Happy Birthday PM Lee! Here Are 10 Reasons Singapore Has The Coolest Prime Minister

Happy 65th birthday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong!

It’s been 13 years since you became the 3rd Prime Minister of Singapore, and with plans to step down in 2021, it seems like time is passing way too fast.

For now, let’s take a trip down memory lane and remind ourselves that Singapore has the ultimate coolest Prime Minister there ever was!

1. Fashionable

Even as a toddler, PM Lee was all charm. He was a suave fashionista, rocking high-waisted shorts and a million dollar smile.

Photo Credits: Mrs Lee Kuan Yew’s collection

These days, whether rocking a bow-tie and tuxedo,

[caption id="attachment_22607" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Chip Somodevilla[/caption]

a soft batik shirt,

[caption id="attachment_22609" align="alignnone" width="763"] Photo Credits: MCI[/caption]

or a polka dotted maroon tie with a pink shirt,

our PM Lee still exudes a quiet, fashionable grace.

2. Totally Gungho!

While catching up with Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West grassroots leaders and volunteers during his Chinese New Year open house, he went all in for a jump shot when it was suggested.

[caption id="attachment_22602" align="alignnone" width="960"] Photo Credits: Terence Tan[/caption]

No holds barred, no second thoughts.

3. Selfie King

Possibly one of the most social media savvy politician out there, our PM Lee is truly the selfie king!

[caption id="attachment_22588" align="alignnone" width="710"] Photo Credits: Glenn Fawcett[/caption] [caption id="attachment_22587" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo Credits: SPH[/caption] [caption id="attachment_22589" align="alignnone" width="763"] Photo Credits: OngWee Jin[/caption] [caption id="attachment_22590" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Ernest Chua[/caption]

With unshaking hands and long arms, our Prime Minister is always down for taking a selfie with everyone, as long as you ask nicely.

4. Secret Photographer

If he wasn’t our Prime Minister, PM Lee would have made the cut as a world-renowned Photographer.

All taken from his Facebook page, these photos were shot by PM Lee himself:

There are long exposure shots, beautiful scenic pictures, and even candid kangaroo photos!

5. Great sense of humour

Back in August 2016, when PM Lee officially visited the United States, he took over the White House’s Instagram account for a day.

He them promptly proceeded to post this photo later on in the day, showing the Americans that they’re not the only one with a hilarious leader.

6. Ultimate trooper

Remember when PM Lee had taken ill during his National Day Rally speech on August 21st 2016?

[caption id="attachment_22599" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Wee Teck Hian[/caption]

To everyone’s surprise and relief, he came back on stage insisting that he finish his speech.

The first thing he said?

“Thank you for waiting for me. I gave everyone a scare.”

Always putting us first, even when he was unwell.

7. Possibly a genius

Graduating from Cambridge in 1973 with Double First Class Honours in Mathematical Statistics and Mathematical Economics and a distinction in a Diploma in Computer Science, our Prime Minister was the first Singaporean to obtain the title of Senior Wrangler.

Senior Wrangler is the title given to the top mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge. With that title, PM Lee obtained one of the greatest intellectual achievements in Britain.

8. Sudoku solver

Yes, our Prime Minister literally wrote a C++ code for a Sudoku solver.

A code that Associate Professor Ng Wee Keong, the Associate Chair of Research at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Computer Engineering, as well as senior lecturer Aaron Tan of the School of Computing at National University of Singapore, called “well-structured” and “well-written” respectively.

9. Beloved by the public

With just an updated profile picture, PM Lee received over 20k likes, 316 shares and 399 comments.

Try scrolling through the comments section yourself and enjoy the wholesome messages posted.

10. Dedicated Prime Minister of Singapore

A man who constantly puts Singapore and her citizens first, PM Lee has spent the past 33 years in Singapore politics.

Happy 65th Birthday to you, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong! Here’s wishing you good health, a wonderful birthday, and many happy returns.

*PM Lee was born on 10 February, 1952.

Also, read Look How Far Singapore Has Come! We Compare The Now & Then

True Heroes – 4 Invisible Jobs Singaporeans Take For Granted

Most of us Singaporeans are always on the go -we spend long hours at work and school before squeezing in a few hours to spend time with loved ones. Most of us are so wrapped up in our own busy lives that we tend to forget about those who make our lives so much easier.

Here are 4 jobs that are vital to Singapore (and to us Singaporeans), but aren’t getting the appreciation that they deserve!

1. Bus Captains

[caption id="attachment_21548" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Annabelle Law Productions[/caption]

Let’s be honest, we often take bus captains for granted. Think about it: when was the last time you thanked your friendly bus uncle? We might even assume that their job is easy, being that they just need to drive on the same routes day in and out.

