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Lifestyle

Recognise and rediscover all things Singapore

From music and film to art and football – these are just some of the gems that have come to embody us in some unexpected ways, right here in Singapore. 

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

As the school holidays are upon us, what else can one look forward to besides travelling, shopping and tucking into great food with friends? Why not open yourself to more local influences – think films, music, art and football – and reconnect with all things Singapore? Here are just a few recommendations that’ll get you started on your journey of all things Singapore, and a few HomeTeamNS promotions that shouldn’t be missed.

MUSIC

While we often defer to national theme songs as a symbol of Singapore, our local music scene has been brimming with exciting talents that are expanding the island’s soundscape with an evolving identity. The new wave was led by artists like Tabitha Nauser, Shigga Shay and Gentle Bones, and these emerging acts continue to chart new grounds.

Keyana: Demonstrating Singapore as the cosmopolitan city that it is, the Ghanaian-Chinese-Singaporean songstress charms with her effortless groove in two R&B singles, Save It and Scorpio. Her honeyed vocals deliver straight-to-the-heart lyrics wrapped up in catchy rhythms, and she even rendered a soulful cover of the classic Moonlight in the City (originally sung by Mavis Hee) at Chingay 2021.

Wovensound: Aka Vinod Dass, this music producer/designer/mixer moves between genres but has settled on hip hop grooves that are hypnotic and poignant. Often working with other independent artistes, the music maker weaves rap, vocals, lo-fi and even jazz tracks into a mesmerising sound tapestry. With plenty of sound design work featured in film festivals in Melbourne, Iran, Mexico and New York, he’s finally found time to release a 6-track debut with the EP Vertigos Fulfilled.

BGourd: Don’t let his lizard-green bodysuit fool you, the chill rap numbers here hide intimate observations and references both local and nerdy that lets you know this is a Singaporean youth well and truly. He even named his latest album, Veggie Wraps, Vol. 4.

FILMS

Singapore cinema had a golden 25-year period from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, when over 300 films were produced locally by Cathay-Keris and Shaw. Screen legend P. Ramlee emerged as an iconic figure in that era, and although we have yet to recover our fame as Southeast Asia’s Hollywood, these rising filmmakers and their projects are a hopeful sign.

A Yellow Bird: K. Rajagopal’s debut feature film is as gritty and real as it gets. Extracting from his own personal experiences as a Singaporean Indian, the filmmaker’s authentic captures have been nominated for the Critics Week Grand Prize and Golden Camera in 2016’s Cannes Film Festival.

Titoudao: Inspired by the True Story of a Wayang Star: This production is the latest incarnation of the original play by acclaimed theatre director Goh Boon Teck, and as the name suggests, chronicles the path of poor girl’s journey as she rises into becoming a renowned opera star. With a lavish production and stellar cast, this series will delight those who loved seeing Singapore in the 50s and 60s.

Wet Season: After Ilo Ilo exploded as the first Singaporean feature film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival, Anthony Chen joined the ranks of others before him like Royston Tan and Boo Junfeng in becoming bonafide visionaries in the filmic scene. His sophomore follow-up sees him returning with some cast members, and once again deeply examines the nature of bonds and relationships.

FOOTBALL

Many Singaporeans still have fond memories of watching Malaysia Cup matches at the National Stadium and the sense of pride and unity that the Kallang Roar ignited. The more dedicated among those fans even ventured across the causeway to fly the flag at away games.

Now that the FIFA World Cup season is upon us, it’s time to recreate that big-match atmosphere with your friends and family. Matches will be screened at numerous locations across Singapore, including HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, Balestier and Khatib clubhouses, from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

HomeTeamNS members can watch the Group Matches for free. To add to the carnival atmosphere, the clubhouses will also be organising fringe activities for members and their guests. Details for entry passes to the quarter-, semi, and final matches will be announced soon.

‘Meet Your Match’ Contest: If you’re looking to score yourself a win, shoot your shot and take part in the HomeTeamNS ‘Meet Your Match’ contest for a chance to win up to S$800 worth of Adidas vouchers in total! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, click the ‘Promotions’ tab and search for the contest under ‘Contest and Giveaways’, and share your favourite team with us. This giveaway is valid from now till 18 December 2022.

