China's interest on Hong Kong

I was working in China when Hong Kong was returned to China on July 1997. I stayed all night watching the whole ceremony, looking at the British flag being lowered while China's raised on Hong Kong ground.

There were a lot of uncertainty at the time, many people were contemplating migration to other countries even before this hand over. In fact I found Canada flooded with Hong Kongers when I visited even during 1995. Instructions in Chinese words were seen even at the airport arrival at Vancouver. These people are worried that once Hong Kong is returned to China, the country will have a tight control on the city and they will lose their freedom. I believe that those who could leave at the time has already left.

For years after the hand over, life went on as usual and there were little difference between the old and new Hong Kong, like the saying goes, "the horse continue to run, dance continue to bounce". However, it is not until recent years that we can witness that the Chinese culture has infiltrated the political system as well as the government agencies.

To start with, the once proud Hong Kong police force with reputation painfully built up during the colonial period no longer exist. What's left is a police force which low quality cadets mixed up with thugs and triads, and the only person they answer to is the central government. They in fact no longer serve the people. There don't even seems to be the need for accountability when they err. So imagine what sort of "responsible" police force can they be?

It is also highly evidence that 中联办 is very involved in meddling Hong Kong's affair, especially in the recent incident of Hong Kong legislators vote on election reform. Its web-sites are filled with propaganda on Hong Kong's condition here.

Imagine that the first thing that 梁振英 did after being elected the Chief Executive of Hong Kong is to drop by 中联办 to let them know of the result. It tells a lot on what is happening in Hong Kong and who is the one governing the city.

The question is: Why the strong and urgent interest to assimilate Hong Kong into China? Seriously there is no hurry at all, Hong Kong is given 50 years of freedom by Deng Xiao Ping and it should be maintained as such. Yet the Chinese Government is so eager to make sure Hong Konger toe their line and claim loyalty to the Communist Government.

They have particular interest in making sure the election reform passes in the Hong Kong Legislation, again why? While the original election method cannot be said to be fully democratic with the candidates being recommended by a team of 1,200 member representatives residing in Hong Kong. It nevertheless post a certain uncertainty as to who are the finalist and who gets elected.

The new system on the other hand, seemingly provides people with the power to elect their choice of candidate, but with a twist, the Chinese Government decide the candidate. This in actual fact is a reversal to autonomy or Hong Kong. The Chinese Government wants to remove the 1 uncertainty which may not be in their favour. Once this structure is passed, which ever the candidate the Hong Kongers passed is in favour of the Chinese Government.

The Chinese Government as I see it has no interest in the welfare of Hong Kong, they are only interested in getting their pride and control, and it is in their high interest to fully subdue this little Dragon of Asia. To them, losing Hong Kong to the British as an embarrassment,  Hong Kong has to be fully become "China-lised". Mandarin speaking and using the simplified characters, etc.

It will be a pity as this will eventually lead to Hong Kong losing its charm and culture.


I have first read about this phrase when I was reading martial arts comics when I was young. It is one formidable stroke from the style "tame the dragon palm". I harness little thought on this phase until much later when I read Yi Jing.

Yi Jing is a very interesting art form. Many people think that this is mainly for fortune tell following the instruction of random throw of 6 coins. However, a more in-depth reading of the art. It describe situation, its development stage and remedy.

I am taking particular interest in 忼龍有悔 because this phrase will be used in the following 2 articles that I am going to write. This phrase derived from 乾 "gua" which contains 6 continuous lines. To layman, it signifies "ruler" as it is pure Yang. However, it will be interesting to know that every single line on the "gua" tells different stage of development. IT is also interesting to know that the best line in the "gua" is the second top line which tells that the ruler even though rules the people he maintains a link to the people, knowing that he is at the particular position because of the peoples' support.

忼龍有悔 actually used describe the top line of the 乾 "gua". This line describe that the person went too high up and  lost his link with the people. As a result, it is the beginning of the fall for this person.

Why I am writing about this "gua"? It is a recent event which re-ignite my interest, the Hong Kong Legislators vote on election reform.


My cros what cost SGD424

How can you identify a Malaysian on 5th of May 2013? The answer is simple, all Malaysians are manicured on this day with a finger nail painted in blue. It is a day which many of us are proud to be part of this country. It is the day when we execute our duty to vote for a new Government.

It is not the first time I have voted, in fact I have voted twice before, so what's the difference? The last 2 times I went to cast my ballot, it was over in a jeepy. There were few people when we reached the balloting station, short queue and in less than 10 minutes I was inside marking the cross to the party of my choice.

It is very different this time round. My family were there at 8:00AM on the dot when the balloting station opened. There was already a long queue of 300m formed outside the station (which happened to be the school)! It is people everywhere inside the balloting station. I have never seen such enthusiasm in people to cast their votes in the past!

What used to be a 10 minutes routine turned out to be a 40 minutes queue for me, my brother who queued at the young people section took even longer of 1 1/2 hour, my mother close to 2 hours. And guess what, the people keeps coming. As my understanding goes, more than 60% of Malaysian voted by noon time.

