Session 001
Topic: 'Is Monetary Aid The Best Solution To Help The Less Fortunate?'
1st June 2008 (Sunday)
TPJCian magazine
Panelists: Ng Ding Jie (07A07), Lee Wen Jie (07S02), Sharon Ho Pei Pei (06S07)

Racism In Singapore's Blogosphere. Getting Out Of Hand?

Written by azhar.

A blogger was arrested a few days ago for posting racist remarks in his blog. Here is a few statements quoted from his blog, http://fragranceprince.blogspot.com:

well, he was already in the train when i boarded and there he sat, unaffected by his surroundings, smelling like he didnt showered in years and wore some really scary dirty clothes and had a dirty muddy bag with him too, in it were empty bottles which looks used… to many, he may seem a poor man or a beggar.. but… to me.. he’s wasted !!I mean… wassup with all the pretentious looks and actions for man….go get a job or better yet, make himself useful and learn how to start a fire using charcoal.. as it all lies in their blood…. SATAY SATAY!!!!

Aiya….stupid MALAYS!! Even if you are a Malay and am reading this… good for you..coz this is my personal blog and i can say what i deem fit…. if u wana defend yourself…. i suggest you arm youself with education and a motor mouth to compete against me.. else dont bother… coz i will bet my life on the line that, should you challenge me in a conversation… you will lose like what a true malay would…. LIKE **** !!!GET LOST!!
Several bloggers notified the racist content straightaway to the police. The blogger, who calls himself Fragrance Price, managed to apologize in his blog:

Dear Readers,

I would like to express my sincere apologies for any misinterpretation to my blog entry.

I regret having mentioned this entry in my blog which I didn’t expect it to turn out to be like this, I should have been more mindful.

Once again, I am sincerely apologetic for the recent events that had happen.

Your’s sincerely,


Read the article on it below:

A LOCAL blogger who ranted about a commuter’s behaviour on an MRT train was arrested on Tuesday night.

Police said the 24-year-old Chinese man was taken from his home at Paya Lebar Way at about 9.45 pm for ‘posting contents in his blog which may wound the racial feelings of another person’.

A computer, believed to be used to post the suspect’s blog, was seized for investigations, which are ongoing.

The case came to the attention of police on May 19 when they received two reports complaining of the alleged posts by the suspect.

According to a report in The New Paper on Wednesday, the blog was apparently sparked off by the suspect seeing a man of an another race sitting on the floor of an MRT train.

The blogger, an undergraduate, allegedly wrote: ‘There he sat, unaffected by his surroundings, smelling like he didn’t showered (sic) in years and wore some really scary dirty clothes…’

He went on to make other offensive comments about that racial group in his tirade, drawing flak from local netizens, who called him a racist.

One net-user wrote: ‘Stupidity has nothing to do with race at all. Just look to that blogger for proof that stupidity transcends all races.’

Added another: ‘Some things, once said, cannot be retraced. Don’t even make such stupid remarks in the first place.’

Under Section 298 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, anyone with deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings of any person, causes any matter however represented to be seen or heard by that person, can be jailed up to three years, or fine, or both, if convicted.

Deputy Commander of Central Police Div HQ, Superintendent Lee Ping Yue, in a statement late on Tuesday, said that police take a serious view of such irresponsible blog postings in a multi-racial society like Singapore and ‘will expend all efforts in tracking the perpetrators’.

Interviewed by TNP earlier on Tuesday before his arrest, the blogger said he was sorry for what he had written and would be more mindful of what he says in his blog in future.

He said he was shocked by the furore over his blog entry, which he said was only intended for his close friends. He added that he was surprised that the entry, which was written two months ago, started circulating only days ago.

‘I am a very expressive person - my style of writing is over the top. I write this way to make my entries more punchy and exciting,’ he told TNP.

He denied being a racist and maintained that he did not harbour any ill will towards the racial group he wrote about.

But he let on that he was in a particularly bad mood the day he wrote the blog entry.

‘I meant what I wrote in a different way. If people read it in another way, there is nothing much I can do,’ he said, adding that he planned to put up an online apology for his comments.

He has removed the post and password-protected his blog, which was featured on blog aggregator Tomorrow.sg, and linked to several popular online forums.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 21st May 2008

If you think this is the last of such racist blogging, then you are wrong. It appears that the a netizens have identified another racist blogger. This time, it is a mother. Below is a screenshot from her blog:

Yes, this blogger wrote it with her family picture above the post.

Singapore is a multi-racial community and such irresponsible acts can do harm to our racial harmony here. Blogging is now the new media whereby people share their views and rantings on their everyday life. However, a minority group of bloggers seemed to have crossed the line with their discriminatory remarks expressed in their blogs. This has a potential danger as the Internet is widely accessible in Singapore.

Freedom of speech is often an excuse when asked why these bloggers react that way in their online journals. Is Singapore ready for a more broader freedom of speech where even racist remarks can be included in the safe or allowed bin? Do you think the jail sentence is adequate enough to warn or deter other bloggers out there from posting racist content?

Imagine the thousands of eyes that reads the bigoted posts. There should be stricter law and more education to solve this problem.

TPJC Puree: 'LIVE' Discussion On GP Topics

Written by azhar.

Our Head of Department (HOD) for General Paper, Mrs Toh, once said that the greatest weakness of tpjcians when writing their GP essays is their inability to provide substantial and concrete examples for their points. Furthermore, we tend to lay out a feeble argument with respect to the question. The inability to present our points well has reduced our potential of getting high marks, or even a mere pass.

