22 December 2012

Long-Term Visit Pass IRAS/CPF Statement

Source

Not sure when it was updated but from now onwards, when applying or renewing Long-Term Visit Pass, the sponsor can choose to sign a form to allow ICA to obtain sponsor's Income Tax and Central Provident Fund information so that the sponsor don't have to print out and bring along both.
"Local sponsor's Income Tax Notice of Assessment for the last 3 years and CPF Statement showing monthly CPF contribution for the last 12 months. Alternatively, the sponsor may choose to complete Appendix VP to give consent for ICA to obtain and verify financial information provided in respect of this application with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) directly instead."


Decisive Call By Mr. Obama

Source

It sure took a lot of time for the republicans and democrats to work on a best package but unfortunately, until now, they still cannot fully agree with each other. But I'm glad Mr. Obama called for a stop-gap measure, yeah damn right, it's late already, these politicians should just think of the bigger picture for now, there is no way they should ever allow their country to blindly walk over that cliff.
"There is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these Americans from a tax hike. At the very least, let's agree right now on what we already agree on. Let's get that done," the president said.
That's why I like Obama.

12 December 2012

New Song by Hikaru Utada! - 桜流し (Sakura Nagashi)

This is a short version found on her official YouTube channel.


I also found another version on YouTube which only has the audio, I think it's the full version but without Hikaru Utada singing, the audio is very cheerful and soothing.


The song has been released on iTunes, support her!

11 December 2012

Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #4 - Don't Spend More Than You Earn

I have this relative whose gross salary is close to S$4000, after CPF deduction, he takes home about S$3000+. He owes money to a few banks, totaling more than S$50000, all credit card debts.

I have no idea how he managed to chuck up all that debt, right now, Credit Counselling Singapore is trying to help him negotiate with the banks on installment repayments at a lower interest, I hope one of those banks will help him.

And if one of the banks does help, what I understand from him is he will need to pay about S$700 a month, for 8 years.

As for me, I don't think I will ever get a credit card, I still prefer to spend whatever amount there is in my bank account.

No money? Don't buy, it's that simple, I can't imagine myself slogging 8 years just to pay that kind of money.

And actually that relative didn't even know that there is such an agency in Singapore that provide advise and assistance on credit card debt, so another purpose of this post is to create awareness, if you have problem managing your credit card debt, please do not hesitate to call 1800 CALL CCS (1800 2255 227), or email enquiry@ccs.org.sg.

24 October 2012

Funny Internet #1


Because it's just a movie


22 October 2012

Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #3 - Don't Keep Your Money in Your Drawer

As a matter of fact, I used to do that as a teenager. I would dump whatever spare cash I have into my drawer and when I have free time, I would count my money. You see the problem? The amount of money in my drawer will never grow unless I continue to dump my spare cash. So let's say I have 1000 dollars inside and I decided to stop dumping money, and after 10 years, it's still 1000 dollars, now the question is, how much is my 1000 dollars worth after a decade?

If you factor in Singapore's Annual Inflation Rate, that same 1000 dollars would have become "smaller" i.e. I need to pay more than 1000 dollars to buy what I could have bought with the same amount of money 10 years ago.

Pay $223.28 More!

So think about it, have you found a better place to keep your money?

Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #2 - Take Public Transport

I think having a car is convenient most of the time, especially when there's a need to carry stuff or people, or to certain places where public transport is not easily accessible.

But the biggest problem with owning a car is the total cost of ownership, the monthly expenses is already quite a substantial amount. Just imagine how much you can save by converting to public transport.

Well, I have a colleague who has fully paid up his car loan, but he still spends slightly over 1000 Singapore dollars a month on his car, I think he would spend less than 1/10 of that if he converts to public transport, and the other 9/10, he can use it to increase his investment portfolio.

What I think is, Singapore is not a very big place, nowadays, our public transport is getting better, more connected, to more places, at higher frequency, worse comes to worst, one can always book a taxi, and it's just a call away. To be honest, I only take public transport for long distances, the rest I just walk e.g. the distance from my home to the train station is about 1.2 kilometers, and it's all by walking.

So think about it, why let your money go down the drain when you can grow it?

Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #1 - Use a Cheap Phone

I'm currently using a Nokia 1280, and I bought it for 30 Singapore dollars at a neighbourhood shop. There are shops in People's Park Centre selling for 26.80, so for those interested, you might want to check it out.

