January 19, 2012

 Leslie Tan

is the creator of, a website dedicated to bringing to light the vibrant     world of Singapore sports. He focuses especially on school sports. Why?        Because school is a big part of our identity, of who we are, and where we have  come from. Playing for school is a privilege and responsibility and he believes in  highlighting that effort. He was a Marketing Communications Manager in Nike  (2002-  2004) and held various brand management positions at Asia Pacific  Breweries, working on Heineken and Tiger Beer (1993-1999). He was also a television sports presenter for SportsCity, a sports-only channel produced by MediaCorp from 2000 to 2002.  Before starting, he taught himself sports photography and worked as a freelance photographer.

Table of Contents:

  1. Identity – who are we?
  2. Can Singaporeans build world class brands?
  3. Communications – getting heard in a noisy world


 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 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

3WO Brian Tan

currently holds appointment as Company Sergeant Major (CSM) at Trunk Communications  Company (TCC) in the 17th Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Battalion (17 C4I). He is an also active competitor for IRONMAN races and have represented our Army in many local / overseas races too. He was deployed for Operation Flying Eagle in Dec 2004 in aid of the Tsunami stricken Aceh region in Indonesia. Preparation for the Tsunami relief operation was not a simple task, it required meticulous planning, clockwork precision and careful analysis of the current situation on the ground.  The SAF activated a team and deployed in a short period, with limited knowledge on damage assessment and limited experience in conducting disaster relief operations. Learn from 3WO Brian Tan how he and his signals detachment supported the relief operations and what they experienced in their deployment providing the communications backbone for the entire operations.

 H. S. Shah

is a retired police officer who served 36 years in the Singapore Police Force. He managed teams in neighbourhood policing where he was responsible for operations and maintaining discipline. Most notably, he represented the Singapore Police Force in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in countries such as Cambodia (1992) where he was part of a team performing investigation of human rights and maintaining law and order during the transitional period; Timor Leste (2000-2002) where he was involved in monitoring the movement of displaced persons and refugees and train the local police. He also worked with the European Union as a member of the Aceh Monitoring Mission in Indonesia (2005) to help spread the Memorandum of Understanding to the people in the outlying areas and to assist in the decommissioning of weapons. He is a Pakistani aged 59 years-old and married with two children.

James Ong

James is working as Executive Officer (Programme/Volunteer Coordination) at the Singapore  Association for the Deaf (SADeaf). He himself is deaf, and SADeaf has about 5,000 deaf  clients. Established in 1955, SADeaf looks into the welfare and educational needs of the  Deaf in Singapore.  The Association’s mission is to assist the Deaf to achieve a better  quality of life and to enable them to integrate and contribute to society. The services of  SADeaf include Community Integration Support, Deaf Access Service and Education &  Training.

Table of Contents:

  1. Do deaf people live in a world of total silence?
  2. Is sign language universal?
  3. Is it okay to call deaf people as deaf and mute or deaf and dumb?

Kana Gopal

Having seen Singapore transform over the years, Kana has observed the social changes       from a broadcast journalist’s perspective of what remains uniquely Singaporean. She formerly anchored Singapore Bulletin for CNA morning news, was broadcast journalist with SBC News, sub-edited Marie Claire, and was Asst Editor of RTV Times. Currently, she is the President of ALiVE Singapore and works as an adjunct lecturer in a local polytechnic. Her key interest is in helping schools, NGOs and families create a positive, values-based living, learning and working environment. In the course of her work, she has seen both the public and not so well known issues of Singapore’s growth and development.

 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

CPT Chee Seng Onn, Patrick

currently holds the appointment of S1 in the 17th Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Battalion (17 C4I). He is the department head responsible for all HR and administrative functions of the Battalion. His previous tours also includes Officer Commanding for a Satellite comms company, Training Development Officer and Multimedia OIC for NDP 2010. All across the nation, men and women have answered the call to defend what we call home.  Everyone is different culturally, financially, religiously. A commander will bring people together towards a purpose.  Patrick will share his experiences in bringing people together and serving a common goal.

Patricia Wong

Patricia teaches Literature, Multicultural Studies and Creative Writing at the National Institute of Education at NTU. She loves teaching and has had many rewarding years trying to impassion future teachers with love for Literature, with intellectual curiosity and with an eye out for social justice. She has been agonizing over a long overdue second collection of short stories. Her first collection of short stories was published in a book entitled, “Going Home”, which received the Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1996.

Table of Contents:

  1. Importance of Literature for humanity
  2. Race and Racism
  3. The challenges our young people face in ensuring we bring about equity for the old, the poor, the physically and mentally challenged – anybody society seems to want to overlook

 Richard Bok

is currently the Head Coach of the Singapore Armed Forces Football Club (SAFFC).  He  holds a Mechanical Engineering Diploma from where else but Ngee Ann Polytechnic but  has not used it yet. In football, he holds a AFC ‘A’ License and is currently also pursuing  the AFC Pro License. In his life experiences, 3 significant events come to mind. 1.  Marriage & starting a family; 2. Broke his leg at the peak of his football career; 3. Had a  stroke at the age of 27. He is now 42 years old, married, with a son.

Table of Contents:

  1. Life Principles
  2. People Management
  3. Anything Football

 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

 Sha Najak

is an active volunteer with Migrant Voices and now serving on the committee as Vice-  President. She used to work with ‘Transient Workers Count Too’ as an employee which  lasted for five years before she moved into a new job. She did work in the direct  services section as well as coordinate media stories and events. Over the years, she  has managed to practice as an artist starting off with poetry readings, photography  before moving into installation-based works touching on topics of community and  identity. She has written and contributed to a journal and a book called ‘Singapore Shifting Boundaries: Social Change In The Early 21St Century’. Other pieces of writing exist on a local website, and an international arts website, Daily Serving.

Table of Contents:

  1. Arts Activism
  2. Social Change
  3. Arts and Society

 Felix Tan

is a lecturer with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, in the School of Film & Media Studies. He  previously worked at MediaCorp Radio as a producer-presenter/broadcast journalist. He  was also a part-time DJ with MediaCorp Radio’s Symphony 92.4 for more than 2 years. He  freelances for MediaCorp’s TODAY paper as a photojournalist. He currently lectures in  Radio Production 1 and Photojournalism. and is pursuing his PhD (doctorate) in Islamic  Studies at the University of Melbourne. His thesis is about how political Islam has affected  socio-political space in Malaysia and Indonesia. He has travelled throughout Southeast Asia region and most of Asia. His hobbies include travelling, photography, reading, listening to music and outdoor water-sports. He is also an active dragonboat rower, formerly with the SAFRA dragonboat team, and now with the NP staff team (Team Eragon).

Table of Contents:

  1. Photography/Photojournalism
  2. Travelling
  3. PhD (Islamic Studies)

 Kumar Ramakrishna

is Associate Professor and Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S.  Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. A noted Singaporean homeland  security analyst, his first book, Emergency Propaganda: The Winning of Malayan Hearts and  Minds, 1948-1958, (2002) was described by the International History Review as “required  reading” for “those whose task is to counter insurgents, guerrillas, and terrorists”. Kumar’s most recent book is Radical Pathways: Understanding Muslim Radicalization in Indonesia (2009), identified by Contemporary Southeast Asia as a “valuable contribution to our understanding about the causes of radicalization”.

Table of Contents:

  1. Is the terrorism of Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah motivated by religion or politics?
  2. Is Singapore today more or less secure than before the discovery of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network in late 2001?
  3. What are the best ways to prevent terrorists from causing harm to the multicultural fabric of Singapore?

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 

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