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Spotlight Club Buzz

4 things I never thought I’d learn at HomeTeamNS Khatib

Underwater workouts, reliving my inner karate kid and building strength through flexibility are just some of the unexpected things I tried at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse.



As someone who’s always keen to try new activities, I headed to the HomeTeamNS Khatib, which is located just a five-minute walk from Khatib MRT to sample some of their exercise classes.

Just like my trip to HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, I tried several interesting new activities that helped me up my fitness game. From useful self-defense skills to low-impact aqua fitness classes, I was able to quickly add to my repertoire of new fitspo experiences. The classes are organised in groups which just add to the fun. If your loved ones want to join in your fitness quest, the classes cater participants of all ages and experience levels. As the courses start after working hours, it’s the perfect time to wind down, learn new skills and de-stress.

I tried four fun activities that were completely new to me at the HomeTeamNS Khatib. Here’s what I learnt:


Are you a fan of Netflix’s Cobra Kai and the mad karate skills of its chief protagonists? Then you’ll appreciate what the Karate masters at HomeTeamNS Khatib offer. Other than learning to defend yourself, Karate offers mental and physical benefits. All those repeated punches and kicks help improve your cardiovascular system and boost your self-esteem and confidence.

My knowledge of Karate was limited to the moves often seen in martial arts movies, but I learned so much more from the class I attended, like the importance of breathing techniques. Once your breathing matches your form, it can result in much more powerful attacks.


Aishona (front row, first from left) taking on Aqua Fitness for the first time.

I was nervous because I am not a strong swimmer, but the Aqua Fitness Class was held near the edge of a relatively shallow pool, offering reassurance for anyone who cannot swim.

Working out in water greatly improves your cardiovascular fitness and the water resistance pushes your muscles to work harder. It’s also a low-impact activity that doesn’t place too much pressure on joints.

Upbeat songs and an enthusiastic instructor who constantly encouraged participants made it easy to push my limits.


The Fitness Sessions at HomeTeamNS Khatib is a good way to incorporate an hour of full-body workout every week.

The fitness sessions offered at HomeTeamNS Khatib were quite as they incorporated HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Tabata elements. A full-on Tabata routine usually involves four-minute sessions broken up into eight sets, with each set consisting of 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Each session started with lower intensity exercises that increased in difficulty. I found this to be ideal as it gave me time to build up to the more intense routines. The instructor also demonstrated simpler versions of each exercise for students who were less fit or didn’t want to push themselves too hard. The exercises gave me a full-body workout which offered a good post-workout buzz, even if I was a little sore after that.


Aishona (in white) attended a Hatha Yoga class for the first time at HomeTeamNS Khatib.

My introduction to Hatha Yoga – which focuses on posture and breathing techniques – began with our instructor asking everyone to close their eyes and meditate for a few minutes. It was peaceful and I felt myself slowly relaxing. I found this yoga class relatively easy, especially for beginners. The poses were easy to follow, and the instructor walked around to correct students’ form. Rectangular foam blocks – known as yoga blocks – were also used. These blocks helped advanced users stretch further and offered additional support for beginners.

I had a wonderful time trying different exercise classes at HomeTeamNS Khatib. Not only did I try several interesting new sports, I also benefitted from well-planned classes that catered to participants of all skill levels and friendly exercise groups.

Visit HomeTeamNS Khatib to kickstart your next fitness adventure. For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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.

Singapore Buzz

Discover 8 shows that let us know who truly runs the world

With their smarts, sass and sharpshooting skills, these strong females are taking over the screen and our hearts.



We’ve come a long way from fairytales. Rather than being princesses in towers waiting for their shiny knights, the emancipation of women figures in stories has demonstrated that girls can indeed run the world – and even save the day.

And this doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to take on masculine characteristics as well. Women have found authority in their own ways – sometimes as the sassy ingenue brimming with good intentions, other times as the nurturing protective mother who can dispense wisdom as much as bullets.

Through the decades, representations of the empowered female in entertainment has been an inspirational force towards equality. Here are eight shows that have made their mark as classic examples of girl power.


If someone were to tell you that a massive cyborg is hunting you down to kill you, it’s likely most would just quake in their boots and beg for mercy. Not Sarah Conner.

Linda Hamilton, who plays the character, evolved beautifully through the first movie Terminator. She goes from running prey to stoic defender, but it was in the sequel that she really blossomed as a different creature thanks to motherhood. Protecting her son turned her into a fearless goddess, and while the series might have made Arnold Schwarzenegger an international star, Hamilton’s spirited one-liners in the face of her enemies have endeared her to many as a classic heroine.


