Welcome! I am Kwan Jin Yao, but am known more affectionately as guanyinmiao (which should aptly explain my pseudonym, blog name, email addresses et cetera).
- I write (like crazy). I’ve been writing here since 2009, and I enjoy penning my perspectives on issues concerning Singapore’s education system, community service and volunteerism (here), as well as National Service. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just muddling through, but I’m learning (reading more) and hearing (engaging people on the Internet) through my writing, which is tremendous. On random occasions I also send in letters to the press (here).
- I try my best. I am not the best or most articulate writer, and I am cognisant that there are limits to writing. Hence, I am always looking for different opportunities to try something different, or to shake things up (here and here). My life is defined by my failures (plenty of them, trust me) and misjudgements, but these – in a big and intuitive way – drive me to be a better person day after day.
- I volunteer. I am a volunteer with Children-At-Risk Empowerment (CARE) and the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE). I am a big believer of school-based community service in Singapore, even though I did not start my journey with the noblest of intentions.
- I have served. Having said no to command school – that is, to train to be an Officer or Specialist (not that I would have made it though, haha) – I graduated as a reconnaissance trooper. Even though I had my fair share of frustrations, I served my time with amazing counterparts, with great pride. I believe in the institution of defence; however, I don’t think that should stop any of us from articulating feedback and opinions on how we can improve a far from perfect system (here and here).
- I am going to study soon. Sometimes, I do regret making the decision to not head overseas to further my education (here); nonetheless, I am excited at the moment, for I am headed to the National University of Singapore to do a Bachelor of Business and a Masters of Public Policy.
- I read, run and Ramsay. I’ve just started to read more actively (here): my favourite authors are Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (quite naturally, I adore the detective fiction genre), my favourite book is And Then There Were None (here), and my favourite novel is Les Misérables (here). I run three times a week to exercise and to clear my mind, and I enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay’s television series and cooking shows (all of them, The F Word in particular). Excessively so, maybe.
Enjoy yourself here!
Kopi With The Minister October 3, 2011
National Issues Raised In ‘Kopi With The Minister’ Talks
Full-time national serviceman Kwan Jin Yao said: “I think policy forums like this are a good starting point in terms of generating feedback and interest in issues that most youths are concerned about in Singapore. But I think moving forward, there needs to be more specific discourse on issues because a theme like active citizenry is quite broad. There needs to be specific sessions where individuals can talk about issues on a more in-depth and focused perspective as well”. (Link)
Raising Hot Policy Issues At “Kopi Talk” For Students
“Such dialogues are good starting points to engage youths. But there needs to be a follow-up on those ideas to bring them beyond the rhetorical dimension”, said Mr Kwan Jin Yao, 20, a participant at the dialogue session. (Link)
受访公众：下届大选将更有＂看头＂ May 29, 2009
Launch Of Youth Vibes (REACH) January 8, 2009
- Engaging Youth In Nation-Building
Kwan Jin Yao, 17, an editorial member of the website, is part of a group of young people who will keep the website updated and relevant. “We hope young people can come in here to make constructive criticism. Unlike other forums where a lot of discussions are lost, there will be follow-ups here”, said the Hwa Chong Institution student. (Print)
- REACH’s New Active Citizenry Initiatives
One of the junior ambassadors is 17 year old, Kwan Jin Yao, who together with his team, decides on monthly topics to be discussed on the webpage. “This new Youth Vibes portal, in a sense, would gather feedback from individuals and this feedback would be turned into action rather than just words itself, so I think that’s a main selling point that these different ideas can be turned into reality”. Feedback received through these sites will be followed up on and sent to the relevant agencies, says Jin Yao. (Print, Print)
华侨中学（高中部）学生关进耀（１７岁）是编辑组成员。他说：＂一些人想法消极，认为即使提供了意见也不会有任何改变。如果他们在 Youth Vibes 留言，民情联系组将把建议整理出来，转交给有关部门参考＂。(Print)
Dialogue On The 2008 Budget February 21, 2008
- 70 Students Quiz Minister On The Budget
Seventeen-year-old Kwan Jin Yao, from Hwa Chong Institution, wanted to know why the disabled did not get a bigger hongbao in the Budget. (Link)
- Launch Of JRA Programme
“I will try through my network of friends first; through the school, through different organisation, different individuals I worked with. Gradually if there is a possibility, since this is a 2 years programme, we could reach out beyond the school. Through the bottom-up approach, from the school t society and to the Grassroots, gradually we aim to voice our opinions, which hopefully will be heard by the government as well as the relevant ministries”. (Link)