Jie Ning

OELP Re-entry

1.     Cost of living
(a) Group post

b) When I compared with the cost of a house, a car, and even daily necessities, I find that most of the items are extremely cheap, much more cheaper than the ones in Singapore. As I exclaimed that it was very cheap, my buddy was shocked thoroughly - her eyes widened and her mouth repeated after me," CHEAP!? It is not at least cheap! This is one of the most expensive place to buy a car! " While I explain how much it cost in Singapore, she couldn't believe that we still had to pay for car parks, ERP or road tax and the petrol per liter cost twice as much in Taiwan. Although she feels that the cost in the different areas varies greatly, some cheaper and some more expensive but nonetheless, the most expensive one will never be more than what is in Singapore and also learn to be satisfied easily, instead of complaining how expensive one is. My buddy also told me that her mum told her not to buy anything in Singapore unless it is required as the stuff in Singapore are very expensive. This shows how sensitive they are to the money that they are spending and not very satisfied with the expensive cost of living in their homeland.

2. Education
(a) Group post
b) From my observations about their lessons and style of teaching, I find them quite different from us. Firstly, all their lessons were conducted in Mandarin and their teacher was very kind and understanding as she make jokes and remind them to concentrate during lessons, making the lesson seems fun. Fortunately for me, although the lesson was conducted in Mandarin, I can still understand what the teacher was teaching. When we were ask whether we have learnt what they are learning now, we replied yes and they were all shocked. I've also realized that the teachers' English is not the same standard as us so when we want to explain something in English, they might not understand. It is quite challenging for some of us to communicate with our buddies as our buddies only have limited English and we also have limited Chinese, so we will tend to use simple English and Mandarin to communicate. However, they are still some words we cannot express accurately and this is what I think we need to improve on. Secondly, their lessons were very engaging and lively as they were not shy to ask questions and make jokes since the teacher will not be mad and scold them at all. To reconfirmed that the lessons are always like this even when we were not here, I ask the seniors there and they said the lessons have always been like this. I am utterly surprised because over here, I believe teachers would want students to listen attentively in class and only ask questions after the teacher have done lecturing and I find the Taiwanese way of conducting lessons is very effective. This way, students can clarify their doubts anytime during the lesson so that they will not get confused half way and getting more confused as the teacher progresses into the next portion of the lesson.

c) These are all about a Taiwanese student life I found out from my buddy. According to my buddy, they start lessons at 7.15 and end school at around 5. When I commented that it was very long without CCA, my buddy was shocked to know that I said very long because they thought our class ended later than them but when I explained that included CCA, she then understood our education system more. Their classes also had roles like us, just that they were fewer roles. As for tuition, it is quite common there, just like Singapore. Most of the students will attend tuition no matter how strong or weak their subject is and this is what I find quite competitive but one thing I want to ask is why don't the students listen attentively in class so that they don't have to waste money to sign up for tuition as I believe that what the tuition is teaching is the same as what the school teacher is teaching. The syllabus is the same so being able to understand everything taught in class is no need for tuition. I find that their education system is somehow like ours but a bit different. Just like " same same but different ". My buddy main purpose in life is to become an ambassador so she has to master her languages well, especially foreign languages which includes English and her favorite French. It is really meaningful to have a goal in life so at least there's something that you work for.
 
3. Monuments
 
a)  Postcard:
Hey mummy and daddy, How are you? I'm fine. Today we went to many iconic places, some of them were around for many years and one of them, the An Ping Fort has been here since the World War 2. Over there, there's a 4 to 5 stores high An Ping Fort tower on an elevated platform and you can see the overview of the whole An Ping Fort. Of course, the scenery is fabulous! And the scenery is the one that impressed me the most. In Singapore, everywhere is full of high rise buildings, even standing at the roof top of these buildings, you wouldn't see such an amazing view! So far, OELP has been very fun except the previous days when we were at the museum. Even though it was not really entertaining, but we learnt a lot about the Taiwan Hakka history. Worst of all, it was raining the whole trip and my socks were totally wet by the end of the day. Don't worry about me and take care!

