Monday, December 27, 2010

Unfair study fees - prove me wrong

(Update 28/12)
Latest: Does anyone how many foreign students get the subsidy vs the local students?

The MOE website (click here) states that the subsidy is S$2,400 for both foreign and local students. But the initial entry school fee is different, ie local pays S$3,600 while a foreign student pays S$7,200.

In essence a local student has a significant lower school fee. This is a very encouraging perk being a Singaporean citizen. Well done, MOE. It killed the niggling doubt in my mind and put it to rest.

PS. Thanks to those who have responded. I am glad it was clarified. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

He came knowing He would die. Yet He came

Luke 2:11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

1) Jesus came to die.
- Cloth Linen. Jesus the babe was wrapped in swaddling cloths. When He died, He was wrapped in burial cloth. "So Joseph (of Arimathea) bought some linen cloth, took down the body (of Jesus), wrapped it in the linen..."
- Manger. Jesus was lying in a manger. During that time, a manger is a concrete trough cut out of rock. When Jesus died, He was placed in a concrete cave. "... and (Joseph) placed His body in a tomb cut out of rock."
- Feed. A manger is where horses and animals feed from. Jesus came to be fed upon when He said, "This is My body broken for you. Eat this in remembrance of Me."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winning winners, not losing winners

I was reading the latest entry in My Singapore News (Redbean's blog). I usually pen my thoughts down in a notepad that comes with Windows. I had such a lengthy reply that I decided to blog about it.

It is every parent's dream to see their kids grow up successfully. This is especially more prominent in Singapore when the paper chase has gone to unprecedented levels. We know it when the tuition and enrichment classes have become money-making million-dollar industries.

Apart from that we have parents who will fork out sums of money and savings to buy and live in overpriced housing locations near good school zones. It has also become increasingly stressful for parents to get a chance to parent volunteer because it is the first step for a secured place in the school.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who says we need an A-team to come up with a sound policy?

Many of us need a car. Some of us more urgently than others.

My prediction is many may not see their cars until the Chinese New Year is over if I read the COE price graph correctly. The recent astronomical hike in the COEs provided little explanation other than if you need a car urgently, cough out the extra money.

Many of us need a car. Some of us more urgently than others.

It may be for whatever reasons ranging from transporting elderly, near-immobile parents to sales-line job to simple travel convenience to a show-off to impress someone who might not even care. In Singapore it does not matter if you live in the prime District 10 area or in the rural Sembawang heartlands, the COE knows no name or location. It speaks the language of dollars. No money, no COE.

Many of us need a car. Some of us more urgently than others.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I just don't know where to start... smells fishy?

I happened to read an article (read here) about a cyclist being 'bumped' off while he was cycling in the early morning at 5:15am along Holland Road.

Hmmm more suitable words would be 'kena bang' (Singlish for 'woefully hit by car') and 'bwang until jialat' (Singlish for 'thrown off badly') because the driver thought it was a large tree branch! And to say that the continued scapping noise she heard in the undercarriage for the next 2km was that same trunk branch is an understatement. That MUST have been a SUPER-DUPER-KINGSIZED trunk branch of a tree! This 'cock-eyed' driver should have been banned for life for a complete failure to differentiate between a trunk branch and a human being.

Most of us, if not ALL of us, would have stopped and stepped out to check. Why? Because we all know how riduculously expensive cars are in Singapore. To ignore the sound is so incredulous.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Food for Thought: The lowest denominator

Read this story and it struck home deeply.

I'm not trying to be noble or magnanimous in spirit when I penned this blog entry, nor am I attempting to resolve world hunger issues. But one principle I strictly adhere to with conviction in the army and also in my work environment is:

Everyone has a crucial part to play and the team is only as strong as the lowest denominator.

