Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Former Combined Operations Room (fCOR) Exhibition (20 Oct 2015 - 31 Jan 2016)

recreated Radio Control Room 

I was sending a friend back to her Pearl Centre office after lunch on a rainy Wednesday when I remembered 'The Former Combined Operations Room (fCOR) Exhibition' at 195 Pearl's Hill Terrace.

At first I went to the wrong address - went to a student hostel across Pearl Centre and was kindly directed to the right location by a foreign worker.

A SPF pioneer officer Jean, who had previously worked at the fCOR, gave me a tour of this commemorative exhibition.


The British-built Combined Operations Room first opened in 1956 and ceased operations in 1988. In 2001, the space was taken over by Singapore Land Authority as a storage facility.

For the first time in its history, a recreation of the secret police bunker will be opened to the public for three months beginning from 20 October 2015.

Inside the building are narrow corridors and thick walls which were made to withstand a direct hit from a 500-pound bomb and to prevent mob incursions.


The building was once the nerve centre for the Singapore Police in which the 1956 Chinese middle school riots, 1965 Konfrontasi and the 1969 racial riots were managed.

All of Singapore’s 999 emergency calls were answered in the Radio Control Room later on.

My guide Jean worked in the Radio Control Room for many years. It was bustling with activity daily and chaotic at times. She showed me how calls coming in via a manual telephone switchboard was answered. The manual system was replaced with a computerised one in the early 1990s.


There were lots of prank calls, usually from children. Their mothers would be informed if the children continued to make such calls. LOL

Jean recalled working shifts round the clock and when Hotel New World collapse in 1986, many officers did not go home. She and her female colleagues would take turns to cook meals for these officers.


In another room, I was told officers used teleprinter machines that looked like typewriters to send messages. The machines were also used to fax messages.

Wow..... I tried to figure out how the officers managed to get things done with no internet, no e-mails and no mobile phones.


This is the recreated Chief Police Staff Officer’s room which has a large glass window overlooking the tote board and deployment maps. Staff would update incidents across the island on the tote board and map manually in real time.


Representatives from the various statutory boards and government agencies would sit in during meetings.

The tour was over in 45 minutes as I was the only visitor. Jean helped me to take pictures as I posed.

Members of the public can sign up for tours of the exhibition by emailing or calling +65 9893 5140 to book the tour which will run till 31 January 2016.

Tours will be conducted from Tuesday to Sunday, excluding public holidays, at 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am, 2pm, 2.45pm and 3.30pm.

☆ •*¨*•.¸¸❀,•*´¨☆ •*¨*•.¸¸❀,•*´¨☆ •*¨*•.¸¸❀,•*´¨☆

最初, 旧联合行动室是警察部队和军队展开联合行动,应对国家内部安全威胁的地点。1956年10月爆发华校生罢课事件,军警正是在此部署清场行动。如果发生战争,联合行动室也可用作警方和民防部队的联合总部,方便部署。



Friday, November 27, 2015

EmQuartier Shopping Mall Bangkok


When we were in Bangkok a couple of months ago, a Thai friend brought us to this new EmQuartier mall situated on Sukhumvit Road.

It is split up into three different zones where one separate building is connected by several walkways. 'The Glass Quartier' features many international luxury brands with a selection of home-grown brands.

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We took the elevator to the top and discover this impressive 100-metre long ‘rainforest chandelier’ hanging from the ceiling.


‘The Helix Quartier’ where almost 50 food and beverages outlets from food courts to restaurants can be found by heading up an impressive spiral walkway. Wow.... plenty of food choices...... and lovely views from floor-to-ceiling windows in many of the food outlets.

We had a satisfying lunch at a Japanese restaurant followed by desserts and drinks at a cafe where the decor and menu is inspired by flowers, and hence we saw flower designs everywhere. Such a pretty place to have a meal! :)


The unique petal fritters which I ordered was very appetising and yummy. I am going to try cooking some for myself when I am back home.

We proceeded to the fifth floor and discovered an open courtyard complete with trees, benches, interconnecting pools of flowing water. From a couple of viewing platforms, we posed for pictures with some excellent views of down-town Bangkok.

Took some pictures at ‘The Waterfall Quartier’ which is home to an awe-inspiring man-made waterfall (40 metres high) before we left.

EmQuartier Shopping Mall, Bangkok
Phrom Phong BTS

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Visit to a Traditional Teochew Pastry Factory 潮州传统糕饼


Together with several members from Singapore Teochew Group (STG), we visited a traditional Teochew pastry factory at Defu Lane 10 this morning. Today is the 15th day of the Chinese calendar, so it is a busy day at the factory as there are many orders to fulfil and deliver.


The owner allowed us to take photos while her workers were busy baking. With the extra four of us in the factory, it was a little cramp and we did get in their way sometimes. :P

A team of workers were busy baking Pong Piah 碰饼 (a flaky pastry with a special savoury malt filling).

As this is their top seller in the factory, they have a machine to mix and knead the dough but they have to wrap the filling and shape the pastry by hand.


The aroma of freshly baked pong piah filled the air as a worker moved trays of the hot pastries from the oven onto trolleys to cool them down. The owner promised to give us one each to taste after they are sufficiently cooled.


Some of these traditional Chinese pastries are laboriously made by hand.

At the back of the factory, a lone worker was churning out the traditional Teochew peanut candy called tau bang 豆板, The fragrant candy was too much to resist, glad we could pop a piece in our mouth after the worker has cut up a batch and offered everyone a taste of his masterpiece. hehe....


Next we proceeded upstairs to see the making of another traditional Teochew cake call zi che gor 书册糕 (book candy in Teochew). The block of pastry is cut into smaller strips so that it resembles the pages of a book. My late grandmother told us that if kids eat these, they will become more intelligent at school.

Black sesame powder was added to a different batch of the dough to make black sesame hoon gor 黑芝麻云糕 (cloud cake in Teochew).

As the workers have orders to fulfil by the end of the day, we left them alone and had a look at their finished products at the entrance of the factory.


斋五牲  (花生芝麻糖制成) 

These different animal shapes of peanut and sesame candy are used as offerings during big occasions such as the birthday of deities, death anniversary or during Hungry Ghost Festival.

They will be disposed after prayers and will not be consumed.


A large number of manufactured pastries were delivered since morning, so there was not much stock left.

Before we took our leave, the owner gave us the promised pong piah.....  and a goody bag filled with her pastries.  awww.....

yummilicious Teochew pong piah .... hot off the oven ♥♥♥!!

潮州传统糕饼 - #碰饼  #豆板  #书册糕  #软糕  #黑芝麻云糕  #朥饼  #豆沙饼 #糖塔 #糖獅塔

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