Food Review Singapore

Pho Hoa

Now that I’m back working in Suntec, there’re some lunch joints that I quite liked that I can go again. One of it is Pho Hoa. It’s simple & casual Vietnamese noodles, Pho.


And it’s Healthy! Relatively healthy I mean. It has no MSG (at least I don’t get thirsty after a meal here) and it really does serve tasty stuff.

This is a selection of your normal Pho. Nothing fancy, just simple steak, brisket & meat balls combination. This time round, I ordered the Pho Tai Bo Vien, or the steak & meat balls combi.


While waiting for my order, I read a book. =) My Vivienne Westwood wallet has been complaining that she has no screen time on my blog so here it is.. Hope she’s satisfied.


Decor at the place is really very simple, but because it’s got large windows, it’s nice and bright, which is a trait I like when I eat. I prefer to see what I’m eating thank you very much.


Look closely and you can see the steam from the soup. I love hot soup especially when you’ve spent half the day in a freezing cold office. Always a huge welcome. I also like that they have kept the steak half-raw, because the hot soup will cook the meat just nice in no time. Giving fully cooked meat with the soup would make it overcooked by the time we actually eat it.


Close up of the soup. Look at the steam! And the thinly sliced beef! The meat balls are quite big too!


The real good stuff is this side plate, where there are bean sprouts and chili. I love the chili paste. It’s not too spicy yet gives a real good flavour to the meat. The chopped chili has too many seeds though. Small complaint there. And because I LOVE BEANSPROUTS!!! (Okay I know I’m a little whacked) So I requested for more beansprouts and my noodle turned out like this:

pho-hoa-7 pho-hoa-8

Where’s the main dish? Haha.

There’s another dish I really like here, which is the Carrot Beef Stew. The stew is thick and the beef chunks are tender and just nicely cooked. You could get the stew with bread or pho. I’ll take pictures the next time I visit Pho Hoa!


Why Malaysia is still economically behind

The mentality and the focus of Malaysian politicians are all wrong. They are way too focused on minor things such as sodomy, Muslim rights, privileges, fights over tiny islands etc. So much so that they are missing the issue at hand. They are losing out to many other countries, in terms of economic viability. Politics and social economics are all intrimental to the country’s success (or failure). Investors will not pour money into the country if the streets are dangerous, if the cost is much higher than the profit, or if the right people are not being attracted into the country.

In Malaysia’s case, I feel that it is not that people don’t want to go there. It’s the frustrating issue of the government favouring the Malay Muslims way too much, treating the other races like the appendix, they’re there, but totally unneccessary, and extreme pain when antagonised.

What they do not see, or refuse to see, is that Chinese & Indian elites are leaving the country. They are going elsewhere in the world and achieving great heights. If kept at home and properly nurtured, these people can bring so much benefit to Malaysia.

And so many decades into it’s independence, Malaysian politicians are still making stupid racist remarks, such as that made by Mr Ahmad Ismail. Even the DPM’s apology will not help to alleviate the anger it causes amongst ethnic Chinese in Malaysia.

These politicians are way too blinded by their own wealth and privileged status to see the real problem at home.

Very unfortunate.


Why can’t they understand?

In the case of the Repeal of Section 377A, homosexuals are NOT campaigning for the rights to rule the country. They are not campaigning for the right to have same-sex marriages. They are just campaigning for the right to maintain privacy behind doors, and the right to do what they please without breaking the law.

When I read Mr Ho Kwon Ping’s article on TODAYonline yesterday, I was pleased to see the Chairman of Mediacorp stand up for what he believes in, to the extent of putting it up on national papers, though it isn’t The Straits Times. I applaud but honestly, I don’t think anyone in the rainbow club will believe that it will change anything.

Today, however, I came across this other article written in response to Mr Ho’s commentary. And with all due respect, I’m afraid I have to say, this is something about Christianity I don’t understand. I thought God teaches us to love all brothers and sisters unconditionally? That was what I was taught in 10 years of convent education. Of course, my education is far from the tip of the iceberg. But that was one consistent teaching I was given for 10 whole years of my primary to secondary life. Isn’t this prejudice & discriminatory? I don’t remember the Ten Commandments having anti-homosexuality in it. But of course, I have only wikipedia and the movie to guide me. Please, correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not well versed in Bible studies. Anyway, before I digress further, the point of this post is NOT about Christianity & homosexuality.

Mr Anton Chan has it all wrong. And I’m sure he’s not alone. Singaporeans have become so paranoid that they seem to think that everything that goes against their perception of normal is dangerous. Then again, philosophically speaking, what is normality? The Merriam Webster dictionary explains normal as b: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern. Normality is relative.

What’s next? Same sex marriages?
Letter from Anton Chan

MR HO Kwon Ping is wrong to propose the acceptance of gays into Singapore society because accepting a gay lifestyle would have a tremendous impact on society as a whole in terms of religious beliefs, social well-being and families.