Jodie Foster’s filmography runs impressive, but ask around and most will likely point to her portrayal of detective Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs as one of her best award-winning achievements. In the process of baiting an incarcerated psychiatrist for information to find a psychopathic killer, the investigator has to share her own personal trauma. It was this blend of vulnerability and steely resolve that made her pursuit riveting to watch.

The actress’s own personal process to obtain the role was just as inspirational. While the opportunity was first given to actresses like Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan, they rejected the controversial character. Director Jonathan Demme eventually gave Foster the role after considering her passionate and repeated requests, and her subsequent performance clearly showed just how capable she was.


It’s not fair, but when you’re a blonde barbie who draws reference from pop culture, people are not going to take you seriously. This was the case for Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, where she is Elle Woods – a seemingly ditzy girl who cares more about fashion and frivolous things. This became reason enough for her senator-aspiring boyfriend Warner to dump her, fuelling her motivation to win back his love for the rest of the movie.

Proving the adage correctly to not judge a book by its cover, our heroine proves pundits wrong by scoring a place in Harvard and even winning people over with her unorthodox ways. So yes, this movie proves that being girly and powerful are not mutually exclusive.


Mean Girls similarly focuses on teen schoolyard politics in America, but through the power play, one gets a sense of the life values that really matter as events unfold.

As the new girl in school, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), is just trying to get by and not get into trouble. She makes friends with some of the outliers but is soon noticed by the school’s most “elite” girl trio, Regina, Karen and Gretchen. While she thrives well in their protection, she soon realises her false friendships and proceeds to orchestrate a fitting lesson for the backstabbing Regina.

With its memorable lines, charming cast and flaky humour, this comedic romance sidesteps mean girl values to find heart as a cherished trait and is a classic worth rewatching over and over again.


Two titans clash in this comedy-drama, with Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway coming head-to-head as an untouchable fashion editor and her co-assistant.

When Hathaway enters fashion magazine, Runway, as new graduate Andrea Sachs, her cherished academic dreams quickly disintegrate under the withering looks of the respected editor, Miranda Priestly. As she leans into the world to prove her worth, she gains acceptance but loses her old priorities, and spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out what is most important to her despite the outward success and recognition.

Adapted from Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Devil Wears Prada is a light-hearted look at a woman’s path to authenticity and standing up for her principles.


As an iconic movie in the 1980s, Ghostbusters was a classic that was hard to beat. In this 2016 reboot, many couldn’t deny the chemistry between the four members of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.

Witty, sharp and full of the self-deprecating humour famous in the original, the four gave geeky girls across the world a chance at the spotlight by saving the world. Whether as an engineer or physicist, helping out with their paranormal knowledge or street smarts, the quartet showed the spirits who’s boss in this raucous comedy.


In one scene, Sherlock Holmes suggests to his younger sister that their missing mother “wants to change the world.” To this the spritely girl retorts, “Perhaps it’s a world that needs changing.”

Full of spirited adventure and brain-boggling mystery, Millie Bobby Brown (of Stranger Things fame) acts as the resilient female lead showing us how to battle societal norms even as she seeks out her disappeared parent. The single mother and daughter pair is a riot to watch, and Brown gives the titular character plenty of charm with her outstanding acting. Truly a heroine for a new generation.

NEVER HAVE I EVER (2020-2023)

Adults may have plenty of responsibilities to keep to, but for teenagers like Devi Vishwakumar played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, growing pains are the worst – especially when your father suddenly passes away.

Never Have I Ever is a series that charts her tumultuous journey through high school in Los Angeles, and tackles everything from peer pressure, emerging sexuality to overbearing parents. Ramakrishnan breaks boundaries with her ethnic representation, while debunking stereotypes and sharing cultural points in one swoop. Feisty and assertive, the teenage comedy is today’s beacon of female empowerment, no matter where you might come from.

Catch these titles for a dose of girl power and see how these female leads continue to inspire with their personal power. Or if you’re an avid movie buff, leverage our HomeTeamNS all-day, everyday 1-for-1 movie ticket deals at Cathay Cineplexes.

We’re celebrating the unwavering contributions of the ladies behind every Home Team National Serviceman! With Everyday HERoes, a new Family Membership with expanded female-centric perks launched by HomeTeamNS, participate in giveaways with prizes worth up to S$6,000. Membership sign-ups will run till 30 Nov 2023. For more information on Everyday HERoes and other amazing perks, visit our website.

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.

Close Up Featured

Protecting our sea lanes, serving others

Outgoing Police Coast Guard NS Commander DAC (NS) Ham Yean Soon looks back on a long career in the force.



