About

Hello there! I’m Lam Pin Foo, a retired lawyer and a doting grandfather. Welcome to my humble abode on the Web. Here you’ll find a collection of my recent literary works, which are mostly commentaries on life in general, the way I see. Feel free to browse through and comment.

This site will always be a work in progress. I intend to add new articles as well as implement other Web site enhancements on a regular basis. To keep abreast of the latest developments, either check back often or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Thank you for visiting LamPinFoo.com.

(Photo credit: Lai Chan See)

(Photo credit: Lai Chan See)

78 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Roger,

    Its good to be re-connected with you after a lapse of many years.

    The last tiger found in Singapore was shot in 1930 and this story was published in both the Straits Times and the other local newspapers.

    If your relative’s version is correct, the error should be corrected. Would you like to clarify this with the Editor of Straits Times to get to the bottom of it?

    With best regards,
    Pin Foo

  2. Hi Pin Foo!
    I thought you were the last wild tiger – glad to see you are still on the prowl for interesting things to write about in Singapore! I was looking for corroboration of a story my Uncle told me about his wife riding a bus here in the early 1950’s (he was working at the British High Com) and it had to stop for a tiger in the middle of the road (Upper Thomson). He said it was written up in the Straits Times, but I’ve found no record of it.

  3. Hi I am very interested in your collection of ancient chinese furniture because I am also a collector of old huanghuali and blackwood and rosewood. Can I pay you a visit to take a look at your collection. I hope to learn more things about chinese history and culture. My email address is chanchinkang@yahoo.com.sg thanks.

  4. Hi I am very interested in your collection of ancient chinese furniture because I am also a collector of old huanghuali and blackwood and rosewood. Can I pay you a visit to take a look at your collection. I hope to learn more things about chinese history and culture. Thanks.

  5. Dear Mr Lam,

    I chanced upon your website after reading up on Dr Oon Chiew Seng and researching on the topic “Dementia”. More than a decade ago, my mama was diagnosed with mental illness. But the family did not give up on her and we had to overcome very difficult challenges during her long road to recovery. In 2009, I decided to embark on a personal campaign to promote “Filial Piety”. 7 years on, the campaign managed to gain some traction. I was recently being invited as one of the guests for a coffeetalk session organised by the Singapore Press Holdings and Ministry of Social and Family Development to be held on 17 July 16, 1-2.30pm at the Toa Payoh HDB Hub.

    Last year, I managed to author my first humble book “Father (父), Mother (母)” to share my experiences and tips on delighting our parents with small and thoughtful actions for them in our daily lives. I also write leisurely for the Familiesforlife portal on the topic of child rearing, building harmonious relationships and strengthening family ties. The website is https://www.familiesforlife.sg/connect-with-a-contributor/Pages/Tan-Chin-Hock.aspx.

    Back to why I am writing to you. I will be reaching 40 in 2 years time. I would like to make the best use of my remaining life to educate the younger generation on the Asian value, Filial Piety, keep it going and inspire them to start to think of their parents right from their early childhood days. I hope you could help to provide some leads or guidance on how I could do so in a viable manner. Currently, I am working full time as an administrative staff in NTU.

    Thank you for taking time to read this.

    Hope to hear from you and I wish you good health and happiness 😉

    Regards
    Chin Hock

  6. Dear Mr Go,
    I regret being unable to help you on your request. I am no longer in contact with Dr Oon by email or other means, As you are fully aware, Dr Oon Chiew Seng is approaching the venerable age of 101, and what she has achieved professionally as a doctor is public knowledge and has been much publicised.

    • Dear Mr. Lam

      Thank you for your reply and for letting us know.

      May I take the opportunity to wish you good health and peace.

      Warm regards
      Hui Zhen

  7. Dear Mr. Lam

    I hope this note finds you well.

    I am currently working as a research assistant at SMU.