I was in the queue to my voting room which they called Saluran. There was this guy in the same queue behind me and to kill some time, we started chatting about this election. Turned out he works in Singapore just like I did. In fact he was dellusional about the political situation in Malaysia, that was until the last election when surprise, surprise BN failed to maintain a 2/3 majority! This made him realised that his 1 single vote matter. He immediately registered as a voter and came back to do his duty as a citizen.

Doing our duty as citizen, this is a big word which we normally do not use. It is not until the last election that made us realise that it is important we take election seriously. In fact the 2 of us are not alone in this. How many Malaysians are dellusioned about saving our country from further deterioration? How many of us decided to leave this country because of the racial injustice and unequal rights base on the BN's policies? There are loads who have been staying oversea all these while.

Yet it is interesting that many of us still decided to retain our citizenship, no matter how much better life is at foreign land. It is never our home. Or may be among the dellusions, there is still a glimpse of hope that one day Malaysia will break free from the governance of the evil minded people with only interest to fatten themselves.

Because of the previous election, Malaysian flock back to the country in droves to cast their vote this time round. I have heard people driving back from Singapore to Kedah, which is more than 700KM apart and a total of 10 hours dirve. There is an increase in highway traffic by 30%, flights and public transport are fully booked for the matter. There was even a 3 hours jam at the second link between Singapore and Malaysia!

The urge to execute our duty is so great that even when I left Singapore, the custom officer actually said to me, "Happy voting". The number is so great that they notice the difference. On my way back, 1/2 the plane are filled with people having a blue finger. My brother on the other hand shared a bus load of people who made this trip just to vote.

Whether we succeed in making Malaysia a better place, it does not matter. What matter is that the future of Malaysia is in our hand and we have done our part. This will be a day we will remember ourselves in years to come. Will there be a new and different government? God knows. But at least I am now proud of being a Malaysian, because we have decided to decide our own fate.


Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 8)

Blatt, Sidney J.(2004), Experiences of Depression: Theoretical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives, Washington DC.: American Psychological Association.

Chorpita, Bruce F. & Barlow, David H. (1998) The development of Anxiety: The Role of Control in the Early Environment, Issues in Psychological Bulletin, 124(1), pp3-21.

Coyne, James C. & Whiffen, Valerie E. (1995), Issues in Personality as Diathesis for Depression: The Case of Sociotropy-Dependency and Autonomy-Self-Criticism, Issues in Psychological Bulletin, 118(3), pp358-378.

Farmer, Anne (2004) Bad Luck and Bad Genes in Depression, in Dilalla, Lisabeth F: Behaviour genetic principles: Perspectives in development, personality and psychopathology, Washington DC: American Psychological Association, pp107-121.

Jacobs, Janis E.; Bleeker, Martha M. & Constantino, Michael J.(2003) The Self-System During Childhood and Adolescence: Development, Influences, and Implications. Issues inJournal of Psychotherapy Integration, 13(1), pp33-65.

Jacobs, Michael (2004) The Presenting Past: The core of psychodynamic counselling and therapy, Berkshire: Open University Press.

Little, Stephanie A & Garber, Judy (2005) The role of Social Stressors and Interpersonal Orientation in Explaining the Longitudinal Relation Between Externalizing and Depressive Symptoms, Issues in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114(3), pp432-443.

Malinckrodt, Brent (1992) Childhood Emotional Bonds with Parents, Develop of Adult Social Competencies and Availability of Social Support, Issues in journal of Counseling Psychology, 39(4), pp453-461.

Newman, Barbara M. & Newman, Philip R. (2004) Development Through Life, Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Sideridis, Georgios D. (2005) Goal Orientation, Academic, Achievement, and Depression: Evidence in Favor of a Revise Goal Theory Framework. Issues in Journal of Educational Psycology, 97(3), 366-375.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 7)

7 Conclusion

While we have two separate types of depression and relate them to the infant attachment with his caregiver, this is only partially responsible on how a person would react to situation. Performance oriented personality tends to fall into depression when they continuously enter into compromising position. Although the influence of infancy is not fully responsible for the character build up, this stage is considerably much more important than others. As a counselor we cannot ignore the need to explore through their relationship with their parents and spouses. It is not only helpful to the client in understanding himself, but also allows counselor to support his client more effectively. It is therefore crucial that we continue to study the infant stage and bring awareness to parents on the importance of their treatment of their children.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 6)

6 Questions on Clarifying Depression

When counselling cases of depression, I might ask questions for various clarifications:

(6.1) Duration and Frequency
(6.1.1) How long have you been in depression?
(6.1.2) Has it been often that you feel this way?
(6.1.3) When it happened in the past, how long did it take to go away?

