My Interview with "Lianhe Zaobao"

Below is a English translation of my interview with Singapore’s Chinese Daily Newspaper “Lianhe Zaobao” published on 11 July 2011. Click on the thumbnail below for the original scanned version.

Leaving computing for concert production

In 2007, having just graduated from the School of Computing, Nipuna Perera entered an IT company.  Recalling his first job four years ago, a humourous and cheerful Perera shakes his head saying: “Those were the three longest months of my life.”

He thought of resigning every day, but where could he go? “At that time, I felt there were only those few choices – if it is not marketing, it is banking.”

Hailing from Sri Lanka, 28-year-old Perera’s father is a banker and his mother a financial accountant. In secondary school, he studied mathematics, accountings, finance and computing, studying e-commerce computing (in NUS) in 2003. Due to his love for rock music, Perera volunteered at the NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA , in short), helping to organise student art activities/events. Formed in 1993, CFA’s purpose is to raise the cultural vibrancy on campus, and manage many student arts groups. He says: “Although it was a lot of fun, I saw this only as an interest and never thought this could ever be a job.”

Recalling his work at the IT company after his graduation, Perera said: “During that time, I was constantly frustrated, yet I didn’t know what suited me. One day, I returned to NUS for dinner and, while queuing, unexpectedly bumped into the CFA staff member who was in charge of my volunteer group. Hearing my situation, this staff suggested I apply for his job from which he was leaving.  At that time I thought, why not?”

Although it seemed late in hindsight, it was actually happened quickly. Despite a lack of relevant experience, having to start at the bottom, plus a lower salary than his IT job at the time, Perera was past caring about these. Returning home, he sent in the relevant materials, made it through the interview and entered CFA, continuing to stay on for three whole years, leaving last September.   

Compared to the three long months at his IT job, these three years seemed to pass in a flash. This February, Perera launched his artist management company “The Fallez”, aimed at finding and promoting local music talents in Singapore. Despite having left CFA, Perera still reminiscences fondly about it: “I was very happy during those three years. I got to helped out at the ExxonMobil Campus Concerts, NUS Arts Festival, and the ChildAid concert. My colleagues at CFA taught me a lot about management and I met many who shared my passions and values. To me, these experiences made up for the differences in my background. I am grateful to CFA, and especially that day when I decided to have dinner at NUS and meeting up with my senior there.”

Doing what he loves

Seeing their son’s happiness in his work, Perera’s parents did not oppose the change in his career at all. He said: “My family and relatives are mainly doctors, lawyers and engineers. That year, I was the first to go into computing, and now I am again the first to venture into the arts. In Sri Lanka, many parents expect their children to take on traditional careers. It is the same for virtually all of my friends. I am grateful to my parents for this freedom. I also want to prove to them, that besides being happy at this job, I will also strive to make it sustainable.

A friend of Perera’s who went into the IT line three years ago would now be earning two to three times what he is earning now. However, Perera feels that to do a job that one loves is invaluable. His namecard carries the symbol of a fallen angel.  He said: “The “Z” in “Fallez” is actually a fallen “N”, and a link to my name. This symbol is designed by a Malaysian friend of mine. She draws well, but is actually a dentist!”

Perera pointed out that among the many in life who are searching for their passions and interests, he is lucky to find the point which balances it all for him. What is his aim next? A PR since 2007, Perera says, “If you asked me this question five years before, I would not have been able to answer you. Now I can tell you my dream. I want to become a well known producer, and I am now working towards that.”

Lambo crashes into tree on Victoria Street, 300m away from fatal Ferrari of 2012

A Lamborghini crashed into a tree in the early hours of Friday (Aug 15) near the National Library on Victoria Street.

This happened in the vicinity of the fatal Ferrari crash two years ago, just 300m away from the 2012 accident that claimed three lives.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, it is believed that the driver lost control and rammed into the tree, destroying the entire front of the luxury sports car.

