January 17, 2012

 Andrew Loh

founded The Online Citizen (TOC) in 2006 and helmed it for more than four years (till  June 2011) as Chief Editor. He has now founded and heads – a new  site which has gained recognition and respectability from among different segments of  society. Andrew also writes weekly for Yahoo! Singapore which nominated him as one  of Singapore’s most influential media persons in 2011.

Table of Contents:

  1. Media / new media
  2. Singapore politics
  3. Social safety net

 Ahmad Saiful Rijal Bin Hassan

is a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism  Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). His  research interests are social development, politics, history and geography of the Middle  East region. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Islamic Jurisprudence with  honours at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt in 2009. He also received his Career  Certificate in Legal Translation in both Arabic and English at the American University in  Cairo. Rijal is currently working on the Community Engagement desk on countering terrorism and has recently become a member of Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), a voluntary group which works towards rehabilitating Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) detainees.

Table of Contents:

  1. Terrorist threat and its counter efforts
  2. Youth and Radicalisation
  3. Rehabilitation and community engagement

 Iris Lin

graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts,  majoring in Social Work and Psychology. In 2004, she obtained a Post-graduate Diploma  in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy from the Brief Therapy Institute (Sydney, Australia). In  2007, she obtained her Master’s in Social Science (Counseling) from Edith Cowan  University. Iris has been actively involved in youth programs and has strong ground  experience working with youths, delinquents and their families ever since she joined Fei  Yue Community Services. Iris heads the Youth Division in Fei Yue and is an experienced facilitator for group work and workshops. Her bubbly personality has led her to various public speaking and media interview opportunities. Iris currently oversees the divisional management work and provides clinical and program supervision to younger workers.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Social Work?
  2. Is the Social Service Sector for me?
  3. My journey as a Social Worker

Assoc Prof Ngiam Tee Liang

Associate Professorial Fellow
Department of Social Work, NUS

Assoc Prof Ngiam is a Social Work educator and community service volunteer with     40 years of experience, he is involved with a number of government Ministries,  educational, health, community development and other social service organisations. He was formerly the Head of the NUS Department of Social Work, a Nominated Member of Parliament, President of the Asia and Pacific Association for Social Work Education (APASWE) and President of the Singapore Association of Social Workers (SASW). In 2010 he was made a Fellow of SASW. He researches, writes on and champions social issues and policies, including family, youth, disability, ageing, social development and social security topics.

Table of Contents:

  1. Income divide
  2. Family and older persons
  3. Social capital

Melanie Oliveiro

is a familiar voice on radio and can often be heard on 938LIVE (93.8FM), MediaCorp’s only talk and news radio station. She co-anchored 938LIVE’s ‘F-CUBE: Food, Fun and Feel Good’, an afternoon drivetime show aired every weekday from noon to 3 pm. An ardent foodie, she relished conducting F-Cube’s ‘live’ tasting reports from Singapore’s hottest eating establishments. Melanie was also the creator, producer and host of ‘That’s Showbiz’, a 3-minute programme featuring the latest entertainment news and exclusive interview snippets with local and international celebrities. A film studies graduate with three short films under her belt, Melanie – an avid movie buff – was the resident movie critic for Channel NewsAsia’s ‘Zoom In’ segment on Prime Time Morning (from 2004 – 2010). She has also interviewed Hollywood stars like Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), Brendan Fraser (The Mummy trilogy), Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (The Game Plan) and Maggie Q (Priest). Melanie is now lecturing at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies at the Radio Production department.

Table of Contents:

  1. Film Analysis/film reviewing
  2. Media marketing
  3. How to be a good interviewer

 Marvin Kang

was a 2008 Business Studies graduate from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of  Business & Accountancy. He won the prestigious Public Service Commission  (PSC) Singapore Government Scholarship (Open) to do a double degree  programme in Business Administration and Communications & New Media at  NUS. He is currently in his fourth year of study at NUS. He is also enrolled in the University Scholars Programme, which encourages students to explore areas beyond that of our  majors. As such, he has embarked on various overseas study programmes and internships in his undergraduate years, and through these activities he had the opportunity to explore his interests in the fascinating field of International Relations.

