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Showing posts from May, 2012

Green Post: Once a Green City

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What has Linfen in China's Shanxi province has in common with Sumgayit in Azerbaijan; Sukinda and Vapin in India,  La Oroya in Peru; Dzerzhinsk, Kabwe and Noril'sk in Russia and Chernobyl in Ukraine? All are among some of the most polluted places in our planet Earth! Linfen  is in the heart of China's coal belt. The hills around the city are dotted with mines which keep the city black with soot. Legend has it that the city was the capital of the legendary ruler Yao(inset) who ruled China more than 4000 years ago. Linfen was once famous for its spring water, greenery and rich agriculture and was even nicknamed The Modern Fruit and Flower Town. Today however, after having developed into a main industrial center for coal mining, the air quality has dropped to such a level that the city has earned a place among the world's most polluted place. A native in Linfen had reportedly told a TIME reporter: This place of ours is no good.  I suppose man made it so.

She Worked Hard for Her Money

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Queen of Disco, Donna Summer's death reminds me of Chang Mei-Yao, 張美瑤, the Taiwanese star who won the Best Newcomer Award in the Asian Film Festival through a 1967 Hong Kong movie, The White Rose of Hong Kong. The actress had actually been active prior to that, having appeared first in the 1962  movie, No Greater Love. Chang Mei-Yao passed away recently, in April. Not long after her death, I was having breakfast with friends in the market in Simpang when I overheard some elderly women at the next table talking about Chang Mei-Yao. The younger woman in the group did not have any idea who the actress was and an older woman proceeded to point out to her that the actress had appeared in a Hokkien TV series, Goodbye Ah Long. currently aired in Astro. Chang Mei-Yao had appeared in many Mandarin movies since 1962; the last probably was  in 1979, with movie queen, Chen Chen in the movie, A Teacher of Great Soldier (inset). She probably dissapeared from the entertainment scene after that, …

Singapore Attracts Talents!

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When Eng Lye asked me to watch the Singaporean movie with him in Big Cinema in Taiping Sentral weeks ago,We not naughty (inset), I did not expect to see Daniel Chan Hiu-tung(陈晓东) to be part of the cast. I suppose Eng Lye was keen to watch the movie because it was partly shot in Taylor's College where he works. For me, it was a pleasant surprise to see Daniel, the Hong Kong star, said to be famous for the 2001 Hong Kong movie, Feel 100%II. It brings back memories in India when I bumped into the actor who was then shooting a travelogue about Buddhist holy sites. Daniel incidentally is not the first Hong Kong actor to act in a Singaporean movie. I remember watching famed Hong Kong former child star, Fung Bo Bo and Hong Kong actor, Kenneth Tsang Kong (曾江) years ago in a Singapore-produced family drama. Then there were many other Hong Kong stars in Singapore TV series including Dodo Cheng and the late Lydia Sum who appeared in Singapore-produced English sitcoms. I remember former TVB a…