Reflections On Our 25 th Anniversary, 22nd December 2007


Life is full of Imperfections

I grew up learning quickly that life is full of imperfections. As a young child, I couldn't perfectly obey my parents and so receiving the strokes of the cane was a bitter reminder of my own imperfections. My parents were very strict in many ways and one example was the rule of not having their children mix with the neighborhood kids. I therefore grew up with inadequate friendships. I had no childhood friends nor siblings to play with as the age gap was too big and I was also the youngest child. My parents gave me dogs to become my best friends instead!

In my first year of school at 7 years of age, I performed poorly and I still remember to this day the disappointment of my teacher. She expressed to my mother that I was performing below my potential. I guess that was when I first learnt that I didn't have a perfect brain either for school.

In one period of my school life, my health deteriorated. I had severe boils all over my body and couldn't walk due to boils on my knee joints nor sit due to boils on my buttocks. I had frequent fevers too recalling that several times I was stripped naked and sponged with water, as recommended by the doctor, to cool my dangerously high temperature. I learnt then that even my body wasn't perfect.

Most of my adolescent life was spent sharpening the IQ of my brain but soon they talked about EQ and I found I had even worse imperfections. In the fourth level of secondary school or middle school, the male form teacher wrote on my report card that I was 'caustic' in my remarks. He picked on me and another friend one day in class and threw his anger at us for reasons we didn't know why. Maybe he was the one with the EQ problems I thought and went to see the school principal to have the teacher's remarks removed from my report card!

When I was 20 , I started studying the Gospel. I soon learnt that Christian Churches and Ministers too weren't perfect but I decided to join the LDS Church. I was challenged to exercise faith by being baptized. I was keen to experiment as till then, I only knew of the intellectual world from my family and school. After joining the Church in a small branch, the presiding leader went inactive and so I concluded that members of the Church weren't perfect either. Later I came across critical literature about the church saying that it wasn't true or perfect either.

When I started out to work as a Public Auditor, I discovered that the profession wasn't all I had expected. I wasn't comfortable then to work in an environment that could end up like today's famous 'Enron' case which wiped out the world class accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. Yes the professional world wasn't perfect either. Later on, I shifted focus in my career on the emerging computer industry. If anyone has any experience in using a computer, one will learn very quickly that its ridden with insects(bugs) that make it a very imperfect tool.

Despite all the imperfections of life that I had come to realize in myself and in others, for some reason, I never became discouraged. First I had to learn to accept my own imperfections and face the reality check. The optimal interplay of our heart and mind here is important so as not to hurt our own self esteem as we are sometimes our own worst critic. Once I learnt to do that, I could easily accept the imperfections of others. Thanks to the enduring love and support of my parents for never giving up on me, I was encouraged to hold on to a positive imagination of what the future can be, consider all alternatives and not dwell on present limitations. We call this hope. With that imagination in place in my mind, all I had to do then was merely to put my heart into working with full enthusiasm to make it happen. We call this passion.

We become more tolerant of others when we can look into our own imperfections and be forgiving. We become more acceptable to others when we can love them the same way that we love ourselves despite our imperfections. We become more influential to others the more we can overcome our imperfections.

When we begin to see beyond the imperpections of life and have increased hope for the future, we will have a picture perfect view of our existence. When we begin to live our life filled with the passion to fulfil our dreams, we are turning the picture perfect view of our existence to become a reality. This is the Spirituality of Imperfection. One of hope and passion to live a better life, a heart and mind experience.

The Spirituality of Imperfection


1 month old

Back home from the university


The Disobedient Child

I was a mix of a rebel and a faithful son. The imperfection of being the youngest is that you can become a spoilt brat. My mother's care and love for me was so overwhelming that I started rebelling against it. If she gave me the best from the dining table, I would pass it to my older sister still at home. She took me to school everyday but I took the public bus when I was old enough. I was kept to play within the compound of the house but I soon ventured out to the mining pools nearby. I left home for a University education which my parents could afford to pay for but I qualified for free education in Australia. I even joined a church against my parents' tradition. After all that I still came home to care for my diabetic mother till her death.