Well, it isn’t at all.

Bus captains work long hours – they’re on the clock weekdays, weekends, public holidays rain or shine. Most importantly, they’re in charge of keeping thousands of commuters safe.

Bus captains are even faced with potentially violent situations, such as the three SBS Transit bus captains who were assaulted on New Year’s Eve. While these accidents are far and few in between, they do still occur to local bus captains who are just trying to make a living.

So what are we doing to ensure that our bus captains are getting more recognition?

The National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) has been busy meeting the 4 public bus operators to ensure bus captains get better pay, career progression and benefits.
NTWU was deeply involved in helping bus captains transit to Tower Transit, a newcomer in the Singapore public bus industry:

NTWU negotiated with Go-Ahead to keep their compensation package competitive:

The union also got SBS Transit to increase its gross monthly pay by more than 15%, with sign on bonus of $3,000 for Singaporeans and PRs:

And convinced SMRT to match the employment packages offered by the other public transport operators.

longer than what civil servants get. SBS Transit has also adopted a Progressive Wage Model where , like an extra 95 hours a month! The security sector has the they face, security officers still remain a set for the security industry. Firms also had to ensure that their security officers completed the required NTUC[/caption]

The PWM has been set to not and retaining existing security officers.

The next step is convincing buyers of security contracts to use security assessments so they know what kind of security they need, instead of making security officers work long hours just to show face.

TL;DR: The Progressive Wage Model helps security officers get proper training, a career path and higher pay. But the industry still suffers from , long working hours and were given to construction workers. This does not include across industries, and this includes construction. In Singapore, wages for foreign workers are determined by market demand and supply for labour.

In Singapore, the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) ensures that workers across several industries are working in safe environments. WSHC carries out training and safety awareness campaigns for workers and employers, as well as conduct regular workplace safety inspections.

video source: Yahoo

Organizations like , to

TL;DR: Construction workers face a variety of issues that come with working in Singapore. Organizations such as MWC ensure that migrant workers receive the aid they need.

4. Cleaners

[caption id="attachment_21549" align="alignnone" width="722"]
Singapore Kindness Movement [/caption]

Singapore is known around the globe as a clean and green city. Our streets and public buildings are squeaky clean, and it’s hard to find a filthy mall or street full of trash in Singapore.

While we pride ourselves on being one of the cleanest countries in the world, the truth is that all the recognition should be going to the cleaners who work tirelessly to ensure Singapore is clean 24/7.

But how much do cleaners earn?

In June 2015, the median monthly basic wages of full-time resident cleaners was $1,100.

Recently, the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) gave three recommendations to improve cleaners’ wages.

The TCC recommended that from 2017 to 2022, wage adjustments and increases, as well as annual bonuses should be enjoyed by those employed in the cleaning industry.

Cleaners can expect a total boost of $200 to their wages from 2017 to 2020. Since annual bonuses currently aren’t mandatory for cleaners, it’s a relief to know that from 2020, cleaners can expect to see a 3% increase in their wages every year till 2022, as well as an annual bonus (equivalent of 2 weeks of wages).

[caption id="attachment_21555" align="alignnone" width="574"] Wage Increase And Annual Bonuses For Cleaners[/caption]

TCC’s recommendations are TL;DR: Cleaners will see an increase in their wages from 2017 to 2022, but what happens after 2022? Will their wages still be held ransom to cheap-sourcing?

What’s The Future Like For These Essential Jobs?

[caption id="attachment_21552" align="alignnone" width="680"]
called for an update to the Government Procurement Act.

The Labour Movement will be pushing for two main updates – mainly the Principle of Proportionality (which means clients cannot slap exorbitant fines on service providers), and the addressing of one-sided contracts which put service providers and their staff at huge disadvantages (think unlimited changes)

If the government sets the benchmark in best-sourcing for quality, reliable service providers with fair contracts that allow outsourced staff to have better jobs and pay, perhaps the rest of Singapore will follow the government’s example.

Outsourced workers will benefit from contracts that are fairer, and in the long run, increase the wages they will be receiving.

So the next time you meet these workers, remember the struggles they go through, and what you can do to help them, even if it’s a kind word, act or learning more about their jobs.

Also Read: 4 Jobs That Aren’t As ‘Bulletproof’ As You Once Thought

Rich And Famous, But These 5 Local Artistes Show That Success Is More Than That

Confirm poor. No future. Difficult to succeed. These are thoughts that probably cross your mind when you think about local artistes and the music industry. Well, think again! Despite it being a tough industry to break into, here are 5 of our local artistes who have MADE IT internationally.

