Sunday, October 31, 2010

Google Halloween doodle featuring Scooby Doo comes with a Carousel !


Google latest doodle in celebration of Happy Halloween features Scooby Doo comes with a carousel! This means, you can navigate through a set of 5 doodles using the footprints or the previous/next buttons.

Singaporeans getting disconnected?

Read these two articles.

I don’t know what I’m defending anymore
http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2010/10/30/i-dont-know-what-im-defending-anymore/

Goh vs Obama – worlds apart?
http://theonlinecitizen.com/2010/10/goh-vs-obama-worlds-apart/

Tough November ahead

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gmail in mobile Safari: now even more like a native app

Cross posted from Google Mobile Blog

Gmail in mobile Safari: now even more like a native app [via]

Gmail in mobile works like an app

Gmail mobile for Safari is seeing two improvements to make it work like an app instead of a website. Google is leading the way with HTML 5.0.

Gmail in mobile Safari: now even more like a native app - Official Gmail Blog [via]

Apple shoots back and attack Blackberry

Blackberry shoots Apple

Spanish prostitutes ordered to wear reflective vests for their own safety

Prostitutes working on the street outside a town northern Spain have been ordered to wear reflective vests to make them visible to passing traffic and reduce the risk of accidents.

Spanish prostitutes ordered to wear reflective vests for their own safety [via]

Really: New Windows Phone 7 Official Ad


I had a hands-on on Windows Phone 7 recently and really do feel performing text, checking mails and doing social interactions are a lot faster than other phones, however, I believe the above "Really" ad is over exaggerating.

Swiss couple insulted by celebrant in Maldives while renewing wedding vows - Video

A Swiss couple was insulted by a celebrant in a muslim majority Maldives while renewing wedding vows. Curses and insults, calling the couple "swine" and disgraced were spoken by the celebrant in Maldives' own language not understood by the Swiss.


If not for this video posted on the YouTube, I wonder how many more couples were insulted before them. Receiving "blessings" in a language not understood can be dangerous.

Swiss couple victim of marriage 'hate video' in Maldives [via]

Friday, October 29, 2010

SMRT reported fall in net profit

Continued losses on Circle Line = Net profit fell 16.8%. Right to sell months back (SMRT share price has been falling steadily since then). Am still waiting for an opportunity.

Wall Street bankers just earn too much

Don't you agree?

Hedge fund and private equity managers, like professional athletes, put it all on the line every day. But the big banks pay their employees millions to gamble with other people’s money.

On Wall Street: All Reward, No Risk [via]

Advance to the Previous / Next Gmail Message After Archiving or Deleting

In Gmail, you will be brought back to the Inbox after an email is archived or deleted. To change this behaviour, you can enable the "Auto-advance" in Gmail Labs. The default option is to go to the older conversation, but you can also ask Gmail to send you to the newer conversation if you usually read the oldest messages first.

New in Labs: Auto-advance to the next conversation [via]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Messy November

Deadlines and more deadlines from work and school. The worst is project launch date falls on the same day as my exam's, which means I can forget preparing for my exam on the eve of that fateful day.

Sigh.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Warren Buffett view on investing on Gold

Read for yourself on gold investing for value investors.

"Look," he says, with his usual confident laugh. "You could take all the gold that's ever been mined, and it would fill a cube 67 feet in each direction. For what that's worth at current gold prices, you could buy all -- not some -- all of the farmland in the United States. Plus, you could buy 10 Exxon Mobils, plus have $1 trillion of walking-around money. Or you could have a big cube of metal. Which would you take? Which is going to produce more value?"

Warren Buffett: Forget gold, buy stocks [via]

After Froyo, it will be Gingerbread

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TweetDeck CEO backlash against Jobs

Steve Jobs made some direct attacks on Google and Research in Motion in defence of their own "closed" strategy during Apple's earnings call. In his talk, he mentioned TweetDeck was in a nightmare trying to create applications for Android. In the following article, TweetDeck CEO rebutted and said there is never any mention on the "difficulties" in developing applications for Android.

Looks like Apple has made yet another enemy.

