2013 Summer in Singapore

4 Jul

Summer means basking away in the sun, reading on the beach, heading to the cabin and many more outdoor activities.  However, citizens in Singapore are forced to avoid outdoor activities. You ask why?  Unfortunately, they were hit by severe haze from forest fires in Indonesia, which has reached unhealthy levels.

Our board members who were affected by the smog share their first hand experiences, Faith Tan(Vice  President)mentions that, “It’s school holiday here in Singapore, so no school closures, but some companies have been doing “work from home” days when the haze is really bad. There was a shortage of face masks and mini panic when things first got bad. Air purifiers are sold out everywhere! The haze situation fluctuates depending on the wind directions and thankfully it’s not too bad right now. But a lot of people have been experiencing headaches and irritation, the air quality is dismal and it smells like smoke everywhere, and everything looks grey and depressing…”

Our affiliates outreach, Elizabeth Tan from Malaysia also experienced similar problems, she expresses, “All my clothes smell like smoke and everything is hazy like a veil is covering my eyes. Also the cars have a layer of grey dust all over them.  People are experiencing headaches, coughing and etc. I don’t know about the situation in Singapore, but school is cancelled for 2 days in Malaysia. People don’t wanna leave the house.”

Based on Faith and Elizabeth’s observations, the haze situation does not sound promising.  The haze will clear up eventually, and hopefully, Singaporeans could have the summer they were wishing for.

singapore haze


SGSA’s Round 2 Webmaster Elections

3 May

The results for voting are in and the old & new SGSA board members would like to warmly welcome Jenny Li as our 2013-2014 Webmaster!

We look forward to working with you and we hope to see amazing things for this blog!


your SGSA board


The results are in!

19 Apr

This year, the SGSA board has accomplished a lot. Though we had our struggles, we managed to pull through every single event with great success and a huge smile on our faces. Now, sadly to say, it’s time to pass the torch to the new incoming SGSA board 2013-2014. With returning board members and new faces, next year will be definitely a great year. So here it is, the results for SGSA’s 2013-14 board! Please welcome our new:

President: Sarah Sham

Vice President: Dennis Chen


Vice President: Faith Tan


Secretary/ Activities Coordinator: Taufik Sani

Treasurer: Ronald Phuan

Community & University Outreach: Jae Kim

MISA, ASU & Affiliates Outreach: Elizabeth Tan

Social Media & Multimedia Representative Outreach: Vince Choi

& last but not least, our senior advisors:

Ken Lam Law

Ken-Yen Moy

Michelle Sham & Han Yoon

On behalf of the 2012-13 SGSA board, thank you for showing your  endless support. We look forward to seeing you at our events in the coming year. Have a great rest of the year and have an awesome summer!

Your 2012-13 SGSA Board

Valentine’s Day in Singapore

4 Feb

Singapore is like a high achiever kid. Best test scores, competitive economy and very intelligent… but got a lot of problem getting a girlfriend. It has been decades since we stopped replacing our population and we have been competing with Hong Kong people for least attractive in the world since independence. According to a recent whitepaper on Singapore’s population, 40% of our marriages are with non-Singaporeans. If you think about it, it is kind of like instead of crocodiles mating with other crocodiles, the crocodiles have decided to mate with the fish instead (I know it doesn’t make sense just go with it).

Did you know that crocodile in malay is “Buaya”? and it is also a slang for “Dude who likes to flirt with girls” in Singapore

But this isn’t about Singapore, this is about the couples whom have managed to fight against the odds and actually get to enjoy Valentine’s Day in Singapore! Let us look at some of the favorite activities of Singaporean couples on Valentine’s Day.

1) Eating

2) Watch Movie

3) Go Batam (10th Anniversary Only)

4) Visit Sentosa

Ha ha ha! Just kidding… We are not that boring… So let me plan out an ideal night for you (in case you might be in Singapore for Valentine’s Day one day)

Budget $100-300

It’s ok if you are poor but it is not ok if you are not creative. $100 will barely get you through a decent “Valentine’s Day” standard dinner leaving nothing much for entertainment but thankfully your guide is an expert at being a hipster. Take your date out for shopping and tea at Haji Lane (some stores there carry luxury brands but don’t worry; the air is so hipster she will be too stoned to enter one).

