Chew Wee Kai

Director, Hua Language Centre

Chew Wee Kai is the director of Hua Language Centre. He was formerly a specialist inspector for Chinese Language at the Ministry of Education as well as a journalist.
Everything is a blur and makes no sense... (Photo: Candice Chan)

When these eyes of mine can no longer read

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai ruminates on ageing and what goes on inside and out as one inevitably moves into the twilight of life, not least the obvious signs of failing eyesight. Where once it was a joy to read The Water Margin and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, now the spirit is willing but the eyes are weak.
Nantah's first graduation ceremony, 1960. (SPH Media)

Memories of graduating in a tent at Nanyang University

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai thinks back to the first time he attended a university graduation — in a tent. However, the solemnity of the event still shone through, in a fitting tribute to the effort of the graduates, as well as the travails of that storied university called Nanyang University (Nantah), and all that it came to represent.
Villagers in Adam Park washing clothes near a common well. In the early 1960s, people who lived in kampungs (villages) had to draw water from common wells. (SPH Media)

Old Singapore: Of wells and life

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai reminisces about the wells that he used to know as a child, and the stories and memories evoked of Singapore in the 1960s, in the days of water rationing and floods, when water did not come from turning on a tap, but tapping into the ground.
A man uses a newspaper against the rain in Chinatown, Singapore, 1 January 2021. (SPH Media)

Of butt lumps, stomachs and heads: Chinese language of the common folk

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai regales us with anecdotes of various uses of the Chinese language among the general population in Malaysia and Singapore. While grammar and usage might not be the most accurate or logical, somehow one still manages to figure out the meaning, and bonds between people are formed.