Wow Wow Wednesday (World Cup Edition): From 23 December 2022, HomeTeamNS members can purchase e-vouchers for specially selected brands such as Decathlon, Nike, Grab Food, and Foodpanda, to commemorate the World Cup season! Keep an eye out for these deals every Wednesday till 14 December 2022, via the HomeTeamNS Mobile App

ART

Singaporean artists have always been dealt the short end of the stick when it comes to local recognition, even if a few like late masters Georgette Chen, Chen Wen Hsi and Chua Ek Kay made their way to our national galleries and won international fame. This new brood of artists are making their mark in exceptional ways with their brand of unique expression.

Hafiiz Karim: You might have seen his work in Funan. Working with ArtWallstreet – also a local enterprise – the NFT artist turned heads at the mall with his cheeky injection of renaissance figures in distinctly Singaporean settings. A distinguished lady meets an auntie by a HDB corridor. Another is masked up and greets commuters as a bus driver. The visionary designer is pioneering a new course for digital art that’s rich with humour.

Tiffany Loy: A graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, she embarked on this medium after completing textile weaving at Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto. Her fantastical works have been featured with partners like The Rug Makers, Uniqlo and Alma Leather, and the award-winning artist has even conducted workshops at Bernina.

Sarah Choo Jing: There are plenty of photographers in Singapore but no one that presents urban life in Singapore like Sarah. Her unique lens shares a narrative through careful orchestration of subjects and their environment, made even more evocative through surreal colouring and lighting, such as Not From Here which paints a vignette at Lau Pat Sat. Having garnered awards at 2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Gold Award and the 2015 Moscow International Foto Awards, the multidisciplinary artist has shown at many venues internationally, and at events like Singapore Art Festival 2022.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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Club Buzz

Offering new unique user experiences: Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse makes its debut soon

Members can look forward to an infinity pool, luxurious villas and a high-tech obstacle course at the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse.

TEXT: AUDRINA GAN

IMAGES: HOMETEAMNS

Soon, HomeTeamNS members will be able to enjoy a new waterfront clubhouse when HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir opens.

Furnished with facilities including a six-lane 50-metre infinity pool, the five-storey clubhouse offers a full view of the Bedok Reservoir Park — a popular spot for jogging and nature enthusiasts. It also aims to provide a unique clubhouse experience, said members of the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Executive Committee.

“There will be several first-of-its-kind experiences at the clubhouse,” said Mr Bryan Chao, 42, Vice Chairman of the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Executive Committee. “There will be an indoor water adventure centre, Aqua Adventure, featuring the longest indoor water slide in Singapore that spans four storeys tall, and there’s also an indoor wet obstacle rope course.”

According to Mr Chao, the new clubhouse will feature a laze pool, in which users can float around and relax. “For those who want to enjoy a bit more of the adrenaline rush, they can go for the water slide and obstacle course, while the laze pool allows those who want to relax to have a good time too,” he added.

RELAXATION MEETS ADRENALINE

Executive Committee member, Mr Tan Junwei, 34, also shared that there will be 10 concept Waterfront Villas, known as East Villa. Offering scenic reservoir and lush greenery views, the villas are set on a slope, nestled within forested vegetation and a canopy of trees. “The two storey villas come with a living room and three bedrooms,” said Mr Tan.

He added that: “Apart from the luxurious waterfront view and verdant greenery, the East Villa is certainly a big draw as they also come with sheltered BBQ patios, which are perfect for family gatherings, staycations and weekend getaways.”

These villas will be available for booking on the HomeTeamNS Mobile App when launched. According to Mr Tan, members can also self-check-in at the villas through the app.

For those who enjoy tackling challenges, the Action Motion, a digital active experience arena at the new clubhouse, also offers a unique gamification experience. “With Action Motion, we hope to bring digital play to a whole new level by introducing augmented-reality Bouldering Walls and Trampoline, and the Net Maze, that are all fitted with a gamifier system. All activity scores will be captured in real-time on the Leaderboard, which will enhance the competitive experience for our players,” said HomeTeamNS President, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who is also the Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development.

Fitness enthusiasts can enjoy a workout at Fitness Workz Garage. Said to be a crossfit haven, members can try out various programmes such as the Outdoor Group Training and Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT), that is also suited for GenNext Members.

The reservoir-facing clubhouse is also perfect for members who love organising events and gatherings. If you frequent HomeTeamNS Khatib, you’d be familiar with the ManCaves (a hangout space with amenities like complimentary WiFi, BBQ pits and a built-in kitchenette with a fridge and karaoke system). For large-scale events like weddings, members can hold their reception at the Grand Ballroom which seats up to 400 guests.