At the end of 2020, Frontline featured Police Coast Guard (PCG) NS Commander DAC (NS) Ham Yean Soon, where he candidly recalled his journey from the land division of the Singapore Police Force to its arm that protects Singapore’s Territorial Waters (STW). That journey came to an end earlier this year, when he marked the end of his National Service career and passed the mantle to new NS Commander DAC (NS) Alan Tan.

“It was a bittersweet drive to Pulau Brani, where the Police Coast Guard headquarters is located,” recalls DAC (NS) Ham, 52. “Service has been such a big part of my life for so many years that it’s definitely something that I will miss a great deal. But at the end of the day, no organisation thrives when a leader has been there for too long. Succession, and new energy and ideas are always necessary.”

The bittersweet note is something that many others have felt at the end of their NS stints, both as NSFs and NSmen. “I hear about NSFs who can’t wait for their Operationally Ready Date (ORD). But when the date comes, they feel like they’re leaving behind something. It’s quite a special journey for us Singaporean sons.”


Still, DAC (NS) Ham ends his tenure with many fond memories of his time with the PCG, where he led its National Service (NS) wing comprising over 2,000 active servicemen. This wing supplements existing deployments by providing manpower relief and support to the regular units, which means DAC (NS) Ham and his team were often close to the action.

One incident that stands out involved a suspicious craft approaching STW. “They hadn’t crossed into our waters yet, but we sped down in our PT Class Patrol Craft to show our presence. They eventually turned away, so I can say it was a successful operation!”

Regular training is key to securing success at sea, says DAC (NS) Ham. PCG officers undergo regular training in areas such as live firing, boat handling and navigation. “I think live firing at sea is the most challenging,” he says. That’s because targets are often further away, from the firing post when out at sea. Controlling the cannons can become challenging when the waters turn choppy, which is a common occurrence during the monsoon season. 


Apart from the operational experience, DAC (NS) Ham is also grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of his fellow servicemen. Under his stewardship, the PCG has made the fitness, skills and morale of National Servicemen a priority. For example, National Servicemen are now grouped and assigned to their posts based on where they live, preventing long commutes and allowing them to make the most of their time in service. National Servicemen are now also recalled with their peers so that teams can continue to build lasting bonds.

DAC (NS) Ham, who is the Head of Service Management at a telco company, has much to look forward to. He is a father of three young children: Two daughters, aged 10 and seven and a son, aged five. “The kids would always get excited to see me putting on my uniform, so they may not quite understand why I’ve stopped. And for my boy, it will be at least 13 years before I get to see him off to NS! As he gets older, I’ll be sure to tell him about NS and how important it is for our nation.”

Given his ties to the PCG, does he hope that his son will follow in his footsteps? “That goes without saying,” he adds with a laugh.

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.

Spotlight Club Buzz

4 things I never thought I’d learn at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier

Old or young, beginner or master, the HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier clubhouse has all sorts of sports courses for everyone.



I’m always open to new experiences, but even I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of sports courses and activities available at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, which is located in the central region of Singapore. Taekwondo? They’ve got it. Hoop Fitness? Ditto. And that’s just the tip of the fitness iceberg.

Most of the classes are organised in groups which just adds to the fun. You get to make new friends and help motivate one another! If your loved ones want to join in your fitness quest, the classes cater to participants of all ages and experience levels.

I tried four fun activities that were completely new to me at the clubhouse, and here’s what I learned. 


Although new to the sport, Aishona (in grey) caught up with the art of Yoga fairly quickly in one session.

Yoga isn’t just about stretching and flexibility. It also helps you to build muscle, improve your posture and even boost your metabolism.

It was my first-ever so I expected to be holding up the rest of the class. To my surprise, even though there were some experienced participants, I never felt left behind. The instructor regularly checked in on the beginners and frequently offered pointers throughout the session.

The instructor introduced the newbies to some of the different types of yoga like Hatha Yoga and Yin Restoration Yoga. We also learned breathing exercises that really made me relax and relieve stress.


Taekwondo requires years of training to master. Besides developing cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone, it also emphasises mental aspects like discipline and patience.

I was quite excited for my first session at St Teresa Taekwondo because it is always portrayed so coolly in movies and social media.

The two coaches were very patient with the students, considering that the youngest student they had was a three-year-old girl. The coach focused on the foundational moves as these were very important building blocks.

As someone completely new to Taekwondo, I was a little intimidated by the shouts the students made after every punch or kick. I quickly found out that this wasn’t just about de-stressing – it forces Taekwondoins to exhale so their attacks are more powerful.


Aishona (right) trying her hand in Tennis through a one-to-one introductory session.

