Quote of the Week

“There is a Hindu tantric saying, nādevo devam arcayet, ‘by none but a god shall a god be worshipped.’ The deity of one’s worship is a function of one’s own state of mind. But it is also a product of one’s culture. Catholic nuns do not have visions of the Buddha, nor do Buddhist nuns have visions of Christ. Ineluctably, the image of any god beheld—whether interpreted as beheld in heaven or as beheld at çakra 6–will be of a local ethnic idea historically conditioned, a metaphor, therefore, and thus to be recognized as transparent to transcendence. Remaining fixed to its form, whether with simple faith or in saintly vision, is therefore to remain in mind historically bound and attached to an appearance.”

~ Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion, p.39

Koh Boon Hwee couldn’t kill a rabbit

That’s why he decided not to be a doctor and became a corporate head honcho instead

Straits Times Aug 10, 2014
By Wong Kim Hoh, Senior Writer

Over a two-hour chat with Koh Boon Hwee, one learns three key things about the corporate titan.

One, he does not like to give up on what he has started.

Two, he does not look back.

Three, he believes education is the key to changing one’s life.

These attributes have helped him navigate through life more than just niftily.

Just look at his curriculum vitae. A respected investor who co-founded private equity firm Credence Partners, the 63-year-old has chaired some of the country’s biggest and most successful organisations including SingTel, Singapore Airlines and DBS Bank.

He serves on the board of several public and private companies, both locally and in the United States and Hong Kong. He also chairs the board of trustees of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and is credited for overseeing its growth into an internationally recognised research university.

“I’m just lucky,” he says, trying to downplay his achievements. Several good mentors and some astute decisions at critical junctures, he suggests, are responsible for who, what and where he is.

Breaking out into a hearty laugh, he adds: “You know, being lucky is better than being smart.”

Perhaps so but Mr Koh – who has a first-class honours degree in mechanical engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA (Distinction) from Harvard Business School – also has one heck of a brain.

Almost sheepishly, the eldest of three children of a trader and a homemaker says: “Studies came very easily to me.” He breezed through his years at St Andrew’s and was Singapore’s top boy in the O-level and A-level examinations.

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Cher Lloyd – Sirens

I carry the weight of you in my heavy heart
And the wind is so icy, I am numb
I carry the weight of you heading back to start
With the thousand eyes on me, I stumble on

I am tired, I’m growing older
I’m getting weaker everyday, yeah
I carry the weight of you
I carry the weight of you

Lay down here
Beside me in the shallow water
Beside me where the sun is shining on us still
Lay down here
Beside me in the hallowed water
Beside me where the silver lining stays until
The sirens’ calling

We follow the sun down low till we hit the night
And you hold me so tightly
It’s hard to breathe
Oh

“Sirens” is a song by British singer-songwriter Cher Lloyd. It premiered on 14 March 2014. “Sirens” was lauded by music critics, with many praising the song’s mature sound, Lloyd’s vocals, and also noting the change in direction from Lloyd’s previous work.

The music video for “Sirens” premiered on Lloyd’s Vevo account on 29th April 2014. In the video, Lloyd plays a woman whose husband has become involved in drugs, showing the effect that drug use can have on a family. While Lloyd’s character is seen caring for the couple’s young daughter, Police raid the house, arresting her partner. Lloyd then carries the evidence through the house and burns it in a barrel in the garden, soon returning to the house where she is greeted by her young daughter as they sit together on the floor. In the “Behind the Scenes” footage, Lloyd reveals that the story of the video is inspired by a similar event from her childhood, and that the young daughter in the video represents Lloyd herself at a younger age. In an interview after the premiere, Lloyd revealed that the story behind the video retells an event from her childhood in which her father was arrested when she was five years old.

Starkillers & Alex Kenji feat. Nadia Ali – Pressure (Alesso Remix)

“Pressure” is a song by Nadia Ali, Starkillers and Alex Kenji. It was released on February 15, 2011 by Spinnin’ Records. The song reached No. 16 on the Ultratip Chart in Wallonia, Belgium.

Ali described “Pressure” as ‘a fun song venting about the frustrations and expectations which come with being successful’. The song was left untouched until March 2010, when at the Winter Music Conference Ali introduced Terranova to Bacci, who was subsequently asked to collaborate with the two and co-produce the track creating the final version.

