Masjid Al-Istighfar‘s “Water for All” programme – a brilliant community initiative

I’m surprised this community initiative isn’t more well-publicised, even though it’s been running for close to 1½ years.

So I thought I’d spread the word about Masjid Al-Istighfar‘s “Water for All” programme.

The mosque on Pasir Ris Walk has two water dispensers installed outside its premises to provide water to all passers-by.

I love the idea for two reasons: First, it’s the epitome of what it means to be human – unconditionally providing sustenance to all in need.

Second, it’s one of those concepts that people will knock down a peg at first blush – then stare, slack-jawed in awe, when they realise how ingenious it is.

This project is a simple yet brilliant way of generating goodwill in the community and beyond.

For context, the dispensers are conveniently located along a park connector frequented by joggers and cyclists.

All the mosque has to do: Be there to quench parched throats and effectively meet needs.

The returns from the compassion it invests in people for the cost of a sip of water? Priceless.

Now, imagine if all places of worship across Singapore did the same.

My hope is for a non-denominational group to take up the reins and coordinate it such that the nationwide project could be sponsored by businesses, as part of corporate social responsibility efforts.

This way, companies would be more willing to donate to such a cause; it wouldn’t be tagged to a single religious organisation, which might create perceptions of preferential treatment.

If you’re interested in paying Masjid Al-Istighfar a visit, make it a fun fitness activity – it’s part of the National Heritage Board‘s Pasir Ris Heritage Trail.

Storytelling for Systems Thinkers

I had the pleasure and privilege of conducting a storytelling workshop for Residential College 4 last Friday (Feb 5, 2021) in NUS.

RC4 is one of four residential colleges in the university which offer a two-year residential programme, with the college’s focus being on systems thinking.

In the workshop, we looked at both the purpose and power of narrative in creating understanding of systems, as well as communicating that understanding clearly and effectively to stakeholders.

We also touched on interviewing and writing techniques as part of asking good questions in order to get good answers that clarify understanding.

It was a meaningful experience and, as always, a happy return to the alma mater.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

(IMAGE: Vaun Phan/

There were an inordinate amount of clicks to this website for “mark yeow revology” last month.

Being curious, I Googled the phrase and discovered a certain Mark Yeow has been ordered to pay SGD60,000 in defamation damages to media personality Vaune Phan.

You can read more about Vaune’s ordeal here.

This is the same Mark Yeow of Scooter Narcotics with whom I had a protracted interaction, between 2013 and 2014.

In this, there is some irony.

After I posted my review, Yeow issued, through a lawyer, a cease and desist letter to take down the review, alleging it was defamatory.

I had a cordial discussion about the review with the lawyer, in which I established the review was a fair comment in light of the events that transpired.

Vaune, well done on staying the course so that justice could be served. “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”!