April 26, 2017

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Authors Posts by Yusof Najeer

Yusof Najeer

Yusof Najeer
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by Najeer Yusof

WHEN Ms Dawn Sim, 30, needed a babysitter to watch her son while she was away, all she had to do was put up a post on the Chip Bee Gardens’ Facebook group.

“There was this 14-year-old Canadian girl, living two streets down, who responded and she has been helping me out for a month already,” she said. The resident of six months added: “Just the other day someone was requesting for a ladder on the page. This is a really wonderful initiative that brings the residents in my community closer.”

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Unlike the Chip Bee Gardens of the past, which was formerly a British military estate, the community today comprises a mix of locals and foreigners. This change in the demographics of Chip Bee Gardens is one of the issues that the seventh edition of OH! Open House’s annual art walk will highlight. Chip Bee Gardens is an estate comprising single and double-storey colonial houses in Holland Village.

This year’s art walk explores the historical significance of Holland Village and it is done through three 45-minute tours. The Chip Bee tour will feature art installations in residents’ houses. The tour will draw attention to the social and lifestyle changes in the community due to evolving demographics, and architectural remnants from the British era.

Encompassing the theme of “Borders”, the tour will feature artwork such as Creep in Three Movements by artist Yen Phang. Mr Phang, 38, used inked and stained toilet paper which he layered and bundled across a resident’s living room. His installation, placed among the objects of the house, seeks to portray “artwork as a pest”. This is to address the relation to existing developments and incoming changes to Chip Bee Gardens.

 

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Mr Yen Phang, 38, with his installation, Creep in Three Movements. He inked and stained toilet paper before layering and bundling them. His installation can be seen in the resident’s living room, as part of the Chip Bee tour.

 

OH! is organising two other tours: The HDB tour and the Hakka Cemetery tour. The HDB tour, which is themed “Goods”, will showcase artworks that appreciate the value of everyday objects defining one’s identity.

 

Mr Joel Chin, 31, with his installation, Echo, which is a display of porcelain items. Using a power tool with a sanding bit, he removed all motifs on the porcelain items to reflect a loss of identity. Within these items, he placed a speaker that plays a recording of his attempts at learning the Hakka language. His work can be seen in the HDB flat, which is part of the HDB tour.
Mr Joel Chin, 31, with his installation, Echo, which is a display of porcelain items. Using a power tool with a sanding bit, he removed all motifs on the porcelain items to reflect a loss of identity. Within these items, he placed a speaker that plays a recording of his attempts at learning the Hakka language. His work can be seen in the HDB flat, which is part of the HDB tour.

 

“Rituals” is the theme of the Hakka Cemetery tour, which seeks to highlight the concepts of repetition, order, loss and remembrance. This tour is self-guided.

 

Don't Ask Me Where I Come From, a sculptural installation by Mr Ivan David Ng, 26. His work, made from rock, stone and clay, reflects his Hakka heritage. His work can be seen within the field in the Shuang Long Shan Hakka cemetery.
Don’t Ask Me Where I Come From, a sculptural installation by Mr Ivan David Ng, 26. His work, made from rock, stone and clay, reflects his Hakka heritage. His work can be seen within the field in the Shuang Long Shan Hakka cemetery.

 

OH! Open House Art Walk is an art exhibition that ventures outside of museums into the heartlands, showcasing the heritage of these neighbourhoods through art. The past eight years have seen them set up in Marine Parade (2011), Tiong Bahru (2012), Marina Bay (2013), Joo Chiat (2015) and Potong Pasir (2016). This year’s art walk will run on Saturdays and Sundays, and will take place from Mar 4 to Mar 19. Ticket are priced at $25.

 

Featured image by Najeer Yusof.

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by Najeer Yusof

INSTEAD of letting your excess food go to waste, why not place them in fridges that others can access?

Two community refrigerators were installed in the lift lobby of Block 441, Tampines Street 43, for residents in the area to donate food to needy neighbours. The two-week-old initiative by Tampines North Citizens’ Consultative Committee (TNCCC) was launched by Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng on Saturday (Jan 21).

One of the fridges was labelled with a “Halal” sticker, to cater to Muslim residents. Food donors were advised to be aware of the items they put in each fridge. Over the course of the first week, we noticed the “Halal” fridge being empty most of the time. According to the residents, the food in both fridges usually disappear within a couple of hours after replenishment. Eggs and meat were usually cleared the fastest. Although this initiative has been intended for the long term, the TNCCC is planning on monitoring the initiative for three to six months. Subsequently, it will decide on the next course of action: making improvements or stopping it entirely.

We decided to monitor the use of these fridges for a week, to see how the residents were using it and this is what we saw:

Residents of block 441 and Mr Baey Yam Keng fill both fridges with groceries on the day of launch.
DAY 1: Residents of Block 441 and Mr Baey filling both fridges with groceries on Saturday, Jan 21, the day the project was launched. The groceries, such as fresh meat, vegetables and fruits were donated by residents.