Recently a taxi driver shared his condition and predicament with me while driving to my customer's site. He is a 65-year-old Malay diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and hypertension. His wife is very sick and bed-bound. He drives to support her and himself. His income is largely used to pay for his medical expenses. His children are not financially well-off to support their parents. He complains of fatigue and wishes he need not work so hard because he wants less stress and to live a simple life. He is definitely NOT getting it right now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I confess watching the YOG opening ceremony...

...and utterly regretted it.

Pre-teenage cousins and young kids glued their faces to my TV box (we had a family gathering), having been told by their schools to support the YOG. If they aren't participating, at least give their support in spirit by watching the YOG opening ceremony.

I was in the same living room with these starry-eyed future generation of Singapore, accompanying them in their eagerness. I was all ready to give credit and accolade to the organisers, the working committee, the supporters and the event itself.

Deep down I hoped it to succeed. I wanted it to succeed.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

(Old Classic) I am a Singaporean, by Dan E

Read the post by Under the Willow Tree on an old classic.

Brought back nostalgic memories. Blogging was a raging fever in 2006 and the government then was 'apprehensive' and 'suspicious' on the new internet media. During those times Mr Wang's blog was just 'Mr Wang Bakes Good Karma', and mrbrown was just er... mrbrown and the 'tur kwa' man!

Anyway this is an absolute wonderful piece of old classic which I am re-producing here. I remembered reading and immediately felt kinship with the author. Wow... how many of us go through life in Singapore like he did?

I am a Singaporean, by Dan E

I was born in 1970 at the KK hospital and grew up in a kampong near the old airport. My parents stopped at 2 after having my younger sibling.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where is the line?

Before people start a 'flame war' about my post, let me put forth a few choice words:
  • This is MY blog and my personal opinion. I do not represent any of the churches mentioned.
  • This post is NOT to justify an apology, nor is it to apologise for being a Christian.
  • I understand the Religious Act. I do not intend to offend anyone and I will not tolerate offensive remarks to other religions in the comments.
I refer to this article "New Creation Church pastor apologises" from Today (read here).

To the recent witch-hunts on Christian churches and organisations especially Lighthouse Evangelism, City Harvest and New Creation Church:

What is your problem?!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Art, or no art?

Art is art when it is painted on a canvas to be admired. Art is vandalism when it is painted in public places and taxpayers have to dish out monies to clean up the mess.

There is a place for art. Public property is not my style. So keep your 'artwork' and spraycans for home use.

Swiss, no Swiss - welcome to Singapore. That goes for the rest of foreigners or tourists coming into Singapore. I'd rather keep my city clean, clinical even to the extend of 'fake' creativity than to be awashed with all kinds of so-called 'artwork'.

You are a smart man according to your job title, Mr Fricker.

Monday, May 03, 2010


In MCYS they do it like the ARMY.

"If you were a poor person, anywhere on this planet, Singapore is the one place where you will have a roof over your head, where you will have food on the table. Even if you can’t afford it, we will have meals delivered to you. You will get healthcare." - Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister MCYS

In my life as a Singaporean, the only time I have a roof over my head, where I have food on my table and free healthcare is - in NATIONAL SERVICE! Are you asking the couple to join the army? Or is your new appointment after elections our new Defence Minister?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

When size and distance do NOT matter for a Little Red Dot

This new transport fare system is giving commuters confusing 'joy-rides' and headaches. I have been following it closely for quite a while. No matter how you permute it, the commuters are just gonna 'get the shaft' (or get treated the wrong way). Whether you take the train or the bus, you are NOT going to get a better ride with less crowd and traffic congestions.

I was rather bemused by the way how the local newspapers 'hurray-ed' the transport fare reduction. Felt like some euphoric and orgasmic news: Public transport fares to go down by 2.5%! (Full report here). I don't want to go into analysing the statistics and details. But many doubt if it is really possible to have 2.5% reduction. Google a bit and you will find many websites and blogs challenging it.

