Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I kid you not - the view was spectacular! A bird's eye-view of the F1 race.

Was in Singapore over the weekend. Caught the F1 race again this year from the same hotel room as last year - from the 32nd floor of the Swissotel The Stamford. The view was simply breathtaking, and the roar of the cars simply deafening!

Hey, even F1 drivers have to start small. Me on the trike.

Last week I had an opportunity to try out a contraption called a trike. Of course, it's nothing like an F1 racer, but I was told the trike could boast speeds up to a maximum of 50mph. Not sure if I got that right, but Wow!

I found the trike extremely easy to maneuvre, even around tight corners. It is environmentally friendly as it uses pedal power. It is also great for exercising the lower body. And as you are in a recumbent position, you can relax and enjoy the view. No worries about backache from hunching over or, for the guys, no more "numb nuts"! Click here for a vicarious experience of triking.

Triking or recumbent biking has the potential to develop into a popular sport with the 50+. With its low centre of gravity, it's definitely much safer than riding a bicycle. There is no way you can fall and break a bone. But with a hefty price tag of USD2000+, not everyone can afford to pedal around the neighbourhood on a trike.

If you are interested in checking out the range of models for trikes, visit VelocityRacers in Hongkong. I'm going to put the recumbent trike next to the Kindle on my wish list!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



A group of 250 seniors were treated to a free shopping trip at the NTUC Fairprice supermarket in Jurong on Sunday. Volunteers from the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) and Moral Neighbourhood Link, a voluntary welfare organisation that focuses on elder care were on hand to help the seniors and share tips on how to check for expiry dates and nutritional content on food items.

On the same day, the CDAC concluded a month-long rice donation drive with about 87,000kg of grain collected. The rice will be distributed to 4,000 needy families and senior citizens.

With nearly half of the pedestrian fatalities coming from the over-60 age group, the Singapore government will be introducing longer time at selected pedestrian crossings, mostly in the homelands or areas with a large concentration of elderly people. These 'Green Man Plus' crossings allow for an extra 17 seconds at a 4-lane crossing, and 21 seconds for a six-lane crossing.

All a senior citizen has to do is to tap his ez-link concession card on the special card-reader to activate the Green Man Plus. This will give him more time to cross the road safely.

The Green Man Plus idea would be great for the pedestrian crossing in front of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) along Jalan Ampang. You have only 22 seconds to cross this busy 8-lane road. And you had better pray that motorists give you right of way as some don't bother to stop.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

EAT WELL, BE WELL - 10 foods for longevity

It's been a frustrating week not being able to upload pictures on Seniorsaloud, no thanks to some technical glitch on Blogger. Apparently, it's a common problem. Guess I'll have to be patient and wait it out.

Fortunately, I can still upload from YouTube. Here's a video that I would like to share with you. I hope you will find it informative and useful.

When life is great, who doesn't want to extend it?

I've been meeting more and more 50+ folks who certainly know to enjoy life in their golden years. Just yesterday I met a fiesty 84-year old lady at a birthday bash for senior citizens. She was on the dance floor for almost every dance and game. Believe me, she looked fabulous!

There is no reason why we can't look good, feel great and enjoy life to the fullest, whatever our age. We just have to watch what we put into our body and mind. The right food, the right thoughts, and the right actions take us a long way on the road to longevity.

That's my mantra.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Just watched Oprah on telly going gaga over the Kindle. When I first heard about the Kindle late 2007, I dismissed it as yet another pricey gadget for the young and trendy. Now after seeing Oprah waxing lyrical over her Kindle 2, I thought maybe I should check out the latest model - the Kindle DX. I did and came away impressed.

No, Amazon is not paying me to promote their e-reader. But, hey, good stuff should be shared, right? I know a lot of seniors love to read.

Consider these features. At only 19 oz, it's a lightweight. It can store up to 3500 books. Think of all the storage space you can save. You can select from over 275,000 titles. You don't need to carry wires and batteries along with the Kindle. There's a built-in dictionary. You can adjust the font size for easy readability. Also, no trees will be sacrificed for your reading pleasure.

Sure, there are other models like the Sony e-reader and the iLiad, but I have a feeling that, like Google, the Kindle will become a verb.

