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    FOREWORD OF “AN UNCOMMON NATION” "An Uncommon Nation" is written by a good friend of more than 40 years. Candid in his opinions, Andrew James Ong is at the same time objective in his analyses and assessments. Following “Common To Uncommon”, this sequel is another masterpiece. “An Uncommon Nation” is a collection of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of tiny Singapore in her first 50 years of independence. I remember 1965 vividly. Staring at a black and white television, my family and I were awe-struck when our then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew announced, with tears in his eyes, Singapore’s separation from Malaysia. I was a teenager; 13 years old. The future looked bleak and uncertain. Fifty years on, “An Uncommon Nation” is a walk down memory lane. As a baby boomer, how can we forget the challenging days? From the "night soil carrier" in the bucket toilet system to carrying buckets of water from nearby wells, life was a lot tougher. And from the thunderous "Kallang Roar" that shook National Stadium to the US uproar when Michael Fay was caned, this read will jolt you. Singapore has come a long way from those early troubling times. Without giving much away, I know you will sit up, reflect and appreciate the monumental task of nation-building. When we know deeper how we got here, we can prepare better for the future. Happy 50th Birthday, Singapore! Jeremiah Chin, proud to be Singaporean. LifeMentorCOACHtrainer Do you know that in 1947, the British Housing Committee Report noted Singapore had “one of the world's worst slums … a disgrace to a civilised community”? It was a wake-up call. Sixty-five years on, in 2012, Singapore was placed 1st in the world; Frankfurt and Munich- jointly in 2nd place. Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5) filled the next two slots, while Hong Kong and London shared 6th place. Port-au-Prince (221) ranked at the bottom of the list. The highest-ranking US cities were Atlanta (13) and Dallas (15). What a transformation! How is this possible? New challenges have now emerged; rising cost of living, ageing population, global competitiveness, clamour for more political space and rising expectations of a younger population who is accustomed to expect nothing but the best. To win the hearts of Singaporeans, the nation needs a response that unifies the myriad issues, offering clarity of purpose and long-term vision. And more importantly afterwards, communicate that purpose, vision and action plan simply and clearly. Whether for the ruling party or the opposing parties contesting for the right to rule, the same yardstick applies. “An Uncommon Nation” attempts to provide answers on the basics of nation-building and help uncover the secrets for Singapore’s transformation, highlighting along the way, some pressing issues and challenges confronting the nation and the unconventional approaches to solving them. “No problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it” Albert Einstein PRAISES FOR "AN UNCOMMON NATION" “The success of public housing can be exported to the world”- Pamela PS Lim, Marketing Specialist “Singapore, a nation to be admired; the envy of many”- Veronica Paran, Entrepreneur “Singapore is the pride of Asia and the world of what is possible” Eugene Chia, Entrepreneur “Your country’s leaders had vision and the resolve to see through that vision and bring about a dream.”- Pastor Ferdinand M. De Leon, Senior Pastor “A poignant account of a nation’s trials, tribulations and triumphs.”- John AT Chong, Retired Army Officer “Brilliant anecdotes of a success story of an outstanding nation”- Leila Ayo, Businesswoman Entrepreneur, Philippines “This book captures the pride of a nation”- Sharon Tan Thilagarani, Financial Consultant “Affordable healthcare, transportation, housing are real costs of living issues affecting all countries. The government that can appease most will earn the right to govern”- Johnny Sy, Entrepreneur, Inventor “Your ban on chewing gum is remarkable; even Wrigley could not have their way, all the way”- Christine Roque, Businesswoman “A handbook on nation-building, a must-read for all aspiring nation-builders”- Vincent Soo, Positive Psychology Coach “Singapore- a nation who faces problems bravely and squarely and created her own solutions”- MADAM MARIDES FERNANDO Former Mayor, Marikina City. Philippines About the Author: From his early Army days bashing through tropical rainforests to leading business leaders in more than 35 countries, Andrew James Ong always desires the best for himself, friends and colleagues. Naturally, this desire extends to Singapore- the country he was born and raised. Just as Singapore survived her early tumultuous years to become a model country, Andrew too, survived harsh poverty in early childhood and with true grit honed, overcame numerous setbacks during his illustrious 21-year military career. Beyond the military, he achieved the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in less than two