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Madam Poh Muei Giok, 73, a resident of block 441, taking an ice-cream from one of the fridge. "It is a good idea but some people are misusing it by taking a lot of the food," she said.
DAY 2: Madam Poh Muei Giok, 73, a resident of Block 441, taking an ice-cream from one of the fridges. “It is a good idea but some people are misusing it by taking a lot of the food,” she said.

 

Madam Evangeline Ang, 57, a member of the Residents' Committee, takes a photo of the contents of both fridges to update the other members on what needs restocking. "I come on alternative days to check on the stock and to see what needs restocking," she said.
DAY 3: Madam Evangeline Ang, 57, a member of the Residents’ Committee, taking a photo of the contents of both fridges to update the other members on what needs restocking. “I come on alternate days to check on the stock and to see what needs restocking,” she said.

 

Mr Michael Lim, 61, a retiree who resides in the neighbouring block checks the fridge to see which grocery requires a top up, before heading to the market to purchase them. "I heard about the initiative but I did not have time to come down to check it out till today. I bought fish cakes, meatballs, tofu, apples and oranges to fill into both fridges," he said.
DAY 4: Mr Michael Lim, 61, a retiree who resides in a neighbouring block checking the fridge to see which item requires a top up, before heading to the market to purchase them. “I heard about the initiative but I did not have time to come down to check it out till today. I bought fish cakes, meatballs, tofu, apples and oranges to fill both fridges,” he said.

 

Mr Tay, 52, a member of the Residents' Committee, stacks jars of Chinese New Year goodies on one of the fridges. The goodies were donated to the nearby Community Center by one of the residents. "Someone donated a few boxes of Chinese New Year goodies to the Community Center so I decided to bring them here for the residents to take them," he said.
DAY 5: Mr Tay, 52, a member of the Residents’ Committee, stacking jars of Chinese New Year goodies on one of the fridges. The goodies were donated to the nearby Community Centre by one of the residents. “Someone donated a few boxes of Chinese New Year goodies to the Community Centre so I decided to bring them here for the residents to take them,” he said.

 

Madam Salma Binte Ismail, 62, a resident of block 441, takes vegetables from one of the fridges. "The other day I was able to take some fish. This is a good initiative especially for residents like me who cannot afford to purchase a lot of groceries. My husband is the only one working and due to the recent heart bypass he had, he has not been working much lately. So we are not doing very well economically," she said.
DAY 6: Madam Salma Ismail, 62, a resident of Block 441, taking vegetables from one of the fridges. “The other day I was able to take some fish. This is a good initiative especially for residents like me who cannot afford to purchase a lot of groceries. My husband is the only one working and due to the recent heart bypass he had, he has not been working much lately. So we are not doing very well economically,” she said.

 

Madam Rei Tjoeng, 42, a resident from the neighbouring block, fills the fridge with mandarin oranges. "We may need to think of safeguarding the food inside such that there isn't a growth of bacteria. This can be done with proper storage and clearing any waste inside," she said.
DAY 7: Madam Rei Tjoeng, 42, a resident from a neighbouring block, filling the fridge with mandarin oranges. “We may need to think of safeguarding the food inside such that there isn’t a growth of bacteria. This can be done with proper storage and clearing of any waste inside,” she said.

 

Featured image by Najeer Yusof.

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by Najeer Yusof

YESTERDAY, the shutters of Mustafa’s Serangoon Plaza outlet opened for the last time to a line of customers who gathered for the final day of sales. With the closure of the Serangoon Plaza branch today, Mustafa will now operate only from its main outlet, along Syed Alwi Road. Mustafa had been a tenant of Serangoon Plaza since the mid-1980s.

When we visited Mustafa in its final hours, the second and third floors were already emptied and sealed off. Customers were restricted to the first floor, where clearance sales were being held. The store became crowded by noon and the lines to the cashiers grew. Customers were generally nonchalant as many came for the clearance sales which had promotions on items such as clothes, toiletries and home appliances. Some items such as blankets had huge price cuts of up to 50 percent. Although most of the customers we spoke to did not feel sad about the outlet’s closure since Mustafa’s main outlet is just around the corner, some had a sentimental connection to Serangoon Plaza as they had been always shopping there.

Here is a look at the final day of operations of Mustafa at Serangoon Plaza:

 

CUTTING TIES: The overhead pedestrian bridge that linked Mustafa's Serangoon Plaza outlet to the main outlet was removed earlier this month. The opening to the bridges on both sides were either cemented or sealed off.
CUTTING TIES: The overhead pedestrian bridge that linked Mustafa’s Serangoon Plaza outlet to the main outlet was removed earlier this month. The openings to the bridge from both sides have either been cemented or sealed off.