The only major downer is the price tag - USD490. Well, I'm putting the Kindle on my wish-list and visualizing reading my favourite books on a kindle. Maybe that will work.

If you want more info on how to use the Kindle in Malaysia, visit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It is appalling to read about adult children abandoning their elderly parents in hospitals. Some of these stories are heart-breaking. The old folks wait for their children to come and take them home after their hospital stay, but no one turns up. Some children even go to the extent of changing their address so they cannot be traced. When the parents are discharged, they have nowhere to go.

Is filial piety dead?

In Singapore, the Maintenance of Parents Act 1996 has not deterred adult children from dumping their aged parents in hospitals. The government is considering amending the Act to allow a third party, such as hospitals, to take court action against children guilty of abandoning their parents in hospitals, in order to recover their losses in unpaid medical bills.

India has a similar act to protect the rights of parents to seek maintenance from their children for food, shelter, clothes, medical facilities and recreation.

In Malaysia, such an Act has yet to see the light of day. So cases of parental neglect continue to rise. From January to May this year, 134 such cases were reported at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital – an increase of 12% for the same period last year. There is a similar pattern in other hospitals around the country.

Times have changed. Parents cannot take for granted that their children will look after them in their old age. Children today have a thousand and one reasons why they can’t or won't care for their aged parents.

“My father abandoned us when we were little.”

“My mother never cared much for us. Our maid was more of a mother to us.”

“My parents were poor role models. One was a gambler, the other was an alcoholic.”

"I can't afford to pay my father's medical expenses. I have my own family to support."

"My parents are so useless. They just sit in the house the whole day long and do nothing to help out."

"I resent being the one to have to care for my parents. My other siblings have refused to do so."

"Old people are so difficult to live with, and that includes my parents."

This is the reality. It all boils down to the parent-child relationship. Let's be honest with ourselves. Did we play our part as loving, responsible parents when our children were growing up? Did we spend enough quality time with them? Did we listen to them when they came to us for some advice and understanding? Were we too busy putting our career or business first?

If the bond is strong, our adult children will WANT to take care of us in our old age. They will do it out of love, and not grudgingly out of a sense of duty. A strong family bond is the best insurance against being abandoned by our children.

Taking our children to court and suing them for maintenance is a public admission of a complete breakdown in the parent-child relationship. In our Asian culture, this amounts to a total loss of face.

As a safeguard against this, young parents should brush up on their parenting skills. They should create and nurture a loving bond with their children from the very start. At the same time, they should start saving for their retirement and taking care of their health, the earlier the better so that they are able to live independently in their old age.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Young people today really have things cut out for them. Yet many still constantly complain about this and that. They also tend to take a lot of things for granted. If you are 50 or older you will think this piece below is hilarious -because that's exactly how we felt when our parents used to nag us when WE were young. Sounds familiar, right?

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways!

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of fifty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today - you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! No where was safe!

There were no MP3' s or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and eject it when finished and the tape would come undone.....because that's how we rolled it!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school,your mom, your boss, your Bookie, a collections agent, your parole officer, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation videogames with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had Monopoly, the board game. If you didn’t like that, too bad. It was either play that, or get off your lazy ass & go outside and play sports with the kids that lived nearby.

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get offyour ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little mutant brats.

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or before!


The Over-50 Crowd

Monday, September 14, 2009


The bus company is obviously aware of what commuters have to put up with! I tried calling the numbers but no one picked up the phone. So much for the sign.

Ever since I sold my car in 1998, I have been relying mostly on public transport to get me from A to B. If you are a regular commuter like I am, you will have plenty to gripe about. Take today, for instance. It was my umpteenth 'public confrontation' with the Metro bus conductors since the bus fares went up on 1 September.

Clearly stated in black and white, but the bus conductors claimed they didn't know about the new concession for senior citizens!

