Monday, December 29, 2014
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
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.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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
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?
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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
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.
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.
Saturday, November 08, 2014
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
Instant Censorshop... Efficient...
Thursday, October 02, 2014
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.
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
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.
Friday, September 05, 2014
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
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
Buy Condo $500,000
Sell after 5 years - $750,000
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.
Friday, August 08, 2014
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, May 30, 2014
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
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??
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)
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.
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)
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
Monday, May 19, 2014
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...
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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?
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
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
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I'm not complaining about the staff at the hospital. Everyone was nice and courteous, however, the wait was very long and the whole system seemed annoying.
1) Appointment time is 10am, and even when we arrive at 9:30am, there are many people there. After speaking to many of the people, it seems that 10 others have the same appointment at 10am. I don't understand why everyone will have the same appointment at the same time when there are limited doctors, and perhaps, there are many many operating theaters?
2) For a minor surgery, some families come with 8 family members, with about 20+ seats available, many people including those that need surgery need to stand. why is the day surgery waiting area so small then?
So the wait was actually not that bad, we managed to be seen by a nurse and allocated a bed by about 11am, and informed that the short 20 min surgery will happen at 12:30pm.
I don't understand, are people generally so late or do not show up at all, such that so many people are scheduled at the same time? This seems terribly inefficient.
3) After the operation at about 2:30pm, my mom was back at the day surgery wards. Many people were there for a while and then discharged. They discovered that my mom have an irregular heart beat and doctor wanted to speak to her before she can be discharged. However, the doctor went and did another surgery.
At 7pm, my mom really wanted to go home. After such a long wait, and not eating for a whole day (They told my mom that she cannot eat after 7am on the day of the operation) My mom even decided to walk out. The nurses were informed and finally, another doctor came, and my mom asked for a very reasonable request. "I want to go home, I feel ok. If there is anything wrong with my heart, can I come back another day to do a check up rather than waiting here. Because nothing has been done, and I don't see anything being done, even if I stay here. I just have to pay more and die of hunger."
So the nurses made my mother fill up some paperwork that she understands the risks involved if she were to go home, she signed and went home.
4) My mom went back for the heart check up on Wednesday, and check up on her surgery on Thursday. Why can't it all been done one the same day? What's worse is that the check up is simply some scans and she is given blood thinners.
Again, I have to say that the staff and nurses are very professional and courteous. But there seems to be lots of paperwork and the processes is cumbersome bureaucratic and inefficient.
I hope that something can be changed as the nice new hospital built to handle crowds, cannot seem to handle crowd due to bad processes. Perhaps it for safety, or perhaps... Its is more profitable for people to wait.
Monday, February 24, 2014
This year, I've been invited to be a "brother" for 2 weddings, and I've been "videoing" for another. The experience makes me not want to get married in Singapore.
I have no idea how it had became so bad. I don't believe this is "tradition" although many people act like it is.
1) Expensive Wedding Dinners.
I do understand that Hotel Restaurants are getting more expensive, but when is it a tradition to eat at the hotel and stay in it for the night?
I've a friend who is married recently at a 5/6 star hotel, and each table for 10 people cost $2,000. So getting 30 tables, it becomes a $60,000+ expense.
As he owns only convertibles, he had to rent a Bentley and there are also packages to decorate cars, and provide flowers.
Spending over $100,000 on the actual wedding day is uncommon, but most people in Singapore do spend a hefty lot more than their salaries.
Do they earn back the dinner with Ang Pow?
I would say, 99% do not.
2) Brothers and Sisters Tradition
Errr... This used to be some Cantonese tradition where the groom goes to bring the bride from the bride's parent's house to the groom's parent's house. To show sincerity, the groom has to be pranked and pay his way through with Ang Pow.
One of my friends who go married this year was not into this, but decided to buy his way through. Each of the 10 sisters were given a $888 Ang Pow and the door instantly opened.
My other friends who got married did the "traditional way" of singing, dancing and what not, and eventually paid with lots of Ang Pow to get through the door.
I do understand that the bride's younger brother who open the car door gets an Ang Pow, and I think this is fair, but for the other childish games and paying to get to the bride, is it really necessary?
There are other traditions, which vary from family, (and yes, if you are vegan, you can't do a traditional marriage in Singapore) and most of them are unnecessary, but do not really do much harm or cost that much.
I feel that weddings in general have became a symbol of materialism. From the size of the wedding ring diamond to the bridal car, to the wedding dinners. It is a chance to show off that one is successful. And guess it does not matter what you work as, it is easy to impress everyone in the end if you can pay for it. (Yup, $100,000 wedding day expenditure is from a friend who funds a licensed money lending business on the side)
So I guess it fits into the materialistic culture in Singapore where in gatherings, people often ask, "How much do you make? Or what car are you driving now?"
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
As a Singaporean, I don't understand why are the politicians still talking about the issue which was closed years ago.
The bombing of MacDonald House too place on March 10, 1965. BEFORE SINGAPORE WAS SINGAPORE.
I've talked to many older people in Toa Payoh, Tiong Barhu and various housing estates whether they cared about what happened in 1965, and ALL of them simply answered, there were many things that exploded and burnt down in those days, as long as they don't do it again, what Indonesia name their warship is their business.
I don't really feel that any country would want to remember their soldiers for bombing and killing people, but the fact that they are considered war heros and Lee Kuan Yew was ok with that, I guess the book is closed.
It is a totally non-issue, but the PAP ministers seemed to be unable to let things go, and Singapore Media have to cover the whole story over and over again, to somehow show their protest to Indonesia and ask for another apology?
I have two words for Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam. "Move On."
