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Arriving at Laban Rata, Ms Dumlao saw uniformed rescuers milling around the "chaotic scene".

"They were looking rather lost really, and it was the mountain guides who did most of the work attending to the injured, strapping people into stretchers, getting ready to take them down the mountain," she said.

"The whole government emergency response was a farce."

She said the effort appeared disorganised, and without helicopters, the rescue officers were of little help, stuck on foot and five hours away from the mountain's peak.

"They congregated in groups occupying resting spaces, sharing smokes and food that were meant for survivors," she said.

"A convenient helipad remain unused when they could have transported rescuers to the foot of the peaks. Instead "rescuers" arrived at 4:00pm, nine hours after the earthquake struck, on foot, much too tired to be of help."

Ms Dumlao said many more people could have been helped, and deaths may have been prevented, had helicopters landed in Laban Rata.

"If the helicopters had delivered some help earlier and landed in the helipad at Laban Rata, they may certainly have been able to attend to any injured people quite sooner," she said.

Click on the link below to read more.


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I don't know Sharon Au as a friend. But I have met her before, and I remember that we were both enthusing about how much we loved Haresh Sharma's plays. (Au declared he was her favourite Singaporean playwright.)

I actually don't like it when racial discourses are framed in terms of 'sensitivity', because the aggrieved parties--often minorities--are then cast as humourless and oversensitive. And that's really quite wrong, because God knows how minorities have often used laughter to deal with...all the stuff we have to deal with! I'd much rather such comments be flagged as 'inappropriate' rather than 'insensitive'. This is because the discourse on sensitivity vests all the authority in the aggrieved party to define where the line of offence lies and when it has been crossed--unfortunately breeding resentment. But when we describe something as 'inappropriate' there is a sense that a whole community (of Singaporeans) takes responsibility for defining what should be the norms in our multicultural society.

So when Au imitated an Indian accent when she spoke to an Indian member of the audience, was she being 'insensitive'? Certainly it's 'lame', 'off-colour' and even a little 'tone-deaf'. It could have been funny in a situation, for example, if the girl had a chance to try on a Chinese accent (there's such a thing, and it has given us choice phrases like 'SQ me' and 'solly solly' and 'probrem sums') as a way of getting back at Au. And this is what I believe happens when friends interact with each other. A close friendship gives you license to poke fun at each other--though you always take cues from the other person, who'll lead with self-deprecating remarks: "Sorry, I'm very Chinese, I must insist the taxi driver give me my 5 cents change"; "Eh, I bring shame to the Malays lah, I really cannot play soccer"; "I'm very Indian, I cannot wear all this monochrome stuff, I must have at least three colours on me."

I think as a very experienced host, Au's instinct is always to establish rapport with the audience member. But I think she flubbed--and I truly think it is an honest mistake--because she might have assumed that it is the ability to make these racial comments that establishes rapport. This is getting it backwards: you build the rapport first, you gain the other person's trust, before you get permission to say such things (and you should be able to take as good as you give). I think at the spur of the moment, Au might have looked at that audience member and immediately thought: 'talk to her in that teasing, jokey way you talk to your Indian friend'. But of course the audience member was a total stranger (in a public setting), and which stranger could take kindly to such remarks?

Au has apologised, gracefully and sincerely, without attempting to justify what she did (which is more than I can say of those who might claim that they're being 'victimised' by political correctness and that 'people can't take a joke anymore'--or worse, say that 'I have many Indian friends so I can't be racist').

And now on to the rest of the Games!

(PS: Some people cannot read properly so let me summarise. This isn't saying 'she did nothing wrong'. This is saying, 'she did something wrong and admitted it and made a voluntary apology'. There's a difference k?)


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Tanjong Katong Primary School student survivor Emyr Uzayr does not want to close his eyes, even as he lies in a hospital bed at Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu Hospital recovering from a fractured skull and injured back.

The student told his father Sadri Farick that when he closes his eyes, the images of the disaster and his friends getting hurt keep unfolding in his mind.

"By closing my eyes, I keep seeing what I saw. It's so shocking and I cannot believe it." He says.

Sadri says his son saw things "that I don't think I would like to describe".

"It is very sad when my son asked about his missing friends," Sadri added.

Although Emyr was moved out of intensive care to a normal ward at 6PM yesterday after undergoing an emergency 4-hour operation, the boy was unable to put the horrors of the ordeal behind him. His parents arrived at the hospital at about 1.30PM today when Emyr was just regaining consciousness.

"My wife is very close to my son. Of course she is very happy to see him alive," he said. "Seeing him is the best thing in my life."

Emyr will be flown back to Singapore via an International SOS air ambulance today.

