Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sick joke?

I read the recent article by ChannelNewsAsia "Smaller flats do not mean lower quality of living: HDB CEO" (link here).

The first question that popped into my mind was why are we always told what is good for us?

I have always bemused - why are Singaporeans always told we are not doing enough for Singapore in spite of the sacrifices, and when will we be good enough for the country?

Whenever the PAP or some ministries want to push a policy or make a new normal, there will always be reports of how good it is.

What is your agenda, Dr Cheong, seriously?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thanks for the memories

For the oldies and goodies, here is an article (link here) which will definitely stir up nostalgic memories... memories of a bygone era where life was simple and slower with less 'noise'. Defintely not boring though!

I recently visited a toy museum of the 60s and 70s near Arab Street. There is a small entry fee which I felt was worth every cent. I spent a good one hour there, reminiscing the past. I think it's called the Children Little Museum (link). Photos coming soon.

Address: 40 Kandahar Street Singapore 198895 (near arab street)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Totally disconnect

Recently I read a blog titled "PAP: Stay Arrogant, Stay Clueless" (link here).

It sums up my thoughts about the recent parliamentary session which led to a conclusion that either Singapore has super-smart ministers and PAP MPs whom we can never understand their polices or thinking, or I have smart-ass ones who are absolutely clueless about the man on the street.

It gets even funnier when I read comments from die-hard PAP supporters. It always cracks me up. Usually these fall along the lines of:
  • Singaporeans are arrogant. We should not take the current government for granted.
  • Don't just criticise but provide alternative solutions.
  • Flippant choice of first or third world countries, depending on subject discussed

Monday, August 22, 2011

This is your second chance, Singaporeans

GE2011 is passed. Whomever we have voted, we live with the results of our votes for the next five years. The elected person(s) hopefully will stand for you and represent you in parliament.

That is your concerted declaration. That is your majority decision. That is your collective voice. We, Singaporeans live with the result.

I can only remind ourselves - do we remember the promises made before the elections? When the elections were over and the din settled, did we see the changes we desired? Or are we now beset with a transport hike and utilities increase in a looming uncertain time? Where is the salary review and justification that seems to take ages to announce? Yet hikes were dish-out as if they had decided before the elections had begun, or were they all for show these reviews?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Long working hours but also happy

Since the 2011 Election I have not had time to blog. The usual personal and family commitments and also the switch to a new job with a new role in a completely new industry took most of my time.

Anyway I came across this article posted in 24/7 Wall St (read here) which was written quite some time back in June. The title was 'The 10 Happiest Countries In The World'. The Better Life Index is based on 11 measurements of quality of life including housing, income, jobs, community, education, the environment, health, work-life balance, and life satisfaction.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don't provide us with more ammunition

These days PAP seems to provide free ammunition for the opposition, netizens, online community and bloggers. The more they try, the worse it seems. Many of us have to work, mind you. We can't keep on blogging.

We are having a field day online seriously. I have never seen so many online postings. Go check out the 'Other Reads' links on my right.

Friday, April 22, 2011

You know you are second-class citizens when... Prime Minister gives credit to foreign workers instead of locals. I was peeved by this sentence when I read his speech during the opening ceremony of IMFlash, a high-tech electronic plant (read here).

"For every one foreign worker, we have created 1.5 local jobs in this project" Should it not be "For every 1.5 locals, one foreigner has a job"?

You, sir, have put the cart before the horse. And that shows a lot about your respect for our citizens. You have no respect and bonding kinship with us. No wonder people lamented that PAP is totally 'disconnected' from the ground.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A mystery unto itself - advice to young readers

Let me share with you, especially to the young readers. This is a real scenario. If you are a Singaporean, you might want to chew on this:

Many Singaporeans I know who had left Singapore to work overseas in Western countries (Australia, US, etc) took huge pay cuts. Some were paid less than 50% of their previous salaries. One of the main reasons cited by the recruitment firms and potential employers was that they did not have enough local experience. I am sharing from my interviewing experience when I migrated to Australia. Though I did not have a pay cut, I knew many did.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wake up to the new media

Read this online (link here).
New faces flamed online
But they say they will focus on working the ground for elections
By Rachel Chang & Robin Chan 
NEW People's Action Party (PAP) candidates may have been prepared beforehand for a frosty reception in cyberspace, but the speed and malice with which some of them are being picked apart online have come as a shock.
Within days and sometimes hours of their introduction to the media as PAP candidates, private pictures and even court documents have been dug up and disseminated online, and forums lit up with debate and speculation.
Although the new candidates admit that the sound and fury of cyberspace has taken them aback, they say they are trying to tune out the most vicious comments and focus on working the ground for the coming general election.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

About time for a change

You know you need a new political climate change when you smile while watching it. This classy video took a dig at the so-called 'clean, white' image of the PAP. The intended pun was subtle yet it drove a strong message.