It's a basic phone, cheap and useful, and there are two outstanding features:
1. Torchlight - press center pad up twice to switch on, up once to switch off.
2. Speaking alarm - set a time, when alarm goes off, phone tells you the time.

And one other thing I like about this phone, it's durable, doesn't stop my heart when I drop it, I know it won't break ;)

Nokia 1280 - Black

In Singapore, I think most people sign up for a mobile subscription plan, the contract requires one to stay on that plan for 2 years and for your commitment, telcos will offer mobile phones at a much lower rate. So for me, I get a plan that suits me, and I get a phone with a high market value and sell it brand new, or I get a phone at 0 dollars.

If you want to save even more, consider using pre-paid card instead, because if you just want to stay contactable but you don't call much, there's no point paying more for a subscription plan.

Personally, I think smart phones are more of a luxury item than a necessity. So think about it, if your holding a smart phone, why not sell it and get a cheaper phone!

06 October 2012

Withdraw Money from PayPal to POSB Account

POSB Info for PayPal

Country: Singapore
Name on account: This must be exactly the same as the name under your POSB account, the name order must also be the same e.g. Tan Ah Kow, not Ah Kow Tan, if order is wrong, click Switch name order.
Bank Name: DBS Bank Ltd
Account Type: Whichever you wish, if not sure, check your booklet, usually is savings account. Current account is usually used for issuing cheques.
Bank Code: 7171
Branch Code: 081
Account Number: POSB account is 9 digit, exclude the dash, put only numbers.

28 August 2012

Budget Airline Excess Baggage Charge (Special Rate)

This morning I went to the airport with my wife because it's that day of the year again, when she will return home to visit her family, and eat all her favourite food, papaya salad, fried ants, yeah. According to a neighbour in her home town, those are the top two delicacies of northern Thailand. The first one is arguably okay for me, but I just can't bring myself to try the last dish.

And so we were well aware that her checked luggage was over the 25KG allowance that we purchased during booking, and it's a total of 7KG over the limit, and we just wanted to try our luck and see if we could get through without paying, but before I continue, I just want to emphasize that the point of this post is not to get anyone into trouble.

The lady at the counter told us to put our checked luggage on the weighing machine and the overweight came at no surprise. She told us there would be a charge of 20 Singapore dollars for each extra KG over the allowance and the total charge was 140 Singapore dollars. So I said hold on, let me discuss with my wife. And while we were about to start discussing, that lady moved closer and changed to a whispering tone, she said we could pay 60 Singapore dollars instead, we just have to put it in my wife's passport or the itinerary and hand it to her and don't let anyone see. Wow, okay, sounds like a good deal, so I told my wife and she was both surprised and confused and that lady popped in again and made another offer, this time it's 50.

When my wife finally regained her mind, she told me to try 40, yeah okay I tried and it was refused and I realized we were taking quite a while already, and come on, it's just 10 dollars, so trying to be decisive man, I grabbed the itinerary printout, shoved 50 dollars inside and handed over to the counter lady, she took it, checked in my wife's luggage and that's it.

For this to be happening in Singapore, and at the airport, I was very surprised, but I think such things are happening all the time, it's just that we don't see it very often.

So before you book that ticket, take some time to determine how much luggage you will be carrying, and buy more just in case, like for my wife's case, she told me she needed only 25KG, but she ended up with 32KG, I could have saved some money if I bought 35KG instead.

Enjoy your journey!

08 August 2012

How to Pronounce Suvarnabhumi?

When me and my wife were discussing whether she would like to go Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airport...

Me: So you want SU VAARR NUB HU MI (slowly read out loud) airport?
Wife: (laughs) SU WARR NA POOM.
Me: Why POOM?
Wife: Thais say SU WARR  NA POOM.
Me: Ok...

Now I know why that taxi driver in Bangkok gave me that weird look when I told him to go SU VAARR NUB HU MI, and why my wife chuckled in a corner...

Airline Currency Conversion VS Bank Currency Conversion

Yesterday I bought a Tiger Airways ticket for my wife, flying from Thailand to Singapore and at the payment section, I noticed that there is an option to pay in Singapore dollars; usually when I buy from Thailand to Singapore, I pay in Thai Baht and then my bank will do the conversion and charge me in Singapore dollars.