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51 year-old Mr Wee, the father of the Singaporean student Peony Wee Ying Ping, says he regrets letting her join the school expedition to Mount Kinabalu.

Peony was a primary 6 student of Tanjong Katong Primary School and among 8 students and 2 teachers who had gone missing after the earthquake struck Sabah while they were climbing. She and her peers would be sitting for their Primary School Leaving Examination in 2 months if not for the disaster.

"I should not have let her go," Mr Wee says. He only relented after his daughter begged for his approval constantly, paying S$600 (RM 1660) for the trip as he wanted to make her happy.

"After all, there would be teachers looking after the children," he added.

Peony flew to Sabah at 6.30AM on Wednesday.

Mr Wee said that Peony was a good girl who would help her mother at her traditional Chinese medicine clinic whenever she was free. He has 2 other children, a 14-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter.

"She loved her sister despite the age gap." He said that Peony would take her sister to the playground whenever she could.

Mr Wee described his daughter as someone who was "very active and loved outdoor activities". She was also a student leader and a member of the school's netball team.

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The Malaysian authorities today released all 17 names of the Mount Kinabalu victims of an earthquake which struck Sabah Malaysia on Friday, which has left them still stranded on the popular climbing spot.

The names of 8 Singaporeans, 6 Malaysians, and one person each from China, Philippines and Japan were posted on a notice board at a media center situated at on the foot of Mount Kinabalu.

The victims from Singapore include teachers and students of Tanjung Katong Primary School, and other adult climbers:

Rachel Ho Yann Shiuan,
Sonia Jhala,
Emilie Giovanna Ramu,
Ameer Ryaan Mohd Adeed,
Navdeep Singh Jaryal a/l Rajkumar,

Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed, 35,
Loo Jian Liang Terrence, 29,
Muhammad Daanish Amran, 22.

On the first day of search and rescue operations, teams of security personnel, with the assistance of mountain guides and villagers, recovered 2 bodies identified as 12 year-old Singaporean student Peony Wee Ying Ping and 30 year-old Malaysian Robbi Sapinggi from Kampung Kiau in Kota Belud.

Rescue teams recovered another 11 bodies yesterday, pushing the total deaths from the quake up to 13, 6 people are still missing. The deceased have been flown to Kota Kinabalu by helicopter for post mortem.

The Malaysian authorities also announced that another 12 year-old Singaporean student, Prajesh Dhimant Patel, has been seriously injured and is currently undergoing emergency treatment at Gleneagles Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.

Ranau police chief Deputy Superintendent Farhan Lee Abdullah said that rescue operations will continue until they find the missing persons.

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We are deeply saddened to inform that the bodies recovered by the Malaysian authorities have been identified by their next-of-kin as five students and one teacher from Tanjong Katong Primary School.

They are:

1. Ameer Ryyan bin Mohd Adeed Sanjay

2. Emilie Giovanna Ramu

3. Loo Jian Liang Terrence Sebastian (Teacher)

4. Matahom Karyl Mitzi Higuit

5. Rachel Ho Yann Shiuan

6. Sonia Jhala

A Singaporean adventure guide, Muhammad Daanish bin Amran, who accompanied the students, has also been identified.

Operations are continuing to locate the remaining one student Navdeep Singh Jaryal S/O Raj Kumar, and one teacher Mohammad Ghazi Bin Mohamed.

MOE and other government officials are in Kota Kinabalu, and are providing assistance and support to the families during this difficult period.

Arrangements are being made for the family members and the bodies of the deceased to be flown back to Singapore as soon as possible.

Ministry of Education

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Student Amal Ashley Lim, 12, said keeping calm as the rocks rained down on her group near the summit saved her life. A teacher bundled her and several other students under a shallow overhang for protection.

They watched helplessly as some of her other schoolmates were struck by the falling rocks. She said that the teacher who helped her granddaughter was injured, with blood on her hands. According to her, this teacher is still in Sabah.

Ashley was among 29 students and eight teachers from the Tanjung Katong Primary School in Singapore who trekked up the mountain.

She was among the first in the group to complete the trek at about 7.15am. “That’s when everything started shaking,” she said.

As they sheltered under the overhang, her friend started crying. “I did my best to calm her.

When a teacher who went to look for the others did not come back after 15 minutes, Ashley started shouting for help.

Her cries were heard by their guide James Michael who led her and her friends to safety.

Ashley's uncle, Mr Hafiz Ahmad, 43 said the family was there because Ashley's mother, who was not identified, was there by herself. Her husband is overseas.

Mr Hafiz said: "One of the reasons Ashley is alive is because a teacher pushed her under an overhang.