This is way better than the usual 'I have been around for the past 20 years' slogan that every PAP candidate and member had been practicing and regurgitating... like a pathetic broken record.

Looks like this GE is gonna pose a real challenge to the PAP with this kind of campaigning. About time for a change, don't you think?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We were in Japan when the earthquake hit!

There are two parts to this post - the first one is my personal account experiencing the earthquake in Japan. The other is a reflection of how the earthquake experience surfaced my true loyalty for my country.

----- Earthquake experience in Japan -----
I am still in Japan, Kyoto. My family is with me. This is our ninth day of our first holiday trip to Japan. I had more than I bargained for.

We experienced the effects of the earthquake on our first day. Having touched down at Narita Airport, we took the Narita Express train to Tokyo. We felt our first tremours when the train stopped at Chiba station, 45 mins away from Narita Airport.

The carriage we were in rattled quite violently. I seriously thought that we were changing lines but it became clear when I looked out the windows and saw lamp posts swaying to and fro! People we all scrambling out of the buildings nearby and there were loud siren sounds.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I think I cracked a toenail

The Straits Times reported (link here):
PM: Lower hurdle for opposition parties
Smaller GRCs and more single-seat wards offer more scope for contest
By Elgin Toh and Li Xueying
POLITICAL parties planning to contest the next election have to clear a lower hurdle than at previous polls, the Prime Minister declared on Friday in his first comments on the new electoral map.
He pointed to key changes in the way electoral boundaries are demarcated this time round, in line with guidelines he announced in Parliament in May 2009.
As a result, the average number of MPs per group representation constituency (GRC) has come down from 5.4 to five. The number of six-member GRCs has been whittled down from five to two, while that of single-member constituencies (SMCs) goes up from nine to 12.
'This should lower the hurdle for parties intending to contest the elections,' Mr Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday in comments to the media.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How about this, Mr Gan KY?

Reading Today's article on "Higher Levy for Higher Leverage" (see below) baffles me. I fail to see how "higher levies will encourage companies to reduce their reliance on foreign labour and invest in productivity improvements" as quoted by Mr Gan, Manpower Minister.

In the first instance pro-foreign labour policies were drafted out by the Manpower Ministry which you, Mr Gan, and your predecessors had endorsed. The sudden U-Turn can only be related to the coming election. It definitely was not our call to 'invite' these foreigners into our country and then impose levies on them. But then I foresee there will be tweaks again to revert to pro-business post-election.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Brilliant con artists or intelligent morons

Let me share this simply story.

A certain Peter allowed Paul to safe keep his money. When Peter requested it back, Paul not only returned his money, Paul slapped Peter with an interest.

Does this make any sense to you? Does Paul need to charge Peter any interest when it first belonged to Peter? In addition Paul had the luxury to use the money to invest and reap the profits. In fact I'd reckon Paul should pay profit dividends to Peter for using the money.

That is how the stocks of a company work for me and pay me dividends.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So GE is coming soon

This is a short entry... I hope.

The usual daily activity for me is to check through the other blogsite links. While doing so, it dawned on me that I have been blogging since 2006. Wow... that's a good five to six years! Of course my readership pales in comparison to Mr Wang or mrbrown. It does not concern me because I never intended to compete with anyone.

So I started reading my first entry. Then the next and the next. I laughed at the cheeky entires when I blogged about games and missus. I treasured the innocence back then. Nothing heavy and thought-provoking. It started as a 'journal entry' blog which was hugely popular for startups - a capture of a significant footprint in one's life journey. Actually it was more like trying to fill in the pages. It felt like flipping through a photo album reminiscing past memories.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Indonesian maids' salary overtakes cleaning aunties' wages

More pay for new Indonesian maids by Saifulbahri Ismail
SINGAPORE - Indonesian domestic workers will soon cost more as agencies try to get more of them to work in Singapore.
MediaCorp has learnt that 17 employment agencies, who are major players in the market, will be increasing the monthly salaries of Indonesian domestic helpers from $380 to $450. The increment will take effect by this week and will only apply to new Indonesian maids.
Over the years, the supply of such helpers to Singapore has been dwindling as competition from places such as Hong Kong and Taiwan intensifies. Employment agencies indicate the shortage is severe. One solution - following a recent meeting between the agencies and maid suppliers from Indonesia - is to provide better salaries.
Nation Employment group director Desmond Chin said: "They are requesting us to match what is being paid to domestic helpers in Hong Kong, which is $650, and what is being in Taiwan, which is $800." - Today Online (read full report here)
Indonesian maids now have a minimal wage policy in Singapore but my local aunties and elderly folks cleaning toilets and clearing tables at hawker centres do not get them. Wow... just wow. *shakes head at the absurdity of it all*