The Alesso remix of “Pressure” became a club and festival anthem during summer 2011 and was included in their sets by prominent DJs such as Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Kaskade, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia. The song was described by Kaskade as the “Tune of 2011″. The remix was also nominated for the Best Progressive Track at the 27th International Dance Music Awards at the Winter Music Conference.[

Empty yourself of everything

“Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind become still.
The ten thousand things rise and fall
while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish
and then return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness,
which is the way of nature.
The way of nature is unchanging.
Knowing constancy is insight.
Not knowing constancy
leads to disaster.
Knowing constancy,
the mind is open.
With an open mind,
you will be openhearted.
Being openhearted,
you will act wisely.
Being wise, you will
attain the divine.
Being divine, you will be
at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao
is eternal.
And though the body dies,
the Tao will never pass away.”

~ Lao Tsu-Tao te Ching

Andain – What It’s Like (Sneijder Remix)

Do you know what it’s like
When your world seems to change overnight
And it feels like the earth could break
Tell me do you know what it takes

Stop my heart
Don’t let it break
Is it true that you did what you said
And it’s hard for me to see you so far
And it’s hard for me to see you for what you are

Hold my breath, hold me down
Take the hand of god and lead me to drown
And it’s fine to say that it’s not real
Well maybe I won’t run or I won’t feel

Heaven won’t ever forgive
Making it hurt when you see
My every day my every night
I hide I hide I say why

P.M. Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (1991)

Baby you send me
Set adrift on memory bliss of you

The camera pans the cocktail glass,
Behind a blind of plastic plants;
I found the lady with the fat diamond ring.
Then you know I can’t remember a damn thing.

I think it’s one of those deja vu things,
Or a dream that’s trying to tell me something.
Or will I ever stop thinking about it.
I don’t know, I doubt it.

Subterranean by design,
I wonder what I would find
If I met you,
Let my eyes caress you,
Until I meet the thought of Missus Princess Who?

Often wonder what makes her work.
I guess I’ll leave that question to the experts,
Assuming that there are some out there.
They’re probably alone, solitaire.

I can remember when I caught up
With a pastime intimate friend.
She said, “Bet you’re probably gonna say I look lovely,
But you probably don’t think nothing of me.”

She was right, though, I can’t lie.
She’s just one of those corners in my mind,
And I just put her right back with the rest.
That’s the way it goes, I guess.

Baby you send me
Set adrift on memory bliss of you

Careless whisper from a careless man,
A neutron dance for a neutron fan;
Marionette strings are dangerous things,
I thought of all the trouble they bring.

An eye for an eye, a spy for a spy,
Rubber bands expand in a frustrating sigh.
Tell me that she’s not dreaming.
She’s got an ace in the hole,
It doesn’t have meaning.
Reality used to be a friend of mine,
Cause complete control, I don’t take too kind.
Christina Applegate, you gotta put me on.

Guess who’s piece of the cake is Jack gone?
She broke her wishbone and wished for a sign.
I told her whispers in my heart were fine.
What did she think she could do?
I feel for her, I really do.
The next day I had the ring finger on her hand,
I wanted her to be a big PM Dawn fan,
But I had to put her right back with the rest.
That’s the way it goes, I guess.

Zouk may shut by year end

Iconic club to close if it can’t secure 3-year lease

Published on Jun 18, 2014 6:13 AM
Zouk founder Lincoln Cheng, 67, says he will close the iconic nightspot for good by the end of the year if he does not get a three-year extension on the lease. He said he had no desire to retire, but that he also felt the need to be responsible to his staff, who have been asking him for his decision as to what to do with the club when the lease expires. — ST PHOTO: JOYCE LIM

The founder of Zouk, Mr Lincoln Cheng, says he is tired of getting short lease extensions for the popular dance club’s Jiak Kim Street site.

If he does not get a three-year extension he is now requesting, he will close the 23-year-old iconic nightspot for good by the end of this year.

Mr Cheng, 67, revealed this to The Straits Times earlier this month, ending recent speculation as to what will eventually happen to the much-loved Singapore club.

Currently ranked No.7 in the world by DJ Mag, an influential UK music magazine, Zouk has become an internationally recognised name on the global club circuit.