    We are working on a project about women in Singapore’s academic landscape. We hope to interview a group of women academics with a view to eliciting “intellectual” biographies and life history narratives from them.

    We are particularly interested in interviewing Dr Oon Siew Cheng, as she has been a prominent figure in the development of medicine in Singapore. I see that you have updated a post on Dr Oon in your December 31st entry, where you mentioned that she has just celebrated her 100th birthday. We would hence like to seek your help with contacting her. We believe that Dr Oon’s experiences will be very valuable in providing a balance of perspectives and narratives for our project.

    It would be much appreciated if you could write to me at hzgo@smu.edu.sg to provide help on the above request.

    P.S. This is the second time posting this request. I am afraid I have posted under the wrong section earlier, apologies for that!

    With sincere thanks
    Hui Zhen

  8. You have asked for my comments on a topic that can well be a dissertation for a higher academic degree!

    I truly don’t know much about contemporary Chinese porcelain to proffer any advice you seek.

    If you do decide to write on it in due course, I will be very interested to read your work on this difficult topic.

    I wish you all the best in such an endeavour.

    • Dear Mr. Lam

      I hope this note finds you well.

      I am currently working as a research assistant at SMU.

      We are working on a project about women in Singapore’s academic landscape. We hope to interview a group of women academics with a view to eliciting “intellectual” biographies and life history narratives from them.

      We are particularly interested in interviewing Dr Oon Siew Cheng, as she has been a prominent figure in the development of medicine in Singapore. I see that you have updated a post on Dr Oon in your December 31st entry, where you mentioned that she has just celebrated her 100th birthday. We would hence like to seek your help with contacting her. We believe that Dr Oon’s experiences will be very valuable in providing a balance of perspectives and narratives for our project.

      It would be much appreciated if you could write to me at hzgo@smu.edu.sg to provide help on the above request.

      With sincere thanks
      Hui Zhen

  9. Hi Mr Lam,

    I am from China and I am an amateur porcelain lover.

    Do we do research on contemporary porcelain art development? How do we make sure that insights and lessons we learnt from the past would benefit the development for future?

    Elizabeth

  10. Good morning Mr Lam,

    I am trying to contact Miss Janet Lam S L (now Mrs Phong) who was my form teacher in Dunearn Technical in 1969 before she left for further studies in the UK. We have lost touch with her since our last meet up in 1989 at the Pine Tree Club. Sincerely hope you can kindly furnish us with her contact details as we hope to invite her to our Golden Anniversary Dinner in November. Thanks.

    see khee

  11. Dear Mr Lam,

    I am Ding Jie, a researcher for local television programs.

    Currently I am working on a program that seeks to understand the history of Singapore using collective memory.

    Would it be possible for us to discuss about my program and if you would be willing to contribute your knowledge about the issues we are discussing?

    My email is ng.dingjie@gmail.com

    Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you.

    Regards,
    Dingjie

    • Many thanks. My various commitments, including my monthly blog postings and regular travels, leave me with little time to participate in your research project.
      I wish you every success.

      • Dear Mr Lam,

        I realised that I may not have been clear about my intention previously. What I meant to ask was, would you be interested to be an interview profile for our show? We are keen to have you share your perspective of Singapore’s earlier history.

        Of course, I understand if you may have other commitments, but I do hope you will give our request a consideration.

        Otherwise, would you be willing to recommend candidates for me to approach?

      • No, I would not like to be interviewed for your programme.
        The most suitable and qualified person for you to approach is Prof. Kevin Tan, lawyer and acknowledged historian on Singapore history, who was also the past President of Singapore Heritage Society. You can contact the society on how to reach him.
        I wish your project every success.