If you’re secretly harbouring ambitions of becoming the next Iga Swiatek or Novak Djokovic, this one’s for you. My coach took the time to explain different tennis terms and forms, which made it easy to follow his introductory lesson to the sport.

While I may not have set the tennis world alight, I learned some valuable fundamentals. For one, footwork is key – you’ll need this to position yourself to return shots without expending too much energy. Good hand-eye coordination is also key to enjoying the game. This required constant, consistent focus and all that running and volleying meant I could enjoy a satisfying burn.


Aishona (back row, third from right) worked up a sweat during the Hoop Fitness session.

When I entered, I was struck by how friendly and welcoming the other participants were. They told me not to worry about my lack of hula-hooping experience and to just enjoy the class. Our instructor also explained the whole programme in detail.

The warm-up session started with Zumba and Tabata workouts then ended with popular K-Pop songs which made the atmosphere so much more fun.

Hoop fitness couples cardiovascular fitness with exercises that help tone the waist area, making this a great activity for working up a good sweat.

I may have been new to these activities but I felt right at home, thanks to the friendly environment, knowledgeable coaches and exemplary facilities. Did I relish the challenge of these new activities? Yes. Will I be coming back for more? Most definitely.

Stay tuned for my next adventure at HomeTeamNS Khatib, Bukit Batok and Bedok Reservoir!

Visit HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier to kickstart your next fitness adventure. For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

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.

Club Buzz

4 ways to make your 1,000 +HPoints count

Ladies, if you’ve signed up for your 2-Year HomeTeamNS Family Membership, here’s how to make the most of your +HPoints.



All over Singapore, there are mothers and wives who go the extra mile to support Home Team National Servicemen and their families, as they answer the call of duty. Whether they’re driving the kids to school, cooking nutritious meals, running errands or doing any of the 101 chores to keep the house spick and span, these women are Everyday HERoes who play an integral role in any Home Team National Servicemen’s National Service (NS) journey.

The Everyday HERoes initiative, first launched in 2019, made a welcome return this year on Mother’s Day, 14 May, with a glamourous twist: A fashion runway show featuring Home Team NSmen, their mothers and wives, all of whom were decked out in SHEIN outfits selected by the women to express their families’ personalities.

If you haven’t signed up yet, you have until 30 Nov 2023 to do so. Once you’ve copped your 2-Year Family membership, you’ll be granted 1,000 +HPoints for free! Alas, here are four ways on how you can use your +HPoints to relax, exercise, and even experience a little adventure or two. Think of it as a thank you, for being Everyday HERoes.


Help your kids expend their energy and challenge them to a bouldering contest at Adventure HQ, the first and largest multi-installation indoor adventure centre in Singapore at HomeTeamNS Khatib.

For those who haven’t done a high-elements course since secondary school or are nursing a fear of heights, don’t rule Adventure HQ out – You can also choose to take it slow and explore the Fossil Labyrinth (an exciting series of tunnels and caves) or let your inner child out on the firemen slides, the longest of which is 14m (and yes, it’s the longest indoor slide in Singapore).

When you’re ready to face your fears, the 15m-high Sky Venture awaits. This two-tiered indoor challenge ropes course may result in shaky legs at first but will give you a sense of achievement like no other when you conquer it.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy the best rates of S$40.37 on weekdays and S$48.85 on weekends for the All-Access Pass at Adventure HQ – and don’t forget to redeem your 1,000 +HPoints for a further discount of S$10. You can also choose to use your points at other facilities at HomeTeamNS Khatib or other clubhouses.


Take the girls out for a spin (literally) at HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz Garage.

If your 2023 resolution to get fit has fallen behind due to work and family commitments, you still have time to follow up on it.

With Fitness Workz Gyms available at Balestier, Bedok Reservoir, Bukit Batok and Khatib, your full-body workout is within easy reach. And with your +HPoints, the S$10 discount off the published rates will make sweating it out a value-for-money prospect.

Be sure to try out the state-of-the-art gym equipment, in-house fitness classes, elite workout zones, pool access and steam rooms, all of which are designed to take your gym routine to the next level.


Aqua Adventure is home to the longest indoor waterslide in Singapore, stretching at 114m.

Feeling hot lately? Now’s the time to cool off at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir’s Aqua Adventure and discover the hype and thrills amid this sweltering heat wave.

Home to the first longest indoor water slide (114m) in Singapore, venture down Double Trouble with a friend – or even solo if you’re up for it. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, try plunging the 85m-long Black Hole slide which will give you the most riveting 12-15-second thrill, leaving you wanting more.