TweetDeck CEO continues backlash against Jobs [via]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Got his first ever successful IPO

After more than 3 years, I managed to get my first successful IPO using ATM, though only 1,000 out of 2,000 Global Logistics Properties Trust were allocated.

The other popular coming Mapletree Industrial Trust was unsuccessful and full 100% already refunded. This means, I am only left with 1,000 out of 7,000 of MIT shares gotten during placement period. Hopefully this counter will perform as well as GLP when it gets its turn to list on 21st Oct. GLP has since rose more than 20% since its debut.

COOL!

Steve Jobs Slams RIM, Google

Below is a transcript of Apple's Steve Jobs' remarks, in Apple's earnings call. His remark lasted about ten minutes. During that time, Jobs rebutted characterizations that the Apple iOS platform is "closed," and positioned Google's Android platform as "fragmented".

Audio:


Transcript:
Thanks Peter [Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer]. Hi, everybody. As most of you know, I usually don't participate in Apple earnings calls, since you're in such capable hands with Peter and Tim.

But I just couldn't help dropping by for our first $20 billion quarter. I would like to chat about a few things, and stay for the rest of the Q&A, if that's all right.

First, let me discuss iPhone. We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, which represents a 91 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter, and was well ahead of IDC's latest published estimate of 64 percent growth for the global smartphone market in the September quarter. And it handily beats RIM's 12.1 million BlackBerrys sold, in their most recent quarter ending in August. We've now passed RIM. And I don't see them catching up to us in the foreseeable future.
They must look beyond their area of strength and comfort, into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it's going to be a challenge for them, to create a competitive platform, and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple's App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.

But what about Google? Last week, Eric Schmidt reiterated that they are activating 200,000 Android devices per day, and have around 90,000 apps in their app store. For comparison, Apple has activated 275,000 iOS devices per day, on average, for the past 30 days, with a peak of almost 300,000 iOS devices per day, on a few of those days. And Apple has 300,000 apps on its App Store.

Unfortunately, there is no solid data on how many Android phones are shipped each quarter. We hope that manufacturers will soon start reporting the number of Android handsets they ship each quarter, but today that just isn't the case. Gartner reported that about 10 million Android phones were shipped in the June quarter, and we'll wait to see if iPhone or Android was the winner in the most recent quarter.

Google loves to characterize Android as "open," and iOS and iPhone as "closed". We find this a bit disingenuous, and clouding the real difference between our two approaches. The first thing that most of think about when we hear the word "open" is Windows, which is available on a variety of devices. Unlike Windows, however, where most PCs have the same user interface and run the same apps, Android is very fragmented.

Many Android OEMs, including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user's left to figure it all out. Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same.

Twitter client TwitterDeck [Editor's Note: TweetDeck] recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than a hundred different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware/software iterations presents developers with a daunting challenge. Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets, running selected Android versions. And this is for handsets that have been shipped less than 12 months ago. Compare this with iPhone, where there are two versions of the software, the current and the most recent predecessor, to test against.

In addition to Google's own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon, and Vodafone, have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android. So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among and find the app they want, and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple's integrated app store which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every Apple iPhone. Apple's app store has over three times as many apps as Google's marketplace, and offers developers one-stop shopping to get apps to market easily, and to get paid swiftly.
You know, even if Google were right, and the real issue is closed versus open, it is worthwhile to remember that open systems don't often win. Take Microsoft's Plays For Sure music strategy which used the PC model, which Android did as well, of separating the software components from the hardware components.

Even Microsoft finally abandoned this open strategy in favor of copying Apple's integrated approach with its Zune player, unfortunately leaving their OEMs empty-handed in the process.

Google flirted with an integrated approach with their Nexus One phone. In reality, we think the open versus closed argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue: which is, what's best for the customer – fragmented versus integrated.

We think Android is very, very fragmented, and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple strives to the integrated model so that the user isn't forced to be the systems integrator. We see tremendous value at having Apple, rather than our users, be the systems integrator. We think this a huge strength of our approach compared to Google's: when selling the users who want their devices that just work, we believe that integrated will trump fragmented every time.

