Honour What You Have Been Given

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In the recently released book,“Up Close with Lee Kuan Yew”, Mr S R Nathan, former President of Singapore, wrote a chapter that quoted Mr Lee Kuan Yew as saying: “I must honour what they have given me.” He elaborated on this in his section on “Mr Lee’s influence” that ran as follows: “I (Mr Nathan) saw his (Mr Lee’s) good moments, his angry moments but, above all, I saw the exceptional way he conducted himself in public, and I strived to emulate him during the 12 years I was President. “I noticed that on official trips overseas, Mr and Mrs…

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How Fast Can We Fall?

By | Integrity | No Comments

If we were to pose the question “How fast can we fall?” to students in high school, their instinctive answer may well be “g, the gravitational constant,” the gravitational attraction of the Earth. But if we were to ask that of Maria Sharapova, the world tennis champion who just admitted to failing a drug test, the speed of the fall was just a matter of hours. Sharapova had tested positive for meldonium, a drug used to treat chest pain and heart attacks, among other conditions.  It was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list of drugs on 1st January 2016….

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Honour in Faxing and Udon Eating

By | Community | No Comments

I was recently in a rural part of Japan. Even though it was a rural area, they had all the trappings of modernity in automated house fixtures, Wi-Fi, fax machines, the latest Apple products, etc. I had to urgently fax some documents back to my Singapore office. The manager of the place where I was staying dutifully helped out. He asked why I would not scan the documents and send them back by email, rather than fax them as sometimes faxed documents do not come out clearly.  I said I needed to fax them. We ended up doing both the…

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Want to be Free?

By | Nation | No Comments

Lessons on what happens to societies and nations when individual citizens do not honour the part they need to play to keep the country whole and healthy are lessons best derived by carefully learning from history.   Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo offers deep insights in his essay, “The Five Experiments: a short essay”. Del Pino is one of the sons of the late Rafael del Pino y Moreno, founder of the Spanish construction company Ferrovial.  He has been involved in managing the family fortune since 1998. “The Five Experiments” is based on a speech by Del Pino in June 2015…

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Count your Blessings this Chinese New Year!

By | Family | No Comments

To all our Chinese readers and everyone else enjoying Chinese New Year, best wishes for the Year of the Monkey! May you prosper in the important things of life, and enjoy much happiness, good health, and fruitfulness in your many endeavours. Allow me to refer you to a link to a Chinese New Year video production by Petronas, Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational ranked among the largest corporations in the Fortune Global 500 listing of the world’s largest corporations:  http://youtu.be/r9i08erqdpY. This video explores what makes a blessed life. Anyone not moved after watching the video would have missed…

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The Blind Man on a Tokyo Train

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  A Singaporean who just came back from a trip to Japan described what he thought was a remarkable scene. He was taking a train from the airport to Tokyo city centre.  As he was very tired, he quickly settled himself into seat on the train. Just a few moments later, a whole lot of Japanese who had been seated stood up.  He himself did not stand up, as he did not know what the standing up was all about. Along came a blind man into the train. Obviously all the Japanese had stood up to give their seat to…

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Honouring the New Year!

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  I was discussing with someone earlier this week who had observed that an organisation that once was enterprising and open to connecting up with foreign visitors appeared to be losing its confidence to do so. He said the organisation had just turned down a request to meet foreign visitors as “everyone is too busy”, and wondered why the organisation’s international relations department could not accommodate the meeting request. I ventured the view that it could be because the people in the department did not feel confident enough to speak and to address questions that might be raised. Perhaps the leaders in…

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Thinking of Our Father and Mother this Holiday Season

By | Family | No Comments

This is the holiday season of Christmas and the New Year.  It is a time for merriment – parties and presents. Christmas has gone beyond being a celebration just for Christians. It is a time for everyone, no matter our race, culture or religion, to think about peace and joy and love for other people.  It is a time to honour each other, to show we accept and care for each other.  It is especially a time where children are showered with gifts and love. But Christmas should be a time when we ought to think of all who are…

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Honouring our Nation’s Brand

By | Nation | No Comments

Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy headquartered in London, issued its annual report on the world’s most valuable nation brands last month. You can read the full report here. As stated by the CEO of Brand Finance in his foreword: “In a global marketplace, a nation brand is one of the most important assets of any state, encouraging inward investment, adding value to exports and attracting tourists.” The Executive Summary of the report on Brand Value opens with the following: “The US remains the world’s most valuable nation brand. The USA is undoubtedly a powerful…

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Be a better DAD today… be a better MAN today

By | Family | No Comments

In the book “Be A Better Dad Today!” by Gregory W. Slayton, he quoted a conversation he had with President George W. Bush, previous president of the United States of America. It is a story of family members honouring each other – husbands honouring wives, wives honouring husbands, children honouring parents and parents honouring children through their love, instruction, care and comfort. Slayton wrote the story under the heading “A Story from the White House”, as follows: “I have been privileged to know a number of U.S. Presidents personally – some better than others.  And no matter what you thought…

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