Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mourn Fatigue #Singapore


LKY was a great man, he achieved much with his greatness. These few days of 24/7 coverage on everything LKY is getting a little unbearable as there is so much repeats and loop covering his funeral and all things great about the man.

3 Days of mourning is what I can take as the media coverage seems to be very one sided, not acknowledging other founding fathers of Singapore, claiming all the success of Singapore to just one man.

I respected the man for the things he has done and the civil liberties he has taken away. I do not agree with many of the things he has done, and the choices he has made, but I do believe everything he has done was for Singapore.

For much progress made from 1965 - 1990s, I thank you sir for your great conviction on getting things done.

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Well this is also a good time to hide in a corner, away from TV, media and everything because the constant glorifying of the man is a little too much to handle for me.

I feel that this is actually a time for change. Singapore has progressed so far, and built up so much reserves, but many principles which the country is built on needs to change.

I confess that Singapore is very much a nanny state. Censorship is rampant and people are not at liberty to discuss many things in public. The university -- a place to nurture critical thinking -- cannot hold anything form of political activism, and students cannot even demonstrate in campus about the things they believe in dearly.

With China opening up their economy, their media and society, China has progressed much. In the past, our forefathers came together and built the National Libraries and the communities seemed to be much more connected. There seems to be too much competition to be #1 in Singapore today, and society is fragmented.

The top down approach of solving problems, paying top dollars for consultants and ministers does not seem to work. The scholarship system also creates an elitist society which a small pool of ruling elites paid highly and so disconnected with the ground as they get feedback from a few layers of middlemen which filters out the bad.

I feel that SG50 is a good turning point where Singapore needs to learn to let go. Let go of total authoritarian control and embrace the fact that today, the average Singaporean is much more educated than 50 years ago. We are able to solve problems together if we are enabled to do so.

We do not need high paying ministers to speak and think for us. PAP does not need to control PA, NTUC and other government linked companies, and we should be more lax on censorship and allow dialects and various movies and programs to come to our countries.

Singapore is not a religious society, and outdated laws should be slowly phased out and people should be treated more humanely. Economic success is important, but GDP should not be the only measure we should focus on.

Social safety nets should not be seen as taboo and even when people should be responsible for their own health and finances, there will always be circumstances which make people fall off the track and there should be ways for them to climb back up.

Singapore is a small countries, and we share the same aging population and income gap problem as many countries, and having an inclusive system which eliminates poverty in Singapore is something that can be a model for the world to see and learn from us as well.

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Mr Lee has built Singapore up , and we should not be afraid to take the lead and rebuild the fragmented communities. Moving forward, perhaps we can move in another direction that is more inclusive, allowing more human rights and civil liberties.

-- Iron Bowl

Monday, March 23, 2015

The beginning of a new era: Singapore 2.0


Today marks the beginning a a new era. The passing of a man -- Lee Kuan Yew. Many people credit him for turning Singapore from a Malaria ridden British Colony to an air-conditioned Metropolis.

There is no doubt that his style of leadership with single minded push to bring Singapore this far is commendable, and his ideals that help shaped the country, while benefiting some groups of people, had some consequences which will indeed affect future generations as well.

One of the policy "Stop at Two" is largely effective in reducing the population growth, but with TFR at 0.8, Singapore does face a situation where the population does not replace itself.

When Mr Lee took a step back, but is still involved in politics by being Mentor Minister, MM, many policies which he and his team designed and built were slowly eroded. Casinos were allowed in Singapore, Formula 1 came to Singapore, the public were more eager to voice their opinions on the government's policies and PAP suffered their worst performance with 60.1% approval rate, yet getting 81/87 seats in parliament. Change was inevitable.

There was no doubt that Mr Lee dedicated his life to build Singapore in his vision and he believed it was for the good of all Singaporeans. (except for those who threatened him in 1963 and later in 1987)

With the passing of this great man, I expect some change to slowly come to Singapore. The principles we learn from the founding fathers have changed much and although, many of them were still relevant today, some of them were not followed anymore.

There future presents many challenges ahead. The government and PAP can continue with the authoritarian rule and build an elitist society or build a more inclusive society which supports everyone no matter which economic background you come from.

In the national budget 2015, there seem to be a slight move towards this direction, instead of the rhetoric, "Everyone needs to be responsible for their own health and finances."

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There is a lot of talk about Singapore failing without the lead of PAP, and with the passing of their glorious leader, there seems to be a heavy solemn mood in the air today, rather than anarchy breaking on the streets burning Singapore to the ground. (There is burning in the air due to Haze and Forest Fires though)

I guess with this historic event happening, we should all reflect -- both citizens and ministers -- on how to proceed forward. It is a wake up call for those who are politically apathetic to perhaps be more active in their communities if they wish to participate in building and shaping their nation, a Singapore 2.0.

Perhaps a more inclusive society, with less restriction on the media space is a good start, after all business, arts and culture does support one another, and restricting opinions will only limit our options in better solutions to face the future.

-- Iron Bowl

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Singapore Inc. - Taxi


Public Transportation is quite ok in Singapore. Although the reliability could be better, overall, Public Transportation seems to be ok.

I am however not really happy about oligopoly of the public transportation. It seems like the government, PAP, and many of the Temasek owned companies are in cahoots when it comes to making profits from the public.

SMRT and SBS seems like a riskless private company as the infrastructure is paid by the government and they get to keep much profits, raise fares despite breakdowns and lower oil prices. The CEO is an Army general who does not seems to add much value to the company, yet earning millions a year.

The Taxi system seems to be a mess as well. It is even hard to predict how much the trip is going to cost due to ERP and surcharges. The same culprits are in the game, NTUC etc, and taxi operators (almost like a oligopoly) charging taxi uncle about $120 to $140 taxi rental a day. (This adds to about $50k a year) So if a Taxi cost $120k, then the operator can break even in 3 years?