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RESTRICTED ACCESS: The second and third floors of Mustafa's Serangoon Plaza outlet were cleared and sealed off by the second week of January. Red tapes and and cardboard boxes were used to seal off access routes such as escalators and stairs, to the upper floors. The customers were only allowed on the first floor.
RESTRICTED ACCESS: The second and third floors of Mustafa’s Serangoon Plaza outlet were cleared and sealed off by the second week of January. Red tapes and and cardboard boxes were used to seal off access routes, such as escalators and stairs, to the upper floors. Customers were only allowed on the first floor.

 

WAITING LINE: Customers gathered outside the store, awaiting the opening. Although the store opened at 10.30 am, some began gathering outside as early as 10.
WAITING IN LINE: Customers gathered outside the store, awaiting the opening yesterday morning. Although the store opened at 10.30 am, some began gathering outside as early as 10 am.

 

STEEP CUTS: Items such as home appliances, blankets, clothing and even toiletries were on sale. Some had huge price cuts and irresistible promotions. There were 3 separate store spaces for the customers to browse the various items on sale.
STEEP CUTS: Items such as home appliances, blankets, clothing and even toiletries were on sale. Some had huge price cuts and irresistible promotions. There were three separate store spaces for customers to browse the various items on sale.

 

VALUED CUSTOMER: Madam Chandravalli, 42, rummages through a pile of blankets. "I heard about the closure yesterday on the news so I decided to come down today to check out the sale. It is sad that this outlet is closing as I have been shopping here for 15 years. With only one outlet now, I do not know how are they are going to manage the crowd," she said.
VALUED CUSTOMER: Madam Chandravalli, 42, rummages through a pile of blankets. “I heard about the closure yesterday on the news so I decided to come down today to check out the sale. It is sad that this outlet is closing as I have been shopping here for 15 years. With only one outlet now, I do not know how are they are going to manage the crowd,” she said.

 

OFF THE RACK AND PACKED: Some items were already cleared by the final day of sales, while others that were not on sale were moved over to the main outlet.
OFF THE RACKS AND PACKED: Some items were already cleared by the final day of sales, while others that were not on sale had been moved over to the main outlet.

 

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by Najeer Yusof 

IT’S been a year since Saint Bernadette Lifestyle Village began operations, and the elderly folks are there to celebrate by having a Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner with a nine-course meal.

St Bernadette is one of Singapore’s few assisted living facilities where the eight residents, who are all above 70 years old, lease private bedrooms over a six-month period. Residents retain their independence and are mostly able to perform basic chores, such as feed and dress themselves. A nurse is available to care for the residents 24/7.

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Here’s how the residents at St Bernadette spend their time there:

 

MORNING WORKOUT: Every morning, the elderly residents from Saint Bernadette Lifestyle Village gather at the common room at Good Shepherd Loft (GSL) to do their morning exercise with the elderly from GSL. The workout is led by one of the nurses and the exercises are focused on strength training and motor skills. In the evenings, they have a physiotherapy session too.
MORNING WORKOUT: Every morning, the elderly from St Bernadette Lifestyle Village join the residents at the neighbouring Good Shepherd Loft Nursing Home (GSL) for their morning exercise at GSL’s common room. The workout, led by one of the nurses, is focused on strength training and motor skills. There is a physiotherapy session in the evenings too.

 

 

PERSONALISED CRIB: A nurse cleaning the room of one of the elderly residents. All the rooms come with a hospital bed, a television and a set of drawers. The elderly are encouraged to personalise their own rooms. Most of the elderly have pictures of their family and other decorative items such as flowers in their rooms.
PERSONAL CRIB: A nurse cleans the room of one of St Bernadette’s residents, Madam Lisa Lai, 85. All rooms come with a hospital bed, a television, a set of drawers, and an attached toilet. Residents are encouraged to personalise their own rooms and most of the residents, like Madam Lai, have pictures of their family and other decorative items such as flowers.

 

SHARED SPACE: The common room where the elderly residents gather for meals and activities such as watching tv. They also do engage in spontaneous activities such as dancing or even cooking.
SHARED SPACE: At the centre of all the bedrooms is the common room, where the residents have their meals together and engage in other activities. This is where some of the residents broke out in a spontaneous dance session just last week at the suggestion of one of them. A pantry at one side of the common room stores snacks and hot beverages such as milo and tea. To keep the residents active, nurses encourage them to join in exercises and do arts and craft. Seniors also go on frequent outings, such as durian trips to Batu Pahat, Malaysia.

 

BEAUTY QUEEN: The beauty care products of Mdm Joy Low, 94, one of the elderly residents of St Bernadette Lifestyle Village. "I have been collecting make up products since I was young. Before I had lipsticks, I used red Chinese paper to colour my lips," she said. She also added: "I used to be very vain."
VANITY FAIR: Madam Joy Lo, 94, keeps a ready supply of beauty care products neatly arranged in her medicinal cabinet. Her collection includes toner, moisturiser, perfume and lipstick, which she proudly showed us. Her favourite brands: Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder. “I have been collecting makeup products since I was young. Before I had lipsticks, I used red Chinese paper to colour my lips,” she said. She added: “I used to be very vain.”

