Friday, December 26, 2014

Blaming stray dogs for rat infestation at Bukit Batok

Reference: Don’t blame stray dogs for rat infestation at Bukit Batok: SPCA
Rat infestation near Bukit Batok MRT

This is convenient. Blaming someone who can't talk back.

Video of the Rats at Bukit Batok

Reference: More rats caught in Bukit Batok

Action was only taken after video of the rats running on the small hill beside Bukit Batok MRT was leaked.

When I posted that on my personal Facebook page, a friend messaged me and told me he had alerted the authorities 2 times of the situation. He's not the only person doing that.

It seems that making a video, posting it online is a faster way to get things done. Public shaming the authority seems more effective at getting things done.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

GushCloud vs XiaXue

While I don't particularly like XiaXue's blog, I've to admit that she's a good blogger. I only just found out that she has 4 times more traffic than me (not this blog of course) at 40,000 pageviews monthly.

The hottest story online right now is The Big Gushcloud Exposé written by her declaring that GushCloud lied on several fronts.

GushCloud has since rebutted with their own account.

There are a few takeaway points for me.

1. If XiaXue's alleged pageviews of GushCloud's bloggers are correct, then it's quite shocking that so called influencers can be called influencers with that sort of readership. Yan Kay Kay's pageviews, and I'm quoting from GushCloud's rebuttal, is only 974 readers/day. I have around 4,500 readers/day and I consider myself just a writer.

2. Advertisers should demand a print screen of Google Analytics reports to verify the actual pageviews that GushCloud states their bloggers have. In fact GushCloud should make it mandatory for their bloggers to provide Google Analytics reports, or at least install some sort of counters on their blogs. You can be sued by clients for misrepresentation. Now that this news has been blown up, it can get messy if advertisers want to take legal action.

3. XiaXue has just posted an instagram update saying that GushCloud will not be suing her. Note that GushCloud said they want to sue her after XiaXue published her exposé.

Seriously, GushCloud? By not suing her, it just mean to the public that what XiaXue said had some element of truth. If I run my company and I have my numbers right, I would sue straightaway. Apparently after reading GushCloud's report, it seems that they do not have the exact numbers correct. Even the monthly revenue they gave The Straits Times was an honest mistake. Oh my goodness.

I don't take sides but GushCloud has some serious issues with accountability.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ambulance blocked by road hogger on PIE


Driver of the Hyundai Matrix should have his driving license revoked for a year.

Some people in Singapore are just too self-centred and have no consideration. There should be consequences for this type of behaviour.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Travel agencies break free from NATAS

NATAS Fair 2011

I see this as a good move on the part of the 24 travel agencies. If they can organise the fair themselves, why do they need to pay someone else, NATAS in this case, to do it and thereby increasing their own cost.

What's also interesting is how NATAS is interpreting the situation. NATAS claimed 80 to 90 percent of the issues are resolved while the travel agencies refuted that. It's a classic case of not knowing what the other party wants. Reminded me of how SMRT thought they resolved the conflict with their bus drivers who then went on to strike.

And it is not in NATAS's interest to disclose any financial information. If NATAS is bleeding money, the it's NATAS's own problem. However if NATAS is making profits, it means they are taking away profits from the travel agencies indirectly. It all comes down to money. If you know how they earn their money, you'll know how they behave.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Racist joint exercise?

Khaw Boon Wan posted some photos on the joint exercise with Police, SCDF & foreign worker ambassadors

It's interesting how so many people think this incident has something to do with racism.

If the rioters were Chinese or any other race, I suppose there won't be complaints? If so, then racism is already in your mind regardless of which race is rioting. You might be racist without even knowing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Don't disclose your expectant salary

When you're at an interview, and the firm ask you to state your expectant salary, you should refuse.

Tell the interviewer to pay what they think you're worth. They are in the best position to know your salary, not you. You can negotiate later after you know the amount.

If the amount is not justified, the employee will jump ship eventually in the future. It's not about the amount, in Singapore it's not difficult to find a job, it's about the integrity to pay someone what he or she is worth to the company.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Will LTA fines improve the train system?


Sometimes I can't understand fining as a form of punishment. If the trains are disrupted or late, then they should be punished by running more trains. As if the fine is going to hurt SMRT, or improve the train system.

SMRT C151A (501-502) Widescreen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Road bullies should be kept off roads

Reference: Road bully blocks SBS bus with his car

Road bullies should just get their driving license suspended for at least 5 years. If they don't deserve to be on the road, they should be kept off road for a better Singapore.

And stop fining people. As if people don't have money to pay fines. Money is replaceable, time is not.

