Monday, February 24, 2014

What have weddings become? #Singapore

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?

Something is wrong when there is a Wedding Ang Pao Guide.

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?"

-- Ironbowl

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Naming of Indonesian Warship

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.

-- Ironbowl

Friday, February 07, 2014

The day COE for bikes exceed $3k

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?

-- Ironbowl