"My niece is distraught right now. She suffered hypothermia. Other than that, there are no other serious injuries."

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In a nail biting final at the OCBC Arena Hall, Singapore finally gained revenge on arch-rivals Malaysia to capture the SEA Games netball gold medal. At the 2001 Sea Games in KL, Singapore lost to Malaysia in the final.

Today, Singapore's netballers held on to a razer thin 46 - 43 victory much to the delight of the home crowd.

Unlike the previous draw with Malaysia during the netball qualifiers, Singapore shooters made crucial shots when it mattered and won the final for the republic.

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The Prime Minister is deeply saddened by the deaths of eight Singaporeans in the earthquake at Mount Kinabalu. They were one teacher and six pupils from Tanjong Katong Primary School on an overseas learning trip, plus one adventure guide. One teacher and one student are still missing.

On behalf of all Singaporeans, the Prime Minister expresses his deepest condolences and sympathies to their families and loved ones. As we grieve over the loss of these young lives, we also take heart that they were striving to stretch their limits and take on new challenges.

The Prime Minister also thanks all those who are working tirelessly in the search, rescue and recovery efforts – the Malaysian authorities, the search and rescue teams, the hospital staff, and all the officers and volunteers who are helping in one way or other in Sabah and Singapore.

Monday, 8 June 2015 will be a Day of National Remembrance. State flags on all Government buildings will be flown at half-mast. One minute of silence will be observed at the beginning of the day at all SEA Games venues.

We hope that this collective expression of sympathy and support from all Singaporeans will give solace and comfort to the families and loved ones of the victims.

7 JUNE 2015

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Dear Editors,

It is an utterly terrible tragedy that a group of TKPS students and teachers lost their lives on Mount Kinabalu. I am close to one of the deceased and words cannot represent the sorrow I feel now.

But as I read some comments on this tragedy, I am forced to write this, hoping to put an end to all the knee-jerk reaction I see. Some Singaporeans have been on a witch hunt, blaming TKPS, blaming the teachers, blaming MOE, blaming Heng Swee Keat and blaming the Govt for this calamity. This is a natural disaster period.

Please stop doing this. If you know the crazy effort our teachers put in for every single Overseas Expedition trip, you wouldn't be saying the insensitive unhelpful comments you are making.

Teachers are always unappreciated and forced to go on overseas recce and assess the risk before they are allowed to bring their students on such trips. This process undergoes strict risk assessment because it is imperative that the students are SAFE.

Safety is always the school and the teacher's top priority. In the last 15 years there were only 6 deaths on Mount Kinabalu. Imagine if you were to assess the risk, how would you evaluate? Moreover, so many young school children have scaled Kinabalu before and it is definitely a manageable climb for them. Personally I have went to Kinabalu 3 times and even though it is tough, if you rest enough, you can make it.

An earthquake of this magnitude is unprecedented so it is impossible to plan for such a catastrophe. Even the mountain guides themselves were not spared by mother nature. So please show some respect to the deceased and show respect to the educators who have sacrificed a lot to make such overseas trips possible.

I hope everyone will respect teachers, TKPS and MOE and stop making stupid remarks about this tragedy. Everyone is an expert on hindsight and you are not allowing us to grief. This is nobody's fault so please stop it. MOE will definitely review the programme but I hope they do not cancel it in honour of the sacrifices these students and teachers have made. If we did, we would be dishonouring their memory and spirit of embarking on their climb.

Rest in peace my dear friends.

Mabel Liew

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As I await news of the missing teachers and students (one of the missing teachers is the husband of a good friend of mine), I got rather pissed with some armchair critics who blamed this incident on the school because these armchair critics deemed the activity unsuitable for upper primary school students.

Firstly, was the case of the missing students and teachers a result of negligence, poor planning, or a result of having an activity that is apparently unsuitable for upper primary students? No. It was due to a natural disaster. So why are you blaming the school?

Next, could there have been contingencies? You're talking about an earthquake that occurred in a place that is nowhere near an earthquake zone. Up till Friday, the probability of an earthquake happening in Kinabalu is probably the same as an asteroid hitting Singapore and geologist are still pretty baffled by how it happened (the magma rising theory hasn't been verified, and I have my doubts as usually such activity does not trigger such a serious earthquake). If I were to use these people's flawed logic, that means if I were teaching in a classroom and the classroom got hit by an asteroid, I should be blamed for not having contingencies for my classroom being hit by an asteroid. Heck, might as well have contingencies for a 10 storey-high flood or a volcano popping out in the middle of my school since it has similar probability of happening in SG too, right?

