Category Archives: Welcome

Sarin’s family and The Great Singapore Sale


It is June! It is the school holidays! Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah are thrilled at the thought of the 4 weeks’ break from school work, tests and exams. The family also enthusiastic about the month as the June month is also the month that a large-scale national event is held. It is the Great Singapore Sale‼

The Great Singapore Sale is an annual mega shopping event in Singapore. It usually takes place in June and July and run for two full months. Although it is called a sale, the Great Singapore Sale is actually an event that is co-organized by the Singapore Tourism Board and many other retail companies, stores and malls to promote the tourism industry in Singapore and also to boost the economy. It started with participating shops in Orchard Road, but now the Great Singapore Sale can be found in many retail outlets all round in Singapore including the shop houses in HDB estates that serving the Singaporeans living in the estates.

Shops taking part in the Sale sell many goods at very low or discounted prices. Such shops include bookshops, stores selling electronic goods and many more. It is a good time to shop and buy because they are very cheap, and prices might be slashed up to 70% off its original prices! Thus many tourists often flock to Singapore during this shopping season to grab the great bargains. Details of prices are also featured on television commercials to let us know where to get good bargains.


During this season, Sarin and his siblings will pester their parents to buy them the things that they have been waiting for.  They knew that their parent will buy it for them as this is the time to get them at super low prices.

Sarin likes to have a pair of Puma soccer boot as he is picking up soccer lessons during the June school holiday.

Hairu is looking forward to have a LEDs operated Dragon light for his study table.


Fatimah looks forward to buying her stationeries at Popular Bookstore. As she is their member, she can enjoy even higher discount of up to 30% during this sale period.

While Fatimah looks forward to buying her stationeries , her mother looks forward to buy cloth and accessories from textile and jewelry shops in Kampong Glam or Little India which she can find big bargain and good in quality.

It is also a good time for Sarin’s father to visit the electronics and electrical fare held in Singapore Expo  as there are plenty to buy for the coming Ramadan festival.

Sarin and his coin bank


Sarin has a coin bank and it is a gift from his father when he was a primary one student. Father gave him the coin bank as a birthday gift and he wanted him to start the habit of saving and watching his expenses from an early age.

The coin bank that Sarin has is a “noisy” can. It is made of metal and has a slot on top of the can for him to slot in his coins. Sarin likes his coin bank and whenever he drops a coin into the coin bank, it will make a pretty loud “tong” sound. The loud “tong” sound begin to turn softer and then tail off within a second. Sarin feels that the sound is wonderful and amazing and he is always eager to put in more coins. When there are many coins in the coin bank and Sarin shakes it hard, it gives out an even louder and nosier “tong” sounds. “Tong”, “tong”, “tong”… It is a “noisy” can!


“You should not regret that you did not have an umbrella with you when you are caught in the rain.” Sarin’s father wants him to understand how important it is to have ready money when he needs it. Every morning when Sarin goes to school, he receives some pocket money from his father to spend on meals during recess. He wants Sarin to plan how much he needs to spend and save the leftover money in his coin bank. “If you able to keep a bit a day, you will have quite a sum of money after a few days!” Since then, Sarin learnt to make it a habit to save some of his pocket money in the coin bank. When Sarin’s coin bank is full, he pours out all the coins and counts the number of coins he has, and then calculates the sum of the value of his savings. His father will then bring him to the bank to deposit the coins into his savings account.

Hairu and Fatimah have their own coin banks too! The three of them have continued the savings habit for years and they like the “tong” sounds too! When the three siblings get together with their “noisy” cans, they like to shake them as hard as they can. “Tong”, “tong”, “tong”…It is fun and the “tong” sounds turn into beautiful music…They love their “noisy” cans!


Sarin’s family celebrating Hari Raya Puasa (Aidilfitri)


After weeks of busy cleaning, sweeping, washing and decorating their house as well as baking and stocking up plenty of food and Kuehs during Ramadan, Sarin’s family got their house spick and span and is ready for the Hari Raya Puasa celebration. They are looking forward to light up their house for Hari Raya Puasa.

Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of Ramadan and is also the celebration of the end of Ramadan.  It is also seen as the Malay New Year in Singapore and South-east Asia region. The Malay communities in the region will have a month long of festive celebration and have 3 grand days of celebration beginning of the festive season.

…Click to read on…

Sarin’s family and Ramadan


It is the month of Ramadan. It is traditionally a big and meaningful festive event for the Malay community in Singapore. Just like other Malay families in Singapore, Sarin’s family also adhere to the teachings and practices during the month as well as getting ready for Hari Raya Adilfitri at the end of the Ramadan.

During the month of Ramadan, after the morning prayer, Sarin’s father goes to work and the siblings go to school as usual but they will refrain from consuming food from dawn to dusk. Going through the day without food and water do make Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah feel hungry and thirsty but they do know that it is meaningful as it means to purify their behavior, foster self-control and reminding them of the suffering of the poor.

The family will then break the fast at the mosque in the evening with other Malays families. After finished their evening prayer, Sarin’s family and others will have their dinner in the mosque. They sit around on the floor in a big hall and enjoy the foods and program prepared by the mosque. The mosque also invites the needy families for dinner and sharing the joys with others during break the fast.

Sarin’s family never forgot to share their blessings with the less fortunate. They pray for the poor and the elders. They go round to greet them for health and safe. The family makes contribution to the mosque and Malay community fund as their thanks giving. Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah emptied their coin banks for the month of saving to make their donation.

Sarin family also starts to prepare for Hari Raya Adilfitri during the Ramadan. Sarin and Fatimah helping their mother to clean up the house, the sofa, the desks, the windows, the flower vase, changing the cushions and curtains; Hairu and his father to help clean up the lightings, the fans and add the Hari Raya decoration in the house. Sarin’s mother bought the three siblings new clothes to wear during the festive season. She also starts baking cakes, Malay Kuehs and traditional festive pastries as well as planning the meals for visitors during celebration of Hari Raya Adilfitri.

The family is looking forward to the festival with a fresh look of their house.            

Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar which is a lunar month that time based on the moon to orbit the earth. It commenced on 22nd July and will end when the new moon reappear on the night of 18th Aug. It also signals the beginning of the celebration of Hari Raya Adilfitri. Hari Raya Adilfri is the New Year of the Malay community in Singapore and it is as significant as the Chinese Lunar New Year for the Singapore Chinese.

 A lunar month is approximately 29.5 days. Therefore, the month of Ramadan is between 29 or 30 days. Since a lunar month is, on the average, one day shorter than a solar month, a lunar year is 10-12 days shorter than a solar year. The month of Ramadan therefore comes about 11 days earlier each year and it can be landed in any month of the Solar year as time goes by. The Chinese Lunar New Year is also based on lunar month but the different in days is offset by the additional month added in a few cycle of lunar years based on the Chinese Lunar calendar. The Chinese Lunar New Year always falls during the first two months of the solar year.

Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah make greeting cards for Mother’s Day


It is Mother’s Day this Sunday. Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah had gathered together on Saturday afternoon to discuss what would be the best things they would do to celebrate the special day with their beloved mother. …Click to read on…

Sarin’s family in Kluang


During the June school holidays, Sarin’s family planned a train trip to Kluang in Malaysia. It was their first family outing to Malaysia and also their first time travelling by train. The children were so excited that they did not sleep well on the eve of their departure. They woke up very early in the morning at 5 o’clock on the departure day and arrived at the Tanjong Pagar Railway station at about 7 o’clock to make sure they would not miss the train that was scheduled to leave the station at 8 o’clock. The family had some time to walk around and admire the historical station. The station would close its doors and end its train service at the end of June 2011.

The train was delayed and the family managed to board the train at half past eight. As they settled down at their cabin seats, they waited anxiously to see the train moving off. At about fifteen minutes to nine, the train started moving and accelerated out of the station towards Singapore Woodland check point, then crossed over the Malaysia-Singapore causeway and continued the journey to Kluang. Although it took about two and a half hours to reach Kluang, Sarin’s family did not feel bored. They had a lot of fun looking out from the cabin window and enjoying  the change of scene from the modern to rural landscape. It was also worth mentioning that the family were among the last few batches of passengers who were able to witness the strange historical procedure of checking in to Malaysia first before checking out from Singapore.

