Reality Check: “The Self Created Plight Of The Financially Non-Literate”

Yes, have fun now.

Later when you can’t afford to pay for your kids’ education because you haven’t saved enough money or are living beyond your means just like you are already doing before you get married, apply for financial aid from MENDAKI, SINDA, CDAC and/or CDC.

Please continue to complain about the high cost of living as you spend over half your salaries on vehicles, luxuries and entertainment instead of saving it and being financially responsible aspiring parents.

It’s okay because there will always be volunteers and social workers like us there to help because we feel sorry for the kids of people like you. People like you make our contributions relevant so ironically the less you listen to us now, the more you stand to gain from us later.

So yes, please do look down on us for taking public transport and saving our money, and paying for everything in cash because we don’t use credit cards to pay for anything.

Laugh at us because our kids won’t have to apply for financial assistance for their education.

Don’t worry because aside from common sense and financial literacy, God blessed us with a sense of humour too.

It’s not how much people make, it’s how much they spend and save that determine the sustainability of their lifestyle and the stability of their family development and retirement planning.

The difference between us is that your kind refers to it as “disposable income”, while our kind refers to it as “investable savings”.


TBTM #23: “Glass Floor Or Glass Ceiling?”

When you are used to greater responsibility from standing and walking on the glass floor, you will notice everything in greater detail and still have a plan view of everything moving. You are thus in a better position to make careful decisions that result in positive outcomes.

Most complain about not being able to break the glass ceiling. And they never will because they don’t know the structural plan of the big picture.

In a crowded lobby most of the crowd will be waiting for the elevator, but it can only take up a few at each cycle.

The few of us that do know what the plan the building is based on is, know that all we have to do is step out of the crowd and take the stairs to go up to the level we want to be at. If it’s the highest level possible we will sweat it out to get there faster, so we run up if we want to beat those in the elevator to the top, usually acquiring a significant lead in the process.

Then when we’ve completed the climb early we realise that we have to wait for the next climber to arrive before we have peers closer to our age to relate to because those taking the elevator haven’t experienced the climb like we did and arrive in a different stage of their lives.

Thus we appreciate those that have made the climb before and with us better as well. It is a unique situation that few others can appreciate. Being young and responsible for terminal outcomes.

The elevator down is usually empty or sparse with company, so when we visit the level we started from and the doors open we will always run into an overwhelming crowd of people that wait for that comfortable ride. After walking around we know where the stairs are and so we open the door and hope that some others like us have the vision to see it as well. Being fitter from the first climb, for us it gets easier every following time.

Having that fitness and mobility also allows us to explore outside the plans when we want and see the world that exists outside that tower.

We can within our ability run thru the park or country side, or we can choose to pace at leisure taking in the joys the world has to offer and even wave back at those climbing the stairs that can see us from the windows of the stair wells, and those looking on from the office floors in envy or aspiration.

Those in the lobby or elevator will not know of the existence of this lifestyle option until they’ve arrived at that level, by which time they may not have much time left to enjoy it. Meanwhile we continue to exercise the choices we have that others may not because we stepped out and took that climb earlier and have options that not many will ever notice are always there. And will thus never take it.

There is no such thing as a glass ceiling, just the bottom of the glass floor. At the top level it is called roofing and it looks different and serves a different purpose. Know the difference.

Do you want to be a climber or a waiter?

Speech Draft: Talk to pre-university students on the role of the military, NS and the Army Training Doctrine.

Part of the responsibility of being a Singaporean Man is to protect, protecting our loved ones is the reason we do National Service (NS). And as NS-Men, it is our responsibility as well to educate the next generation of protectors on the reason why we serve our country through NS in the uniformed services.

On occasion some of us get called upon to address the young men that will eventually be part of the national Total Defence framework. And once we’ve done it enough times, we come to realise that it always comes down to the same core reason, because we love our families and friends, and we serve to keep them safe.

I prefer to be honest with the lads, telling them straight up that beyond all the propaganda being thrown their way about guts, glory and pride, that all that is superficial. The real reason we do it is love. This is the speech draft I’ve developed for my introductory addresses to keep things simple and sincere, so that the students can relate to the core message and understand the real reason why we do what we do.

