Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lost my phone

It is just like a curse.
Once the devil of all bad lucks hunted you, bad things continuously come up for you.
CAP dropped drastically, the girl I fall for has just been attached, whole vacation is sacrificed for just one CCA, and now, I lost my dearest personal assistant -- Samsung Omnia II.

Some people believe that life would balance itself. If you are facing extreme bad luck, extreme good luck will reach you soon. Well, I admit I have had some lucky moments from time to time. However, I haven't really gotten whatever I wanted since 16yrs old, but losing many of things I treasure the most.

Angel, where are you? Do you hear my plea? I have been trying so hard to make myself stronger! Now, I am tired, really really tired...
...Angel, are you ill?
...Angel, are you sleeping?
...Angel, have you abandoned me?
I give you panadols. I buy you an alarm clock. Please, visit me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Final Reflection

Frankly, ES2007S is the only module I had really enjoyed thus far in NUS. Not only because the effective communication skills I could learn from the class, but also its learning environment which was conducive and relaxing. Moreover, I could get to know so many friends.

After 13 weeks of learning in ES2007S, it is time to write the final reflection about what I have had gained from this module.

Firstly, I learnt to apply 7Cs into communication especially through blogging. Every time I wrote a post, I spent quite a long time to think what and how to write. I was worried about writing something inaccurate whereby confused the readers. This had indeed trained me to communicate effectively. Besides, the comments given by Brad and classmates had been reminding me what mistakes I used to be ignoring. On the other hand, commenting on classmates' blogs had been urging me to read through their posts carefully so that I fully understood what they were saying before I wrote my comments. This might be because once I clicked 'submit', my comments would be shown to the whole world, so I considered twice for everything before I wrote them. As a result, I had learnt to be patient in communicating with classmates.

Secondly, the common discussion in class allowed me to practise to be a good listener. In the meantime, I tried my best to contribute to the class whenever I have opinions with regard to the topics being discussed. In the beginning the semester, I dared not to speak so much as I was worried about giving bad ideas. However, I changed and tried to voice out my opinions when I realised that Brad and all my classmates were so nice. Now, I tend to think that giving whatever opinions I have is better than just keeping quiet. This is what a discussion is about. We won't know whether our opinions are constructive unless we voice them out.

Thirdly, the peer teaching, mock interviews and project activities such as oral discussion and presentation had further enhanced my ability to communicate more effectively and interact better with everyone in class. For instance, when I acted as an interviewee while my classmates acted as interviewers, I kept reminding what I should do and should not do. I did the same for all other activities.

All in all, I have learnt many effective communication skills from this course. In fact, some of my friends outside the class have noticed and appreciated my improvement.
Hey guys, I will still write new posts after this semester. I hope most of you will do the the same and come to leave some comments for me :D! All the best for your exams.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reflection on Oral Presentation

Before I give a reflection on my oral presentation, I would like to thank Edmund, Nan and Cosine for their efforts and collaboration to complete our project proposal and presentation. In particular, I really appreciate their willingness to spend so much time to travel from one place to another for filming, especially Edmund who had to travel for about one hour from his home to reach NUS.

  Firstly, I believe that I had made an ample preparation for my part. I reconsidered and reconsidered about what I wanted the audience to know from my presentation. I tried to focus on the main problem. Then, I designed my part of presentation with a goal to attract audience's attention. However, I was lack of artistic senses in preparing my slides. The previous version of my slides was terrible, be it the choice of colors or the font sizes. I would like to express my gratitude here to Nan for helping me refine my slides. Besides, I rehearsed a few times before the presentation though every time I said some different things. Frankly, my presentation today was not as good as the rehearsals because I missed out some points. :( In addition, I did not speak fluently.

  I think that my delivery was quite satisfying since most of you seem had understood the problem. This deduction was derived from the situation that not many classmates questioned about the 'problem' during Q&A session. Is it just my own Utopian belief or indeed true? Nonetheless, my pronunciation was not accurate and this might have affected my presentation.

  While for the use of audiovisual, I think that the video was engaging and explicitly showing the problem to audience. In the meantime, There were some silent moments whereby catching audience's attention and allowing me to say something. However, the background noises of the video is degrading its quality.