 

PONG!:The elderly residents playing mahjong in the living room. They usually play every evening. Instead of using real money they use chips.
PONG!: Residents gather around for their favourite afternoon activity daily: mahjong, where they use chips instead of actual money. In St Bernadette’s small community, mahjong is a popular activity among residents, including Madam Petronilla Gonzales (upper left corner), 92, who used to be a dental nurse. Madam Lo said that mahjong helps to keep them “mentally alert”.

 

DAY TO DAY: The notice board detailing the daily activity schedule, instructions and reminders for the nurses at the facility. The nurses are tasked with cooking, cleaning and tending to the needs of the elderly, such as administering medication.
DAY TO DAY: The notice board in the common room details the residents’ daily activity schedule, and has instructions and reminders for nurses at the facility. Nurses are tasked with cooking, cleaning and tending to the needs of the elderly, such as administering medication. One nurse is always present at any time in the home. “The staff is more than a nurse,” said Dr Belinda Wee, co-founder of St Bernadette.

 

HUAT AH: The elderly residents of St Bernadette tossing the lo hei during the Chinese New Year dinner as Dr Joseph Lee, the founder of St Bernadette, joins them. This was the first time that both GSL and St Bernadette held a reunion dinner jointly for the elderly residents.
HUAT AH: The residents of St Bernadette tossing lo hei during the Chinese New Year dinner as Dr Joseph Lee, the co-founder of St Bernadette, joins them. A makeshift shelter was placed in the driveway between GSL and St Bernadette and the party was underway by 5:30pm. This was the first time that both GSL and St Bernadette held a joint reunion dinner for their residents. Residents enjoyed performances from external groups such as Ukelele group, Ukewaves, from Siglap Community Centre.

 

Additional reporting by Wan Ting Koh. 

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by Najeer Yusof

THE pineapple tart is an iconic pastry that is found in many Chinese homes during the Lunar New Year. The term for pineapple in several Chinese dialects, such as ong lai in Hokkien and wong lai in Cantonese, sounds similar to the arrival of prosperity. Making the buttery pastry, which comes with a dollop of pineapple jam on top, has been a part of Mr Wei Chan’s family business for 33 years.

The 45-year-old is the current owner of Pine Garden Bakery, a heartland bakery that specialises in handmade cakes and baked goods. He is from the second generation of a line of family members who ran the bakery before him. His mother, a former seamstress, decided to open the bakery with a few relatives after realising that her tailoring business was not doing well. The recipe of pineapple tarts was passed down from her mother, Mr Chan’s grandmother. Although Mr Chan has made minor alterations to the recipe to make the tarts softer, he has retained the gist of it and still has the tarts handmade.

The pineapple tarts are made only during the Chinese New Year period and the preparations begin about a month and a half in advance. Here’s how the tarts are made:

MAKING THE PASTE: Mr Chan sources the pineapples from dealers in Malaysia. He obtains samples from them and decides on the best one before placing his order. The pineapples used to make the tarts have to be half-ripped and must not be sweet. They are skinned, grated and made into paste. The homemade paste are then stored in a refrigerator until it is time to make the tarts.
MAKING THE PASTE: Mr Chan sources pineapples from dealers in Malaysia. He obtains samples from them and decides on the best one before placing his order. The pineapples used to make the tarts have to be half ripe and must not be too sweet. They are skinned, grated and made into a paste. The homemade jam is then stored in a refrigerator until it is time to make the tarts.

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ROLL AND CUT: The base of tart is made from a mixture of butter, plain flour and salt. The batter is rolled out using a roller, to ensure even thickness. Subsequently, the base of the tart is shaped out from the flattened batter, using a cutter.
ROLL AND CUT: The base of the tart is made from a mixture of butter, plain flour and salt. The dough is rolled out using a roller, to ensure even thickness. Subsequently, a cutter is used to cut out the tart base from the flattened dough.

 

IDEAL WEIGHT: The pineapple fillings are weighed on a scale to exactly eight grams. They are then hand moulded into round shapes and placed onto the tart. The portion of the filling has to be exact, to ensure the best taste.
IDEAL WEIGHT: The pineapple fillings are weighed on a scale to obtain a weight of 8g. They are then hand-moulded into balls and placed onto the tart. The portion of the filling has to be exact, to ensure the best taste.

 

NEAT AND TIDY: After the pineapple filling is placed onto the tart, the filling is pressed to ensure that the tarts have a smooth top. Since fresh pineapples are used, the fillings contain pineapple fibers. Pressing the fillings helps to prevent these fibers from sticking out.
NEAT AND TIDY: After the pineapple filling is placed onto the tart, the filling is pressed to ensure that the tarts have a smooth top. Since fresh pineapples are used, the fillings contain pineapple fibres. Pressing the fillings helps to prevent these fibres from sticking out.