  12. Dear Mr Lam,

    I am Robert Liow, a writer from Singapore. I am currently doing research for a potential literary project in the science fiction genre for submission to an anthology of Southeast Asian “steampunk” science fiction. I intend to write about the Lanfang Republic, and in doing my own research stumbled across your article on the Lanfang Republic. I found it highly informative and interesting, especially because its story parallels that of Singapore, and am eager to find out more about it so as to ensure my work provides an accurate depiction of the Republic. Could you enlighten me on your sources, as well on the topic in general? I would be very grateful. My email is sir_liow@hotmail.com.

    Thank you very much.

    Yours sincerely,
    Robert Liow

    • Thank you for your complimentary remarks on my article.

      I obtained most of my information from various Chinese sources and also from China’s leading search engines, including Baidu. Others were my own conclusions, right or wrong. As my piece is not a scholarly academic work, I do not record the many sources I derived my information from.

      However, It might help you to know that on 23.5.11, a Brunei Times journalist wote a report, Saga of Lanfang Republic, and made reference to my article as well as quoting other sources of new information on this Republic.

      In addition, I was told that Singapore Art Museum or National Museum did hold an exhibition on the Lanfang Repubic some years ago. You might wish to contact them.

      Finally, you might also consider making a visit to Kuntian in Indonesian Kalimantan where the history and legends of this Republic are still remembered by some of its older and well informed residents.

      I wish your research project every sucess.

      Lam Pin Foo

  13. Dear Sir,

    On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

    The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research.

    By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.

    Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.

    If you are keen to pledge your blog to SMP, simply fill up our response form at this following URL: http://singaporememory.simulation.com.sg/Public/Pledge.

    You may find out more about this initiative at http://www.iremember.sg/?page_id=2822.

    We are looking forward to your contribution.

    Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd
    583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884), Singapore
    |w: http://www.simulation.com.sg

  14. Hi Mr Lam Pin Foo, my name is Vivette Chong. My parents Chong Shou Foong and Ngiow May May are wondering if you are their classmate from Kee Fatt School, Cairnhill Road and Chung Cheng High School, Katong back in the 50’s.
    If so, please drop me a line @ vivette.chong@gmail.com. Thank you.
    Sorry to bother you if we got the wrong person.

  15. Dear Joey,

    I regret that I am unable to help you on this matter. I have not been a collector for a long time now and hence am completely out of touch with the market trends and prices. I am also not an expert on jades.

    Southebys, the world- renowned art and antique auctioneers, has a sales office at the Regent Hotel in Singapore. They might be able to advise on this matter.

    Regards,
    Lam Pin Foo

  16. Dear Mr Lam,

    I have a Vintage Jade Turtle weighing around 50kg. Diamensions: 25″ x 17″ x 8″. The jade is a dark-green tone type. As I’m thinking of selling out but I do not know the value of it? Could you kindly advise me? I shall email you the pictures of it. And also may I know do you have friends who might be interested? As I know you’re a antique collector as this is consider Vintage/may-not as I really don’t know about it. Could you please enlighten me?

    Thanks & regards,
    Joey

  17. Hello Mr. Pin Foo,

    You have a nice and informative site. I’m glad I visited. Keep on writing.
    Happy 75th birthday!

  18. Dear Magaret,

    Many thanks for throwing some light on the the possible identity and contact details of the potter that Mr Maloney( his inquiry in comment 31 of this post.) was searching for. As I do not keep Mr Maloney’s email address, I have, by email today, requested the WordPress.com to forward your informatioin to him, a copy of which has been sent to your email address.

    I hope your useful lead would solve Mr Maloney’s urgent effort to trace this potter.

    Regards
    Pin Foo

  19. Hi Pin Foo,

    Sorry. Further to what I said last night, I think the potter’s surname should be Peter Low not Lau. There’s a website easterntea.com that Mr Maloney could check to see if the potter’s details fit with what he remembers about him. If it’s the right potter, then Mr Maloney could get contact details too.

  20. Thank you for your interest in my blog. I find one of your comments disturbing. To remove your doubt, this piece is indeed my work, and not that of others.

