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My Little Voice On The Casino

My Little Voice On The Casino


In the 60’s & 70’s, I loved, admired and respected LKY. In the 80’s & the 90’s, I respected LKY. AFTER THE DECISION TO ALLOW THE 2 CASINOS, I lost total respect for LKY. He was not a man of steel and strong principle that he had portrayed, and the desire to sell the country for gambling profits and taxes finally caught up with him when he surrendered at his old age:(


Living with Myths: Silent Spaces of History – Dr Thum Ping Tjin


Penalised for not-voting PAP candidate



I believed the older generation was not fair to us by instilling fear on our generation.  I promised myself that I am going to fight back by allowing my ‘Soul to Soar to a Higher Plane to reach the Stars’.  I made it my vocation that I would not end up like most of the Singaporeans so demoralized, jaded and helpless because I am a child of God.  Therefore, in order to keep myself sane and be useful, I needed to use my brain to think constantly to assert my right!  Don’t you agree it was bad enough to allow the system to trap us but to allow our own mind to be the prison that is the worse thing and the most ‘sinful act’ we could do to ourselves?  In fact, we are the biggest culprits because we have trapped ourselves within our own mind!  So why blame our own dilemma on the Government or the system?

Singapore‘s education is equated with making money instead of acquiring knowledge to give us the wisdom to make the right choice in life to build a better world for the future generation.  As the system keep demanding without feeling and compassion, the people became detached to the stage that they couldn’t careless, as they felt helpless to make any positive changes.  Do you understand why most of the youth are disconnected with the country and world affairs?  They were not respected for their view as an individual.   Respect is the key to HARMONY.

Respect Is A Necessary Part Of Creativity  

“The world without wonder – the world mystery! That indeed is the rainbow without colors, the sunrise without living gold, the noon void of light.” – Fiona Macleod

“Two centuries ago, he came across many native tribes and settlements and was eager to prove his superiority and dominance over the Red Man.

On one such occasion, the White Man came riding into camp with his guns and liquor and colored trade beads.  Sliding down off his horse, he demanded to see the tribal chief, an old man who seemed far too bent and frail to lead his warriors.

To make the message plain and simple, the White Man took a stick and drew a circle in the dust outside the chief’s tepee.  Through an interpreter, he said,

‘This is what the Red Man knows.’

Then he draws a larger circle around the first.

‘And this is what the White Man knows, so you should be respectful.’

The old chief considered this carefully.  Then he took the stick and drew a huge circle around the other two that filled the encampment’s central clearing.

‘And this,’ he replied, ‘is what none of us knows. So we should be respectful…”

Why are Singaporeans not creative?  We are not inquisitive.  Why aren’t we?  Because we were not allowed to question as to question back the authority meant we have walked out of line –not respectful.  Everything we do must be in the box so how to think out of a box as our habits are so ingrained in us as a way of life that if asked to do otherwise the people in general just could not function.  Singaporeans are not chaotic people, they are well-disciplined lots and they stand in line, can be a plus and a minus depending on how you see it?  The Government does not allow the people to question and especially when you question their actions you will go to TIMBUKTU, so how could we develop the mind to think or even to have the courage to challenge what we see is deemed wrong due to the Government one-sided view of life?  Moreover, the system equates dreams and idealism pursue as a waste of time and energy besides lost of money?  Do you understand why we are where we are now that we needed to Remake Singapore as the leadership lacked the vision to understand that great success got to do with plowing money into research developments?


From: Ye Kung ONG <ONG_Ye_Kung@pmo.gov.sg>
To: “sunflower_chong@yahoo.com” <sunflower_chong@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, April 1, 2005, 10:25:51 AM GMT+8
Subject: Re: Sharing my thoughts

Dear Ms Chong

PM has received your email and thank you for writing down and sharing your views.


Ong Ye Kung
Principal Private Secretary to PM


Sunflower Chong <sunflower_chong@yahoo.com>
Date: 31-03-2005 03:23AM
Subject: Sharing my thoughts

Dearest PM Lee,

I hope you are in good health. I know I should wait for 18 April before I open my mouth. I can’t wait because the pain in my body is taking a toll on me. I hope after pouring out my thoughts it will help to relieve my suffering.

On yesterday paper Mr Koh Buck Song has written an interesting article “Listen, don’t box up the maverick“.

“Ideally, the maverick would be seen playing the role of a “wise duke”, who has the guts to speak truth and advise the ruler and enlighten the people to avoid errors.

