Talking Point About Parenting

Kai and I pretending to have a boys' day out at a cafe, which is actually an event space on the 2nd floor of the Grand Hyatt.
Kai and I pretending to have a boys’ day out at a cafe, which is actually an event space on the 2nd floor of the Grand Hyatt.

Tonight, Kai and I appear on Talking Point with four other fathers and their children. The topic is fatherhood, the role of fathers in the family. It was meant to be a relaxed, shoot the breeze shoot, together with some attempt at cooking.

Naomi and I are very fortunate to have a wonderful boy who is a joy every waking hour of the day. We are hardly experts in parenting, and as I said to Steven Chia, the host of Talking Point, I’m just having the most fun being a Dad, and what Naomi does with Kai and I makes it all possible.

There’s a lot of time involved, but there’s no magic formula other than wanting Kai to be healthy, informed, compassionate and conscientious.

I have spoken with other parents about how we go about parenting, but this was the first time I’ve been presented with the question, specifically, of how fathers go about doing things. For us, gender has never been a factor in what roles are supposed to be played by whom – excepting of course the obviously biological – and I was slightly taken aback by the questions posed, and some of the answers given.

I would’ve enjoyed a longer chat on how my family feels about families, but watch if you can tonight, and leave your comments here.

TALKING POINT9.30PM Channel 5.

Watch a teaser here.

Mediacorp’s Shameful Advertising Lorry

In this day and age! Seriously, the LTA should ban Mediacorp, or more precisely, Mediacorp’s subsidiary, OOH, (another forced acronym) from owning vehicles.

I get that you can use ad space on buses, MRT trains and taxis. But to use a lorry just to carry a billboard around our already jam-packed roads during f**king peak hour traffic is unbelievably irresponsible. OOH obviously doesn’t care for the environment or people for that matter. These lorries really do nothing! They don’t carry goods! They don’t carry passengers! They should be run off the road!

Not surprisingly, the only ads I’ve seen on these lorries have been for Marina Bay Sands.

Makes you want to run them off the road.
Makes you want to run them off the road.

Eric Khoo’s Recipe – A Film About Dementia

Recipe Poster

I was invited to watch an Eric Khoo telemovie last Tuesday called Recipe. It stars Zoe Tay, Li Yin Zhu, Moses Lim and Jayley Woo, and deals with the topic of dementia.

Why is this important? Dementia affects our aging population, and our aging population is growing. In 2005, there were about 22,000 recorded cases of dementia among the 65 and older in Singapore and this looks set to double even before 2020.

What this means for people with dementia, caregivers and the healthcare network cannot be underestimated. And yet, there are many of us who don’t know enough about dementia to even begin to know how to deal with it.

For example, dementia is not normal aging. In whichever form it takes – either Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia (which is caused by strokes), it is an illness that needs medical attention, and it is a condition that needs care and monitoring.

I wish I had known even this basic information years ago, because this subject matter is something I feel very strongly about – my family is dealing with it. Nonetheless, I am glad I’ve learned from the wealth of information available in our healthcare system. Being the immediate family member in charge of managing my father’s illness also presents an educational opportunity – telling my friends, and my father’s friends what’s going on with him is something I seldom tire of.

But I am glad that there are attempts made, like this telemovie, to put the issue up for education and discussion.

This film tells the story of the journey of Madam Ching, who’s been running her hawker stall for several decades selling scissor cut curry rice.

Trouble starts when the snaking queues for her famous fare begin to shrink after her culinary skills take a dive and become erratic. Her daughter Qiu Yun steps into the picture when an accident occurs at the stall. And at follow up medical appointments, it is discovered that Molly has the beginnings of dementia.

The other players in Madam Ching’s journey are her family, friends, workmates and customers, and they all share in her pain, fear and at times outright terror at the unknown.

It is a sensitive portrait of people dealing with and trying to make sense of the sometimes unpredictable family life that dementia brings.

It is something that is close to my heart, and you know I would never encourage anyone to watch Channel 8, but here it is, I’m telling you now – when they screen this on the telly on 29 September, 9pm, WATCH IT. Or record it to watch later.

For more information on dementia and on Recipe the telemovie, please click through:


With HRH The Queen of Caldecott Hill. Zoe Tay's performance in this tele movie is her best ever, IMHO.
With HRH The Queen of Caldecott Hill. Zoe Tay’s performance in this tele movie is her best ever, IMHO.


The day someone said Cheebye on radio

I only ever listen to the radio while driving, or when one of our friends is hosting a radio show. But this year, the stations (except the lonely non-Mediacorp ones) have been constantly reminding listeners that radio in Singapore is 75 years old.

They’ve been airing radio DJs talking about their favourite radio moments, and one of these clips has Maggie of The Gold Breakfast Show reminiscing about a program for kids in the late 70s and early 80s called “Happy Talk”.

Happy Talk was hosted by ventriloquist Victor Khoo and his puppet Charlee, and every Saturday, thousands of kids tuned in, suspending belief, thinking that Victor Khoo actually bothered to put his hand up Charlee to manipulate him when no one could see him anyway.

They even had a live call-in segment, where kids could win prizes if they answered a simple question correctly. There was no pre-screening of the call-in, and everything was ‘live’.

So on that fateful Saturday, Victor (or Charlee, I don’t remember), asked a six year old boy the question, “What is the female equivalent of a rooster?”

The boy didn’t seem to know the answer, and was umming and ahhing a bit, so Charlee (or Victor) rephrased the question, “If the male chicken called is a cock, what is the female chicken called?”

The boy’s answer was the most triumphant Cheebye I had ever heard. Victor was gobsmacked, and if he had really been operating/manipulating Charlee, the puppet must’ve been slack-jawed in horror.

Happy 75th, Radio Singapore.

Our World Cup runneth away

World Cup Trophy made from Balloons (wooden spoon prize) 2

Seriously, we’re really not going to get the World Cup on television?

MSN did a survey recently, and out of over 5,000 people who participated, 69% said they weren’t willing to pay a single cent to to watch a game. I guess that’s the national stance that got us into this mess in the first place.

It’s alright by me, cos I’m happy sitting at home watching the rugby on several channels on Starhub.
[poll id=”15″]