Being homosexual isn’t a lifestyle. Taking on a certain lifestyle means you have a choice. You pick & choose what type of actions you’d like to adopt. Being sporty is a lifestyle; clubbing is a lifestyle. Homosexuality is not. It’s a sexual orientation. You don’t pick & choose who you decide to fall in love with. Not unless you live in the past where nobody marries for love, only convenience. Yes, there are choices made. A choice of accepting yourself or not. That is the only choice to be made.

As a Christian, I oppose legalising a gay lifestyle in Singapore because it’s against my beliefs. As a father of three teenagers, I care because I don’t want my children to be affected by such a lifestyle.

Honestly, if your kid is gay, he’s gay. No matter whether you expose him to such a ‘lifestyle’ or not. If he is being oppressed to be straight, he’s going to suffer real pain inside. Furthermore you are opposing ‘legalising a gay lifestyle’ but we are for the legalising of an act, which is mutally consented between two adult males.

Imagine if we allow the acceptance of such a lifestyle in Singapore. What next? Legalise same sex marriages? Legalise adoption of children for gays?

Ah… I dont understand this line of thought. So, Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Massachusetts and California are all what.. beneath everyone else? Just because they legalise same-sex marriages? The last I know, Canada is a great place to live in.

Where are we as a socially-conservative society heading towards?

Erm… Acceptance of all as one? Liberalisation?

Soon gays will claim the right for social acceptance in all areas including education, welfare et cetera. What effect will this have on the next generation of children and parents who wish that their children will grow up normally and produce children in the normal course of their being?

In the first place, all Singapore citizens have the right in all areas such as education, welfare etc. So if I read this right, you’re suggesting that homosexuals are not supposed to be entitled to benefits that are given to ALL citizens? So they are, in your books, third-class ‘citizens’? Now I’m starting to get the picture. Also, your point of ‘produce children in the normal course of their being’ isn’t standing much. Heterosexuals are not having kids anyway, so what’s the fuss? If heterosexuals aren’t having kids and homosexuals would love to adopt one, hey! Good for the country’s population growth! 1 for the gays!

The only strong contention in Mr Ho’s proposal is the so-called gay leading edge in the “creative class”. Doesn’t our society have many other people to develop and nurture? Why are we so eager to promote creative class talent in Singapore? So that we can become a more tolerant society to accept whatever lifestyle these bring? Definitely no.

‘Why are we so eager to promote creative class talent in Singapore?’ I think that’s because if otherwise, Singaporeans will be nothing but robots toiling away at work. Your national day parade won’t look so grand & well put together, you won’t have performances to watch, no designers, no artists, no musicians. No Dick Lee! Oh then again, we could always import foreign talent, to put together our national day parade.

I would like to borrow a similar argument by Attorney-General Walter Woon regarding the Human Organ Transplant Act (Hota). In “None above the law” (Sept 8), he said: “If Dr Lee (Wei Ling) disagrees with Hota, she is at perfect liberty to campaign to have it amended … But until Parliament amends or repeals the Hota and the Oaths and Declarations Act, they remain the law of Singapore.”

If anyone disagrees with the law for gays as enacted by Parliament, he/she is at perfect liberty to campaign to have it amended … But until Parliament amends or repeals the law of Singapore for gays, it remains the law of Singapore.

The thing is, the law is quite ridiculous if you don’t enforce it. What’s the point of having a law that is in black & white, yet you tell everyone in the country that you will not be prosecuting the offenders? It’s like saying rape is illegal yet people are free to do it. So why is it illegal in the first place?

It’s hypocritical to have a law to make conservatives happy, and turn around and tell those affect that they will not be prosecuted, so please continue to bring back glory for the country. Please continue to make waves in the international scene. Singapore wants to be number 1 in everything, but no, we will not repeal Section 377a. As the government, they should be doing what they preach. Singapore is conservative? Okay fine. Then prosecute all who do not abide by the law and stick to it. Don’t want to encroach on their privacy so will not prosecute? Then don’t even have this law in the first place. What a cognitively dissonant country we live in. *Sigh*

Review Technology

Google Chrome – Impressions of a casual user

Okay. I know I said casual. And yet I’m quick to start trying it out. Honestly, comparing myself to the others who have been testing it in the states, I’m casual. Those guys are serious web developers dudes! I’m just…. in ’cause it’s new & fun. Ok here goes.

First impressions. I like the layout and the colour scheme of the browser. Very similar to Firefox 3.0 (3.0.1 recently released), the interface is clean without any fuss. When I first opened Google Chrome, it offered to import all my bookmarks from Firefox immediately, presumably because my default browser is Firefox at the moment. Any IE or Safari users like to testify that Chrome will offer based on current default browser settings? Smart move. I also liked the “Most Visited” areas where the websites which I visit the most often is placed right at the front page. I’m sure it will make my surfing much more efficient, and I can get things done faster. The search bar is now to the right of the page, instead of right smack in the centre as of current Google search page. Doesn’t affect searching much since it’s still pretty prominent. An interesting feature I noticed is that the URL bar is embedded within the tabs, instead of the other way around, as with the rest of the browsers. It may not make much sense now, but once I took a look at the best feature of Chrome, this design fits perfectly.