That’s right: record deals, multiple albums, tours and the big bucks. These over-achieving local artistes inspire us to dream big and work hard, without sacrificing the truly important things in life.

Let’s take a closer look at the stories of our nation’s 5 shining music stars.

1) JJ Lin

With 12 studio albums (yes, 12!) and 4 world tours tucked under his belt, JJ Lin is one of the most successful local artistes to this date.

[caption id="attachment_20695" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image Credits: Her World Plus[/caption]

Besides playing DOTA, JJ Lin has snagged numerous music awards for singing and song writing from the Golden Melody Awards, Global Pop Awards and the Apple Entertainment music awards.

[caption id="attachment_20694" align="alignnone" width="765"] Image Credits: AsianTVAwards[/caption]

Though JJ Lin, whose English name is Wayne, is influential (friends with Harlem Yu and A-Mei), he remains humble and very much a family man. He actually invited his mother, father, and brother to perform on stage with him for his Genesis World Tour concert in Singapore.

JJ Lin’s artiste summary
Which record label? Warner Music Taiwan
How rich? According to Forbes, JJ Lin’s net worth was reported to be $50,940,000 in 2016! This makes him the 31st most bankable Chinese Star in the world.
Famous in? Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, America
No. of awards? Over 100
No. of albums released to date? 12
No. of world tours? 4

2) Stefanie Sun

When a singer has her own Madame Tussaud’s wax twin standing in Sentosa, you know she’s made it. Singapore’s Queen of Mandopop has 12 studio albums and sold over 30 million copies of them to date.

[caption id="attachment_20688" align="alignnone" width="458"] Image Credits: Pinterest[/caption]

Together with notable singers Wang Leehom, Wang Feng and Jane Zhang, she recorded the theme song for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games titled “Light the Passion, Share the Dream”.

[caption id="attachment_20689" align="alignnone" width="991"] Image Credits: AsianPopNews[/caption]

The myriad of awards under her name are but the echo of Sun’s spectacular success.

Despite her success, Stephanie Sun remains as tongue-in-cheek and down-to-earth as possible.

When a picture of her looking like an aunty queueing at McDonald’s surfaced, she took the opportunity to show that beauty is more than skin-deep.

Stephanie Sun’s artiste summary
Which record label? Universal Music
How rich? Taiwanese tabloid has reported her as earning up to SGD 1,348,630,404. That makes her a billionaire. But, most of that sum came from her property investments (3 in Singapore), and other property and stock market investments.
Famous in? China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia
No. of awards? 69
No. of albums released to date? 12
No. of World tours? 3

3) Kit Chan

“This is home, truly, where I know I must be..”

Yes, Kit Chan is the songstress of our nation’s favourite NDP song, Home!

She also happens to be an extremely successful singer with 14 albums (she released her latest album just this year) and has set up her very own record label, Banshee Empire.

[caption id="attachment_20692" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Image Credits: Newsasiaone[/caption]

Chan’s ability to sing in Mandarin, Cantonese and English has propelled her to perform in many parts of Asia, the United States, Hong Kong, and even New Zealand.


[caption id="attachment_20693" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Image Credits: Youtube[/caption]

Further, she was given the title of Singapore’s “national treasure” for good reasons. Ever since she debuted in 1993, she has displayed the multiplicity of her many talents – in singing, theatre, television drama, poetry, song writing, and entrepreneurship (she runs two floral boutiques in Singapore: Flowers in the Attic and Roses in the Loft).

As if that wasn’t enough, Kit Chan was continually involved in community involvement projects – as ambassadors for National Youth Council, National Heritage Board, and relief organization “World Vision”.

Kit Chan’s artiste summary
Which record label? Banshee Empire (Her own company)
How rich? Definite Millionaire
Famous in? China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore
No. of awards? 9
No. of albums released to date? 25
No. of World tours? –

4) A-Do

You wouldn’t believe it, but A-Do (Do Cheng Yi) started out as a humble construction worker right here in Singapore. He was scouted by local producer Billy Koh in a talent search audition. Everything in his life changed after that. A-Do was propelled to astounding fame across Asia when he released his first album in 2002.

[caption id="attachment_20687" align="alignnone" width="600"] Image Credits: Lollipopsg[/caption]

While his life story sounds like it came right out of the movies, there is no mistaking how talented and successful this local singer is. A-Do is famed for his unique husky vocals which won him over 20 awards to date.

[caption id="attachment_20686" align="alignnone" width="600"] Image Credits: Lollipopsg[/caption]

He is adored for his bashful personality and modest demeanour, especially among his Chinese fans. In spite of his wealth and success, he drives a small Honda, is still best buddies with his former construction colleagues, and is afraid to get on an airplane, as reported by  Image Credits: MMIA[/caption]

Chua is also effectively bilingual, which has enabled her to release 10 Chinese and 4 English albums thus far. In fact, bilingualism is but one of her many musical talents.