Therefore, I have decided to initiate a new feature here in TPJCian magazine. It is known as TPJC Puree and it aims is to give a broader perspective to what we learn for GP in college. TPJC Puree will provide a mash of news, examples and opinions from different individuals who will engage in a 'LIVE' discussion in this online magazine.

I really hope that this initiative will at least help boost the number of points that can be applied a relevant GP topic. Moreover, this feature will also help practice your critical or higher order thinking skills. You will get to witness different opinions and hence able to exercise your analytical and evaluative skills. From here, we can make sure that the relevant content is already available in our fingertips when we sit for our examinations.

A good GP grade is an imperative prerequisite for anyone who wishes to enter a university. A good command in language will also broaden the choices for the university courses offered to you. Let's work hard together and achieve great results for it.

The details for the first 'LIVE' TPJC Puree session is as follows:

Session 001
Topic: 'Is Monetary Aid The Best Solution To Help The Less Fortunate?'
1st June 2008 (Sunday)
TPJCian magazine
Panelists: Ng Ding Jie (07A07), Lee Wen Jie (07S02), Lim Wei Liang Daniel* (07S30), Sharon Ho Pei Pei (06S07)

*awaiting confirmation

Please write your name if you attending below. I need to collate how many people are participating. If the response and feedback is good, I will present this to the GP department. Who knows, we shall be the first college to conduct 'LIVE' discussions among teachers and students every week. Thank you.


TPJCian Magazine Releases Second Video: "A Tribute To TPJChoir'

"When I learnt how the TPJChoir actually overcame all the obstacles before their concert in Esplanade, I have to admit that they are a group of very courageous and determined individuals. I hope they appreciate the video I specially made for them to recognize their hard work and the passion that comes with it." - azhar.

TPJC Choir Concert 'Plaisir de Chanson': The Review

Written by Choy Wai Wan (07A06).

Do contribute a photo if you have one. Just write a comment above.

As the Tampines Junior College Choir members took their places on stage, there was a murmur of excitement as everyone within the audience hushed each other to settle down. The lights dimmed as we were introduced, once again, to a Choir that has brought pride and joy to the school. And, amidst applause, everyone in the audience waited with bated breath.

Aptly named Plaisir de Chanson, which translates as “The Joy of Song”, the concert was all about the fun and magic in the process of creating music. The annual choir concert is one of the staples of Tampines JC’s tradition and culture, witnessing generations of TPJCians returning as both audience and performers every year.

This year was no different. With two alumni conductors, and an ensemble of alumni choral singers, Plaisir de Chanson was more than just any other performance. It was about the pride, joy and friendship that music has developed in TPJCians.

The concert, emceed by J1s Wayne and Abigail, was as enjoyable and refreshing. With a wide repertoire of songs, ranging from classical choral pieces, folksongs as well as more contemporary hits such as ABBA, the choir showed its worth and capability to inspire musical brilliance as well as an unwavering sense of showmanship.

The concert started off with a taste of home. The audience was treated to local delights such as “Ondeh Ondeh”, a song celebrating the simple yet delicious local dessert, as well as a medley comprising of Singaporean folksongs such as Rasa Sayang. Led by student conductor Ong Ding Yi, the choir celebrated Singaporean culture, tradition and history.

The next segment was directed by alumni conductors, Shen Weiwei and Samuel Kwan. Taking the audience through slightly more classical Latin songs, the choir showed its technical capability and poise. With an intermission in-between, the audience returned to finish off the segment before moving on to the much-awaited Folklore section.

Having attended the previous Plaisir de Chanson, I had a taste of TPJC choir’s superb interpretation of folksongs. Coupled with their undying fervor for music, the choir sparkled with showmanship. Often, their choreography, along with the song, helped to tell the story of the folks, as well as to add an element of fun for both audience and performers in each song.

One of the most notable performances of the day was Sinsin Si batu Manikam, a performance which many TPJCians would be familiar with. Describing how a stone rolls down a hill, this catchy Indonesian folksong showed just how entertaining music could be. After countless performances and rehearsals with this song, the choreography was precise and there was never a note off tune.

The men crumble under the weight of the falling stone in Sinsin Si batu Manikam

Another student conductor, Poh Shu Yun then took the lead, taking us through Chinese folk songs as well as the contemporary hits segment, which involved three of ABBA’s most well-known hits, such as Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen. It was at this point where, perhaps, the Choir’s weakness showed. The choir seemed to have been drowned out by the melodious accompaniment (of a piano) on quite a few occasions, and sometimes didn’t have the energy or the power to put the lyrics across. The addition of choreography, however, was a nice touch to the three performances and might have made up for those shortcomings.

The two student conductors, Ong Ding Yi (left) and Poh Shu Yun (right)

The concert ended with Roads, a song that commemorates the friendships and bonds that have tied the Choir together for years. The Alumni Choir then pertinently made its way back on stage to join the current batch of Choir members for the last song.

The Alumni Choir returned to give yet another stunning performance to TPJCians

Plaisir de Chanson may have changed its venue from last year, with the Esplanade Concert Hall replacing the Victoria Concert Hall, but the feel of the entire performance remains unchanged. It still sees many ex-TPJCians, young and old and current students gathering at one venue. And, I am confident that it will stay that way for many years to come - for who doesn’t wish to be enthralled by the Joy of Song?

Benjamin Lim: The Rock Climber Who Became TPJC's Top 'A' Level Student

Written by azhar.

Edited by Ng Ding Jie.

