31 December 2013

Collected My Passport Today at ICA via iCollect

Recently I submitted a passport renewal because it is going to expire soon, they deducted $70 from my bank account after I dropped it into the collection box at ICA building.

A few days later, I checked online and found that it is ready for collection, I choose the iCollect mode, I think it is a new self-collect service and I set the collection date as today.

So I went to ICA level 1 eLobby, the iCollect section is very obvious, it's like a spaceship with two counters, quite futuristic looking. I went to the counter, there's nobody there, well, it's self-collect, so anyway I touched the screen to start the procedure, there were videos for each step telling me what to do, scan my NRIC, scan my thumbprint, scan my old passport, scan my face (facial verification), all done by myself, then it dispensed my new passport, it's like a vending machine! The whole process probably took less than 3 minutes, I think it's very efficient, impressive.

30 December 2013

Had a Bad Dream Last Weekend

Can't remember whether it was Friday or Saturday night, the dream was quite vivid and I still remember it now, it's strange because I never remember a dream for long after I wake up, I will probably forget everything within one or two hours.

In the dream, somehow my father passed away, I can't recall the cause of death but I saw my mother's face clearly, she looked a bit sad, she didn't talk, she was staring at something on my left side, and I was looking at her the whole time. Then I saw my father's face, he was lying down, his eyes were closed, lying on something peacefully. That's about it.

I think I remember it because it has something to do with my family, my dreams were usually stupid things like jumping up a building, and then down a building, or I'm running with someone or something chasing me, can't remember clearly but it was always the stupid crap, I rarely have good dreams, oh there's one where I dreamt that I strike it rich, and then I woke up and realize that I have to go to work, sigh.

I think it's just a stupid dream, never believe in the dream to reality crap.

28 December 2013

More Than 500 Staff Retrenched at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Source

Mainly they are shifting their hard disk manufacturing operations to Thailand, obviously because labour costs there are so much cheaper. I think they can easily hire a staff from 6000 to 7000 Bahts a month, which is around $230+ Singapore dollars.

Actually most companies have shifted some or most of their operations to emerging markets like China, Philippines and Thailand, of these 3, Philippines staff costs are the highest since they are a English speaking country, Thailand and China are the cheapest.

This has nothing to do with our economy, it's just because operating costs in Thailand are lower, and the company is taking that opportunity to maximize their profit, that's all. For those who were retrenched, I wish them the best, I hope the relevant ministry and union will do their best to assist these people.

Also to highlight that people working in the production line usually have a low monthly basic salary of between $1100 to $1600, and in order for them to earn more than their basic salary, they need to perform overtime work. I have a friend who used to serve in the army with me, I heard from him that his basic salary is around $1600, with overtime work, he can earn $3000 or more a month, but that's a lot of overtime work to do so it's not easy for him. The article mentioned that for those retrenched, the company will compensate them one month's basic salary for every year of service, it's really not much, so I really hope the ministry will help these people out.

26 December 2013

3 Young Girls Crush Puppy to Death!

Source

Video (contains graphic content, DO NOT let children watch it!)

Today I chanced upon this article about 3 girls stomping a puppy to death, I saw the video and was totally disgusted by their actions, it's shocking, why would they do that, it's so inhumane, I felt so angry at them, I watched the video without any sound because I was in office, but I think with the sound the effect would be far worse. I cannot imagine the kind of pain the puppy was in, I also cannot imagine what went on in the minds of those 3 girls, are they crazy or what. The video just keeps replaying in my head after I watched it, it's so traumatic.

As I read on, it's some sort of a crush fetish video, the girls are paid for performing the act, I cannot believe they were still smiling while committing the slaying of an innocent animal, I hope the authorities arrest these people and serve them a stiff sentence, this must be the tip of an iceberg since it's a paid act, some evil syndicate must be earning loads of money off these kind of videos, the Philippines authorities must stop them.

RIP Unknown Puppy.

25 December 2013

24 December 2013

3 Ways to Clean Aircon


1. General servicing

This is the cheapest but most ineffective way. One fancoil costs between $35-$50, the servicing company will usually give some discount if you clean more units. The problem with this method is the technician will simply remove the outermost cover and filter and use a vacuum cleaner to try to suck out the dirt, but it's really very ineffective, I would say they can only clean out at the most 5% of the dirt in your unit, or worse, not even 1%. If you don't believe me, after they clean it, you try opening up the unit and see for yourself, it will still be full of dirt and mold, and if you put your nose close to the area where the air comes out, you will smell something like dirty socks. And the worst part is aircon servicing companies will usually suggest you to at least do this cleaning once every 3 months, just imagine how much money you will be wasting, you might as well open it up and vacuum by yourself, it doesn't take more than 10 minutes to clean one unit, and the cover is not that difficult to open, not the mention the filter, I'm serious.