Much of the risk is upon Taxi drivers, the $1000 deposit withheld when they get into an accident, pay rental everyday, and not guaranteed customers. Taxi passengers pay for booking fees and even the booking system is profitable for taxi operators.

The most handworking taxi driver only take home about $2k plus a month. And perhaps the taxi operators can make the same amount per taxi as well because of their high costs? I assume LTA is regulating Taxi, yet allowing the operators to make so much money? Why can't Taxi drivers own their own Taxi?

If the lifespan of a Taxi is 7-8 years, say the cost of taxi is $140k, should the rental be set to around $2000 a month? If there are about 30,000 taxi drivers, they would be able to make easily $1 - $2k a month from the lower rents. This would allow them to save up more as they do not have CPF and other savings yet standard of living in Singapore is high.

It seems like many of these companies that have monopolized the market are just out for profits. They seemed to be run with the public servant mentality -- do as little as possible, just to get by.

I feel that companies that are funded by GIC or Temasek holdings should have a primary focus to better the lives of Singaporeans before making unreasonable amount of profits off hardworking poor Singaporeans.

-- Iron Bowl

Monday, March 09, 2015

Green Wall... So yesterday.


Once hailed as a great invention, the HYGROWALL or Green Wall where plants can grow on a vertical surface was largely marketed and installed.


As seen in the photo above, the Green Wall was just installed in 2013 and looks pleasant. The Government promoted it everywhere.

A lot of promotion and support was given to the Green Wall, however, I've tried with some of the plants and setup my own version of the Green Wall, and I've often face with dead plants.

I've spoken to some people at Hort Park, and they even informed me that there is 18m high Green Wall at 118 Killiney Road Condominium. Singapore condos get Guinness World Record for biggest green wall, and many companies started research and development on improving the Green Wall.

I was doing some tests and I wanted to find a purpose for this Green Wall (like growing vegetables or other edible plants) but many plants just can't grow sideways. When I looked at my control plants, they died too after a few months.

The system needed much maintenance, it needed piping for water and power. It does cost quite a bit of money, and overall, besides being "Green in color", I do not feel that it is much green at all.

So going by some of these places with Green Walls installed, I realized that most of them that had plants constantly replaced when the plants died, were now bare, and all it took was 2 years.

Great job / Great innovation / Great Recommendation.

-- Ironbowl

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Land cost for everything - Singapore


Lately, I've noticed that there is land cost on everything and when the oil price falls to half it was last year, the petrol prices are only lowered by 15%. "Since June 2014, the benchmark Brent oil price has declined from a peak of US$115 per barrel to around US$50 per barrel recently."

From an unverified source, the tender for 10 years to run a petrol kiosk Temporary Occupancy License can cost up to S$40 million. This means $4 million a year of rent, on top of the high petrol tax in Singapore.

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Building of Condos can be an expensive risk for developers. Many developers though old loopholes and partnership with Temasek Holdings, have already made it big. The newer estates that was up for tender in 2014 in Punggol and Seng Kang are about S$280 per sq ft per plot ratio. Lowest since 2011.

This means that the apartment that you buy (excluding taxes and stamp duties) $280 or up to $700 per sq ft. goes to the government. The government gets the land free or at low cost (formally grass or forest), and sells it at a profit, driving up housing prices.

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Looking at this trend, it seems that everything that the government says, "fair market value" and they call for tenders, it means there are market forces (which may be related to government linked companies) that will buy and drive up land cost and overall property cost. This translates to higher rents and expensive housing.

Compared to various other countries, like German, and even land scarce Japan, many of the industrial land has "rent control" and certain pricing in place, favoring the industries and businesses in the area, ensuring that the rents are kept low to keep the country's export and business cost competitive.

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Driving up cost in everything, allowing speculators to come in, declaring "market value" on things like coffee shops, public housing and many other properties which should be regulated will only drive costs up.

For a small coffee shop, the cost can be S$10 million, and the rents of each stall can be $10,000 a month. This usually mean the rent actually cost more than labor costs. And in Singapore, the business owner that is faced with high rent can either increase price, lower quality of materials used, or exploit their workers.

I'm no economics guy, but I'm certain that everything you buy, coffee, a watch, clothes, etc. A significant portion of what you pay, actually goes into rent cost. I'm not sure if I like paying more thing because rent is high, even in far away places.

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So where does the money go?

The money that SLA make from land sales, property taxes, stamp duties and the excess taxes collected by the government, along with ERP, COE, and various other schemes to siphon money. Along with your CPF, medisave and other $$$, along with profits made by Temasek holding and GIC, say about S$10B a year for about 10 years, will see about S$100B or more in the reserves.

I'm not sure that the "rainy day fund" will every be used to better the lives of Singaporeans, and the excess money now seems to lead to "constant over budget" on projects which do not really benefit the average Singaporean.

I do wonder if anyone knows how much in the reserves do we actually have, and how is it audited, since it is managed by Temasek Holdings and GIC, and whether are there plans to use the money in the near future perhaps when the funds grow beyond S$200B (say a 5% return) eliminate GST, and have more programs to benefit the ones who are left out in the Singapore success story.

I personally do not think such a high reserve is necessary, and I do feel that a lot of people in Singapore are not doing as well now compared to 10 years ago, and something needs to be done to help them aspire more and keep their dreams alive, so that we can all have prosperity and progress for our nation.

-- Iron Bowl

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Thoughts on the Singapore System


The GRC system is a great disservice to the citizens in a democratic country, and it is not ok when the incumbent party with 60.1% votes gets 81/87 seats in the parliament.

Many people are afraid to speak out against the government or even about the failed policies. The 6.9 million white paper which is proposed by the government to increase population in the already strained infrastructure is a good example that in the last 10 years, the government seems more interested in profits than the people.