Or, at the least, he might be seen as a “patriotic eunuch” – loyal to the larger cause and useful for his insights even if he is otherwise powerless in influence.

In societies like the US, Mavericks are admired for innovative ways of seeing the world and courage to take the road less travelled.

I fear most Singaporeans would appreciate such gumption only if it is endorsed. Few would stick their necks out to show support unless someone in authority has already approved of such views publicly.

All this leads to the question of the moment: Can mavericks be part of the elite?”

Can or cannot it’s not important for me but what’s important is to share our aspirations and vision for Singapore with the government and hope that we could influence their thinking. Therefore, instead of going for “hunger strike” to stop the casino in Marina South I decided to put my thoughts in the paper for the sake of my children.

I sincerely hope that the government will keep Marina South for the Spiritual Renaissance and look into the development of a Universal Education in Spirituality. Get the inter-religious organisation leaders to work on it together with the intellectuals from society – that should be in the spirit of the new renaissance.

Love, light, peace, and harmony

Sunflower Chong


From: Ye Kung ONG <ONG_Ye_Kung@pmo.gov.sg>
To: “sunflower_chong@yahoo.com” <sunflower_chong@yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005, 9:46:16 AM GMT+8
Subject: Re: My Little Voice On The Casino

Dear Ms Chong

PM has received your email. For many years, the Government said no to having a casino. A large part of the reason is what you have mentioned. But now, competition is getting tougher, we need to generate jobs for our people, and one of the ways is to set up an integrated resort, which includes a casino. The Government has not decided on this matter. It will weight the pros and cons, including those you mentioned, carefully, before making a decision.

We thank you for giving us your views.

Ong Ye Kung
Principal Private Secretary to PM


Sunflower Chong <sunflower_chong@yahoo.com>
Date: 27-02-2005 08:10 PM
Subject: My Little Voice On The Casino

Dear Prime Minister Lee,

Let me also share with you what my mother said in the early 60’s. She said that it was very sad because most people’s very existence is just to chase after money instead of striving for a higher ideal in life. What I could not believe was to hear it from my uneducated mother who was born in China and she even said, “If we do not chase for a higher ideal in life we are just living like animals.”

Secondly, we will not only lose the meaning and purpose of our life but it will be a great lost for humanity. The next thing she said had left a very strong footprint in my mind, “It is very sad that no one is prepared to make any more sacrifices for their beliefs and if we continue in this manner, just living to chase after money, we will lose our soul
and thus be heartless and this will be very sad for humanity.” (I hope you understand why I needed to keep sending proposals to the government even the civil servants do not welcome it.)

In silence, I had chosen myself to make this sacrifice to bring glory to Singapore. Great vision does not come from people with paper qualification it comes from the soul with love and passion. Hence, I had made a vow to God that I will walk the spiritual path to keep my soul intact for the sake of greater humanity and in exchange, I asked HIM to help me free my mind in order to free my soul and free me from my childhood misery and turned me into a beautiful swan because I was known as an ugly duckling.


Faith isn’t anything you can see;
it isn’t anything you can touch.
But you can feel it in your heart.

Faith is what keeps you trying
when others would have given up.
It keeps you believing in
the goodness of others
and helps you find it

Faith is trusting in a power
greater than yourself
and knowing that whatever happens,
this power will carry you through anything.
It is believing in yourself
and having the courage
to stand up for what you believe in.

Faith is peace in the midst of the storm,
determination in the midst of trouble.
For nothing can touch a soul that is protected by faith.

By Barbara Cage

“Faith is trusting in a power
greater than yourself
and knowing that whatever happens,
this power will carry you through anything.
It is believing in yourself
and having the courage
to stand up for what you believe in.”

For our little tiny red dote to excel we got to listen to alternative views. The debate of the casino should set the tone to invite all different views and ideas and not a Yes or No matter. I am writing to you with strong conviction that a casino will not be our best interest and bet for the future generation; instead, let our setback pushes the people potential by challenging their minds to come out with revolutionary ideas to boost tourism. I strongly believe we should not shortchange ourselves due to the uncertainty of our immediate future.  We knew that being a small nation we are very vulnerable but as long as we could cultivate a big heart like what you have accomplished during this Tsunami, I am very confident Singapore will not only survive but will excel beyond our imagination.

Sometimes we should let things take its own cause instead of coming out with an immediate measure that might be detrimental in our task for nation-building. Good examples where the two children policy and the Chinese Language. These two mistakes we still could live with it but as for the casino, we as a people and nation better think harder not with a pragmatic mind but through our collective consciousness?