Tab detaching. Refreshing change. Will definitely improve my internet experience. I’ve been in situations where I wanted to view a current tab as a new window and instead of addressing this immediately, I had to copy and paste the url in a new window. Troublesome. With this, going from tabs to windows is so much easier.

chrome-main chrome-newtab chrome-newtabprog

Viewing area. Much bigger compared to Firefox. Less need for vertical scrolling, which is always good when reading long articles, like blogs or news. Being every so lazy, less scrolling = love.

chrome-size chrome-sizeff

Browse invisibly. HOLY COW! I was checking out the controls drop-down, which is the dog-eared page icon on the top right hand corner, and what do I see? A selection that says “New incognito window”. So what do I do? CLICK it of course. It allows you to browse websites, yet do not leave any trace on your computer. Good for those browsing on public resources and yet do not want to clear cookies everytime you log out. Cool stuff!


Web developers tools. This portion I’m not exactly excited about, since I know nuts about web developing. hehehe. What I do know it does is that you can look at the codes of page, fiddle with Javascrīpt and check out the task manager. The task manager really is pretty for-nerds-only as it measures the memory in a multi process browser, and shows you the stats.

But it seems like a useful tool, as lifehacker reports. What it can help me as a normal everyday user, I don’t think very much. Just a little tidbit that shows Google cares for all. =)


Root domain. Some anti-phishing help, Chrome highlights the root domain of every page you go to, as shown. It will offer some protection against people stealing your identity, which is what phishing is in a nutshell… I think. Not adept in phishing but it was just interesting to me. XD

Check out the lifehacker review (link above). He gives a 1000000x better review that what I can do, showcasing more functions. You don’t even have to test it! He does it for you.

Other no screenshots impressions.

Speed. It’s incredibly fast. Alot faster than Firefox. Do I need to mention IE at all?

Easy bookmarking. Makes your bookmarking easier, with the bookmark icon just next to the url bar. Similar to Firefox 3. To look at all your bookmarks, the “Other bookmarks” icon is right on top at the right hand corner. Does away with an additional row of toolbar, which is mostly useless.

In general, Google Chrome seems to be a more efficient way of browsing the internet. At least for me. I’m sure I’ll find room for improvement as time goes by, when I really get down to serious browsing with this browser. But for first impressions, Chrome delivers.

However, I’m not sure if it will enable Google to take over the browser market. Firefox users will most likely be the first to switch. Not that Firefox is bad, just that Mozilla users are more susceptible to such advances in technology. Some of the less hardcore IE users might switch because of the speed, but as there are still some advantages of IE over other browsers, I doubt IE will die off. Another one to fight for a slice of the pie, I think the biggest sufferer will be Safari..

Sometimes I thank God for Microsoft dominance. Windows users are usually able to test new stuff earlier. Like Google Chrome. Chrome for Mac & Linux users are not ready yet, but you can sign up on the download page to get first wind of it.

Side note, Firefox doesn’t support Javascrīpt all that well so I hope Chrome will do better…

Download Google Chrome yourself to test it out.

Bloggers who have already checked it out & blogged about it:
– jialat dot com
Tech 65


What does China gain from Olympics?

I don’t think very much. Yes. In terms of making a stand on the world stage, and showing all of us that YES, China can do it, I think much has been accomplished in Beijing 2008. However, if we look at the long term benefits to China and it’s people as a whole, I doubt it helped much.

The tens of billions of dollars could have and should have (in my opinion) be used to aid the large number of less privileged citizens of China. There are so many things that can be done with the money that will provide longer run benefits to the people of China, in turn helping them to compete in the world stage. To finish the cycle, these Chinese people will be able to push China’s economy to even greater skies.

I’m not sure what China wants to get out of hosting this Olympics. It’s a highly acclaimed world sporting event, yes. It will propel China’s visibility to the skies, yes. It will provide millions of jobs, yes. It will push Beijing’s GDP, yes. But for how long? And by how much?

We look at history, what has Olympics brought for past host countries? Not much progress, but a lot of wastage. Look at Athens. Less than 4 years after they hosted the Summer Olymics in 2004, and almost all their Olympic facilities are “abandoned, derelict, covered in graffiti and rubbish”. It’s painful to look at these photos and think back on how glorious the 2004 Olympics was.

Of course, however, we cannot discount the pros that hosting the Olympics has brought to Beijing (and only Beijing). The transport systems have very much improved, the environment immensely upgraded, better public facilities, and of course, the biggest benefit, the skills that the Chinese people have learned.

The effects of the games is yet to be over, and I’m eagerly & anxiously waiting to see how it all unfolds. Crossing my fingers too.

Various resources:

Instant demands have cost at Beijing Games

Games over, but new start for China