Cannon Bald Fellowship 2015


CANNON BALD FELLOWSHIP 2015The Cannon Bald Fellowship 2015 is the first fun and affordable Life Coaching, Networking and series of Developmental training programme designed to prepare and launch fellows towards a smoother journey in life.

This fellowship will begin on 5th March 2015.

Fellows will receive 20 hours of training in the following areas:

Training will be conducted weekly in the evening, 2000hrs – 2200hrs at A’Posh BizHub, #04-23, 1 Yishun Industrial St 1, S(768160).

Fellows will be required to clock 20 hours of assessed apprenticeship in one or more of the following areas that they have been trained in and will be renumerated for 10 hours of the apprenticeship.

All fellows will receive professional mentorship and FREE life coaching over a 12-month period upon successful sign up.

Participating in this fellowship requires a high time commitment and fellows are expected to be able to commit to complete the training sessions and apprenticeship.

CANNON BALD FELLOWSHIP 2015 TRAINER

To Apply

  • Minimum age of 21 years (Interested fellows below 21 will be assessed on a case-by-case basis)
  • Passionate about learning
  • Passionate about life
  • Open to sharing experiences

Interested fellows can email their CV and indicate their interest to whatsabd@gmail.com. Please put the email subject head as “Cannon Bald Fellowship 2015”. All applications must be received by 18 February 2015 at midnight.

Only successful applicants will be notified. A maximum of 15 fellows will start this fellowship. Applicants who are not successful will have an opportunity at the next fellowship.

A participation fee of SGD$1,000 is applicable upon successful application.

Exercising Importance of Interfaith-Intercultural Understanding (for work and personal)


As part of my Community Solutions Program Fellowship follow-on project, a speech highlighting importance of Interfaith-Intercultural Understanding at Singapore Polytechnic to graduating students of Diploma in International Business.

If you are interested to have an Interfaith-Intercultural Understanding Program workshop for your school/organizations, email me abdillah@bydefinition.net

Other workshops available:
– Positive Bystander Intervention
– Successful Events Management
– Personal Leadership Planning
– and many more!

Follow me on twitter @AbdillahZamzuri

Why Little India riot won’t be the last one


When I first heard the news of the Little India riot, I hadn’t turned on my TV set yet since arriving back from my fellowship in the United States. I haven’t watched the local news for months and had only kept myself abreast of Singapore news through Facebook updates I read on my timeline because I really didn’t have time to surf news websites.

So, the Little India riot came to me as like a premonition that I’d second guessed throughout my entire fellowship.

I had gone on this fellowship to take a break from the day to day work that I do in Singapore, as a social entrepreneur and as a grassroots volunteer to look at the issues facing Singapore and the challenge that lies ahead in times of globalization. Throughout my entire fellowship, I had met and spoken to many leaders involved in diversity and peace education programmes and was under tutelage from one of the world’s best conflict negotiators.

In my research and development of a project under the theme of Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, I had been tracking the trend of major incidences that had shaken Singapore’s fragile social structure from the years Singapore was known as a state till today and my observations showed that there was a lot to be worried about. In other words, it was just a matter of time before something as huge a scale as the riot or bigger, would happen.

In fact, I don’t think the Little India riot is the last that we will see in the coming years to come. 

If structured programmes focused on encouraging understanding between faiths and cultures and integration are not implemented and institutionalized, I’m afraid that Singapore will be heading for disaster, not only politically but also economically and socially. The problems in Singapore are deep rooted and have almost always been swept under the rug, the policies implemented do not reflect the social needs of society but only serve to improve economical needs of the country.

Having undergone diversity and conflict resolution training aside from attending countless seminars in the US, it all boils down to two key things:

  • Conversation
  • Structure

Conversation, as a form of communication to build trust and understanding of one another.

Even my mentor, Eboo Patel, one of many advisers to President Obama’s interfaith relations speaks about it in his speeches and implements it in his programmes. Unfortunately, having open conversations to discuss race and religion is not encouraged in Singapore. 

This is policy failure number 1.

Structure, to institutionalize trust and understanding between one another.

The HDB may have been intended to encourage social interaction (aside from better use of land resources) and People’s Association, to build social cohesion between communities (aside from helping society understand government policies) but unfortunately, living in HDB has caused more people to live in seclusion because of a lack of available common space and People’s Association hasn’t been as effective as it should because its activities simply lack the very element it needed, understanding.

The MOE also fails in its ability to engage and encourage students to build trust and understanding of one another through its Social Studies programme. With a focus on achieving academic excellence, teachers are spending time to rush through the curriculum than to build positive relationships between students (some do).

In short, the entire structure wasn’t build for success at building trust and understanding and positive relationships between individuals and communities. Evaluation indicators were probably measuring or monitoring the wrong markers, partly due to how statisticians like to play with numbers and statistics to ‘look good’ rather than to reflect the overall situation.

