after.

If the ticket simply is an extra goodie bag for you, or if you really aren't a flag-waving, whistle-tooting, patriotic song-singing person, or if for whatever reason, you suddenly can't make the parade, please do try and make it a little different for someone else.

Dear Singaporeans, dear bloggers, I know you all don't like journalists very much. I also know it's a far shot, seeing that NDP tickets are highly sought after. But I'm hoping that perhaps from somewhere in your heart, if you might be able to help, please do!
Samsui city: These are the women that built Singapore I'd give up my NDP ticket to Madam How, wouldn't you? It would seem a little absurd that there are Samsui Women featured at the parade, but this one poor Samsui woman can't get a seat to watch it. How can? It's a blooming shame! Blooming copy writer What da heow? Who da blooming copy writer? iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of 沉睡的珊瑚礁 from the album "Pbylmount Jazz Of Shanghai (Disc 1)" by Shanghai Old Pbylmount Jazz Band

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is bullshit...
if no one can offer her a tix.. then I will 'buy' one for her and maybe myself to bring her there...

I will check back the post...

8/04/2005 01:38:00 AM  
Blogger Solacend said...

Heya, I hope you don't mind, but I've copied and pasted the letter on my own blog. (I know it's a little a little too late to ask... but I figured I'd just let you know).

8/04/2005 02:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ah 9 said...

I SAY THE GAHMEN SHOULD ALLOW FREE ENTRY FOR THESE SAMSUI uncompassiontate of some people nowadays...everyday only talk about profit margins and consumer demand/sales only, earning peanuts and avoiding staining their gold taps with fingerprints. pui!!!

8/04/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...

I think I saw NDP tix on auction till 7th of August. Starting price is $30? I think so. Oh yah, it's on EBay.

8/04/2005 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous samsui man said...

she's 90 years old and wheel chair bound for heaven's sake! if you guys are such kind souls, suggest you let her into your living room to watch on your 54 inch tv screens.

sometimes wanna be kind also must think about people's condition also what. kanina!

think wheel chair damn easy to manouveur up the steps issit?!

8/04/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have asked a few friends to see if they can help.. :) Please do update us if she has a ticket. ;)

8/04/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Serene Luo said...

Hi guys
You've all been fantastic! One of Miyagi's readers very kindly offered two tickets, and I'm very moved by how generous Singaporeans are.
Now who says Singaporeans are nasty? =P
Big thanks to everyone who's helped.

8/04/2005 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger violet gem said...

samsui women are the BEST! they beat male construction workers anytime!

8/05/2005 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... goes more something like "Lead to Combined, Tuas ahead, turning left now for changi,maintain for 30s,... "damn this is shit tight, lets look out for the helis and the transport guys, on my mark 3, 2, 1, 1 turning left.


8/05/2005 01:24:00 AM  
Blogger andrew said...

all our high-rise are belongs to them...


may we never forget that our nation was built upon the backs of hardworking folks like her.

8/05/2005 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Candida said...

hey hey
just to keep you updated about How Cheong Mui.
She befriended my grandmother when they were both samsuis, and subsequently decided not to stay in China and to stay with my family (extended) here in Singapore. Hence she helped my grandmother and grandfather raised their entire huge brood of children and grandchildren.
She brought me up for a time, together with my cousins.Anthony, the 'distant relative' featured in the paper and your blog, is my cousin and who had been brought up by her also. I call her "Ah Tai".
Have been visiting her at Grace Lodge. Since this NDP event, she had endured two operations: one for her eye, and another recent one for her leg. Though she was lively (it is hard to be lively in a 'deadened place like Grace Lodge)last year, she behaves in a very defeated manner now. She is still healthy, but she droops her head a lot, either out of tiredness, or resignation. It makes me happy, yet sad to see her. When I look at her feeding herself with the soup I brought her, I see an insignificant, yet significant woman living ironically very much alone in an old folks home.
Just my two cents comment, which I can't help after reading this entry. If you do have a heart for old folks, and if you want to, why not visit her.

11/07/2006 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger Candida said...

oh, and I have forgotten to add in: she is 101 this year.

11/07/2006 01:29:00 AM  

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