(6.2) Conditions for Occurrences

(6.2.1) When did you notice that you are depressed?
(6.2.2) How did you realized that you are depressed?
(6.2.3) Does your depression involved anyone else?
(6.2.4) Does your depression involve doing something?
(6.2.5) What or who do you think was involved causing your depression?
(6.2.6) How does this person do that cause you to feel depression?
(6.2.7) What happen during this occasion? How does it affect you?
(6.2.8) Did you find yourself a failure
(6.2.9) Is there any occasion when this person do the same thing / the same issue occurred but you did not get depressed?
(6.2.10)What happened on that occasion?

(6.3) Past Experiences

(6.3.1) The last time when depression hit you, what happened?
(6.3.2) Did it involve someone or something?
(6.3.3) What might be one or two things that you find similar between then and this round?
(6.3.4) What was different?
(6.3.5) Who were involved during that incident?
(6.3.6) How did you managed during that occasion?

(6.4) Relationship

(6.4.1) Tell me something about your family.
(6.4.2) Who are you closest to in your family?
(6.4.3) Between your father and your mother, who are you closer to?
(6.4.4) Who took care of you while you were young, may be when you are an infant?
(6.4.5) Were your parents around to take care of you most of the time?
(6.4.6) In terms of relationship with your father and mother, how would you describe it?
(6.4.7) How are they relating with your grand parents?
(6.4.8) Do you get angry with your parents from time to time? What did you do with your anger?
(6.4.9) Are your parents open with their emotion?
(6.4.10) How do you communicate with your parents?
(6.4.11) Can you describe you present or most recent relationship?
(6.4.12) Are you very close with your spouse?
(6.4.13) Do you find your relationship with others helps you to grow?

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 5)

5 Social Influences

With the society continues to progress especially in developed countries, cost of living continues to rise and it is inevitable that both parents need to work to finance the family function. Leaving the children in the care of others. It is trending to the build up of more personality with performance base in the future and therefore more casualties to depression.

The effect of the change to dual income family started in Singapore during the 70s has just begun emerge itself. Already we are witnessing more people are trending in the direction of Anaclitic and Introjective personality, with much lesser people with homogeneous growth of mastery. The society here has still not understand the significant of the influence of infancy to adulthood and many still unaware that they are in depression due to work.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 4)

4 Case Study

4.1 The Story Of Den

Den was a product manager in a distributor company, he was a field application manager before changing to this post due to a re-shuffle. The job scope of product management is different from field application as it needs to work on profit and loss and maintain revenue. Den took on the job during a market down trend and when the economy was not doing well. Pressure built up on Den’s performance due to the drop in sales result in increase in budget gap and inventory. The product revenue kept being scrutinized during the monthly meeting.

Around half a year into his new post, Den’s performance at work deteriorated. He was not very interested in his work and did the bare minimum to survive. He started to be late at work and his time at work was utilized in surfing the internet on items unrelated to work.

At home, his only interest was to sit at the couch and watch television until very late at night. He has lost interest in his hobbies and became very quiet. His wife complaint that he is easily irritated and angered at trivia issues, he would release this anger to his wife most of the time. Den also woke up a few times in the middle of the night feeling very anxious for no reason. He frequently watched out for time to wake up and rarely has a good night sleep.

4.2 Den’s Personality

At work Den has changed through three supervisors, he managed to work well with the first two supervisors in the past who compliment on his hard work and contribution. He is considered friendly among his colleagues and friend and is known to be helpful in attending to their needs. However, he is also seen as someone working alone most of the time while putting in much effort in pleasing and satisfying other hoping to gain their support.

However, he was in conflict with his third supervisor in formulating promotion strategy for the product line that he is holding. The supervisor constantly compared him with product managers from other groups and interfered on how he should work. Although disagree with the supervisor’s opinion, he reluctantly followed the instruction lay out to him. Unfortunately his supervisor kept increasing the standard and he has a hard time chasing after. He also found difficulty in communicating with authority figures in the office and frightened of criticism from others, it may just play in his mind for days of which he constantly feel bad about.

4.3 Past Experiences

Similarity can be drawn on Den’s present emotional experience through two stages of his life:

4.3.1 Primary School
While Den attended primary school, he managed to get into a class consisting students with good grades in primary two due to his result. However, the schoolwork was overwhelming as the teacher prepared the students for competition ahead. Den has problem in catching up the amount of homework needed to complete and started to lag behind. He was frequently punished as a result but his behaviour in class has not improved. He also created distraction in class by being different with the way he sat while totally not attentive in class. He was engrossed in drawings and doodle that he was good at, while his result continued to deteriorate. An exceptional change happened during primary five when there is a teacher who took notice of him, at this point he was observed to have improvement in his schoolwork.

4.3.2 Junior College
Den managed to enter a junior college after his secondary school. During his study at there however, he found that the subject he studied was beyond him and there is a big gap as compare to his secondary school’s work. He was not able to understand well the subject taught to him. He did not stop trying to improve his schoolwork, but his felt bad all the time during all this time. He was reluctant to go to school every morning although in the end he managed to reach there on time. He was increasingly isolating himself from his class mates during lesson and have little communication with others, he considered himself a loner.