And we also think that our developers could be more innovative if they can target a singular platform, rather than a hundred variants. They can put their time into innovative new features, rather than testing on hundreds of different handsets. So we are very committed to the integrated approach no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as closed. We are confident that it will triumph over Google's fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as open.

Second, I'd like to comment on the avalanche of tablets poised to enter the market in the coming months.

First, it appears to be just a handful of credible entrants, not exactly an avalanche. Second, almost all of them use 7-inch screens, as compared to iPad's near 10-inch screens. Let's start there.

One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a 7-inch screen is only 45 percent as large as iPad's 10-inch screen. You heard me right – just 45 percent as large.

If you take an iPad and hold it upright in portrait view, and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway on the screen, the screen on the 7-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the iPad's display. This size isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion.

Once you increase the resolution of the display to make up some of the difference, it's meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size. Apple has done extensive user testing on user interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are physical limits on how close you can put elements on a touch screen before users can not reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think that 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

Third, every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablets can compete with the mobility of a smartphone. It's the ease of fitting into your pocket or purse. Its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pocket, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in their pocket is clearly the wrong tradeoff. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners – too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.
Fourth, almost all of these new tablets use Android software, but even Google is telling these tablet manufacturers not to use their current release, Froyo, for tablets and to wait for a special tablet release next year. What does this mean when your software supplier says not to use your software in their tablet, and what does this mean when you ignore them and use it anyway?

Fifth, iPad now has over 35,000 apps on the App Store. This new crop of tablets will have near zero.

And sixth and last, our potential competitors are having a tough time coming close to iPad's price point, even with their far smaller, less-expensive screens. The iPad incorporates everything we've learned about building high-value products… for iPods and Macs. We create our own A4 chip, our own software, our own battery chemistry, our own enclosure, our own everything. And this results in an incredible product at a great price.

The proof of this will be in the price of our competitors' products, which will likely offer less, for more. These are among the reasons that we think that the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA: Dead on Arrival. Their manufacturers' will learn the painful lesson that their tablets will be too small, and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with a …product. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.

Interesting Quote

If the blog is a soloist, the wiki is the orchestra.
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kinstant home page for kindle-friendly websites

Kinstant is a start page for the experimental web browser in current generation Kindles that offers crisp and easy to navigate layout well suited for the Kindle's monochromatic screen and limited navigation buttons.

kinstant http://kinstant.com/

Monday, October 18, 2010

Social Media Search & Data Mining Primed To Out-Google Google

Interesting article on social media and direction towards Web 3.0.

Social Media Search & Data Mining Primed To Out-Google Google [via]

Windows Phone 7: Live from the Device Launch

Singapore IPOs: Is multiple applications for IPO permitted?

An interesting article on IPO.

Is multiple applications for IPO permitted? [via]

Google Personalized Birthday Doodle for YOU

From Google official blog, Google will give you a little surprise in the form of a doodle when you visit Google search page on your birthday. Of course you need to first indicate your birth date on your Google profile and be logged onto Google before seeing this special treat.

This week in search 10/16/10 [via]

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Downloaded first eBook: Project Gutenberg (1971-2009)

Project Gutenberg (1971-2009)

Author: Marie Lebert
Published: 2009
Language: English
Wordcount: 6,023 / 26 pg
Genres: Essays, History


Excerpt:
Project Gutenberg Canada (PGC) was founded on July 1st, 2007, on Canada Day, by Michael Shepard and David Jones. Distributed Proofreaders Canada (DPC) started production in December 2007. There were 100 ebooks in March 2008, in English, French and Italian.

Project Gutenberg sent out 15 million ebooks via CDs and DVDs by snail mail in 2007. A new DVD released in July 2006 included 17,000 ebooks. CD and DVD files have also been generated as ISO files (since 2005) to be downloaded for burning CDs or DVDs on a CD or DVD writer.

Project Gutenberg reached 25,000 books in April 2008. eBook #25000 was "English Book Collectors" (1902), by William Younger Fletcher.