And here is the trick, spend the entire day just walking around… but splurge your $300 for one night at the New Majestic Hotel just when she wouldn’t stop whining you pulled off the coup de grace! Gandalf has returned at the turn of the tides!

Lunch and dinner is optional, hipsters don’t need to eat.


Budget $1000-3000

Ahhh… this is something I can work with. You might be thinking “You know what that previous idea wasn’t that great… I am not sure if I should continue reading” But I haven’t revealed my true prowess yet. So the first thing you should do is to book a suite at Marine Bay Sands (MBS) and then take your date for dinner at the Singapore flyer.

Before Valentine’s Day, hire a forever alone neighborhood kid to place rose petals from the lift to the hotel suite (it is not very far) and form a heart on the bed (its pretty bad if you spend $3000 and don’t get laid). Finally, you should blindfold your date on the way to MBS and only uncover it once you reach the suite because it is magical like teleporting. Also remember to pay for the kid’s taxi home or you are gonna get into big trouble, Singaporeans get very annoyed when children go missing.

good place to eat, great place to propose… there is no where to run

Budget $3000-5000

Fly to Hong Kong

Singapore has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world and the government has been encouraging immigration to combat aging population and maintain economic competitiveness. To read more about Singapore’s population woes check out


To understand the author’s “Unamerican” diction, try reading a couple of threads on this popular Singaporean online forum: EDMW



Mid Semester Recap!

7 Nov

Hey guys I am sure most of us do not like the word “mid” at the moment (cause it kind of sounds like mid-terms) but here is what SGSA has been up to since we last left off.

First off we got some new t-shirts! I want to say that a lot of philosophical thought went through the making of this t-shirt. Did you know for example, that the most efficient t-shirt designs should have only one focal point of attention? In this case it is supposed to be the Merlion but at the same time, it is not exactly very recognizable thus the SGSA logo was put on the top left. In any case, we have extras! So if you want one you can either pay $14 or volunteer to help at one of our events. Hee

This photo was taken without a cameraman

We had our first meet and greet in collaboration with PERISMA (Malaysian Student Association). We played traditional games but to be frank, this webmaster has never played any of the games there before. The food was good through and we enjoyed meeting many new people!

During my time we played Pokemon on gameboy and I loved my shoes enough not to jump around with them.

September was a busy month, we had a booth set up for ASU’s Light up the Night in the freezing weather and we contributed fried carrot cake as our dish for dinner. I wish I could type more about this but I was indoors doing something else.

As per tradition, there must be a SIA girl at the booth.

Kishok looks like Frankenstein

The following Friday, we hosted ASU’s High Tea event with a video presentation and a quiz. The video was a recording of our efforts at attempting to make Chee Kueh and was filmed at Julia’s house (Thanks Julia!). SGSA will have a youtube channel as soon as I figure out why I can’t upload videos

And finally, we organized a pseudo-Korean Barbecue for our newly arrived Singaporeans!* Surprisingly we managed to recoup our costs for the event and we are eternally thankful (since Singaporeans are known for being kiasu). Halal, Hindu and vegetarian food was apparently served too.

Unfortunately I could not find a photo with everyone inside (or maybe my house is too small)

Look forward to our next upcoming fund raiser on the Nov 16th!

*Hey guys! I have a feeling we might have not reached all the Singaporeans around Minnesota and I apologize for that. If you would like to reach out to us, we have meetings at CMU 301 on Fridays @ 5pm or you could leave us a facebook message! (I send out weekly greetings… but usually never get any replies rofl).