It was five minutes passed 11 o’clock when the train arrived at Kluang station. The station was the size of only a quarter of a football field. Besides housing the ticketing office, it also house the famous Railway Café. The café has been operating at the railway station since 1938 and is a “not to be missed” eating place for all visitors to Kluang.  Many visitors liked the old style settings and their famous Kaya toast and coffee that they served. The old kampong style decoration reminded Sarin’s parents of the days of growing up in Ubin Island. The family had a short break at the cafe. They ordered the famous Kaya toast, black coffee, as well as the hard boiled eggs and mee siam. It was really good and cheap! The café also has another branch outlet in the Kluang town centre. It was interesting to note that the branch outlet was only less than 2km away from the station but the price of the food over there was 3 times more as compared to the café at the railway station.

While the family was taking their break at the Railway Café, Sarin’s father went to purchase their return tickets at the ticketing office. Sarin’s father managed to book the 6 o’clock return tickets and so the family had about half a day to tour round the town. They began their walkabout by visiting the old town area along Jalan Mersing. They saw some old houses  and visited some old shop houses selling local sundries and toys. Hairu was so happy that he could buy 30 sets of DIY transformer toy set. Sarin picked up a basketball and Fatimah got herself a beautiful set of hair clips. The family settled down for their lunch at a roadside stall near the end of Jalan Mersing.

After their lunch, the family decided to head towards the town centre so that they could see the new town area of Kluang. They stopped by the Kluang Square which houses  many cafes, fast food restaurants, banks and shops. Finally, the family shopped at the newer shopping centre at the Kluang Mall before heading back to the train station for their train ride back to Singapore.

Sarin’s family arrived timely at the station, but was disappointed to learn that the train would be delayed.  After two hours of waiting, the family was finally able to leave Kluang at 8 o’clock. The kids were tired and they slept through the journey back to Singapore. Hairu was snoring, Fatimah and Hairu were smiling in their dreams; both the parents and the kids had enjoyed the trip thoroughly…. Zzzzz….Zzzzz……

Sarin’s family took a train


On 1stof July, with the implementation of the Agreement between Singapore

KTM train

KTM train arrived at Tanjong Pagar train station

and Malaysia, the Malaysia KTM run train operation between Singapore and Malaysia ended at Singapore Woodlands train check point. This marked the closure of a chapter of the history of Singapore train operation. KTM Trains will no longer be travelling across Singapore inland, from north to south, and terminate at the Tanjong Pagar train station. Tanjong Pagar train station ceased it station operation and the ownership handed over to Singapore. Singapore also claimed the ownership of the land along the railway track in Singapore and the 26km length railway track will be removed and returned to Malaysia.

Many Singaporeans have not been travelled on the train as these days there are other convenient and efficient means to travel between the two countries. In order not to miss out the opportunity of travelling on the train along the 26km Singapore train route and the “going to miss” greenery along the railway track, many Singaporeans organized a train trip to Malaysia.

Tangjong Pager train station building

Entrance of Tanjong Pagar train station building

During the June school holidays, Sarin’s parent took the opportunity and brought the whole family to experience a train ride to Malaysia. Sarin’s parent was born and grew up in Ubin Island, it was the first time the the family would be travelling on the train, Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah were very excited of taking their first train ride.

Sarin’s parent bought the train tickets one day before departure to avoid tickets running out during this peak period. Their parent had also chosen Kluang, a small town in Malaysia Johor State, as their trip destination. It was a 2 hour of journey from Tanjong Pagar train station to Kluang and just right for Sarin family to spend a day trip in Kluang.

Sarin’s family woke up early and arrived at Tanjong Pagar Station at seven

Tanjong Pagar train station building

The station high ceiling window with FMSR wording

o’clock sharp in the morning. As the train was scheduled to depart at eight o’clock, they had some time to move around and explore the station.    