Lastly, Mt Kinabalu has been deemed suitable for upper primary students, by agents and Mt Kinabalu website advised that the children should be at least 10 years old (http://www.mountkinabalu.com). People of my size and fitness who did not train for it also made it up with nothing more than a trekking pole, what's more students who have been very well prepared by so much training. Parents have the option too to not allow their child to go if they are not comfortable with it.

The school has run this programme for a number of years. So if you had issue with them bringing 12 year-olds up, then question that earlier, instead of putting blame on them for something that they can't prepare for happened. You would have a lot more credibility than this.

Teachers who bring students overseas have a lot to risk, for we are more than their parents there - the kids' life matters more than ours. I've brought students on two overseas trip and each time, we could never really rest and stop worrying until we return the students back to their parent's hands. Whenever a student fall sick, we were even more worried than anyone. I never knew I could be that worried for someone until last year in Yogyakarta, a student of mine had stomach flu and was in such intense pain that we had to bring him to A&E. I could only be a little less worried when he dozed off after being given the medication and snored. That was the most assuring snore I've ever heard in my life. Even when I bring my boys for 1-star and 2-star kayaking course, I still worry every single moment that a freak accident might happen.

Despite having risk-management and planning done, we still fear and worry the impossible. So before you claim that teachers are doing it for fame or for their portfolio or to raise the profile of the school, maybe you have encountered some black sheep, but please do not assume that it is the same for many of us and smear us with the same brush. Having so many days of being constantly worried and clearing so much admin work to get the trip to take place is not worth any supposed boost to us. But why do we still do it? The students' learning - it is often life-changing for them.

My good friend's husband is a dedicated teacher who have changed many lives (Go to twitter, do a search for "Mr Ghazi", or https://instagram.com/explore/tags/prayfortkpsclimbers/ and see what his current and ex-students said about him). Please do not step on his and his colleague's good work and dedication, as well as the sacrifices they made to change lives, while you sit comfortably behind your keyboard because of your ignorance. It hurts the loved ones of the missing students and teachers because it makes them blame themselves for something that is not even within their locus of control.

May they come back safe. And may the rest of us have the the courage to continue to do what matters to the kids.

Updates: Some have claimed based on this link (http://earthquaketrack.com/p/malaysia/sabah/recent) that Sabah is indeed in an earthquake prone area. I disagree based on the following -

1) Most of the earthquake are below Ritcher scale of 5.0, which means they are 10 times less powerful than what happened on Friday. Anything below a Ritcher scale of 5.0 is considered rather minor.

2) Most of the earthquakes are at the east coast of Borneo, which is not surprising because it is a lot closer to the tectonic plate boundaries,the traditional hotspots for earthquakes. However, KK is a lot further from these places - how can we use these as justification that KK is earthquake prone?

3) Finally, if you don't trust my amateur analysis as a geog major, then do a quick check around different academic papers by various geologists- Borneo is hardly placed as an area that is at risk of tectonic hazards base on data from the past century.


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Dear fellow Singaporeans,

Thank you one and all for agreeing with me. Except for a few who are foreigners I suspect.

I was almost tearing when I saw the following news. A moment ago there was an update from CNA. Bodies are found pinned under the boulders and rescuers are finding it difficult to remove these bodies. Imagine these small 12 year old bodies crashed by huge rocks. This is not the way to die. They have a long life ahead of them.


I would like someone to help me propose that the MOE Minister, the school principal and those teachers or administrators who coined the idea of the trip be removed from their positions. Furthermore, I am proposing the MOE compensate the dead child’s parents a sum of no less than 1 million dollars because this child would easily earn at least a million dollars in her life time and part of it would go out to support her aging parents.

We are already so short of babies and these precious lives are subjected to such tough mountain-climbing trip? I think the MOE and the school has gone mad. They do all these because of some lame excuse: “Leadership training”?

If MSK can escape the prison and no one was harmed, and Mr Wong Kan Seng has to step down, why can’t we demand that Heng Swee Kiat step down?

Please, we all need to stand up for the poor child who died and her parents. If nothing is done, then MOE will continue their ways. We are not talking about voting the PAP out, we are merely saying any civil servants, MPs or Ministers who make such grave mistakes SHOULD STEP DOWN!

Sincerely yours,
Andrew Teo

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When I was young, I used to be very active as an Adventurer, conducting training and bringing group of young people to climb Mount Ophir. Not a very tall mountain but still, periodically there are news of accidents and even death.

It is a great responsibility to lead a group of young people and I never brought anyone below 16 and full discipline is a requirement.

I am not sure how the climb of Mount Kinabalu is conducted but I will have great reservations to bring students of age 12 and below for mountain climbing.

