Saturday, January 28, 2006


Into the blogsphere. There we go, communication and community on our superficial terms. I rested well today, allowing the wellspring of energy to recharge for the weekend. I love friday evenings.

There we go, communication and community on our isolated terms. When will I be able to take the pain and say that you're beautiful?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Oh, and in other news, I fell off a tread-mill.
My right-side, and my iPod, are pretty banged up.
I await the day I can sing in this in Church.

Dear god,
Hope you got the letter,
And I pray you can make it better down here.
I don�t mean a big reduction in the price of beer,
But all the people that you made in your image,
See them starving on their feet,
�cause they don�t get enough to eat
From god,
I can�t believe in you.

Dear god,
Sorry to disturb you,
But I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears,
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street,
�cause they can�t make opinions meet,
About god,
I can�t believe in you.

Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!

Dear god,
Don�t know if you noticed,
But your name is on a lot of quotes in this book.
Us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
And all the people that you made in your image,
Still believing that junk is true.
Well I know it ain�t and so do you,
Dear god,
I can�t believe in,
I don�t believe in,

I won�t believe in heaven and hell.
No saints, no sinners,
No devil as well.
No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
You�re always letting us humans down.
The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found,
And it�s the same the whole world �round.
The hurt I see helps to compound,
That the father, son and holy ghost,
Is just somebody�s unholy hoax,
And if you�re up there you�ll perceive,
That my heart�s here upon my sleeve.
If there�s one thing I don�t believe in...

It�s you,
Dear god.

It makes me cry and is one of my favourite songs.

My favourite because it is sung from a true heart, quite like King David's.
It makes me cry because it is sung to a true God, quite like King David's.

Why don't you do something about this God?
I have. I made you.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Deep sighs. To be honest, I have been very overwhelmed at the randomness of life. The desire to be in control and to be able to predict the outcome of events created a nice haven of assurance.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!

I cannot tell if I externalize my days. I do with certain people I think. Groaning down the halls of Angus with Tom, or screaming into the phone, and laughing. A lot. I laugh my headaches away.

Oh what a foretaste of Glory divine.

I drag myself home, talk to my cousin, do a chore here or there. Somehow, it's as if living gets in the way of life. The warcry of efficiency rings louder then the hummings of love, and it screams of our damnation.

Heir of salvation, purchase of God!

I look at Hannah and find an honesty that I really appreciate and rarely find. But what I discovered, darkly, while in the Regent atrium is that I am not infinite and have to make wise decisions on where I go. I just fear investing in the wrong spaces and divesting in the right.

Borne of His Spirit, washed in his Blood.

This is my story, this is my song.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dear Singapore.

It is with a heavy heart and the deepest regret, that I surrender ownership of my Passport, NRIC and Singapore Citizenship Certificate. My experience as a Singaporean has been imperative in shaping the person that I am today, and for all that, I have the Republic to thank. I have however, made the decision to retain my Canadian Citizenship for reasons that are simple and straightforward. But due to the confines of this page, and my purposes, it would not be appropriate to expound on them here.

I remember walking along Tampines St. 81, at the age of 13, wondering what this day would be like. And despite the lingering sadness that was to persue me relentlessly for the next nine years of my life, I brushed off the thought with the wanton assumption that eight years was still a long ways away. But journeys always come to an end, and my journey as a Singaporean and a Canadian has run its course and found its culmination at the crossroads of choice.

I turned 22 on the 22nd of January. There should have been much to celebrate. But there was also much to grieve for. I would like to say that I am far too young to make a wise, educated decision on an issue such as this. But that would be false. Give me another year, another decade, another lifetime, and I believe that I would still find myself making the same decision, with the same sentiments.

�Remember your roots� I was once told by a concerned Church member in Singapore when I was being questioned about my plans for the future. I could not bring myself to tell her that having been born in Canada, my geographical roots really lie in North America. I am Canadian by birthright, and only a Singaporean by registration. But this is beside the point. The fact is that my identity as a Singaporean, once arbitrarily assigned by rule of paper, has really been personally acquired by virtue of being. And it goes beyond cultivating an illogical lust for durians or by being politically enfeebled, but reaches down into the complex web of self-understanding and identification. Wah biang eh, my entire existential ontology and epistemological paradigm rests upon my fifteen years of being a Canadian-Singaporean, or a Singaporean-Canadian. Whichever you so please.