My greatest fear is that a one-sided system will suck us dry of our creative juices and thus stop us from using our brain to reach the soul. Let me share with you what John Steinbeck got to say about the soul.

“I feel that a man is a very important thing, maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bend towards gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked but never destroyed because – Thou mayest.” – John Steinbeck.

Don’t you agree in remaking Singapore we should focus on nurturing the spirit and soul of the future generation? On my 50th birthday on 20th Jan 2005 I have received this birthday card from my daughter Greta and I would like to share it with you.

Dearest Mother,

I want to take this chance to thank you for all that you have done for me, the love that you give unconditionally. Always being there and knowing what makes my heart happy. We had a pretty eventful year in 2004 and I guess the lessons learnt are…it is pretty hard to find what does bring happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed – Kin Hubbard. I guess the GIFT OF SPIRIT AND SOUL cannot be bought and I give thanks to you for having the foresight to inculcate it in Gabby and me.

“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” – Allan K Chalmers

My dreams are boundless and my cup full. I appreciate the Sunflower University that I am in and I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday. You have surpassed everyone’s expectations and been strong as a person and as a provider and filled more shoes then imagined.

Take your time to enjoy you b’cos YOUR MORE SPECIAL WITH EACH YEAR.



As a young child, I often heard my mother fiercely said, “How can we all go in one direction the pragmatic path – let the head do all the talking and walking?  Someone must walk the other path the spiritual path – led by the heart. My mother felt that Arts Development is very necessary to nurture souls.  In the Chinese educated school they still do the Chinese calligraphy “Tai Ka and Seow Ka”, but once industrialization took hold, the culture lost its prominent position in society. Even the perception of our Chinese language changed from being a strong cultural tool to meaningfully convey the other tenets of Chinese culture to be a ‘political weapon’. Now of course after that ‘glitch’ the government here has taken many steps to try and reverse that imbalanced view. But as I’m sure you will attest yourself, sir, we still have a long way to go.

Many civil servants and intellectuals that I have met in the course of my journey told me that the Government could not see that Great Architecture is nation building, so don’t waste your time in trying to open their eyes, “Sunflower can’t you see the old man can’t see!”.  They told me as long as the vision does not show the bottom line, how great the vision is going to be the Government would not listen. (They know because they said that they work for the Government.) They also said that Singapore culture is not cultivating the “human brain” neither do the Government understand the human spirit or soul which renaissance is all about.  Therefore, in year 2000 when Mr. Vincent Chew from URA invited me to come on board to give ideas for Marina South future development I told him there was no point because if I could not even convince the Government to save the green field at Bras Basah do I still expect the Government to listen to all my big ideas for Marina South? On top of it, the vision that I have is very revolutionary and if not taken in the right light might be misunderstood.  Moreover, Mrs. Koh Wen Jing said: “Sunflower if you want us to change the bus stop you can come to us but as for the Marina South it is a different story altogether.”  I hope now is different under your great leadership.

As you know I did not stop searching and exploring for new thinking in seeing and using architecture because I strongly believe art and architecture are the roots of Asians cultural heritage and they are the foundation for nation-building.  I hope through my research for a higher ideal in architecture I could make a breakthrough that could inspire and influence others to see life differently thus improve their personal life for the better.  By coming out with the vision of Great Architecture I sincerely hope that it will connect us to our soul and thus will help us to see the world in a different perspective.  Most importantly, I hope through my simple act (by giving ideas) I will enlighten some souls along the way; hopefully those in the position of power that can help us reach our goal of building a kinder and more vibrant Singapore for the future generation.

If I am not wrong the Government under your leadership now wants youths who are able to express their opinions about what sort of Singapore they want to build.  Although I am not young anymore I hope to be given the opportunity to speak up on what kind of Singapore I want for the future generation.

Now that Singapore is a fully developed ‘First World’ nation take the opportunity to be “A Renaissance City” rather than “A Gambling Center for Asia”.  I am not against the idea of the casino but I just do not want it to be located at Marina South because I believe Marina South has a great deal of potential to be the center of the Skyline of a Renaissance City that will make us proud of who we are and will become. But of course it needs a lot of hard work from the Government and creative and passionate people to realize such idealismBut it is possible.

Yes, we are a nation with great material wealth but unfortunately very much lacking in human wealth.  Under your great leadership, we need to bring back the power of the human soul to make Singapore the brain and soul of the world.  Do you know when I told this idea to the SMU authority they all laughed at me but I never laughed at myself because I believe under your government we could achieve it because you are a good listener you have to listen to the people around you all your life, so as I see it listening is part of who you are and thus had prepared you for greater task ahead to bring Singapore to greater heights.  In short – YOU ARE OUR MAN FOR CHANGE.