Aside from the wet play areas, don’t miss out on the other dry interactive installations like the Scramble Net and Clockwork Towers. 

For more information on the facility and rates, please visit our website.


East, west, which side is best? Whether you decide on waterfront luxury at East Villa at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir or cosy comfort at West Villa at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, it’ll be a staycation for the memory book.

Perfect for a family bonding weekend or a getaway with your gal pals, HomeTeamNS Villas can accommodate multiple guests and offer kitchen, dining and entertainment facilities to make you feel at home.

For example, East Villa guests can soak in the infinity pool, while West Villa vacationers can go bowling or engage in a paintball game with their gal pals. Best of all, your +HPoints will help you to save on your staycation – so that you can focus on having a good time with your loved ones.  


This year, the Everyday HERoes campaign also features an attractive offer to enhance the lives of Home Team National Servicemen’s mothers and wives: An opt-in two-year HomeTeamNS Family Membership at a nominal fee of S$10. This comes with an array of special perks designed especially for women, including beauty and wellness discounts and shopping offers.

Furthermore, new sign-ups or renewals under the Everyday HERoes initiative will receive a 100 per cent rebate of the S$10 fee in the form of 1,000 +HPoints, which can be used to offset payments and redeem offers under the HomeTeamNS Rewards+ loyalty programme. HomeTeamNS members accumulate +HPoints by spending on HomeTeamNS clubhouse facilities or memberships.

Sign up for your 2-Year Family Membership at only S$10 now and don’t miss out on these  

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.

Singapore Buzz Family Time

How to celebrate Racial Harmony Day with your neighbours and loved ones in Singapore

In the lead up to Racial Harmony Day (July 21), learn to appreciate the diverse cultures and communities that are woven into Singapore’s colourful social fabric.



Singapore is built on the foundation of racial and cultural understanding, where its melting pot of cultures and acceptance of diversity make it so special. Racial Harmony Day (July 21) is an apt reminder to not take this for granted. While we have come a long way from the 1964 race riots that the occasion commemorates and aims to prevent from re-occurring, there’s still more we can do on an individual level to foster a deeper sense of mutuality and cultural awareness within the community. Start with these initiatives and activities you can take part in with your neighbours and loved ones, to celebrate our wonderful cultural plurality together.


A cooking class at One Kind House.
A cooking class at One Kind House.

While we can easily ‘chope’ a table at our favourite restaurant, learning how to prepare the traditional dishes of different ethnic groups can help us better appreciate rich cultural heritages and nuances. Rally your crew for a farm-to-table experience at One Kind House, which is touted as a “21st century kampong” rooted in sustainability. Here, an octogenarian chef will teach you how to prepare Peranakan-inspired dishes such as Chilled Bittergourd Salad and Blue Pea Flower Rice using organic ingredients from the onsite garden. For a halal option, sign up for one of D’Open Kitchen’s cooking classes, where you can learn how to prepare everything from dim sum to mooncakes and other Asian dishes using only halal ingredients that you can select during a market tour.


The Indian Heritage Centre houses exhibits on the Indian community's traditional wear.
The Indian Heritage Centre houses exhibits on the Indian community's traditional wear.

Being well-versed in various artistic and cultural expressions gives you a better understanding of Singapore’s multicultural landscape. To that end, you can join a tour at the Indian Heritage Centre – which highlights the rites of passage, attire, language, religious affiliations and festivals of Indians in Singapore and South-east Asia – or learn about the history of Chinese dialects at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. Those who are musically inclined may enrol in a beginner-level Indian classical dance class at dance academy Shantha Ratii Initiatives, or join one of the People’s Association’s vibrant Malay Kompang (a traditional Malay hand drum) interest groups.


Team Nila volunteers.
Team Nila volunteers.

Sports has the unique ability to bring people together through play, regardless of age, gender, race, ability or social status. Spearheaded by Sport Singapore, Team Nila is the national sport volunteerism movement that offers a raft of volunteering and training opportunities. Besides helping to ensure that sporting events run smoothly, Team Nila volunteers can serve as pool guardians at ActiveSG swimming complexes, or assist persons with disabilities during their training sessions.


Teach your kids about Singapore's diverse cultural heritage through The National Museum of Singapore's activity kits.
Teach your kids about Singapore's diverse cultural heritage through The National Museum of Singapore's activity kits.

Nurturing cultural awareness in your kids starts at home. Share with your child that it’s okay to be curious about other cultural practices and guide them to ask questions in a sensitive and appropriate way. For instance, teach young children to understand and respect differences among people, and highlight why certain stereotypical or hurtful language is divisive and inappropriate.

