Sunday, 19 July 2015

Grand Chinese Banquet for APEC leaders and delegates 2014

The 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting was held
 in Beijing on Nov.10th 2014 with VVIPs and their
spouses in the lists of the invitees.
 It was almost like preparation for an impending war! A high level of standard for the banquet was set unprecedentedly. The kitchen heads, the chefs, the F & B staff and their multitude of assistants were repeatedly inculcated that the banquet must be a success and no failure could be ensued and tolerated.
A bevy of charming beauties were selected to serve the
330 plus strong dignitaries. The job required them to be
                       impeccably perfect with no slip up allowed.
The official seat of the First Lady of China
Madam Peng LiYuan 
The official national banquet was held at the
Beijing National Aquatic Centre.
There were 10 dishes for every honourable guests-more than 330 of them. That meant there would be more than 3,000 dishes to be served with correct timing and intervals.
The Menu 
President Xi JinPing and his First Lady of China Madam Peng LiYuan welcome leaders and representatives of member  Economies attending the meet and their spouses by treating and
presenting them an official National Banquet.

China had been well-known for its reputation as a nation of cuisine expertise and hospitality. With only 6 head chefs and 60 over assistants in the kitchen, they had vowed not to let the
country down with their distinctively proven records of
excellent culinary skill and table service.

President Xi raised a toast to cheer, to welcome the
distinguished guests present at the banquet.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin cast a
lingering look at one pretty waitress.

The menu in Chinese language for this official national
 banquet to entertain APEC dignitaries. Needless to say
the National Banquet was an enormous success;
all VVIP guests gave their thumb-ups for
the host's  exuberant show of
 their hospitality.  
 Bon Appetite: Some of the delicious,
exotic dishes that followed......

Learn to pronounce these Chinese
words and you will be wiser!

Many thanks to CC Koh for sharing.
Alan  CY  Kok


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Swim with crocodiles in the Cage of Death, Darwin, Australia.



Are you brave enough? Two women smile for an underwater photo as Chopper The Croc floats in the water above them.

The theme park known as Crocosaurus Cove Darwin, opened its doors in July 2008 has set a new standard of interaction when it comes to the top End's most iconic reptiles.

Visitors can come face to face with Chopper, the 58-stone crocodile at the Australian Attraction. 
Its inner city location, housing almost 200 crocodiles,
including some of the largest saltwater crocodiles on the planets and its aquarium like under water viewing of these prehistoric creatures, has proven extremely popular with both locals and tourists alike. However it is the Cage of Death, Australia's only crocodile dive that has firmly put Crocosaurus Cove on the map.
Dare-devils spends 20 minutes under the water at the theme park, and get to watch the crocs munching on chicken, beef and fish.
Thousands of people have been thrilled & terrified by sharing the very environment of 5m plus crocodile, while the unique activity has featured in media publications around the world.
Every dive includes 15 minutes in the enclosure with one of these massive reptiles. Regular feeding by the crocodile handlers when people are inside the cage encourages more movement from the crocodiles and ensures an up close and personal, face to face encounter that must be seen to be believed!
Guests can get themselves acquainted with the 86 year-old star at the attraction, named Chopper who feeds on chicken, beef and fish.
Operated by an over-head monorail and designed for 1 or 2 people per cage, the Cage of Death has the dare-devil visitor suspended above the crocs before being lowered into the pen to get an up close and personal look at these amazing reptiles.
                                        Up close and personal, but safe from being
                                                         munched and eaten!

Don’t miss the chance of getting 360 degree views and the crocs as the Cove's on-site photographers captures amazing images both inside and outside of the crocodile enclosures.
Two young tourists put up a gallant front to pose for the photo-shot at the adrenaline fuelled attraction in Darwin.

Meet some of the famous inhabitants of the Crocosaurus, such as Chopper and William & Kate and be wowed by this unique, once in a lifetime experience.
                                          Look! It's making a turn to come for us!
                                                    What will happen next?

The Cage of Death operates 11 times per day, and participants can go it alone, or bring a friend. 