 Tanjong Pagar train station was opened in year 1932. It was a three-storey station and was designed by a Serbian architect. The station building’s entrance was designed with a concrete shelter formed by an arched portico featuring green roof-tiles influenced by Chinese temple architecture. In the spaces between the four arches were four towering statues. They represented Agriculture, Commerce, Transport and Industry, the four sectors of Malaya’s colonial economy.

The main hall of the station has a high ceiling which facilitates ventilation, with elongated windows located along two opposite walls that allow daylight to filter in. Below these windows were the framed initials of the FMSR, interspersed with the coats-of-arms of the Federated Malay Statesand the Straits Settlements. The remaining two walls of the station feature six murals that depict economic activities that were historically prominent in Malaya such as tin mining and rubber tapping.

Tanjong Pagar train station building hall

The huge wooden house in Tanjong Pagar train station hall

Sarin’s family was attracted by the grandeur interior of the main hall and a huge wooden house model in the middle of the hall that set up by Malaysia Tourist Promotion Board. They too, liked many of the travellers, did not like to miss the last chance to have memorable photos taken in the hall before the station was officially closed for public visiting after June.

There were a small convenience store known as Habib Railway Book Store, a money changer and two popular 24-hour eateries serving Indian-Muslim food and traditional Malay foods in the station. Sarin’ family had a quick morning snack at the eatery beside the train platform while waiting for the arrival of the train. They ordered their family’s delight, the goreng pisang (Fried banana), some Malay kuehs (Malay pastries) as snack and homemade barley water for their drinks. Sarin’s father had never forgotten to order a glass of teh tarik (Malay famous Pulled tea) for himself.

Habib Rail Book Store

Habib Rail Book Store

Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah loved the hot and crispy goreng pisang so much that they had each eaten three pieces by themselves. 

The train was delayed and arrived at the station fifteen minutes past eight. Sarin’s family and all other passengers that were eagerly waiting at the departure platform allowed moving over to theMalaysia custom check point at the platform for custom check in as well to board the train. Sarin’s family passed thru the custom and boarded the train smoothly. They were all set for their train ride to Kluang.

Singapore maths is not easy to transplant


An article published on The Straits Time Singapore press on 10th June about a school in Washington D. C. facing challenges to implement Singapore mathematics into its academic programs.

The article illustrates:

…Click to read on…

Sarin’s father crossing the Causeway


Read posting on Sarin’s father visits his friend in JB town to know more about JB town.

Sarin’s father decided to drive from Simei to JB town to visit his long lost friend. He plans to enter Malaysia through the causeway as it will directly bring him into JB town. As the travel is to cross the border of Singapore to Malaysia, Sarin’s father needs to remember to bring along his passport, fill in the white entry permit form and pass though both countries’ immigration custom. As required by the Singapore law, Sarin’s father will also need to make sure he has 3 quarter full of petrol in his car petrol tank before leaving Singapore.  He will also need to have a specific cash card to pay for the vehicle entry fee at Malaysia custom as he is planning to drive to JB town.

…Click to read on…

Sarin’s family attend a concert at the Esplanade


For the good work done during the school anniversary celebration event, the school has decided to permanently display the big banner with all the autographs that had been collected by Sarin’s team in the school assembly hall to mark the success of the event. In appreciation of Sarin’s team effort, the school had rewarded each of the team member with musical concert tickets for them and their family.  (To read about the school anniversary event, please read posting Sarin participates in school anniversary event part 1(math question))

The musical concert is held in the concert hall of Esplanade. Sarin and his family are looking forward to attend the concert as this will be their first time that they are attending a concert in Singapore’s largest art performance venue. Moreover, the performance is scheduled on the night of mother’s day! Sarin’s family will like to make that day a memorable day for their mother and the family.

The full name of Esplanade is called Esplanade – Theatres on the bay. The locals like to call it “the durian” as it looks like two pieces of durian husk. It is located on prime waterfront land by Marina Bay, and offers a complete lifestyle experience – dining, shopping, and the performing arts. It is located beside Singapore’s central business and commercial district. It was officially opened on 12 October 2002.

To know more about Esplanade, you can visit web sites as follows:

Esplanade official site