If Gutenberg allowed everyone to get print books at little cost, Project Gutenberg has allowed everyone to get a library of electronic books at no cost on a cheap device like a USB drive.

In February 2009, there were 32,500 Project Gutenberg (PG) ebooks, including the ebooks at PG Australia (1,750

McDonalds at Bukit Merah to close down

Remember the times .. Good old fond memories there .. Sad sad sad ..

U.K. banks banned from selling credit insurance

Barclays Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and other U.K. lenders will be banned from selling most types of credit insurance at the same time they sell the underlying financial products, an antitrust regulator said.

The ban is to ensure that the consumer can get products at the best market rate by shopping around and not being pestered by banks selling expensive credit insurance. Hope such measures can be implemented in other countries e.g. Singapore.

U.K. Banks Banned From Some Credit Insurance Sales [via]

Experts-Exchange BBQ Fundraiser for Ethiopia

From here.

Fundraiser raises enough to build second well

This past month experts "exchanged” earned rank t-shirts for a donation to help build a well in Ethiopia. In all, more than 750 t-shirt redemptions were donated and, thanks to the efforts of our generous experts, a large well will be built near a school in the Senale Tabia region.

Inspired by the t-shirt charity challenge, the Experts Exchange home office hosted a fundraiser BBQ last Friday, September 24th. We partnered again with WaterRun, a locally-based non-profit dedicated to providing clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education to those in need around the world. WaterRun founder Ryan Broersma was on hand to answer questions while family, friends and neighbors gathered to share a meal and contribute to the cause.

In addition to the barbecue, many employees and guests participated in “The Water Challenge.” Each person carried a plastic jug full of water weighing 45 pounds around a 1/8-mile course through the parking lot, simulating the work women and children of Ethiopia often do up to 48 times per day. Many participants struggled and found it quite difficult to carry the jug the entire way.

“It is much harder than it looks to carry that jug…my arms and body got tired very quickly,” said one employee. “I couldn’t imagine having to carry it for three miles—makes me appreciate getting water out of the tap.”

Check out a video of folks walking the course here.

The barbecue was a success, generating enough funds to build a second well in the Senale Tabia region. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Here is a little more information about the specific water well we’re funding:

Village: Gerebmkurate
District: Hinatolo-Wajirat, Senale Tabia
Region: Southeastern zone of the Tigray
GPS Reading: North - 13 degrees 01’56.9, East - 39 degrees 42’22.5, Elevation – 2255m

Why was Temasek Review down?

Why Temasek Review was down few days ago? Because Temasek Holdings want Temasek Review to change its name.

TR asked to change name [via]

Keep Gmail account safe with Gmail security checklist

Gmail new security checklist can be found here.

Help keep your account safe with the Gmail security checklist [via]

Brian Wong & Jacelyn Tay Love Video - Two are better than one

Friday, October 15, 2010

Singapore Dream Team Song 1993!!!

Back then, the Singapore Lions played mainly for passion, not for money. Gone were days.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Validate URL using regular expression

Code snippet to validate URL using regular expression in VB.NET language.

Dim s As String = "((https?|ftp|gopher|telnet|file|notes|ms-help):((//)|(\\\\))+.+\.+[\w\d:#@%/;$()~_?\+-=\\\.&']+)"
Dim o As New System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex(s)
If o.IsMatch("http://www.google.com") Then
    'GOOD
Else
    'BAD
End If

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mapletree Industrial Trust Pre-IPO

Manage to get only 1,000 shares instead of 7,000 due to overwhelming interest. 1,000 shares is really very little but then I still decide to take it.

Shall get more of it from IPO and open market soon.

Nice quote

Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry the person you think you can't live without.
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What is Social Networking? Explained in Plain English

Stacey Kramer: The best gift I ever survived

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wife of Liu Xiaobo ‘Detained’

The Chinese government is detaining Liu Xia, the wife of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiabao, at her Beijing apartment. She has not been charged with a crime, however, she is no longer allowed to leave her apartment.