[caption id="attachment_20691" align="alignnone" width="763"] Image Credits: The Straits Times[/caption]

She has written and produced a number of songs for prominent singers like Fish Leong, Stefanie Sun, and S.H.E.

Tanya Chua has been praised as a “musician”, not just a mere “performer” by the widely-revered Taiwanese producer and songwriter Jonathan Lee because of her profound musical abilities.

Unwilling to settle for karaoke-friendly ballads, she continues to learn and explore music and song-writing. Rather than write songs for the market, she aims to keep her music fresh, creative, and real. Her passion and courage to go against the grain, take risks and seek growth makes her not just admirable, but also inspirational.

Tanya Chua’s artiste summary
Which record label? Asia Muse
How rich? Possible millionaire
Famous in? China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore
No. of awards? 8
No. of albums released to date? 18
No. of World tours? 1

Singapore may be a small country but it has nevertheless produced some BIG talents in the music industry. Even the biggest and brightest of names had to start from humble beginnings, like A-Do, before working their way up. All while maintaining close bonds with their loved ones like JJ Lin, or declaring their love for our home country in an NDP song like Tanya Chua and Stefanie Sun!

Indeed, these 5 individuals are role models for us all, and remind us that success is not all about the glitz and glamour, but remembering the things closest to our hearts.

Also, read 10 Places To Fly Your Drone For Amazing, Never Seen Before Photos Of Singapore

Into The Looking Glass: A Local Exhibition You Must Not Miss!

If you haven’t heard, the Singapore Biennale is in town right now, as part of Singapore Art Week 2017!

From now till 26 February, grab your friends and family and attend this eye-opening arts exhibition. We visited Project Dreamcatchers 2016: Into The Looking Glass and it was a rewarding experience.

Project Dreamcatchers 2016: Into The Looking Glass

Project Dreamcatchers is an initiative to help youths with chronic illnesses express their aspirations through art. Despite the many odds these youths face, they soldier on and reveal their struggles through the art they produce.

[caption id="attachment_21042" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Into The Looking Glass exhibition[/caption]

This year, the exhibition at the Singapore Biennale is called ‘Into The Looking Glass’. Aptly named, this exhibition invites visitors to see the world through the artists’ eyes. ‘Into The Looking Glass’ certainly caught our eyes with its display of vulnerability and invitations to connect with its viewers.

Here are four reasons why you should drop by!

Support Local Artists

These budding local artists are partnered with mentors who guide and help them through the production of their art pieces.

Mentors include local artists Samantha Lo, Ho Wai Kit, Noor Iskandar and Tan Jia Hui, who worked closely with the youths to bring their messages to life through art.

[caption id="attachment_21045" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] By Sophie Arinie, titled Heart’s Rosary Night. If we just focus on the brighter side of ourselves, we will see ourselves soaring in this wonderful voyage.[/caption]

Sparked by the initial question of what they wish to tell the public, these artworks are personal messages from the youths.

A Stunning Array of Unique Artwork

The artists and youths used mixed mediums and materials ranging from mirrors to plants. They were chosen carefully to best represent the artist’s journey and message, and to elicit the desired response from the viewer.

[caption id="attachment_21040" align="aligncenter" width="2752"] These three jars represent Faith, Fear, and Freedom respectively. The messages on the jars show how the artists interpret, express and reconcile the emotions within them.[/caption]

While touching the artwork is not permitted, viewers can interact with the artworks in different ways, like seeing themselves in the reflections of Rayna’s art piece.

[caption id="attachment_21047" align="aligncenter" width="2300"] Rayna Tan explains that her art piece depicts the notion of self-image through the journey of life, with each face representing a turning point in the author’s life, and in her journey towards recovery.[/caption]

From this, we can better experience and appreciate the depiction of the artists’ personal journey through life.

Touching Stories

Accompanying each art piece is a personal message by the artist about the inspiration behind their artwork.

[caption id="attachment_21043" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] By Sarah Tan, titled Imperfect.[/caption]

Titled ‘Imperfect’, this plywood art piece was painted over with acrylic paint, and the words were scratched out using pigment ink.

Her words of truth, as of those of the other artists, come from a yearning to be heard, recognised and understood.

End Discrimination

Art is an expression of oneself, and a means throughout history of breaking down barriers. When we take the step to understand and look from the perspectives of these youths, we’re helping to end the discrimination they face.