Whether this accident happened or not, taking 12 year old to climb mountain and worse, cliff, is totally unacceptable by any standards.

I thought I was crazy enough to bring group of 17 and 18 year old students to climb Mount Ophir but I guess I was far more prudent than these schools.

As I have said, whether the Earthquake happens or not, sending 12 year old kids to climb cliff is really insane.

The key thing is about reducing risk or the amount of risk you take. It is true that Earthquake is not something you meet often and whoever caught in the Earthquake may face death.

However age does matter when it comes to handling emergency or crisis. At least I did train basic First Aid to my group of people but I doubt they gave such training to a 12 year old student.

If you want to take young children to mountain climbing, start with small camping skills first. Start with small group, with one instructor to 1-3 (max 5) students so to reduce risk due to negligence.

Risk management is about minimizing risks, not about having zero risk. It is apparent that in this case, age is a factor to risk.


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English as a first language is just propaganda - a legacy from Singapore's dead dictator's regime.

No one in Singapore speaks English properly, nor are they able to think in English properly, because English is the first language of not one of Singapore's three main ethnic groups. The Chinese speak Chinese as their first language (or a dialect of same), the Malays Malay and the Indians Tamil. English is the first language of not one of these groups.

English is a working language of the country, along with Mandarin, since the government has successfully killed off the county's national language from being a functioning working language of the state.

To be a first language, English has to be the language of thought. Put a Singaporean in an English speaking country and he will struggle to articulate himself. He may try to fake an American/Australian/British (delete as appropriate) accent, but this can only last so long.

Old Harry lied to Singaporeans. He installed Malay as the country's national language but made it worthless, because all government communication is presented in four languages.

If English were the first language of the people of Singapore, it would be unnecessary to distribute all comms in four languages.

The linguistics of Singapore are as fragmented as its people. Every ethnic group has their first language and they speak to another ethnic group in English - every Singaporean's second language.

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Hoping to record a video for a blog documenting their Kota Kinabalu expedition, Tanjong Katong Primary School student Peony Wee and her friends set up a camera and recorded what they thought would be just another video for the journey.

Little did 12 year-old Peony Wee Ying Ping know that this would be her last video and words to her parents.

At the end of the video they made, Peony waved poignantly at the camera and said "bye" to her parents. Ironically, her schoolmate said aloud: "We're safe here in Malaysia lah."

The girls were in high spirits, laughing and giggling throughout the video that was uploaded on the blog on 4th June as they talked about waking up cold on Mount Kinabalu.

They also talked about their next steps in the journey.

"Reach Pendant Hut safely, as a group we have to motivate each other... see nobody give up along the way," Peony's schoolmate said.

Peony chirped in: "Help each other."

The video was taken 1 day before the 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Sabah, Malaysia, where Peony Wee and her group of schoolmates were climbing Mount Kinabalu. Falling rocks killed Peony and some of her young friends.

The victims were part of a group of 29 pupils and 8 teachers who were on an overseas learning journey.

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Dear Sir/Mdm,

Singapore is mourning the recent Mt Kinabalu tragedy with a significant number of victims (Death toll: 6 students, 1 teacher) from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS), and several students still unaccounted for.

Its convenient for the authorities to classify this tragedy as a 'natural disaster', and easy for MOE and Mr Heng to say "give full support to students and family" and downplay the long-term damage by claiming "students are a little shaken, but otherwise they are fine".

However a few pertinent questions inadvertently come to mind, and an independent COI needs to be conducted:
1. 58 students, and 8 teachers from two other Secondary Schools (Greenridge Sec. and Fuchun Sec.) safely descended the mountain, despite the earthquake, as they took the normal route.
Profit-driven hiking agencies will claim "climbers and non-climbers aged between 10 and 70 who are fit and healthy" can do the VIA FERRATA route, it is still undoubtedly a more strenuous route which requires a higher level of physical fitness and outdoor experience than the regular route. "Physical training such as climbing stairs" DO NOT suffice for this rope/obstacle course in high-altitudes.

As the Principal of TKPS, was there negligence on Mrs Caroline Wu's part for approving her CCA HOD to allow inexperienced Primary 6 students (age 12) to take the more arduous VIA FERRATA route?

2. Did Mrs Wu consider that the children would be affected by fatigue, low temperature, rain, thin air and altitude sickness all of which would increase the risk, even without an earthquake?

