135. Changing Lives

Hard truths about helping the poor

By Robert Kee

135 Robert Kee Changing Lives Hard truths about helping the poor

These are rough times. Marawi, London.

How should I go about doing my part for charity? Seems that the best way is to give through your profession.

How much can I give? It feels wrong to be enjoying such comfort when there people with no food, no clothes, and no hope.



20040322 Personal Recount of the Days in TKK.

Personal Recount Of The Days In TKK

I was born into a Christian family where my parents are born-again believers. Thus, attending church and doing daily devotion (although I forget sometimes) play a vital part in my life since my first breath of life. At the age of three, I started my first year in the TKK (The Kingdom Kids). Talking about it, I feel a little disappointed having to leave TKK at the end of the year. However, looking on the bright side, I still have beautiful memories of some of the fabulous and godly events TKK has held for me to reminiscence

I can still remember vividly the 30th of September 2001, when Noah’s Carnival was held. It featured a wonderful play about the flood and Noah with a life-size ark and animals in which children like Choo Shuin and Jerome Ang acted. Following, a short story on entering heaven deeply touched me spiritually. Immediately, I prayed in my heart for forgiveness of all my wrongdoings. Other similar events like this have also caused a great turn in my life. There was once when Pastor Dale gave a speech and prayed for us in tongues. I could indeed feel the presence of God so comforting and warm. I cried my heart out and asked God to create in me a strong character to resist against temptations. At that time, teachers were also walking about, praying for each of us. During the church camp this year, Teacher Jo also led us into a strong prayer that left most of us, including me, weeping. I believe that must have been the work of the Holy Spirit to soften my heart. From then on, my relationship with God has grown stronger and I take devotion more seriously now, thanks to TKK. The e-card chop system has also motivated me to evangelize, not because for the chop but that I am convinced of the responsibility as a Christian to reach out to the unsaved. Currently, I am still reaching out to a close friend of mine who is a Buddhist.

After all these years in TKK, I would really like to thank God for dedicated teachers who are good role models in my Christian walk. Although parting is sorrow and grief, I am certain that God will not let the sorrow last long as he has a brighter and shinier future for me.


“The good old yesterdays are for us to visit and reflect, and not for us to live in.”

Gloria Cheng


20040111 Commonwealth Essay: What do you think you will be doing in ten years’ time?

(Wow, when I read this today, I didn’t know what to think, I actually predicted Medicine??)

Question: What do you think you will be doing in ten years’ time?

To ask what someone would think he or she would be doing ten long years down the road is of course, not an easy task. To me, that is. For some of my contemporaries, it comes almost naturally because they are certainly much more focused and not as fickle-minded as me. Those will be the future leaders of Singapore or pioneers to new technologies. Way to go, comrades! So here I am thinking about what I will be doing when I am twenty-three (because I am 13 years of age at this point in time.)

If nothing goes wrong or there aren’t any major changes in my life, I think I will be in America finishing my last school year at the top Harvard University studying the field of medicine. Well, the medical field is so exciting and challenging. I want to know all about the various areas of it and perhaps, even create my own medicine to help all those sick people. Secondly, the current education system of Singapore does not look like the ideal education system for me. I am hyperactive by nature and cannot sit still for long periods of time. What I like is to have hands-on activities all the time, to experience the feel of all the different kinds of chemicals; and most importantly, to have lessons of human dissection, to see the internal human body in three-dimensional form right before me. Think, how lovely it is to have the whole world of medicine open up to me, to breathe in all the knowledge as if it were air! However, I will make sure that I do not become a nerd but an all-rounder, which is what Harvard University will provide for me.

Everyday, I will be studying very hard for the final year exams because these exams will determine whether I will get my degree with first-class or second-class honours. I want my medical career to have a good start, so anything below a first-class honour is not enough for me. I want to be a famous surgeon, although I have not thought of what I should specialize in.  Neurology would be best.

Every day after school, I obediently walk back to the apartment I share with my younger sister who is studying in high school. The three-room apartment is bought by our parents as they think staying in a hostel is too tiring for us. In school, I am in the bridge club training intensively to participate in international competitions against other top universities all around the world. I might even have to compete with a team from Singapore. I wonder what I will do if that day really comes. Should I fight for my American university, let my homeland win, or not take part at all so that I will be spared from all the trouble? Never mind, let tomorrow worry about its troubles.