This problem happens in many countries as well. When there is a time of great prosperity growth and high GDP, and yet, you do not feel any effects at all, except inflation, then something must be wrong.

There are many signs that things are not going well. Since 2007 after the salary increase of the highest paid ministers in the world, things just went south. It seems that the policies are primarily focused on driving up GDP because it seems that the minister's salaries are pegged to the economy. Then, the tax structure are changed much, allowing more rich people to pay less taxes, dropping capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

For 80% or more Singaporeans, this tax does not affect them, and yet, there is GST which is now at 7%, and this GST affects everything, including food, clothes and medicine.

For the past 10 years, inflation due to the open floodgates of foreigners coming to work in Singapore cause rents and properties to be not affordable. Resale HDB sells for over S$1 million and new HDBs in Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio can be easily S$400k and up.

However, salaries for the majority of Singaporeans have not increased much. In 2000, I've a friend who was making $5k a month and he bought a $200k 5-room HDB in Hougang flat with his wife (who is unemployed). Today, someone with his qualifications and experience can make about $6.5k and the brand new 5 room flat for about $420k.

Rents have risen sharply for commercial properties as well, driving up the cost of food and services. The roads are much more congested than before, and there are more ERP. Cost of ownership of a car is greatly increased by high cost of maintenance, (though salaries of the technicians are not much higher) and high COE prices.

Many think that they do not own cars, but as commercial vehicle prices are high, tolls both incoming to and from Malaysia is high, food prices are also affected. Public Transportation is also getting more expensive as the feeder bus service discounted price is no longer applicable.

I've always thought that food prices in the city is high, and people living in the newer estates may pay less for things as rents are lower, however, this is not true. Food cost more in the food courts in Punggol because they are owned and operated by commercial operators, out to make profits.

Because you live away from the city, most of the time, traveling to work and town cost more and takes more time. Housing and rents may be cheaper, but there is not really that much of savings to be made.

Town Councils in many areas are run by "PAP people" and it seems they care more for "building things" than actual social impact. There are so many playgrounds and new playgrounds that are only occupied during weekends, and empty exercise areas which are empty most of the time.

In Toa Payoh, they are actually building elevators at Multi-Storey Carparks which seems to only benefit the rich folks that can afford $100k cars, yet the residents in many HDB flats, especially those who live in the shorter 4 storey ones do not get elevators.

Poorly built sidewalks, bus stops, playground are changed and fixed every 5 years, and there seems to be renovation done to hawker centers every few years as well. And I do not see much improvement beside more inconvenience to the residents during the renovations.

I could say that many of these contracts for the unnecessary constructions and renovations go to the "volunteers" in the GRC who are mainly there for the benefits they get by allying to PAP. They just so happen to own contracting companies as well.

The CPF, Medisave and Medishield don't seem to work well, and as a mandatory system, it seems that the money locked inside the system does not really belong to the owner. Large restrictions are placed to limit access to the money and you incur interest from borrowing your own money.

When a young blogger writes about this, he gets sued by the Prime Minister. When you fear to talk about the government or its policies, perhaps its time to change the government.

When things are not going as well as it should, I think it is time to vote in the opposition to make sure that the government and the highly paid ministers do in fact work for the people and not just for the rich. The growing income gap needs to be addressed, and the focus should be progress and prosperity for the nation.

For a more transparent and accountable government, 50 years should be a new milestone and past state secrets should be open for the public to browse after 50 years.

-- Ironbowl.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Protesting does not make you a better person.


Sadly, really stupid homicidal individuals killed many people in France. And there are many world leaders showing up to stand in solidarity to support the cause of free speech. However, upon examination, it seems that many of these leaders are in government who do jail bloggers and journalists. 

This brings an important message to people that just because you are in a protest, it does not make you a better person. 

Recently, I've met people at the #icantbreathe protests and I am not surprise that some of them are racists. 

I just have a message to Netanyahu -- marching in that protest does excuse Israel's actions against free speech. 

-- Iron Bowl.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Worst Flood in Malaysia - What you can do to aid.


Malaysia has been hit with a bad flood. One of the worst seen. There are many things you can do to help if you are in the region.

For one, you can always donate. However, that is the least you can do as even the mercy relief Malaysia page is down.


If the one thing a disaster relief organization is good at -- FUND RAISING -- Fails, I would not put too much faith in them for delivering the needed aid.

Some of the thoughts on Relief 2.0
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For one, to prevent the question that comes up all the time after disaster relief, "Where did our money go?" Here are a few things you can do.


1) Form your own team. Some people have time to go to the flooded areas, some are good at marketing, some have other useful skills. Everyone can contribute in one way or another.

2) Engage with a local in the disaster area. If you are in Singapore, Malaysia is not far. Ask around Alumni, friends, family for someone you can contact to access the situation. Don't just get information from news.

3) Get a vehicle and ask for support. If you are in Singapore or Malaysia, and you want to drive to the disaster area, you can reach it. After knowing the needs of the ground from talking to the locals, ask friends / family / colleagues for support. They can provide money, food, etc for you to bring up as well.

4) Get others to come. Fill up your car with people and aid!

5) Everyone can contribute. In a disaster, everyone can contribute, but you need to know your value. As long as you have your own sleeping bag, food, water, transport, communications, and you are not a burden to others, you can provide support and aid. Everyone has skills that can be used. Organizing volunteers, bringing food to people who are not in shelters, providing transport for people to hospital, etc. There are lots of things that NGOs do not do in disaster areas that is needed.

6) Run the last mile of disaster relief. There will be many problems that you will encounter. There is always a few choices. Give up or innovate. Bureaucracy may be in your way, and you can either be angry or you can work around the bureaucracy to make things happen.