It states clearly on the announcements pasted all over the inside of the Metro buses that orang tua (senior citizens) 60 and above pay only half fare. Regardless of which Metro bus I take, the conductor invariably insists I pay the full fare. Even when I point out the company's signed directive, I get any one of the following responses:

~ the boss never informed us of this half fare
~ you don't look like you are 60+
~ the new ruling is 65+
~ none of the elderly passengers have asked for half fare
~ we don't have time to check all the identity cards
~ as you wish, but I'll report to my boss about this


So far, the conductors have caved in. That's because I stood up for my rights, and had the evidence to back me up. However, on all the buses I've taken, I have yet to see older passengers asking for this fare concession. Ignorance can be expensive if you take the bus daily! One elderly man was sitting right beside the directive, but for reasons best known to himself, he did not take the trouble to read it.

Buses waiting for more passengers, never mind if they are hogging half the road and blocking the taxis from exiting.

Now wouldn't it be lovely to board a bus and when you take your money out to pay the full fare, the conductor smilingly tells you, "Auntie, you only need to pay half fare." That would certainly make my day!

Dirty bus-stops are the norm. There are no bus schedules or information on bus routes. This is in the up-market neighbourhood of Sri Hartamas.

You can bet this is NOT a bus stop in Kuala Lumpur. There's ample information on schedules, time of bus arrivals, and wheelchair facilities on board. Below that is the map showing bus and MRT routes.

Friday, September 11, 2009


There was a time when I would skip the obituary pages in the newspapers. No one in my social and family network would be there. That was what I thought. Then my beloved sister passed away at 55 of a heart attack. It happened early in the morning while she was getting ready for work. That was three years ago. Since then I have lost several friends and family members. None of them died of old age.

A few days ago, my cousin suffered a fatal heart attack. He was only 43. It was a wake-up call for the younger generation in the extended family network. I am glad my adult children are taking their health more seriously now

Singapore's Teresa Hsu at 100, and at 111 today with Anthony Robbins at last weekend's 
"Unleash the Power Within" event in Singapore. (Photo credit: Belle Lee)

Young people in the prime of their lives often assume that ill health and disease affect only the elderly - until someone in their age group is struck down. Healthy living should start right now, and we should get our children and grandchildren actively involved before they wind up addicted to fast food, junk food and fizzy drinks.

Here are some health tips based on Dan Buettner’s “Blue Zones”.

1. Stop eating when you’re 80% full. There are NO obese centenarians.
2. Opt for a plant-based diet that includes nuts and whole grains.
3. Treat yourself to a glass or two of red wine a day. Asians prefer tea. It is a good anti-oxidant too.
4. Know your purpose in life and be driven by it.
5. Have in place a belief system - spiritual or religious.
6. Learn to relax and enjoy life.
7. Keep physically active.
8. Be part of a healthy social network.
9. Maintain good family ties.

Do check out this video clip from National Geographic. Most informative and a re-affirmation of what most of us already know, but lack the discipline to follow through.

Time for me to dust off the cobwebs on my weights and dig up those vegetarian cook books. I am 61 going on to a healthy 100 and beyond, God willing.....

Related article:

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Take out your pen and note-book. Time to jot down some great tips on how to live long and happy. Learn from the people of Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica) and Loma Linda (US). These are the Blue Zones - areas where you can find a high concentration of octogenarians. They are living proof that having an active lifestyle, healthy diet, social network and a purpose in life are the key ingredients of longevity.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Dark-skinned Shanghainese girl Lou Jing (shown here with her mother) sparked off racist attacks on the Internet against her and her mother when she appeared on the 'Let's Go! Oriental Angel' talent show.

Yet another hate story has surfaced. This one happened in China. As the majority race in China, the Chinese, who are of Han descent, seem to have difficulty accepting folks (like the Uighers of Sinkiang) who are of a different colour or religion.

It would be interesting to do a study of people who practice bigotry. Do they share common characteristics? Are they themselves victims of racial discrimination or abuse just like their parents were, perhaps?

In the cowhead incident, I wonder what this person meant when he said he would feel "uncomfortable" if an Indian temple were to be built in his neighbourhood. What's there to feel uncomfortable about? On the contrary, I would feel safe if I lived near a mosque, a church or a temple. True devotees, whether they be Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or Taoists, practise love and respect for all mankind.