Wife of Liu Xiaobo ‘Detained’ [via]

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mapletree Industrial Trust IPO date

Mapletree Industrial Trust's public offer opens October 13 with listing due on October 21.

Global Logistics Properties (GLP) IPO date

GLP's public offer opens on October 11 and listing is scheduled for October 18.

How the Stock Market Works

Interesting cartoon

Google Is Testing Cars That Drive Themselves

Google is really into everything!

Google Is Testing Cars That Drive Themselves [via]

Doubt mutual funds

When the stock market is appreciating, mutual funds don't seem to rise as much in tandem. I am seriously in doubt how mutual funds work and the transparency of such instruments. Understanding or even finding out formula on its expense is a puzzle to me.

10.10.10

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Follow Gmail on Twitter

Find Gmail on Twitter now at http://twitter.com/gmail

Follow Gmail on Twitter [via]

Final page impressions for 8 Oct is at 3,121

So much for so little

Crap! Spent 2 full nights writing key takeways for McKinsey Case 2 but the weightage is so little! Though I got 3/3, I still have to grumble!

Top 10 pages for past 7 days

Video - ACJC Birthday Girl Tied Up and Tortured
2,508 Pageviews

ACJC Birthday Girl Tied Up and Tortured
278 Pageviews

Dr Lee Wei Ling - Why I choose to remain single
157 Pageviews

Eulogy by MM Lee Kwan Yew: The last farewell to hi...
58 Pageviews

Gmail's Threaded Conversation View can now be disa...
30 Pageviews

Li Shengwu is the World's best debater
27 Pageviews

Madam Kwa Geok Choo : 1920 - 2010
17 Pageviews

Unusual blog activity investigated
16 Pageviews

Display Chinese on Windows Mobile
15 Pageviews

Forum on the topic of "Profitable Group - is it cr...
14 Pageviews

GLP next

Mapletree Industrial Trust IPO secured by private invite. Global Logistics Properties Trust IPO now priced at $1.96. Shall snap up this mega launch.

2,453 hits for 8 oct

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.2

1,857 hits so far for the day !

Singaporeans are really so interested in juicy news. For the past 3 hours, I am seeing 1,000 hits!

Social Graph - What does Facebook publish about you and your friends?

Simply type your Facebook friendly username or ID to see what does Facebook publish about you and your friends. I remember posting this before but there is no harm re-posting again :)

http://zesty.ca/facebook/

Cool tool to search for social media conversations

Simply type someone's name and you will see the person's social media conversations.

http://www.whostalkin.com/

Friday, October 08, 2010

Google Trends Oct 8, 2010 - ACJC Top !

Unusual blog activity investigated

It is due to a sudden search for ACJC as a search term after overwhelming interest to get more information on recent scandal involving a pair of ACJC lesbians caught making out on a video. My ACJC-related post titled "Video - ACJC Birthday Girl Tied Up and Tortured", dated all the way back to year 2008, become a hit for the past 2 days.

Unusual site count on my blog

Blog received 846 views today and 498 views yesterday ... Erm .. Unusually high as compared to avg 120. Some auto bot ping ?

Microsoft Office Labs 2019

A lot of time will be spent daydreaming.

Google Instant Adds EVEN More Keyboard Shortcuts

When Google Instant was launched, it came with several useful keyboard shortcuts to enable search to be more efficient. Today, Google Instant is improved yet again to bring the world even more keyboard shortcuts.

Earlier shortcuts:

  • Tab/Right arrow: pick the first suggestion
  • Up/Down arrow: select another suggestion from the suggested list
  • Right arrow while selecting a suggestion: I'm feeling lucky
  • Enter/Esc/Delete: ignore the suggestions and find the results for your query
Today, you can navigate through search results by simply using your UP and DOWN arrow keys! Once you found what you want, hit the ENTER key.

Nielsen: Android Is Most Popular Smartphone OS

According to Nielsen, Android is now the most popular smartphone OS ahead of Apple's iOS and RIM's BlackBerry. This statistics is based on the number of smartphones acquired in the month of August 2010.

What are ETFs and why is it beneficial to buy them?