 

SEE AND SWITCH: A worker inserts a tray of pineapple tarts into the oven for baking. This is a 40-year-old oven and it has four decks. Each can fit four trays. The trays in each deck are switched among one another during baking, to ensure even baking. The worker has to observe the colour of the tarts to know if they are baked proper.
SEE AND SWITCH: A worker inserts a tray of pineapple tarts into the oven for baking. The oven is 40 years old and has four decks. Each deck can fit four trays. The trays in each deck are switched around during baking, to ensure even baking. The worker has to observe the colour of the tarts to know if they are baked properly.

 

WORKING TEMPERATURE: The tarts are made in a enclosed room with a room temperature between 19 to 20 degrees celsius. Since the batter is made with butter, a cool temperature is needed to prevent the butter from melting and making the batter too soft.
WORKING TEMPERATURE: The tarts are made in an enclosed room with a room temperature that is between 19 and 20 deg C. Since the dough is made of butter, a cool temperature is needed to prevent the butter from melting and making the dough too soft.

 

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by Najeer Yusof

CURIOSITY led Mr Wu Jin Hui, 73, to teach himself how to play and make Banhus, four years ago. Since then, making and repairing Chinese instruments have become his hobby. Banhu is a Chinese traditional bowed string instrument which is popularly used in northern China.

Mr Wu has thus far sold 24 of his Banhus, for $200 each. He fashions entirely new bodies for his Banhus from coconut shells and combines them with usable parts from spoilt Erhus, which are another type of two-stringed instruments. By doing so, he adds a personal touch to his Banhus and gives new life to spoilt instruments too. The entire process of making a Banhu takes him about half an hour and here is how he does it:

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by Najeer Yusof

 

 

PITA comes from the Hebrew term pat, which means bread. The pita is a staple Israeli food. Many types of street food in Israel include pita. Pita can be eaten as a pocket with fillings, or with toppings which can be sweet or savoury.

In Singapore – we have strong ties with Israel – traditional pita bread can be sampled from Pita Bakery at Bali Lane. The bakery, which was first established in Israel in 1988, launched here in 2014. Mr Yuri Ustaev, 30, the bakery’s general manager, said that it is the only place in Singapore that bakes fresh pita using traditional Israeli methods.

There is more to Israeli cuisine than just pita. The ongoing “Open A Door To Israel” exhibition at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre will feature a wider variety of Israeli food and provide visitors with an interactive experience of the Israeli culture through nine interactive LED panels. The exhibition, which opened on Dec 9, will run until Dec 23.

 

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by Najeer Yusof

INDIAN sweets are not only for prayer but are a part of every happy occasion. From weddings to childbirths and even celebrating personal successes. “People think that Indian sweets are only for Deevapali. No, they are an integral part of our lives,” said Mr Paneer Selvam, 43, co-owner of a sweet store.

Made mostly from flour, sugar, ghee, milk, spices and nuts, these sweets come in an assortment of colours and shapes. There are both milk and non-milk based Indian sweets. For the milk-based ones, sugar is added to the milk and the mixture is heated until it solidifies into a paste-like mixture called Khoya. Then it is mixed with sugar and other spices before being moulded into the various shapes. Roughly 20g of sugar makes up 1kg of any Indian sweet. However due to the thickening of the milk, the sweetness becomes concentrated.

Although there is a variation in the kind of sweets that originate from North and South India, these days one can find both kinds in any sweet store, including the French Corner, a local Indian sweet shop along Race Course Road. It’s co-owner, Mr Selvam, has been in the business of selling Indian sweets for about 12 years. Although he only started French Corner, last year, he had been running the business back in India with his friends. After coming to Singapore, both he and his wife gave up their professional dancing career to sell Indian sweets.

 

 

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by Najeer Yusof

FROM remote control helicopters to aerial drones used for photography and now: Racing drones.

Locally, there are a number of drone hobbyist shops, such as RP innovations Singapore (RPiSG) and Drone Matters, that cater to drone hobbyists and also provide commercial services such as aerial photography. On weekends, local drone hobbyists take their drones to open fields to test their flying skills.

Owner of RPiSG, Mr Roy Pwee, 42, said: “The evolution from remote control helicopters to first-person view (FPV) racing drones has been a rapid one. Starting with remote control cars and helicopters 20 years ago, I became involved in drone racing since 2014. I started the business of commercialising drones here in 2006, after seeing its market potential.”

Drone racing’s popularity has been growing ever since Dubai’s World Drone Prix early this year, which saw the winner, 15-year-old Luke Bannister, bring home $250,000. FPV drone racing first began as an amateur sport in Australia. To date, FPV drone races have been held on an international scale, in the United States, and in Dubai. With these large-scale races and ESPN, an American based cable, and television sports news, airing these races live, FPV drone racing also has the potential in becoming a recognised sport.