    I have visited Silicon Valley many times as a son of mine is an experienced IT professional and has his own software company there. I had seen how hard he and his partners had worked over the years to make their business a success.

    Through my son, I had come to know other IT professionals and had gained further insight into the factors that have made Silicon Valley preeminent in the IT world.

    As a matter of fact, what I have written is common knowledge to anyone with basic knowledge of the Valley.

    I have no further information to offer you on this matter.

  21. Hi Mr Lam Pin Foo,
    Glad to visit your homepage, and I have harvested a lot .So henceforth I will come here from time to time.
    A little thing will bother you. ” What Makes Silicon Valley so Successful and Unique? ” is an excellent essay or speech which gives me so much motivation that I decide to recite it thoroughly. Is it your work, or from some other website? I want to know more about it, so could you offer me more information about it. If it is not yours, offer me the original source website, the
    more authoritative, the better.
    Thank you. Jerry from China.
    (PS: Maybe I cannot receive your reply in time, could you send it to my Email: mengpiaoling520@163.com, at the same time?

  22. Dear Mr Quek

    Thanks for your interest in my blog.

    Your first step should be to establish the monetary worth of the collection. In my view, the most qualified people to help you will be world-renowned art and antique auctioneers Southebys’, who has an office in Regent Hotel in Singapore and in Hong Kong. Do invite them to view the collection and to give you a valuation. A second opinion from another reputable firm, such as Guardian of China, may be useful. Based on their respective assessments, you and your family can then decide whether to keep the collectiont for sentimental reasons or to dispose of it .

    I hope this is of some help to you.

    Regards
    Lam Pin Foo

  23. Dear Mr Lam,

    Thank you for your informative blog.

    My father was a avid antique jade & ceramic collector. After he has passed away, he left us with several hundred pieces of old jade and ceramic items. They have been sitting untouched and “un-love” for over 20 years due to his long ailment.

    Recently my mum & myself begin to “dust” them. Sorting & packing them, sparked fond memories of my dad and I am beginning to understand why he loved to collect these items.

    I was wondering if you or anyone who reads your blog knows of any jade or ceramic collector / “expert”. I am hoping to learn more of this collection.

    Thank you.
    SY Quek

  24. Dear Simon

    Many thanks for your interest in my blog and for sharing your experience in buying antique Chinese ceramic pieces in the UK.

    Yes, my active collector friends who also buy Chinese pieces from UK, both at auctions and antique markets, have pleasant memories of their purchases there because they are experienced collectors and who are familiar with prices prevailing in Asia and UK.

    I no longer collect but still enjoy looking at the better pieces that I have.

    I wish you many more years of happy collecting.

    Pin Foo

  25. Dear Mr Lam,

    I read with great interest your article on your experience shopping for antiques in England many years ago. As you have pointed out, it’s not so easy finding genuine antiques nowadays.

    Do you know if the bulk of chinese antiques sold in UK auction houses are still offered at value ? For example, I’ve come across some auction houses offering Qing-era ceramic vases at a few hundred pounds – probably much cheaper than if bought in places like Singapore.

    Simon

  26. Dear Mr Maloney

    Thanks for your good wishes and interest in my blog.

    I have not a clue about this potter whose works you like and admire. My inquiries about him with a couple of collector friends who were customers of Helen Ling also drew a blank.

    As a last resort, I would suggest that you email the director of the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur to see if he can help. The Museum’s email address should be easily obtainable through their website on the Internat.

    Hope you find him.