XOXO
Jie Ning

b) The second part of the task, a poem! It's not really well done though...
爬上四五层的安平古堡
站在此地,望向四处
前方就像一堆箱子填满了宝
其实这些都是一栋栋矮屋
身后的海面当日是多么的残暴
炸弹到处都是,天空顿时堆满了雾
军人每天都得吃饱
准备保护每栋屋
我们现在生活在安全的古堡
必应珍惜感谢平安。

4. Personal Daily Reflection  

Reflections starts from Day 2
Day 2:

It was the first morning in Taiwan and we had our breakfast at a dining area in Ten Drums Village, even though it was called a village, it didn't seem like a village and wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Today's itinerary was to go to 3 museums, sounds pretty boring right? Just as what I thought it would be too. We left ten drums immediately after we ate, straight for Mei Nong Hakka Culture Museum and Mei Nong Folk village. I was really surprise to know that the Taiwanese would built so many museums to preserve their history, even in Singapore we do not have so many cultural museums. Over there at the Mei Nong Hakka culture Museum, we learnt that the Hakkas are about 90% of the population in Mei Nong and some of their traditional items are the paper umbrella and the blue blouse that everyone wears. Not only that, in the olden days they had the Word-worshipping paper incineration. At a certain day in a month, the paper collector will come to every household to collect "wisdom papers" meaning papers that have words on them. After collecting everyone's papers, they will bring them to the 敬字亭, which means " the respecting words tower " and burn them inside as a form of respect to wisdom and showing that they don't burn them so informally like other rubbish, instead burnt separately. The tour guide who brought us around this museum looks really old and this shows that even the elderly wants to do their part in preserving their history. I am really touched by the elderly efforts as they should be resting at home and enjoying their golden age but they sacrifice their time to come be a tour guide and seems to be enjoying while recalling the pleasant things that happened when they were younger as teenagers. We also went to Kaohsiung Hakka Culture museum and Kaohsiung Museum of History. The Kaohsiung Museum of History used to be a place for the officials to come and have meetings inside but then after the World War 2, it was rebuilt as a history museum. This building is really old as it was first built in 1938 and is still present now. After having our dinner in a nearby restaurant serving Hakka dishes, we went to a local supermarket to complete our #TripTask1 question 3 and of course buying some snacks for ourselves :P Shortly after, we went to Liu He night market which we were all anticipating even before the trip!!!! Because visiting Taiwan street markets is the most famous and number 1 thing to do in Taiwan. Most of us bought the infamous pineapple cake 凤梨酥 and many small snacks 小吃. It was indeed a fulfilling night that all of us had!
 




 

Day 3:

Today will be the day that we are leaving Ten Drums village and will be checking in to our second accommodation, Metro hotel later in the evening. The very first activity that we had was drum lessons! The lesson was really enriching and teachers even joined in! (( including Mr Gay hehe )) Throughout the lesson, our tour guide Uncle Terry took many photos of our happy faces and we could tell that he was delighted as we were enjoying ourselves. The tour guide for Ten Drums village also brought us around the whole area and explaining to us the different special icons situated in Ten Drums village. After that, we went to a souvenir store and then to watch a performance specially prepared. The performance was astounding and looked like the performers had trained for very long and extremely hard to put up such a perfect performance. Soon, we have already checked out of ten drums and were on our way to the next destination, the An Ping Fort. An Ping Fort was the first fort in An Ping and was originally the administrative centre of the Dutch regime. Then we went to the Eternal Golden castle, also situated in An Ping, it was the defensive castle for safe guarding the coast and defending Japanese invasions. Shortly after, we went to visit the Chihkan tower, which was also our last stop for the day. However, due to the wet weather, we couldn't go far and stayed under shelter most of the time. I am really surprised to know that there  were still so many monuments being kept in Taiwan, I suppose in Singapore, we don't have such monuments which history dates back to the 15th and 17th century. I think I am lucky enough to still be able to see these buildings that were built in the 15th century as I believe most of them in the whole world would have been knocked down.
 