“There are racing drones which can be bought off the shelves and also those that can be built from scratch. Customising and building your own drone allows you to choose the type of parts to use and it also allows you to fix your drone easily if it malfunctions. This is not the case for the off-the-shelf one,” said Mr Xu Zhouhua, 28, manager of Drone Matters.

As these drones are becoming more affordable, FPV drone racing is gaining more enthusiasts both overseas and locally. Here, the FPV drone racing scene has been growing since 2014.

EQUIPMENT: An analog video receiver setup beside the pilots. This receiver is used to connect with the drone's camera and obtain live footage while it is flying. The problem with analog transmitters are the interference due to anyone being able to tap on the feed just by dialing in the right frequency. This will then make flying troublesome for the pilots. There are digital video receivers available in the market, which restricts who can tap in on the feed. However, it is more costly.
EQUIPMENT: An analog video receiver setup beside the pilots. This receiver is used to connect with the drone’s camera and obtain live footage while it is flying. The problem with analog transmitters is that anyone can tap into the feed with the right frequency, creating interference. This makes flying troublesome for the pilots. There are digital video receivers available in the market, that can restrict others from tapping into the feed. However, they cost more.

 

SPARES: A drone pilot fixing his drone, on top of his tool box. The toolbox is the healing pack for drone racers. It contains spare parts to every component of the drone. Since each drone is built according to the pilot's customizations, only the pilot knows how to fix his drone and the items in each toolbox varies. However, the standard essentials tend to be props, batteries, electronic flight controllers, transmitters, spanners and screw drivers.
SPARES: A drone pilot fixing his drone, on top of his tool box. The toolbox is the “healing pack” for drone racers. It contains spare parts to every component of the drone. Since each drone is built according to the pilot’s customisations, only the pilot knows how to fix his drone and the items in each toolbox vary. However, the standard essentials tend to be props, batteries, electronic flight controllers, transmitters, spanners, and screwdrivers.

 

BUDDY SYSTEM: Drone pilots and "spotters", racing in a monthly drone race sponsored by Drone Matters, a local drone shop. Hobbyist pilots and pilots from other drone shops take part in these monthly friendly races. Each pilot is paired with a "spotter", who taps into the pilot's video feed, and watches it via their own FPV goggle. The role of the "spotter" is to monitor if the pilot has completed the obstacles in the course and to also ensure if the pilot flies safely.
BUDDY SYSTEM: Drone pilots and “spotters”, racing in a monthly drone race sponsored by Drone Matters, a local drone shop. Hobbyist pilots and pilots from other drone shops take part in these monthly friendly races. Each pilot is paired with a “spotter”, who taps into the pilot’s video feed, and watches it via their own FPV goggle. The role of the “spotter” is to monitor if the pilot has completed the obstacles in the course and to ensure that the pilot flies safely.

 

RACE TRACK: Cones and gates that are part of the drone racing course. The cones dictate the course route, while the gates and flags serve as obstacles for the pilots to maneuver through and perform turns such as the slalom, hairpin, sweeper and tight radius.
RACE TRACK: Cones and gates that are part of the drone racing course. The cones dictate the course route, while the gates and flags serve as obstacles for the pilots to manoeuvre through and perform turns such as the slalom, hairpin, sweeper and tight radius. The drones are also flown below the height of the trees, for safety purposes. The races are won based on timing and completing the obstacles in the circuit.

 

CLOSE CONTACT: Two drones flying through a gate. Flying from first-person view is a challenge of its own. The pilot has to be alert and skillful in avoiding obstacles and flying through space constraints, all while flying at an average speed between 50 to 70 km/h. It is common for them to experience crashes and let a lone close shaves, by shaving off grass blades or leave, while flying the course. The unlucky few crash into obstacles or even other drones and end up with severe damage to their drones.
CLOSE CONTACT: Two drones flying through a gate. Flying with FPV is a challenge of its own. The pilot has to be alert and skillful to avoid obstacles while flying through space constraints, at an average speed between 50 to 70 km/h. It is common for drones to crash or to have close-shaves with the track terrain like trees and tall grasses while flying the course. The unlucky few crash into obstacles or even other drones and end up with severe damage.

 

MY GOGGLE IS COOLER: A pilot wearing his first-person view (FPV) google. The pilots fly their drones using the live feed from the camera attached to their drones. Their goggles pick up the feed that is transmitted from their drones, via an antenna. Flying with the FPV goggle, creates an illusion of flying in the drone and this is one of the main attractive nature of FPV drone racing.
LIVE VIEW: Mr Zacky Abdul Razak, 36, wearing his FPV goggle. The pilots fly their drones using the live feed from the camera attached to their drones. Their goggles pick up the feed that is transmitted from their drones, via an antenna. Flying with the FPV goggle creates the perception of actual flying and this is one of the main attractions of FPV drone racing.