7) Share. When you are on the ground, share information via photos and videos to Facebook and let people know what is going on at the disaster site. REAL information is better than the news. Document what happened, what succeeded and what failed, and use it as a good leaning example.

8) Get contacts. Find contacts of locals to connect them with others who want to help in the future.


Everyone can play a part to make things a little better.

-- Ironbowl

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rat infestations in Bukit Batok


Whenever you complain about a problem to the town council, they will ignore it until the problem scales up to an epic level.

Instead of solving the problem in when it is developing, Town Councils like to wait till the problem is so bad that they need to spend a lot of money.

In the case of Bukit Batok, AVA, HDB and NEA jointly blamed the residents for feeding stray dogs.
I guess it is really their fault for voting their MP in. Pushing blame is what they do best.

If it was an opposition ward, the media would have covered it long ago and the rat problem solved with a standard so high that cameras will be placed in rat holes to monitor the rats to dig dirt on the opposition.

And most of all, you will not be blame for problems.

-- Iron Bowl.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Much Blood in Singapore

I do believe that crime is up and murders or attempted murders is up. Is stress catching up with the country with the densest population? Only blood can tell.



Bukit Batok...


Tampines


Maybe its time to use blood resistant paints in HDB flats as spraying of blood is getting common on the island. Will property price fall when violence increase?

Perhaps its time to rethink the 6.9 Million White Paper?

-- Ironbowl.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Singapore Economy - Ruined by bad policy?




The firm ISES conducted the survey did not identify the root cause and just conveniently attribute the poor results to labour crunch and high expectation.

Some key poor results:
F&B - 10.5% down
Hotel - 10.4% down
Tourism - 7.3% down

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I have seen many new inexperienced startups follow this cycle, Success, Scale -- FAIL

And I disagree with many of the Government policies in Singapore because it seems to be hastily constructed, and much focused solely on economic growth, above all else.

The new laws seem to favor the rich. No Estate Taxes, No Capital Gains tax, etc. Yet there is GST - A flat 7% tax on everything -- even on necessities such as food and clothes. 

I don't understand how attracting billionaires to Singapore who are no interested in paying taxes beneficial to Singapore, if all they do is to buy properties and speculate. 

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When ministers who are paid millions hold shares in REITS, and directorships on large government linked companies providing public services, there seemed to be a conflict of interest between serving the public and serving the shareholders. 

There is something really wrong when people speculate in HDB flats, HDB retail stores, coffee shops where they are sold off over millions of dollars. Money does not come from voids and someone paid for this -- THE OTHER SINGAPOREANS.

When rents of small stalls in a coffee shop can exceed $8k, then the poor hawker has to pay about $300 a day just to cover rents, electricity and gas. All businesses need to be profitable and if the hawker sells 600 bowls of food, then the consumer is paying $0.50 towards rent. I question the validity of the high rent and as everything is imported and market rents keep going up as they government keep "upgrading" Cooking for yourself is also not cost effective.


Because of high rents, store owners now want cheap labor, which can still be found in terms of foreign workers, and this cause the wages to drop. With poorly paid workers, poorly trained workers, how do they expect good service, from the high prices caused by high rental costs?

I eat in third world countries and pay very little for food, but I do not mind poor service from the third world staff attitude. But paying NYC prices for poor quality service and food because landlords want to earn more is not a good policy for tourism or the economy.

I am sad that the people in charge has killed off some industries and focused so much on Tourism that we not have 2 Casinos where the staff in the casinos are mainly foreigners. As a tourist, I'd be "under happy" when I pay first world prices for service delivered by third world staff. (Not talking about where they came from, but more about their attitudes and service levels)

When you do not treasure labor and see them as commodity, you get uncaring staff who cannot afford a service they provide, and this usually leads to bad service. 


-- Ironbowl



Saturday, November 08, 2014

SMRT Graffiti again


Graffiti happened again at Bishan Depot. In 2010 where vandals painted on the train and a Swiss national was jailed and caned, the SMRT promised to increase security and in August 2011, a hole was cut in the fence at the Bishan depot, and the words "Jet Setter's" were spray-painted on one of the trains.

On 8 November, 2014 it had happened again. LTA and SMRT previously believe that it is of national security that the breach happened and will take the matter seriously, but words as seemed to be cheap nowadays from SMRT who promised to maintain the SMRT trains

-- Iron Bowl

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Media Development Authority tighten regulations REALLY FAST


Wow, MDA (Media Development Authority or Media Destruction Authority) works really fast and when The Independent Singapore published this article, this happened (see below)



Instant Censorshop... Efficient...


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Boston of the East?


I have lived in Boston for more than 10 years and Singapore for more than 10 years, and I can clearly say that from my experience in Singapore now, Singapore CANNOT be anything like Boston under PAP rule.


Sure, Wynn Resort won a bid to build a $1.6 billion casino in the Boston suburb of Everett, beating out a bid by Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs to add a casino to the racetrack. MGM has another resort in western Massachusetts, so if you say Boston is going to be like Singapore -- YES, this will be sort of true as Massachusetts will have 2 Casinos like Singapore in the near future.

There are so many things I like about Boston which you cannot find in Singapore.

1) Great intellectual community and it is a place where progressive ideas are shared (Not FEARED)
2) Socially progressive and politically liberal.
3) Gays are tolerated and an Annual pride parade held every year.
4) People support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion.
5) Boston Strong - resilience of Bostonians to do the right thing when disaster happens.
6) Gay Marriage...

There are also things which you can find in Singapore that you cannot find in Boston.

1) STOMP, people that would rather put up photos of fishball sticks, complaining to the PM than picking it up.
2) Section 377A, which criminalize gay sex.
3) When you break the window of broken down SMRT to allow people to breathe, SMRT contemplates whether to fine you.
4) Comic artist arrested for sedition
5) ISD, Operation Coldstore, etc.
6) GRC System...



