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Newsletter 2006

Published in January 2006

Coming Soon!

Not receiving updates for SMA Alumni Club events and newsletter? Email sma.alumni@gmail.com to update your particulars.

MIT Cocktail Reception

Calling all SMA Alumni...

In conjunction with SMA Symposium January 2006, MIT Office is inviting all SMA Alumni for cocktail reception on:

Wednesday, January 18th 2006, 6:45pm to 8:30pm
Crescent Ballroom, Level 2, Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore
Dress Code: Business Attire

This is certainly a good opportunity to meet up with your Professors, alumni friends and old classmates. A good opportunity to network and catch-up as well.

Don't miss it. Register with US now!! Email to freddychang79@yahoo.com for registration by this Thursday 5th Jan. Kindly indicate your name, SMA course, year of graduation.

SMA Charity Event - Paint

Saturday, January 21st: 2 shifts morning 9 - 1 and/or afternoon 1 - 5
Meeting place: 90 Pipit Road, S3700190
Lunch will be provided

It's holiday season, and joyous times and cheers and laughter can be heard over Singapore. In welcoming CNY tradition, spring cleaning will now start as houses are preparing to greet their first visitor of the year.

Join us in community service in bringing fresh paint to the houses of the elderly!

Register now to sma.alumni@gmail.com (by Jan 18th)
Family, spouses, friends are all welcome for this charity affair.

In collaboration with Rotary Club of Serangoon Gardens

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Golf Courses for SMA Alumni and Club Member

Tentative time & location @ Bishan
2 groups:

  1. Weekend, Every Saturday afternoon or
  2. Weekday, Every Tuesday at 7:30 pm

Each group comprises of 6-7 people to facilitate more personalized coaching.

The courses are subjected to adequate responses to fill in the slots. Register early for your preferred timing.

Alumni rate at $240 per package.
Subsidized rate of $210 per package for alumni club members.

Package: 8x 1.5 hours weekly, inclusive of golf equipment rental and range card.
Sign up to sma.alumni@gmail.com to register by January 26.
(indicate name, SMA course & year, and the preferred timing)

Payment via cheque (crossed and payable to "SMA Alumni Club") and send to:

Singapore MIT Alliance
4 Engineering Drive 3
Singapore 117576

Courses start after the week after Chinese New Year 2006.

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Money Planning for your Family and Future

Look out for the announcement on the date soon!

Email sma.alumni@gmail.com to join the SMA alumni newsletter alias.

Past Events

SMA Nature Walk (August 20th, 2005)

At Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
By Nelly Kasim, CS 2003/2004

Our group set off to meet at 8 am at Kranji MRT station. There is a bus service 925 to the Sungei Buloh reserve carpark, from which is a 15-minute walk to reach the reserve entrance. It was a bright Saturday morning, with tinge of dark clouds just within horizon. At around 8.20 am, we boarded 925 and set off. Passing by rows of industrial parks, I was a bit surprised by the lack of skyscrapers around this area. If you follow the circuitous route of 925 on Sunday, the primitive side of this area, seemingly untouched by modernisation of the rest of Singapore peeks out. Fresh water fish farms dotted alongside the small road, amidst un-tendered tall grasses. Meanwhile, on that Saturday morning, groups of us were chatting happily in the bus that cruised to our destination.

As we were nearing the carpark, we could see the wide view of the reservoir. Even so early, I spotted some people with their fishing gears preparing to try their luck. The reservoir is greenish, probably contributed by the weeds at the bottom. We then hiked through a small path leading further to the reserve, following the small wooden signs with the explanation on some citizens of the mangrove habitat.

flowerFinally, we reached the entrance at 9.05 am. Spying my phone, I realised it was picking up telco signals from the other side of the Straits. Later on, few buildings from Johor Bahru are clearly visible from the reserve. Taking a while to freshen-up, the 2 guides that the club booked for the guided tour were all set and ready. They are a retiree couple who are happy to volunteer their time since it's "only 30 minutes drive from their home". That's the spirit!

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 Sungei Buloh reserve is huge covering an area of 13-ha, a wetland reserve that is home in Singapore for its less-known population. The shortest mangrove boardwalk takes a route around 300 m long, giving us glimpses to its unique habitat. Most flora and fauna variety found here must adapted to the muddy soil that is also dependant on the tides high. Halfway of the mangrove boardwalk, the sky has darkened considerably and it started to drizzle. We completed the mangrove tour and decided to continue with route 1 where there would be opportunity of bird watching. A moment of brief excitement was when a medium-sized monitor lizard was spotted, it was resting to get some sunlight amidst the brief drizzle.

Upon reaching the observation house, the rain started to pour heavily. We encountered other visitors with their high-powered lens camera and binoculars, with newspapers, waiting patiently for the early migratory birds. We spotted some at a distance, unfortunately rather faraway to see clearly without the binoculars. For nature-lovers, sitting isolated by the rain, it lent the place the tranquility and peacefulness away from the quickened pace of life and its demands.

After a prolonged wait and when stomach started to growl - the walk was declared over. ‘Gung-ho’ walkers continued with route 1 that also passes the aquatic plant pond where more freshwater plants could be observed. Few of us break-out for lunch (or late breakfast) and while waiting for the cabs to arrive, was presented with lively quiz session by Helen and hubby. When the questions were proven too challenging for hungry us, the gift was a ferrero rocher chocolate with its cute ribbon. Yum!