Keep your children occupied with thoughtful activities that showcase Singapore’s rich cultural heritage by downloading The National Museum of Singapore’s free printable activity kits, such as one that shows them how to create designs such as a mosque and ketupat through paper quilling. You can also expose them to concepts such as inclusion through literature — sign up for the National Library Board’s monthly book delivery subscription service, which was recently expanded to include mother tongue language books.


A event.
A event.

Since its inception, non-profit organisation (OPSG) has played an instrumental role in promoting harmony among youths through a range of programmes. These include community dialogues exploring hot-button topics such as prejudice in a measured manner, a simulated United Nations conference where racial and religious issues are discussed, and experiential learning journeys to places of worship. It also holds workplace diversity programmes and training workshops.


The Interfaith Youth Circle explores issues related to different religions in a safe environment.
The Interfaith Youth Circle explores issues related to different religions in a safe environment.

In a secular society, discourse revolving around religion can sometimes be regarded as off-limits and provocative. Enter the Interfaith Youth Circle, a ground-up initiative started by a pair of secondary school friends to address Islamophobia and bridge the divide between communities of different faiths. Join their constructive dialogue sessions where representatives from different religions share their perspectives on promoting harmony and understanding. Such authentic conversations are important as participants can talk about potentially sensitive topics in a safe and moderated space.


Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

Delve into the complex cultural identities of various communities by observing their religious beliefs and customs at their respective houses of worship. Singapore’s ethnic enclaves — namely, Little India, Kampong Gelam and Chinatown — are home to some of the country’s most historically significant temples and mosques. At Little India, visit the 19th-century Hindu temple Sri Veerama-kaliamman Temple, which is distinguished by its intricate tower of sculptures and linked to early migrant workers from India. Then head to Kampong Gelam’s gold-domed Sultan Mosque, a focal point for the country’s Muslim community that dates back to 1824. Over at Chinatown, the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is dedicated to the worship of the Goddess of Mercy, a key figure in both Buddhism and Taoism.

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.

Spotlight Club Buzz

How these HomeTeamNS Volunteers Ace the Start-up Hustle

The digital media entrepreneurs say the networking opportunities at HomeTeamNS help them to run successful businesses.



Being your own boss is one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. That is something both HomeTeamNS volunteers SUPT (NS) Jason Lim and LTA (NS) Adrian Chye can attest to. SUPT (NS) Lim shares that he’s filled with enthusiasm each morning to do what he loves for a living, while LTA (NS) Chye asserts that he’s privileged to be able to work with like-minded individuals.

Yet, the digital media start-up founders aren’t inclined to casually encourage their peers to throw caution to the wind and chase their entrepreneurial dreams. For one, they both advise considering multiple factors before even working out a business plan.


LTA (NS) Chye (first row, third from left) is the founder of digital marketing agency, MediaFreaks.

SUPT (NS) Lim’s decision to start social media marketing consultancy Stratgeist in 2017, for instance, was based not just on his keen interest in the field, but also the fact that such services were growing in demand. His affable disposition also helped. “Being an entrepreneur means you build businesses and create job opportunities, and all this requires you to deal with people,” says SUPT (NS) Lim, who also runs health media platform Medical Channel Asia. “You must also possess a love of solving problems, be good with numbers, and, of course, be a subject matter expert in whatever you want to do. Just having passion alone isn’t going to cut it.”

And while LTA (NS) Chye’s decision to start digital marketing agency MediaFreaks is rooted in something more esoteric — he cites ikigai, the Japanese concept of having a clear purpose in life — his key considerations are similarly pragmatic in nature. Apart from having an excellent service or product on top of passion for the cause, he says you need to be confident in your ability to monetise your efforts.

LTA (NS) Chye, who also teaches digital marketing at polytechnics and universities, decided to take the proverbial plunge some two decades ago after noticing a gap in the market for 3D animation. But several years ago, he made the call to pivot the business towards digital marketing, an area in which he felt he could better excel. “Being able to evolve and cater to the latest market demands is part of running a business,” he says.

The move evidently paid off. The company has since grown into a 40-strong operation that services clients from 20 industries and — according to him — generates a seven-figure annual revenue.


SUPT (NS) Lim (back row, third from left), LTA (NS) Chye (back row, fourth from left), the Branding and Publicity Committee, and Public Relations and Communications team of HomeTeamNS during the Gala Dinner 2019.

Despite their hectic schedules, both founders still manage to find time to volunteer at HomeTeamNS’ Branding & Publicity Committee. They share that the experience has been deeply fulfilling as it not only allows them to leverage their expertise to help the organisation grow, but also gives them access to a wealth of knowledge. “I learned a lot from the other volunteers. Being part of HomeTeamNS lets me meet people who are experts in their own fields,” says SUPT (NS) Lim.