 

HOW DO YOU LIKE YOU LIVE VIEW: A "spotter" using a screen to tap into the live feed of a pilot. Instead of using FPV goggles, one can also use screen monitors to fly the drones or monitor other pilots' feeds.
SPOT ME: A “spotter” using a screen to tap into the live feed of a pilot. Instead of using FPV goggles, one can also use screen monitors to fly the drones or monitor other pilots’ feeds.

 

QUAD-WHAT: A quadcoptor with LED lights attached to it. Quadcopters are drones which have four propellers. The average quadcopter is made up of a frame which holds the electrical speed controller, battery, camera and transmitters. Each propeller is attached to a motor and connected to a circuit board, on the frame. The entire setup can be customised, to the preference of the pilot. Some might even include LED lights. However, the more power consuming items you have on a drone, the shorter your flight time. The average flight time tends to hover between two to three minutes.
FLYING MACHINES: A quadcopter with LED lights attached to it. Quadcopters are drones which have four propellers. The average quadcopter is made up of a frame which holds the electrical speed controller, battery, camera, and transmitters. Each propeller is attached to a motor and connected to a circuit board, on the frame. The entire setup can be customised, to the preference of the pilot. Some might even include LED lights. However, the more power-consuming items you have on a drone, the shorter your flight time. The average flight time tends to hover between two and three minutes.

 

DRONE RACING: A racing drone hovering beside Mr Lai Choon How, 45. Drone pilots control the drone based on the live feed from the drone camera's, instead of looking directly at the drone's location. This creates the perception of actual flying for the pilot. "First-person view makes you feel like you are really flying and that's exciting. it is also safe as the drone is the only one crashing," said: Mr How. The commercial photographer has spent about $7000 in total on racing drones and has participated in about 3 local competitions thus far.
IN THE PILOT SEAT: A racing drone hovering beside Mr Lai Choon How, 45. Drone pilots control the drone based on the live feed from the drone cameras, instead of looking directly at the drone’s location. This creates the perception of actual flying for the pilot. “The first-person view makes you feel like you are really flying and that’s exciting. It is also safe as the drone is the only one crashing,” said Mr Lai. The commercial photographer has spent about $7,000 in total on racing drones and has participated in about three local competitions thus far.

 

CARPARKS FLYING:Drones flying by in a multi story carpark. Pilots from Roy Ph (RPiSG), have weekly recreational flies, at a multi story carpark, at night. "I find flying in carparks more interesting as requires more skillful flying, with greater flight restrictions, such as the high and even sharper turns," said: Mr Yi Ming, 37, one of the pilots from RPiSG.
RECREATIONAL FLIGHT TIME: Drones flying by in a multistorey carpark. Drone pilots from RPiSG, meet weekly to fly their drones, at a multistorey carpark, at night. “I find flying in carparks more interesting as it requires more skillful flying, with greater flight restrictions, such as the height and even sharper turns,” said Mr Yi Ming, 37, a drone pilot from RPiSG.

 

COOL DADS: Pilots from RPiSG, flying their drones in a multistory carpark. (From left): Mr Dave Tang, 34, Mr Lai Choon How, 45, Mr Yi Ming, 37, and Mr Ryu Goh, 33 met via facebook as drone flying enthusiasts and have been flying on a weekly basis. "We are dads and have full time jobs. So can only fly at night after our children have gone to bed and this place gives us the opportunity to do so," said: Mr Tang. Mr Tang was inspired to pick up drone racing after watching youtube videos of drone racing in carparks, overseas. He posted his videos on facebook and was contacted by the others. So he gathered them and organised weekly drone flies.
PILOT DADS: Drone pilots from RPiSG, flying their drones in a multistorey carpark. (From left): Mr Ryu Goh, 34, Mr Lai, Mr Yi, and Mr Dave Tang, 33, met via Facebook as drone enthusiasts and have been flying on a weekly basis. “We are all dads and have full-time jobs. So can only fly at night after our children have gone to bed and this place gives us the opportunity to do so,” said Mr Tang. Mr Tang was inspired to pick up drone racing after watching Youtube videos of drone racing in carparks, overseas. He posted his videos on Facebook and was contacted by the others. So he gathered them and organised weekly drone meets.

 

Featured image and other images by Najeer Yusof.

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by Najeer Yusof

AFTER two postponements by Britain’s Royal Air Force’s (RAF) aerobatic team, the Red Arrows finally did a flypast in Singapore yesterday (Oct 18).

They flew into Singapore’s airspace from Subang, Malaysia and landed at Paya Lebar Air Base. Their stop in Singapore is part of the team’s two-month tour to the Middle East and Asia.