If Indonesian warships are named "K. Shanmugam My Ass" perhaps, then he will have a case to ask them to rename their warship.
By the way, if I have a new "toy" I think you would know what I would name it next.
Friday, February 07, 2014
Discrimination towards bikers.
Since getting my license in 1993, I've been riding a motorcycle every country I go. In Singapore, the COE for motorcycles have been $1 for the longest of time.
Motorcycles have been a convenient way to get around. And in Asia, the cost of ownership of a motorcycle is generally much lower, and it is a much more affordable form of transport. As a result, there is often much discrimination.
In Singapore, being a biker is getting more tough. In my opinion, motorcycle does not really contribute much to traffic congestion as the Asian motorcyclists can easily filter through traffic, hence charging ERP on bikers is not very fair. (If ERP is a used to alleviate traffic jams)
Furthermore, for parking, motorcycles can fit into weird corners cars cannot fit in, however, many malls and locations do not allow motorcycles to park, and in a lot of places, there is not enough parking spaces, leading to motorcycles parking illegally and getting fined. (And yes, Motorcycles cannot enter Sentosa because rich people live there.)
In 2014, in the COE of motorcycles exceed $3k as LTA reduced the supply for motorcycles. With a failing and unreliable public transportation system, motorcycle, once a cheap reliable way to get around the island is now getting costly. In the past, getting a brand new motorcycle can be less than $4k, but with the price of COE now, the price is easily doubled.
LTA, have you done any research on how COE prices may affect the poor?
Friday, January 31, 2014
The Hindu Endowments Board guidelines – which say no singing, no beating of drums or gongs and no playing of recorded music shall be allowed. (2011)
It is part of our culture. [VIDEO]
Temp Bill proposes giving police the power to strip search anyone who enters Little India, ban people from entering the area
There is also a 6 month ban on sale in alcohol in Little India. [NEWS]
Two men fined $4,000 each for selling alcohol in Little India illegally
It is Chinese New Year today. In Singapore, there are roving bands of Lion Dance -- EVERYWHERE! Even on HDB Blocks.
I mean, is this allowed?-- YES, because its has been our culture as Singaporeans. We embrace Chinese New Year and Thaipusam! Why is there a ban on noise on one, and not the other.
And on drinking, there are lots of other races drinking, getting rowdy and drunk. Look at Clarke Quay, Orchard Point, etc. What about the gang fights, stabbings there? Yet there is a ban of alcohol in Little India?
There seems to be a separate development in Singapore for the Chinese and other races, where anything the Chinese do seems to be fine. Because they are the majority?
Is this what you call democracy? Multi-racial, multi-religious country?
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Apparently, being a rich expat has a lot of perks. When you call Singaporeans poor and say that the public transportation reeks, it seems to be fine if you are a rich British Expat.
Even when Singaporeans are outraged, the government simply call it, "Xenophobic" Singaporeans are not allowed to hate foreigners who hate on them in the first place.
There are a lot of other Singaporeans who get into trouble on Social Media
S’pore cartoonist arrested for alleged sedition
SINGAPORE: Blogger arrested for racist post
Alex Au, a blogger was sent a lawyers letter by the Lee government for accusing them of nepotism and corruption involving the sale and purchase of computers by a company owned by the ruling party to government community center offices.
Even PRC students gets punished.
NUS student Sun Xu punished for 'dogs' comment
Well so far, there is a law for the rich, British Expat, and a law for everyone else.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
In April of 2013, President Dilma Rousseff signed a law providing, just as in NYC, that the salary for “domestic servants” covers only forty hours work per week; overtime must be paid for more than that. Other labor benefits have also been granted, and the result is that unless you’re rich, you can’t afford a live-in maid in Rio or in NYC.
Apartments here are no longer built with maid’s quarters; older apartments convert them into pantries or guest bedrooms. Life has changed; life goes on, on the whole for the better.
I've spoken to many friends in NYC about their hectic lifestyles and they seemed to be getting by with their families.
And in Brazil, I've friends who have Live-in Maids up till 2011, making the transition was not easy as the couple just had a new baby and their parents are getting old, however, with the inflation and small apartments, they managed to get by and in retrospect, it was for the better.
In Singapore, I know many friends who complained about their stressful lives and have Live-in Maids. Many complained about small apartments and high cost of living, but they do not seemed to be able to live without their maids.
My advice, you don't need a maid. A maid is not a necessity. Make the right change in your life. It may be easier than it seems.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
thinking about the things that we could eat
But baby, I been, I been noming' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting carbs
Yeah, we'll be counting carbs
I see this lime
sour and Divine
Squeeze it hard and make it mine
Remove the seeds
And it will taste fine
Old, but I'm not that old
Young, but I'm not that bold
12 years is when scotch is old
I'm just drinking what we're sold
It tastes so right
By eating the wrong thing
And I feel something so wrong
By eating the right thing
I couldn't eat, couldn't eat, couldn't eat
Eating that kills me makes me feel alive
Lately I been, I been losing weight
thinking about the things that we could eat
But baby, I been, I been noming' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting carbs
Yeah, we'll be counting carbs
Lately I been, I been losing weight
thinking about the things that we could eat
But baby, I been, I been noming' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting carbs
Yeah, we'll be counting carbs
[Bridge 4x:] Take that bacon Watch it burn Taste that crisp Calories I burn Eating that kills me makes me feel alive
Thursday, January 02, 2014
He/She has and will always be a troll, I don't even think she is from NUS Engineering or RGS. Singapore is the land of trolls, and the country collects ERP and GST from the people all the time.
Why are people getting upset over this and feeding the troll by sharing and commenting? I just want to expose her/him as a troll