There were also time when he managed to have good grades in his study:

4.3.2 Polytechnic and University
He entered a Polytechnic due to an unfavourable result from Junior College. During the two years there his performance continued to improve and he managed to do well in his study. After which he managed to get into a University in England and again he continued to perform well in his studies, graduating with a second class honor in Engineer. It is interesting to note the continuous improvement in his performance as there is a change in his life after Junior College. He is in relationship with a girl during all this while and he continued to look forward to build a better life with her after his graduation. This led to him striving to do better in his work.

4.4 Analysis

The symptoms that Den has experience show various signs of depression as described in 2.1.1. His constant failure in performing at work deprived him of feeling successful in life, the frequent comparison and criticism from his supervisor also contributed to his anxiety. His condition was further worsen with him keeping the issues all to himself.

From the case study, I noted that he is prone to both types of depressions. However, his personality suggests that he trends towards the anaclitic type due to the fact that he needed mandate to progress. It is evident that he can improve in his performance if he enters a relationship. This gives further proof of his constant need for others appreciation.

4.5 Coping Mechanism

While Den continued to be depressed about his work, he coped with the stress at work by leaving his office and drove aimlessly to release the tension. It is also interesting to note that he learned to running away from the factor causing the anxiety in him, which is the work place. Other than that there was no evidence of him trying other method to remove the depressed feelings.

4.6 Influence of Infancy

Den is the eldest son in the family. However, prior to his existence, his mother has a miscarriage. Although both parents came from a large family, they have little experience in taking care of Den. Further to that it was during the 70s that dual income family started. Both Den’s parents needed to work to support the family and Den did not manage to live with his parents except for Saturday and Sunday.

Den was handed over to a neighbour while the parents went to work right after confinement period of one month. Unfortunately Den was contracted with an epidemic flu during his stay there and was admitted to hospital which he stayed for forty five days. Upon discharge his parents decided to asked a distant relative to take care of him, which lasted only a short while when he was moved to a close relative. Unable to cope with the work load of taking care of him, the close relative turned down the job after another short period of time. He was finally settled with his grand mother at the age of one where he lived on for the next four year.

The sequence of events described above have led to Den not having a secure attachment with his parents, the issue was made worse with the constant changing of caregivers leading to Den’s need for comfort and care. His parents feedback that he was crying non-stop every time they left him with the temporary care gives and when reunited with them, he would cling on tightly to them. They have mistook this as closeness when in actual fact he needed their comfort due to the insecurity caused by the constant shift. This led to the strong anaclitic tendency in Den.

While examine the infant stage of Den, there was no evidence of insecure-ambivalent influence on Den, it is assume at this moment that this influence comes much later in his life.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 3)

3 Attachment Theory and Origin of Depression

Newman and Newman (2004, pp149) described the attachment system as “caregivers provide protection from potential dangers and stressors while allowing the infant opportunities to learn the skills needed to function independently”, while Mallinckrodt(1992, pp454) mentioned that “The consistency with which caregivers respond to these signals forms the earliest basis for the child’s sense of outcome expectancy and self-efficacy”. Attachment is crucial to the development stages not only as the base to initiate the first step for the infant’s growth but also forms his personality, this is supported by Jacobs (2004, pp58) that “As an adult a securely attached person is confident of those with whom he or she closely related”. Evidence of depression development can be explained by Attachment Theory, which separates into two categories base on the “strange situation” experiment:

3.1 Secure Attachment

As described by Bates, Masling and Frankel (Cited by Sidney 2004, pp192), “Sensitive and responsive caretaking throughout the first year of life leads to secure attachment”. It helps with the process of growth, the person is more open with his emotion and he is able to cope with situations more constructively. He will fit our personality profile of Mastery mentioned in (2.1.2);

3.2 Insecure Attachment

Ainsworth, Bell & Stayton (Cited by Sidney, 2004, pp192) reflected that “insecure attachment seems to be related to parental rejection of the infant’s attempts at closeness or an insensitivity to signals from the infant”. The parents do not respond properly to fulfill the needs of the infant. This triggers the defense system in the infant to react in a certain way to remove the pain of dissatisfaction. There are three sub-groups in this category:

3.2.1 Insecure-Avoidance
The infant in this group does not exhibit anxiety to the caregiver on separation. He also avoids the caregiver upon reunion although he is willing to befriend another stranger.

The caregivers as described by Main & Goldwyn (cited by Sidney, 2004, 194) “dismissed attachment relationships as being of little concern, value or influence”. They are enmeshed with their children and often very critical of the infant’s behaviour. They set high standards and are demanding and can be hostile and abusive towards the infant.

I feel that the reason for the infant to avoid the caregiver is to protect himself from further harm, it feels bad to know that you are not up to standard. However, the prolong influence of the caregiver causes the infant to be unsure of the intention behind the abuse. This builds a strong super ego in the person who sets very high standard for himself. He excessively idealize in the task he performs and success becomes very important to him. He is prone to Introjective depression mentioned in (2.2.4).