  It was a great experience and I will keep the video of my group presentation forever. By the way, thank to ES2007S, I was able to produce the first video in my life, from thinking the scenes and the script to editing video. Of course, I could not make it without my group-mates' ideas and helps.

  What do you think about my oral presentation? Feel free to leave your comments here. Every comment is appreciated. Thank you :D!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week 11

This is a week imbued with depression.

Walking on a street, glancing at people's facial expression, I noticed that people seem like losing smiles. On the Facebook, I realised most of my friends are complaining... assignments...exams...relationship... Some people just hope to stay away from this place while some people call helps from others. These two weeks, everyone has a lot of assignments and projects to do, yet more and more activities coming up. In the meantimes, final exam is approaching. The similar incident is taking place in Malaysia Universities. They have just begun their exam weeks. Yeah, my fellow friends seem like living in the hell.

Isn't education designed for having a better life? Isn't university established for people to gain knowledge based on their interest? Like what Ken Robinson questioned, do schools kill creativity? Nowadays, most students go to school without 'smiles' - the smiles from the heart that stimulated by the expectation of what they will learn in the school today. Most students study for better grades, not for interest. They believe they will have a better life in the future if they attain a higher CAP now. However, they have a worse life today.

This is week 11. This is a week with no smile, again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Intercultural Behavior

This an exciting topic for me since I am from a multi-cultural country, Malaysia. One of the intercultural situations that I think most of you might be interested is the Malay's eagerness in receiving 'donation'. This sounds ambiguous. Let me give you a specific example from my past experiences.

It was in 2007 when I was sent to serve army for the country. The camp was named 'Padang Hijau', which means green land in English while the dorm I was allocated to in the camp was named  'Delta'. That was a huge dorm with capacity up to 30 people. In Delta, we had about 20 Malay, 4 Chinese and 1 Indian trainees. What happened was that Chinese trainees brought a lot of storable food but Malay trainees kept taking food from Chinese. In fact, when they saw our food, they would come to us and request the food. Specifically, for my case, a few of them asked for Milo drink from me. I gave them some packets. A few days later I found that the whole sack of Milo had become empty. I swore I didn't drink the Milo at all. Well, why didn't they help me throw away the plastic bag? =.= However, I felt that I was quite lucky because my parents didn't buy me as much food as my other Chinese friends did. One of them bought 3 months stock of snacks but the luggage went empty within 3 days. (Hahaha...)

Frankly, I was quite upset with the situation. However, the Malays trainees were indeed friendly and caring to all of us. In particular, they respected our religion and believes. Besides, they would lower down their volume in conversation when they found Chinese trainees were sleeping. Since it was all of them kept taking food from us, not just a few of them, it showed that their action of requesting food from others was nothing more than a culture.

Hmm... you might think that they were from some poor families. Tell you what, some of them possessed some electronic gadgets that I couldn't afford to buy while some of them played instruments like guitars and they did own the instruments. In addition, they could afford the cigarettes which were smuggled into the camp and sold at a very high prices. In short, the reason that they requested so much food from Chinese trainees was not because of their financial problem.

It really surprised me but increased my cultural sensitivity. Their action might be annoying but it is common to their race. I was not so sure whether my observation was accurate but thereafter, someone told me that Malays appreciate and like to receive any offers from others. My experience in the camp might be giving you a negative impression of them however, this kind of altitude is indeed noticeable on them not only on physical desires, but also spiritual desires such as loves, cares, trusts etc and not just food.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Feedback on Peer Teaching Session 4: Designing survey questionnaires and interview

Dear all,

Thank you for paying attention our peer teaching on Friday. We hope you had learnt some techniques to conduct surveys or interviews from that session

Feel free to give us any comments you have here. All comments are greatly appreciated!

Have a nice recess week! :D

Min Hau, Riyan, and Sheila 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Application Letter

DBS Banking Internship

When you become a DBS Intern, you'll get to learn about our business, build your network early and benefit from the diversity of opportunities we have.

The commitment we seek
For at least 8 weeks from May to August or November to December, you will be assigned to either a Business Unit or Service Unit.

Invaluable learning opportunities
You will gain hands-on experience in our business operations and have the opportunity to observe, participate and contribute in meetings and other business events. Throughout your internship, a mentor appointed by the Business/Service Unit will provide you with career coaching, guidance and feedback.