So Singapore wants to be the Education Hub like Boston? Is it about GDP again?

Found some failures already...

In June, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia closed its Singapore branch only four months after matriculating its first class of 148 freshmen. Administrators said the project wasn't viable because of low enrollment and high operating costs in Singapore.

Last year, a prestigious research partnership with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was dissolved amid a row over subsidies. Efforts to woo other US schools with strong research capabilities have only yielded modest tie-ups, mostly in joint graduate programs like those of the University of Chicago's business school or Cornell University's hospitality management program.

Students are not allowed critical thinking. Having the guts to stand up for what you believe will get you expelled. There is much of a climate of fear and hush hush when it comes to politics, and how are you going to have the next generation of political leaders where you do not have academic freedom?

Next media is restricted. Speakers are banned from coming to speak about controversial topics, local political movies are banned as well. So University students are not allowed to judge from themselves what they can watch or hear?

I would really doubt any liberal arts degree from Singapore.

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I'm sure the government can subsidize a lot of foreigners to study in Singapore, pay for the building of the infrastructure and we can have world class facilities. Even when you pay for world class professors, the culture, the political environment, the social structure all play a big role in molding students that study here.

Will people who cannot throw away "dangerous plastic bottles" on stairwell railings respond to a crisis like the Boston Marathon Bombing? Will people constantly fear doing the wrong thing and try to ask for permission before they can act, react promptly in a time of disaster?

Well one thing for sure, Singapore having 6.9 million people will have a much higher density than any where else in the world, and making Singapore an education hub will probably benefit much of the local population who are told by the government that it is OK to have a ITE education.

-- Iron Bowl


Monday, September 29, 2014

YMCA fiasco.



Suddenly, everyone is out to condemn HHH and Roy for "Disrupting" a YMCA event. There are articles calling them names, a petition to revoke HHH's citizenship, another article talking about Anarchists.

I'm not there and I've heard that the MC on the stage started engaging with the crowds before the performance and the crowd reacted and when the kids with "special needs" performed, the video was captured and there was an outrage.



There are a few things I don't get. I don't think Anarchists apply for permits to hold protests in small areas. There was a process, process was followed and when these activists got riled up and responded, it was seen as distasteful.

If I was on the stage performing, and people are shouting "Return my CPF" I'd be pissed, but I'd not feel threatened, just saying.

Roy and HHH are probably young and immature, they probably do not have much PR training, and I do feel that HHH has an annoying voice and Roy may look aggressive at times. If I were a matured activist with support, I would do the following.

1) State your side of the case in a video perhaps, narrate what happened keeping it brief, and only pointing out facts for that incident
2) Apologize to YMCA and the kids, even if the chants are not directed to them, it disrupted their performance, (unlike selfies, selfies don't disrupt)
3) Show with irrevocable proof about the application process for the event, what it was for, and what happened before the event.
4) Apologize to the participants who attended the event for the disruption, and the failure to carry out the agenda due to the disruption.

People make mistakes, NParks make mistakes, and if feelings are hurt, find ways to make up.

For people calling for HHH's citizenship to be revoked, will you sign the petition to get Yang Yin's PR to be revoked or the petition to investigate the process of getting a PR or the accountability of an MP to support a cheat to get his PR because he is a grassroots volunteer?

But EVERYTHING is so trivial compared to what is happening in Hong Kong, so please think, how does this affect you?

Lets pray for the situation in Hong Kong to get better.

-- Ironbowl

Friday, September 05, 2014

FACT: Passive aggressive bitches will be pwned (often by ASSHOLES who ignore them)


Perhaps Singaporeans like to be screwed over, and over, and over -- so they have a chance to complain. By trying to look around for passive aggressive behaviors, I found several in the morning.

1) A few old Singaporean folks complaining that traffic lights take too long. I walk over to the traffic light, press the crossing button, and within a few seconds, the traffic lights for the pedestrian turned green.

2) At Toa Payoh bus interchange, a domestic worker was on the phone and did not pay attention to the bus driver waving at her to follow her. As she was the first person in the queue, EVERYONE ELSE IN LINE, started grumbling and complaining while she was blissfully chatting on her phone. Then there was a lot of swearing and cursing going on as she blocked everyone behind her and finally, someone pushed her aside and walked to the bus waiting for everyone.

3) At Bugis Village, a PRC family with their 2 year old daughter walked into the crowd (in the shade) with an open umbrella. The parents did not really care and they did create a pedestrian jam. A lot of Singaporean aunties decided to complain behind the family, and everything stopped when a motorized wheelchair in the opposite direction decide to stop and block the family.

When the crowd became impatient seconds later, people started pushing and the PRC family became aggressive and started shouting back. Before anything escalated further, the lady from the $1 fruit juice stall walked over and was louder than the PRC family and told the kid to close the umbrella and the family not to block traffic and step aside for the wheel chair to pass.

Within the Span of 3 hours, I can witness many stupid passive aggressive Singaporean bitches that will complain and not take action. Is this how the nation progressed in the 49 years? Lack of empowerment paralyzed average citizens not to take action and having that "Lan Lan" mindset and accepting things are "like that lor"



Bitches Please, if you see something wrong, please right it. Most of the time, it takes less effort than complaining. Yes, I'm talking to the Passive Aggressive Bitches in Singapore. STOP YOUR BITCHING.

-- Iron Bowl


Monday, August 25, 2014

High inflation on property price makes Singaporeans not work hard?


Degree or not, in the past 10 years, I've seen a lot of friends do pretty well.

Before 2000, I've several friends getting married, and when they get married, they buy a HDB flat. Sounds simple, and back then it is pretty affordable.

With or without degrees, they could easily afford a brand new HDB flat, 4 room HDB flats in Hougang and Woodlands is UNDER S$200k.