Each week, the club’s five outlets – Wine Bar, Phuture, Velvet Underground-Dance and Velvet Underground-Lounge and the Zouk main dance hall – draw more than 10,000 revellers from Singapore, Asia and other parts of the world. It is the only club that has won the prestigious Best Nightspot Experience award from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) a record nine times.

Last year, financial audit firm Ernst & Young valued the home-grown brand and its business at $40 million.

When the club first opened in 1991, the land around it was largely vacant. But today, the club – which is situated within three recently conserved riverside warehouses – is dwarfed by neighbouring condominiums and hotels. It was no surprise, therefore, when questions about the fate of Zouk started making the rounds in 2012.

In the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) latest Master Plan, which governs Singapore’s development over the next 10 to 15 years, Zouk’s premises are within a larger site zoned for residential use, with commercial activity on the first floor.

The site has not yet been listed for sale under the Government Land Sales Programme.

It has been reported that its lease was extended till last June, when it first expired in 2012, and once more until June 30 this year.

Last month, the authorities gave a third extension – this time for only six months until the end of December.

A URA spokesman said: “The site was first leased to Zouk in 1990 for interim use as the surrounding area was not fully developed and there were no firm development plans for the site at that point in time. The lease was extended subsequently as there were still no firm plans to develop the site. Over time, the surrounding area has become an established residential precinct. As such, the use of the site by Zouk has become incompatible with the residential nature of the area.”

Mr Cheng said: “We can’t live with six months’ extension. It takes three years to set up a new club. We wanted the new Zouk to be ready when the old Zouk closes.”

Speaking candidly to The Straits Times, Mr Cheng, an avid music lover and art collector, said: “Zouk is like my baby. It is like losing my child, like losing a family member. I am still active. I have no desire to retire.”

But the entrepreneur said he also felt the need to be responsible to his staff, who have been asking him for his decision as to what to do with the club when the lease expires. “If no other options present themselves before the lease expiry, it will make it necessary for the club to bow out of the Singapore entertainment scene,” he said.

He added that Zouk will soon make the necessary preparations in the areas of hardware, administration and human resource for its closure. Mr Cheng plans to have a series of farewell parties and a final instalment of the 2014 ZoukOut festival to thank the club’s loyal fans.

The veteran entrepreneur said he had started a search for a new home for Zouk as early as 2010, and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showed him four sites in Sentosa. “We didn’t like Sentosa because it is a one-way road out,” said Mr Cheng.

The “stunning-looking” building that housed the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station caught his eye. “But we were told by URA that piece of land is not available. It is too political still, so don’t even think about it,” he said.

An STB spokesman told The Straits Times that the board has been facilitating talks between Zouk and various organisations, including various commercial entities and fellow government agencies such as the Singapore Land Authority and the URA.

It said it wanted to help Zouk identify alternative locations beyond its current tenancy at Jiak Kim Street, but its spokesman declined to reveal details of the sites “due to business confidentiality”.

Meanwhile, Zouk’s head of business development and public relations, Miss Sofie Chandra, 31, told The Straits Times that the closure of Zouk Singapore will not affect its sister club in Kuala Lumpur. The 10-year-old Zouk KL, a seven-room nightspot currently located in Jalan Ampang, has found a new site, and it will be relocating to TREC, a new lifestyle and entertainment precinct in downtown Jalan Tun Razak next year.

When told of the news, celebrity presenter and Zouk regular Najip Ali said he was shocked.

“When Zouk opened, it was ahead of its time. In the 1990s, Zouk put a stamp on the kind of nightlife that didn’t exist.” It was where he learnt about music and deejays. “Zouk has been and is still an institution,” he said.

Zouk may shut by year end

Iconic club to close if it can’t secure 3-year lease

Published on Jun 18, 2014 6:13 AM
 56.8K  4108  6  6 PRINT EMAIL
Zouk founder Lincoln Cheng, 67, says he will close the iconic nightspot for good by the end of the year if he does not get a three-year extension on the lease. He said he had no desire to retire, but that he also felt the need to be responsible to his staff, who have been asking him for his decision as to what to do with the club when the lease expires. — ST PHOTO: JOYCE LIM

The founder of Zouk, Mr Lincoln Cheng, says he is tired of getting short lease extensions for the popular dance club’s Jiak Kim Street site.