Writers’ boycott of event a good example for students

Reference: Writers’ boycott of event a bad example for students

I actually think it's a good example for students that the writers boycott. It teaches students to stand up for what they believe in.

Here's an interesting paragraph from the story:

Are the writers simply disagreeing with the NLB’s disposal process for books taken out of circulation, or do they feel that unsupervised children should be exposed to controversial topics and left to develop their own conclusions on such matters?

If unsupervised children can turn anti-family or gay by just reading the withdrawn books, then those books should be banned, and not just in Singapore.

Anyway check out the many comments from smart people in the comments section of the article linked above.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SingTel's practice on keeping overpayment

SingTel F1 Race Queen

Reference: Telco holding on to $13k overpayment

In short, customer paid $13,873 instead of $138.73 via internet banking to SingTel. (Hey, the decimal points don't just get included by themselves.)

The customer was told that SingTel's practice is to keep the excess as credit to offset future payment.

Is it legal?

It is legal to accept money not intended for the payment of the service provided? Is this written in fine print of the contract that was signed?

And for something as simple as a refund, the customer waited for one month to no avail.

Someone should just go to their office, make a big fuss and film a viral video. Maybe that is how you can get the message through to them, through the public and then to them.

As for how much SingTel values customers and customer service, you can just make that judgement for yourself.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Theme SMRT cabins for what better experience?

Reference: Buskers, themed cabins for a better MRT experience: LTA

Talk about visual noise. I still remember the horrendous Dim Sum Dollies jingle. Why not just keep it simple, LTA, and focus on the service of actually bringing people from one place to another?

So unless your themed cabin is some incredible idea, please, don't.

You know every time I want to look at how minutes there are to the next train coming, and I see an ad of some movie trailer? Do you think that makes my journeys more or less harried?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thai regulator pays $13m to air World Cup Matches

[WC2014] Holland x Spain : 1

Reference: Thai regulator to pay $13 million to air World Cup matches on free TV

Let's say Thailand's population is 69 million.

Let's say theoretically 10% watches, so we have 6.9 million viewers.

On average, each person is paying around $1.88 to watch 64 matches.

In Singapore, each person needs to pay over $100. So I guess it's priced at whatever the market can bear.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

35 years of slogging as an executive and can't save anything

I am a 61 year old retiree. After 35 years of slogging as an executive in many MNCs I have $130k in RA account and some 32K in medisave. Currently I need an eye operation for cataract on one of my eyes.
The cost would be around 5k. I can use around half the amount from my medisave and the other half in cash.
The question is I don't have half of that amount to pay so I cannot go for the ops.
I have always questioned why we cannot use our medisave to pay for full cost as this is our money and not the state.
It's time for CPF to look into such needs as retiree we don't have the cash to foot the bill.
The simple reason is that no one would like to be operated as all operation carries risk if it is not necessary
Right now I am living with one eye while the other eye cannot be fixed because of the stupid policies created by these
idiot politicians always saying they care and are passionate.
What do you think?


I saw an amazing comment in the story above.

Let me get this right.

The guy after working 35 years as an executive has no savings other than CPF to pay for a $5000 operation? Seriously?

I do agree that maybe some concessions need to be allowed for medical uses.

That is one far fetched example of a person who can't save.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Is Roy Ngerng’s sacking politically motivated?

Reference: Roy Ngerng’s sacking – “politically motivated”?

Well, let's just say that companies don't like their reputation to go down with losers. Take a cue from Anton Casey and Amy Cheong. Those two cases are politically motivated as well?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Paying GST for overseas purchases when coming back to Singapore

Reference: Travellers returning to Singapore to pay GST for purchases

The sad state of situation nowadays is that even after paying GST, overseas purchases can still be cheaper, whether hand-carry or shipped back.

E-commerce is only going to grow. More people are going to buy their stuff from overseas.

Should you support local sellers? If you don't support them, they will be gone. But if you support them, you're either getting ripped off or not getting a good deal

And also expect SingPost to deliver your items less quickly than before. I wonder how SingPost is going to provide the manpower for the expected increase in number of deliveries to make. Where and what services are they going to increase prices for?

Remember to pay GST for overseas holiday shopping (

However, you may wish to know that all goods brought into Singapore – including new
items, souvenirs, gifts or food products – are subject to 7 per cent Goods and Services
Tax (GST).

I'm not sure if the above quote is actionable, or is it actually a statute of law. Keywords being "all goods brought into Singapore". All goods? Including the suitcase, iPad, chargers, underwear that I brought overseas and have to bring back?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Roy Ngerng vs Lee Hsien Long: Defamation or David vs Goliath


It's another article about Roy Ngerng vs Lee Hsien Long.