The resentment that cocooned Benjamin Lim three years ago after receiving his ‘O’ level certificate had always consumed his mind. Despite his efforts, he had only managed to attain 14 points for his ‘O’ level examinations. Deep in his mind, he knew he was not at all satisfied with the results and reminded himself that he would never want to feel the same amount of disappointment again. He was determined to excel in his studies and avoid history from repeating itself.

Three years have gone by and now, Benjamin Lim has emerged as the top ‘A’ level student in Tampines Junior College. Instead of just merely memorizing the date of the past dark history like what historians do, he picked himself up and learned from his previous mistakes. Finally, in March this year, an immense feeling of happiness overwhelmed him when the results slip landed on his hands. He scored 6 distinctions in total for his H2 Economics, Mathematics and Physics as well as H1 General Paper, Geography and Project Work. He credits his success not only to his own hard work, but also to his family, tutors and friends who were always there when he needed them the most.


Benjamin Lim with schoolmate during Prom night.

Benjamin believes in taking every challenge as an opportunity. The former Ngee Ann Secondary School student strongly believes in putting his very best in any task he is assigned to do and feels that there is no point in giving up halfway and regretting in the end. For instance, his past failures in the Economics test papers had given him the opportunity to develop new learning techniques to tackle the subject. Instead of telling himself 'I can't seem to pass Economics', he asked himself 'How do I pass my Economics?'. Benjamin has a dream in life. And that ambition is to be a professional financial consultant in the future. His dream acted as a motivation for him to even study even harder, if not smarter.

Being a third child in the family, Benjamin wanted to make his parents proud, like how his sisters did. He spends his free time dining out with his family and friends occasionally. He loves to sketch and play sports such as rock climbing during his leisure time. Perhaps, being a rock climber has taught him how to clamber up and overcome obstacles before reaching the peak of his academic success today as a tpjcian.

During the two-hour interview I had with Benjamin, I have to admit I didn’t expect him to be such a friendly and outgoing person. He answered every question almost immediately and ended them with a tinge of humour. It was obvious that he has a strong passion in rock climbing. Moreover, he is also a very generous and humble person, as he was willing to share his useful study tips with the current batch of tpjcians here. He is now in National Service (NS) and has applied for accountancy and law double degree at both the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU). I truly hope he will soar to greater heights and at the same time be someone known for both his qualifications and character.


The following is the online interview by Mohd. Azhar of TPJCian magazine, conducted on 11th May 2008. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity, and extraneous material omitted.


Azhar: Recently, the college has implemented a new system whereby tpjcians have to attend compulsory extra lessons after school. The J2s have to attend for subjects that they failed in their Semester Examinations (SA) while the J1s have to attend for all subjects. Quite a number of tpjcians have complained about this system, saying it makes them tired and lethargic for the next day since extra lessons end late. What do you think?

Benjamin: Yeah, I heard that a lot from my rock climbing friends also after our training. However, what I feel is that extra lessons would definitely be beneficial to students who are not doing well in their subjects. Nonetheless, if the schedule is so tight that it makes everyone so lethargic, I would say having the lessons on Saturday or something would be better, because having lessons when you're tired and not absorbing is not very effective and defeats the purpose. So I guess overall what I feel is that the extra lessons should not be eliminated but rather be re-scheduled more appropriately. Personally, I'd rather have the lessons on Saturday morning, when I’ll probably be fresh and able to absorb better. But that's just one person's opinion.

Azhar: Well, actually quite a number of students wanted lessons to be on Saturday. However, there's another group who argues that the teachers too have a family and they deserve a rest on weekends. What is your opinion?

Benjamin: I would say that such an issue is rather subjective. It depends very much on the teacher and whether he or she is willing to sacrifice his or her weekends for the students. So I guess perhaps they could rotate lecturers every week. And for me, I feel that if the lectures are from like 7-10 am or something then it shouldn’t take too much of the weekends out from the teachers.

Azhar: It is quite disappointing that a few tpjcian bloggers openly commented that TPJC is a slack college. The naysayers often compare us with other colleges, especially MJC and continue to spread the rumour that we're indeed a slack college. What is your view regarding this issue?

Benjamin: I guess it depends on the perspective that you take when you decide to label a college as slack or not. In terms of academia, I would say that perhaps our school is perhaps less intense than that of other JCs like MJC for example. But I wouldn't say that we are much less intense, especially now with the new system of extra lessons and all that has been implemented by Miss Choo. I feel that TPJC focuses more on a holistic education than academics alone and thus it would be a fallacy to say that TPJC is a slack college. And one more thing that I feel is very important is that if tpjcians continue to have the mentality that TPJC is slack, then this "reputation" will not die off and improving our school's standards will be harder.

Azhar: Our college recent performance in General Paper (GP) seems to be worrying. Statistics have shown that the percentage passes have dropped from 87% to 82.5%. Many tpjcians are worried the trend may continue as the recent SA results for GP is not really satisfactory. A couple of suggestions were shared to students to help improve their grades in GP, but some are still confused on how they should start. What do you think is the best way to do well in GP? What did you do to improve GP?

Benjamin: For Essay Writing, start gathering content knowledge for a few topics by collecting articles and stuff. Remember to do this for at least 6-8 topics. For me, I did only 3 topics. It was a big mistake and none of my specialized topics came out so I had to do a general topic for the GP essay. This way, before the A's you should have more than enough information to go read up and use as examples. From what I've seen, content knowledge alone without a superb but decent use of the English language can still get you a rather reasonable grade 30 marks out of 50 for essay! For Comprehension, you need to practice a lot! Know the types of questions well so that you can answer them appropriately. Also get a vocabulary book, which includes both the meaning of the words, and alternative words that you can use.