Since having more than one co-curriculum activities is common, I have decided that I will join the Girl Guides in addition to Bridge club. I grew up in a high-income family and beggars are a common sight along the pavements of the bungalows of my estate. (You don’t really see beggars at the Housing Development Board flats’ pavements because the residents there do not give money freely like my family when they themselves have to struggle to make ends meet with their meager monthly salary.) Seeing all those beggars on their knees, some without a limb or vision have softened my heart so that I enjoy the time when the teachers of girl guides club organize some community service project in which we go to hospitals to help make the bed sheets or feed the weak patients.

Besides these occasional community service projects, I will be self-volunteering my services to organizations like the old folks’ home, the orphanage and etcetera once a week. I have decided to devote my free time to social work. To see a smile on the faces of the elderly and innocent orphans makes me feel that I have not lived a meaningless life, but one in which I have helped made the world happier. These orphans did not choose to lose their parents, or to face this world alone. Neither did the elderly at the home choose to be abandoned by their precious children whom they have spent their prime time of their lives showering so much love and care on. Their poor state have reminded me of what a fortunate life I have led.

This is also why I want to study medicine and become a doctor (surgeon). I want to help all those terminally ill people, to give them another chance to live. I want to do my part as a human, to reach out a helping hand to my ‘brothers and sisters of the world’. This is what life is about.

Of course, besides school life, I have a social life too. I will most probably be meeting up with some guys for dinner from the same university. However, I will try to hang out with Chinese guys, perhaps because I feel more comfortable with them. I am more old-fashioned compared to my peers and personally believe that when people from two walks of life come together in union, there will always be a difference in ideas and perception (especially in religion or faith) concerning living life and raising a family together. Naturally for couples who are from different races, they will often face greater conflicts as different races have different cultural practices and beliefs; and I am one person who does not like conflicts. So this explains that I am NOT a racist. I do have friends of different races and we get along very well.

What you have read above is what I think I will be doing, what my life should be in ten years’ time. Pretty interesting for a twenty-three-year-old, don’t you think?

Studying for M4 finals thoughts.

IT NEEDS TO END like now.
Holding chords
Sitting opposite EC House
Makes no difference
What do you want to be? What are you? JUKEBOX
快对我说快对我说快对我说 爱
直到  像海岸线一样随潮起冲散

If I showed a picture of my table, bed, bag and shelf to people, what gender would they think I belong to?
Reading the books of my childhood would be a completely different feeling and experience.


左撇子 右撇子 双撇子
我的爱 竟不翼而飞 但回忆供我在夜里消费
背着你 我暂停了时间

字 歌 神 爱 手 脚

你知道我不想离开 你知道我有多无奈

我给你一颗星星 我给你一场雪
我给你一朵花 我给你自由


You know when you step in the mud with boots on, and there's that satisfying sound? A squilsh, my mom used to call it- the way it tugs at your boot when you try to lift your foot, but not in a scary way like you might lose your boot forever- that nice little tug that reminds you you're solid. That's how I imagine it would feel to sit in the middle of the woods and close my eyes and do nothing but breathe and listen and let myself squilsh right into the world. Solid but not scary. Alone but not lonely. Missing but not lost.

自然醒 睡得像小孩

Loneliness is a scary thing.
Awake and empty
Asleep and absent
I am so lonely.


I use this word quite frequently nowadays and I don’t like the fact that it’s happening. Why the heck would you want things around you to be dysfunctional?

Moreover, I use dysfunctional to talk about the family on Mum’s side.

On Friday night, I couldn’t sleep, because the Angie wedding thing traumatised my subconscious that much. I’m actually quite shocked by my reaction to this. On friday night, during devotion, we or rather I spent and led the discussion for about 1 hour. And like I said, I’m not hurt or grieving, just that I can’t believe or understand how come people can do such stuff as intentionally excluding cousins off from their weddings. So then, after devotion, ran off to bed looking forward to falling asleep so comfortably and deeply as I’ve been doing for the whole of this physically exhausting and emotionally fulfilling week. Only to find that I couldn’t enter sleep at all. It was a very fitful night. And I had a horrible dream of Daddy being very mean and cutting to me with his words. And I cried in my dream and I woke up from the dream and the crying was real.

So I gave up and went to iron clothes at 6am Saturday.

And Saturday was a bad day, because the gathering for Ahma’s one month anniversary at Mandai crematorium and the crystal jade lunch and the OBS buying. On Mum’s family side, I don’t feel any love, people are just being very ostrichy and also very evil. Literally I feel like thorns are jabbing my affect. Eating me up also. (I just then tried to convince myself that a bad day is not bad, it is meaningful because you learn from it, and apply what you learn to love people more.)

People puzzle me. I’m so puzzled! Why you want to do this?