My 'Rin-Tin-Tin'

Did someone mention ugly?


A childhood without friends

My parents had a philosophy of keeping their children from mixing with the neighborhood kids. This was to avoid any negative influence to fall on the children. I therefore grew up lonely and so my parents gave me dogs to play with. I have spent a lot of time with them, acting out the imaginations of my mind and having heartful conversations with them. It is as if they understand me and soon I developed a kind of sixth sense with dogs. Today I can handle any fierce or strange dog no matter how ugly they may look! I believe dogs are a great stress relief for anyone and no wonder they are called 'Man's best friend'.


Wow a prize for me?

Eureka! Eureka! I did it! I did it!


The Slow Brain

I know a naturally smart kid when I see one but I wasn't one of them. It took me many years in school to finally adjust my brain to adapt to school. It was like an 'Eureka' experience for me when I suddenly found out I could do well academically. The education system just didn't naturally appeal to me as I couldn't find meaning in it. However, coming from a family of professional surveryors, an engineer, a town planner and a doctor, my heart could not let my parents down. I kept working on my mind to force data in and bring it out when required. I guess I must have repeated it enough to finally understand why 'repetition is the mother of learning'.


Bruce Lee was in my mind

Healthy body Healthy mind


The Unhealthy Body

I really felt like a weakling when I started school. I was even dressed looking like a nerd with spectacles and a perfect hair parting line. As soon as I could, I started making adjustments. Today I can play just about any ball game you can name : Soccer, rugby, hockey, basket ball, volley ball, lawn tennis, table tennis, golf, baseball, squash to name a few. I took up Karate to toughen my mind and body too. Then there is downhill sking, water skiing, swimming, ice skating, roller skating, riding bicycles and motorcycles, outboard motoring, jogging, dancing and brisk walking with the dog. 'Healthy Body, Healthy Mind' and when your mind is healthy, the spirit can be strong. I have not needed doctors or medicines after the adjustment except for accidents.


The class of Form 5 Science 2, 1975

Friends in School and Business


Imperfect relationships

Relating to human beings is definitely more difficult than dogs, at least that was what I found out while growing up. People don't seem to care as much and they seem to swing from one emotion to another. For those with sharper minds, you have to bear with their arrogance and speak only when spoken to or when they have time for you. Fortunately, I had a very good experience with a class of friends in middle school. We have remained friends in contact with each other througout the years. We are planning a big reunion in 2008 to celebrate most of us turning 50. We call it the Spirit of the Eagle in our Alma Mater, St John's Institution, Bukit Nanas. (See the special commemorative website of our class of 1974/75 in St John's here.)


Served as a missionary 1980-82

Continued with a life of service


The Imperfect Church

From an extreme religion that today has become a main stream Church, The Mormons were the ones who helped me understand the spiritual roots of human relations. I learnt of Christ, who being perfect also suffered, so how about us earthlings who are even more imperfect? Our attitude can only be of humility. Christ stands as the example of perfect love for imperfect people. I am charged up with that. I came to realize that only with a perfect Christ-like love can we be not prejudiced against any race, religion or creed. Only with that kind of love, if we can emulate it, can the world find greater peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our work, peace in our communities and peace throughout all the world. Yes, peace and goodwill to all men.


From Accounting & Computers

To Health and Beauty


Work imperfections

Earning money is a major preoccupation of adults. How does a child who only knows how to play and have fun with friends transform to become such adults of the world? I am sure many grown adults are still looking for such answers. I was such an adult too. It seems such a mean world out there, 'a dog eat dog' world? Can we adjust to it and make a living without becoming a dog? As an independent professional of 25 years at this time of writing, I was fortunate to be able to create my own jobs, to work for who and where I preferred. It was a freedom I had worked for to attain. It was also my only solution to align my childhood values with my grown up beliefs. Then only can my heart and mind be said to be truly one. I thank God for that freedom and the peace in my soul.