Azhar: I am a H2 Economics student. I read and recall the notes, as told by my tutor. But I still can't figure out why I keep getting U and S. Where do you think I went wrong?

Benjamin: Economics is indeed a challenging subject it was the toughest of all my H2s for me. But I enjoyed it the most. For Economics, knowing the theory is not enough; you must also know how to apply it appropriately.One very important issue that I faced was to be able to complete a standard essay in time. Whenever you can, practice essay writing as much as possible. Also, know the theory at your fingertips and train yourself to think quickly. For example, when the question asks you about a certain topic, there are certain things that should immediately pop in your head. This will help you to be able to complete a full essay faster.

Azhar: Did you use any other external study resources, like the thick books in library?

Benjamin: Wow, I did not touch those books at all. Everything that I used was issued by my teacher. The case studies that you do can be considered to be " external resources" for you to practice your analytical skills or maybe sometimes, economic news in the daily newspapers.

Azhar: What about for the students who are weak in Mathematics? Do you have any study tips for them?

Benjamin: For Maths, basically it's practice, practice and more practice. Make sure that when you're doing questions, you're actually applying the concepts learnt and not getting the answer due to the question being similar to one that you have done before. And for topics like vectors, it's useful to draw out the 3-D diagrams or if possible you can just visualize it in your head.

Azhar: Any suggestions for the Physics students to do well in that subject?

Benjamin: Understanding the concepts is very important! Sometimes the syllabus itself provides only limited information for full understanding of the topic, for example, quantum. Therefore, you can try asking your tutor for additional information should you have difficulties understanding some stuff. Generally, for each subject, consolidate your own hand written notes for easier understanding and quick reviews before each exam. I think this is a really useful method of learning. Also, once you've clarified any doubts with your tutors, write them down in the notes.

Azhar: The issue of our lecture notes has been raised by a few tpjcians. They claim that our lecture notes are not as well organized or detailed as the other JCs. This has prompted some of them to collect and share lecture notes from their friends in other JCs, particularly Meridian JC. What is your opinion regarding this issue? Are our notes too brief?

Benjamin: I definitely do not believe that our notes are too brief. I have seen notes from other JCs, and I can say that ours are as good or in some cases even better. There are of course certain variations such as different emphasis on different parts of a subject. But overall, I feel that notes wise, ours are definitely all right.

Azhar: There are certain weeks where everything seems to cram up together. For example, for this week, some tpjcians have a series of tests to sit. At the same time, they also have to complete the tutorials and assignments from at least five other subjects. Some tpjcians complain it’s a workload too heavy for them as a lot of things suddenly come shooting at them at one go. Have you encountered such a problem? How do you successfully overcome it?

Benjamin: Yes, I personally have encountered such a problem. Key thing now is to prioritize your time appropriately. For example, if you feel that your assignments are less significant at the point of time, try asking for time extensions from your teacher.

Azhar: The idea of forming study groups seems to be permeating in college. Many tpjcians are spending time with their classmates in the college library to revise their work together. Do you support the idea of study groups or do you prefer studying alone, and why?

Benjamin: The thing about studying in groups or alone is subjective. Some study better in groups while others alone. Personally, I study better alone. For me, when I study alone, there's less interruption and thus I tend to be able to absorb more. I have this thing called the golden hours. It's the 2-3 hour period of the day whereby you are able to absorb the most mine occurs from about 11pm to 2am so during school hours. I do sometimes study in groups, but it’s more of a recap form of studying. So my advice is to find your golden hours. Actually this golden hours name is from my civics tutor Ms Tan Chien Ming; she also had them when she was in JC.

Azhar: How often did you ask questions with your tutors?

Benjamin: Yes, you can ask all my teachers. I think they're pretty fed up with my questions, especially my Economics teacher. I ask mostly during classes. If you do not understand something, you should ask on the spot. Other than that, I do book consultation sessions with my tutors, but this was only during the period nearing the Prelims and ‘A’ levels.

Azhar: The June holidays is coming. The J1s are preparing for their Mid-Year examinations and the J2s will be seating for their Prelims soon. How do you think they should make use of the time wisely?

Benjamin: I think for the number of hours of studying is subjective to each individual, depending on his or her level of consistency through JC1 and 2. Actually, I can't really remember how many hours I did study last year. I would say 6-8 hours a day would be good enough. Yeah, it’s a lot but I think it's necessary especially if you are unsure of your JC1 topics. Then the June holidays are a good time to catch up. Of course, take breaks during weekends.

Azhar: Some tpjcians say that JC life is equals NO life. Do you agree?

Benjamin: Definitely not! It all depends on how you plan your time. JC can be tough. There's a lot of studying involved but there are also other stuffs to do like your respective CCAs. And on weekends and sometimes even weekdays, you can go out and hang out with your friends. Perhaps, when the ‘A’ levels are nearing, you will feel like you have no life. You go out less and there is a cessation of CCA activities. But for me, I feel that it’s just a give and take. What are a few months (2-3) of no life syndrome compared to good results at the end?

Azhar: All right, name 3 things that you sorely miss in TPJC, now that you have graduated. Do you have any shout outs to them?

Benjamin: The first group of people would be all my friends in TPJC. Next, are my teachers. I'm truly blessed with a bunch a very committed and nice teacher and finally, my CCA for all the fun trainings and events that occurred. To all my teachers, I want to thank you for all that you have done for me, for equipping me well with the knowledge and skills needed for me to surpass the ‘A’ level milestone. Thank you for being so patient, tolerating all my incessant questions, especially Ms Tan and Ms Chia. Thank you so much!