months, an exceptional feat in the insurance industry and he was nominated Singapore Insurance Practitioner of the Year 2001. He also led efforts to help the diabetics in the region regain their health. In 2014, he authored “Common To Uncommon”, a book about razor-sharpening life skills and attitudes for empowerment and purposeful living. Exemplifying his life, he speaks passionately about “forgiveness” and as a motivational guru, mentor, life and executive coach, Andrew empowers individuals and audiences in the region. He lives in Singapore with his wife and three grown-up children. In mid-2015, he authored “Uncommon Mentorship”, capturing his mentorship journeys and experiences both as a mentor and mentee. And a year later, in mid-2016, he authored “Uncommon Clarity”. Visit


    FOREWORD: “….Andrew leaves his indelible mark, by taking the reader from a level of ignorance to that of reasonable competency, to understand what Mentorship is about, regardless of the reader’s experience. It covers areas of measurability infused with know-how. “Uncommon Mentorship” will rattle a few cages, and rightfully so, I must add”- Dr AR Ramesh Nambiar, Developer & Mentor to Conscious Entrepreneurial Leaders, International Professional Speakers & Trainers UNCOMMON MENTORSHIP DO YOU KNOW THAT… A mentoring relationship is a symbiotic win-win-win for three parties: the employee who seeks a mentor, the mentor and the organization employing the mentoring pair. If you are an employee and want a great mentor show you the way, be passionate about life and excel first in your work. Mentors will come looking for you. And, if you own a business, institutionalise mentorship programs and watch your business grow. Mentors help articulate your goals and journey with you to reach them, surpassing new heights every now and then. Today, not having mentors is like living in the stone-age, with a chisel and hammer; re-inventing the wheel out of stone. But, before you choose a mentor, look at the mentors who are mentoring them. Apples do not fall far from the tree. “Mentorship must lead to a desired outcome; without which it is useless chatter”- Andrew James Ong ASK YOURSELF… If you have a mentor, are you better off today than when you first submitted to mentorship? How do you know the mentors are right for you? Do you have different mentors for different aspects of your life goals? Do you surround yourself with “yes-men” or with “men-tors”? These and many other issues about “mentorship” are de-mystified and simplified in “Uncommon Mentorship”. “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”- ALBERT EINSTEIN. (foto Einstein) A direct, simple, straightforward, ground-breaking new approach, this book challenges existing understanding about “mentorship”. After the first chapter, you will be illuminated and challenged to surround yourself with real mentors. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Andrew James Ong - Mentored business leaders in more than 35 countries - Survived four near-death traumas, including two heart attacks - Survived harsh poverty in early childhood and is today, financially independent - Survived numerous setbacks during his illustrious 21-year military career, including forgiving the perpetrators who tried to kill him in a grenade attack. He speaks passionately about “forgiveness” - Achieved the MDRT in less than two months, an exceptional feat in the insurance industry - Nominated Singapore Insurance Practitioner of the Year 2001. - Authored “Common To Uncommon”, a book about razor-sharpening life skills and attitudes for empowerment and purposeful living.. - Authored “An Uncommon Nation”, celebrating 50 of the finest of Singapore’s distinct triumphs through the trials and tribulations of her first 50 years of independence - Leading efforts to help the diabetics in Asia, Europe and beyond regain their health. - Empowering individuals, audiences and organisations to maximise potential in the region; in person, in print, on radio and television and through social media. REVIEWS AND PRAISES FOR “UNCOMMON MENTORSHIP” 1. “An amazing step-by-step guide to mentorship-brilliant”- Edwin Guibao, Quality Assurance Manager of Afnan Water Factory Co. Ltd. Alrajhi group of Companies, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2. “Andrew dares to challenge contemporary myths about mentorship and lays straight what mentorship is and is not.”- Albert Wong, OC, Security Consultant, Ex-SAF Officer, Bible Teacher & Counsellor, Singapore 3. “Another masterpiece”- Johnny Sy, Entrepreneur-Inventor, Baguio, Philippines 4. “The desired outcome following mentorship must be SMART-aligned! Brilliant!”