If you've followed the saga through comments on blogs and forums, you might have already noticed that a lot of people have no concept of the law. Many seem to see that this is a case of David and Goliath.

One thing I've noticed about the government from their dealings with online squabbles is, they don't want to sue you. They usually just issue a takedown notice, just like in the case of Alex Au from Yawning Bread, same for Leslie Chew for his Demon-cratic Singapore cartoons.

The government get nothing out of it from suing you. And they certainly don't need the extra money.

So how things turn out is usually quite simple. If a takedown notice is issued, you take down the post unless you feel that what you've written is justifiable.

Personally, I feel Lee Hsien Long is giving Roy Ngerng a chance by issuing the takedown notice.

What did Roy Ngerng do?

He took down the posts and emailed people telling them where they can still read the posts. How is that different from not taking down the post?

Oh, and then there's another Youtube video that he set to private instead of taking down, and only after being found out it had to be taken down.

PM Lee demanded an apology and an offer of damages. Roy Ngerng offered $5,000. Did his lawyer M Ravi advise him on that? Did they look at past cases to come up with that amount? If I have no idea how much to offer, I would look at past cases as a guide.

To cut the long story short, Roy Ngerng still thinks he's right, which is why I suppose he's going to court.

I'm also quite impressed that he managed to raise $70,000 from the public for his court case. I wonder if the public is donating for support, or just buying tickets to a David vs Goliath match.

When you're in court, the judge is just going to see this as a simple defamation case. If Roy Ngerng could not substantiate what he claimed on his blog, I doubt he will be able to do that in court, because he would have already done so on his blog if he could.

I've a feeling that the damages that's going to be paid will be quite huge. This is quite a big news and the more people know about it, more distress is created, and possibility of more damages. Those people supporting Roy Ngerng aren't helping at all, I'm not helping at all too by writing this, as are many of the print and online media writing about it.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Singapore average monthly wage was $4,998 in Q4 of 2013

Reference: Most Singaporeans not satisfied with salary: Survey

$4,998 is the average monthly salary in Singapore? Seriously?

Either Singaporeans are really rich, relatively speaking, or there are some really rich people in Singapore pulling up the average.

What's the 50th percentile, the mean?

Can you invest better than CPF?

You can get the answer very easily.

Personally, you contribute 20%. Employer contributes 16%. By right, you should be left with 80% as take-home pay.

Alright, so it's 80% in your bank vs 36% in the CPF account.

Do you twice the amount in cash as compared to CPF?

Alright, I forgot to deduct your monthly expenditure, let's say you spend 50%, so you're left with 40% of the salary that you actually save.

Now, does your bank savings match your CPF? Are you investing better than CPF?

Monday, May 26, 2014

MDA wasting time with the new Arts Term Licensing Scheme

Interesting story of local artists talking about boycotting MDA's new Arts Term Licensing Scheme.

From the story, it says that there would be "penalties they would incur for misclassifying a performance." If that's so, it seem to suggest that MDA will still have to look through the performances. If that's so, they are just wasting the time of creative individuals and companies involved.


Artists call for boycott of MDA's Arts Term Licensing Scheme

Roy Ngerng vs PM Lee

1. Blogger agrees to remove blog posts and video

2. Allegations against govt must be backed up with facts: Shanmugam

It's just another case of a blogger writing without being able to substantiate what he claims.

I wonder if Roy Ngerng would learn anything from this incident judging by the apology that's "was not and never meant to be genuine" as quoted by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh of Drew & Napier representing PM Lee.

Legal threat is basically the polite way of giving the blogger a chance. Otherwise, there would be a legal proceeding already.

Why CPF system is better than other systems: Tan Chuan-Jin


Reference: Why CPF system is better than other systems: Tan Chuan-Jin

The government is too kind putting out all those arguments.

It should just say that Singapore citizens are too short sighted, irresponsible and not smart enough to manage their own money.

I just read this story from TRS: MY CPF – WHO DECIDE? YOU OR ME?.

This guy Dr DOS earns $2000 monthly, belongs to a family of 5. His total CPF contributions has dropped from 32.5% to 23.5%. That drop has resulted in him not having enough money to pay for his mortgage. So he wants to use the remaining CPF savings make up the difference and pay. CPF says no.

Let's be clear about one point first. Dr DOS has no savings besides his CPF savings. What's going on?

Dr DOS has already shown that he can't save money on his own due to whatever circumstances.

With the CPF system, his savings is locked up so that he can only withdraw at a much later date. Without CPF system, he would have absolutely no savings at all very soon. He's just going to spend more than he saves until he has no more savings - remember he is unable to save.

By allowing money to be withdrawn now to tide over financial difficulties is just a recipe for more trouble in the future.