Azhar: Honestly, thank you so much for the interview. I really hope it will inspire and teach tpjcians to do well for their upcoming exams. Thank you.

Benjamin: Sure, no problem. I hope so too!

College Day '08: The Review

Written by azhar.
Pictures and videos credits to Ng Li Ya and Berlin Soh.
Special thanks to Ng Ding Jie for his guidance.

Note: Apologies if the videos or pictures are of low quality. We were sitting at the back of the auditorium and lacked the necessary gadgets or devices to ensure high quality images or videos at such a distance.

Our college Band opened this year's College Day pre-ceremony with two spectacular performances. They performed two songs, one of them being the song 'Sway' made popular by Michael Buble. Led by student conductor, Nelson Tan, they showed their professionalism and creativity in both performances, especially for 'Sway'. I am most pleased to watch the four band members who were swaying enthusiastically behind the seated band members. The audience really enjoyed the performance and cheered hard for them as the song ended. The song choices made by them were good and well-received by the audience. Enough of those classical songs; it is time we get jazzy, if not a little bouncy.

Next on the list was the college Guitar Club. They were led by student conductor, Najihah, and performed two songs too. Dressed in black tops and yellow bottoms, the Guitar Club members drew the crowd attention with their fun and melodic songs. They swayed on their seats for the second song, too. I have always had the impression that our Guitar Club is only capable of playing melancholic songs - I was proven wrong. Perhaps, they are giving a little sneak peek into what the combined Guitar-Band concert will be like. We shall see what it turns out to be come 31st May 2008.

TPJC Guitar Club performing.

The arrival of our honourable Guest-Of-Honour, Mr Sin Boon Ann, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC was met with a standing ovation by the approximately 600-strong crowd. Parents and graduates were also streaming into the auditorium. The teachers arrived slightly earlier, accompanied by their sons and daughters. Among the distinguished guests present were the Mr Yahya, founding principal of Tampines Junior College and Mr Joshua, a representative from Dover Park Hospice.

The college Modern Dance club kick started the formal event with a rousing dance performance. The dance piece was known as Corner of the Toymaker's Store. They performed to the song Opera #2 by Vitas and the routine was choreographed by their maverick dance instructor, Mr Shawn Xu Jie. Silence cocooned the auditorium as soon as the music began. Although it was not a mainstream routine (Hip Hop), the crowd was still captivated by their contemporary and jazz movements. It was a fantasizing performance with supple bodies that makes the whole choreography flow. The performance ended with a breathtaking slow motion act by the male dancer and the talented female dancer, Tara Lynette Elliott.

Ms Helen Choo was then invited to give a speech soon after that. In the speech, she mentioned that the college not only aims for each tpjcian to be eligible for university, but also to instill character building in all of its students. She also welcomed the new teachers and staff members who just entered the warm and friendly TPJC family. It was a rather beguiling speech by our charismatic Principal. One of the interesting pieces of news that she shared with the audience was that Mr Chew, one of the college PE teachers, has been selected to be an official for the Beijing Olympics badminton tournament!


The GOH then officially launched the Watercolours project for the college. It was a video showcasing how TPJC will play an integral role in ensuring that water is well preserved. The highlights of the video includes the adoption of the Tampines River. It was a proud moment for TPJC as it now the front runner for water preservation in the Tampines region. The video also showcases our cute college mascots, Amy and Archie, as a representative for the whole college. It was a nice video indeed.

Next was a speech by our respected GOH, Mr Sin. In his speech, he admired how much the college values character building, citing the example of how one of his accomplished associates in his law firm was a TPJC graduate, who is now a distinguished attorney in New York. Integrity is imperative for one's success, especially when one ventures out in the real world. The world out there is full of obstacles and challenges. He was also impressed by the college's initiative of helping preserve water in Tampines.

Speech by Mr Sin, GOH for this year's College Day.

The prize presentation followed as soon as the speech ended. Among the categories were the Long Service Award, which were given to teachers who have contributed to the school for more than 10 years. The recipients for the Long Service Awards include
Mdm Sukhvinder Kaur (20 years of service) and Mr Lim Hock Loon (25 years of service). Both of them are GP tutors. Izzah Hafsah Bte Saiful Imran was one of the graduates who bagged more than three awards, with the highest and most reputable one as Outstanding Award for Performing Arts.

Mdm Sukhvinder Kaur receiving the Long Service Award.

TPJC's top 'A' level student for the year 2007 then made his valedictory speech. In the speech, he stressed that TPJC is a college which emphasizes on a holistic education. He was also very thankful toward his peers and especially his teacher who have guided him for the past two years. He ended his speech with a simple yet meaningful advice to the JC2s present, and that is to study hard and make full use of the two years in TPJC.

Benjamin Lim, giving his speech.

The ceremony was soon reaching its end as the clock struck about 3.40pm. The college Choir then took center stage and performed a total of three songs. They then led the college song. I would like to shower my praises to the emcees of the event, Brammi, Ethel and Wai Yew. They did a splendid job. It was indeed a great and gratifying event, one which filled the auditorium with watercolours.

Performance by our Choir members.

Understanding Islam [HALAL OR NOT?]

Written by azhar.

