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Facebook user's rusty watch metaphor is all we need for going strong -
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Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024
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TL;DR – Learning is a “leong leong” journey, not a destination.

Chances are that most of us would have at least one watch.

Go ask any watch enthusiast out there, they would probably tell you that all watches, branded or not, should be sent for periodic servicing to ensure that they can function perfectly.

Likewise, for our knowledge or skills, we all have it. They, too get “rusty” if we stop using them, says Facebook user Ryo Leong.


Ryo Leong, who is a strong advocate for life-long learning, wrote a heartfelt post on both Facebook to encourage Singaporeans to never stop learning and to go for training courses once in a while to stay relevant.

Leong shared that he really looks up to his father and is extremely proud of him. His father, who will be turning 84 next month, still shows up for work everyday. A highly experienced watch technician, the Senior Leong has a little shop which is tucked away in the corners of Seah Im Road Food Centre.

This is something that the Junior Leong is supportive of because it gives his father something to look forward to every weekday, especially after the passing of his mother.

Why should there be an expiry age for people’s desire or willingness to work?

For the Senior Leong, it’s no problem to continue working since he is his own boss.

But what if you have continued to upgrade yourself to stay relevant to your job and to your industry all these years. And you’re perfectly fit and able to work, and you want to carry on working past the current retirement age of 62, but your employer wants you to go?

Minister Ng Chee Meng joined the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) in April 2018. In his first speech in Parliament after joining the Labour Movement, he mooted the idea of setting up a committee to better support older workers.

Yes, like what the Labour Chief had said,

“Why should there be an expiry age for people’s desire or willingness to work?”


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So a new tripartite workgroup was then set up to look into the concerns of older workers and how to protect their interests as the resident workforce ages. NTUC represents the workers in this tripartite workgroup and their aim is to fight for better protection for the workers.

After a year of intense discussions and hard negotiations, the workgroup presented a report with 22 recommendations, of which the Government has accepted in full. The recommendations include raising the retirement and re-employment ages to help our older workers continue working if they wish to.

Changes to Retirement age and Re-employment age

Yes, PM Lee Hsien Loong announced about raising the retirement and re-employment ages in his National Day Rally (NDR) speech last Sunday.

If you’re an Internet addict like me, then you may have read some rants on alternative media sites about the Government wanting Singaporeans to work until we die.

Nope, not true at all.

Basically, the change to the retirement age and the re-employment age is about the Government giving policy security for our seniors who wish to have a longer career runway. It is not asking seniors to work till longer or until they die. The change is to protect workers. For those who want to work, extending the retirement and re-employment ages protects them so that no employers can force the workers to quit before the re-employment age of 67 today, and 70 in the future. 

But if you or your father, mother, uncle, aunty want to stop working at 50 or 60, sure, please go ahead. Anyone can stop work any time. No one forces you to retire only at the official retirement age.

I mean, you shouldn’t deprive others of pursuing a meaningful life just because you want to become “rusty” yourself, right?

Does it affect the senior citizens’ CPF Payout Age?

Since PM Lee said it three times, it must be important, haha!

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He stressed that these newly announced adjustments do not affect CPF withdrawal policies or withdrawal ages. He’d said,

“…To be absolutely clear: we are not making any changes to CPF withdrawal policies or CPF withdrawal ages. You can still take out some money at age 55. And you can still start your CPF payouts from age 65. All that remains exactly the same.”

So please ignore any rumours you may hear about this, or messages on WhatsApp, because they are fake news!”

So I’d say, the new changes to the Retirement and Re-employment Act ain’t a bad move after all.

For all those people talking about how extending the retirement and reemployment ages means they have to work till they die, please stop confusing people.

And oh, by the way, if you have a watch that requires servicing, you know where to head to now! winks


Leong Times Service

2 Seah Im Rd #01-03 Singapore 099114

Phone: 6273 4677

Mon to Fri (11am to 6pm)


Here is the full text of Ryo Leong’s Facebook post:

“A mechanical watch like this has more than a hundred parts. For them to work together perfectly to tell time, they need to be well lubricated and clean to prevent friction (which will slow things down). Hence, watches, like cars, require routine servicing. I’m told that those that are made before the mid-1980’s should be serviced every 3-4 years.

Even watches that are not worn requires (or perhaps, especially need) servicing… When watches are not running, the lubricants dry up faster and it can be damaging to the watches. I am reminded by an old wise saying that “tools that are not used will get rusty”.

Similarly, we have acquired many tools in our minds… Be it knowledge or skills, they will also get “rusty” if we stop using them. And we should go for “servicing” once in a while as well… to study or read up latest developments in order to keep these tools in tip-top conditions. In our busy lives, we can also turn to training courses where we can download from others who have done the “studying” to get quicker downloads. Life-long learning is something I advocate strongly for.

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Back to the watch… I never worry over its condition as I rely on my dad to help me service it. My dad is coming to 84 next month. I kept asking him to continue working as long as he is up to it, especially after the passing of my mum… to prevent him from getting “rusty”. The business is something that he can look forward to every weekday. I thank God that he is still going strong. He is one of the first (if not the first) to be sent to Switzerland to learn quartz watch repair and have years of experience as a watch technician (I was very proud to put that as his occupation whenever I had to fill up forms in the past).

So, if you have dress watches sitting in your drawers that have not been serviced in a while, you can pay him a visit at Seah Im Road Food Centre (the one opposite Harbour Front). The small shop is located at the far end of the food centre behind the tailors (Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm)

Oh… and if you want to service your brains on how to influence others on an emotional level, you can sign up for a one-day workshop conducted by yours truly. Deetz in the comments below. ☺️”


By Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!

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