Tiger Converts 2615 Thai Baht to 108.18 Singapore dollars

So I did a quick search on Google using 2615 thb to sgd and the result is about 103 Singapore dollars. Obviously I should continue to pay in Thai Baht, so I did and here's what my bank statement shows:

Bank Tentatively Charges Me 102.90 Singapore dollars

But do note that 102.90 is not confirm as it's still pending settlement. When the bank finally charges, they will use as of that day's conversion value, so the final amount that they charge could be slightly higher or lower, but I'm sure it will still be much lower than what Tiger Airways is charging.

So make sure you do a quick check, unless you don't mind donating money to Tiger Airways.

UPDATE: I just checked and the charge has been settled at 106.36, not a big difference but well, still cheaper than settling via Singapore dollars at Tiger Airways booking system.

07 August 2012

Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang?

As you will know by now, some budget airlines will be relocated to the old Bangkok airport i.e. Don Mueang International Airport.

When buying ticket, bet you will wonder which airline fly to which airport.

No worries, I'm sure you've seen the code BKK, and you probably know BKK means Bangkok, you are quite right.

BKK is also a 3 character airport code, see here,
BKK = Suvarnabhumi Airport (New Bangkok International Airport)

So what about Don Mueang? See here,
DMK = Don Mueang International Airport

So make sure you know where you are going before you buy that ticket!

Anyway, they are not incredibly far apart, check this out.

24 July 2012

A leader's job is not to provide answers?

Singapore Minister Chan Chun Sing
Then what is a leader's job?

If we give answers, will the government listen?

And if we are supposed to give the answers, then vote you in for what?

We pay tax for your salary for what?

Shocked, disappointed and disgusted.


09 July 2012

Pay Singapore Income Tax via POSB iBanking

You can choose to pay either referencing TAX REF NO. or PYMT VOUCHER NO.,






For TAX REF NO., actually it's your NRIC,








For PYMT VOUCHER NO. (you have to get this number from mytax.iras.gov.sg),








For my case, took two days for mytax.iras.gov.sg Account Summary to be updated. Very convenient.

Get Rick Quick Playing Diablo 3

It depends on how one defines rich, but by my standard, I can't get rich by playing Diablo 3.

I have been playing since launch on 15 May but I'm no hardcore player. I played for a total of about 300 hours from all my characters combined, farmed up quite a bit of items to sell on the RMAH but as you can see here, I'm not earning much. Over the course of 20 days of selling, I made 191.56 Singapore Dollars (less 6 SGD; 2x$3 refunds for confirming paypal account info), which works out to about $9.55 per day. It's not much because my job actually pays me way more than that.

For a entertainment product, I think I got more than what I paid for. Just want to say this, just play this game as a game, don't play it for the sake of making money, the amount of time invested just doesn't make any sense.

As I have always said to in-game players, good luck and have fun!

Diablo 3 RMAH Profit

d3RmahProfit_1.png
Since 18 Jun 2012

d3RmahProfit_2.png
Till 07 Jul 2012


30 April 2012

Lady on The River


In the middle of a river, the water still.
Where is this place, no one knows.
Resting on the boat, she looks at him.
Her skin is fair, and her lips are red.
She smiles faintly, and she seems happy.
Who is the man with her, just who is he...

Game Maker



There was a little boy who loved playing games so much that whenever his friends have a new game, he would run to them and join in. He would play card games, he would play board games, he would play video games, and he would play any games all day long.

One day he said to himself, “I’m going to become a game maker when I grow up and make the funnest games ever!” but he’s not sure how he can become a game maker and he asked the richest kid he knew, and so he asked Jim, “How do i become a game maker?” and Jim said, “My dad buys me all the games I want, I don’t need to know that.”

The little boy didn’t get the the answer that he needed and he asked the smartest kid he knew, and so he asked Eddy, “How do i become a game maker?” and Eddy said, “My dad buys me a new game whenever I do well in school, I don’t need to know that.”

Again, he didn’t get the answer that he needed and he asked everyone that he knew but no one gave him the answer, and so, he stopped asking.

Many years later into his adult life, he looked into the mirror and he saw himself, it was at the same time, that tears started flowing down his cheeks, and he realized that he asked the same question to everyone he knew, except the person in the mirror.


