FMOB – Supreme Court Open House

This writing is taken from my old blog. I put it up here because it has some educational value. This writing is dated 15 March 2009.

I decided to put up this blog post as the Queensland Law Society will organise an open house of the Brisbane Supreme Court at George St this Saturday. Let’s see how similar the Australian and Singapore judicial systems are – certainly no ‘Murri Courts’ in Singapore since there’s no such thing called ‘native title’ over there. And instead of Humpty Dumpty, QLS will have a mock trial of Hansel & Gretel, believed to be involved in a murder.


The Supreme Court, photo was taken two months ago

The publics were enthusiastic in the event

Yesterday, as part of my weekend short-getaway, I visited to the Singapore’s Supreme Court, in Indonesian known as “Mahkamah Agung”, Open House that lasts till today. I don’t know what time the event started nor the closing time. But one good thing about this is they really educate the public on laws and the appropriate behaviour in a court trial.

The first floor, taken from an escalator

Going to the “attic”

They will conduct a safety check on every visitors using both X-ray scanners and metal detectors, I don’t know why but I thought I did put my wallet, coin purse and bag on the X-ray scanner. The security guards are hired from Certis Cisco. I realised that I forgot to take out a scissors in my pencil case inside my bag. They confoscated it and I claimed back later. At first, you will be welcomed by volunteers (or may be it’s the law society, I don’t know) wearing orange t-shirt. Then, they will give out brochure on the event, summary of the Supreme Court as well as quiz that need to be solved by discovering through designated places in the building. Each question earns you one stamp and if you’ve collected all the stamps, you can redeem a prize at the first floor.

Parliament in the middleground and financial district in the background

A not-so-good-shot of me on Asian Civilisations Museum
Parliament again with restaurants along the Singapore River’s bank

There were 12 questions in the handout. There was also a parody trial of the case “Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty”. I didn’t attend the mock trial as the queue then was very long. And if you noticed the architecture of the building, it has some kind of UFO-like attic (or should I say roof?). There you could snapshot the Clarke Quay area (CMIIW) from 100 metre above the ground. A rare experience for peasants like me. You could also take some pictures of the financial district on the opposite side of the bank.

Going down from the “attic” or should I call it a pod?
Last shot before heading back, not to forget claiming back my scissors

There was an article on The Sunday Times today (15/03) regarding the open house that was held yesterday. They said that more than 10,000 people attended and it was the first open house since the judiciary body moved to the new premise in 2005.

Saybons’ crepe
I opted for ham & cheese crepe
The shoebag on the left and the mineral water on the right

All in all, I could say that the event was succesful and I also managed to finish the quiz. The worst of it, the prizes that they gave was quite lame. It was a shoe bag with nothing inside (at least a goodie bag or something like that), a D’elifrance voucher that entitled you a slash in price of their bottled water (50 cents from S$1.00) or isotonic drink, which I believe is Coke (60 cents from S$1.20) and a Saybons voucher that entitles you to a discount of 10% on crepes and soup. The vouchers also could only be used on the F&B booth outside the building and valid till today. Better than waste all my efforts, I decided to use it after all.


FMOB – Earth Hour in Singapore

This writing is taken from my old blog. I put it here because it has some educational value inside. It was posted on 29 March 2009.

I repost it here again because tomorrow the Earth Hour returns. Sadly, I’m no longer in Singapore but I will report about the Earth Hour event in Brisbane.

An Earth Hour advertisement in Serangoon Garden area

Yesterday evening, I made a last-minute decision to cancel my tuition and take a short break (really, really short one that it lasts only for two hours). I decided to join the other 2,000 gatherers in Esplanade Park by the Singapore River to join Earth Hour’s first event in Singapore. Last year, Singapore was not officially participated.

Among the sponsors for the concert (yes, they held a concert) were Starbucks (they said that they were giving away free Starbuck’s drinks but I didn’t see any, guess because I was a latecomer), Polar, Old Chang Kee (for Jakartans, they’ve opened a shop in Plaza Indonesia near FX area), Nokia, Philips, NParks (for allowing the concert) and SingTel. The concert invited a singer who sang together with Brian McKnight during Mosaic Music Festival (sadly I didn’t attend any concerts during that 9 days event), Michela (correct if I’m wrong); DJs from was it Mediacorp Radio’s Class 95 or Gold 90.5, a Caucasian guy (a DJ) and his buddy (I forget whom); and other local artists which I forget whom also. The artists also sang without any payment or salary; they voluntarily sang to promote awareness among us about environment well-being.

As I’ve stated above, I did come late, and when I came, it was just a few minutes from counting down to switch off the lights in the Singapore’s financial heartbeat’s skyscrapers. Among those who switched off were Fullerton Hotel, Maybank Tower and the buildings behind them. CapitaLand did not though.

Also coming on the show, WWF Singapore chairman, Ms Amy Ho; environment ambassador, Ms Nadya Hutagalung as well as Miss Earth Singapore whom I do not know the name.

