Thursday, October 13, 2011

Singapore Awaits Official Response

I went to Uptown 3 in Damansara Utama last evening to attend the Lafarge Toastmasters meeting. This club is a different proposition altogether. Firstly, it is an in-house club and one of the rare ones that meet after office hours (i.e. evenings). Secondly, as the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening pointed out, they dispensed with the salutations – everybody were just referred to by their names; no Toastmasters titles were used. Thirdly, their meetings allocated only one minute each for the ‘Ah’ Counter, Timerkeeper and Grammarian reports. I feel strongly that the Grammarian, in particular, would need at least 5 minutes – otherwise, how else could he or she promote the correct use of English? Personally, I would prefer ten minutes. After all, most of us do not speak English properly in the first place.

When I planned to attend this meeting, I did not reckon on playing any role. I just wanted to sit back and enjoy the speeches. But since Gan Teong Hock was very late in arriving, I took over as evaluator for the second speaker. She does need to work on her English. E.g. Her speech title “Our Paradox Behavior” tells it all. She had used a noun, i.e. ‘paradox’, instead of an adjective, ‘paradoxical’. Hopefully, the more proficient members can assist her. The only other speaker was supposed to deliver CC speech # 2 but she went beyond her time allotment and instead of wrapping up her speech when she reached the very maximum limit of 7 minutes and 30 seconds, she persisted to continue speaking. She only stopped at 11 minutes and 36 seconds! Again, her evaluator was exceedingly kind but hopefully, somebody can point out to her the importance of keeping time. Please, let us ensure that newbies learn the right things. I would score this meeting a 3 out of a 10.

Earlier in the day, Francis Ng and I were at Technology Park Malaysia to attend the BAT Toastmasters meeting. The venue was at the Enterprise 4 building and I took up the role of Table Topics Evaluator. We had 15 BAT Group of Companies staff members and three Toastmasters guests huddled together in the Dunhill room for an afternoon of speeches and evaluations. I found plentiful enthusiasm and the members showed promise. This is a newbie club and yesterday was only their fourth meeting. I would give this meeting a score of a 6 out of a 10.

According to the Sunday Star, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) has written to the Malaysian High Commission seeking details of an investigation into how two Singaporean women were treated while in detention in a Johor lock-up. I blogged on October 07, 2011 that the Malaysian authorities had already provided a reply to a Parliamentary question on the same case. An MFA statement released on Friday said there was an understanding with the Malaysian authorities that they would let Singapore know the results of the investigations as soon as it was ready, but they had not received any to date. Malaysia seems to have this habit of ignoring Singapore.

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