[caption id="attachment_21049" align="aligncenter" width="2400"] By Toh Keat Siang, titled HEART.[/caption]

In this art piece, items essential to the artist are put together and held up. When light is projected on these items, a silhouette of a human heart is formed.

Syringes and tablets may not be our essential items, but Toh’s art piece reminds us that we’re all the same inside.

With ‘Into The Looking Glass’, visitors stand to appreciate and support the fight against the discrimination of our youths. Listen to their stories through their art and acknowledge the difficulties they face, and their creativity and presence.

In our ever-increasing world of connectivity, it is exhibitions like Into The Looking Glass that will truly connect us with others on a deeper level.

Disconnect from the bombardment of stories and listen to individual ones by our local youths and artists.

A List Singapore – Your Guide To The Arts And Culture Scene In Singapore

If this exhibition has ignited a desire in you to attend more of such arts and culture happenings in Singapore, why not follow A List Singapore?

As Singapore’s first full-fledged arts and culture guide, you can find comprehensive event listings from music to dance, visual arts to theatre, and literary to family activities. Besides event listings, you can also be updated to the arts and culture scene with their plethora of thought-provoking articles.

[caption id="attachment_21041" align="aligncenter" width="945"] Singapore’s talented actress – Oon Shu An with the various Singapore Art Week 2017 events she might attend[/caption]

Be in the know as they feature up-and-coming promising artists and the shakers and makers of the art industry.

For the latest arts & cultural events happening in Singapore, follow them on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you love the smell of a fresh magazine, keep a look out on their social media channels for when their January hard copy issue will be distributed at SMRT Stations island-wide!

Take the step to explore the rich and rewarding art and culture scene in Singapore; you never know what you might learn and experience along the way!

Also, read 10 Places To Fly Your Drone For Amazing, Never Seen Before Photos Of Singapore!

The Ultimate 2016 Guide To Getting Delectable Treats For Your Christmas Dinner

We’re just days away from Christmas, and most of us would probably have been preoccupied with Christmas shopping and attending the many Christmas-themed events happening around Singapore.

However, amongst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas rush, we tend to forget that Christmas isn’t just about the presents and tinsel – it’s also about spending time with our loved ones. Food is the way to a Singaporean’s heart, so what better way to spend time with family and friends than over a delicious Christmas meal?

We’ve curated a list of food spots you can head to for Christmas dinner, from casual cafes to intimate restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

For Local Favourites

[caption id="attachment_20178" align="alignnone" width="1024"]
Tanglin Post Office Singapore
56 Tanglin Road #B1-02, S247964
Tel: +65 98188102
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon), 12pm – 10pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Tues

2. Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh Without Borders

[caption id="attachment_20180" align="alignnone" width="1024"] “business [offering] a second chance.”

Founded by ex-offender Jabez Tan, Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh is dedicated to give ex-offenders and former drug users a new start in life through providing a meaningful career.

In the spirit of paying it forward, managers, chefs and cashiers (all ex-offenders) in turn train and work with disabled individuals, to equip them with the life skills they have learnt as well.

Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh
73A Ayer Rajah Crescent #01-34, S139957

For Sweet Treats

3. Flour Power

[caption id="attachment_20181" align="alignnone" width="720"]
1 Jasmine Road, S576585
[email protected]
Contact: 6452 0156

For The Whole Family

[caption id="attachment_20182" align="alignnone" width="500"] Chinese family dinner[/caption]

If you have yet to pick a spot to dine with loved ones this festive season, don’t fret – we’ve got you covered.

These restaurants not only serve up delicious Western fare in intimate settings, they’re also giving back to individuals who need a little more help.

4. Food for Thought

[caption id="attachment_20183" align="alignnone" width="700"] Chope.co[/caption]

A pioneering F&B social enterprise in Singapore, Food For Thought strives to help build a sense of community by bringing people together through good food and meaningful social causes.

Located at Singapore’s National Museum and the Botanic Gardens, Food For Thought serves up modern Western fare at reasonable prices.

Serving All Day Brunch alongside Honey Hoison Baby Back Ribs and Spicy Pulled Pork Cocciolini, you’re in for a culinary experience at Food For Thought!

Whilst perusing the menu at Food For Thought, guests will see several meaningful causes that Food For Thought currently focuses on. Feed Good Food is one such cause, and guests are encouraged to purchase Food Bundles from Food Bank Singapore to help out needy families all around Singapore.