The way I talked as though I know you so well and my daughter Greta said, “Mama how come you have so much confidence in PM Lee Hsien Loong.  I hope you are not wrong about him that he really cares for the people mental happiness too.”  What you have gone through in your personal life is attested to why I have believed in you for as long as I could remember.  I only know deep from the bottom of my soul that you want the best for every Singaporeans and I told the whole world so.

Why do I keep giving my opinions and ideas?  My greatest fear is that a one-sided system will suck us dry of our creative juices and thus stop us from using our brain to reach the soul.  John Steinbeck Chapter 13 from the book ‘East of Eden’ will open our mind further.

John Steinbeck was a man of great wisdom and I was very inspired by what he had written in chapter 13 from his book East of Eden,

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then-the-glory-so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his
glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness and it sets each man separate from all other men.

I don’t know how it will be in the years to come. There are monstrous changes taking place in the world, forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. Some of these forces seem evil to us, perhaps not in themselves but because their tendency is to eliminate other things we hold good. It is true that two men can lift a bigger stone than one man. A group can build automobiles quicker and more uniform. When our food and clothing and housing all are born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our
religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God. This in my time is the danger. There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused.

At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against? Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind, and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that
preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the

“And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.”

“And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government, which limits or destroys the individual.”

This is what I am and what I am about. I can’t understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing, which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.”

“It is true that two men can lift a bigger stone than one man. A group can build automobiles quicker and more uniform. When our food and clothing and housing all are born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking.”

If mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking don’t you agree that it is the soul that is the shining light and armour for the nation and not just money alone that will be able to bring Singapore to greater heights. My daughter is doing a film on President George Bush – “Weapons of Mass Deception” and as a mother, with a creative mind I should encourage her creativity. The idea and materials are all hers but I know people will definitely say it came from me because on the World Harmony Day website I had written angry letters to George Bush and on WHD 2003 the authority wanted me to take it all away but I refused because I told them that I have already sent the letter to President Bush.

I am a very concerned Singaporean just like my mother because the Government seems to lack the understanding of the soul power.  On Straits Times August 9, 1998, this was what Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said, “I’m not a deeply religious person, so when you talk to me about the soul, my question is: What is a soul?  If you say it’s the spirit of a man, I’ll reply: “Well, that’s being upbeat or downbeat, being optimistic or pessimistic, which in turn depends upon the neurological make-up of a person and the stimuli on that neurological system. When you talk to me about the soul, I cannot define it.  Are you talking about something ethereal that exists within a person and continues after he’s gone physically?  I do not believe that”.

Although my mother was only a housewife she was very concerned for Singapore’s future as the direction taken by the Government in the early 60’s just focusing on making money and more money instead of nurturing the human soul, which is the true asset of the nation, will be detrimental to our well-being because she said that the Government had not piled the right foundation for the nation–respecting the people and nurturing the human soul.

“I feel that a man is a very important thing, maybe more important than a star.  This is not theology.  I have no bend towards gods.  But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul.  It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe.  It is always attacked but never destroyed because of – Thou mayest.”

– John Steinbeck

Trust me it is the soul that is the shining light and armor for the nation and not just money alone that will be able to bring Singapore to greater heights this time around.

“Your reason and your passion 
are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

If either your sails or your rudder be broken,
You can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.

For reason, ruling alone is a force confining;
And passion, unattended, is a flame that burns
To its own destruction.

Therefore let soul exalt your reason to the height of passion,
that it may sing;  and let it direct your passion with reason,
that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection,
and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.”

– Khalil Gibran

My greatest concern is that a one-sided system will suck us dry of our creative juices and thus stop us from using our brain to reach the soul. And without me elaborating further you know the damage has been done already and if it is not why aren’t we hearing alternative views like coming out with creative and innovative ideas for Marina South to enable Singapore to be the brain and soul of the world and to be a unique tourism attraction and entertainment center that no other countries can match but could only envy. In 1993 Mr Richard Hu said that the government hopes to transform Marina South Downtown with “Heart, Soul and Character” – elements which are hallmarks of a truly international city. Those words, “Heart, Soul and Character” are easily spoken but very difficult to achieve, especially of the people to whom they are addressed have no direction and substance and have forgotten about upholding strong values as they progress.