3.2.2 Insecure-Abivalent
The infant in this group is constantly wary of the existence of the caregiver and is very unsettled during separation. He cries uncontrollably when the caregiver leaves his side. When re-unite with the caregiver, he is not able to calm down. He seems to have a thirst for comfort and continues to cling onto his caregivers.

The caregivers as described by Main et al ( cited by Sidney, 2004, 194) “seems ‘ preoccupied’ with their dependency on their own parents and often ‘still actively struggled to please them’”. They tends not to take care of their children, they are uninvolved and unconcern about what the children was doing.

Lacking in the attention that he needs, the infant continuously strive to let the caregiver aware of his presence with the limited resources available. Thus it leads to constant crying during separation to externalize his fear of desertion. At the same time, he is restricted in his exploration to the outer world and constantly feeling helpless as he lacks in a secure base. This builds a personality of dependence on others. He has an urge to please others in exchange for affiliation. He is therefore prone to the anaclitic depression as described in (2.2.3) should the expectation is not realized.

3.2.3 Insecure-Disorganised
The infant in of this group tends to be unsure what he does during separation and is dazed in re-uniting with his caregiver, their interaction with their caregivers tends to be “punitive or in a ‘pseudo-caretaking’ manner” (Sidney, 2004, pp194).

The caregiver of this group tends to have lost a significant others such as a sibling or major caregiver before their maturity. The infant becomes a substitute to fill the emptiness in the caregiver, as Sidney (2004, pp195) described “parent to their parents”. This affects the child to become
“the overcompensating, subtly hypomanic, seemingly efficacious type of individual who deals with his or her intense depressive dependent longing through denial and reversal-as compulsive-givers” (Bowlby, Cited by Sidney, 2004, pp195)

This person tends to intrude into others life due to his over caring nature. I feel that the denial of depression cause him to externalize the negative affects towards others. However, it is unclear during this study on the type of depression he might fit into.

Reputation does not mean reality

My new job requires me to travelling frequently and my latest trip led me to Shanghai then Xiamen before returning to Singapore.

The flight that my company book is under the flagship fo Singapore airline. However, because Singapore Airline does not fly to places such as Shen Zhen and Xiamen, the passengers are travelled on Silkair but with SIA ticket.

Before going further, what exactly do you expect on SIA flights? I would say a first class service from the crew, Video On Demand, ready blanket and pillow, snacks, full service of meal (appertiser, main course, desert, biscuit and cheese, with Magnum as after math).

With Silk Air I wouldn't expect SIA standard of service but should at least meeting certain standard. But my experience on the Xiamen's flight shocks me (to some extend).

First of all, its a flight from Xiamen to Singapore! There is a cabin full of Chinese nationals. Yet of the 4 crews assigned for the flight, 2 are non-Mandarin speaker. The poor guy sitting behind me asked for a cup of Chinese tea at the start of the flight and it took the stewardess 2 over hours to bring him one, simply because she could not understand mandarin and did not bother to get the Chinese speaking stewardess to translate for her. The guy was so frustrated until I told her what he wanted.

In the mid of the flight, there was air turbulence, the pilot asked everyone to go back to their seat and buckle up, fair. But it seemed like the pilot conveniently forgotten to swithc off the warning sign when the coast was clear, so passengers were forced to sit in their seat for over 1 1/2 hours. Every time some one stood up to go to the loo, they were asked to sit down. In the end, the passengers got fedup and refused to follow the instruction any more, ignoring the seat belt sign and queue for the toilet.

Seriously, I have never seen such popular toilets on flight. At all time, there were at least 10 people on queue and noone wanted to move even when the next air turbulence happened. the air stewardess could not even get their trolly through to serve food. the queue only ended when the landing announcement was made.

The crews were not working in harmony neither, during food serving, one stewardess tried to ask for help by using the service button, but was ignored by the other stewardess most of the time. meal service was a dragging process.

Food is certainly bad with only a main meal and fruits, I lost my appertite as the noodles were over cooked and felt a little soggy.

Of course, what expected would be no VID and those online games that you could play when you are on true SIA flight.

By buying a ticket from SIA and getting such service, it certainly feels like being cheated by the airline, even when the price is truly that of Silk air. I have travelled on other airlines before such as air India, Dragon Air, Southern China Airline and most recently Eastern China Airline, none of them with bad service as close as silk Air. If SIA is truly concern about its reputation, it better reconsider using Silkair for some of its routes.


Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 2)

2 Broad Review of Relevant Literature

2.1 Personality In Relation With Depression

Various studies have been done on depression and its relation with developmental stages, particularly on infancy and adolescence. This report focus its exploration in the influence of infant stage on depression. Depression is defined by Farmer (2004, pp108) having various symptoms such as “low mood; poor sleep; concentration, and memory; and a diminished appetite are relatively common in the general population.”. She further elaborated a few factors contributing to depression, such as a person’s genes, environmental influence such as early age, series of events and personality. Of these factors, Farmer(2004, pp109) stated that “recent twin studies have shown that between 48% and 75% of the variance in liability to develop depression is contributed to by genetic risk factors (McGuffin, Katz, Walkins, & Rutherford, 1996)” while the rest are environmental influences. I feel that the statistic provided no conclusion of the extend which the genetical influence on depression as the statistic presented by both findings varies greatly. I would consider the environmental factor more important in this study as it is something that we have more control over and use to help our client.