I have been approached by a few of my non-Muslim friends regarding the Halal issue. The majority of them are curious if it’s sinful and unacceptable for a Muslim to consume food that is not certified Halal. One case study brought forward is the Good News café. A few of my close non-Muslim friends are inquisitive to know why their Muslim friends still consume the food offered by the Good News café even though there are no official Halal certifications placed near the counter. Some questioned if is it all right for Muslims to purchase food from stalls which holds the controversial ‘No Pork, No Lard’ sign.

In order to ensure a reliable and accurate answer to the query, I have forwarded the question to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) for further clarifications. Below is the answer e-mailed by one of their representative:

Assalamualaikum wr wb (Peace be upon you)

Dear Bro. Mohd Azhar

Thank you for referring this query to MUIS.

You can also inform your non-Muslim friends that In Islam, the consumption of food is an individual responsibility not MUIS or the food operator. If one is confident on the Halal status in an establishment then he can patronize the eating establishment even though there is no Halal certificate being displayed. On the other hand, if one feels not confident on the Halal status even though the is a valid Halal certificate being displayed, then he must avoid the establishment.

With regard to the sign "No Pork & No Lard", the food cannot be classified as Halal. Because beside pork or lard, other ingredients also have to be considered before one can confirm the food meet Muslim dietary requirements.

Halal certification is optional and not compulsory but it is mandatory for Muslims to eat Halal food.


Mohd Ariff Salleh

From the e-mail, you will be able to extract a few key points. Nonetheless, before I go into that, I will have to educate you about the meaning of Halal. The word ‘Halal’ in Arabic term means ‘permissible’. It refers any food or drink that is permitted to be consumed under the Islamic law. Many non-Muslims have this misconception that all food is considered Halal when the prayers are recited beforehand while preparing it.

The above statement is only true to a certain extent. In fact, it applies only to the meat of an animal that is not forbidden in the Qur' an for Muslims to eat. For example, Muslims can only eat chicken that has been slaughtered according to a specified Islamic ritual. Chicken meat is generally Halal, but the component that differentiates one which is Halal or otherwise will depend on the way the chicken slaughter. The method of slaughtering must be in such a way that it will result in instantaneous death (without prolong suffering) and with prayers to God recited.

Nevertheless, there are substances or meat in which Muslims cannot consume even with the proper slaughtering method. These types of food include pork and amphibians, such as frogs. So why is pork prohibited in Islam? Pork has been mentioned specifically in the Qur’an as a food that is forbidden to eat for Muslims. There are some reasons why this is so, including the negative health effects which can harm the body.

The utensils or cookware used for cooking are also fundamental to determine if the food can be consumed by a Muslim or not. For example, frying pans that have been used to cook pork cannot be used to cook chicken meat, for example. This is why stall vendors who applied for Halal certifications under MUIS are also prohibited from bringing in any packets of food that may contain alcoholic or pork ingredients to avoid contamination.

Therefore, the key points that needs to be highlighted in the e-mail are that it depends on the individual if he or she wants to consume the food even though there is no official Halal certification (assuming no pork or lard is used). Besides that, Halal certification is not mandatory and it is the stall vendor's responsibility to ensure that every aspect of the stall meets the requirements (meaning using new cookware and others).

Muslims can still buy food or drinks from the Bubble Tea shop even though it is not Halal certified. This is because they believe and is confident that the ingredients used meets the Muslim dietary requirements. They also believe that the cookware used is 'clean' from any of the prohibited food, such as pork.

I hope the information presented in this article helps answer some of your burning questions regarding Halal food. Please do comment or ask any questions, if you wish to. Thank you.

23rd Student Council Investiture

The article was originally written and submitted by Pooja Rai of 08S15. We have turned it into a video. Do enjoy.

Update: Oops. Mr Reuben Anand Tyagrajen is the president of TPJC’s Alumni. He was not the president for TPJC's first Student Council, as reported earlier. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. Please take note of this change in the video.

Written by Pooja Rai.

The 23rd Student Council Investiture was held on 29 April 2008 and was graced by Mr Reuben Anand Tyagrajen, president of TPJC’s Alumni. It was a mesmerising event where the 22nd Student Council stepped down to make way for the 23rd to step up. This year, the theme for the investiture was Candeo, which means to shine, glow brilliantly and sparkle. The investiture started with our vice-principal, Mr Bala’s speech. This was followed by a speech given by Mr Reuben, our distinguished guest of honour.

As the 22nd got ready for their walk-in, a montage that was put together by the 23rd Council, was shown. The atmosphere was filled with joy as the 22nd walked-in one last time, together, as a council. In recognition of their countless contributions, the school presented the councillors of the 22nd council with plaques which they received from Mr. Reuben. As the 22nd council president, Daniel Lim gave his speech, it was visible that many councillors were moved to tears.

Finally, after much anticipation, the 23rd student council walked in to the beats of the theme song of Pirates of the Caribbean. This year’s executive committee compromises of Nathan Daniel Sekhar as President, Dickson Chng as Vice-President, Priya as Secretary, Wendy Lim as Head of Finance, Abigail Abraham as Head of Operations and Siti Safiyah as Head of Student Affairs.

Photo courtesy of Livert.

Sentiments ran high as the 22nd pinned the badges on for the 23rd council. The pinning of the badges signifies the handover of responsibilities that the 22nd had held. After the badge pinning ceremony, Nathan delivered his speech which was an extremely inspiring one that was followed by the council oath. Finally, the council, 22nd and 23rd, rose and joined their hands to sing the council song.

You can check out Mark Chan's (22nd Student Councillor) article HERE.