3. What due diligence did MOE and Perm Sec conduct before authorizing risky 'learning trips' such as mountaineering, hiking, etc

4. Is TKPS trying too hard to differentiate itself from other schools, that in their foolhardiness of "pushing the frontier", the CCA/PE HoD (Mr Mohammad Ghazi) initiated this OMEGA CHALLENGE at Mt Kinabalu (4,095m)? "Tomorrow, we will take on the next challenge. VIA FERRATA! Bring it on, I say!" (4 June 2015) http://tkpsomegachallenge1.blogspot.sg/2015/06/reached-pendant-hut.html

Perhaps for young primary school children (Age <=12), MOE and TKPS could have been more prudent by going to Mount Ophir (1,276 m) coupled with an Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) weekend in Pulau Ubin.

5. The surviving students and teachers of TKPS are also the victims of this misadventure, planned and authorized by MOE and Mrs Wu. While Mr Heng and Mrs Wu can sleep soundly at night, the survivors will live with PTSD, guilt, nightmares and possible psychological disorders due to MOE and TKPS's mismanagement. How will MOE and TKPS compensate the students and their families for the student's deaths and long-term trauma?

A Concerned Parent
Mr Edward Tan

NOTE: Parents may voice your concerns to:
TKPS General Office: 6344 4728 / 6344 1489, HOD Room: 6346 0974
TKPS: tkps@moe.edu.sg
Mrs Caroline Wu (TKPS Principal): seng_boon_leng@moe.edu.sg
Mrs Eliza Yeong (TKPS Vice-Principal): eliza_yeong@moe.edu.sg

MOE: contact@moe.gov.sg
MOE Hotline: 6872 2220

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Got This from a friend.

The email below has been circulating around cyberspace.

Please forward this to all your male Singaporean loved ones and friends. This is something that actually happened to me and I feel that it needs to be shared. I believe my experience will help your male loved one stay out of trouble.

On the morning of 18th February at about 9.50 am I was standing at Coffee Bean (Novena Square) counter, ordering my usual cup of mocha latte before heading for the office.

Behind me was a row of leather cushions that the mall has provided. In the corner of my eyes, I noticed a young Chinese lady with an umbrella and a Cold Storage plastic bag, looking really nervous, glancing around every now and then.

The lady had shoulder length hair tied up neatly in a pony tail and looked pretty plain, wearing just a normal t-shirt and jeans – nothing too revealing. She was about mid 20s to early 30s and pretty pleasant looking I must say. But her eyes were scary when she stared intently at me for a short moment I did not pay much attention to her as I thought she was waiting for the slimming centre to open. I carried on my business as usual, glancing through the Today newspaper.

As I made my way towards the direction of Banquet coffee shop, she stood up and walked towards my direction. What happened next caught me completely by surprise.
The lady stopped directly in front me of, stared at me and suddenly screamed “Why you touch me?” Only then did I realise from her unmistakable accent that she is from China. I said “Sorry? What are you talking about?” I was more in shock then angry. The first thing that came to my mind was, is this some woman that I accidentally brushed on the train this morning?

She did not bother to explain but kept on screaming and pointing her index finger at me “Why you touch me!” about 4 or 5 times. She then squatted, covering her face and cried, crying out over and over again that I had touched her. I was really lost. There were some people walking past me and I felt like a criminal standing there, while people gave me this disgusted look. All the while I was trying to talk to the China lady but she remained in a squatted position, covering her face and crying.

A t this point of time, a Malay man in light blue coloured uniform walked over from Banquet. Seeing the situation he asked me what happened. The lady stood up and said that I had “touched” her. She then told the Malay man that I needed to give her $500 to “see doctor” or else she would report me to the Chinese Embassy. She took out her hand phone and took several photos of me.

The Malay man then said, “Bro, I think we better call the police”.

At this point of time, I had gotten over my shock and anger was slowly taking over. I nodded to the Malay man in agreement. I took out my hand phone too. But instead of taking her photo, I dialled 999 immediately. “I am calling the police myself. Let them settle the matter”. I said calmly to the both of them. At this point of time, she picked up her plastic bag and umbrella, and swiftly left towards the direction of Tan Tock Seng hospital – even before my call could connect!

We were left there puzzled. Some how I was relieved that it was over and did not want to proceed with the call. The Malay man asked me if I was ok. All I said was “Thanks”. He patted my shoulder and walked away towards the direction of Coffee Bean. Several patrons inside banquet were already witnessing the commotion. I just wanted to get out of there.

In case something like this happens to you or your loved ones, do not make the same mistake I did, trying to console the woman. Immediately take out your hand phone, take a photo of her and call the police. Please help to spread this around to our Singaporean husbands, sons, brothers and friends.

Please, my dear Singaporeans, look around you, what has happened to our country? Where have all these pests come from? Think about your loved ones and your other Singaporean friends. Forward this story and make sure that they know what to do when the same thing happens to them.