20 April 2012

Diablo III Open Beta Weekend

If you are not aware, and you love Diablo games, and you have mysteriously stumbled upon this page after a busy day, please go to this webpage and download a game client. Blizzard, the creator of the Diablo series is now offering a Diablo III Open Beta Weekend.

It's open to everyone.

What you need is simply a Battle.net account but if you don't have one, just create one at their site. And you'll also need to create a BattleTag after you have your account, very easy.

But as of the posting of this article, you can't login to play yet. You can only start playing on 20 Apr 12:01 PM PDT and the open beta ends on 23 Apr 10:00 AM PDT.

PDT = Pacific Daylight Time

No worries if you are not sure how to convert or know what the heck PDT is, just go to this webpage, look at the section on the right.

About 5 hours more... to play... Diablo III.

14 April 2012

Genting Highlands Trip 01 Apr 2012 - 06 Apr 2012

Transport

On 01 Apr, our 7.30am coach was slightly late as there were too many coaches competing for the tight parking space beside Golden Mile Complex. We finally boarded at about 7.40am and it was a quite a quick boarding since everyone was already waiting and we left at about 7.50am.

Our coach was Sri Maju Group SVIP 24 seater, and I purchased at easibook.com. The ticket price was 30 SGD plus 3 SGD surcharge and 2 SGD convenience fee, so total cost of one ticket was 35 SGD.

When we were about to reach Singapore customs, we were told to leave our belongings on the coach and bring only valuables and passport for clearance. At Malaysia customs, we had to bring everything to crossover. For our return trip, it's the other way round, leave everything onboard at Malaysia customs, and bring everything to crossover back to Singapore. Just to share, if anyone is wondering.

The entire ride was fine and I must emphasize that they have comfortable seats. They had an LCD TV onboard and I thought it wasn't working but they played a movie only when we were reaching in about 2 hours time, but not too bad as I enjoyed the scenery and chatting with my wife. So remember to ask.

The coach only stopped twice, first time at Yong Peng and the final time somewhere in Kuala Lumpur. So try not to consume too much liquid. And if possible, try to clear your bowels before you board the coach in Singapore.

And while your at Yong Peng, and if your a smoker, stock up enough cigarettes for your entire trip because it's much cheaper there. The cigarette pricing in Genting seems to be standardized at 11.50 MYR for all brands, but at Yong Peng, you'll see Marlboro selling at 10 MYR, Sampoerna at 8.50 MYR. Check it out.

And finally, we reached First World Bus Terminal at about 2.15pm.

Oh, remember to buy the return ticket only at the bus terminal as it will be much cheaper. For Sri Maju rides, 45 MYR for 24 seater and 55 MYR for 21 seater. Just for general info, the ticket prices at the terminal ranges from 35 to 100+ MYR.

Accomodation

We stayed at First World Hotel , checked-in on 01 Apr at around 2.35pm. Not many visitors there and I tried out their check-in kiosk service but failed at the first time as the system weren't able to identify my passport info. But there were quite a number of staff on standby, ready to help. So the entire check-in process took less than 10 minutes. Impressive.

I booked their Standard room via their online booking system, 260 MYR per room for 6 days 5 nights, 01 Apr check-in, 06 Apr check-out at 12pm. I think I got a good deal.

The room was overall very clean and tidy, I think cleaner and tidier than my own room, fantastic. Only problem was the TV signal, sometimes good, sometimes bad. It was at first terrible, then I noticed that the cable was plugged to the wrong port; it was plugged to FM port, so I switched to TV port and the signal improved tremendously but still not as good as I expected, but well, not going to be staying in there all the time, but then, would be nice to lay back, snack and watch TV when I got tired of walking.

The check-out process was even faster, took no longer than 5 seconds as they have these check-out kiosks, just insert your door card and your done.

Food

There were plenty of food choices but I'll just mention those that I thought were terrible.

Avoid Hot Pot Buffet. I remember the total price for one person was around 18 or 19 SGD, can't remember how much it costed in Ringgit though. They have these fish cakes in different colors, shapes and sizes, tasted like they were all made from the same material, rubbery. I tried to stir-fry some beef, but their beef was very tough, difficult to chew. Their red-colored and brown-colored beverages tasted like plain water. And they have weird plastic cup designs, burnt with fire, look at those white bubbles. And I paid 10% service charge for their staff to stare at me with an unsmiling face, like I'm an alien from outer space. There are better food elsewhere, don't waste your money here.