A FAMILY AND SUSTAINABILITY-ORIENTED DESTINATION

PlayFacto School, an enrichment centre for children, offers Robotics and Mathematics classes on weekday nights and weekends.

As the clubhouse is built on a slope facing Bedok Reservoir, the architects also made sustainability a key part of their design concept. The new clubhouse will have a rainwater harvesting and drip-irrigation system to reduce water consumption. About 1,000 sqm of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will also be set up to offset the building’s energy consumption by an estimated 2 per cent. Charging stations for electric vehicles are also in the pipeline.

Mr Chao shared that the clubhouse has an open promenade to encourage residents and those who frequent Bedok Reservoir to explore and use the clubhouse’s facilities. At the pre-opening roadshow at Our Tampines Hub on 1 October, Assoc Prof Faishal shared the range of facilities will not just cater to our NSmen, but to their families, wives and children. Tenanted facilities including PlayFacto School, Trifecta Martial ArtsYoga Inc, and The Dance Station will be available at the new clubhouse.

There’s also a 24-hour 7-eleven convenience store and a range of Halal and non-Halal F&B options including Sum Dim SumSri Bistari, Fun Toast, Burger King, George’s Bar, and Xiao Mu Deng restaurants.

To get the latest membership deals and make facility bookings with ease, download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App now!

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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In The Force

A passion for life that never burns out

Meet SGT1 (V) Sam Martinez, a Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU) volunteer firefighter who has somehow cracked the code to a life well-lived.

TEXT: HTVN

PHOTOS: SGT1 (V) SAM MARTINEZ, NICOLE TAN

One can only dream of living as vibrantly as SGT1 (V) Sam Martinez, who is a volunteer Firefighter under the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU) in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). Amid his busy career and volunteer role, SGT1 (V) Sam has somehow cracked the code to living life – he works and volunteers while enjoying several exciting hobbies – like freediving and motorcycle riding, to name a few.

FIRST DATE – FREEDIVING

A first encounter with freediving turned into love at first sight for SGT1 (V) Sam. He had been enchanted by the watersport when he first came across it on YouTube in 2019. Ever since then, his love story — like most others — truly began when he acted on it.

SGT1 (V) Sam said: “I saw a video of two freedivers in the turquoise waters. The elegance and serenity of it immediately struck a chord. My first introduction to the sport was in the pool at Our Tampines Hub. That first lesson had students do little more than breathing exercises and a static breath-hold.” When asked to elaborate, he explained: “You can think of it as floating face down while holding onto the pool edge breath-hold.” As he recounted the memory, his eyes lit up with joy and with an awestruck smile on his face, he continued: “And… I loved it.”

The pandemic had nothing on him: it may have forced him to pause, but he emerged with a certificate for the watersport in Yucatan, Mexico early this year!

RIDING WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD

SGT1 (V) Sam is also a motorcycle rider. His love for motorcycling stemmed from the sport’s carefree nature. He experienced this freedom himself when he rode his motorcycle in northern Thailand and the region’s popular Mae Hong Son loop in February 2020.

When asked what he liked best about motorcycling, he elaborates: “There is something incredibly liberating about riding up and down twisting mountain roads without a care in the world. Passing through villages, stopping by roadside stalls on chilly mornings for a steaming cup of coffee. Good memories, guaranteed!”

TOUCHING HEARTS

SGT1 (V) Sam (front row, far right) with his CDAU colleagues after a training session at the Civil Defence Academy in 2020.

SGT1 (V) Sam’s athletic skills aren’t just for play, but to help others too. He receives training for Firefighting, Search and Rescue, Hazmat and First Aid from the CDAU Firefighting and Rescue Vocation. While excelling in just about anything he sets his mind to, SGT1 (V) Sam remains grounded and humble.

For him, the openness and professionalism of the Central Fire Station frontliners made his work there memorable. He appreciates their patience and dedication in explaining routine procedures and the use of equipment. As SGT1 (V) Sam aptly sums up: “The people make all the difference.”

He also touches people’s hearts through his volunteer work. When asked if he has any words of encouragement for interested parties to volunteer for HTVN, SGT1 (V) Sam says: “I’ll borrow the slogan from a well-known sports brand for this one — Just Do It! Life is good, so let’s give something back to society.”

Find out more how you can make a difference in your community. Volunteer with the Home Team Volunteer Network today!

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

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Club Buzz

Keeping HomeTeamNS clubhouses safe and secure

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Clubhouse conferred with the SSWG Cluster, Individual and Commendation Awards for the first time.