What we need from you
Apply for the DBS Internship if you :
* are currently studying in a university.
* have excellent academic results.
* active extra-curricular records.
* have an innovative and enterprising mind with an international outlook.
* have leadership qualities and good team working ability and communication skills.

September 6, 2010

DBS Bank
6 Shenton Way, DBS Building Tower One
Singapore 068809
1800 111 1111

Dear Sir/Mdm,

I am writing to apply for the internship advertised at If you are looking for an intern who has experienced a hardship whereby trained him to possess leadership qualities and good team-working ability and communication skills, I would be one of the most ideal candidates.

How do I have team-working ability and communication skills? I took part in some activities as mentioned in my resume which required the participants to work as a team for a long time. There were many obstacles which I could only overcome with a persistent belief on “teamwork makes success”. After going through those activities, I have learnt to have effective communication skills to maintain harmonious relationship with team members. I believe that all the skills I have gained from these activities will help me to become an excellent intern in the Business Unit or Service Unit.

As a mathematics student, I have been developing logical thinking and problem solving skills. Besides, with half a year working experience as an office attendant, I am aware of the etiquette to work professionally at workplace which is similar to the Business Unit or Service Unit.

In my point of view, dealing a business relies on how skillful we manage a relationship with people around us while providing satisfying services to a client depends on how efficient we communicate with people. I have been in many activities that provided me opportunities to develop such an ability. With this particular strength in my hands, I will do to my best to contribute to DBS.

Please see my resume for comprehensive information on my personal data.

I can be reached anytime via email at or my cell phone, 9xxxxxxx.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this internship opportunity.

Ong Min Hau


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Interpersonal conflict

Interpersonal conflict, a common problem to most of us, has played an imperative role in my life as I am grow up. Let me tell you guys a story that happened not long time ago. It took place in Rag I participated in this year.

*(What is Rag? Rag is one of the biggest projects in Kent Ridge Hall every year. A team of about 30 students will sacrifice their vacation (from May to early August) to build a float to appreciate donors who donate to the society via the Hall charity events. The amount donated could sometimes exceed 1 million in a year. One of the most interesting facts is we use recycled materials to clad the hand-made float. Rag is not an easy task. Everyone will understand it only when he or she experiences it as a member in the team. Please feel free to watch our performance at if you are interested.)

For confidential purpose, I will disguise a character's identity and name him as ‘XX’ in the story.

Rag is a labor-intensive job, a blue-collar work, a slummy life. However, it is where you will find your good friends. Having a close-knit friendship was the main reason I decided to join rag. However, sometimes you might not get what you expected. One of the engineers, called XX, regretted to join rag. He didn’t like to work for a long time and in the midnight. He didn’t like to be obedient to his leader and didn’t work seriously.

One out of millions of examples was skinning dance blocks*. There were two dance blocks to skin and I was partnered with XX for the task. So, each of us should skin one dance block. As an experienced engineer, I demonstrated to him how to do it at the beginning. However, he didn’t follow what I taught him. I thought he found a better way to skin it and so I didn’t bother him. After skinning my dance block, I looked at his product.  (#@*&#:;%*@#...) No word could describe how lousy his product was. I didn’t say any words though. Well, bad news came in the next morning. The technical officer and chief engineer were disappointed with me. On the other hand, assistant chief engineer asked me to re-skin his dance block. I hated redoing so much. However, I still spent another 3 hours on his dance block and smiled at him. To avoid any quarrels to happen, what I could do was just suppressing my anger.

My anger at him grew up again when XX slept while all other people were working. A female engineer complained that XX had slept for many times. 

Enough is enough. We had been implicitly telling XX that we need his hands to complete the float. How did he dare to read novel books while others were sweating on their work? However, I still had to smile whenever he talked to me. Yea, I have finally realized why our Mr. Blackstone always says that some people smile when they are angry.  In fact, teamwork and friendship are important in Rag. We could never afford any fights among the members, or else we would never complete the float. That is why we were encouraged to tolerate with him. ACE indeed told me that he ignored XX’s existence in Rag.

Haiz… Can you tell me how a person could be so self-centered?  To accommodate ourselves with the timing on Rag day, whereby we could stay conscious for 48 hours, and also to complete the gigantic float in time, we worked from 12am to 6am, 18 hours every day in the last 2 weeks before the Rag day. I believed that we could rest more if he worked hard and didn’t leave at 3am every day. He didn’t change even after our Rag Chairperson had advised him.

