Thursday, July 24, 2014


Council for Third Age (C3A), Singapore launched its Chinese portal yesterday at the National Library. SeniorsAloud was invited to attend the ceremony.

In his speech at the ceremony, MP Mr Heng Chee How said, "Society's perception of seniors can only change with our seniors' perception of themselves. I am happy to note that many of our seniors are embarking on their active ageing journey, leading active and healthy lifestyles.

There is also a growing number of seniors participating in the myriad of programmes available for them to pick up new skills, discover new interests and hobbies, and stay engaged in lifelong learning in their silver years....One area where seniors are interested in is that of technology. Seniors today have access to technology and many are using it to stay in touch with their friends and relatives through various platforms, including social media.

Not many countries have a minister in charge of Active
Ageing and Employability. The government takes the
challenges of an ageing population seriously.
Thus it is most timely that Council for Third Age is launching a Chinese portal, after having achieved success with their current English portal which has reached out to more than 200,000 visitors since its inception in 2012."

Well said, Minister! Exactly why SeniorsAloud places priority in encouraging seniors to pick up some pc skills to enable them to go online to learn, discover and connect. Oh, and to enjoy too. The benefits are endless.

Seniors present at the launch were shown a step by step guide on how to navigate the portal so that they could easily explore all the features on their own at home. These include upcoming activities, recipes, videos, discounts, and much more.

You can access the C3A portal at Lots of goodies for seniors, especially if you live in Singapore.

The launch also saw participants of the Kopi and Toast buddy programme receiving their Certificates of Completion from the Minister. This is a 6-month mentor-mentee programme where an active senior is paired with a less active senior to build a meaningful friendship of mutual support through activities and learning. The mentors are given free training by C3A prior to matching them with a buddy each. Thumbs up for this initiative, C3A!

Some of the mentors (kopi) after receiving their certificates from Mr Heng Chee How
The mentees (toast) posing with Mdm Chua Foo Yong, Chairman of C3A and Mr Heng Chee How.
Mentee Mdm Sunita Khemlani was happy to have participated in the programme and made new friends.

For a guide to what's available on the C3A portal, please watch the video below. Do share the link with Chinese-speaking seniors. Just click on the language icon on the top right corner of the C3A home page to switch from one language to the other.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Much has been written about the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 on 17 July and the disappearance of MH370 on 8 March. The two incidents occurred barely four months apart and both involved our national airline. A total of 537 innocent lives were lost. The nation is still reeling from shock and disbelief. For the grieving families, no words can fully describe the pain and anguish they must feel to lose their loved ones so suddenly, so tragically. Our deepest condolences go out to them.
I could sense an air of heaviness at KLIA. The departure lounge was quieter than usual. Some MAS flights were cancelled probably due to low passenger load. 

Last Saturday 19 July, as I sat in the departure lounge at KLIA waiting to board my flight to Singapore, my thoughts were on the airline staff. Their morale must surely be at an all-time low after losing 12 of their colleagues when MH370 went missing, and another 15 so soon after when MH17 was shot down in East Ukraine.

As I watched some cabin staff walking past to report for work, I couldn't help wondering what was on the minds of these pilots and the stewardesses. It couldn't have been easy for them to focus on their job knowing that they had lost so many of their dear friends.

As well-trained professionals, the cabin crew has to welcome everyone on board with a warm smile, and see to the comfort and safety of every passenger. Now with the twin disasters of MH17 and MH370 still so fresh in their memory, what lies behind the welcome smiles? Fear? Grief? Numbness?

The grieving families need our support, so do the pilots and cabin staff. So does Malaysia Airlines, our national carrier. It has suffered blow after blow in the past years. Will the recent MH17 disaster be the last nail in the coffin for the ailing airline?

Would Malaysians want to see the demise of our beloved national carrier? Or are we prepared to give our full support to rescue plans to save it?

Saturday, July 19, 2014