Under water adventure: The 9-foot-high container is known as the Cage of Death, and that protects the thrill seekers from the giant reptiles.
Feeding time ! The woman looks scared as Chopper the 58-stone reptile rises to get his meal, just inches away from the two curious guests.
Say cheese! Daredevils try out the underwater attraction at Crocosausus Cove in Darwin, Australia, just inches away from a giant crocodile.

Oh My! That's some adventure!
Many thanks to CC Koh for sharing.

Alan CY Kok

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Singapore's GIC Chief Lim Siong Guan

Introducing Mr Lim Siong Guan of Singapore:

Education: 1st Class Honours, Mechanical Engineering, University     of Adelaide, Australia (1969), Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, National University of Singapore (1975).

Positions Held: First Principal Secretary to PM Lee Kuan Yew (1978-1981), Permanent Secretary to Defence, Prime Minister's office, and Education, and Finance Ministry. (From 1981 to 2006). Head of Singapore Civil Service (1999 to 2005).

Chairman-Central Provident Fund Board 1986 to 1994. Board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore 1999 to 2006.
Chairman-Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Inland Revenue of Singapore from 2004-2006.
Chairman of The Economic Development Board from 2006 to 2009.

Director of Temasek Holding Pte Ltd., DBS Bank Ltd., Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.

Group President of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) since July 1st 2009.

Nick names: Yoda, Superman, Change Crusader.

This will never happen to bolehland Malaysia. We have one chairman who was said to travel to UK every weekend just to be with his girl friend; whereas the chairman of SIA asked for a change of first class to economy just because the plane was full and there was a pax wanting to pay for the first class seat. Here you have people trying to get into first class or business class from economy using and dropping big names, and damn if the seat can be sold.

He may be the group president of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, but Mr Lim Siong Guan rides the MRT to work. He alights at Raffles Place, then walks about 20 minutes to GLC's office in Robinson Road for the exercise.

If he needs a postage stamp or has any errand of a personal nature, he queues for it himself instead of bothering his secretary.

His yearly tour of GIC overseas offices since 2007- four days around the world: Singapore, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore; and another 4 days around Asia: Singapore, Mumbai, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore -  is the stuff of corporate legend.

He does not book a single hotel room, sleeps on the plane, refuses a corporate limousine and insists on public transport. He lives out of a small carry-on bag and showers in GIC office gyms. The London office keeps a spare towel for him.

It is a practice the former chairman of the Economic Development Board says he picked up from his EDB days of city-hopping as 'check-in luggage increases very significantly the chances of missing connecting flights".

By all accounts, Mr Lim is an iconoclast. The former head of the Singapore civil service, who served as permanent secretary in the ministry of defence, education and finance, and in the Prime Minister's Office, is also a hard act to follow.

He sticks out in the financial sector because of his acetic values, thrift and humility. He owns a Volvo S60, easily the smallest car among his colleagues.

Mr Lim Siong Guan is prepared to spend a lot to effect organisational change. Everywhere he goes, he ignites a mini revolution, cutting red tape, operating close to the boundaries and bucking conventions.

Dr Teh Kok Peng, chairman of business space solutions provider Ascendas  and formerly president of GIC Special Investments, says: "In the office, some call him 'Superman' for his drive, energy and nobility of intention. He demands a lot of himself so he's in a position to demand a lot from others too."

His pet phrase is: " Are we ready for the future?" His pet name is Yoda, for his wisdom, long-range thinking and fearlessness in challenging his staff to think, even ahead of their ministers.

He is also known as one of the toughest - because of his formidable intellect and unbending principle - yet nicest bosses to work for in the civil service. His top question to staff is always: "How can I help you to do your job better?"
A book Mr Lim Siong Guan co-authored titled:
The Leader, The Teacher & You

Stories abound of the small and big ways in which he intervened to help others. None of this, of course, will ever be disclosed by the wiry, reticent 67-year- old.
The pride of Singapore-The GIC

Accountant General Chua Geok Wah , who witnessed the transformation of the civil service under Mr Lim Siong Guan, sums up her tribute to him by quoting ancient Chinese  philosopher Lao Tzu:
A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, "we did it ourselves".
Text obtained through e-mail received.
Details of Mr LSG's biography obtained from Wikipedia.

Alan CY Kok