If you missed out on their flypast, here are some photos:

FLYPAST: The Red Arrows fly past the Merlion statue at Marina Bay. They emitted white smoke during their flypast today. The diesel is injected into the hot exhaust at vapourised at 400 degrees celsius, to create the smoke. Dyes are mixed with the diesel for coloured smoke. They are famous for their red, white and blue smoke trails. The smoke is used both for their aerial displays and for safety purposes such as allowing the pilot to gauge the wind speed and direction. (Image sourced from British High Commission)
FLYPAST: The British RAF’s aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, flew past the Merlion statue at Marina Bay, in a ‘V’ shaped Battle formation. The pilots decided to fly this formation instead of their famous Diamond 9 formation as the formation is used for grand occasions, including the Queen’s birthday. Having completed its 52nd display season, the RAF is on a tour to Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Their flypast and stopover in Singapore was aimed at promoting the long-standing relations between Britain and Singapore. (Photo by British High Commission)

 

REFUEL AND RECHARGE: A Circus crew member assists in refueling the jet from a aircraft refueller. While pilots headed to the lounge to cool down, the Circus crew ensured the jets were serviced and refueled. Two aircraft refueller drove to the jets to refuel them.
REFUEL AND RECHARGE: A Circus crew member (in blue) assists in refuelling the jet from an aircraft refueller. While pilots headed to the lounge to cool down, the Circus crew ensured that the jets were serviced and refuelled. Two aircraft refuellers drove to the jets to refuel them.

 

FRESH LOOK: The tailfins of the Red Arrow jets. The flowing Union flag tailfin became the new design for the Red Arrows since the 2015 season. There were 10 jets that completed the flypast today.
UNION JACK: The tailfins of the Red Arrow jets. The flowing Union flag tailfin became the new design for the Red Arrows since the 2015 season. There were 10 jets that completed the flypast yesterday (Oct 18).

 

RED ARROWS: A Red Arrow jet lands on the Paya Lebar Air Base and emits a white coloured smoke. The Jets are 11.9 metres in length, and four metres in height. They can reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.2. The Red Arrows are famous for their red, white and blue smoke trails. The smoke is used both for their aerial displays and for safety purposes such as allowing the pilot to gauge the wind speed and direction.
RED ARROWS: A Red Arrow jet, BAE Systems Hawk T. Mark 1, lands at the Paya Lebar Air Base and emits a white coloured smoke. The jets are 11.9 metres in length, and four metres in height. They can reach a maximum speed of mach 1.2 (1482 km/h). The Red Arrows are famous for their red, white and blue smoke trails. Smoke is used for both their aerial displays and for safety purposes such as allowing the pilot to gauge wind speed and direction. Diesel is injected into the hot exhaust and vaporised at 400 degrees Celsius to create smoke. For coloured smoke, dyes are mixed with the diesel.

 

GUIDING HANDS: A ground marshal guides one of the Red Arrow pilots into the parking bay, with handsigns. Each of the jet was assigned one ground marshall to assist the pilots in parking the jets.
GUIDING HANDS: A ground marshal guides one of the Red Arrow pilots into the parking bay, using hand signals. A ground marshal was assigned to each jet to assist the pilots in parking the jets.

 

RED AND BLUE: The Pilot and Circus crew member of Red 7. The Pilots are dressed in a red jumpsuit while the Circus crew members wear blue jumpsuits. The Circus crew members fly in the rear seats of the jets and do so only on transit flights and not during display shows.
RED AND BLUE: The pilot and Circus crew member of Red 7. The pilots were dressed in a red jumpsuit while the Circus crew members wore blue jumpsuits. The Circus crew members fly in the rear seats of the jets and do so only on transit flights and not during display shows.

 

GROUPTALK: After the Red Arrows landed in Paya Lebar Air Base, they gathered at the wing of one if the jets, to record the flight logs and for a quick briefing by their Squadron Leader.
BRIEFING: After the Red Arrows landed in Paya Lebar Air Base, the pilots gathered around the wing of one of the jets, to update their flight logs and for a quick briefing by their Squadron Leader.

 

WIPED CLEAN: Circus 3, Corporal David Hawes, 31, a Mechanical Engineer, wipes the windshield of the aircraft. After the Red Arrows taxied to a stop at Paya Lebar Air Base, the Circus crew, started doing aircraft maintenance. The Circus crew is the team of support crew, and they comprise of Mechanical Engineers, Avionic and Weapons Technicians and a Photographer. They are selected on an annual basis and are tasked with servicing the jets.
CLEAN VIEW: Circus 3, Corporal David Hawes, 31, a Mechanical Engineer, wipes the windshield of the aircraft. After the Red Arrows taxied to a stop at Paya Lebar Air Base, the Circus crew, started servicing the jets. The Circus crew is the support crew, and they comprise of Mechanical Engineers, Avionic and Weapons Technicians and a Photographer. They are selected on an annual basis to join the squadron and are tasked with servicing the jets.

 

Featured image and other images by Najeer Yusof and the British High Commission.

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