Many of my friends then started to dream big. Earning a salary of $2000 a month, many of them decided to buy a Condo with $0 downpayment, and rent it out when it is fully built, while living in another HDB.

FYI: In 1990, 5-room new flats cost around $70,000.

Here is the Math.

HDB - 4 room - $150,000

Sell after 5 years - $250,000

Profit $100,000

Buy Condo $500,000

Sell after 5 years - $750,000

Profit $250,000

In the meantime, the spouse will buy another small HDB flat to stay in and with profit, upgrade that as well.


As you can see, making $100,000 in 5 years and subsequently, making $250,000 is not really hard. So taking an average of $35k a year profit ($350k in 10 years), for a person who has a job of $3k a month, it is even impossible to make that amount.

As a result, many Singaporeans just want a high paycheck so that they can have maximum loan to get the biggest apartment ever and pray for appreciation.

This method has yield great success over the past decade, from the 80s, all the way to 2010, where the government suddenly woke up and realized that for a large part of the population who did not partake in this "get rich through property" scheme, they are falling way behind.

Today, my friend makes $3000 a month, but he owns 2 condos and a 5 room HDB flat in Ponggol. Yes, it is definitely possible to "succeed" in Singapore without a degree, however, when you look at your earnings compared to what you make on your property appreciation, many people feel that their property makes much more than them. (In fact, when you earn more, the bigger houses appreciates even more)

Thinking back, this also reflects on the bad working attitude on many of these investing Singaporeans. Subconsciously, they are just working for a paycheck to pay off their mortgage, and do as little as possible to get by. No one wants to go the extra mile as their income is negligible compared to their investments, but they need it to secure a loan. So many Singaporeans take as little risk as possible to stay on, and as little effort as possible because they are not paid well.

You can't blame them. This system was put in place by scholars in the garmen, and benefited all, who do not really think about the future generation of Singapore -- how the hell are they going to afford HDB flats?

The easy success path by buying a house seems to be over, unless the garmen continues to bring in more foreign talents, and if that is the case, I would say, hire the foreigners, because the Singaporeans who are earning $$$$ just to pay mortgages are not going to be at their 100% performance, because they rarely get paid more than the returns of their property over time.

This is the sad reality of Singapore.

-- Ironbowl

Friday, August 08, 2014

Happy National Day Singapore


Its National Day again in Singapore, a special holiday for us to give thanks of what exists today in Singapore.

Singapore is such a great country with the world's #1 Port, #1 Airport.

Starting the MRT line is simply fantastic and affordable public housing, HDB totally transformed Singapore slums to what it is today.

Singapore is relatively crime free and there are Neighborhood police post with friendly policemen ready to serve you.

The Medical infrastructure is great and hospital beds always plentiful.

Polyclinics are scattered around the island and are affordable.

Politicians are visionaries and run on passion, and they want little in return.

Singapore is a real garden city where greenery is observed everywhere.

Education is great and going to the university cost so little.

So good to be a Singaporean.

-- Iron Bowl

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oh Deer...


Deer in "disguise" comes along and thinks of ways to screw the others.


Deer approaches and tells others he is doing good for them, helping them plan for retirement, etc...


Deer gains trust and others trust deer...

Guess what happens next... (too graphic to show)

-- Iron Bowl.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Glorious Singapore, glorious leaders.


5 Major Facts about Singapore that every Singaporean should understand


After reading this blog, there are some questions in my head.


1) "Population Control A.K.A. “Why are there so many foreigners in Singapore?” No, Singapore is NOT the only country that is facing an immigration issue."

Singapore is the only country in the world with more foreigners than locals.

2) "While the the information cannot be proved to be true, what we can comprehend is very clear."

Singaporeans is not angry with CPF system, but rather how opaque and ever changing it is. With 2.5% interest and more than 5%  inflation, it does not make sense to put your money inside.

3)  "Singapore is an island state that is no more than 42km wide. It is irrational to blame the government for having such a small island to work with. Since we are born into a small country state, maybe it’s time to accept the fact that not everyone can be allowed to own a car."

Yes, Singapore is a small island, used to have 2.5 million people, and the government wants 6.9 million population? With these kinds of policies, paired with inefficient public transportation and "record profits" for state appointed CEOs of "private" transport companies, yes I think there are reasons to complain about the half million - million dollar public housing.

If its condos or private freehold house, there is no complain, it just ridiculous to have expensive housing and call it public housing.

4) "Because honestly, if you are a Singaporean with a good track record of experience, and your foreign rival has no experience at all, any logical HR manager will hire you instead. Before we start jumping to conclusions, we need to take a step back and appreciate that some foreign workers indeed have the necessary years of experience required and have displayed good working habits in order to get the promotion to a managerial role."

Well, there is also NS, RT and many other baggage that comes with a Singaporean employee. Imagine hiring one and he has o leave work at 5pm to do RT (Say 70% of males) Then a foreigner comes along and can be hired for less because of lax immigration policies, and foreigner does not do NS....

5) "Our government has transformed Singapore from 3rd-world kampung island to 1st-world global recognized state in a matter of 40 odd years."

Japan built itself up from WWII to what it is now, and did the ministers get paid millions? The anger is about the decline of public service and increase in cost since 2000. Medical services got more expensive after subsidies, longer waiting periods for poor medical care... please, for some areas, it was better in the 2000s...

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The article suddenly awakened the PAP love inside of me, I realize that the 60.1% is so right as the PAP is just keeping it real and the Singapore dream alive.

Being an elite white dog, you can dream of one day earning millions of dollars and calling everyone a peasant. Staying in power and creating policies like 7 million population by 2030 does not seem to have any backlash, and no dogs have to take responsibility for poor planning and "over budgets"

Foreigners are so pro-economy. With Foreigners, you can have interesting photos on the island with so much white faces, making a "Swiss-like" living condition.