Cheng San CC
6 Ang Mo Kio St 53, S569205
Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 5pm – 12am; Fri & Sat 5pm – 1am
Contact: 62803389

6. Garcons

[caption id="attachment_20185" align="alignnone" width="1024"] For A Casual Get-Together

[caption id="attachment_20186" align="alignnone" width="1024"]
Novena Square
#02-78/79, 238 Thomson Road S307683
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Contact: 6253 4650

Boat Quay
10 Circular Road, S049366
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am – 10pm Weekends Closed
Contact: 65320607

8. Joan Bowen Cafe

[caption id="attachment_20188" align="alignnone" width="640"]
9 Jalan Wangi, S349354
Opening Hours: Mon 11am – 4pm; Tue 11.30am – 4pm; Wed – Fri 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 9.30pm; Sat 1pm – 9.30pm
Contact: 62813629

Social Enterprises 

[caption id="attachment_20189" align="alignnone" width="1024"] asiaforgood.com[/caption]

These 8 eateries around Singapore, aren’t just serving up delectable food this festive season, they’re also social enterprises that are giving back to society. Restaurants like Professor Brawn and Flour Power are empowering special needs individuals by providing them with life skills and employment opportunities.

Keen to find out more about local cafes and restaurants that are going the extra mile? Check out DBS Asia For Good’s regional directory for businesses that are giving back and creating a positive impact in society!

Visit https://www.asiaforgood.com to find out more.

Also Read: Re-Inventing Christmas As A Time For Giving, The 21st Century Way

True Story: A Singaporean Man’s Journey As A Ladyboy In Cambodia

Standing before a nightclub with dazzling neon lights, her rusty golden locks blew gently in the wind as she took a heavy drag from her cigarette. In a figure-hugging dress and black strappy heels, Shauna strutted flawlessly from the red light district of Siem Reap to her apartment.

Source: Sean LeeShauna
Source: Sean Lee

In the bathroom, she tugs gently at her hair, removing her curls before running water across her face. Looking up, she could barely recognise the man in the mirror. This is the story of Sean Lee, the man behind ladyboy Shauna, in Cambodia.

[caption id="attachment_19459" align="aligncenter" width="857"]Credit: Sean Lee Credit: Sean Lee[/caption]

Sitting across the man with young, boyish looks, we could hardly tell the similarities between Sean and Shauna. It might have been the blonde wig but hey, never underestimate the power of make-up.

c81a9473Sean Lee
Source: Sean Lee

All in all, journey of thirty-one year old Singaporean photographer Starting out as an assignment, Shauna soon developed into an immersive photography project where Sean takes on the persona of a ladyboy.

Source: www.gupmagazine.com

Just to be clear, by “taking on the persona of a ladyboy”, we mean dressing, behaving and living within Siem Reap’s red light district. Effort gao gao.

[caption id="attachment_19460" align="aligncenter" width="861"]Credit: Sean Lee Credit: Sean Lee[/caption]

As we sat down with Sean himself, we find out how his photography journey began, the inspiration behind Shauna, and what it was like becoming a Singaporean ladyboy in Siem Reap.

1. So Sean, what first made you first pick up the camera?

Oh, I’ve always had an interest in photography. Though it was after I’d graduated from junior college when my Literature teacher, who knew about my interest, introduced me to it.

Working his way up from a photographer’s assistant, Sean has, over the years, built an impressive list of clientele including DBS and Singapore Airlines where his works have been featured in several exhibitions, notably the Saatchi Gallery and Les Recontres d’Arles.

2. What do you think is the main challenge of being a professional photographer?

As a freelance photographer, I’d say the inconsistency of the jobs. You know, having no clue as to where your next job will come from. This really got to me when I was younger.

3. Let’s talk a little about Shauna. What’s the story behind the project?

I was 22 and was attending the I did try taking on different personas such as a tuk tuk driver and construction worker but they just didn’t work. So I eventually got around to Shauna and settled on a ladyboy persona.

Source: www.emahomagazine.com
Source: www.emahomagazine.com

I started with this really cheap wig and borrowed clothes from my lady friends, who also taught me to put on my make up.

[caption id="attachment_19457" align="aligncenter" width="850"]Credit: Sean Lee Credit: Sean Lee[/caption]

It started out as a week-long assignment but I ended up spending two years flying back and forth Cambodia to complete the project. During the process, I took on professional make-up lessons and learnt how to strut in stilettos!

4. What was it like, being Shauna?

Here’s the funny thing. Whenever I look back at her photos, it’s like looking at a complete stranger (even though that person is me).

[caption id="attachment_19010" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]untitled-design Credit: Sean Lee[/caption]

Taking on her persona wasn’t easy, because some days you just don’t feel committed, but other days you are completely into character. It’s crazy.

5. Your photos of Shauna are amazing. Did you have any help in taking them?

Well most of them I took with tripods and self-timers, though I did have a friend of mine who would help me in taking some of the shots.