TPJCian Magazine Release Its First Video: Michael Talks To TPJCians About Evolution

Note: I have actually animated Michael's photo. Look what it turns out to be.

TPJC Film and Photography Society Releases MOE Debate Championship Video

Gissysux Production Releases Outvestiture Video

My Race Has Just Started, Says Athlete

Written by berlin.

This year's track and field meet was a special one, not just for my class and I, but for the college as well. We had a list of many new events, that is march pass, cheer leading, novelty events and many more. It was a special day, especially for my class, 07s10. Its was our last track and field meet in TPJC and perhaps forever our only chance to garner as many medals or trophies as possible.

Also, everyone was in high spirits attributing to the fact that the girls managed to clinch their spots in the finals for all possible team events (4x100, 12x100) and also our pre-track meet finals for 4x400m which gave us confidence. Having trained for the past few Sundays, today was the day to shine. I won't say we were in top form today, neither would I say that we didn't do our best. It was not just about the speed of the runners, it was about team work. Team work is crucial in such team events, without a doubt. Techniques and speed of runners definitely do play a part, but I'm not a runner so I'm in no position to say that.

The sun was high in the sky when assembly ended. Our class quickly gathered in our formation, all in preparation for the match pass. It wasn't all that fantastic, however deep in our hearts we wanted to give all we got, for the sake of ourselves, our class and our house - FALCON. Soon after, the first event began. 100m girls. An event which got my heart beating faster than normal. It was not just another race, it was the first race, and more importantly, it was my race. Deep inside, I knew the chances of me winning was rather slim, given the number of athletics participating.

However, being the only one to represent the house, how can I bear to disappoint them? With little faith, I reported at the starting block. Not too long later, Mr Samad said the words, 'Runners, ke garisan.' There was no time to panic any longer, my heart starts to beat vigorously as I walked to the starters block and got into the starting position on lane 3. He shot the gun and off we went, I tried to keep in pace with the runner beside me. Soon after, it ended, a little too quickly. A line judge came over to me, and he told me I've got third. I jumped for joy, this was my first (and last) trophy this year. Although I did not come in first, I knew that I've put in my best, it was totally unexpected, I was ecstatic. I did it, not just for me, but also for my house. In high spirits, my team and I got ready for our next event, 4x100m.

This time round, it was not just about me, myself and I any longer; it was about us. Placed in lane 4, we were pressured. Thoughts went through our head- What if we were unable to live up to our expectations? What if... ... Many thoughts surged through our minds as we watched our juniors run their race. The whistle was blown and the starters gun was fired, signifying that our race has started.

Our race, is just a begining of another story.


Songfest '08: Exclusive Interview With Asri

Written by azhar.

Six hundred tpjcians and teachers congregated in the college auditorium on 18th April to witness our singing talents in action during this year's Songfest concert. The event which carries the theme, Memories, was proudly organized by the team from 22nd Student Council and had delivered its promise of a memorable, yet gratifying experience.

Five soloists and bands battle it out in their respective categories. Their hard work thrown in during earlier rehearsals had paid off as the event managed to live up to its expectations. At the end of the night, Syarifah Malak emerged as the champion for the solo category, while Coriel was hailed as the best band that night, beating the likes of Ready, Set, Zap and Chalk In Paris.

Malak's poster. Done by 22nd Student Council.

The night did not stop there. The winner of last year's Songfest '07, Asri, made a special appearance and took the audience by storm. His rendition of 'Bleeding Love' by Liona Lewis, followed by 'Without You'
by Mariah Carey not only filled the auditorium with a sudden burst of excitement, but also hypnotized some to sing along with him.

This post is proudly sponsored by:


The following are details of an interview by azhar of TPJCian magazine, conducted on 27/4/08 via mobile phone. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity, and extraneous material omitted.

Q) When did you started singing? Who inspired you?

A) I started mouthing when I was little, then slowly I started learning the lyrics and singing. My inspiration was watching Whitney Houston on Bodyguard. From then on, I just sang in the shower.

Q) How old were you back then?

A) Around 5 I guess.

Q) You seem to have a preference for songs by female artistes. Who is your favourite singer? And what music genre do you love most?

A) Haha. Cause my voice is naturally high! Favourite genres are R&B, soul and anything that is nice. Actually, there is no specific genre for me. Favourite singers are Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson.

Q) What was the first competition you participated? How do you feel back then?

A) Songfest! It was the first competition I joined. It was just amazing. I felt empowered, sort of. And I felt that people actually accept me and that I am not some weirdo.

Q) Were there any challenges when you were pursuing your dream as a singer in college?

A) Definitely there was, at times. Certain tutors kept saying that I shouldn't always concentrate on singing. But then again, there have been many opportunities like library night and the EU night last year.

Q) I understand that you're a councilor. How do you actually juggle council duties with your passion for singing?

A) I make sure council takes priority unless I have to perform on request. There's always a lot of other councilors around, so they help me cover some duties and I compensate later.

Q) Any funny experiences that you would love to share?

A) I guess the funny experiences are how people react when they hear me sing. They just have this shocked expression.

Q) Is there one thing you feel you could have done better as a performer?

A) Prepared better for last week! I was totally unprepared. And I missed the start of 'Without You' again.

Q) What about in terms of JC life?

A) Probably concentrate more on studies and make more friends.

Q) What are your future plans?

A) I think there's still a long way for me to go. I still need training cause I don't have any. And exposure, too. I am not satisfied.

Q) What do you think of this year's Songfest winners?

A) I think Malak is just awesome. I wouldn't have won if she joined last year. No comments about Coriel.