It is obviously Army centric because that is the service branch I served in, but I believe that the sentiment is universal for all service branches be it the military, police or civil defence forces.

This Total Defence Day let us give thanks to all servicemen & women that serve to protect us every day and night so that we may live our normal lives as citizens of a peaceful nation.

Thank you.

Speech Draft: Talk to pre-university students on the role of the millitary, National Service (NS) and the Army Training Doctrine.


Be thankful for your soldiers/servicemen.

If we do not go to war/strife it means we have done our job in defending through intelligence, psychology and diplomacy.

If we go to war it means we will do our job in defending through intelligence, psychology and violence.

Let us not ever have to resort to the latter, but in any event we will always need intelligence and psychological mightiness, this is why we develop young men into Thinking Soldiers and push them to their psychological and physical limit during training.

Everything we do must have purpose.

Our purpose is loving our families and friends enough to defend/protect them.

Do you love your families? They are the reason we do NS. Love not war.


Speech Draft: “Emo Parents are Awesome!”

Well Chinese New Year has just passed and the annual cycle of speaking engagements starts at the turn of the month. And along with it the quarterly ritual of drafting my speeches in advance, because I’m too much of an untalented slacker to work on caffeine inspired last minute masterpieces.

So here goes, time to get the oratorical gears lubed up and moving again after a jolly good winter’s break.

Obviously metaphorical, since we don’t really have winter in Singapore. Though we do have seasons, minus winter we have three of them. In order of occurance they are; rainy, scorching  and flooding.

Actually previously we just had two, rainy and scorching, but the government was so kiasu they built the Marina Barrage to keep the rain water from diluting the salty oily harbour beachie water. So now we have flooding, for a couple of months every year while the PUB figures out how to dogde getting blamed for the backed up longkangs.

Back on topic, this is the first draft of a speech on Celebrating the Family in Singapore. Hope you guys enjoy the read cos this would probably be the only time it’ll be seen unmolested (by people that think they are smarter than a code monkey that by some fluke also has a degree in communications).



Speech for events celebrating of families: “Emo Parents are Awesome!” [Original Draft] [Duration/Time Limit 5-10mins]

by Eman Lim, 9th February 2011.


Good day _____[Insert ceremonial greetings, salutations and miscellaneous drivel here.]

“Frustration is a symptom of passion. Angst is an indicator of love. Action is a result of having had enough of frustration, angst, passion and love. Direction is an understanding of why and what the action is for.”

If you are not frustrated, it means you don’t have enough passion to make things better. Frustration means that you know you can do better and want to do better.

If you do not feel angst than you do not love your cause enough.

If you feel none of these, you have no direction because you do not know what your cause is nor do you understand why you love it.

Parents love their kids and want the best for them. They may get frustrated if they do not succeed at giving their family the best that is possible, they feel angst (towards a system, situation or outcomes) because they love their kids. The parents that have enough love for their kids will take action, because they have direction in their lives. That direction is the best possible future for their kids.

I don’t think I qualify to speak for parents, because I am not a parent, but I am my parents’ child and I have experienced the frustration and angst of my parents through their respective and collective actions to give my brother and myself the best they could.

Kids, you may laugh at what I just said because I just called your parents frustrated and angsty, i.e. “emo”. But remember they are emo, because they are emotional. And that emotion they are expressing is love. Love for you.

If you ask me, you are lucky to have such emo parents, because there are other less fortunate kids your age with no parents or families to love them they way your parents love you.

If you have siblings that help your parents with their emo-ing on you. Then you know what? You are blessed because you have an even better future because you have them to emo you after your parents are gone, and when you have kids they will emo-ingly help you emo your kids too.

I know because my uncles and aunties helped my parents emo me too. I’m sure you’ve experienced your uncles, aunties and cousins emo you to.

Now as we celebrate our families as a community/national family, let us remember that being emo is good.
Kids, remember to show your parents your “thank yous” whenever they go emo on you.

Parents, thanks for being emo and emo-ing your kids the best you can. That is in my opinion the coolest way to be emo. The future is a better place because of you. I say the future IS  better because today WAS better already because you made it happen. You are truly awesome role models for your kids and future parents like myself…and the other future parent of my future children.

Happy Family Everyone! May you be EMO and AWESOME always!