Day 4:

After the first night in Metro hotel, we were greeted by 丁校长 and 刘秘书 outside the hotel straight after breakfast to bring us to our sister school, 正心高中 which is not far away. Since it was the first day in 正心, we had to perform the performance that we prepared before hand to them. The students applauded ecstatically as we were performing and I was happy to know that they enjoyed our performance very much as we had put in a lot of efforts into preparing this performance. Similarly, we also enjoyed the performance they had put up for us, including Wushu, choir, etc. After that, We were separated into our different groups to have lessons with 高一特休班 which is Sec 4 Special class in Singapore. For my group, we were arranged to go to a History class. Fortunately for us, they specially lowered the standards of the lessons today and I feel that they were too hospitable to have sacrifice their normal lessons for us. However, for them it may be a disadvantage as they will have to skip a normal lesson for us and they may be lagging behind the other classes. One thing I noticed about this school when I was having interaction with my buddy earlier before the lessons was that for Secondary levels which they call 国中 only had three levels and from Secondary 4 onwards, there are also three levels but called 高中. For 国中 and 高中, there are different kinds of uniform, just like our school. The separation of classes between 国中 and 高中 are also different like ours, 国中 is separated into the normal class, art class and music class. When they first entered the school, all of them have to choose either to take the Art test or the Music test, once they have passed the test they can enter the class of their choice or back out. Those who failed and backed out will be in the normal class. All the classes are separated into girls and guys class so there will be no mixed gender in a class. However, for 高中 the special classes are of mixed gender while the normal classes are also separated into the different genders. Their lessons were very engaging and lively as they were not shy to ask questions and make jokes since the teacher will not be mad and scold them at all. To ensure that the lessons are always like this even when we were not here, I ask the seniors there and they said the lessons have always been like this. I am utterly surprised because over here, I believe teachers would want students to listen attentively in class and only ask questions after the teacher have done lecturing and I find the Taiwanese way of conducting lessons is very effective. This way, students can clarify their doubts anytime during the lesson so that they will not get confused half way and getting more confused as the teacher progresses into the next portion of the lesson. After getting to know more about the school from my buddy, we make our way to the Soy Sauce factory. In the evening, we all went to a restaurant near our hotel to have dinner with our buddies' family. As for my buddy, since her family lives in 台中 which is around 2 hours car drive away couldn't make it, so I only had dinner with my buddy and two other families. Even though I was not the buddy of their child, they took care of us (( Classmates and I at the table )) whole heartedly by serving us food first before serving themselves. Even though we were told to have some table manners by letting the elder to have the food first, they insist on us taking the food first and this is something I really appreciate about too. During the dinner, I talked to my buddy about #TripTask2 and I managed to find out about their study life. ( 2. education part C ) At first when the dinner started, all of us were very awkward with one another and we held small short conversations. Fortunately after rounds of " warm up talks ", we managed to have a long and informative talks. We were mostly talking about schools, the political system in both countries and also about our own families.
 







Day 5:

The first stop for today is a visit to Yunlin Cake Tower Café and we will also be having DIY towel making! As I love to do DIY stuff, I was extremely excited for this activity too! Initially I thought we were going to a cake shop and make towels but I was seeing no connection between them. As what I've not expected, we went to a cake towel shop selling towels folded into shapes of cakes and adorable animals! I also thought that making the DIY towel making will require us to sew and we will probably be having a lot of difficulties doing so. However, the DIY towel making was just an easy and fun lesson as we were taught on how to fold a towel into a cat shape. Also, we learnt about the different types of towels, how to maintain our towels and how the towels are made. It was indeed an enriching lesson and activity we had in the morning! Shortly after we had our lunch, we went to Yunlin puppet theatre museum where we learnt about the different puppets and the meaning behind making of these puppets. We even watched a realistic and comedic puppet show. It was about how littering can harm our environment and ourselves, this is a consistent problem in all countries, even though we are called the green city. However, as compared to Taiwan, I would find Singapore a cleaner place. In Singapore, you can find a litter bin maybe after 300-500 meters and this discourages littering. However, in Taiwan there's hardly any litter bins and I have to keep my rubbish with me until I return to my hotel room. Today's dinner is more special as we had packeted dinner to eat in our rooms since we have to attend a musical put up by 正心 Music class students! We were very fortunate to coincidentally bump into 正心's musical during our only OELP trip to our sister school. Their musical is something like our REVEL FEST and it is quite interesting during the first part of the performance as they used classroom furniture and ladders to make music. The second part of the music was put up by their very own band, separated into the senior band and the junior band and the music was really nice. Uncle Terry was so mesmerized in the music that he even clapped along! I think all of us enjoyed the music today and is really unforgettable.
 




