The winner of this month’s quality writer of the month award is a long time contributor. His writing is exceptional. It is insightful, mature, poignant at times and brutally honest at others. Was not too surprised to learn that he was once an English Teacher!

When new writers have trouble, I usually ask them to refer to his reviews. Especially this one of Komala Vilas which is one of my all time favourites.

“Fond memories with Grandad”

When I was a teen in the 90s, my grandad was still able bodied. He had a motorbike which he rode to everywhere for anything. I enjoyed going on joyrides with him. Another thing that both of us enjoy is good thosai.  On weekend mornings, he would wake me up early, both of us would go straight down to Komala Vilas for our thosai fix.

He loved masala thosai while I loved the ghee thosai, we would eat our fill at the restaurant, having the best possible experience, before ordering takeaways for those at home. Of course, it doesn’t taste as good once you get home 30 minutes later. 

Nowadays, my grandad is frail, his kidneys have failed, his heart is failing and everytime I pass by this place, it reminded me of the good times I had with him and I never fail to shed a tear thinking of those times again.

TSL August 2013 Writer of the Month:

Khairul Nizam

Q1: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re doing at the moment in life. Why do you always end up in Changi Village! 

I am currently a Recruitment Manager at a Human Resource Solutions company. Part and parcel of my work is to develop the business further to earn my boss greater profits while I get to enjoy miniscule returns by way of reward.

I was a teacher for close to 11 years until it made me sick, literally and figuratively. My time in the Civil Service had nurtured the cynic in me to be an  impossibility and had developed my critical abilities beyond insufferable levels.

I am born with an acid tongue that seems to get sharper with age. Blessed with a really dry wit, it also occurred to my friends that it had become so dry to the point of aridity since I turned 36. 

So why do I always end up in Changi Village? To get the record straight, I am there when the sun is still way above my head so the thought that I am there to hunt “chicks” ought to be banished from your heads.

The Singapore Aviation Academy is a client of mine and I have staff working there. I go there often to iron out any issues that may arise. Of course, since I am at Changi Village it would only make sense for me to pamper myself right?

Q2: What is your favorite attraction, restaurant and hotel in Singapore? 

My favourite attraction: Raffles Lighthouse. Had always wanted to visit it. Finally had my chance to do so this year thanks to my work done for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Beautiful. Pity that it is a restricted area though. 

My favourite public attraction would be the remnants of the fort at Tanjong Berlayar (Labrador Park to most of us). There’s something about war relics that turns me on. 

Favourite restaurant: Pete’s Place. I had a memorable dinner there with the lady that I loved but never got to marry. 

Favourite hotel: What used to be Beaufort Sentosa. Again, beautiful memories with the above-mentioned lady.  

Q3: Tell us a bit about your writing background and share some tips with our writers! 

I started writing as an extension to my reading addiction. Writing stories allowed me the opportunity to be able to make believe, re-live my life all over again and a form of escape. Really, that’s all there is to it. An escape.

I don’t write to change the world or to expound earth-shattering philosophy. I just write to satisfy myself.

When I write for work, I write to sell to make my boss richer. That I do very well too. 

I taught a fair bit of writing in school. This was what I drum into my kids: 

  1. Learn your grammar rules. Bad grammar ought to be made a capital offence. 
  2. Practice by writing anything you feel like writing. 
  3. Have a sense of purpose for your writing. If you are trying to entertain, then entertain. If you are trying to sell, sell. 
  4. Don’t force a style. Let it come naturally. Better to be a natural than a fake. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everybody does so. Thing is, make time to revisit your writing and edit! In my world of work, grammar and factual errors may be fatal. 
  6. Find a muse. I love observing women. They have so much to be written about. 
  7. Just enjoy writing for the sake of writing. 

Q4: Any last shouts you would like to make. 

I’m really writing all these with a smile on my face…yeah yeah I know I sound like a really unlike-able scrooge but you go and decide which is a joke and which isn’t.  

Plus, I am getting sick of making my boss rich. If there’s anyone out there who can give this fella a break…I’d write you anything…love letter, prose, short story, resume, obituary…just name it!


Here are some pictures of Pulau Satumu. I’d give anything to stay on that island to relax.



You can read all of Nizam’s reviews here!

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