Source: www.emahomagazine.comSource: www.emahomagazine.com

It was great to have him around because you know, sometimes I’d need him to explain to patrons that we’re dong photography project.

6. What would be your main takeaway from Shauna?

Life is very different in the red light district of Siem Reap. Many of them don’t have a choice, but some of them are honestly looking for love.

[caption id="attachment_19458" align="aligncenter" width="859"]screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-3-53-28-pm Credit: Sean Lee[/caption]

I’ve actually bumped into one of the working girls a couple of years later, who told me about her marriage and new life abroad. I’m really happy for them.

7. So what have you been up to lately? Tell us a little more!

Something I’m currently working on is Looking at my students made me reflect on my youth and the friends that I used to hang out with, partied with, fallen in love with.

[caption id="attachment_19007" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Young Love Source: Sean Lee Young Love | Source: Sean Lee[/caption]

Through this project, I hope to really capture the essence and innocence of youth, to document this precious stage of life that we all come to miss.

8. Lastly, any advice for budding photographers?

Never. Stop. Working. Assist as much as you can, because that’s where you learn the essential skills to photography. Never forget to work on projects that are close to your heart, to pursue projects that you’re interested in, where you’re not in it just for the money.

If this isn’t dedication, we don’t know what is.

For those how are interested, Shauna now comes in a photobook and is available Instagram.

Header image credit: Sean Lee

Also, read The Perfect Shot – DarylAiden’s Photography Journey & DreaChong

Armin van Buuren’s World Tour Is Going To Be ‘Off The Hook’

Armin van Buuren. A name that any EDM fanatic will know. He’s synonymous with the Trance genre and this Dutch mega producer has had an epic 20 year career. With a radio show, tours, countless titles and albums under his belt and his ability to bring crowds to their knees, Armin van Buuren IS Trance music.


[caption id="attachment_16425" align="alignnone" width="1024"]armin Armin Only Embrace World Tour[/caption]

If you live for Trance music, good news for you, Armin Van Buuren is coming to our shores next April! Based on his newest album, Embrace, Armin Van Buuren’s World Tour is no ordinary EDM Festival.

[caption id="attachment_16426" align="alignnone" width="1024"]el9a0598 Dancers at Armin Only Embrace[/caption]

Described as a musical exploration that will delve the crowd into a multi-sensory experience of theatre performance alongside pop,hip hop, jazz and of course electronic music. So you know this EDM festival is unlikely to be any you’ve been to before!

[caption id="attachment_16429" align="alignnone" width="960"]large_mr_probz Mr Probz[/caption]

Despite the name, Armin Only Embrace, Armin will be performing alongside other internationally acclaimed artiste like Mr Probz, Angel Taylor, Kensington, BullySongs and Betsie Larkin.


Set at the Meadow, Gardens By The Bay, Armin Only Embrace is set to be one of 2017’s biggest EDM performance yet!

Intrigued? Check out what Armin Only Embrace is pulling off!


What are you waiting for?! Get your hands on Early Bird tickets which are priced at only $78! Find out more at Atlantis Fright Night – Dance Till Dawn At Siloso Beach’s Halloween Themed Music Festival

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Full-Time Mum And Entrepreneur Jaime Teo

Jaime Teo. Most Singaporeans only know her as a Miss Singapore Universe winner and as Daniel Ong’s better half. But really, the 38 year old mumtrepreneur (a mummy entrepreneur) is more than just a pretty face! She may not be on our television screens as much but she’s been really busy. Her newest venture? Partnering up with popular sportswear label Under Armour! Here are 5 facts about Jaime Teo that might just surprise you!

1. She Was Part Of A Singapore-Taiwan Girl Group

[caption id="attachment_16332" align="alignnone" width="706"]jaime-teo1 Youtube channel where she uploads videos of her singing and playing covers.

2. She Loves To Bake

[caption id="attachment_16333" align="alignnone" width="768"]12-cupcakes for their daily and seasonal cupcake offerings!

3. Her Biggest Challenge? Raising Her Daughter

[caption id="attachment_16334" align="alignnone" width="1024"]
jaime-and-daughter Jamie Teo with daughter Renee Ong[/caption]

Any mum out there can attest that raising kids is no walk in the park. For mumtrepreneur /FLY artist/wife Jaime Teo, she says all her roles are easy to fulfil with supportive husband, Daniel Ong by her side. Being a mummy, is a 24 hour ‘cannot quit’ job and while it can be a full load with so many things on her plate, Jaime still manages to spend time with daughter, Renee Ong!

Check out Jaime Teo’s Instragram, she’s always uploading videos of daughter, Renee!

