Help The Workers Who Help Build Our Country

It is a tragic day today with two workers dead and several others injured in a scaffolding collapse at an MRT station construction site. It is also a time to spare a thought for the thousands of migrant workers who do these tough, low-paying and sometimes dangerous jobs building our country’s infrastructure.

For as long as Singapore has been around, we’ve been dependent on migrant workers – We founded this country on Indian coolies working on the docks and the Samsui women on our roads and buildings in the 19th to 20th Centuries.

And before K-Pop and Korean movie stars, we imported Korean construction workers, who together with their Thai counterparts, built Raffles City, Marina Square and every other major construction project in the 1980s.

We owe a debt to them because they are doing our national service.

This afternoon some of my friends and I scrambled to arrange for a donation channel for the families of this morning’s accident victims. We spoke to MCYS, MOM and the LTA to see how we could coordinate it so that the public who wish to help out can do so. Then we found that the people already helping migrant/transient workers were most ready, willing and able to help.

The organization is called “Transient Workers Count Too“, and they have offered to take in donations for the victims. The money you donate will go towards the families of the two dead workers, and towards the injured workers while they are unable to work as they recover.

This is how you can donate:

BY CHEQUE:

Make a crossed cheque payable to: ‘Transient Workers Count Too’, write your name and “Bugis MRT Accident” at the back of the cheque and mail it to: 5001 Beach Road, #06-27 Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 199588.
Send an email to info@twc2.org.sg with your name, cheque no., amount and “Bugis MRT Accident”, so that the donation can be properly recorded and a receipt sent to you.

BY SGGIVES (ONLINE)

You can donate using your credit card here. A small commission is charged by this donation collection agency. Under the “Special Occasion / Person” field, type “Bugis MRT Accident”.

BY PAYPAL (ONLINE)

You can use your paypal account or credit card to donate here. However, a commission of 4% or so is charged on every donation. There is no field for you to input the purpose of donation, so it is advisable to drop twc2 an email after you’ve donated by this method.

Kai and Kai Finally Meet

Kai is three plus and so is Kai. But because they live on opposite sides of the world, this past weekend was the first time they’ve met.

You cannot make this shit up: My schoolmate Colin Goh’s kid was born 7:45pm EST on 3 April 2009 in New York. Our son was born 7:15am in Singapore – that’s 1/2 an hour apart. But there’s more. They’re both named Kai – only Colin’s Kai a girl.

At their playmate on Sunday, the two Kais got on like a house on fire, and they quickly figured out how to differentiate their names. Colin’s Kai called herself Kai-Kai, while our Kai was just Kai.

The one thing we forgot to do was to make both Kais pick 4D numbers. Might do that for their next playdate.

Turning A Health Scare Into A New Lifestyle

A month ago now, we went to Bangkok for a complete health check at a hospital famous for their health check packages. There are comparable packages available in Singapore in terms of price, but there’s nothing like the setup they have there. In this Bangkok hospital, batteries of X-ray and other diagnostic machines line luxuriously appointed hallways that look like they belong more in a five star hotel than a hospital. This also means that as crowded as it gets because of its fame, a typical patient could be in and out of the place with their test results within five hours.

So I got my results and a partial explanation of why I had been feeling tired for the past year – hypertension (153/90), a fatty liver (non-alcohol related), a triglyceride level twice the recommended high end figure and a suspected narrowing of one of the coronary arteries, based on the stress ECG which is part of the package.

We left the hospital did some shopping and eating and returned to Singapore to a cardiologist’s appointment and a brand new diet.

I’ve cut out alcohol since 26 June (though the cardiologist did say a glass or two of red was permitted), and have been on a very low carb, very low cholesterol, very low fat, 95% vegetarian diet, allowing myself a stress free bigger meal on the weekend with the family. It was just as well I did. Last week, on my second visit to the cardiologist, I did a sugar tolerance test and failed. I am diabetic, but only slightly.

I’ll be making an appointment for an angiogram and if needed, angioplasty. Till then, I’m not allowed to exercise yet. But I’m really enjoying the new diet that Naomi has jumped into helping me plan – and in fact I’m writing this between my now routine glasses of banana-blueberry-protein-powder-dunnowhat (I’ll get the recipe later) smoothie and fruit (beetroot, celery, yakon) juice for breakfast. Most days, barring a lunch meeting, I pack a lunch box from a Naomi-planned menu containing fruit, vegetables and some protein, usually tofu, and a banana for an energy boost. It gets me through the day without snacking.

I weighed in at 72kg in Bangkok on 17 June. I’m currently at 66.5kg. Some way to go before I get to a safe weight for my frame. But I’m happy with this diet and have been surprisingly disciplined about it but that’s probably because I’ve not had any cravings for carbs or meat that plague many dieters. I think we must be doing something right.

Talking Cock in Parliament II: Malulah Singapura

It was great to be part of Talking Cock in Parliament again, though I was slightly taken aback by the sheer demand of the public. People actually turned up at 2pm to get tickets for the event. Spoil market!

There were very disappointed people who were not part of the 170 allowed in the Old Parliament House’s (or Arts House as it is now known) Playden, including one irate woman who told one of the organizers, “next time can you all please hold this in a bigger venue? We came all the way here from work, you know?”

Lady, sorry hor. This was a free event, budget very small, cannot hold in Suntec Convention Centre. In any case, the video will be out on mrbrown’s blog and on the TalkingCock in Parliament FB page soon as they finish editing.

Randall Tan Runs To Fight Cancer

Our good friend Randall is running his second 10km race (The Pocari Sweat Run) this Sunday to raise funds for the Singapore Cancer Society.

Please support him if you can wake up early enough to cheer him on, or simply show your support by donating to the cause he’s running for. Randall’s set a target of $5,000 and is currently at $3,110. Every dollar counts!