TEXT NUR ADLINA BINTE ADAM

PHOTOS HOMETEAMNS

For the first time, HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Clubhouse was among the 80 Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) members to be conferred the SSWG Cluster, Individual and Commendation Awards.  Presented on 28 September 2022 at Orchard Hotel Singapore, the award recognised the efforts of HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, for its collaboration with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in enhancing safety and security within the clubhouse.

The National Safety Security Watch Group Award Ceremony was graced by Guest-of-Honour Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, where she highlighted the crucial role security plays against terror threats in Singapore.

 “We depend on the community to be attentive and provide information on possible self-radicalisation to the authorities for early intervention,” said Ms Sun during her opening speech.

KEEPING MEMBERS SAFE AND SECURE

For several years, HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok has assisted and supported the Jurong Police Division in conducting simulation exercises within the clubhouse.

In its efforts to ensure the safety of HomeTeamNS members and patrons, a licensed security team works round the clock to patrol the clubhouse and look out for suspicious activities or people. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have also been installed around the clubhouse, heightening security at HomeTeamNS.

SECURITY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

In times of a crisis, everyone has a role to play – even building owners and the ground staff. Since 2001, the Singapore Government introduced various measures to raise the level of security in the country. This is where SSWG comes in, allowing SPF and SCDF to work with building owners to enhance their preparedness and readiness against potential terrorist attacks.

The SSWG has also been active in supporting the SGSecure movement, preparing organisations to deal with incidents and contingencies. In time to come, table-top exercises and seminars on safety and security will be conducted by the Jurong Police Division, equipping the HomeTeamNS staff to be ready for crises.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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Featured Lifestyle On The Edge

Here’s why it pays to plan early for your next holiday

With demand – and therefore prices – for tickets surging and extended passport processing times, here’s why your holiday preparations should begin now. HomeTeamNS is offering a colourful range of  promotions to keep your holidays fuss-free!

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, THE BOATHOUSE PHUKET

If your holidays in the last few years were spent on staycations (or just staying at home), it might be time to dust off your luggage and head to the money changer.

As the world settles into the endemic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are hitting the road. A recent survey found that in the next 12 months, eight in 10 Singaporeans intended to travel for leisure, with most of them heading to Japan, Malaysia and Thailand. 

So if you want to put your passport to work during the end-of-year holidays, it’s best to plan ahead – so that you can spend your vacation relaxing (and eating, and shopping, and exploring).

CHECK THAT PASSPORT

After all that anticipation, you definitely don’t want to get to Changi Airport only to realise that your passport has less than six months’ validity.

In August, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) reminded Singaporeans who want to travel during the December school break to submit their passport applications as soon as possible, to ensure they get their passports renewed on time.

To save hassle, submit your passport applications online via the ICA website or MyICA mobile app, and collect your renewed passport from one of the 29 designated post offices. When taking your photograph, don’t forget to refer to ICA’s photo guidelines. A photo that needs to be resubmitted can delay your entire passport renewal timeline.

DON’T SKIMP ON TRAVEL INSURANCE

Due to the combination of pent-up travel demand and lack of manpower, airports around the world are experiencing higher rates of flight cancellations and delays compared to pre-pandemic days. Buying travel insurance will ensure that even if your holiday gets off to an unexpectedly late start, at least you get back some cash in return for the trouble. Most travel insurance policies cover delays starting from the six-hour mark.

Tip: Make sure to read the terms and conditions of a travel insurance policy before you buy it – some policies exclude flight delays caused by operational issues, for example, so it’s best to check before purchasing.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 20 per cent discount off Singlife Travel Insurance (Single Trip), with an additional 30 per cent discount for MHA Group Insurance members. All you have to do is download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App to retrieve the promo code and enjoy this perk. This discount is applicable for a single trip travel insurance only, and is valid till 31 July 2023. 

HAVE A PLAN B

The days of playing it by ear are sadly, not yet back. Due to the pandemic, tourist attractions and services globally have been affected by shortages in resources and manpower – meaning that your travel experience might be affected by circumstances outside your control. Hotels may struggle to prepare rooms in time for check-in and restaurants might be slow to prepare and serve food.

There have also been numerous closures of beloved tourist institutions. For example, the Ferris wheel in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront has shut down. Iconic restaurants, bookstores and theatres have all not been spared.

In addition, airline ticket prices have gone up by an estimated 25 per cent due to a variety of factors. You might find that your dream destination is no longer as affordable as before.