Singaporean Western Food

31 Aug

What is west of Singapore? It’s actually Indonesia but Singaporean western food has nothing to do with Indonesian cuisine. The term “West” in South-east Asia actually refers to anything European or American and likewise western food refers to the cuisine of Western countries.  But… exactly which Western countries are we talking about?

Singaporeans don’t like making choices.

First of all, you will notice everything comes with French fries, baked beans, some salad, a slice of lettuce, a whole tomato and garlic bread. Nutritionally speaking, it seems to make sense but if you think logically, shouldn’t the tomatoes, bread and lettuce be included in the salad? And um… why is there no indication of what kind of sauce they are putting on the meat? What if the picture is simply false advertising and all I get is a “Fillet Mignon”?

Ok, you want choice right? Here, gravy separated.

Personally, I would blame the hectic pace of life that is preventing Singaporeans from enjoying western food properly but I think it comes down to the fact that we really trust our hawkers to know our taste buds and our government to close down food that doesn’t taste good. Another theory is that, South-east Asian food culture does not place emphasis on sides or personal preference. When you order chicken mcnuggets in Singapore for example, you are not going to get a choice between sweet n sour / honey mustard / chipotle bbq / tangy bbq / spicy buffalo / sweet chili / hot mustard / creamy ranch sauce, you get one default choice : curry sauce and if you are white, they might offer you bbq sauce depending on how confused you look.

Yes, this is western food, the fish is cooked in a “western” way.

So what exactly does western food in Singapore taste like? The gravy sauce is usually salty and brown in color with a hint of chicken stock (and the same sauce is also used on beef / lamb / pork regardless of the previous fact). The salad is sour and sometimes slightly spoilt, the fries are over fried and sometimes the garlic bread is thrown into the deep fryer as well. The chicken is either grilled or breaded, the fish is also grilled or breaded and either method will involve some form of that brown salty gravy. The French fries can be found at the nearest supermarket’s frozen section but hawkers are generous in their personal contribution to the dish (that means you get a lot of sprinkled salt).

If you forgot what you ordered, the plate design will remind you.

Yet all of this… is really good, it is really good. Beef and lamb in Singaporean diets come primary from Australia and New Zealand (where the cows alone occupy more space than the people). Chickens travel across the causeway from Malaysia and are frequently slaughtered in local abattoirs. Besides these major sources, the republic also imports meat from other countries around the world ranging from Germany all the way to Namibia. Consequently not every meat tastes like something out of the American industrial food system.

Pretty amazing what good lighting can do.

So if you ever visit Singapore and want to make the most out of your trip, consider dropping by a hawker center or food court for some western food instead of supporting McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken, the cholesterol levels are probably the same anyway.

Happy 47th Birthday, Singapore! [Sarah]

9 Aug

Since I left Singapore at a relatively young age, I really don’t quite remember much. Out of my twelve years as a SG native, I’ve only been to the parade once and it was with my Primary 5 Rose class. Only three main things pop in my head when I reminisce: a sea of red and white, parachuters/ airplanes/ helicopters and Bring Me To Life by Evanescence.

A typical look that someone would wear on National Day would be a red polo shirt with white pants (or vice versa) and if he/ she were feeling a little daring, there will be a little tattoo of Singapore’s flag on his/ her cheek. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone all decked out like a crazy football fan.

The airplanes flying together to symbolize unity and peace, helicopters coming in together with the flag, and parachuters jumping out of airplanes were definitely the highlight of that night. I’m proud to say that my Uncle Tai Pak has flown one of the airplanes with the cool smoke things, my dad has flown the helicopters with the flag and my Uncle Eric has been one of those daring parachuters.




This picture was taken by my uncle when he was chosen to be one of the few parachuters in last year’s National Day Parade.

Last but not least, why Bring Me Back To Life by Evanescence? I remember this because when we were slowly exiting the stadium, this song came on and my overly excited friend started to jump and down which caused me to fall down a couple stairs. Overall, this one time experience was very memorable and it made me feel proud to be a Singaporean.

“One People, One Nation, One Singapore. That’s the way that we will be forevermore.”