Day 6:

Today will be the last day that we will be going to school and it's only the third day we get to know our buddies better. In the morning, we had very interesting lessons such as Balloon sculpturing, FCE lesson and of course normal lessons. We were separated again, now in terms of gender as we will be going to 国二 classes. For my group, we went to Year 2 Music class and they were having Math lessons. All their lessons were conducted in Mandarin and their teacher was very kind and understanding as she make jokes and remind them to concentrate during lessons, making the lesson seems fun. Fortunately for me, although the lesson was conducted in Mandarin, I can still understand what the teacher was teaching. When we were ask whether we have learnt what they are learning now, we replied yes and they were all shocked. I've also realized that the teachers' English is not the same standard as us so when we want to explain something in English, they might not understand. It is quite challenging for some of us to communicate with our buddies as our buddies only have limited English and we also have limited Chinese, so we will tend to use simple English and Mandarin to communicate. However, they are still some words we cannot express accurately and this is what I think we need to improve on. For the afternoon, I was really anticipating a lot as I was wondering where and what my buddy will bring me to and do. Immediately after lunch, we went straight to a temple in Taizhong by my buddy's parents car and bought a drink called 奶盖. I'm not sure whether Singapore has it but the Taiwan version is really nice. It's tea with butter cream bubbles on top like ice cream. Then we head to our main destination which is Old Street. We bought a lot of Taiwan delicacies such as 凤梨酥太阳饼糖葫芦刨饼 and the most famous ice cream on that street. On the way shopping around, I also bought some 平安符 which can be seen at almost every shop which I believed is very popular in that area. Not only that, I also managed to catch a glimpse of people putting firecrackers. Soon after, we went to 鹿港 and shopped in a 百货公司 and went to the restaurant serving the most famous 珍珠奶茶 to have our dinner. We also went to Muji which was very famous in Taiwan. During my interaction with my buddy, I got to know a lot of delicacies and learn new stuff about Taiwan and I'm really appreciative of that since this is my first trip to Taiwan and I was totally clueless about Taiwan before we started our assignment for OELP. Debriefing questions: 1) Over the past 5 days, what have I learnt? :: Firstly, I learnt about Taiwan's culture, students' life in school and the unforgettable stories my buddy shared with me during the day tour. One thing that really impressed me about my buddy and her mother is that they talked as though they are friends and there's no border between them. My buddy, 张婕儒 can tell her mother about how she was so rebellious in the hostel and planning some evil deeds, including how she's not planning to do her homework, to secretly use another phone and get it confiscated, skipping lessons, etc. and I find it really surprising is that her mother do not reprimand her for having these thoughts, instead she advised her to do what she thinks is right and concentrate on studying to achieve her dream job. However, I would like to say in Singapore, I believe no child would ever say that In front of their parents, least they get a scolding or beating from them. I really hope Singaporean parents could be like Taiwanese parents too, so parents and child can communicate more easily and can understand what their child is doing on social media, in school, etc. instead of like now parents have to try so hard to get their child's social media accounts and stalk them, trying to see what they do online. Secondly, while I was shopping around at the old street, people and cars share the same road and there's hardly any traffic lights around, it may be due to that it is an old street so they want to preserve it but when's there's traffic lights I realized that there were countdown timers. My buddy told me that these timers are to inform the drivers how long they have to wait before the light changes but this is only for big main roads, for small roads it is the types that we have in Singapore. Many times as I was walking on the road, I am being pulled inside by my buddy, I can totally feel the insecurity she has for me as I walk further and further away from the inner side. I can only blame myself for the recklessness. Another thing I feel that's very shocking is that, the cars can just drive right beside you with not more than 6 inches distance. Can you imagine how close it was? I believe in Singapore we can never do this as it is too