    Regards
    Lam Pin Foo

  27. Dear Mr. Lam
    Although I have never met you I add my best wishes to the birthday greetings from so many friends and loving family members. I stumbled unto your blog by browsing the internt for information about Mrs. Helen Dalling Ling. In the 1970s I was an enthusiastic customer of her shop on Tanglin Road. She was a charming and learned expert in the arts of Asia.
    Mrs. Ling allowed me to purchase several pieces of a celedon collection produced by a young Malaysian of Chinese ancestory. He had presented this colletion in partial fulfillment for a graduate degree at a leading London UK art school. Recently returned home, he had opened his own small kiln. Mrs. Ling had given me a small brochure with the artist”s name, address, etc. This documentation was lost in a flood. I have enjoyed this collection for many years and have displayed it carefu;lly to those who appreciate such beauty. The celedons are so flawlees that collectors have at first look thought that they are a fortune in ancient Chinese ceramic art. I am the only one in my family who knows and cares about these treasures. I will soon be 76 and think I should arrange a secure future for this art while I am still able to do so. I m hoping you may have some suggestions about how I can recover detailed information about this artist. Before the internet I assumed such a search impossile for an amateur as myself. With more detailed documentation I may be able to place the collection where it deserves to be esteemed as it deserves. I am hoping that the artist continued his wonderful work and flourished in splendid Singapore or Johore. Thank you for your kind attention to my request. Respectfully yours,
    Jeremiah Maloney Albany NY USA 518-522-2283

  28. Hello Mr. Lam while wandering through the internet looking for some information for a work I’ve been making about the history of China I came across this blog and could not help to make this short comment. I really liked the way it developed, is very cool and interesting and well written, congratulations:)
    By the way I am Portuguese and I appreciate the culture and Chinese tradition.
    Congratulations for excellent work.

  29. Hi Mr Lam

    Thanks very much for your advice on buying art pieces. I was very interested to buy Chen Wen Hsi’s paintings listed on profitablegroup.com.

    I was quoted a price of S$25000 for the gibbons painting. After visiting your blog, ive decided against it.

  30. Pingback: Singapore’s Open-air Museum of Historical and Cultural Heritage « Lam Pin Foo

  31. Like you, I too would rate Gog as a very accomplished watercolour painter. Unfortunately, I do not own one of his works. In view of your interest in art, you may like to refer to my other postings from February to July 2008 on art collecting.

    Regards
    Lam Pin Foo

  32. Hi,

    I was browsing for some write-up about Master watercolour artist Mr. Gog Sing Hooi. He was my mentor for 1.5 years before he passed away in1994.

    So glad to know that you have some of his masterpieces.

    Hope to have a chance to see the originals one day.

    Best Wishes,
    Ng Woon Lam

  33. Dear Yeow Chin

    Thanks for your kind and inspiring remarks. Yes, I will keep going and improving the contents of my blog,

    Warm regards to you and Eileen.

    Pin Foo

  34. Hi Pin Foo. Thanks to Lay Yong, I have rediscovered your blog. Most informative and interesting. Blogging is one way to keep the mind active and I myself is spending most of my time in front of my Mac. All the best.

  35. Dear Ms Choy

    Knowledge and expertise in art takes years of practical experience to acquire. There are regular public lectures organised by the Singapore art Museum and The Asian Civilisations Museum. You can find out more on these by contacting these museums. Sorry, I am unable to give you the names of art societies you can join.

    Regards
    Lam Pin Foo

  36. Dear Mr. Lam,

    It has been some time since your last posting on the net. I’ve been busy with works and only available now to re-visit your site.

    It will be most grateful if you can show me what is the best way to learn to appreciate art and at the same time know how to differtiate a real from re-production art piece.

    Kindly email me any art group where I can join.

    Best Regards,
    Edith Choy

  37. Dear Mr. Lam,

    While visiting one of the local antique shop recently, I bot the “lot” of paintings (chinese painting) from this shop. As I am very new in art collection, I have no idea whether those paintings are real or reproduction. Apprecaite if you could shed some light as to how could I check it… Is there any art appreciation group where I could join & learn?

  38. Dear Mr Tan

    Thanks for logging in to my blog. I am glad that we both like and support our own local painters. I trust your collection of their works will grow with time.