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SMA Entrepreneurship Sharing and Networking Nite (May 28, 2005)

At NUS Alumni House
By Nelly Kasim, CS 2003/2004

 The ‘SMA Entrepreneurship Sharing and Networking Nite' is the first event organised by the 5th Management Committee of the SMA Alumni Club (SMAAC). Preparation for the event was a thrilling experience for the committee members, who experienced suspense that grew with each passing day as the event approached.

Work on the event started with our first meeting at the end of April when the new committee was formed. It was decided at the committee's formation that the event would be co-sponsored by SMAAC and the SMA office. The event was to be informal but classy, and the capable organizing committee rose up to the challenge of making the best of the available budget to achieve this – cocktail reception and wine included.

Publicity for the event was done via email and responses started trickling in around two weeks prior to the event. I checked my email regularly in anticipation and excitement, wondering each time how many responses there would be. When registration closed, an encouraging number of 80 alumni had signed up.

On the event day itself, preparation started early for me. After rounds of coordination, membership drives and an alumni survey, I rehearsed my speech with all the nervousness and trepidation of a newly appointed President. I hoped that all the hopes and SMA experiences that I valued within me would be shared and that SMAAC members would bond through the club's activities.





SMA Alumni mingling outside Saffron Hall

Attendees started arriving at around 6 pm at our NUS Alumni House, a temporary location while the new Club house is being built. It boasts a lecture hall, the Saffron Hall (the venue for the event), and Ginger Cove, with its karaoke system and a pool table for relaxing. Early attendees were served with wine cocktail and acquainted themselves with fellow alumni while taking time to fill-up the survey forms that will provide information for the club in planning events for the rest of the year. Long queues started forming and cheers and conversation flowed among fellow alumni. We saw the bright faces of our new alumni batch, the graduating student of the Class of 2005, many of them from the IMST programme.

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At around 7 pm, the Entrepreneurship sharing session was kick-started by our Emcee Xiao Yi, also the Vice President of the 5th Management Committee. I finally got the chance to get the speech over and done with by touching on the objectives of the SMAAC, which is to reach out to all alumni and current students.

Prof Andrew Nee, who graced the event, presented a thoughtful and elaborate speech. He also urged our alumni to support the club and SMA at the same time.

We had three speakers for the entrepreneurship sharing segment:

Mr Soh Cheng Lock, Donny, from Computer Science batch 2003/2004. He shared his experiences on starting-up, getting initial funding, and useful tips and tricks for entrepreneur wannabes;

  1. Mr Tan Boon Kiat presented his current business plan in a thoroughly entertaining and informative manner and had his audiences cracking and motivated at the end of his talk;
  2. Mr Paul Koh, an entrepreneur in the construction industry who is also actively leading the Rotaract Club (Serangoon Garden). He had collaborated with SMAAC on the Rainbow Club charity event. His rich experience as an entrepreneur and leader of the Rotaract Club was obvious in his answers to questions posed by the audience, whom I am sure benefited from his talk.

 During the break, SMA alumni enjoyed a delectable buffet spread and mingled with each other. Prof Nee and the speakers for the entrepreneurial session also mingled with the crowd.

Feedback received regarding the event was mixed, but a majority liked the idea of a networking event to catch up with fellow batch-mates. The networking events do not have to be fancy or formal, but with an element of fun as what matters is the company. The event organizing committee is glad to receive the feedback as it would serve as a guide when organizing future events.

As the night carried on, the participants dwindled. Some lingered around and sang songs using the karaoke set, and played pool. It came as a surprise to everybody when a birthday cake was presented to our Committee member, Ding Yang, who was leaving for the States to further his studies. It was also his birthday! Ding Yang celebrated his birthday with two other participants with us that night – Meng Fanming and Su Zhixing. Our event ended on a high note as a cheerful birthday song was sung and we wished our three birthday gentlemen a very happy year ahead!

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SMA Annual Bowling Competition 2005 (April 16, 2005)

Cathay Bowling place, Chevron Country Club, Jurong East
By Wang Yi, HPCES 2000/2001

SMAers were again steamed up for their annual big event: The SMA Bowling Competition on 16 April 2005 at Cathay Bowling.

This year, there were five teams running for the top prize, which is a S$150 MPH voucher, and an individual prize which is a S$50 MPH voucher. The spectrum of players ranged from first batch alumni to current students. Among them was Shidrati Binte Ali, a PhD student from the 1999 HPCES batch. Her Team-C did very well and she obtained a Cathay Bowling souvenir mug for being the Top Female Player.

SMA Alumni President, Nelly Kassim (extreme left) and the Dream Team

Ding Yang, Wang Yi and Xu Xin of Team-D were from different batches and different programmes. However, this new combination proved to be effective and they got the third highest score.

The top prize, as anticipated, went to Team-B comprising Ganapathi, Rajivakshan and Derrick. They are the legendary “Dream Team” that has monopolised SMA Bowling Competition for years. Gana also received the Best Player prize. The question on everyone's mind was: who was going to challenge their seemingly unshakable dominance over this event? Let's wait and see……

After the match, newly-elected SMA Alumni Club President Nelly Kasim (graduated from CS in 2003) awarded prizes to the winners. Nelly expressed anticipation of other attractive events of various nature that will bring SMA alumni, student and faculty together during her term.






SMA Annual Bowling Competition is a traditional activity organised by SMA Alumni Club and the event is co-sponsored by SMA Office.

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