Q) Now that you have graduated, do you miss TPJC a lot?

A) Yes I do! I miss my tutors, especially Mr Kevin Ng, Mrs Wendy Goh and Ms Dawn Ng.

Do You Have The Same Birth Date As Asri?

He was born on 10th July 1989.

Twenty Third Student Council Investiture

Written by mark chan.
Credits to berlin for the pictures.

The leaders of the school, and probably the future leaders of our nation, the student council has always been the place where people look to in finding individuals who exemplify leadership qualities at their best. In the eyes of the student population, getting into the Student Council is somewhat a prestige in the school, but this usually comes with a price – student councillors have to serve their term with commitment in their duties to plan events, carry them out and to lead the school. And for the Twenty Second Student Council, lead the school they did.

Sitting on the stage and waiting to be called, I began to look around me at the faces with which I’ve spent a year with. As a part of the twenty second Student Council, looking back at the times we shared together is certainly nostalgic. How could it not be? Though there were trying times that we had to endure together, I am certain that all of us undoubtedly tasted the fruits of our labour when we saw the friends that the juniors have made during orientation, or the music that we helped to promote through Songfest. These examples are just a part of a huge roster of which people have already begun to hail as the twenty second council’s legacy.

But what people fail to see is that all 50 of us who invested into council are actually human and in being human, we all make mistakes. What the school normally see are just the events that take place and with this, they normally make their judgment on the council, on how successful we are, or simply how well we cope. There have definitely been times when certain outcomes are not as we wish them to be and people have been quick to criticize. But rarely do we see the people behind it all.

The student council is not just an organization or a room where ideas simply appear out of nowhere, we are the people that you see everyday, going into lectures and tutorials with you and leading out our lives just like you. No, in fact, we are more than that. We are your friends – the people whom you hang out with and whom you felt were capable to fight for the interests of the students. Having spent enough time in the council, I would say that nothing is as easy as it seems. We do not just say that we want better toilets and it would be done. We have to draft out proposals, and find ways to convince the school to find funding to do it all – the processes of which seem never-ending. To the new batch of students, I beseech you to go easy on the 23rd, for things never do work out the way we want them to. We all try, and all we should really ask is that the council gives its best.

‘It is now time for Daniel, the President of the 22nd Student Council to hand over the mace to Nathan, the President of the 23rd Student Council.’ the emcee said, as I watched Daniel approach the side of the stage and walk up that small flight of stairs. The handing over of the mace from Daniel to Nathan marks the end of our time as councillors and the beginning for the fledglings to make their mark. As all the 22nd councillors would agree, the 23rd councillors have shown potential. Although we come from different batches, we are bonded by the very fact of our swearing in as councillors. Experience will come with time, but sheer hard work and commitment is needed to develop the potential in you and also to carry out your duties with zeal and fervour.

The 23rd Student Council chose the word ‘Candeo’ as the theme for their investiture. The word itself means ‘to shine’ in Latin. And shine you will, 23rd, shine you will.

Thanks for the memories, 22nd.
Forever council is what we’ll always be.

And to the 23rd, do the school proud.

Do us all proud.

A Sweet Year For Our Indian Cultural Society (ICS) Members

Written by rashma.

Indian Cultural Society (ICS) is not just a CCA, it is beyond that in all aspects. Indian culture is one of the elements of Singapore's rich cultural heritage. Through its activities, TPJC's Indian Cultural Society aims to create an awareness of Indian culture among members of the TPJC community.

ICS comprises a closely bonded group of students and teachers-in-charge where all of them work together to aim and achieve. This can be seen through all the achievements ICS has made just within the first 4 months of this year.

In January, at the Thai Maatha Thendral competition held at Saint Andrews’ Junior College, our ICS members clinched 1st placing for Singing and 2nd placing for poetry. On the 22nd March, at the ‘Agni’ competition, ICS won 1st for Impersonation and 2nd for Singing.

Reactions from the ICS members after announcement of results.

The highest achievement that ICS has attained within these 4 months would be at the ‘Arangam’ competition on 1st March. ICS emerged as the Overall Champions in the competition organised by Ravindran Drama Group (RDG). RDG is a renowned Drama group that has also gained its recognition in the Singapore art scene through many independent and collaborative productions.

Our ICS drama members worked hard together with our teachers-in-charge, Miss Devi, Mdm Banumathi, and Mr S Nalluraj and their drama coach, Ms Amaravathi.

During the preliminary round, our team attained a ‘Gold’ award for SYF, whereas the other finalists, Temasek Junior College and Republic Polytechnic attained ‘Gold with Honours’ award. However, our drama members remained undeterred. They worked even harder and pushed themselves beyond their limits, fully utilised every meeting they had. At each step, taking back feedback and improving on it, with the help from their mentors.

Tears of joy and celebrations.

As finals inched closer, they worked doubly hard and persevered all the way, never set back by any obstacles.

During the ‘impromptu’ round the drama contestants were given 10 random props and had to create and act out a play on the spot! This round was definitely the most demanding of all. This required not only teamwork but also creativity at the spur of the moment.

For some, this competition was their first taste of drama. However, this did not stop them from achieving what some thought to be impossible. As the saying goes, ‘there is always a first time for everything’.

With their ‘never give up’ attitude, they emerged overall champions! Once again, doing our college proud and maintaining TPJC-ICS’s reputation for excellence in drama.

Our ICS members posing with their coveted trophy.

We can learn from this that one should remain determined and always persevere to achieve their goals. Aim, Act and Achieve.

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