Likewise, LTA (NS) Chye has also benefitted from the networking opportunities. “HomeTeamNS volunteers come from all kinds of backgrounds. I’ve had the chance to meet fellow competitors in the same industry, as well as people from academia and property management — the list goes on,” he says. “What this means is that when we sit down to solve a problem together, a bunch of different perspectives are laid out on the table, and this experience is one that is very enlightening, and even fun,” adds LTA (NS) Chye.


SUPT (NS) Lim (in white) is the founder of a digital media firm.
SUPT (NS) Lim (in white) is the founder of a digital media firm.

No successful venture is devoid of setbacks, though. When asked about his missteps over the course of his entrepreneurial journey, LTA (NS) Chye is refreshingly candid. “We make mistakes all the time, from human resources to how we run campaigns and manage the company,” he laughs. “But all these mistakes allow us to learn and grow.” His biggest regret is not having a mentor when he was starting out. “If I had a good mentor back then, I would have reached where I am today five years earlier. This is the value of good guidance.”

On the other hand, SUPT (NS) Lim’s biggest takeaway has been the importance of hiring the right people. To address this, he uses the people management approach that he learned from a podcast by Daniel Meyer, the founder of the Shake Shack — categorising people according to the “Can-Can’t-Will-Won’t” matrix. “People that can and will do the job are those you must reward and groom. Those who can’t, but will do the job, are those with whom you provide additional training because though they don’t have the required skills, they have the right attitude,” he explains. “And then you have people who can do the job but won’t. Those need to be placed on performance improvement schemes. For individuals who can’t and won’t do the job — perhaps it’s better if they are let go or reassigned to a department more suited to them.”    

Looking back, SUPT (NS) Lim says he is fortunate that his businesses have grown steadily over the past six years. “Singapore is an amazing place to start a business and I’m really grateful for the opportunities that have come our way just by being in the right place at the right time,” he says.


How I started my career

SUPT (NS) Lim: I started my career selling ads in the Yellow Pages before working in the publishing sector and handling social media engagement.

LTA (NS) Chye: My first job was starting my current company. I guess you could say I was very reckless!

An entrepreneur who inspires me    

SUPT (NS) Lim: Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. Learning about how he started his business from the basement of his mother’s home got me really enamoured with the idea of making something out of nothing.

LTA (NS) Chye: Bread Talk founder George Quek. I once attended an event where he shared about how he started his business with nothing but a pushcart, which was really inspiring.

My childhood aspiration

SUPT (NS) Lim:  To become a lawyer. I was attracted to the idea of fighting cases in court and understanding the law.

LTA (NS) Chye: I wanted to be a policeman. I ended up in the SCDF instead!

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.

Shape Up Singapore Buzz Food

6 things to do to experience Thailand in Singapore

Golden Mile Complex may have shuttered, but there are still ways for you to shop, dine and get pampered like you’re in Thailand.



With the closure of the iconic Golden Mile Complex – dubbed Singapore’s “Little Thailand” – in May, long-time visitors lamented the loss of the 50-year-old building that invoked the Land of Smiles with its restaurants serving regional specialities and grocers proffering exotic produce such as banana buds.

It’s undeniable that Singaporeans’ love affair with the Southeast Asian country is nowhere near flaming out, with its capital Bangkok routinely appearing in lists of top destinations for travellers from the Lion City. But if you’re not up for a vacay yet, or simply want to prolong your Thai experience post-holiday, here are some ways for you to feel like you’re in Thailand.

1. Shop for Thai goodies at Thai Supermarket at Aperia Mall

Due to open anytime now, this Golden Mile Complex mainstay relocated to the first level of Aperia Mall after the building was sold en bloc. Besides grabbing takeaway from cooked food stalls selling Thai favourites such as grilled meat and seafood, noodle dishes, and Yaowarat buns (Thai-style charcoal-grilled buns with fillings), you can also stock up on authentic Thai groceries such as fresh native herbs and spices, a dizzying array of sauces, and interesting Thai-inspired snacks. The latter include boat noodle – and crab curry-flavoured Lays potato chips and Koh Kae battered-peanuts. Look out for the piquant J-Koong crispy shrimp typically sprinkled as a topping for noodles and other dishes.

2. Have an authentic Thai massage at Sabaai Sabaai

Sabaai Sabaai
Relax and rejuvenate with a Thai Tradition Massage (PHOTO: Sabaai Sabaai).