To ensure that the big project could be done in time, I didn’t lose my temper with him but showed him that the whole team was like a family so that he would repent his irresponsibility. I didn’t scold him but was reminding him to contribute to the ‘family’. This was the solution I adopted. However, it didn’t work. Hey guys, how would you have encouraged XX to be responsible for his work? :D

  * The dance block is an item we used in Rag dance. Its structure is made of timber and skinned with plywood. "Skinning" is a jargon term in Rag, which basically means making skin for a item with frame only. Generally, we use plywood, cardboard, newspapers, or wire-mesh as materials for skinning.

I am sorry for the incomplete description. :)


Friday, August 27, 2010

My name... interesting!

My name is Min Hau Ong / Ong Min Hau, either one. It was supposed to be ‘Hao’ indeed. Why did it become ‘Hau’? Well, it happened during the registration of my identity when I was born. My parents were illiterate. They couldn’t communicate with the officer in-charge and had no idea how to translate my name into Malay. So, my uncle gave them a hand. He isn’t a doctor, but his doctor’s handwriting could really write any prescription in any clinics. He wrote “Hao”, but the officer took it as ‘Hau’ in processing my birth cert. However, my parents didn’t realize but taught me to write ‘Hao’. Embarrassingly, I used it all the way until Primary 6 when my teacher announced it out in the class. I can never forget the laughter of this issue in the class. Consequently, I have to use the ‘u’ for the rest of my life. However, I think it has been a lucky name since then.

Most of you might have a pet name, don’t you? I do have one, called Black Cat. Hmm…it might sound strange to you guys. Let me explain to you in detail. When I was 13 to 15 years old, I used to play basketball every day. Usually, I played it in outdoor court, under the sun. Hence, you could imagine how dark the color my skin had become. On the other hand, if you pronounce my name at the fastest pace that you can do, you will find that you are actually pronouncing ‘miao… miao…’ This is how my pet name came from. I had stopped playing basketball for many years. While the pet name is leaving me, some of my close-knit friends still call me ‘miao miao’. Haha…

Well, when it comes to national service, all the new friends whom I got to know in my army dome called me ‘Ah Hao’. Frankly, I prefer my friends call me ‘Hao’ or ‘Hau’ rather than ‘Ah Hao’. This is because ‘Ah Hao’ is quite rude in some sense. Do you know why?
After two and a half months when I returned from the national service, there is nobody calling me ‘Ah Hao’ anymore. Great!

In December 2008, I ended my student life in Malaysia and came to Singapore. Initially, my brother-in-law intended to find a Christian name for me. Some of the names in his mind were Herbert, Albert and Howard. I was glad to have ‘Howard’. I endeavored to use it. However, I felt that I was losing myself and transforming into a new man with a new identity. Hmm… forget it, I better stick to my original name, I like my own name. :D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why effective communication skills are important for me?

When I was at secondary -school age, I didn’t know how to express myself clearly in such a way that people would understand what I was thinking. Consequently, misunderstanding always existed between my family or friends and me. This caused a lot of troubles in my teenage life.

Among all misunderstandings in the past, there was one case that happened between my best friend and me when we were both 16 years old. He was handsome, intelligent, rich etc. However, he used to complain that his life was miserable. I was okay with his pessimistic attitude, but envying at his fortunate destiny. Everything was going well until one day when my teacher returned marked test scripts to students after the final exam. I received my test script before he did, which was about 55%. Being a hardworking student who had put in so much effort before exams, I felt sad but he praised me for the score (the average score was less than 50%). But later when he found that he attained 70%, he shouted “huh, only 70%?” I was upset and scolded him. He then tried to say something but I didn’t give him any seconds to explain his words. With a great anger suddenly sparking off from my long-term envy at him, I blamed him with all counter-arguments that my brain could produce. I didn’t talk with him for subsequent days until I found out that he, in the sense of making fun with me, intended to irritate me by teasing me. However, I overreacted. In short, I almost lost a friend due to the temper I couldn’t control.

The lesson above stimulates me to learn effective communication skills. The reason is simple, that is the skills could help me avoid communication breakdowns.