An interesting article to explain the differences between Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Mutual Funds.

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Interesting piece of article. Do read the comments posted by readers too.

Google doodle with a video embed - John Lennon Doodle


In celebration of John Lennon's 70th birthday anniversary, Google unveiled a doodle with an embedded video. The video will only play once clicked.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Madam Kwa Geok Choo : 1920 - 2010

Lifted from TodayOnline

It was 1947. Miss Kwa Geok Choo, 27, one of Malaya's top brains, was just two months into law school at Cambridge University when the Christmas holiday started.

The plan was for her and boyfriend, Lee Kuan Yew, 24, to spend some weeks in Stratford-on-Avon and visit the theatre famed for William Shakespeare's plays.

What no one else knew was that the couple was heading to the quaint English town with a newly-bought platinum ring - to be secretly married. It would stay a secret between them for the next 51 years, even after they officially tied the knot here in 1950.

It also marked the start of a union ahead of its time: That between a man and a woman who saw each other as intellectual equals and forged an uncommon partnership in nation-building.

On Saturday, Madam Kwa - soulmate of Singapore's first Prime Minister and mother to its third - died at the age of 89.

"Choo", as Mr Lee, 87, affectionately called her, was his "wife and partner". Just how significantly she filled that latter role, however, was not well known to the public for years due to the low profile she deliberately kept - until the 1998 release of Mr Lee's memoirs, The Singapore Story, published by Singapore Press Holdings and Times Editions.

It was then that her understated influence on the Singapore Story first emerged.

Never-before-revealed material showed that during the drafting of Singapore's agreement to separate from Malaysia in 1965, it was Mrs Lee, a conveyancing lawyer, who wrote up the bilateral contract concerning water supply.

Mr Lee had wanted the water agreements with Johor to be included in the Separation Agreement. He said in his memoirs: "I was too hard-pressed, and told Choo, who was a good conveyancing lawyer, to find a neat way to achieve this."

The paragraphs drafted by Mrs Lee became part of the Malaysian Constitution, guaranteeing Singapore's water supply from Johor.

A founding member of the People's Action Party, Mrs Lee delivered her first and only party political broadcast during the 1959 general election, urging women to vote for the party. She also acted as her husband's intermediary in his dealings with the British governor and a plenipotentiary from the Malayan Communist Party. It was also she who had been proof-reading, even correcting, Mr Lee's speeches since 1950.

Naturally, Mrs Lee helped during the three-year production of the 680-page memoirs, staying up with him into the wee hours of the morning to review the drafts or simply to keep him company.

She was "one powerful critic and helper", demanding "precise, clear and unambiguous language", Mr Lee wrote in the preface of the book, which was dedicated to her. "Choo was a tower of strength, giving me constant emotional and intellectual support".



'A certain intuition'

The capable Peranakan woman also provided what Mr Lee once dubbed his "insurance policy" that freed him to play his role in newly-independent Singapore: A wife who could be a sole breadwinner and raise their three young children at the same time.

When he became Prime Minister in 1959, he left the management of their law firm, Lee and Lee, in the hands of his wife and his younger brother, the late Mr Dennis Lee Kim Yew. The trio had set up the business in 1955.

"There is no doubt she must have been of great help and comfort to him in his stressful but successful political career. If I may say so, Mrs Lee has been working in tandem with (him) for the good of Singapore," the late Mr Lim Kim San, a former Cabinet Minister, said in 2003.

While her knowledge of political affairs was not on par with that of her husband, according to the latter, he valued her spot-on gut feel about people's characters.

This, Mr Lee noted in 2004, was a trait inherited by their eldest child, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: "He picked up from me a certain way of thinking, certain logic, certain cut of mind. He has got from his mother a facility with words, and a certain intuition."

That intuition - and her wit - was evident on a September night in 1970 in Moscow where Mr and Mrs Lee, along with Foreign Minister S Rajaratnam, were invited to visit by then Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, Mr Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin.

Staying at the guest dacha, the couple suspected their rooms were bugged, Mr Lee wrote in the second volume of his memoirs From Third World to First published by Singapore Press Holdings and Times Editions.