International Relations – Development Work

He has participated in overseas community service projects in Vietnam and Philippines, and these forays into the complex issue of poverty in developing countries prompted him to deepen his understanding of development work. Together with other like-minded friends, he started an interest group by the name of Builders Connect to study the poverty situation in Philippines. Through engagements with the local government, non-profit organisations as well as the beneficiaries of various aid programmes, they conduct annual field trips to study the effectiveness and challenges of poverty alleviation from a multi-stakeholder perspective.

International Relations – Diplomacy

Having taken part in a diplomacy-centric student conference at Princeton University, he was intrigued by the nuances and intricacies of statesmanship, especially in the context of Singapore. In his third year of studies, he did an internship with the Singapore Permanent Mission to the United Nations at Geneva and was attached to the UN Human Rights Council. Through this stint, he had the chance to learn more about Singapore’s foreign policy and how the state interacts with other countries, on both formal levels of negotiations and informal ones at the dining table.

Table of Contents:

  1. Development Work in Philippines
  2. Diplomacy at the United Nations
  3. On Further Education

Ng Wan Feng

is a music therapist. When 9/11 happened, she was a new music therapy student just  starting her semester in the USA. Its aftermath – the anger, sorrow, pain, sombre reflection  about what caused it – heightened her awareness about what was happening. She took part  in peace rallies, learned about peace education, knew firsthand that many Americans and  global citizens wanted a peaceful way forward. As a graduate student, she decided to  research about how music therapists helped war trauma survivors, and interviewed a few  music therapists in the US. This is published on an online journal. She believes everyone can do something to improve the world..

Table of Contents:

  1. So what is really going on in the world?
  2. Where can I fit in? How can I best serve?
  3. Can conflicts be resolved/transcended peacefully?

Norani Othman

is the Positive Living Centre Manager for Action for AIDS, Singapore, where she manages the drop-in centre for AfA’s support members. As the Centre Manager she is responsible for the Centre’s provision of social, emotional, recreational and skill-based services and activities. Her job puts her constantly in-touch with PLHIV (People Living with HIV) and gives her a first-hand view of the effects HIV/AIDS has on those affected by the diagnosis. Norani is also responsible for the Women and Girls Outreach Programme and the Prison Outreach Programme. The mother of two precocious teenagers, they keep her well-grounded and young by reminding her every day that growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.

Table of Contents:

  1. People Living With HIV
  2. Youth and HIV
  3. Women and Girls Outreach

 Mohamed Redhza Bin Abdul Rahim

has served he Singapore Police Force (SPF) for the past 17 years. At present he  serves as the Commandant of the National Police Cadet Corps. Prior to joining the  Corps, he spent a total of six years with Police Hq in the Operations Department,  Public Affairs Department and the Service Development and Inspectorate Department.  Redhza is passionate about policing and law enforcement. He volunteers with South  West Community Development Council (SWCDC) and is a strong advocate of  volunteerism  and youth development. He strives for a more inclusive and participative Singapore society.

Table of Contents:

  1. Youth Volunteer Development
  2. Values-driven education – What role can we play?
  3. A more inclusive society – What does it mean to you?

Preetam Rai

is an educator and technologist with more than 10 years’ worth of experience helping  companies, non-profits and educational organizations better connect with their  audiences. Preetam’s goal is to build smarter communities by encouraging peer- learning. Always on the move, he helps put up participatory peer learning events  across Asia. These events also help connect young people from diverse regions and  backgrounds. Most recently he spoke at the TEDx in Cambodia about the Unlikely  Diplomats, the young people in Asia who with their travels are helping change the world around them.

Table of Contents:

  1. Peer-learning – How we can build a smarter world by learning from each other
  2. Travel as learning – How travel can be a great learning experience
  3. Digital ethnography – Using online spaces to understand and connect with people from far away places

 Nur Irfani Saripi

is a Senior Analyst at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism  Research (ICPVTR) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). She  has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Islamic Jurisprudence with honours at Al-Azhar  University in Alexandria, Egypt in 2008. She has also graduated from the Nanyang  Technological University with a Master of Science degree in Strategic Studies in 2011.  She is now covering the Community Engagement and Rehabilitation desk, studying  global practices on terrorist rehabilitation. She has traveled to Indonesia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to conduct studies on various rehabilitation programmes and gives presentation on rehabilitation approaches. She is also a secretariat member and certified counselor of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), Singapore, a voluntary organization, which provides religious counselling and community engagement programmes. As a part of community engagement, she also gives talks on the work of RRG to students and the wider public. Irfani is proficient in Bahasa Malayu, English and Arabic.