With SBS, SMRT monopolizing public transportation, and the people closely linked to LTA, Singapore has the most "efficient" public transportation system. Train breakdowns, fare hikes, traffic jams, all part and parcel of being a first world country. Look at all the cities with traffic jams, Bangkok, such wow and booming economy. Definitely makes things more interesting.

Remember, queuing for food, makes food taste better, waiting for public transportation and squeezing inside just make the ride so much sweeter. Not being able to enter the train is ALWAYS your fault.


We should always pay dogs politicians who are placed there millions and put them as heads of public/private companies. It only make sense -- because all non-scholars -- cannot do well in school (really stupid) and if placed in a top position will cause delays, plan poorly, cannot handle budgets and take responsibility. Giving them high salary allows us to respect these scholars and worship them like gods.

As Singapore is not a welfare country, all poor people should be denied healthcare and just die... 

CPF, even if its the money of the CITIZENS, why should they know what is being done to the money? Clearly, they are too stupid to understand how CPF works because if they cannot count in school to pass the exams, even with a degree or working experience, how can one expect a non-scholar to understand CPF?

This country is filled with stupid Singaporeans who cannot comprehend the complexity of CPF. Keeping this info away from them on how it works or how sovereign wealth is invested is for their own good. We don't want suicide rates to increase right?

In fact, we should burn books, knowledge should only be available for the chosen few. why read? Censorship is the way to go forward. If everyone can just lean back and enjoy the ride, (no, this is not a rape reference) then Singapore can be a more pleasing place.

See, if you work 12 hours days and worship money, you can buy things as we  build more malls and food courts. Don't people know that Uniqlo, Charles and Keith, LV stores and other top brands bring happiness and progress? 

If you don't own a bungalow, perhaps its because of your parents, "gay lifestyle" that cost too much. Stop paying all that money on healthcare and beauty products and complain that you cannot afford to live. Well gays should be banned and they are destroying the "family fabric" in Singapore, and they are the primary cause of divorce... Yes, when your spouse gets affected by the Gay virus and becomes gay and divorce you, it will be too late as we need more babies.

Maybe we should send ALL Singaporeans overseas to let them appreciate Singapore more. Give them wads of cash as well to spend there. Nothing beats the feeling of being rich in front of poor people. Imagine your feeling when you can buy meals and show the poor what you are capable of buying and then throwing it all away and destroying the food. Perhaps that will motivate them not to be so lazy and poor. People in third world countries complain too much. If they put the same efforts into working, perhaps they will not be so poor.

Increasing rents is definitely OK. Increasing salaries, NO!!!! Do you mean these assholes who don't go to school and get a PhD deserve to work a single job and make enough money to live on? NEVER. If I have to work hard and compete to get to where I am, everyone else should fail. 



For this is the Singapore way.





Thursday, July 10, 2014

Penguin Love (Banned)

Screenplay

Harry (male) is the leader of the Penguins, having framed the other potential leader as a killer, the zoo keepers sent his threat away, Harry's rule was uncontested.

Pepper (male) is very supportive of Harry, and did all the dirty work for Harry. When no one is looking Pepper even satisfied all of Harry's needs, and every orifice was polished and cleaned. Those were such guilty pleasures and both of them enjoyed themselves.

Harry being the leader, often abused his power, sending those who challenged him away and sometime locking them up. Together with Pepper, they nursed an egg together, and their love for each other was strong. Nothing could keep them apart.

Years later, the young penguins wanted more freedom, and it is not as easy to control messaging due to social media. There are a lot of negative talk about male love, and a large group of cross penguins who became majority are opposed to male love because their leader Kong says that it destroys the family unit and its unnatural.

It was a hard choice that Harry had to make, and to retain dominance on the other penguins, he has to forcefully reject his partner and pick Linda, a girl penguin which is more accepted by Kong.

All the penguins suffer as Harry was never happy, and Harry decided to take everything the other penguins love, and 1/3 of all their fishes, and return to them small chunks when they retire at an old age. When the penguins did not reproduce fast enough, Harry believed in policies to bring in outside penguins to live and help restore the small community.

Harry in his final days inscribed a story about his life on a wall in the ice room . "The hard truths" was the name of the story, and he still thinks of his forbidden and only true love, Pepper.

"I did not live a life without regrets" were the last words that came out of his mouth when he finally passed away.



Here is the potential Trailer

Sunday, July 06, 2014

What is wrong with schools in Singapore today?


I went to take a walk outside this Primary school and found a few empty wrappers of condoms and in the bushes across the road, used tissue paper, underwears and used condoms.

This observation just made me sick, hopefully, its not involving the kids in this school.

-- Ironbowl

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why I love Singapore

These are top 10 reasons Why I love Singapore.



10) There are roads, and public transportation.

Like, wow man... Buses...

9) There is air conditioning.

Like in malls and homes... Wow, such technology, so comfort...

8) There are no black outs.

There are street lamps and yet there are no black outs... wow.

7) People can speak English.

Even the Asian looking people can speak English, though sometimes you cannot understand them...

6) There is no war.

I mean like no armored tanks patrolling the streets, incredible...

5) The beggars give you tissue.

Yes, beggars give you 3 packets of tissue when you give them $1

4) You can drink out of the tap.

Wow, Singaporeans are brave... no waterborne diseases...

3) CPF is awesome

Just like the snake is saving this fish from drowning.



2) People use the toilets.

Unlike some countries, people actually use the toilets... What advanced civilization this must be... People sometimes wash their hands after using the toilet..  Rad!

1) Government is not corrupt.

You only have highly paid ministers who put family members in government linked companies.. No corruption at all. Seriously!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 things in Singapore that cost more than other cities

1) Public Housing.