And Mrs Lee remarked: "Strange, they paid so much attention to me. They must think I have a great deal of influence over you. They gave very little attention to Raja."

The next day, Mr Lee recounted, Mr Rajaratnam received much more attention than his wife from their Russian hosts.

Mr Lee added: "She has a keen intuition when judging people. While I make up my mind more on analysis and reason, she decides more on 'feel' and has an uncanny knack of sensing the real feelings and positions of a person behind the smiles and the friendly words. She was often right about who not to trust, although she could not quite explain why - maybe it was the expression on a person's face, the way he smiled, the look in his eyes or body language."

Mrs Lee's intuition was proven correct on several occasions, including the failed merger between Singapore and Malaysia.

Said Mr Lee: "She did tell me that she didn't think Malaysia would work. She didn't think it would work because, she said: 'You know the way they do things and we'll never change them'."

Then, there was her resilience. Within two months of the severe stroke in London in 2003, the octogenarian was back to most of her routine activities and appearing by her husband's side at public events.

As she had always done since their children got older, she continued to accompany him on his trips abroad. This included a three-nation trip to the Middle East in March 2007. Their loving relationship, when unveiled in glimpses through Mr Lee's memoirs, mesmerised the public. Two incidents stood out.

One was their secret marriage. The second concerned a bold request made a year earlier, during a New Year's Eve party in 1946, before Mr Lee left for England.

By then, the two Raffles College students had been meeting regularly at the home of Mr Lee's schoolmate, Miss Kwa's brother-in-law - the two men had a gum-making venture going.

She was older than him by nearly three years, and had caught his attention in 1940 when she topped the school in English and Economics, leaving him a horrified, distant second. (Later in life, Mr Lee would unabashedly highlight his wife's brilliance. Not only was the daughter of a banker No 1 in the 1936 Senior Cambridge Exam for the whole of Malaya, she also vied with him for the Queen's Scholarship to study in Britain.)

Neither cared for candle-lit dinners

In 1944, Mr Lee first asked her out on his 21st birthday for a dinner at a Chinese restaurant at the Great World, an amusement park.

Mr Lee said in his memoirs: "True, she was escorted by her brother-in-law, but in the Singapore of that era, if a girl accepted an invitation to a young man's 21st birthday dinner, it was an event not without significance."

Even in the midst of the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, those courtship days, Mr Lee recalled, were the "happiest" of his life. Hence, even though the ambitious young man was set on leaving for England to read law after the war ended, he wanted to know if she would make a long-term commitment.

So, at a party, he led her out of the house into the garden facing the sea. Would she wait three years for his return? She agreed, later describing his impressive "powers of persuasion" as what she admired most about him. (As it turned out, they had only a year to wait before she joined him on a scholarship at Cambridge, where she graduated with First Class Honours.)

The incident, recorded in Mr Lee's memoirs, fired the imagination of certain media agencies that added frills such as a romantic "balcony" scene. Exactly, in fact, the kind of "big fuss" Mrs Lee in 1998 told an interviewer she feared would be made over revelations of their early relationship.

"That would give me goose pimples," she said, confessing her initial reluctance to having their secret marriage written about in her husband's memoirs.

Their relationship, though loving, was not the sentimental sort. "Neither of us would care for candle-lit dinners," she said in another rare interview. Mr Lee once summed up a life partner thus: "You either have the Western view: You marry the woman you love. Or the Eastern view: You love the woman you marry. I tried to match both and I think it wasn't a bad choice."

Like the hybrid, white orchid that was one of only two things the intensely private woman would give her name to - the other was a scholarship for law students - Madam Kwa Geok Choo was of a rare breed.

Busy night again

Shall work on 3 4 different projects later tonight. God bless me.

Friday, October 01, 2010

jQuery getBoundingClientRect syntax error

You may experience a javascript error complaining on the line
var d=b.getBoundingClientRect(),

A solution to the above error is to replace it with the following
try{var d=b.getBoundingClientRect();}catch(ex){var d={top:0,left:0,right:0,bottom:0};}

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