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    The Hungry Ghost month is not even over, yet Moon Cakes for the Autumn Festival has been on sale island wide for quite some time already.
    Here is some of the stalls selling Moon Cakes from hotels and famous brands, local and from Hong Kong. This is an annual event at Ngee Ann City basement:








    Here is our regular stall to visit:


    They are not going to run out anytime soon by the look of this stack of boxes:

    Comment


      National Lion Dance Championship is on at Ngee Ann City Concourse:


      I just past by before the the competition started, but a lot of troops were already on the concourse:


      Noticed that there are girls involved as well as boys, something that was not seen a few years ago:

      Another thing to notice is that some of the Lion Dancers are not Chinese, but Malays and Indians.
      I wouldn't be surprised to see the odd Caucasian participating as well, but I did not see any among these troops.

      Comment


        Singapore has been suffering from quite heavy haze from the burning of jungle on Sumatra the last few days.
        At 0300 hrs. last night the PSI peaked at 248, which is well into the unhealthy range. It to below 100 in the early morning, but has been creeping up since noon. It stands at 111 at 1400 hrs.
        How do I know all these PSI figures? Because it is published on radio and TV and I get updates by SMS as well (without asking for it and free of charge)

        Many people are protecting themselves by wearing face masks, which is sold island wide by many types of shops.
        There are even dispensers positioned around the city area. (I don't know if this is also island wide, or only down town):

        Somebody must have spotted a business opportunity here. (This is Singapore after all)

        PS> The PSI level dropped to 108 at 1500 hrs.

        Comment


          Then 9 days of husting (+1 cooling-off day) is over and and the politicians from all 9 parties + a couple of independent candidates has had their say. Some of it may even be true but, like everywhere else in the world, a lot of promises, which that could not possibly fulfill.
          Here is a CNA article with the basics: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...n/2119038.html

          For the first time since the first election in 1959 all 89 constituencies are contested, even at Tg. Pagar GRC, where there has not been election since 1991 because nobody dared to go up against Lee Kuan Yew, who had been the MP there from 1959 until his death earlier this year.

          Some constituencies are even contested by more than two parties which, because we have the same election system as in the UK, the possibility for an opposition candidate to win is even less.
          In the last election in 2011 PAP won 60.4% of the popular votes, but all but 6 of the seats in Parliament because of this unfair system, which favour big parties.

          All predictions are that PAP will win again, although with a smaller majority then they are accustomed to. Possibly also with less seats in Parliament, but enough to hold 2/3 majority.

          Today has been declared Public Holiday to give ALL 2.46 Mill. Singaporean voters the possibility to cast their vote. (Actually, voting is compulsory here)

          Voting ends at 2000 hrs. and the first indications of the results should be known shortly after, as the distances are short and the counting system is efficient.
          Last edited by ombugge; September 11th, 2015, 14:40.

          Comment


            The result of the GE 2015 was a bit of a surprise to most observers. PAP got nearly 70% of the votes and 83 seats in the Parliament, against 6 for Workers Party. The other 7 opposition parties did not win any of the wards, which probably prove that many small parties squabbling between themselves is not the way to win elections.
            The fact that all 89 seats were contested may also have played a role, as many voters (and me) got worried that "protest votes" would cause PAP to lose majority: http://www.straitstimes.com/politics...nst-opposition

            At least Singapore is in safe hands for the next four or five years, much to the annoyance of part of the Western media, who would love nothing more than seeing the Singapore way proven inferiour to what they believe is the only way of democracy.
            Last edited by ombugge; September 21st, 2015, 06:40.

            Comment


              I have shown bits and pieces of the Park Connector network in the past. It now consist of 300 km. of serine paths for walking, jogging or bicycling without having to contend with heavily trafficked roads to get around.
              A new part of the network was opened yesterday: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...o/2139762.html

              One path I have shown several times is the short stretch from Tg. Pagar to Chinatown. Walking along it yesterday I noticed that the number of free ranging C*cks, Hens and Chicks are raising all the time:

              I don't know by who, or when, these birds were let loose here, or whether anybody "owns" them, but it certainly is a bit unusual to see this kind of things in downtown Singapore.

              Comment


                Today the haze is very bad, with the PSI topping off at 262 at noon, which is in the very unhealthy range. It has now dropped to 232, which is still very unhealthy.
                I have started the A/C and 'locked" myself into my home office, as I have been sneezing and had a running nose all morning.

                The view outside is not very inducive to go walk-about. Here is what it looked like from the varanda this morning:








                Luckily it is a public holiday today (Hari Raja Haji) so we spare from the noise and dust from the work site today.
                Last edited by ombugge; September 24th, 2015, 11:43.

                Comment


                • ombugge
                  ombugge commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The PSI reading for 1700 hrs. is back up to 262. I'll stay home.