- Leila Ayo, Businesswomen, Entrepreneur, Philippines 5. “Andrew clarifies and simplifies mentorship for the lay person… It can’t be rendered any simpler”- Eugene Chia, Entrepreneur, Singapore 6. “Every household must own a copy; every human being must own a copy”- Veronica Paran Dawayen, Entrepreneur, Health and Wellness Advocate, La Trinidad, Benguet. Philippines 7. “Nobody likes to be told of their blind spots.. it can be humbling”- Joshua Lim, Professional Medical Rep, Singapore 8. “Clear and simple. Brilliant insights”- Cora Dado Elizaga, (The Tarpaulin Girl), Owner, CDE Advertising, Marikina, Philippines 9. “The secrets to mentorship are now revealed”- Vincent Soo, Psychology Coach, Singapore 10. “Andrew has put his talent to good use- a supreme contribution to the mentorship community”- Alaine Fajardo, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur, Philippines 11. “Mentorship benefits the mentee, the mentor and the organisation who employs the mentoring pair”- Sharon Fernandez, Associate Financial Consultant, Singapore 12. "Struggle no more. Help is available. Find mentors to journey with you."- Brother James Dante, "THE HEART OF JESUS ,Baguio City – Philippines 13. “Mentorship extraordinarily explained; simple, direct and clear”- Pastor Ferdinand M. De Leon, Senior Pastor of Global Harvesters Full Gospel Church, Jalan Pemimpin, Singapore 14. “Mentorship can extend to cover every human endeavour, including in government, political, religious and spiritual organisations”- Jingle Corral Gallardo, Entrepreneur, Businesswoman, Senior Beauty Consultant, Philippines 15. “Now, I can embark my mentorship journey, fearlessly and with wisdom” - Michael Leong, Business Lecturer, Singapore 16. “Just like the earlier “Uncommon” titles, “Uncommon Mentorship” is a handbook for life and living.”- Ptr.Benjie M. Calamiong, Senior Pastor, Multinational Faith Bible Chapel Ministries, Baguio City, Philippines 17. “Andrew dispels the myths surrounding mentorship”- Andrew Chia, International Best-Selling Author 18. “Poignant and direct, it pierces deep and let you do some real thinking” Madonna Tolentino Norcio, Senior Sales Director, Mary Kay Philippines Inc 19. “Andrew weaves through the vicissitudes of politics and public opinion with regard to mentorship; what it is and is not.” Richard Ng, Entrepreneur, Singapore 20. "Irrespective of our circumstances, how well we live our lives, depend on how well we understand how lives can best be lived." Rev. Rodel N. Fortes, License Minister of the Gospel. Connie B. Fortes, National Directorial Staff/ National Coordinator Values Formation and Spiritual Transformation Council Phil., Int'l. Inc. Camp Crame, Quezon City, Philippines 21. “The “GRASSHOPPUR” rules of engagement is creative and all-encompassing. I am amazed beyond words”. Stephanie Chanel Ng, Entrepreneur, Singapore 22. “Nobody likes to submit to mentorship. It can be an exercise of great humility.”- Mr. Policarpio Gutierrez and Mrs. Rose Gutierrez, Real Estate Brokers, Philippines 23. “A mentor who is a critical ally can help you see your blind spots. This is the mentorship manual for all life’s situations for the 21st century”- Jeremiah Chin, LifeMentorCOACHtrainer, Singapore 24. “Andrew is uniquely clear and he makes simple and practical how to tackle mentorship”-Christine Roque, Businesswomen, Entrepreneur, Philippines 25. “Direct, systematic and organised…… and to the point.”- Janet Wong, Entrepreneur, Singapore 26. “Studies continue to confirm that those who have mentors consistently do exponentially better than those who have not”- Ferdinand Bravo, Engineer and former editor of Focal Magazine in Israel, Business Owner. Baguio, Philippines 27. “Andrew at his best; clear, direct, truthful- a gift to the coaching and mentoring community”-Jessica Reyes-Ting, Industrial Engineer, Organization Development Consultant-Manila Bulletin Publishing, Philippines

    Chinese Alchemy : Taoism, the Power of Gold, and the Quest for Immortality

    Author: Jean Cooper Here in one slender volume are the essentials to a tradition that dates back to 3,000 B.C. Among the topics covered here are: 1. The origins of Chinese alchemy 2. The quest for gold and immortality 3. The role of minerals and plants, medicines, astrology, yoga, and magic in Chinese alchemy 4. Alchemy in the East and in the West Chinese alchemy, largely associated with Taoism, has a recorded history of more than 2000 years, but traditionally it goes back even further, to the Yellow Emperor and his Three Immortal Ladies, some 3000 years BC. While Western alchemy was concerned with the search for spiritual and material gold, classic Taoist alchemy was a mystical quest for immortality. But like Western alchemy, it was as spiritual quest, its aim being union with the Absolute. J.C. Cooper describes the history and development of Taoist alchemy, compares it with similar traditions in India and Turkistan, and gives it context by contrasting it with the rationale of the Western hermetic tradition. As she writes in her concluding chapter: “The whole work of alchemy is summed up in the phrase ‘To make of the body a spirit and of the spirit a body’…The goal of the Taoist alchemist-mystic was transformation, or perhaps more correctly, transfiguration, of the whole body until it ceases to ‘be’ and is absorbed into and becomes the Tao.” Weight: 124 g Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 13 mm Format: Paperback 160 pages Like us? Visit the Website @