4. She’s Fitter Than You

[caption id="attachment_16336" align="alignnone" width="1024"]running Jamie Teo’s Instagram[/caption]

While balancing her very busy schedule, Jaime still manages to keep fit, by running, rock climbing and even working out at home. Which goes to show all you really need for a workout is an exercise mat and some really good workout music!

Mumtrepreneur , Jaime Teo’s latest venture is partnering up with Under Armour, the popular sportswear label, to help other ladies adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle like she has!

Hard to believe that Jaime used to battle weight and body issues since a young age, but this former Miss Singapore Universe has certainly come a long way!

UA Women: Empowering One Another

Want to get some tips on getting a workout in despite a busy work schedule? You’re in luck! Jaime Teo will be speaking at the UA Women: Empowering One Another event, where she’ll be giving the crowd tips of crafting a healthy lifestyle and the different types of exercises to give you that extra boost of energy!

And she’s not alone, Sarah Pang, Singapore’s National Tennis Player will also be holding a tennis clinic for Tennis novice and experts alike!

Empower Yourself: How to Manage Your Energy
Sarah Pang, Jaime Teo, and Marie Choo
Sat, 22 October 2016
9.30am – 10.30am
Hometeam NS Balestier (Cookyn Inc)

Tennis Clinic with Sarah Pang
Sat, 22 October 2016
8am – 9.30am
Hometeam NS Balestier (Tennis Courts)
Equipment: Workout attire and tennis racquet

Want to find out more about UA Women: Empowering One Another? Check out their event page HERE

Find out more information about Under Armour at their 5. She’s A Risk Taker  [caption id="attachment_16374" align="alignnone" width="1011"]last Jaime Teo’s Instagram[/caption]

With numerous acting gigs under her belt, winning Miss Singapore Universe, a successful cupcake company, a happy family life and now a fitness junkie, Jaime Teo seems to have it all.

But getting there hasn’t been a walk in the park, Jaime above all things is a risk taker. And if we can learn something from this mumtrepreneur , its taking risks is better than regretting never risking anything.

(feature image: Jaime Teo Instagram)

Also Read: How Does Floating Freely Feel? We Tried It Out At Palm Ave Float Club!

6 Places Nathan Hartono Might Head To For His Bak Chor Mee Cravings

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past weekend, you would know who Nathan Hartono is and what exactly he’s accomplished.

For those who have no clue who he is, Nathan Hartono, a local born talent won first runner up in popular singing reality show Sing! China (the furthest any Singaporean has placed!). Not only did this local singer start a Milo craze which resulted in milo trucks making an appearance at Plaza Singapura, he also gave this popular local dish a special shoutout, BAK CHOR MEE!

Bak Chor Mee is the quintessential comfort food, not only can you find it in every other coffeeshop, you can have it in so many different ways! Here at DSG, we’re always on the hunt for the best foods and that (of course) includes Bak Chor Mee. Here are the top 6 places where you (and Nathan Hartono) can satisfy those Bak Chor Mee cravings!

1. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

[caption id="attachment_15986" align="alignnone" width="1024"]1-hill 2-lai-heng 3-58 ah-hoe 5

Don’t be fooled into thinking this Bak Chor Mee spot has no queue, they have a queue number system so be prepared to wait up to an hour for a bowl here. Dishes at Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles are prepared individually and are crafted with springy noodles and stripes of braised pork belly and crispy lard. While the dish is amazing on its own get it with soup on the side, the rich pork broth is the perfect compliment to this popular local dish.

Macpherson Minced Meat Noodles
1382 Serangoon Road, S328254
Opening Hours: 6.30am – 2pm, Tue Closed

6. Seng Huat Eating House

[caption id="attachment_16029" align="alignnone" width="427"]seng-huat )

Also Read: 
6 DIE DIE Must Visit Stalls For Lovers Of Seafood White Bee Hoon!

Dear Nathan Hartono: You’ll Always Be A Hero In Our Hearts!

Dear Nathan, the Sing! China 2016 results was not the most ideal, nonetheless, you will always remain a hero in our hearts.

Though you did not win the top spot, you have, in fact, won us, Singaporeans, over SIX TIMES (and counting):

1. The times when you beatbox

[caption id="attachment_15807" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]Credit: 24liveblog Credit: Credit: 3. Those smiles

[caption id="attachment_15805" align="aligncenter" width="1536"]Credit: straitstimes Credit: Credit: bandwagon.asia[/caption]

You certainly know the way to our Harts – Milo Peng for the win!

5. How you pulled off English and Mandarin Songs

Credit: viewQwest

Credit: Credit: iconsingapore.comCredit: Nathan Hartono Clinches Silver At Sing! China 2016 – It’s Ok We Still Love You!