2. Chemical spray

I think this costs anywhere less than $100. For this way, they are using some sort of spray jet to clean the evaporator, I think this is fairly effective, it does clean out most of the dirt that can be seen by eyes but the problem is, it cannot clean blind spots, but it's still better than the useless general servicing, if you are on budget and still need to clean your unit, this is the way to go.

3. Chemical overhaul

This is the most effective, it costs between $150-$160, I see some companies offering $120, I would stick to the more reliable ones, money should not be an issue here, it's the ultimate cleaning, if you want to spend, might as well make sure you are getting the right people to do it. Anyway you are not going to do this very often, probably once in a year or maybe even two years. The reason why this is the most effective is they dismantle the whole unit, take out the evaporator and really clean the whole damn thing, and depending on the skill of the technician, this can reach 90% effectiveness or more. But better to get someone who knows your model to do it.

Just a disclaimer, the percentages shown in this article is by guessing, I'm not an expert in aircon but I do know general servicing is bullshit since I opened it up and saw for myself, what a terrible waste of my money.

23 December 2013

My Wife Renewed Her Passport at Singapore Thai Embassy

She took taxi back and fro (damn expensive, $23 to and $25 back!), the process seems to be very straightforward, print out one form, fill it up, bring along Thai ID card, passport, long term pass with a photocopy each and $58, submit and wait for 2-4 weeks (according to the official there). Their operating hours is a bit strange though, can only submit application from 9.15am to 11.30am, collection is only from 2.00pm to 3.00pm. For more details you can check out this link.

So if you are planning to travel, please remember to renew your passport before booking any air ticket!

22 December 2013

Someone Tried to Log In to My Battle.net Account

I just received an email from Blizzard saying that my account was locked due to a change in access pattern, I think somebody tried to log in to my account from another country, anyway I haven't been playing Diablo 3 for quite a while, even if somebody manage to log in, that thief will be shocked to see there's actually nothing much to steal haha, just 2 or 3 million gold, some shitty items and that's about it.

Anyway Diablo 3 gold price is super deflated, 50 million gold can only sell for $1.65 USD, I'll probably take 2 months to farm that amount if I spend 8 hours farming every day, that's so not worth it and not fun.

The game is so dead, I have no idea why anyone would buy its expansion, just a new class, new act, some new monsters, ultimately it'll be back to mindless farming, anyway I already earned back the $90 SGD I spent on buying this game, so it doesn't matter whether it sucks or not.

21 December 2013

Did Some Christmas Shopping Today

Went to Tampines Mall and Century Square, bought myself a leather belt for $19 (originally $59), 2 short sleeve shirts for $37.80 (at 20% discount) and a very durable looking shoes for $49 (also 20% discount), quite a good deal.

The guy selling shoes kept recommending me those $99-$100+ shoes but I told him I'm looking for durability since my shoes keep holing at the bottom, I'm a rough guy who can't walk slowly and gently so I need something strong enough to withstand the friction from my quick pace, or at least capable of lasting for more than 3 months, my shoes usually last maximum 3 months, by 2 months one hole will start to appear below the big toe area, 3 months onwards it will open mouth, those who experienced it will know what I'm saying.

My wife got herself a new bag for $69, original price I think was $89 or $99.

We also had a meal at Bali Thai, the food was alright but serving was small, my wife had steamed rice with beef fried with basil leaves and chilli ($8.80), I had pineapple rice with fried fish fillet ($11.80), they have this special pineapple dip for the fillet, it was quite tasty, bill including service charge and GST was $24.25, felt a bit hungry after that haha, still prefer hawker food, cheaper and filling.

And then we bought some stuff here and there, total we spent about $235 today, way below my budget ;)

20 December 2013

My Wife Got Her LTVP+

The whole process is exactly the same as LTVP, only difference is when completing formalities, they will say whether it's 1 year or 3 years, it's that simple. Well, 3 years is good, no need to keep renewing every year, can save some money. Oh and the card also looks exactly like LTVP, only difference is there is the word PLUS behind.

Next is PR, still waiting for the update, hope they approve it so I can apply BTO, sigh.

19 December 2013

STI Opened at 308X

Today was like a roller coaster ride, opened high and then closed low at 3070.23, not that low though, at least it's still 8.45 points higher than yesterday's 3061.78, so what will happen tomorrow? Let me guess, so far the tapering issue has been finalized, the Federal Reserve have already announced the cut back by $10 billion in January 2014, markets are very fragile, they tremble at the sign of any uncertainty, the announcement should give some needed assurance to investors, furthermore, interest rate would also remain the same, so the impact to the markets is minimized, but ultimately, it's still up to investors to decide whether they should invest in Singapore stocks, can only wait and see.