HATE is a most toxic emotion. Having this in our system is worse than having cancer because unlike cancer, hate is contagious. It can spread and kill much faster than the H1N1 virus. Just look at the atrocities taking place everywhere in the world.....and in our own backyard.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Photo: The New Straits Times

Had enough of 1Malaysia slogans? Yeah, me too. I am more interested in 1(Ringgit)Malaysia – meals. Did you know that you can actually get a meal for only RM1? Nah, impossible! Not in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Here you can't get a decent meal for less than RM3.00. That's exactly what I thought until I saw the above headlines in the papers.
RM1? That’s about S$0.40 or US$0.28! For that you get a plate of roti canai with your pick of a curry AND a glass of teh tarik! I haven’t paid so little for a nourishing meal since my student days back in the 1960s.

Your money's worth @ only RM1

If you are horrified by the inflated prices of buka puasa (breaking of fast) buffets at hotels, you will understand why it’s such a welcome relief to know that there are folks out there like Mustapa Kamal Maulut who truly embody the spirit of ‘People first, Performance now”. He is chairman of Ukhwah Koperasi Pendidikan Islam Malaysis Bhd which owns the restaurant offering RM1 meals. This guy definitely knows how to win over the hearts and stomachs of Malaysians.

Patrons making their selection at the restaurant.

That’s not all. On Fridays, patrons at the restaurant can eat as much as they want and pay whatever they feel is fit. Friday’s proceeds are donated to charity. I don’t know about you, but I’m heading there this Friday. Hope I can get a seat. In case you want to tuck in too, the restaurant’s in Lorong Medan Tuanku Satu.

Almost sold out!

In these days of high prices, low quality and poor service, it’s a cause to celebrate when one comes across a case to the contrary. That was how I felt when I chanced upon some roadside stalls selling buka puasa fare. For RM1, I could have my pick of any three kueh (cakes) from a tantalizing assortment of kueh of all colours and shapes – just like the people flocking there to make their purchases. The vendors beckoned with warm smiles and friendly invitations to sample and buy. And I did!
For these humble people, quality control and good service come from a genuine desire to offer their best. That's a sure way to draw customers. You don't need an MBA to make a success of your business ventures. Put people first before profits, and you are on your way to achieving your goals. So simple lah, but few practitioners of this philosophy.

My kind of Malaysian street scene...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Seniorsaloud has been getting quite a bit of interest from the online community. I have received emails requesting for interviews, for links to other blogs, and for free promotion. The latest emails came from two Singapore firms that are organizing events targeted at older adults 45+. Seniorsaloud is happy to help promote these events.

The first is a 2-day conference on "Marketing to Baby Boomers" to be held on 19-20 November at the Marriott Singapore. If you have a business that caters to the silver-haired market, or are interested in setting up a seniors-related enterprise, you would want to register for this conference. For more details about the speakers and the topics, click on the link above or on the image in the side-bar (scroll down).

The second is a search for senior challengers to participate in an info-reality show for Mediacorp Singapore. This is a programme featuring senior citizens taking up challenges and fulfilling their dreams.

I reproduce part of the email below:

There are 13 episodes for this season and each episode will feature a kind of sport/activity/skill. The main objective is to encourage other seniors to have a positive life, even after retirement. This is a Mandarin programme and the title of the programme is - I Can Do It Too! (我也做得到!)It will be aired on Channel 8.

We are looking for candidates for the following categories:
~ Sand Sculpting - preferably with a family member (must be older than 20) or a senior friend ~ Marathon - alone
~ Juggling - alone
~ Felt Craft (handicraft) - preferably male
~ Kizomba Dance - with a partner, both must be seniors

Basically, you have to be interested in learning the new skill/activity and we will introduce you to a professional trainer for a training course. The entire training will last for around slightly more than a month and ultimately, you will have to fulfill a task or achieve a mission. All expenses incurred will be paid by the production company or sponsored by various companies. We only need your time and passion!

If you meet the following criteria, we would like to see you:

~ above 45 of age
~ positive and cheerful
~ have a strong interest for your selected category (no experience preferred) as you need to learn from the basics
~ any nationality but must be able to speak at least basic Mandarin as it's a Mandarin programme
~ be physically fit and healthy
~ be comfortable in front of the camera i.e. not camera-shy

Please call (65) 63417710 and ask for Zelda(小橦)to arrange for an interview or to know more details. Or email me at

Anyone game for the challenge?