To avoid frustration (and disappointment) on your holiday, keep an open mind and have a Plan B ready. Plan your first choice of destination, accommodation or attraction, but research what’s nearby as well, just in case your original plans fall through.

KEEP YOUR HOLIDAY FUSS-FREE, FOR MORE FUN

Don’t want the hassle of planning and packing for a two-week itinerary? For a truly relaxed holiday option, consider a nearby getaway in Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand.

Located in the heart of the city, Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur is offering HomeTeamNS members promotional room rates that start from RM250. The package includes breakfast for two persons and WiFi access.

If you enjoy driving, take an easy three-hour road trip to nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, Melaka. Hotel Casa del Rio, which means ‘Home by the River’ in Spanish, is located in the historic town centre for convenient access to Melaka’s heritage attractions and scrumptious food offerings. HomeTeamNS members enjoy an additional 5 per cent off the hotel’s best available rates and selected room packages, as well as 10 per cent off the restaurant’s à la carte menu.

Otherwise, you can live that #beachlife over at Casa del Mar Langkawi, which is set on Instagram-worthy Pantai Cenang beach. Casa del Mar, which means – you guessed it – ‘Home by the Sea’, is a Mediterranean-style resort only 10 minutes away from Langkawi Airport, so you can start your vacation ASAP. When the sun goes down, don’t forget to check out the array of restaurants and the night market located nearby. For stays between 1 November to 15 December 2022, HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10 per cent off the best available rates.

Overlooking Kuta Beach, The Boathouse Phuket is offering HomeTeamNS members 10 per cent off the best available room rates, till 23 December 2022.

For luxe living by the sea, The Residence Bintan is offering HomeTeamNS members 15 per cent off room rates with complimentary ferry to resort land transfers from Sundays to Thursday (excluding public holidays) and 10 per cent off recreational activities.

If you’re itching to go further afield, there’s always Hard Rock Hotel Bali in the beating heart of Kuta, which is synonymous in Bali with shopping, eating and entertainment. Check out the exclusive room rates for HomeTeamNS members ranging between IDR 1,225,000 per night for a Deluxe Room to IDR 1,475,000 per night for a Deluxe Premium Room. Great accommodation deals also await HomeTeamNS members heading to Hard Rock Hotel Penang and Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya.

With a little bit of preparation, you can ensure that your year-end holiday is lots of fun – and has none of the fuss.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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Featured Lifestyle

5 reasons to make Bedok Reservoir your new hang out spot

Bedok Reservoir has lots to offer, whether you live in the east, west or somewhere in between.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, SUM DIM SUM

Playing tourist in Singapore doesn’t have to mean going out to Sentosa or wandering around the Orchard Road mall strip. The suburbs can be a great way to spend the weekend, if you’re willing to explore off the beaten path.

One up-and-coming destination in the East is Bedok Reservoir and its surrounding estates, which are home to hidden gems like an inline skating venue and indie cafes serving up quirky fare like charcoal waffles with ice cream and salted egg sauce.

And if you’re enjoying yourself too much to go home, visit HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir’s soon-to-be-launched East Villa for a weekend staycation surrounded by greenery, water and nature. As you admire the view, you’ll find yourself agreeing that the East side might just indeed be the best side.

REASON #1: CAFES TO SUIT EVERY TASTE

Why cafe-hop in town when the area around Bedok Reservoir is home to a wide variety of chill-out spots? It has something for everyone, from those who crave something wildly different (youtiao and soymilk ice cream from FATCAT Ice Cream Bar, anyone?) to Refuel Café. Located a short trot away from Bedok Reservoir itself, diners can swing by for brunch after jogging, cycling along the reservoir park, or take a leisurely stroll after dinner to watch the sunset.

The HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse will also be home to some notable eateries, that will have you calling your buddies to hang out, or even have a hearty feast with your family. 

If you’re looking to unwind after a long day of work, Georges Bar would be the place you want to be. Soak in the Balinese concept bistro, as it offers a decent variety of homemade snacks and Western grill as well as a wide range of international alcoholic beverages.

For a stuffing meal, families and friends can dine at Sri Bistari, a halal eatery that’s made a name for itself with its famed Nasi Ayam Penyet. Other offerings include Western and barbecued dishes. 

Sum Dim Sum will also be opening a new outlet at the waterfront-facing clubhouse that will continue to serve handmade dim sum delights.