Table of Contents:

  1. Terrorist threat and its counter efforts
  2. Youth and Radicalisation
  3. Rehabilitation and community engagement

3SG Ou Jianle – “The Biggest Loser”

currently holds the appointment of detachment Commander at Command Systems Company (CSC) in the 17th Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Battalion (17 C4I). He manages a team of network specialists that support the IT requirements for all forms of deployment within the Division. Slimming advertisements aside, here’s an ordinary guy who decided to challenge himself to trim his bulk. Throw in focus and sheer doggedness, fast forward time by nine months, we see a proud Golden Bayonet holder who graduated from the Specialist Cadet School as its top trainee. He will share with you his inspiring journey from a highly over-weight ordinary person to a junior commander in the Singapore Armed Forces.

 Rilla Melati Bahri

is a well known Malay TV personality in Singapore who has been performing on national  television since the tender age of two. She is best remembered as the child star that  grew up with the now legendary 80s children’s series, Comel and Mat Yoyo. A graduate  of the National University of Singapore with Honours, in Theatre Studies, Rilla is also an  accomplished writer having written scripts for many award-winning children’s television  programme and more recently, Siri Aksi Adil, a Malay children’s book in 2009. Dua M  Pte Ltd is a Hi²P recipient in FY 2011 for a project on Malay children’s folk songs.

Table of Contents:

  1. Making the Malay Language Alive & Happening Again
  2. Heritage – Preservation or Innovation
  3. Growing up on TV

 Sharon Ismail

is a Lecturer, actor, host, writer, and mother. She volunteers for a series called the  Empowerment Programme for Girls (EPG) organized by MENDAKI because she feels  strongly about helping young women find their voices and discover their strengths and  passion. She is passionate about the arts, media and education.

Table of Contents:

  1. Being an actor / host in Singapore
  2. Anything to do with media or education
  3. Ask and ye shall receive – my professional or personal life, whatever you want to know.

 Salim Mohamed Nasir

is an Associate Research Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence  and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR). He obtained his Masters in Educational  Management from the University of Western Australia in 2001 and Masters of  Science in International Relations at the Nanyang Technological University in  2010. He has traveled to conflict zones including Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. In  Peshawar, he conducted a workshop on how to rehabilitate terrorists in May 2010 and in Libya and Yemen, he exchanged views on counter ideology, community engagement and terrorist rehabilitation. For his contribution to the education service, he was conferred the Commendation and the Long Service medals by the Government of Singapore in 2008 and 2010 respectively. He has also been a secretariat member of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), Singapore, a voluntary organization, which provides religious counselling and community engagement programmes, since its inception in 2003. In addition, he is currently a member of the Geylang Serai Inter-Racial Religious Confidence Circle, a community platform for leaders of various racial and religious communities to interact and get to know one another better, in order to build confidence, friendship and trust among them.

Table of Contents:

  1. Terrorist threat and its counter efforts
  2. Youth and Radicalisation
  3. Rehabilitation and community engagement

3WO Tan Heng Gee

currently holds the appointment of Company Sergeant Major (CSM) at the Command Systems Company (CSC) in 17th Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Battalion (17 C4I). With more than 11 years of service in the SAF, she has been through numerous deployments and carry with her a wealth of operational experience. She was one of two female trainees in the relatively new Warfighter course in 2010. The tough and arduous training during the course would be hard to stomach for many. Learn how she overcame the odds and the motivation factors that make her a female Warfighter of the Singapore Armed Forces.

Terry Pathmanathan

The late 70s and early 80s saw a local football scene that was unlike any other in Singapore’s sporting history. Fan Fervour and support for our national football team transcended language, race and distance. In the Malaysia Cup competitions of those days, it was common to witness the Singapore team enjoying the support of tens of thousands of screaming fans turning up to encourage them in their efforts for soccer excellence. Former national team captain Terry Pathmanathan was there to witness it all first-hand. He played generally in the role of sweeper, as the last man in defence. He symbolised what it meant to be a captain. He was renowned for his poise on the ball and impecabble reading of the game. He was also nicknamed “Captain Marvel”, for his effective leadership qualities, and one of his personal trademark moves was the long throw-in. Pathmanathan was first called up to the national team in 1978 and as captain soon after, led his team to earn multiple medals, not the least being in the fiercely contested Malaysia Cup competition. His contributions to Singapore football continued after retiring as a national player, coaching in the local S-League, and as head coach for the Singapore national Under-23 squad. He is currently the coach for Tanjong Pagar United FC in Singapore.