Now, I will just be Canadian.

I liken this process to a divorce, the emotional sense of loss and rejection left me railing against the other half. And I watched seething as the nation ambled on peacefully, doing what Singapore does. This left me, wretched lover and child, lost and unnatural, like one who has had a limb amputated, and then watches, in horror, as it physically walks away, independent and nonchalant. But this phase will soon pass and is currently in the process of mellowing down into aching nostalgia.

But if I could, I would remain Singaporean in the context of my Canadian citizenry. But for now I will have to be content with the memory of the National Anthem and the Pledge (recited habitually for 12 years, no less) and reconcile myself to a visitor�s pass. Perhaps the chewing gum and free access to the Integrated Resorts would placate some of the internal demons. But as much as it is undesirable for me, I understand why Singapore has to take this stand against dual-citizenships. Despite it wrecking such violence on my identity, I will find my peace and grow into this new relationship with my amputated nationality.

I wish, with all that I am, that in the future there be a way back to be recognized once again as a Singaporean, to have my identity match my political status. We live in a funny world of lines, and I am, in the spirit of Ashley Walker, very tired of the politics of little boxes. It does no justice to true living and experience to be thoughtlessly labeled by a two-dimensional concept of �the Nation-state�. It might have worked in 1648, but a fair amount of history has happened since then. There will be a lot more individuals such as myself, who will find themselves incongruous with this system of personal and national identity. We have been called Third Culture Kids, but really, we might just be the harbingers of a different mode of global organization: where the answer to the question �where are you from� would be more personal than national, and more engaging than an apathetic stamp on a little red booklet.

I believe that I have said (and am living) my peace on this subject. I hereby am no longer Singaporean by nationality and understand the political and social implications of this. I�d like to thank Singapore for all that it has done for me, and express my endearment towards her. I wish upon her blessings of peace and prosperity, wisdom and strength, and the fulfillment of all her promises to her people.

I turned 22 on the 22nd of January. There was much to celebrate.

Love always,


On a seperate, albeit related, note. I voted today for the first time in my life.
The Canadian government (liberal minority) went into some form of crisis recently and failed a vote of confidence which brought its 13-year reign to an end.

An end which was more or less decided by the Canadian population.

So the day after I bury my citizenship of one nation, I excercise my rights in another, flexing my democratic muscle (which is very shrivelled since I used to be Singaporean). I walked towards Gage towers at 5.20 pm nervously glacing for the bright yellow signs telling of a voting station.

I chickened out.

Who would've thought that marking a little black 'X' in a circle would mean so much? I was very hesitant on voting (much to the anger and disgust of my peers) and I do feel that I am less informed and equipped to vote as I would like to be. Not just due to the fact that I am very politically uninformed, but that I do not have a political history, or sense of social bearing in this nation. So I can read the lavish promises of each of the 5 parties in the news (which I did) but they mean nothing. The different between reading about a person and experiencing them stands here. Also being Singaporean for the bigger chunck of my life, I feel very much a stranger to the concept of being abled to change my political circumstances by sheer choice. What the hell do I do?

So I walk to Anso, in search of Andre whom I had asked to hold my hand while I take my first baby steps toward voting.

I felt really stupid.

I had to shout at Andre several times before getting his attention outside room 203. Geez, I swear that boy lives in a cloud. We walk, I talk. Same story. Ending up in line to register at the U-Chapel (side-note: I was horrified, as Andre was bemused, that they would set up voting stations in Churches. "They'd secretly change all the votes to Conservative!"), we stood in the cold, transfusing political knowledge from him to me.

Ending up in line to register at the U-Chapel, I thought to myself "how many Singaporeans get a chance to do this?"


Not that we've never voted in history. We've held 2 elections in the past 40 years and we're about to have one more. But I doubt that the extent of influence and power has ever been (nor will it be) to the degree of what I held in the University Chapel.

Back in Chancellor, between reading emails and making perogies, we discover that Canada now has a Minority Conservative Government. Must be those churches.

"You wasted your vote"
~ Andre, on my futile NDP vote (since the Liberals won in our riding, it counts for nothing on the federal level)

I didn't. It sure wasn't strategic, but it signaled (to me more then anyone else) that the time of paternalism is over, both nationalistically and personally.

I'm free. And will be held accountable.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I am so loved.
So, so loved.