REASON #2: TAKE GAMING TO NEW, AUGMENTED HEIGHTS

Craving a new spot to play with your friends and family? Anticipate the arrival of Action Motion, a digital active experience arena that will soon be open at the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse.

The facility will feature Digital Active Experiences such as an Augmented-Reality (AR) Bouldering Wall, an AR Trampoline Game as well as a Multi-Level Obstacle Course, Climbing Walls and Net Maze fitted with a gamifier system.

The gamifier system records participants’ timing and activity scores and displays them on a leaderboard in the Arena offering an enhanced, interactive experience.

REASON #3: HIT THE BOOKS

After all that eating and adventuring, it’s time to slow things down a little. What about paying a visit to Bedok Public Library?

While you might have fond memories (or not) of studying for exams at your local National Library Board (NLB) branch, the two-storey Bedok Public Library will change your mind about libraries in general with its fun, design-oriented approach to reading.

Created with a soothing natural vibe in mind, the library has Instagram-worthy reading corners filled with plush benches and organic curves, a Story Circle in the children’s area for performances and activities, and senior-friendly features such as electronic magnifiers and keyboards with large alphabets – making it perfect for a multigenerational family outing.

Fun fact: Bedok Public Library is home to an especially large curated collection of Malay titles, as well as books on topics like Malay culture and architecture in languages other than Malay – so that everyone can learn more about Bedok’s rich history and heritage.

REASON #4: TAKE A DIP AND A RIDE

The highly anticipated HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir clubhouse is scheduled to open from December 2022 – and one of the most exciting features to look forward to is the clubhouse’s Indoor Water Adventure Centre, Aqua Adventure.

As befits a waterfront-themed clubhouse, Aqua Adventure consists of two levels of wet and wild fun. The first and largest indoor water adventure facility in Singapore will showcase the longest indoor water slide, a laze pool and Urban Climbing Walls for those who can’t decide whether to climb, or chill.

Have your kids’ birthday party there or throw a pool party that your entire graduating class will remember. The best part? It’s all indoors – so rain or shine, your day out in the water won’t be affected.

REASON #5: ENJOY WATERFRONT LIVING

You can sip your coffee while basking in the greenery and serenity of Bedok Reservoir, all from the comfort of the upcoming HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir’s East Villa.

A relaxing getaway from the stress of daily life, the villas are perched on a hill slope with the Premier and Deluxe Waterfront Villas overlooking the gently lapping waters of the reservoir. Unwind solo with a book on the breezy roof balcony or get the family together for an evening of barbecue grilling and chilling in the villa’s ample outdoor space.

With so many things to explore in and around Bedok Reservoir, one night at the Waterfront Villas will soon stretch into two – and you’ll want to come back for more. 

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir, visit our website or follow us on the official HomeTeamNS and Bedok Reservoir clubhouse Facebook pages.

Categories
On The Edge

Fuel for thought: Do electrified vehicles make financial sense?

With the volatility of fuel prices and improving charging infrastructure, is this a good time to switch to an electrified car?

TEXT: LEOW JU-LEN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Have you started to wince each time you fill up your car? Fuel prices have started to drop after hitting near record highs recently, but motorists can’t be blamed for feeling concerned about volatile prices.

Assuming 1 litre of 95 octane fuel costs about S$2.70, and the typical driver in Singapore covers 14,600km a year, using a reasonably economical car that covers 12km per litre, the annual fuel bill would be about S$3,285.

Following some simple fuel-saving tips would help reduce fuel costs to some extent, but an electrified vehicle could really help car owners reduce their fuel bills significantly, especially if  owners opt for an electric vehicle (EV).

According to the Land Transport Authority’s online fuel cost calculator, the BYD Atto 3 EV, travelling 14,600km per year, would cost about S$1,218 a year to charge — even if the driver only uses the more expensive Direct Current (DC) public fast chargers (at an assumed rate of $0.55/kWh).

AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME?

A 3D rendering of an electric vehicle showing its relatively simple layout, with the large battery pack spread out low between the wheels to reduce the car's centre of gravity. In this example, the car is equipped with 2 electric motors driving the front and rear wheels.

While it may be too early to say that we’ve reached a tipping point, electrified vehicles are becoming more popular on Singapore roads. Land Transport Authority (LTA) figures show that EVs and cars with some sort of hybrid technology are slowly gaining market share.

By the end of June 2022, these electrified cars numbered 61,705, up 11.1 per cent compared to the start of the year. Over the same six-month period the overall car population grew just 0.45 per cent.