dangerous and what if there were elderly and the young children, they might be knocked down easily as they are slower in their reactions. Thirdly, the students' life and workload (AKA HOMEWORK) are similar to ours but somehow different. For us, most of the students living in the hostel are the international students but for 正心, their hostel are for everyone even Taiwanese living in Taizhong came to study in 正心 as they claim that it is a very famous school which includes my buddy coming to school too. Those students in the special classes, which are the ones in Art class and Music class do not have FCE lessons so that they will have more time to concentrate on their interest. However for us, we have all range of lessons, from English, Mandarin to Art, Music and FCE lessons and yet we have shorter studying hours. Besides that, we also have CCAs on two days. However, the Taiwanese students do not have CCAs and they only play sports only if they are interested to play during their free time. According to my buddy, their rest time between lessons are about 1 hour and their food are all catered for them which means they do not have a canteen like us. We have 14 stalls in the canteen and a wide variety of food to choose from yet we always complain eating the Same food over and over again, have we actually spared a thought for those who can't even choose what to eat? Therefore, I feel that we should appreciate what we have and instead of complaining, treasure what we have. I believe their stress levels are more than us because they have to memorize 课文单词句子, etc and have mini tests of different subjects almost everyday but one thing that's lucky is that these tests results are not counted in the overall marks and are just for teachers to see whether their students can catch up with what they are teaching. For our school, we have a common test each week and we may have other tests on the same week but these are all counted in our overall marks. Even though they have more tests but they can totally flunk it as it is not as important. However, I feel that even if these tests marks are not counted in the overall marks, students should still do their best in every test. Fourthly, their school breaks are only the summer break and the winter break and they have 2 school semesters but for us since we do not have the four seasons, we have 4 school breaks and are separated into 4 school terms which also means we have more breaks in a year as compared to the Taiwanese students. Finally, I hope that when my buddy comes to Singapore, I will still be able to talk to her like how I was in Taiwan just like old friends chatting with each other.  :2) How has your perspective about life changed? :: I've learnt to treasure the time with my family and to treasure what I have and not brag about things I do not have because for my buddy, even though her family is living in Taiwan but they live in different parts and since my buddy lives in the hostel so she can only see her family during the weekends and the summer and winter breaks. As compared to me, I am much more fortunate because I see my family everyday after and before school. My buddy really values family time as it is not easy for her to have a family outing during weekends since they run a family business. For us however, students will prefer to go out with their friends and classmates instead of going shopping with their parents or even a small trip to the supermarket will be good. As students, we shouldn't only focus on studies but also the quality of time spent with our families. What for when you have such good results and no one close to you celebrating with you? I feel that as Singaporeans, we are already very fortunate. We do not have any severe natural disasters and we are a modernized city. No matter how hard life is, everyone will still at least get 3 meals a day so we shouldn't be bragging about "hey! I don't have that, I want it!" Just because it's popular and everyone has it. Think about things that we have and others don't. Are they just as lucky to just open their mouths and ask for it and they will be granted so easily? Of course not, every family and everyone has their limits. Don't be sad because yours is not comparable to others but be contented because you have it. Secondly, I think we should be thankful for our parents letting us go for this OELP trip. Not many parents would have allowed so easily as they would have considered many things before hand. Without our parents' consent, we wouldn't be here learning so much and experiencing some which couldn't be experienced in Singapore. I hope to give my buddy a new experience here in Singapore as she has never been here before and will learn as much like how I learn about Taiwan.
 