DO NOT start arguing or reasoning with her. Just take out your mobile & call police

My friend is a retired businessman in his early 60 and what he encountered last Saturday in a high end dining/shopping area could also happen to anyone of us.

My friend accompanied his wife to a bank in Holland Village to do some banking transaction. While his wife was being served by the personal banking executive, he decided to go and do some window-shopping around the area. While admiring the display, suddenly, out of nowhere, a young about 20+ girl pushes him aside and shouted at him, accusing my friend of molesting her. She then asked my friend to compensate her for her "ordeal" - loss of face.

My friend being a gentleman was stunned and at a loss for word s for a moment because he really never did anything to her. He just stood there and did not know what to do. His mind went blank.

Luckily, a Caucasian man nearby saw all that and told the PRC girl to stop her nuisance (unsure whether she understood English) and took out his mobile and said he wanted to call the police. The PRC girl quickly walked away joining the other shoppers.

Should any man become one of the victims, please stay calm. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT start arguing or reasoning with her. If you try to reason with her, then you have fallen into her trap. In general, people will most likely sympathise and believe a female as a victim. You will end up bending to her demands.

Just take out your mobile phone or ask someone (if you have no mobile) to call the police, let the law enforcement authority deal with her. For sure, all this PRC girls dare not face the justice of the law because most of them are over-stayers.


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It was supposed to be a celebratory weekend, with Singapore hosting the SEA Games. Then out of the blue, horrifying news emerged that a team of Tanjong Katong Primary kids with their teachers was trapped at Mount Kinabalu when an earthquake hit Sabah.

I felt heart sick at the news, especially when updates came in on the rising death toll. What a terrible, terrible tragedy. As it stands now, six students and one teacher have lost their lives. Tomorrow has also been declared a Day of National Remembrance in sympathy and support of the families who have lost their loved ones.

But even as condolences poured out for the victims and their families, there have been infuriating comments by netizens who are baying for MOE or the school's blood with righteous indignation, saying "they have to be accountable", also they need to "learn from this".

It made my blood boil. Why is it there are always folks who deem it necessary to open their mouths and say things that have no value to anyone whatsoever? This was an ACCIDENT. I capitalise it cos some people seem to have trouble understanding the meaning of the word. An appalling, tragic accident but an accident nonetheless. Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. They are unforeseen.

This was not a case of negligence. Many have climbed the same route on Mount K before this group (yes, even kids) for years, without incident. It's considered challenging but not dangerous. An earthquake is something out of the ordinary. In the Borneo region, earthquakes aren't even that common. There was no reason to suspect that anything out of the ordinary would happen on this trip.

What disgusts me is that some people just have the need to blame others when something bad happens. Somebody must pay! (Worse still are those who use incidents as simply another opportunity to take pot shots at the gahmen). Newsflash: bad things do happen to good people. All the time. It often doesn't make sense and it doesn't mean it's necessarily somebody's fault. All that group did wrong was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I think MOE, especially Minister Heng Swee Keat, has handled the situation with sensitivity and promptness. Much appreciation and admiration also go to the Sabah mountain guides who risked their own lives to save others, unlike some allegations of the ineptness of the Malaysian government.

Some people are saying the incident was preventable and why should 12 year olds have to go to Mount K. I can understand that people are more upset cos it's kids. There's something about young lives cut short that's especially tragic and heart-wrenching. But behind the sentiment that we shouldn't allow kids to go to Mount K is the belief that I find more and more prevalent among Singaporean parents these days - that we should shield our kids from anything that has even the remotest possibility of danger.

If we follow this argument, there will be no end because what one person considers "potentially dangerous" can differ drastically from the next. Go South Korea can get Mers. Go Middle East got civil unrest. Fly over Ukraine can get shot down. Go to NZ, Japan or China can have earthquakes. Maybe that means we shouldn't go overseas. But wait, my kid can also get hurt at Outward Bound School! Go camping can get dehydrated because not used to the heat. Or get hurt by wild boar. Ok ok, maybe no need to teach 12-year-olds leadership skills? Just go to school and back (and maybe tuition centre). But leave the house also can get knocked down by crazy drunk driver! (And anyway go to school also quite inconvenient these days. Must go all the way to Mount Sinai leh. MOE so one kind.) Maybe just stay home is best. Home-school lor. Wait a minute, stay at home also can have danger. Can get scalded by hot water, cut by sharp knives, suffocated by leaky gas pipes, etc. How liddat??

