Khoo Swee Chiow the Adventurer

Probably, events such as this don't really illicit a huge reaction from you lot cos it is a typical Singapore "do it for the community" bullshit that we simply gloss over.

I'm talking about Khoo Swee Chiow's next record attempt to stay underwater for 10 days. He's done Everest, the North and South pole and reached other adventure pinnacles. Now, he aims to break a record, which to me is like what the hell? What's the point and no motive lei.

Reminds me of Singapore's and Malaysia's obsession with getting into the record books. World's biggest line dance group, biggest roti prata, satay, mee pok, char siew pao. Fark la, the word "record" seems to have totally lost its unique pull now.

A concerned reader such as myself did write in to ask on why the Northeast CDC is sponsoring him to the tune of $150,000. That's a freakin huge sum of money to sponsor a guy who is just going to be underwater for 10 days. Feat or not, if the CDC can put up this kinda money to fund his personal challenge. It might as well have used it to feed more poor and hungry. OR give more welfare vouchers and hampers to the under-progressing population within the North East region.

Khoo replied today with this letter, I have extracted only excerpts but they are verbatim and so the idea of taken out of context doesn't play.

"I do not depend on charity and public funds for a living. My income is derived from giving motivational talks, book royalty,sponsorship and product endorsements.

By doing what I do best, I hope to inspire residents of the district to step out of their comfort zones, try something they havenever dared to do, learn to take setbacks and in the process become stronger people.

Did I do it(Everest) for self glorification? The answer is yes if it means trying to prove to myself and pushing my own physical and mental limits.

When I die, I want my son to be inspired by me.

I also believe that this is my way to contribute to the Singapore I love." [He's a PR btw]

And this was the Northeast CDC's response to the letter writer:

"The Dare to Dream fund aims to develop the spirit of adventure and entrepeneurship among NorthEast district residents.

In the case of Khoo Swee Chiow, the CDC is supporting him with a 1:1 matching grant of the private sponsorship funds gathered by him, capped at $200K.

The fund also supported other athletes and adventurers since 2001."

Ok, Khoo's letter really felt heart warming and good. On the first read at least. You read it again and it sounds so fake. So PR dishwashed and hung out to dry letter. Ultimately, my take is this. Respect to being a "professional" and what you do .It does take balls to be a full time adventurer. But then again, corporate sponsorship is one thing. Hard earned tax money meant to be given back to community is another. The crux of the argument might be that the value of the money is meant to inspire onlookers into doing something drastic and out of the box themselves.

Come on la, we is Sing Chia Por ren.

KNN, Show me the Money!

Cold hard cash does it anyday, for "adventurous" thoughts, there's always Orchard Towers on a lazy Sunday evening.

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