He escaped with minor injuries.

Police said they got a call about the incident around 12.30am.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said a woman, aged 30, and a man, 44, were in the car.

SCDF sent an ambulance to the scene but the pair declined to be taken to hospital in it. 

Police are still investigating the incident.

The other supercar accident that happened in this vicinity two years ago on May 12 claimed 2 lives and left 2 injured.

A Ferrari driver had tried to beat the red light and crashed into a taxi and a motorcycle.

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听新闻学汉语:今日话题

* 习近平同津巴布韦总统穆加贝举行会谈 
中国国家主席习近平25日在人民大会堂(The Great Hall of the People)同津巴布韦(Zimbabwe)总统穆加贝(Mugabe)举行会谈。习近平表示,当前中津都处在国家建设的重要阶段,两国友好合作正迎来新的机遇……

* 马航重组计划或包括大裁员 取消亏损航线 
据新加坡(Singapore)《联合早报》(Lianhe Zaobao)26日报道,马来西亚(Malaysia)市场消息透露,马航(Malaysian Airlines)今年遭遇MH370失联(loss of communication)和MH17坠毁之后,这家国营航空公司(State-controlled airlines)将进行的重组计划……

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Elderly woman asking for money at Holland Village can earn thousands on weekends

Elderly woman who has been showing up in Holland Village and going around to ask for money can fetch up to thousands on weekends, according to a report by the Lianhe Wanbao.

Recently, a TRS Reader, contributed an article on the same elderly woman who has been frequenting areas in Holland Village asking for money.

(Full story see: Auntie goes around telling her sob stories at Holland Village before asking for money)

Her operatus modi? 

She would approach people and ask them for money, telling them stories of her misfortune, from getting scammed by banks to getting cheated.

"Contrary to others, she won’t ask for help but will ask for $10, $20 or even $50, and will tell you that she has not eaten anything all day apart from biscuits. 

"She will also pretend to cry once she arrives at your table, and look normal and healthy once she gets her money."

Crocodile tears or not, you decide. 

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9 men arrested over fight in Geylang after woman was allegedly molested

A brawl in Geylang, which involved about 20 people, on Tuesday night (Aug 12) left nine men arrested and at least three injured.

According to a report on Lianhe Wanbao via MyPaper, the fight in Jalan Molek started after a foreign worker allegedly molested a woman, thought to be a prostitute.

Eyewitnesses said that a drunk worker allegedly touched a streetwalker’s chest.

Angered, she fought back and even kicked him, and the two started fighting. A man who was acting as a “lookout” for the girls went to her aid.

The worker then called out to his friends who were nearby for help.

Soon, the “lookout” was surrounded by more than 10 men. About four or five of his friends heard the commotion and turned up, but they were still outnumbered.

Another six or seven people from an alley nearby then rushed over. The workers fled at this point.

In less than five minutes, the police were at the scene. They cordoned off the area and detained some people.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, told Wanbao that there have been more patrols in Geylang since the Little India riot late last year.

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More than 10 police cars and a large number of officers were seen by the reporter at the scene.

Police said nine men were arrested in the operation.

At least three men were injured and one was taken to hospital, Wanbao said.

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14-year-old student dies after vomiting and fainting on bus

Brian Lim, 14,  was on his way to school like any other day. Then, mishap struck. 

The Clementi Woods Secondary School student suddenly, fainted after vomiting onboard Bus service 189, reports Lianhe Wanbao

According to his father, Mr Alvin Lim, two commuters had attempted to resuscitate him before the arrival of the ambulance, but to no avail. 

Even after surgery, Brian did not regain consciousness.

The doctor pronounced the cause of death to be a sudden blood vessel rupture or heart seizure, reports the Shin Ming Daily. 

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Mr Lim, the Chief Execuitive Officer of Bizlink, a nonprofit organization, said his only son had been perfectly healthy before the sudden tragedy.  

He is survived by three sisters.

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