30 April 2012


After running an international chess workshop for Clique Wise today, I realised 5 benefits of this age-old game.

Marco, from The Chess School, was explaining the game rules and strategies.

Benefits of Playing Chess:

1) Brain Health
Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise. Playing chess stimulates thinking and stretch our brain muscles, thereby improving our memory and helping us to be mentally alert to make decisions better and faster. Unlike mah-jong which has the risk of losing money, chess is a wholesome game to protect the mental faculties of senior citizens from degenerating.

2) Learning abilities
Research has shown that playing chess enhances learning development of kids. This game cultivates analytical reasoning ability and problem-solving skills; which is especially useful in mathematics and science.

3) Concentration
Build mental endurance as the game requires the players to stay calm and focused over long period of time.

4) Understand other's character
As we observe our opponent's facial expression and body language during the chess game, we get to know them more, as such we could manage the relationship better.

5) Social
Research has shown that playing chess fosters confidence, self-esteem and social skills. With healthy brain, we are able to establish more meaningful relationships.

Chess is a brilliant, interactive and fascinating game that enriches the mind and our social experience with people. A well fought game can be a fulfilling experience. Hope more will pick up this game, enjoy and favour from it!

My second game of chess. Thanks to all the coaching, White won.
To make the learning more interesting, I challenged the trainers to help Black win

12 April 2012

Rediffusion = Porridge

3 Cs why Rediffusion is like Teochew porridge:

Culture - reminds Chinese of our rich heritage and Singapore’s history, keep us connected with our roots. Essential for continuity of Asian tradition.

Comforting - reminds us of Ah Ma's cooking, warms our soul with love. Brings our hearts closer to home.

Colourful - great variety of dishes to cater to different taste.

Teochew Porridge at Cheong Chin Nam Road

Like Teochew porrridge, Rediffusion is enriching our lives and would be dearly missed if it is gone.  I wish the flavours of this station would be retained.

11 April 2012


Rediffusion will be going off the air come April 30. Rediffusion is a subscription radio that has a long history in Singapore. Since 1949, Rediffusion served the community, providing news, information as well as quality listening entertainment.

Their audience are mainly dialect speaking Chinese age 40 and above. I am honoured to have the opportunities to be interviewed during the VIP programme last December and this year's Valentine’s Day. I used Hokkien phrases freely on air and spoke about how parents could play a supportive role instead of pressurizing their children to get married.

Lydia outside the studio

Between the interviews, Teochew songs were played. The DJ and I casually chatted about the issues that old folks face in Singapore. We agree that Singapore has evolved so fast over the last 15 years that the illiterate folks find it tough to keep up with times.

My relatives in their 70s feedback why they feel cooped up at home. There have been so many new buildings and roads that they are afraid to get lost. They could not take public transport as they do not understand English, neither are they tech-savvy to use maps or GPS.  The safest way for them to commute alone out of their area is through taxi; which may be pricy for some of the retirees. As such they spend most of their time at home listening to Rediffusion.

While their kids and grand-kids are busy with work and school. Rediffusion has empowered these old folks mentally and emotionally. The dialect language is something they can relate to and it comforts them. If this radio service is gone, they will feel more lost, lonely and detached from society. Sincerely hope this station will be kept to accompany the old folks through their sunset years.

If it is not sustainable to keep Rediffusion due to commercial reasons, maybe MCYS can consider collaborating with Mediacorp to fill in this gap — a dialect radio station to meet the needs of the illiterate folks and senior citizens. It will be an avenue for youngsters to pick up their dialect and communicate with their grand parents too. There are more than 10 radio channels in Singapore. One dialect station will not dilute Mandarin or English language abilities but enrich Singapore's culture and make Singaporeans feel more connected to our roots.

5 April 2012

Overseas Media

NHK - a Japanese Broadcast station approached me to do a feature on dating and marriage in Singapore. The Japanese is keen to know how Singapore government foster socialising and dating as Japan has low birth rate as well. This programme was aired on 6 Mar 2012.

I was running a Clique Wise dating event along East Coast beach.
Singapore's birthrate is lower than Japan (1.21)

At Clarke Quay

This eligible bachelor said he hopes to get married eventually.