    Regards
    Lam Pin Foo

  39. Dear Mr Lam,

    Greetings from Hillview.
    I’ve just come across your blog while researching on the web to learn more about our local painter Mr Choo Keng Kwang.
    Thank you for sharing your life long experience and perspectives on various subjects.
    I started collecting paintings some 6 years ago when moving into a new apartment. Sounds much the same as how you and your wife had started. As a matter of fact, my wife too enjoy paintings and as our sons grown older, our weekend routine changes! Now we have more time for ourselves and can aford to visit galleries with friends.
    Your point on how your wife and you began years ago by picking up works of local artists rung a bell in me. My wife and I firmly believe that as our society prosperous we should help support the cultural sectors. Like yourself, I enjoyed works by Choo Keng Kwang, Auyoung Hing Yee, Aw Tee Hong, Wan Soon Kam, Gog Sing Hooi, Chew Peck San and Lee Hock Mou very much. In my opinion, Singapore has our fair share of very talented artists. I hope more people will discover the aesthetic influence on our being.

    My best wishes to you & your family.

    Yang How

  40. Dear Ana
    Thanks for looking into my blog.
    Apart from owning two Soo Pieng paintings, I have no special knowledge on his works and very much regret unable to help you. I would suggest that you email the Director, Singapore Art museum at nhb.gov.sg/sam to see if he or his curators can help.

    Best regards
    Lam Pin Foo

  41. Dear Lam Pin Foo,

    I found your blog as I was looking for some information regarding Cheong Soo Pieng. There is very little about him online. Your passing mention of him and your fascinating entry about you and your wife’s shared passion for local art certainly piqued my interest.

    I have a painting of his in my possession and I was wondering if you could shed some light on it. I am wondering if it is a reproduction. I just inherited it, and would love to find more of his work.

    If you are up for the challenge.. please let me know via e-mail.

    Best Wishes,

    Ana

  42. Lam Pin Foo

    From Jame Tan’s introduction , and your blog I came to know about Mr. Lam Pin Foo as a great antique collector in Singapore.

    I came from Chinese High probably the same school you attended. I am now working in ExxonMobil as a charterer and vice president of The Singapore Penjing & Stone Appreciation Society. Apart Bonsai & Stone, I started art collection about 20 years ago. I am very keen collector of Mig & Qing Zhisha bonsai pots, Chnese Later bronze on censors & statues. and few years ago started the momentum in old procelain collection.

    Hope to learn from you and share the same interest in the future

    Regards

    Lim Keow Wah

  43. Dear Mr Lam,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and well written, concise articles which makes reading a pleasure. Will definitely encourages my boys & his peers to visit your blogs frequently.

    Regards,

    KaiMun & AyChyun

  44. Hi Pin Foo, I loved your piece on charity…have been doing some reading up on Tan Kah Kee and yes, how amazing! Keep up your blog!

    Regards
    YH Lee, Auckland

  45. Dear Pin Foo,

    I love your writing, which is well thought out, full of powerful anecdotes, sincere, well-researched and well-written. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this most wonderful way. You translate Chinese culture in a beautiful, dignified manner.

    In your letter on tea, you write about history and injustice and yet you come across without any acrimonious statement which would have spoilt everything. In this case, the perpetrator admonishes himself!

    Having 5 grandchildren myself, three in Singapore and two in America, I have the highest regard for you and the role you play in your grandchildren’s intellectual development. You are also a credit to our society.

    James Ng
    Member, SACS

  46. Hi, Pin Foo,

    Just found out about your blog from Marjorie’s SEAC
    e-announcements. What a wonderful way to share your travel adventures and your reflections on life and art. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Hi Big Brother,

    Congrats and well done on your very own blog!

    We have been your great fans of the many interesting articles that you have contributed to the Straits Times. Particularly, we enjoyed reading your holiday experiences to the exciting and exotic places which you and Lay Yong had visited. With this blog, we will have no more excuses for missing out on any of your future articles.

    Chi Lian & Philip

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