This is policy failure number 2, 3, 4 and 5.

The latest news that I read recently was on how MND was considering to house foreign workers on offshore islands. This is the biggest failure in integration that Singapore can make if it does go through. It’s bad enough that foreign workers are placed in dormitories, away from the cultural norms of Singapore, making it hard for them to understand the subtle nuances that we all need to learn to live peacefully and harmoniously.

In words that I can describe from a conversation with a Californian friend who came to Singapore with hopes of settling down here, Singapore is a sad country to live in. You don’t see happy faces on the streets, Singaporeans are pessimists and will probably live their whole lives never to experience life fully beyond going to work to earn a living.

Coming Home


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Coming home, I’m coming home
4 months away, now I’m coming home
Lived half of my dreams thousand miles away

Coming home, I’m coming home
Listen to me ya’ll, now I’m coming home
Just had the best months of my life being away

Strangers at first, but Hey I’m from Singapore the city
Made new friends,over in Georgetown University
Flew across the country, lived in a place called Orange County
Completed my fellowship at the UCI, damn I eat at the UTC

I’ve seen the faces, I know the places
I sped on the freeways, they got large spaces
It’s a sensitive place, watch your words or get it in your face
OCTA is the bus I take, “How you doing?” I’ve learnt to ace

Coming home, I’m coming home
4 months away, now I’m coming home
Lived half of my dreams thousand miles away

Coming home, I’m coming home
Listen to me ya’ll, now I’m coming home
Just had the best months of my life being away

From San Diego to San Francisco, that’s my life in the west coast
I drove and I flew, everything you need to know is on my FB post
I’m feeling good, I feel nervous, I’m coming back living in the east coast
I’ll make a name for myself, I swear to you God is helping me the most

So come and join me, you’ll want to be in on the journey
I’ll listen and share some stories, I’ll tell them like a horse or a pony
I’m now a Fellow but i would still use that Sony
Cos between you and me, everyone in the world now is my homie

Coming home, I’m coming home
4 months away, now I’m coming home
Lived half of my dreams thousand miles away

Coming home, I’m coming home
Listen to me ya’ll, now I’m coming home
Just had the best months of my life being away

Being a Good ‘Fellow’


I am only hours away from my departure time to the United States of America where I will be spending the next 4 months serving out my Fellowship at University of California, Irvine working on the theme of Tolerance & Conflict Resolution. 

In this US Government sponsored scholarship under the Department of State and managed by IREX, the Community Solutions Program will see 60 global community leaders coming together to work on their chosen themes before returning back to their home country to implement a social-community project.

Being THE FIRST SINGAPOREAN to be on this program, there is a lot at stake, not only for future Singaporeans who wish to participate in this program, but also, for myself as an individual representing Singapore.

Singapore's First 'Ambassador'

Singapore’s First ‘Ambassador’

There hasn’t been much coverage on the English media with the exception of MediaCorp English news agencies (ChannelNews Asia and TODAY) giving me a bit of airtime, much of the support has come from the ones closest to me (via Facebook) and most definitely, the Malay media (Berita Harian, MediaCorp Malay News and MediaCorp Malay Radio) for the extensive coverage.

The current feel that I am getting would be one that I would describe as a scene from a movie that perhaps, most of us are familiar with. The storyboard would run along the lines of, 

“A village boy becomes the first villager in history to have been selected/accepted to work/study in the City/University. The whole village rallies in support, hoping the boy will be able to find a better life and come back with greater knowledge to help the rest of the villagers to seek an improved life. As the boy prepares to leave, the villagers comes to him to give him words of encouragement and for some, gives him something for the long journey ahead”.

Perhaps, that’s how I see my story churning out at this moment, playing the role of that village boy.

Who would have ever thought that the son of an orphaned immigrant with only P6 education who became a ship Captain and a self-employed seamstress cum home-maker would have gotten this far in life?

Certainly not the son, nor did anyone especially when society today demands that to be a success on its terms, you need to have at least a Bachelors Degree (which the family is unable to afford).

But opportunities come in many different forms and as to how our lives will eventually become, no one will ever know.

One thing for sure is that some dreams do come true  although not always as how you imagined it to be BUT God has his ways to put you on that path you wanted when you some of the things he likes (or at least I choose to believe so).

So, in the coming months to come, do stay tuned to this blog as I share my experiences (because I am otherwise forgetful).

Before I end, I do have a few people to thank for:

– Dimas, a friend from Indonesia who introduced me to this program

– Nurul from Singapore Press Holdings Berita Harian for the humbling news coverage

– Riz from MediaCorp Malay News for the coverage on TV

– Friends, Family and Colleagues for the undying love and support shown

– Anyone else who’s throwing your support behind me whom I haven’t a clue of (Send me a Comment! I will reply!)