My grouse then? Distance-based fare system. As mentioned in the same TodayOnline article:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Here's looking at you, Singapore

Well about time a government not only stands up, hears and understands the people's concerns but also have the guts to implement the unpopular decision. I'm sure a lot of investors are hopping mad. This is big news (at least for me) in Australia and I hope many young couples and families are rejoicing. Read all about it here.

I am all for investors coming in. Especially when there is a downturn and their investments help people to continue to have their jobs. But when the citizens and common people get slowly edged out, the policy has to be tinkered. Or thrown out of the window. The current house prices are really, really crazy right now. And the situation is aggravating. Sometimes I think I see a disgust on some faces during auctions. Of course the owners are the only ones beaming with joy.

I am glad the Australian government got this one right - their duty is to the Australians FIRST. I truly hope Singapore government does the same thing. But I have this familiar (pessimistic?) feeling that nothing is going to change drastically. What can you do when we have ministers telling us 'housing is still affordable'. About time someone 'wake up his idea' (meaning stop dreaming).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The truth is out... what are you gonna do now?

So they finally figured out the truth.

The state counsel confirmed the Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionesco is the prime suspect and 'murderer'.

Harsh words from me? Yeap. A young man and newly-wed husband's life had been snuffed out because of a cowardice act. Mr Ionesco then chose to flee the scene and country. Why would anyone do that? To return to Romania at -5C temperature in December versus sunny Singapore at 30C.

Now no one knows where he is.

Perhaps a good quote related to a similar Mas Selamat's escapede by the Home Affairs Minister Wong KS will diffuse the situation:

"Silviu Ionesco is either in Romania, or he is not."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Of 'Ovis Aries' and Leadersheep by SM Goh

I am bemused by SM Goh Chok Tong's statement (from Temasek Review),

"(The ancient saying is) ‘an army of sheep led by a lion is stronger than an army of lions led by a sheep’. In other words, leadership is critical in battles; the leadership qualities, the courage and the ability and getting the team to follow you is crucial."

With this mentality there is no wonder why GM is down in the dumps. That goes for Temasek and GICs which are losing so much of our public money. Write off, mind you, and not something recoverable. And they are still paying top dollar for these 'lion-headed' leadersheep.

Stop over-selling yourself and the PAP. As I have blogged before, it is both the captain _and_ the crew working together to steer the ship through the storms. This 'higher-than-thou' attitude needs a good dose of bad voting to 'wake up your sheepish idea'.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Food for Thought: Amusing piggy issues

(Latest) This is so humorous that I had to append it here. I laughed so hard that I actually forgave MacDonalds. Comment found in Straits Times:

"McDonald is stu-pig to kill-pig by changing it to cu-pig "

I was responding to to mrbrown's article (read here) and felt prompted to pen my thoughts. Yeah these days too free. What to do, still in holiday mood.

Why did the Mcdonald pig go missing? Because not halal, I'd think.

The funny thing is how can other races respect our Chinese traditions, customs and culture when we had to blatantly change the type of animal to an angel. It's not as if we are associating the pig with a jew or muslim. So why are we so hung up about it?

I mean Catholics don't believe in using contraceptives. Does it mean 7-11s should stop selling them?

In addtion Christians are against the use of the dragon symbols. I don't see Chinese New Year decorations taking out those dragon images and symbols and replacing them with angels? Or perhaps Singapore should ban the movie Babe the pig.

Sheesh, sometimes people make matters worse by trying to be too smart.

Another BIG loss?

Ugh... GIC lost USD$675 million in poor investments on New York apartment complex. And it is not even just paper loss but write down. (read Reuters)

Look if you don't know what "write down" means, simply put - "it refers to (in accounting terms) the recognition of the reduced or zero value of an asset".

Big fat gee-ro (zero in English). Kosong. Lost. Hilang.

Again I have reiterated so many times. Paying top dollar to senior executives will NOT steer a company away from disasters or crisis (read here).

My top dollar question then is "How did it happen? Did we not have checks and balances in place?"