Ok, I may be exaggerating but you get my drift. At what point do we stop treating our children like they are made of glass? If parents feel that every accident is a justifiable reason to force the authorities' hand, very soon, we will be stunting our children's life experiences by curbing their every movement. As a result, we will be bringing up individuals who are completely incapable of functioning in society, let alone be a contributing member. As I've said before, if our entire life's goal is to not let anything happen to our kids, well...nothing ever will. We can't protect our children from every single "what if".

Everyone has their own risk appetite. If you really feel uncomfortable about letting your child go on an expedition, by all means, don't give permission. That's your right. But please don't strongarm MOE into mandating that every other parent should toe the line that you set. Here, a mum of an ex-TKPS student speaks up on the value of the Mount K expedition.

Back to the topic at hand, which is the responses to the incident. In a crisis, the most valuable people are those who offer help, offer support and if not, at least offer prayers. Not the ones who point fingers and think they are so brilliant cos they speak with the benefit of hindsight. These contribute nothing and make a difficult situation worse. Furthermore, I suspect many of these empty vessels are those who in a crisis, would be the least likely to help others. The ones who talk the most tend to do the least.

How we choose to respond to any situation is up to us. If there's something I "learned" from this episode, it's that challenging times reveal true characters. I cannot even imagine the pain the parents of the lost ones must be going through. The least we can do is show our solidarity and grieve with them. May we show ourselves to have a gracious heart.


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The writer lost all credibility when he said “One of the reasons Singapore managed to become a First World nation within a short period of time is that it has been ruled by the same party all that time.

This enabled the Government to successfully implement long-term plans and policies.”

It is precisely this very same government that is screwing Singaporeans right now. They have this thinking that Singaporeans are scared of changing governments because, for sure, Singapore would go down the gutter.

Look at it this way, we kicked out 2 overpaid ministers and Singapore is still standing. We will kick out more because we are not as daft as PAP likes to think.

As long as PAP has too many of their people in parliament please worry because for sure, future generations will definitely suffer.

Look at the current mess we already are in, do you think it will get better with PAP in charge?

Opposition dude


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Dear colleagues,

We are deeply grieved by the deaths of our fellow Singaporeans – our students and teacher from Tanjong Katong Primary School, and an adventure guide who was with them in Kota Kinabalu. As of early this morning, students Peony, Ryyan, Emilie, Karyl, Rachel and Sonia, and teacher Terrence have all been brought home to us. We continue to search for and hope for the safe return of our teacher Ghazi and student Navdeep. All of us feel the anguish of the families.

Caroline, Principal of Tanjong Katong Primary School, and her team, are closest to the students and teachers. They feel the pain of the community most deeply, and we can all give them our utmost support. The TKPS team have rallied together to be a source of strength and support for the survivors, and for the loved ones of those who have passed on or are still missing. They do so even as they struggle with their own grief. Many MOE officers are also working hard on the ground to help the families affected. I would like the MOE family to know that Indranee, Ann, Hawazi, and I are fully with you in this difficult time.

We do not go through this alone. Our colleagues across the whole Public Service are walking with us through this hard time. Officers from SCDF, SPF, MFA, MOT, MOH, MSF, MINDEF and SAF are giving their all to support the next-of-kin and victims. Our colleagues are resolute, and they have put the children and the families first in everything they do. I want to thank the whole of the Public Service for coming together in this way.

PM has declared that today will be a Day of National Remembrance, a day for us to remember those we have lost, and also those who survive. I ask that we, the MOE family, use this day to remember and honour the selflessness of our teachers, the spirit of our students, and the support of our community and friends.

All the teachers of TKPS who were on the trip gave their best to watch over our children, and they deserve our greatest respect and gratitude. Our students tell of their teachers shielding them from falling rocks, and continuing to look after them despite their own injuries. Let us remember and live up to their selflessness and courage.

We must also honour our children by remembering that they have been brave, rugged and tenacious, striving to bring out their personal bests, and excited about heading ever forward together with their schoolmates. Let us remember and draw hope from our children’s spirit to be the best they can be.

It is not just the staff of TKPS who have rallied, but also their alumni and the community around the school, who step forward to show all of us what it means to care for our fellow Singaporeans. Teachers and staff from other schools have also drawn closer to lend their strength. Let us remember and be grateful for this community of support.

Let us also remember our friends in Sabah who suffer the lasting effects of this earthquake. The Malaysian authorities have been helpful and supportive. We keep them in our thoughts for the lives they have tragically lost.

The selflessness of our teachers reminds us to give our best to our students. The spirit of our children inspires us to be teachers. The support of our community and friends helps us go on when we face difficulties. I hope we remember these today and forever, so that we may live up to our fellow teachers, our students, and our community. Let us keep up our strength and spirit in this time of grief. Let us stand together to support and care for our students, our community, and one another.

Heng Swee Keat

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