Avoid Kenny Rogers. Terrible service. Terrible food. Staff chatting, playing with gadgets, laughing, eating in front customers, food flying on the floor when clearing table, a piece of meat dropped on my feet and that guy looked at me nonchalantly. They served food without utensils, no serviettes, no chilli sauce, you got to get everything you need by yourself, and they even charge you 10% for service, good job Kenny Rogers. The chicken tasted bland, the sauce tasted bland. The macaroni cheese is a mound of poorly cooked macaroni and watery cheese. The potato salad smells of plastic, you'll be wondering how they cooked it. I think I paid about 30+ MYR for one person.

So generally, if you dine-in, they will charge you 10% more for service, it's really not worth paying for but you have no choice. I think that the Genting management should really look into improving their F&B customer service standard, it's really bad. Their staff should be sent for proper training, just look at Kenny Rogers, how can they even let a bunch of untrained kids run the place.

And regarding food money, I think it would be safe to budget 20 MYR per meal for one person. Or you can takeaway to save on the 10% service charge.

Weather

According to the thermometer at First World Hotel lobby, it was always 19 degree Celsius every time I looked at it and I wondered if it was working. It rained almost everyday and it was chilly most of the time, especially at night. This was okay compared to the last time I went in October, that was really cold and foggy everyday.

Theme Park

I booked our Outdoor theme park tickets online, together with the hotel rooms. One pax for 42 MYR. I think it was a bad idea, should have bought at Genting, even though it would be slightly more expensive, but at least I can check out the weather first. As mentioned earlier, it rained almost everyday so my outdoor theme park day was screwed up as most of the rides were closed due to bad weather. So I ended up taking a walk inside the park with my wife, enjoyed the chilly and foggy weather, not too bad.

Currency Exchange

The rate at Genting was 2.265 MYR to 1 SGD. Glad I changed all my money in Singapore for 2.385. So always change in Singapore.

Shopping

I am really not into shopping, my wife does it all and my job was to carry stuff, but what I can say is that shopping in Genting is not much different from shopping in Singapore; in terms of pricing, they are almost the same. Tourist attraction, what did I expect. But I think I got a good deal, 4 boxes of Danson chocolates, each 400g, and I paid only the price of 3, so total 90 MYR, about 37.70 SGD based on my exchange rate. Good quality chocolates. I think a box like this would easily cost 10 over dollars in Singapore.

In case you walk too much without realizing and your leg muscles hurt, better bring along Yoko Yoko or any other easy-to-apply muscle rub so you can use on the go.

Entertainment

Watched 3D Wrath of the Titans for 19 MYR per person and played some silly arcade games. The movie was okay, great visual effects and decent story but ended quite fast, around 1hr 25mins.

Then we went to the casino for donations, like everyone else does. Lost 130 MYR in casino, 30 playing slots and 100 playing "Pontoon", a 21 points card game. Actually we won 125 at first, but I got greedy and lost it back. Well, just to look around and experience stuff as my wife haven't went to a casino yet so I guess it was an eye opener for her, to see why casinos are making so much money.

Those Chinese and Arabian gamblers were really ballsy, looking at how they bet makes me nervous. Phew.

This is not too much of an entertainment but I saw that a cable car ride costed only 6 MYR so I took my wife for a to-and-fro ride, really scary, I think it's scarier than taking a theme park ride, especially when it vibrates, don't think I will ever take it again. My wife enjoyed it though, makes me wonder.

So that about sums up my trip, overall I think it was quite enjoyable and I hope what I have written here is useful to someone, thanks for reading.


28 March 2012

HDB Resale Flats - Public or Private Housing?

I think HDB has to be honest and reveal their master plan for resale HDB flat. Looking at the direction that resale flat is going, makes me wonder if one day they will decide to simply privatize resale flats. Just take away the subsidies and regulations and they can turn resale flats into condominiums. Who knows, maybe residents can setup their own management community, build swimming pools right below the block, put up fences and hire a few Ah Neh security guards to protect the block.

It's an obvious contradiction here, is resale flat supposed to be public housing or private housing? It's a public housing that can be sold like a private housing, seller can set any price they wish. Market valuation is pointless to a buyer since there is COV, actually also pointless for the seller since they can set whatever amount they wish.