While cars that run purely on petrol or diesel still dominate, their numbers are starting to decline, with 581,801 here as of 30 June 2022, down from 586,512 at the start of the year.

Electrified cars essentially run on a combination of internal-combustion engines and battery power, or pure electricity. The same basic principle applies – the more electricity you use to power a car, the less fossil fuel you have to burn.

DIFFERENT SHADES OF ELECTRIFICATION

Full hybrids have a large electric motor and battery that can drive the car by itself, but the car's internal-combustion engine still provides a lot of the system's power.

After decades of development, hybrids have finally hit the mainstream. These consist of three types: Mild hybrids, full hybrids (also known as self-charging hybrids) and plug-in hybrids.

Mild hybrids similarly to conventional car with an internal-combustion engine, offering only a slight improvement in fuel consumption. They typically have a small starter-generator that stores electricity whenever the car slows down and uses it to give the engine a mild assist at low speeds.

Full hybrids have a larger motor that can drive the car by itself, along with a larger battery to power it, but an internal-combustion engine still does the heavy lifting. The setup can be effective, however. The Toyota Yaris Cross (a compact Sport Utility Vehicle) can squeeze 26.3km from 1 litre of petrol.

Nissan’s e-Power system uses an electric motor to propel the car exclusively. But it has a small petrol engine that is used only to recharge the batteries. Nissan says that gives drivers a car that feels and drives like an EV, but one that can be quickly refuelled at any petrol station. The Nissan Kicks e-Power, a family SUV, gets a fuel-consumption rating of 20.4km per litre.

UNPLUG AND PLAY

Plug-in hybrids are essentially short-range EVs with an internal-combustion engine for long-distance drives and maximum acceleration. Some cover 30km to 40km purely on electric power, but newer models can go much further.

The Lexus NX 450h+ for instance, has covered 60km on a full charge in local testing, while Mercedes-Benz claims some of its plug-ins are good for nearly 100km. The idea is to drive to work and back, plug your car in and repeat. Longer road trips are still possible but in such cases the brunt of the work will be done by the internal-combustion engine.

Full EVs that don’t need daily charging. Most cover 300km (enough for about one week’s driving here) with ease, and many are good for at least 400km on a single charge. Mercedes says its flagship electric car, the EQS, can travel 770km without stopping.

IS THE PRICE RIGHT?

Whether an EV would make it worth your while to bid farewell to petrol power, many offer upfront savings. The Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) provides tax incentives of S$15,000 or S$25,000 for cars that emit the least pollution (the cleaner the car, the greater the rebate), and though emissions from power generation are factored into the calculations, most EVs qualify for a rebate.

On top of that, an EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) worth up to S$20,000 is in place to narrow the gap between battery-powered cars and their combustion rivals.

Many hybrids are eligible for a S$15,000 VES rebate, but only EVs qualify for the maximum S$25,000 incentive. Together with the EEAI, owners of some EVs can enjoy combined rebates of S$45,000.

DOLLARS AND SENSE

With Certificate of Entitlement prices also at or near all-time highs, whether or not it makes financial sense to switch cars now just to save on energy costs is an open question. However, if you were planning to buy a new car anyway it might be worth giving an electrified one serious consideration.

A full hybrid will save the most at the pumps for any driver who feels less than confident about finding a charging station.

On the other hand, EV charging has started to become ubiquitous, with 250 locations around the island offering a place to plug in. DC charging can add a week’s worth of distance to an EV battery in less than an hour, meaning a weekly stop at a mall for a meal could be all it takes to recharge an EV. Tesla says its proprietary Superchargers can push 120km into its cars in as little as 5 minutes.

Is it time to make the switch to electric? Even if not today, then perhaps soon. The government plans to have 60,000 EV charging points across Singapore by 2030, with 40,000 of them in public car parks.

The two latest next-gen HomeTeamNS clubhouses, Khatib and Bedok Reservoir, will soon be EV-friendly for Home Team NSmen and their loved ones too. 

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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How National Service laid a strong foundation for Zheng Ge Ping’s later success

Zheng Ge Ping’s National Service stint with the Home Team shaped his positive outlook in life and equipped him with lifelong skills that served those around him well.

TEXT: AUDRINA GAN

PHOTOS: ZHENG GE PING, MEDIACORP

With his cheerful and approachable disposition, Mr Zheng Ge Ping, 58, has built many lasting friendships since he joined Mediacorp in the 1980s.