Certain people are more prone to depression than others. We can define two personalities in relation to depression:

2.1.1 Performance-Oriented
This personality “ focus on proving their competence, worth, and likability with normative evaluative standards has implications for how they view failures.”( Sideridis, 2005, pp367)

2.1.2 Mastery-Oriented
This personality engage “in task arises from an inherent need for growth, learning, and improvement and has been considered a consequence of secure attachment”(Sideridis, 2005, pp367)

Mastery oriented personality focus on inherent growth that allows the person to look at situation as an opportunity for growth, including failure. He is more open to his emotion, capable of handling stress situation and less likely to be affected by setbacks. Performance oriented personality on the other hand constantly need success as a gauge to grow and to perform well in life. If they consistently fail in their task, thus lacking feel of achievement, creates stress that tends to cause strong anxiety in him together with lowered self-esteem. Anxiety as described by Gary (Cited by Chorpita & Barlow, 1998, pp3) as “a state of the conceptual or central nervous system characterized by activity of behavioral inhibition system (BIS)” and is different from fear and panic. This leads to depression. Anxiety as Sideridis (2005, pp367) described should “should be absent both prior to and in the aftermath of the challenging task”. Performance-Oriented personality is susceptible to depression. However, I find Mastery-Oriented personality to be rare and close to ideal. Most people are Performance-Oriented in nature, but some are more than the other, therefore the level of depression experience by individuals differs over similar situation.

2.2 Types Of Depression

There are two categories of depression which Coyne and Whiffen (1995,pp358) described as “sociotropic or dependent” and “autonomous or self-critical”. They elaborated both terms as:

2.2.1 Sociotropic or dependent
Person with such type of depression “seeks to establish secure interpersonal relations to bolster low self-esteem”;

2.2.2 Autonomous or self-critical
Person with such type of depression “is concerned with the achievement of internalized standards and goals and becomes self-critical when thwart”;

Similar definition of depression is also reflected by Sidney (2004), who termed both types of depression as Anaclitic(Dependent) and Introjective(Self-Critical) which I will adopt in this report. Sidney (2004, pp31) further elaborated the primary feeling of both depression:

2.2.3 Anaclitic
“ Helplessness, weakness, depletion, and being uninvolved”;

2.2.4 Introjective
“Severe conflicts with guilt”;

Although both depressions are triggered following external event, I find that Anaclitic depressor concerns on how people look at him while Introjective is more critical on meeting his own standard.

It is important for an Anaclitic depressor to be praised and appreciated by others. He needs to be noticed. Relationship to him is important as long as it satisfy his need of belonging and self-esteem. The importance of the relationship however is not about whom he is with but the gratification that he gained from it. Losing a relationship only mean finding a replacement figure to cling onto. His aim for success in his task is only a demonstration to others of his capability, in return for praise, appreciation. He is constantly wary of how others see him. Unable obtain gratifications from the relationship regularly creates anxiety and leads depression, as he finds himself not able to meet others standard and not accepted into the group. In comparison, he is like a child constantly seeking attention from his parents by performing task to catch their attention, and will feel disappointed when his parents failed to notice his work.

An Introjective depressor works hard for achievement and perfection. However, his success only provides temporary satisfaction to fulfill his self-esteem. He rarely contents with the present achievement and is self-critical that he can do more to improve the situation, therefore tends to over achieving at time. He is constantly filled with guilt and is harsh on himself to go higher. Failure therefore is a blow to an Introjective personality self-esteem and he has difficulties in accepting defeat. He has to be better than other people through demonstration of his success. It reminds me of a class mate during primary school who cried because she came in second in her school result, she needed to be first in order to have her self-esteem needs satisfied.

I find that both types of depressions are distinctly different. Anaclitic constantly seeks to belong in a group, therefore continuously trying to please others to be accepted. Introjective on the other hand, seeks to break away and to stand out from the crowd. He does not seek other’s approval but only his own recognition. The commonality in both personality however is their lack of self-esteem, with Anaclitic lacking in confidence over relationship with others while Introjective lacking confidence in himself, therefore constantly in search of gratification to fill the emptiness.

These two personalities have much relationship with childhood development, especially during infancy. Infancy is the stage when confidence building in a person started, typically in the infant’s attachment to the care giver. As Jacobs, Bleeker and Constantino (2003, pp37) have mentioned “an infant’s working model of self have been linked to parents’ level of responsiveness” and that “parental responsiveness and warmth during the first year are associated with positive working models of self for children (Rubin, Stewart, 7 Coplan, 1995)”. It is therefore important for us to explore the influence of attachment on Depression.