If they still wish to refer to resale flat as public housing, I would expect HDB to do away with COV and strictly allow sales to proceed with ONLY valuation price. Don't valuation already consider the location, amenities, interior, special features, level and etc of a flat? Sellers who are trying to obtain a higher value for their flat, based on factors that were already covered by valuation, isn't that sheer greed? Seriously, if I am a seller, of course I would say my flat is in good location, excellent renovation and etc, and I want XXk COV, why? I want more money, who doesn't? Isn't that sheer greed? Who doesn't want to make a profit when you can, even at the expense of jacking up resale prices, causing the younger generation to have problem owning their first flat?

HDB, please, resale flat is not kway teow, please don't let people char kway teow, time to pick up the balls that dropped everywhere and step in to control, just step in, I will be first person to support, that is if HDB still consider resale flat as public housing... making homes affordable and sustainable... providing homes for Singaporeans... especially for the younger generation to start a family... and for the elderly to retire in peace...

放下屠刀 立地成佛 - Put down the chopper and become Buddha

What is The Point of COV When There Already is Market Valuation?

This question was posted at REACH on 28 Mar 2012, 10.39AM

What does market valuation of a resale flat do? Surveyors determine the market price of a resale flat by factors such as location of the block, surrounding amenities, level of the flat, interior condition of the flat and special features inside/outside the flat.

Seller A asks for COV because he has renovated his flat and he has built a bar counter in his flat.

Have the above been covered by market valuation?

Seller B asks for COV because his flat location is good, near to MRT, near to bus interchange, schools, shopping malls and plenty of coffeeshops.

Have the above been covered by market valuation?

Seller C asks for COV because his flat is at the top floor of the block, with incredible view.

Have the above been covered by market valuation?

Then what is the point of market valuation if COV serves to do what it already is doing?

How can HDB allow such a contradiction?

This is one reason why HDB resale flat is becoming more expensive, and it will get worse if HDB still maintain the "willing buyer willing seller" attitude.

Response from HDB forwarded by REACH Administrator on 16 Apr 2012, 4.48PM

The valuation of HDB resale flats are conducted by professional private valuers who are licensed by the Inland Revenue of Singapore and members of the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers. The valuers conduct their valuations independently; according to established valuation principles applicable to both private properties and HDB flats. The value of the flat is derived based on recent resale transactions of comparable flats and adjustments are made for the flat’s attributes such as location, age of flat size, floor level, extent of renovations, etc.

For flats which the buyer has a personal preference and liking for, the buyer may be willing to pay a premium above the market value to purchase the flat. On the other hand, some flats may be sold below the market value for various other reasons.

Generally, sellers would ask for the highest price possible. Buyers, on their part, should negotiate with the sellers and offer a price within their means. It is not appropriate for HDB to intervene in the negotiation process between buyers and sellers. Such interventions contradict the fundamentals of property transactions, which are subject to prevailing market forces of demand and supply, and negotiation by the buyers and sellers.

There is a wide range of flats in the resale market in terms of flat type and location to suit the needs of different buyers. Buyers are advised to consider widening their search for a flat for more choices.

Regards,
Housing & Development Board (HDB)

Will there come a day when only the rich can afford resale flat?

27 March 2012

Condolences to Madam Samai Chatthahan and Family of Mr. Lim Wei Kwan, Jason

I only learned about the whole story today and I feel shocked, and very sad for the family but I'm glad that help has been swiftly offered by NTUC and MCYS, and also very glad that Mr. Lim's eldest son, young Mr. Lim Itthiphat has finally obtained his citizenship after 10 long years of trying. My heart feels heavy when I realized that the late Mr. Lim is unable to share the happiness with his family, but I'm sure he will be happy now, wherever he is.

Now that I think back, let's look at the new LTVP+. One of the eligibility criteria is that a foreign widow of a Singaporean is allowed to apply, provided she has a Singaporean child. Doesn't that ring a bell? The incident happened around mid Dec 2011, and ICA is introducing the new pass on 01 Apr 2012. I also understand that the late Mr. Lim tried applying for permanent residency for Madam Samai, 3 times but was all rejected.

With the introduction of the new pass, Madam Samai will be eligible for LTVP+ and that means she does not have to return to her country when her LTVP expires. She will be able to continue staying here and bring up the kids.