Singapore has no shortage of spas offering Thai massages, among which Sabaai Sabaai comes highly recommended. Indulge in their classic Thai Tradition Massage, where a therapist not only helps you stretch your body, but also applies rhythmic pressure using the hands and forearms to the meridian points to ease stiffness. The meridian system is a concept under Traditional Chinese Medicine whereby life energy (qi) flows through paths known as meridians. Besides this, there’s also the Thai Herb Massage, where a heated herbal compress is applied to promote lymphatic circulation and overall wellbeing. With two branches at Boat Quay and Wisma Atria, this spa has been in business for 14 years – so you know you’re in good hands.

3. Learn Muay Thai from experts at Chowraiooi Muay Thai

Chowraiooi Muay Thai
Try your hand in Muay Thai at Chowraiooi Muay Thai (PHOTO: Chowraiooi Muay Thai).

Muay Thai is a form of traditional martial arts that has gained mainstream popularity in recent years as a sport – it has gotten Olympic recognition. In Singapore, beginners and experienced practitioners alike can train at Chowraiooi Muay Thai, which is an affiliate of Thailand’s Chowraiooi Gym that is run by the country’s national Muay Thai coach, Adjarhn Chat. He produces some of the top Muay Thai champions in Thailand and together with head trainer Robert Yap, they hope to do the same in Singapore.

4. Staycay at the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore
Soak in the stunning vibe of all things Thai in this local five-star luxury resort, Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore (PHOTO: Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore).

Located within the stunning grounds of Laguna National Golf Resort Club, the vibe at this five-star luxury resort that opened in the thick of the pandemic is decidedly elegant and contemporary Thai. You may want to splash out on a guest suite overlooking the green. Besides the subtle and soothing Thai touches in the resort’s decor (lounge on the three-fold triangle cushion in your room) and food selections at the biophilic Greenhouse restaurant, you’ll of course enjoy the legendary Thai service and heritage of the Dusit Thani brand. A treatment at the Thai-inspired Devarana Spa may include the signature massage, which combines Thai, Ayurveda, Shiatsu and Swedish massage techniques with aromatherapy to invigorate, revitalise and relax the muscles.

5. Enjoy authentic Thai food at Penguin’s Kitchen, Siam Kitchen, and Cheese Story Mookata Buffet

Enjoy the new Thai Green Curry Chicken with Nomjeen dish at Penguin's Kitchen (PHOTO: Penguin Kitchen's Facebook Page).

Hidden in a dusty MacPherson industrial estate, Penguin’s Kitchen is an almost-secret gem, with its tasty and Thai-level-spicy food and casual atmosphere reminiscent of a Bangkok street. For something unique, try the Century Egg Salad or Stir Fried Hot Basil Seafood.

Then there’s Siam Kitchen, which prides itself as the melting point of old and new. With chefs from Thailand, the café-restaurant presents authentic Thai favourites in a casual-modern setting. Must-tries include the Blue Swimmer Crabmeat Omelette and the Hat Yai Fried Chicken Cutlet. HomeTeamNS members get 10 per cent off the total bill at Siam Kitchen at HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Cheese Story Mookata Buffet just opened its outlet in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier (PHOTO: HomeTeamNS).

Finally, fans of Cheese Story Mookata Buffet that was previously at Golden Mile Complex will be thrilled to know that they’ve relocated to HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier. Enjoy marinated meats, seafood and vegetables with their rich, cheesy dipping sauce. HomeTeamNS members are entitled to a 10 per cent discount on their total bill when they flash their HomeTeamNS digital membership card upon checkout.

6. Visit Thai Buddhist temple Wat Ananda Metyarama

Wat Ananda Metyarama
Learn more about Buddism and its philosophies at Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddist Temple (PHOTO: Wat Ananda Metyarama).

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate the religion’s philosophies and Thai Buddhist temple architecture, which is distinguished by its soaring gilded stupas and steeply sloping tiled roofs. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the hilltop Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple, the oldest of its kind in Singapore at Jalan Bukit Merah. Aside from its more recognisable traditional carvings and hand-painted murals depicting the Buddha’s life, the centenarian stands out with its modern, angular $6 million five-storey extension designed by Czarl Architects. The arresting V-shaped building houses a cultural centre and shrine.

Those who want to experience the real thing can head to Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya. With its central location near Pattaya Beach, the resort is an ideal base when visiting this tropical paradise. It’s a five to 15 minutes’ drive to attractions such as 3D art museum Art in Paradise Chiangmai; Sanctuary of Truth, a magnificent unfinished wooden castle; and the world-famous Alcazar Cabaret Show.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20 per cent off the best flexible room rate with a minimum two consecutive nights’ stay with breakfast.

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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