Do we still want this tight control for Singapore especially when we are in the process of remaking Singapore?  If the answer is no, then obviously politics is non-negotiable, instead, it should be a natural process for nation building because a Great Nation is created by the power of the human soul and not with THAT piece of paper qualification!!  My greatest and last fantasy is that when the society is opened up politically, all the Singaporeans will vote not for PAP but for YOU only because you have managed to free us finally.  This is what I have lived for and work at; I hope you can understand my self-imposed struggle, which no Singaporeans could understand not even my own family members.

I strongly believe that Singaporean minds had been stagnant for far too long; therefore I hope by doing an event like World Harmony Day (WHD), I really could create the awareness to instill “The Consciousness” that means “Social Responsibility ” as my daughter would prefer to put it.  True Harmony happens when not only our soul interact with GOD but when we are able to manifest it in a meaningful way with our fellow being and touch them, to inspire them and to live in a more joyful, harmonious way…

Doing an event like World Harmony Day is about giving oneself to society to uplift the moral and spirit of the people…. world harmony is about a spirit, a spirit of willingness from each and every one of us to understand to respect and to uplift the others around us… humans, animals, plants… a spirit which makes choices based on the harmony of the whole (planet).  It is a spirit of peace, gratitude, righteousness…the spirit of loving-kindness.  For this reason, the Government should support it instead otherwise as had happened on WHD 2003.

In one of Mr. Ngiam Tong Dow paper, he touched on what kind of legacy MM Lee would want to leave behind. Definitely not the concrete jungle as many people had commented in the past and now a Gambling Center of
Asia. (When gambling is concern don’t you agreed there is no room for heart, soul and character?) It should be his spiritual legacy and we got to help him build on it for the world to learn how MM Lee has achieved HARMONY in Singapore – “Tolerance Towards World Culture Diversity Equal Harmony”. We have reached our goal of Religious Harmony which is MM Lee’s spiritual legacy, is it not a time for us to work on World Harmony?

Just the presence of all these religious leaders on World Harmony Day will symbolize Singapore working towards harmony for the world like what we have achieved at the Tsunami memorial gathering.  Many people said that the Tsunami had brought us together as one world but that not really true, why? The Tsunami stirred the people conscience; it is the “Collective Consciousness” that has brought the world together as one people as we share the same belief and value.  Our share belief and value  – One World and to value human life, which WHD is prophesizing.  And that’s the vision of WHD.

My Little Voice On The Casino

Listening to the evolution of the debate on casinos for our little island it appears that the idea is now becoming more favorable.

For 30 years we wrested on our strong beliefs and deep values as a new nation in Asia and concluded that gambling was undesirable. During those years we too were reaping the benefits of being a developing nation with huge inflights of foreign capital.

These are very different times. Though far from finished, we have successfully consolidated our goal of Nation Building on many societal levels. But we are also now a nation with a developed economy with much less room to grow and yet that is exactly what we must do in order to remain competitive and indeed relevant to the international economy.

One of the ways that this could be achieved is to take that drastic U-Turn in the argument about gambling we have maintained for so long. We need to put aside intangibles like beliefs and values and focus on the major factor for stability in the modern world; economic prosperity.

And as the speed of the modern economy dictates, we need to come to a decision and move quickly.  Sentosa would need to be completely re-developed as it now serves (albeit in a mediocre fashion) a completely different purpose.

To succeed we need to put our best foot (or land) forward. And though it saddens me to say it, this would be Marina South, for which I and my own deeply held beliefs and values for Singapore set me deeply against. To me, the size of the plot available at Marina South has the potential to showcase in spectacular architectural form what Singapore can achieve and to symbolize what Singaporeans are truly made of.

I do have a formula for Singapore to reach its goal of a true renaissance city, which “Goh Chok Tong’s government undertook in the early 90s. I believe my powerful vision for this area will enable us to maintain the soulfulness of our amazing nation. The Singapore government already advocates “Religious Harmony” as our cornerstone for nation building and the next natural step is the road to “World Harmony”. What is stopping us to work for the goodness of the world, I really wonder?

Our past government success is great discipline and the success of our Government is to blend that discipline with the kind of heart that was apparent in the actions of the nation following the Tsunami catastrophe.  Actions not undertaken for the world to see how good we are but simply to help others. This ‘heart’ is the way to create a very beautiful Singapore.

We are so proud of you for steering Singapore in the right direction.  We can only wish you every success in the future to continue to allow your heart to speak and to allow Singaporeans to speak and more importantly, to act from their hearts.

Love, light, peace, and harmony,

Sunflower Chong

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