“Even though I’m 58, I still feel young at heart. I’m able to communicate well with the younger generation, who see me as an approachable person instead of an old uncle. Just like how I treat my son and daughter as my friends, I’m also able to work well with younger colleagues,” said Mr Zheng.

Mr Zheng credits his excellent interpersonal skills to his National Service (NS) stint in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in 1982. “SPF made us grow and see things from a different perspective as we faced the public and attended to new cases,” said Mr Zheng.

LISTEN FIRST, THINK TWICE

When shooting police dramas, Mr Zheng's NS background allows him to help the production team ensure that police procedures are depicted accurately.

For instance, when handling family disputes as a police officer, he learnt to be impartial and listen to everyone’s stories instead of jumping to conclusions or making a quick judgement about a person or the situation. “When we are young, we tend to be very blunt and vocal. It’s better to listen first and think twice before saying anything,” Mr Zheng explained.

The interpersonal skills he picked up at SPF also served him well when he entered the entertainment industry, which is known for being people-oriented. “During a shoot, there are many people from different departments who are involved so I used what I learned at SPF to understand people and their different perspectives,” said Mr Zheng.

His NS background also came in handy when he was filming police dramas – he was able to help the production team ensure the police procedures in the script were accurate. He further adds on “And I always feel proud to be in uniform. It’s as though my relationship with SPF has remained till this day!”

LIFESAVING SKILLS

Mr Zheng was able to apply the skills he learned from SCDF on set, to assist those in need.

During the last two months of his NS stint, Mr Zheng was transferred to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), where he picked up medical and first aid skills. He realised the importance of these skills when he was mobilised for the Hotel New World collapse rescue efforts.

In various occasions, he was also able to put them to good use during his acting career. “Once when we were filming in Pahang, one of my stuntman broke his elbow. I helped to put on a wooden splint for his elbow and straighten his elbow before the ambulance arrive,” shared Mr Zheng.

He further shared that having acquired those skills in the SCDF also impressed on him its importance during emergencies.

SHINING A LIGHT ON A GLOBAL ISSUE

A still from Deleted, in which Mr Zheng plays a Malaysian police officer.

In his upcoming movie entitled “Deleted”, Mr Zheng plays a Malaysian police officer whose daughter has been kidnapped by a human trafficking ring. His pursuit of the traffickers causes one of them to be grievously hurt and he was jailed for his actions.

Mr Zheng said the original plot that he co-wrote with one of his directors was meant to narrate the story of an undercover police officer.

But after speaking to nine NGOs, Malaysian police officers and an ex-Interpol police officer, Mr Zheng and the production team decided to revise the plot. “Human trafficking is actually a very serious crime outside of Singapore. So, we want to raise more awareness on this issue,” said Mr Zheng.

As a fitness enthusiast, Mr Zheng works out regularly, which helped prepare him for his role in the movie. “I trained rigorously for my role, and I also watched my diet. I performed my own stunts and I sustained several injuries, which was inevitable. We wanted to make the movie look real,” said Mr Zheng. 

All in all, he felt that the efforts were worthwhile as very few police action movies are being produced in Singapore, and it also raised the spotlight on human trafficking.

HomeTeamNS Exclusive Movie Screening will be screening Deleted on Nov 4 at Cathay Cineplex Cineleisure. 

An avid movie buff? Download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App to enjoy the 1-for-1 movie tickets perk at Cathay Cineplexes all day, every day!

5 tips on healthy living and keeping fit

Mr Zheng embarked on his body transformation regime in his 40s. He wanted to stay healthy and keep fit, which was also crucial for his acting career. His perseverance and healthy body image inspired many people to follow in his footsteps. He shared some of his healthy living and fitness tips with Frontline:

  1. Workout on alternate days. You can target different muscle groups, such as the abs, chest and shoulders, on different days.
  2. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down. Before you start working out, warm up your body and muscles with a light jog or some dynamic stretching. Cool your body down with a good post-workout stretch.
  3. Rest days between workouts reduces the risk of injuries, helps in body system and muscle recovery as well as muscle building.
  4. Eat clean on your rest days. Eat more eggs, chicken and other meat, and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and sodium.
  5. Do not go to extremes, and moderation is key. Mr Zheng shared that intensive and prolonged clean dieting can sometimes affect one emotionally. Intensive workouts without proper guidance and system can also result in injuries. Do consider engaging a certified personal trainer if one wishes to kick-start a serious workout regime.