 
Day 7:


It's finally the last day in Taiwan and we will be going back to Singapore from Taoyuan Airport in the north. Before that in the morning, we visited the 921 earthquake museum. There were a lot of damage done and many people passed away as it happened in the wee hours of the morning at 1.47am on September 21,1999 with a 7.3 magnitude. More than 2000 people died and more than NT 300 billion were needed to repair the damaged infrastructures. There was even a part of the earthquake kept inside the museum to show people how much damage was done during the earthquake that caused so many people to die. The museum was built to educate people about how severe the damage was and learn how to escape from these tragedies in the future to prevent more damage. It is really saddening for the families whose loved ones have passed away or missing from the earthquake, so we should be thankful for having no natural disasters in Singapore.


Summary:

In conclusion, I've learnt to cherish what I have and share with others what I have so more people can enjoy the things I have. Also, I've learned more about the Hakka culture and the history of Taiwan. From my experience with my buddy and in school interacting with the students there, I find that there are many things that we have and they don't and of course they have some stuff that we do not have. They were not hesitant to share their things with us, not a least selfish. Their attitude and behavior really shocked me, I never imagined that they were so heart warming even though this is the first time we met each other. By looking at how they treat us, I find that sharing things is also about caring others and making the other party feel happier. Before this trip, I didn't really share my stuff with people that I'm unfamiliar with so now, I've learnt to share what I have to others so more people can be happier and understand that sharing is caring. Besides that, before we start complaining, we should reflect why others don't complain while you or myself complains. This trip was really an eye opener for me as I've never been to Taiwan and this is my first one to Taiwan which is educational.



Gallery walk (what I've learnt)  (18/5/15) 

Group 1: Eternal golden castle
-It was built as a defensive castle against the Japanese troops attacking them.

Group 2: Night market
-Unhygienic and can cause illness
-Fruits and vegetables are not fresh and best not to purchase
-best to buy at least cooked food

Group 3: An Ping Fort
-Semi circle protruding at each side for extra defense

Group 4: 921 Earthquake monument
-7.3 magnitude
-occurred on 21 September, 1.47a.m.

Group 5: 10 drums culture village
-quiet, cozy and comfortable place as it is far way from the busy city

Group 6: An Ping old street
-the first and oldest street in Taiwan


Can we use the Merlion as our national icon? (6/4/15)

I feel that the Merlion can be used our national icon because the original merlion can only be found in Singapore. Even though the merlion is originated from Singapore, many Singaporeans overseas have influenced other countries to have different variations of the Merlion statue, some of these statues can be found in China, Japan and U.S.A. The merlion creation is due to Singapore's history, the lion head represents the legend of discovering Singapore by Sang Nila Utama and thus naming the island, Singapura which means lion city in Malay. The fish tail represents the ancient city of Singapore and represents Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village. No other country in this world has a similar history as ours and it is only right that the Merlion represents us, Singapore. However, I feel that other icons including Changi Airport and Vanda Miss Joaqium cannot represent Singapore as Changi Airport is only an airport and other countries have that as well so it is not significant enough to represent Singapore and that our national flower- Vanda Miss Joaqium the exact same type can be found in other countries as well so I feel that it is not extraordinary enough to be representing Singapore. The Merlion was our national icon from 1964 to 1997 and changed afterwards. I feel that the Merlion should be continued to be used as our National icon as it truly represents us in its hidden meaning.





Reflection on Mr Lee Kuan Yew and golden age of Tang Dynasty (30/3/15) 

During the Tang Dynasty, it was the highest point of the Chinese civilization and was called the golden age of China. At that time, China raised troops and armies to take over the inner Asia, Silk Road was used widely, various kingdoms and states paid tribute to China, they maintained the civil service system of only recruiting scholars through standard examinations, Chinese poetry was very famous then with the most famous poet- Li Bai, the development of woodblock printing was well known and then picked up by other countries. These led to China having a thrive in their trading affairs and continue to prosper.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew, our founding father was somewhat like a "developer" of Singapore's golden age. He had sacrificed his life for building a successful Singapore where we all live in comfortably now. He founded the People's Action Party and then became the first prime minister of  Singapore. He led Singapore through his the merger with Malaysia but the merging eventually failed due to racial strife and political tensions but he and his cabinet was not wavered, they continued to lead Singapore to independence and he believe that we all can make it even without the help of others and having no natural resources. During his term as a Prime Minister, he implemented many things, for example:  English as the common language, maintained bilingualism to preserve our mother tongue cultural identity and no speaking of dialects. He helped turning Singapore into a garden city and enforced on government policies to overcome political corruption, as well as introducing the Corrupt Practises Investigation Bureau. Singapore, being a country with no natural resources, he went to countries all over the world to build good relationships so we could rely on some of their natural resources. Besides that, he also thought of ways to sustain Singapore's water resources when without Malaysia's imported water. These contributions by Mr Lee Kuan Yew helped to changed Singapore from a third world country to a first world country in just about 40 years. By the 21st century, Singapore is a prosperous country and is still continuing Mr Lee Kuan Yew's legacy.
Therefore, when China during the Tang Dynasty and when Singapore was under Mr Lee Kuan Yew's leadership, both countries improved and began to thrive upon success and called on the golden age.