Dr Tan Lai Yong

Lai Yong graduated from NUS Medical Faculty in 1985, served as a doctor in the hospitals and prisons in Singapore before he and his wife, Lay Chin, went to Xishuangbanna, a Dai speaking area of Yunnan Province (China) in 1996. For the next 15 years, they lived in Yunnan and were actively involved in community development, village doctor training, and leprosy work. He was a lecturer at the Kunming Medical University and is an active volunteer with Bless China International and other community development organizations. He was also appointed Adjunct Asst Professor, at the Yong Loo Ling School of Medicine, National University of Singapore in 2008. Currently, he is back in Singapore pursuing a full-time Masters degree in Public Administration at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (NUS). They have one daughter and one son – both are avid tree planters and have taken parts in their father’s projects that have planted thousands of chestnut and walnut trees in impoverished villages. Lai Yong has received numerous awards for his work. He has written the book, “Biting the Bamboo”which is a collection of life stories in Yunnan.  He has also penned a second book, “Waiting to Grow”, which is a devotional based on his experiences in Yunnan and from reading of the Psalms. In 2007, he published the book “Pilgrims” – devotions based on the Songs of Ascents in the Psalms. Recently, he was featured in Yahoo SG News ‘Inspiring People’ monthly column in an article entitled – “S’porean doctor’s heart beats for the less fortunate”.

Veerappan Swaminathan

Veera graduated with a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Biomechanical Engineering with a Minor in Technopreneurship from the National University of Singapore and is a University Scholars Programme alumnus. His recent work experience includes a stint with a horizon scanning start-up, and the Strategic Policy Office of the Prime Minister’s Office, where he supported scenario planning exercises. Recently, he co-founded the Humanitarian Engineering Alliance (HEAL) under the auspice of the Institution of Engineers Singapore and also the Sustainable Living Lab under the auspice of Ground-Up Initiative. He has formerly worked as an intellectual property engineer for a biomedical start-up company in the US, co-founded two start-up’s, interned as a computer network support engineer, served as the lead of a national business plan competition and worked extensively on thermal solar and wind energy generation systems. He is listed as a co-inventor on 5 US Patent Applications for biomedical devices and was also part of a team that won the Daimler-UNESCO Mondialogo Engineering Award for the installation of solar pond dryers in rural India.

Table of Contents:

  1. Things that matter more than hankering after grades, jobs and money
  2. Ego as an impediment to clarity
  3. The importance of gratitude
  4. Living for a purpose greater than self

 Wan Hussin Zoohri

has a distinguished background  in the fields of education, politics and community  service over several decades. In the field of education, he has worked as a teacher, a  researcher, a school inspector, a principal in a career spanning 30 years. He is a retired  politician and had served as Member of Parliament from 1981 to 1991 and Parliamentary  Secretary (Ministry of Health & Culture) from 1981 to 1985. One of the key elections he  fought in was in Aljunied, where his team, together with former Minister George Yeo and  MP Chin Harn Tong, won 56.33% of the votes. Outside of his career, he has served voluntarily in many capacities including as President of the Singapore Malay Teachers’ Union, President of the Singapore Malay Badminton Association and the Chairman, Board of Trustees for the Aidilfitri Charity Fund (TAA) which assists poor Muslim families in Singapore during the festive period. Till today, he continues to serve as a volunteer as the Vice Chairman of Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre and the President of a scholarship & bursary organization called the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board (LBKM). He believes in lifelong learning and completed his Diploma in Islamic Studies with Distinction in the year 2000. He has studied in Singapore (Raffles Institution), Malaysia (University of Malaya) and the UK (Oxford University). He was born in 1937 and has lived through the Second World War, and has many interesting stories to tell about the British & Japanese Occupation period. He is married with four children.


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