Annoyingly they might even pop out of our mouths unexpectedly.

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Those who have worked with Tan in the past described him as humble and empathetic. Andrew Koay June 28, , PM. A new People's Action Party candidate Desmond Tan has been getting unsolicited, organic rave reviews on social media. Tan, 50, had served as a brigadier-general with the Singapore Armed Forces before working as the chief executive of the People's Association. And since his unveiling, s from Tan's year career with the military have surfaced, painting a picture of a man who cared for his soldiers. Calling Tan — among other things — "humble" and "friendly" to everyone, Facebook user Alvin Chua shared a video of Tan introducing himself along with an anecdote from when Chua was just a "two-month-old recruit". Marcus Ng wrote about how Tan was widely acclaimed to be "kind and great", and "a very hands-on and empathetic leader".

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Since then he has lived simply in a monastery, meditated on snow-capped mountains deep in the Himalayas, and led dharma retreats all over the world.

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This is why Cheong prefers to be known as the Venerable Tenzin Drachom, a name given by the Dalai Lama and an acknowledgment of his year military career. Now I destroy the enemy inside. But as a young, scrawny boy, Drachom never had ambitions of ing the military. Or any strong ambitions, for that matter. In Decemberthe year-old enlisted for National Service and eventually ed on as an officer cadet, after seeing his bunkmates do the same.

Singapore Airlines flight SQ bound for Singapore was hijacked by four male Pakistani passengers shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur. The plane, carrying passengers and 11 crew, landed at Changi Airport at about The hijackers, armed with knives, lighters and what looked like explosives, assaulted the pilot, attendants and passengers.

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Two saf wants good man to talk to were pushed off the plane. The hijackers, who wanted the plane refuelled and flown to Sydney, made their demands: To speak to former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and have the authorities release a of people jailed in Pakistan. After negotiations spilled into the wee hours of the next morning, the hijackers lost patience and threatened to start killing if their demands were not met. SQ sits on the tarmac after the hijacking rescue operation.

It was then that authorities gave the al: Special Operations Force SOF commandos were ordered to storm the plane and rescue the hostages. Drachom, by then a seasoned SOF trooper, was part of the team. From their training, the commandos knew the interior layout of various aircraft types like the back of their hands. Under the cover of darkness, they approached the Airbus A At about 6. The operation lasted just 30 seconds. The rescue operation naturally made front news.

We go there and do what we train for because there will be that trade-off. When the commandos returned to base, Drachom said nobody there knew how the operation had unfolded. But soon enough, elite forces from around the world wanted to visit, curious about how they had executed the mission so successfully. He retired from the force, but knew immediately what he wanted to do next. Having grown up in a Buddhist family, Drachom had been practising the religion since his teens.

He studied at the Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Geylang and eventually became its vice-president. As a soldier, he would wake up at 4am every morning to pray before leaving for camp. Drachom right with his teacher at the Amitabha Buddhist Centre. Photo: Tenzin Drachom.

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While Drachom said his Army colleagues were not surprised by his decision, they still did not expect him to go that far. The Dalai Lama leading ordination ceremonies for a group of Taiwanese monks at his residence in Dharamsala.

There was no time to waste. He shaved his head and took his vows. The rigours of monkhood, when the goal is to rid your mind of worldly distractions through constant prayer and meditation, did not bother Drachom. He had grown used to it through decades of practice. Drachom has been a monk for about five years now. Photo: Aqil Haziq Mahmud. The other is awareness of negative emotions that cause an unpleasant state of mind prevalent to all.

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Still, Drachom faced some challenges. Drachom's home is filled with Buddhist ornaments, like this centuries-old stone relic.

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But to understand how Drachom first became such an elite soldier, you have to go back to his career-defining moment ina few months after he was commissioned as an officer. He was woken up by his bunkmate who told him the SOF was going to hold a selection for its first ever batch of operators.

A large applied but only 60 were invited for the actual selection. And out of that, just 32 got in, Drachom among them.

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He passed open and classified military courses saf wants good man to talk to locally and abroad, including Airborne, Ranger, Combat Diving and Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol. Drachom has amassed various memorabilia throughout his military career, which started when he was an air defence artillery officer. Navy SEAL trainees during Hell Week, which is five-and-a-half days of continuous training on a total of four hours of sleep. When he first went diving, the instructors reminded him to breathe underwater.

He dismissed the statement as rhetorical, but only understood when he slipped into the degree Celsius sea. The sheer fatigue also meant Drachom fell asleep the moment his head hit the pillow. Drachom persevered through a year of physical and mental torture with little sleep, eventually passing and receiving the coveted SEAL trident.

Of the trainees in his batch, only 28 passed the course. On graduation day Drachom said he felt the sun was shining for him. He stood proudly, chest puffed out. So when Drachom was told how difficult his first dharma retreat would be — monks would isolate themselves, live on minimal food and meditate for hours each time — he laughed it off. The cave in the Himalayas which Drachom meditated in. Drachom took his meditations a step further, following in the footsteps of religious figures and heading to remote places considered blessed.

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Two years ago, Drachom and a friend travelled to a deserted cave on a mountain in Rolwaling, located in the Himalayas. To reach the cave, they had to take a helicopter to the snow line before embarking on a one-day trek. Drachom surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Drachom spent about three weeks meditating there.

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This is where monks as young as 12 start on a curriculum which lasts for 25 years. Outside the Sera Jey Monastery. The day is then broken down into four sessions of meditation. The first session is from 4. Then it is rest time, which can involve light reading, lighter meditation or catching up with the news. Monks inside the Sera Jey Monastery. The next session runs from 9am to noon, after which is lunch, usually rice and vegetable soup with seasonal fruits like mango or papaya. If Drachom misses the taste of home, he cooks instant noodles.

Monks then take a one-hour siesta, before doing some more revision, going for debates and attending lectures. The third saf wants good man to talk to runs from 3pm to 6pm, then it is another cup of tea, before the final session from 7pm to past 9pm. No dinner is served, but Drachom is used to it. The monks would then do some final revision before sleeping at 10pm. It is another 4am start the next day. Drachom in the meditation room on the upper floor of his maisonette.

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It is clear that Drachom is serious about his quest for nirvana. Soon he is going to India and then Paris for a couple of retreats. Drachom usually spends a month abroad before returning to Singapore for a week. Then the cycle repeats.

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In Singapore, he tries to teach and attend to those who need help with their problems. Drachom attends to visitors in his living room. Drachom is no stranger to helping people. Drachom speaking to his cadets. The years from to were arguably when he left the greatest impression in the military, as he helped transform young cadets across seven batches into full-fledged officers. Drachom leading his cadets in the 1, sit-up-challenge.

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