Sentiments and feelings about Suzhou Industrial Park (23/3/15) 

The Suzhou Industrial Park began in 1994 as a bilateral project for Singapore to share industrialisation experiences with China and was backed by late former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and late Chinese strongman Deng Xiaoping. It was chosen to build at Suzhou because of its proximity to the Shanghai financial hub. It occupies a 288 sq km area in eastern Suzhou, about a third of Singapore’s size and 80 sq km belongs to the China-Singapore cooperation zone. Singapore initially held a 65 per cent stake in the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Development Group (CSSD), with the rest by China. Singapore subsequently cut its stake to 35 per cent as it was not earning money since the Suzhou New District was built beside it and China had 100% of share which is more than the share China has for Suzhou Industrial Park and China promoted Suzhou New District to its people instead. However, when China appointed the former manager of Suzhou New District to be Suzhou Industrial Park's vice mayor, it began to earn money one year after Singsoore lowered our stake. It is ranked the second-best industrial park in China and regularly tops developmental indices. It has a range of facilities including housing, retirement village, recreational and senior care facilities, as well as schools including the Suzhou Singapore International School.
It is saddening to know the passing of our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, for he has sacrifice his life for a successful Singapore and is a great teacher to all. He maintained good relationships for Singapore with other countries so Singapore without any natural resources can depend on these relationships to sign contracts to improve our finances and our development. One example is the development of the Suzhou Industrial Park backed up by both late, our Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew with Chinese Strongman Deng Xiaoping. The Suzhou Industrial Park earned money and helped to increase our finance. The success of this park also shows the success of our friendship with China and we thank our late former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew for his dedication and hard work to Singapore. 



Reflection on 2 minute Presentation (9/3/15) 

When I was preparing for this 2 minute speech, it was quite tough because I had to squeeze everything about what I want to say in 2 minutes and I had a lot of things to say since the picture that I chose has many things to talk about. Although during my presentation, I managed to say everything I prepared under 2 minutes but over 1 minutes 30 minutes, but I did not refer to the picture as I presented. Since the picture that I talk about has 49 icons but when I talk about the 5 significant icons, I did not show the audience where the icons are and they probably have to find the icons while I speak and might not concentrate on my speech. Overall, I think that the class presented fairly because many people used their script even though it was encouraged not to use.




Commentary on Group 5 presentation Mr Salesman (21/2/15) 

One thing I feel that is good about the presentation is that they were very fluent during their presentation and explained clearly about their product. However, there's one thing I feel that can be improved is that their idea of losing 1kg for pole dancing 10 minutes is quite unrealistic and they should change it although it is very creative.



Reflect on China’s economic growth and opening up of their country to international trade. Explain the possible implications on Singapore.  (15/2/15) 

China’s economic growth has been decreasing to one of the lowest these few years and is expecting to decrease more for the next few years if no actions are taken. Although China's GDP is second in the world, it is way far behind the first country which is USA estimating about 7 million difference. I think China should have reforms and have a better control and usage of their finance. Firstly, they have to effectively manage the process of rapid credit growth, including less well-regulated shadow banking system. Secondly, pay off their debts slowly. Therefore, reforms are likely to support economic growth.
I feel that it's good that China open up to international trade as other countries such as Singapore and Malaysia can benefit from the products found only in China and the variety of products our citizens can choose from.
Since Singapore's currency is stronger, when we import China's goods, it will naturally become cheaper and when it is sold to citizens, it is also cheaper allowing more import to be done as citizens are buying up cheaper China goods.


Extra research: Is Taiwan part of China? 
Taiwan is part of China according to Taiwan’s and China’s present government.
Initially, The Republic of China, which took control of Taiwan in 1945, ruled mainland China and claimed sovereignty over Mongolia and part of Russia before losing the Chinese Civil War and relocating its government to Taiwan which leads to Taiwan having its government, although Taiwan is part of China but the president and government is doing their part to improve Taiwan.