Report Of Infancy Influence On Depression In Adulthood (Part 1)

A few years ago, I took up a course on Graduate Diploma on Social Science (Counselling). I have done a few course work on the course and tonight I suddenly have a thought, why not I share it here? Partly I was reviewing my recent psychological development as I seem to be drifting into another round of depression myself. It is not the first time I am in depression, the first time was 2002-2003.

Anyway, here goes. First the contents and chapter 1.

1 Introduction 3
2 Broad Review of Relevant Depression 4
2.1 Personality Inrelation With Depression 4
2.2 Types Of Depression 6
3 Attachment Theory and Origin of Depression 9
3.1 Secure Attachment 10
3.2 Insecure Attachment 10
4 Case Study 13
4.1 The Story of Den 13
4.2 Den’s Personality 14
4.3 Past Experiences 15
4.4 Analysis 17
4.5 Coping Mechanism 17
4.6 Influence of Infancy 17
5 Social Influences 19
6 Questions on Clarifying Depression 19
7 Conclusion 22
8 References 22

1 Introduction

The world is having a population explosion partially because the lack of predator to prey on human. As a result, we face increase competition among human beings, which leads to increasing stress in our lives. This is especially true in the developed world where societies are becoming more complex. Stress is good as long as it promotes positive development, especially when it brings out the survival instinct in us. The negative side of stress however, may create anxiety in us, and prolonged exposure to anxiety may lead to depression.

Abela & D’Allesandro, Nolen-hoeksema, Girgus & Seligman ( cited by Sideridis, 2005, pp366) reflected that “Depression in children and adults has become more prevalent recently, and rates have increase between 10% and 17% in the general population”. Little & Garber(2005) reflected that depression is also related to other types of disorders, and that to some extend can be intergenerational. In the Singapore context, a shift is seen in the social pattern since the 70s with increasing numbers of families needing dual income. This may have already impacted the behaviour pattern of the present generation. Counselors need to understand the influence of infancy on depression as it is getting more common among the working class, who are born during the 70s.

This report looks into depression and how infancy may influence the susceptibility to depression. I will also explore the social impact in Singapore context on depression.


The Great Singapore Levy Debate

To start with, I did not really follow up closely with the Levy Debate. I only picked up bits and pieces of it in the newspaper and forum. Nevertheless I roughly have some idea that the Government is going to increase the levy for foreign workers to curb companies from further intake. This is to satisfy the complaints of the people about overwelming influx of foreigners to Singapore, and in the process competing with them on job availability.

To start with, I think the Singapore Government is climbing up the wrong tree here, since Singaporean do not want the job of those levy workers, therefore, increasing the levy will only seek to further burden the companies into cutting costs else where, such as jobs of the locals.

I caught up with Low Thia Kiang's speech in the Parliament on a total removal of the levy and instead introduce the quota system. He further described the levy is an opium to the Government. I supported him briefly in the forum thread and was responded by a supporter of the levy. He/she claimed that removing the levy will not help improve competitiveness. At the time of reading the response, I was in fact at a lost of words, and that made me think, "what exactly is the consequences of removing the levy?"

To start with how does this levy comes about? I believe it was a result of a labour shortage in the 80s that the Garment decided to take in foreign workers to cover the vacuum. The levy was used as part of the tool to control companies in application of inttake. That made me think further, "how did this shortage comes about?"

Simple, Economic boom causes more development at a single point of time requiring an increase of labour, thus companies first started grabbing from one another for more labour, but there simply not enough Singaporeans to go about. In addition, people are attracted by higher pay from companies' competitors. Now this puzzles me, because my poly management class did mention that people just don't work for money. The Macclaws hierarchy of needs stated that there are 5, physiology, safety, social, self esteem and self actualization. How is it that Singaporean can't even move onto the next step of the ladder?

I believe it is a mindset problem, not on the part of the workers, but the bosses. Even as we speak, there are still many bosses nowadays who still think, " I am not worried that this guy leave, I can afford to hire another one to take over his job." There is simply no respect given to the workers.

I recall during my younger days that the usefulness of a worker equates to how long hours he works. So if you stay up until 11pm at night and come back to work the next day, you are a good worker. If you go home on the dot, the manager will tell you that he has not loaded you enough.

This is true even in 2004 when I encountered the same thing myself. I recalled that year when I have a change of manager and one evening me and my product marketing engineer was called into his cubicle. He pointed out that the night before while he was still in the office, he saw 2 person, one product manager still wotking at 11pm and the other still replying e-mail at 2am. He praised their commitment to the job, then turned to me and my PME and ask, " can you stay back after work on those days that you don't go for courses?" I gave him my piece of mind and eventually he took me out of his team. He hired another person to take over me and to my amusement, the whole business went down the drain due to his new hired hand.

So what's the point here? Companies do not value their workers, they are always expandable and commitment questionable. The problem is: how can you expect their loyalty when you don't even vaue them? How can you blame them for leaving when you squeeze them dry at every opportunity just to make your money worth while? So even though I would jump from one shit to the other, the other shit pays me better.