                Yesterday the conditions were a bit better, with the PSI hovering in the moderate to unhealthy range (85 - 120) so I did venture out for a little walk.
                Here is the familiar sights around Marina Bay with a moderate haze:




                The normal flock of tourists were thronging the new pedestrian bridge across the mouth of Singapore river and around the Merlion:


                A hazy sun was hanging above the remnants of the F1 circute lighting system, without making much impact on the conditions:
                Last edited by ombugge; September 24th, 2015, 11:42.

                Comment


                  While we are around the area; there is a new concourse at the side of the Esplanade Theater, which has just been used for concerts during the F1 Race. (They were still removing load speakers as big as houses).
                  Here is a view of the concourse sanse the ongoing work area:


                  More statues are dotted around:


                  Water features are a must in Chinese culture for good fortune (Fung-shui):



                  Comment


                    Three areas in Singapore has light-up decorations in place at the same time now;
                    - Geylang Serai for Hari Ray Haji (End of the Haji), which is today.
                    ​- Little India for the upcoming Deepavali (Hindi Festival of Light) in a few weeks (10. Nov.)
                    - Chines Mid-Autumn Festival, (aka as Lantern Festival, or Moon cake Festival) which is on now, in the 8th month of the Chinese calendar.
                    - Furthermore, decorations for X-mas will soon commence in Orchard Road.

                    I'll try to get some pictures from Little India in the not too far future, but no promise on Geylang Serai.

                    Last night I took some pictures of the light-up in Chinatown:







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                      The usual views from Dragon Bridge:








                      Under the bridge:


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                        Finally, from yesterday; this shop house in Balestier Road looked fairly indistinct before:

                        Amazing what some painted highlights can do.

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                          PSI reading at 2300 hrs. has tipped 317 and warning that it may get into the Hazardouse range over night.

                          Comment


                          • nari
                            nari commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I thought the haze was due to forest burning in Malaysia/Indonesia?

                          • ombugge
                            ombugge commented
                            Editing a comment
                            It is. Traditional slash & burn clearing by subsistence farmers are an age old tradition in Sumatra and on Borneo, but the main problem is that there are a lot of forest clearing going on for palm oil plantations, run by large corporations, some of them from Malaysia.
                            There are also forest clearing to "farm" fast growing trees for the pulp mills, some of which are owned by Singapore based international companies.
                            Indonesia is investigating some of these firms: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...g/2143064.html
                            Once the wet season starts it will be all forgotten, as usual.

                            After the valuable trees are cut the trunks are used for timber, while large branches are for use by the pulp mills, or for wood chips board production.
                            What is left has to be cleared to make space for planting of Oil Palms: http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/t0309e/t0309e01.htm
                            or fast growing Acacia trees: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/acacia.htm

                            Due to the SW Monsoon - which is still prevailing - the smoke drift across to Singapore and Malaysia, causing the present hazy conditions.
                            The conditions are much worse for those living in the affected areas of Sumatra, especially in Jambi and Riau Provinces and in Central and West Kalimantan on Borneo, where the PSI can exceed 500 and it is sometime difficult to see anything more than 10-20 m. away.
                            Airports are closed and the river traffic is badly affected, making it difficult to travel. Schools are closed and people asked to stay home, although what good that do when you live in a simple house with no air-conditioning and even no windows is not clear.

                            An added problem is that the soil in the lowlands consist of peat overlaying brown coal. When the fires get into these layers it is very difficult to extinguish even in small areas, let alone over thousands of hectares. Fires in shallow brown coal beds can burn for years, unless the area is flooded.

                            At the moment there are 40 reported "hotspots" on Sumatra and 1 in Peninsular Malaysia. The area affected by haze is shown here: http://haze.asean.org/

                          In post #1282 is pictures from a couple of days ago, with thick haze hanging over Singapore.
                          Here is the same views seen this morning, with a moderate haze only. (PSI reading 75):








                          Let's hope the SW monsoon die down soon and we get a cooler and wetter NE monsoon early this year. That will stop the burning season and blow any smoke from remnants of peat and brown coal fires away from Singapore and Malaysia. Only heavy rain and flooding will permanently kill those.

                          Comment


                            The haze continues in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Worst hit is the two largest cities in Southern Sumatra, Palembang and Pakanbaru, where the PSI index has been up to >1000 and visibility of less then 50 m. reported on some days.

                            Here is a report on CNA quoting a BBC interview with President Joko Widodo: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...s/2159816.html
                            He actually referred to digging canals to and building dikes to flood areas with deep seated peat and brown coal fires, which could take three years to accomplish. (Refr. comments in # 1288/2)

                            The Typhoon that passed over Taiwan a couple of days ago increased the SW monsoon and the dry conditions, but hopefully the wind direction will change in the not too far future, blowing the smoke away from Singapore and both Peninsular and East Malaysia. Indonesia will suffer until the heavy rain associated with the passing of the Monsoon Front (ITCZ) sometime in Nov./Dec.

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