I applaud ICA for the quick introduction of the new pass but it's a shame that such a pass, one that is necessary to bridge the huge gap between PR and LTVP statuses, one that will help to keep families together, has to come at the price of a man's life. I think he is the hero of every Singaporean who has married a foreign spouse, and who will be benefiting from the new pass.

Salute and Rest in peace.

20 March 2012

Long-Term Visit Pass - Plus (LTVP-PLUS)

http://www.ica.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=12665

Good news for those of us who cannot get PR for our beloved spouse, because the Singapore government has come up with a enhanced long-term visit pass called LTVP-PLUS or LTVP+. I'll sum up the key points in the FAQ provided by ICA so you don't have to go through one big page.

Do let me know if I missed out anything or correction is required by dropping a comment.

GENERAL
  • LTVP+ will be in effect from 01 Apr 2012.
  • LTVP+ holders will enjoy extended duration of residency, public healthcare subsidies and easier access to employment.
  • No separate application required for LTVP+; an application for LTVP will automatically include your spouse for LTVP+, if eligible.
  • LTVP applications submitted from 01 Feb 2012 will automatically be considered for LTVP+.
  • The first approved LTVP+ will grant 3 years residency and subsequent renewal will be 5 years.
  • Current holders of LTVP will be considered for LTVP+ on next renewal. If holders of LTVP wishes to be considered for LTVP+ earlier, may submit new LTVP application, but note that processing and issuance fees apply.
  • Singaporean and LTVP+ holder may only purchase resale flat; unless they have a Singaporean child then they may purchase a new flat direct from HDB.

ELIGIBITY
  • Only spouse of Singapore citizen will be eligible for LTVP+; spouse of PR can only apply for LTVP.
  • Couples with at least a Singaporean child will be eligible, but for those without child and married for at least 3 years will stand a higher chance. ICA will also look at financial capability of sponsor and good conduct of sponsor and applicant.
  • Pregnant spouse may also apply for LTVP+.
  • Foreign widow of Singaporean with Singaporean child will be eligible.
  • ICA will consider valid foreign marriage certificate or proof that the marriage is recognized in the country of marriage.

HEALTHCARE
  • Public hospital subsidy; ward A 0%, B1 10%, B2+ 30%, B2 45%, C 60%, Day Surgery 0%, Specialist Outpatient Clinic 0%, A&E 0%.

EMPLOYMENT
  • Employer need to apply for Letter of Consent (LOC) from Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before LTVP+ holder may commence work.
  • No administrative fee incurred by employer for the application of Letter of Consent.
  • Duration of consent granted depends on the employer and LTVP+ expiry date.
  • Consent is renewable as long as the LTVP+ has at least 3 months validity.
  • LTVP+ holder may only work for one employer and hold only one LOC at any point of time.
  • LTVP+ holder is not allowed to set up business.
  • LTVP+ holder may change job. Employer should cancel the Letter of Consent within seven days after resignation and prospective employer should apply for a new consent from MOM.
  • No limit to how many LTVP+ holders a company can employ and LTVP+ holders will not count towards a company's foreign worker quota.
  • No foreign worker levy imposed for hiring LTVP+ holders.
  • Existing work pass holders may submit LTVP+ application. Upon collection of LTVP+ from ICA, work pass will be cancelled. ICA will issue a temporary approval letter so that work may continue but employer need to apply for Letter of Consent before the temporary approval expire.

PROCESSING TIME
  • LTVP+ application may take 6 weeks.
  • Letter of Consent may take 1 week.

FEES
  • Fees to pay are the same between LTVP and LTVP+; $30 processing fee and $60 issuance fee, additional $30 if visa is required.

19 February 2012

Homestay in Malacca

I recommend these two places because the owners are very nice people (and I mean really really nice), and they charge reasonably. If any doubt, just tell them and they'll be glad to help, I think that's the most important thing when one is abroad, you have hearty people willing to help, to enlighten, so you can really have fun and enjoy the trip.

Homestay 1 @ Jalan Angkasa Nuri
DT 1562, Jalan Angkasa Nuri,
Taman Angkasa Nuri,
Durian Tunggal, Melaka.

Homestay 2 @ Jalan Taman Kota Laksamana
7A, (TKT 1) Jalan TKL 10,
Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka.

If interested, please contact
Cassie Chan - 012-6185628
Candy Chan - 017-3320728
Mr Chan - 016-2094593
Email - cassiebiz@live.com
Facebook - cassiebiz