People who work are not encouraged to developed their passion in the job, they are simply paid to do what the company wants them to. They are not given the opportunity to grow.

Imagine that in the Western world, there are people who are still Engineers at 60 and they are proud of it. It is almost unheard of in Singapore, once you graduates, no matter what Engineering discipline you are in, you will only use less than 1% of it.

Such mentality is not limited to companies, just look at the biggest party in Singapore, aren't they doing the same thing? The "I can afford to hire another one" is certainly alive and well in PAP. I remember the case of the SIA pilots "revolt". There was simply no negotiation on the company's part to discuss the well being of their pilots, all it needed then was to have LKY stepped in, get the Government to revoke the PR-ship of the union leader, kicked him out of the country. The pilots obediently went back to work the next day.

After all these being said, what does this have to do with the levy? Levy is a symbol of unfair treatment to the workers, it allows the companies to continue with their mindset of " there will always be others". As long as they can find replacement easily, they will never consider the rights of the workers. It will never lead to growth of staff's skills and loyalty because levy workers would change once every few years and the cycle will start again. If the reset button is kept pressing, how would the game be developed?

Garment has recently been playing their recorders on improving productivity, I would see this as a potential failure because they failed to address the most important issue, that is to take every human as human and develop base on their strength. Training is useless when effectiveness is halved when one is not interested in what he does. I can go to a seminar and at the end of the day, the most I can get out of is 10% of the whole lecture.

You want productivity? Make sure the companies value their people and not encourage them to take the easy way out, like hire another one from other country.


Shreaded Chicken Salad - Chinese style

This dish is more of an inspiration from San Zhong Liang Jian's (SZLJ) Sam Sui Chicken. Some might be concern over how to make the ginger sauce from SZLJ, the recipe is very easy.

1 Ingredients:
1.1 Chicken leg x 1;
1.2 Ginger x 1 lump, grinded;
1.3 Romanian Lectuse X 1;
1.3 Sesame oil X 2 table spoon;
1.4 Salt 1/2 tea spoon for sauce and 3/4 tea spoon for stock;
1.5 Spring onion x 1 stock;

2 Preparation:
2.1 Chicken:
2.1.1 Boil up a pot of water, place in 3/4 tea spoon of salt and a stock of spring onion;
2.1.2 Place in the chicken leg when boil, continue boiling the chicken leg for 5 minutes, turn off the fire and cover the content for another 45 minutes;
2.1.3 Take the chicken leg out, shread it with hands. Eat the rest (knuckles and bones area) because your hands have limit and you don't want to waste the chicken;
2.1.4 Leave to cool;

2.2 Romanian Lectuse:
2.2.1 If your Romanian lectuse has been in the fridge for a while, it would be dehydrated. Take the lectuse, remove the leaves from stem piece by piece, cut into smaller pieces;
2.2.2 Soak in cool water for about 15-20 minutes, this will rehydrate the leaves to give the crunchy texture. You can also use the same technique on other leafy vegetables;
2.2.3 Take the leaves chunk out from soaking and remove excess water ( for best effect, use the spin dryer);

2.4 Ginger sauce:
2.4.1 Heat up the frying pan, pour in the sesame oil and heat;
2.4.2 Pour in the grinded ginger, stir fry for a while;
2.4.3 Take a scoop of the stock that you used in boiling the chicken and pour it into the frying pan;
2.4.4 apply 1/2 tea spoon of salt, stir and mix well;
2.4.5 turn off the flame;

2.5 Integration:
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl and toss, it will be ready to eat.


Fish fillet and Zucchini in home made tomato sauce.

Okay, it taste better than its look, except for the Enokitake (straw type mushrooms). The composition of my lunch today is Zuchinni and fish fillet in tomato sauce. What I want to create is a tomato flavour sauce so to cook my fish in.

The ingredients as follows:

1) Zuchinni X 1;
2) Enokitake one packet;
3) Fish fillet X 1;
4) Tomatos X 3 (large ones);
5) Salt and pinch of dried Parsley;
6) Garlic chopped;
7) Olive Oil 2 table spoons;
8) Chicken stocks;


1) cut the Zucchini and tomato into chunks;
2) Marinate the fillet with salt;
3) Separate the Enokitake mushrooms;
4) Heat up the frying pan, add 2 table spoon of olive oil, add in garlic when heated up, stir fry for a moment or so;
5) Pour in the tomatos, add in the chicken stocks, cover lid;
6) Open the lid after 2 minutes or so, use a squasher to squash the tomatos into paste;
7) add in the Zucchini chunks, ried parsley and Enokitake, let the dish cook for a while;
8) clear a space on the frying pan, place the fillet onto the pan, then covers it with the sauce and some of the vegetables.
9) Covers the lid and let it cook for 3-5 minutes or so;
10)turn off the fire and ready to serve.

The water came out from the Zucchini after a night of cooling in the fridge, making the dish very watery. It would be best if served immediately. However, there is no artificial additives (except for the chicken stock) so the sauce can be drunk off.