HDB maisonette sells for record $1.05m in Bishan

Average rental per unit of HDB 
2 Bed room HDB flat - S$2000?? (Because almost impossible to get government subsidized flat and impossible to own one)



Let us compare with NYC
Increase of cost of Public Housing (Manhattan)
How Affordable is Public Housing? (Manhattan, New York)
As of January 1, 2014:
Families in the Conventional and Section 8 programs pay no more than 30 percent of their family income for rent. The rent difference is subsidized by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Average family income in Conventional Public Housing is $23,150.
Average monthly rent is $445.
Working families account for 47.2 percent of NYCHA families.
11.4 percent of NYCHA families receive Public Assistance.
Social Security, SSI, Pensions, Veteran's Benefits, etc., support 41.4 percent of the families.
37.0 percent of the households are headed by persons age 62 and older 19.0 percent of the NYCHA
Population is age 62 or older 33.9 percent of the NYCHA population are residents younger than age 21 and 27.4 percent are minors younger than age 18.


Lets compare this is Malaysia... Errr... Nevermind.

Say a Flat with good location near KL costs RM$80,000??

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2) Lets look at cost of cars.



Toyota Camry 2.0 (New) - Sedan Auto - S$168,888 Guaranteed COE. (Singapore)

Toyota Camry LE 2.5 (New) - Sedan Auto - US$23,460 MSRP (Boston) (S$30k)

Toyota Camry LE 2.5 (New) - Sedan Auto - NT$999,000 MSRP (Taiwan) (S$45k)

Toyota Camry Luxury 2.5 (New) - Sedan Auto - HK$357,700 MSRP (Hong Kong) (S$58k)

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3) Donuts



Lets look at cost of Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme made its local debut here on Oct 12, with an original glazed doughnut priced at S$2.60.

The same doughnut retails at US$0.99 (S$1.20) in the United States and RM2.50 (S$0.98) in Malaysia.

A dozen of the glazed doughnuts here cost S$23.40, but they go for A$15.95 (S$19.10) in Australia.

Krispy Kreme cost less in Tokyo too.



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4) Surface Pro 3



Surface Pro 3 - 512GB Intel i7
Singapore - S$2698
USA - US$1949 (S$2440)


Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA2 PRO Ultrabook 5940 -  I7-4500U Processor 8GB RAM, 256GB DDD
Singapore - S$1967
USA - US$1299 (S$1626)

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5) Beer





Lets looks at Carlsberg 12 Cans
Malaysia - RM45.28 (S$17.50)
Singapore - S$49.95 (NTUC)
USA - US$11.99 (S$14.50) excluding US$0.60 Can deposits


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-- IronBowl







Monday, May 19, 2014

Symmetry... Not


Independence Square in Colombo, something feels odd. The new fountains seemed to be placed in a non-symmetrical way compared to the existing structures. Just making things look odd.




Random pipes appear at parts of the building "Grandstand" which makes a door not able to close. Did the design fail?


Maybe symmetrical is too "yesterday" and random pipes is the new chic...

-- IronBowl

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Video Exposes Mindsets of PAP



Ideas:

This video clearly shows that there is one mind and one thought when it comes to this video. Making this video is a "Good Idea" and like most PAP ideas, everyone in the party have to support it.

Execution:

This video is recorded and edited, probably scripted with pretty good equipment probably bought with PAP funds. I am sure no expense was spared and probably props are even made and bought just for this video. Like most PAP projects, noble ideas fall flat during execution. Group think is strong and other opinions probably squished making any flawed execution -- horrendous.

Aftermath:

Once the deed is done, it is released and people will pray that everything goes well. They may also seek the advice of others, however, the ones they may listen to, are on their side and because of group think, cannot offer other opinions, except "liking it"

It is indeed scary how YP can attract these "talents" and from the sound of their voice, they sound pretty brainwashed. I could say that the indoctrination is pretty successful to turn youth into these errr... "passionate beings"

Every complain will be considered "noise" and the inputs will probably be ignored. Its strange that you can comment on the YouTube video above and if you dislike the video, feel free to comment and see how your comment will either be deleted or ignored.

For that is the "passionate" way.

-- IronBowl

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Profits before the People?


In many Carparks, barriers are built for electronic charging. The barriers are made extremely long to prevent motorcyclists to pass. The kerbs are also made very high and no slopes for handicapped access. On the right, there is just a barrier and no one can pass. Cyclists also find it hard to pass these barriers.

To earn more profits from Motorcyclists, $0.65 per entry, they simply created more barriers for handicapped access. There are many Handicapped lots, in the indoor carpark, but there are absolutely no slopes to allow entry. Perhaps if the people on wheelchairs can do the limbo rock, they can pass under these barriers.

In order to make profits from the motorcycles, have HDB decided to remove access to the handicapped as well?

--Ironbowl

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Is this an ad to recruit MILF?


Why do I see such ads on Facebook after commenting on my friend's status "MILF"

-- Ironbowl

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Annual filing time

Its time for Annual Filing.

Yup, Singpass site, Bizfile Site and ACRA is all not working because you want to file.

I have the same feeling too.




-- Ironbowl

Friday, March 14, 2014

A chat with a Lawyer -- Singapore


I was talking to a lawyer about his religion, and it was a very interesting perspective that I would like to share.

I would say he is a rather successful lawyer, and a Christian that believes in the prosperity bible. He claims to have tithe more than $10,000 a month and to him his conscious is clear, because he "donates".

Everyday, in his job, he find ways where corporates can close down their companies and not pay their employees any severance fees, or way where a company is sold to another company without paying the employees much even when they hold stock options. In short, he helps corporations screw over employees.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

This makes me wonder, are there many people like this lawyer who thinks it is enough to donate and problems in society will magically disappear. Does he know where his donated money is going? And the question is does he really want to know...

-- Iron Bowl