And here are some snapshots that I took before the concert officially began:
On the way to Esplanade Park, notice the light is still on


Spot the difference between the photo above and the one below


A blur image on people lighting up their candles after the lights being switched off

It’s over

However, I do not fully agree with what most people did last night, using candles. Candles are made from kerosene (correct if I’m wrong) and lighting it up means releasing off carbon to the ozone layer. It is still no difference than not switching off at all. What they should do instead is using a solar-powered lamp that should absorb sunlight in the afternoon and used in the darkness.

I also did notice some bikes with Earth Hour and Vote Earth attributes at the rear part. And I would like to close my report here.

FMOB – Singapore International Storytelling Festival

Tulisan ini berasal dari blog lama saya. Saya putuskan untuk saya masukkan di sini karena ini merupakan satu dari sedikit postingan berkualitas saya di blog lama saya. Postingan ini tertanggal 30 Agustus 2008.

Tadi malam, saya mengunjungi Arts House Chamber di Singapura karena saya mendapatkan dua buah tiket masuk gratis dari Reader’s Digest. Awalnya, setelah keluar dari stasiun MRT Raffles Place, saya sempat memutar-mutar berkeliling kawasan CBD Singapura tersebut karena saya tidak tahu lokasi pastinya. Namun, saya berhenti sejenak di depan salah satu pintu mauk stasiun MRT Raffles Place untuk melihat peta. Di peta tersebut memang tidak dinyatakan di mana Arts House itu berada tapi berdasarkan surat yang saya terima, insting saya menyatakan saya harus menyeberang Singapore River. Dan insting saya tepat. Surat yang saya terima itu mengatakan bahwa lokasi Arts House berada di Old Parliament House yang berarti berada di seberang Singapore River. Saya pun teringat kata-kata ibu saya tahun lalu, buat apa saya sekolah di sana kalau tidak tahu ini di mana itu di mana, apa yang baru terjadi, ada tempat makan baru dan sebagainya.Ya mumpung sedang libur sekolah seminggu, tidak ada salahnya kalau saya pergi jalan-jalan sekali-kali (maklum saya orangnya agak pelit).

Ketika saya tiba, ada seorang pria yang didampinggi tiga orang wartawan memasuki Arts House tersebut. Awalnya saya kira orang itu adalah salah satu pencerita di acara tersebut. Karena saya membawa tas, saya pun berdiri sebentar di luar gedung mengorek-ngorek mencari tiket yang saya taruh (maaf, saya orangnya kalau terburu-buru apapun jadi berantakan). Beruntunglah saya bahwa orang yang berdiri di depan pintu masuk aula di mana akan dilaksanakannya acara tersebut masih setia menunggu peserta acara dan dengan senyum menunjukkan di mana dan bagaimana cara memasuki aula yang notabenenya merupakan tempat parlemen Singapura mengadakan rapat dulu.


Saya datang terlambat 30 menit dari jadwal aslinya. Untung saja acaranya belum dimulai, pikir batin saya. Acara pun dimulai dengan pembukaan oleh Bapak Jim Plouffe, editor atau manajer atau apalah dari majalah Reader’s Digest, tak disangka orang aslinya lebih gemuk daripada foto di majalah. Acara lalu dilanjutkan dengan cerita-cerita dari para pencerita berpengalaman seperti Sherry Norfolk dan lain-lain (saya lupa nama pencerita lainnya). Setelah empat pencerita menyelesaikan ceritanya, pembawa acara lalu mempersilakan para hadirin menuju tempat refreshment disajikan di luar aula (lihat gambar diatas). Dia (pembawa acara) juga memberikan kami 20 menit untuk beristirahat.

20 menit sudah berlalu, hadirin kemudian diarak kembali menuju aula untuk mendengarkan cerita-cerita dari Dolly (Malaysia), Bobby Norfolk (AS, suami dari Sherry) dan seorang pria berkebangsaan Amerika yang menceritakan tentang peperangan (lupa namanya). Sebelum acara berakhir, tamu kehormatan anggota parlemen untuk Marine Parade Bapak Mazagos Ghazali naik ke atas panggung untuk menerima hadiah karena sudah mau meluangkan waktunya untuk menghadiri acara tersebut, dia juga ternyata orang yang saya temui di pintu masuk. Setelah Bapak Mazagos, dua orang redaktur Reader’s Digest memberikan sambutan dan penghargaan kepada para hadirin yang bersedia untuk meluangkan waktunya menghadiri SISF. Akhir cerita, peserta pun kemudian dibubarkan untuk kembalike rumahnya masing-masing

Bagi saya, ini adalah acara yang cukup baik diadakan mengingat banyak orang Singapura memiliki Bahasa Inggris (maaf) yang sangat buruk. Sayangnya, animo masyarakat masih sangat rendah mengingat masih banyaknya kursi kosng yang ada. Acara ini sungguh sangat inspiratif bagi seorang pelajar seperti saya untuk memperbaiki kemampuan berbahasa Inggris saya yang bisa saya katakan masih belum memenuhi standar British English. Harapan saya adalah semoga masyarakat Singapura lebih menerima acara seperti ini dibandingkan dengan acara-acara tidak jelas yang banyak diadakan di Singapura.

Saya merasa bersyukur bisa menghadiri acara seperti SISF dan ingin menucapkan banyak terima kasih kepada majalah Reader’s Digest, National Library Board, Ministry of Education, dan kampanye “Speak Good English” oleh pemerintah Singapura.