Dwindling population growth in Singapore(20 years later...) 

In future, Singapore might be taken control by the foreigners and there will an increased number of senior citizens as compared to the younger generation. Nowadays, adults want to concentrate on working and excelling in that field. Most of them are not interested in having children and feel that there is not need at all since they will only give them troubles and need a lot of investments. Even if they were to have children, most of the families now only have one child and the parents are already feeling stressed and burdened by that one child. If they are encouraged to have more children, they may not be able to handle it financially and physically. Furthermore, large groups of foreigners are coming into Singapore to work and study. Some Singaporeans even feel that they are trying to take over our country and fighting with them for job opportunities and even scholarships for students. I feel that the government should implement benefits for having children and assist parents financially to raise the child. This way, I believe that more Singaporeans will consider having children and the population of Singapore may grow. With more Singaporeans in our country, the older generations do not need to be afraid that Singapore will be taken over by the foreigners. Therefore, I feel that Singaporeans have to work hard and think ahead for the next generation.  



Poverty in Singapore

Source: http://therealsingapore.com/content/nea-poor-people-selling-tissue-paper-streets-are-unlicensed-hawkers

Reflections:
This picture shows a disabled elderly man selling tissue papers on a wheelchair. I feel that this elderly man should not be moving around to sell tissue papers as he is unable to walk and may cause a lot of inconvenience, and his children or family members should have been providing for him. Even if his family has financial issues, they should seek help from their MP. At his age, I believe many have already been enjoying their golden years. I always see a lot of elderly people selling tissues, especially near food courts and MRT stations. Although I really pity them, I only helped one of them once and that was when I needed tissue desperately and I have none. To be honest, very few people buy from them and I doubt they can earn much everyday.

Research:
According to the news of this website, it states that the NEA is charging 11 people $120 a year for license to sell tissue papers on the streets. Those not holding on the license and selling tissue papers on the streets can be fined for illegal business. However, I feel that the NEA should not charge those people for selling tissue papers. They are old people and they earn so little everyday hardly making ends meet. That $120 that they use to pay the NEA is a great sum of money for them, if they had not used it to pay for the license, it could have been their savings or spent to buy more food or even make their house more conducive to live in.
From the website, "While NEA claims that they "refer them to the relevant authorities", what exactly is the system in place to protect these needy residents? How does NEA determine who is needy and who is just illegally hawking? Are the 11 people who have actually paid the $120  a year to sell tissue paper not considered to be needy?" If they are not needy, why would they have to bear all the embarrassment everyday just to go out and sell tissue papers for a living? I believe that if someone is illegally hawking, there must be a reason why they are doing this, so before the NEA makes any decision, they should always clarify before confirming their actions.



Jie Ning- 2014 December Holiday
Even though I didn't go overseas during the holidays, it was still a fun and enriching one. Not only I did homework during the holidays, I also learn something new while having fun. On 18December, my family decided to go out and have fun! We went to watch movies and in one day we managed to watch two movies: The Hobbit-the battle of the five armies and Exodus. 
       The Hobbit is about five different armies fighting against one another to gain more territory as more territory you have, the more powerful you will be. Exodus is about a story before Christ when the Hebron people are born as salves and the Egyptians were born as wealthy families. One day, the King found out that the king-to-be's sworn brother was a Hebron and he has to leave them as he was a born a slave and cannot stay in the King's house enjoying his life. He then began to fight freedom for the Hebrons and a war started. While he was fighting for the freedom of his own people, the God helped him and caused many tragedies to the Egyptians. The King was very angry and wanted to revenge for everyone. Even after he let the Hebrons go, he still felt that he had to do revenge for his child and the other Egyptians' children who died because of one of the misfortunes so he chase after the Hebrons but failed to do so. The Hebrons then escaped and went to another island, now called Israel. The people there accepted them and the Hebrons lived with these people. 
      Having watched the movie, I now know some history about the Hebrons before Christ. 
      I also went to Adventure cove and tried snorkeling for the first time, as well as learn more about the different species of fishes and dolphins. 
     Therefore, I felt that my holidays are spent well. :) 
   



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