If he does not get a three-year extension he is now requesting, he will close the 23-year-old iconic nightspot for good by the end of this year.

Mr Cheng, 67, revealed this to The Straits Times earlier this month, ending recent speculation as to what will eventually happen to the much-loved Singapore club.

Currently ranked No.7 in the world by DJ Mag, an influential UK music magazine, Zouk has become an internationally recognised name on the global club circuit.

Each week, the club’s five outlets – Wine Bar, Phuture, Velvet Underground-Dance and Velvet Underground-Lounge and the Zouk main dance hall – draw more than 10,000 revellers from Singapore, Asia and other parts of the world. It is the only club that has won the prestigious Best Nightspot Experience award from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) a record nine times.

Last year, financial audit firm Ernst & Young valued the home-grown brand and its business at $40 million.

When the club first opened in 1991, the land around it was largely vacant. But today, the club – which is situated within three recently conserved riverside warehouses – is dwarfed by neighbouring condominiums and hotels. It was no surprise, therefore, when questions about the fate of Zouk started making the rounds in 2012.

In the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) latest Master Plan, which governs Singapore’s development over the next 10 to 15 years, Zouk’s premises are within a larger site zoned for residential use, with commercial activity on the first floor.

The site has not yet been listed for sale under the Government Land Sales Programme.

It has been reported that its lease was extended till last June, when it first expired in 2012, and once more until June 30 this year.

Last month, the authorities gave a third extension – this time for only six months until the end of December.

A URA spokesman said: “The site was first leased to Zouk in 1990 for interim use as the surrounding area was not fully developed and there were no firm development plans for the site at that point in time. The lease was extended subsequently as there were still no firm plans to develop the site. Over time, the surrounding area has become an established residential precinct. As such, the use of the site by Zouk has become incompatible with the residential nature of the area.”

Mr Cheng said: “We can’t live with six months’ extension. It takes three years to set up a new club. We wanted the new Zouk to be ready when the old Zouk closes.”

Speaking candidly to The Straits Times, Mr Cheng, an avid music lover and art collector, said: “Zouk is like my baby. It is like losing my child, like losing a family member. I am still active. I have no desire to retire.”

But the entrepreneur said he also felt the need to be responsible to his staff, who have been asking him for his decision as to what to do with the club when the lease expires. “If no other options present themselves before the lease expiry, it will make it necessary for the club to bow out of the Singapore entertainment scene,” he said.

He added that Zouk will soon make the necessary preparations in the areas of hardware, administration and human resource for its closure. Mr Cheng plans to have a series of farewell parties and a final instalment of the 2014 ZoukOut festival to thank the club’s loyal fans.

The veteran entrepreneur said he had started a search for a new home for Zouk as early as 2010, and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showed him four sites in Sentosa. “We didn’t like Sentosa because it is a one-way road out,” said Mr Cheng.

The “stunning-looking” building that housed the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station caught his eye. “But we were told by URA that piece of land is not available. It is too political still, so don’t even think about it,” he said.

An STB spokesman told The Straits Times that the board has been facilitating talks between Zouk and various organisations, including various commercial entities and fellow government agencies such as the Singapore Land Authority and the URA.

It said it wanted to help Zouk identify alternative locations beyond its current tenancy at Jiak Kim Street, but its spokesman declined to reveal details of the sites “due to business confidentiality”.

Meanwhile, Zouk’s head of business development and public relations, Miss Sofie Chandra, 31, told The Straits Times that the closure of Zouk Singapore will not affect its sister club in Kuala Lumpur. The 10-year-old Zouk KL, a seven-room nightspot currently located in Jalan Ampang, has found a new site, and it will be relocating to TREC, a new lifestyle and entertainment precinct in downtown Jalan Tun Razak next year.

When told of the news, celebrity presenter and Zouk regular Najip Ali said he was shocked.

“When Zouk opened, it was ahead of its time. In the 1990s, Zouk put a stamp on the kind of nightlife that didn’t exist.” It was where he learnt about music and deejays. “Zouk has been and is still an institution,” he said.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/zouk-may-shut-year-end-20140618#sthash.GzBOcETu.dpuf

Weeds grow and flowers fall and that is all.