The Picture Perfect View


An account of our Courtship,Marriage & family life

At age 24, I got married to a most talented and lovely girl of my dreams who hadn't even turned 21 yet.(Story) I considered myself very lucky to win her hand in marriage and always felt I may have dealt a poor hand in return. This was due to the fact that she was the more perfect person. Thank goodness that love is blind and we embarked on a journey of adventure (a more exciting word for imperfection). Here is my report at the end of the first quarter of a century of our marriage :

The Courtship

Painting the wall was the way I figured out how to approach Geok Lee for 1st date.

Success! She took me to the home of Jon & Doreen Lim on 12 June 1982 as my guide

By 12 August 1982, we were engaged in a simple ceremony at home in Queenstown.

Seen above is her parents and brother in their home. My parents were present too

The Marriage

We were registered at the marriage bureau in Petaling Jaya, Selangor on 22 Dec 1982
This was followed by a wedding ceremony and reception in Singapore on 15 Jan 1982
Geok Lee's father gave away the bride, signifying that she is now my responsibility.
The beautiful cake is in memory of Marcia Ellis who baked it. She died on 8 Dec 2007

The Honeymoon

We landed in Los Angeles on 30 Nov 1983 and went to Las Vegas with the next stop at Leeds, Utah to be with the Talmage and Vera Jones. They drove us back to Los Angeles Airport
Next stop was to San Francisco where we saw the Golden Gate bridge. I also left my pants(white ones) at the Oakland Temple. Later we flew to Seattle, Washington to visit the Lau family.
By 11 Dec we were in Salt Lake City. We flew to Grassy Lake Canada to be with the Redds. On return to Salt Lake City, we were sealed on 22 Dec at the Temple.
Having spent Christmas in Utah, we left for Palms Springs, California on 26 Dec. Then it was Los Angeles & Tijuana, Mexico with the Redds until we left for Hawaii on 1 Jan 1984

The Babies

There is always a time for waiting and preparing for the day of birth followed by sleepless nights.
The first, born 14 June 1984 has to be the guinea pig to experience a pair of raw imperfect parents
Through time, practice makes perfect as more kept coming until the last on 2 Nov 1997
Well, they all grow up and here they are, can you count how many? Note that mom is the camera woman.

The Growing Years

4 Oct 1986
4 Oct 1993
8 Nov 1996
14 June 2001

The Fun Times

Chinese New Year
Talent Show
On Ice
In Water

The Tough Times

Driving & Sporting Accidents
Chores & School Work
Business & Finance
Aging & Health Problems



Life is sometimes like the movies we watch. We consider it a good movie if it makes us laugh and cry a lot. If there is a good plot with a talented cast of actors to act it out, the movie may be an award winner. Watching such a movie make us feel that the money we paid for it is worth it. Else we feel it was a waste of time and money.

Life is a bit like that. Only when we live it to the fullest can we experience a life we can consider worth living. No doubt there are times that we rather not experience but how can we appreciate the good times if we never experienced the bad ones. Perhaps we understood all this before deciding to come to this earth and felt willing to pay the price for it.

Too many of us complain about life's imperfections and suffer a lot more than we should. If we can see every moment as an important part of a grand plot that will make a great movie at the end of it, perhaps we can change our attitude towards it. After all, we are the directors of our own movie. These are the thoughts of my mind and the feelings of my heart on our 25th Anniversary.



  1. Stare at the 4 dots in the middle of the picture for 30 seconds
  2. Then look at a wall near you
  3. A bright spot will appear
  4. Twinkle a few times and you will see a figure
  5. What do you see or even WHO do you see?


The music is entitled,'NO MATTER WHAT',which I digitally composed on a Yamaha Keyboard





My Interest

Connect * Synergize * Futurize