18 December 2013

My Aircon is Not Noisy Anymore!

So yesterday I did some cleaning of my own, and it worked damn well! To my surprise the noise is gone, no more stupid clicking noise in the middle of the night, I really had a peaceful night of rest, damn shiok, woke up this morning feeling refreshed like never before, almost don't feel like leaving my bed, I also felt that the air is cooler than before.

Now that I think of it, the noise could have come from poorly positioned fancoil unit, I really don't think the cleaning did the job, more like the adjustment and making sure everything is set tightly in place, I think that helped to minimize the vibration significantly and hence removing the noise completely, I don't know, that probably also helped to make it cooler, I guess?

17 December 2013

Now I Know How to Clean My Aircon

These few days the fancoil unit in my room was very noisy at night, there was a clicking sound and it was very obvious in the middle of the night, today I was so fed up that I unscrewed and opened up the damn thing, found that it's not that difficult to open, just 2 screws and pull out the casing from the top.

It was damn dirty, especially the bladed part, so much dust was and is still stuck in there, there's no way tissue or vacuum cleaner is going to do the job, unless it is a powerful vacuum cleaner, those strong enough to even suck in water, I can only try to wipe off and vacuum as much as possible, and finally, I still remember how to put it all back, now I have switched it on, I hope whatever that I did will get rid of the noise.

Anyway, for those of you wondering what those aircon cleaning guys do, for normal cleaning, what they do is bring along a vacuum cleaner and vacuum off the dust, that's it, I paid $80 to clean two units, and they didn't do a good job, it was still so dirty, might as well I do it myself and save the money.

Oh wait, at first I thought maybe I could do some chemical cleaning by myself, after watching this video, wow, seems like there's a lot of dismantling to do... very good video though.


16 December 2013

Bought Some Stocks Today

Today I managed to convince myself that STI is now at its lowest period, and it's time to stock up on some cheap bargains, it's like buying Christmas presents for myself ;)

But of course I didn't just convince myself without reading up, the US Federal Reserve will either continue their bond-buying program or reduce a bit, what I read is from $85 billion a month to $75 billion a month, $10 billion difference, actually it's just a fraction of their GDP, their GDP growth far exceeded $10 billion a month, I don't think it will have a huge impact, they can't keep printing money forever, they got to at least slow down their pace since their economy is improving, this tapering will come sooner or later, might as well come bit by bit, that's why they called it "tapering", it's meant to be gentle to everyone.

If you are wondering about the meeting, it starts tomorrow, can refer here, and it lasts until 18 Dec.

Anyway, I bought 2 more lots of Sheng Siong at $0.580, 2 more lots of CDL HTrust at $1.575 and 10 lots of LippoMalls at $0.400. Sheng Siong and CDL HTrust is more for averaging down since it's so low, overall with LippoMalls, it gives me a good yield for 2014.

Venture (V03) Closed at $7.75

As mentioned in earlier post on 06 Dec, when it drops to $7.50, it always have the tendency to go up again, I have seen this pattern a few times in recent months, today it actually closed at $7.75, unfortunately my cash was limited and Venture is one expensive counter so I didn't buy it, almost $200 easy money, that's why investing is also about having a deeper pocket, more cash means more bullets to expend, small-timers like me can only suck it up.

The other good thing about Venture is they pay a good amount of dividend, even at $7.75, the last payout also yielded 6.451%, better than the likes of SingTel and Starhub, but of course don't buy just for the dividend, buy if you believe in their business.

14 December 2013

Inflation Kicking In

KFC 3 pieces chicken meal is now $9.50, it was $8.80 or $8.95 about 2 weeks ago, western food chicken chop used to be $5, now $5.50, tailor-made pants used to be $88 for 3, now $130 for 2, things just keep getting expensive, the increment that I got for this year is just nice to cover the inflation; my increment was about 5%.

I think one good way to fight inflation is to try and save money whenever possible, spend only on necessities, save now for the future, some people might say I'm not going to bring all the money into my grave but I can always leave it to my loved ones.

13 December 2013

Potential Promotion Coming

Today my boss sent me an email and cc his boss, it was regarding a new project tender and he put me up for the team lead position, I was quite shocked because I'm supposed to do a tender presentation but I have no idea how that goes about, the other thing was that he is pushing me as team lead, wow, I don't know if I can take more responsibilities, but if my company increases my salary for that then I think it is still ok, who doesn't want more salary, but if they are going to give me more things to do without any pay increment, then it really sucks, then again, I still have to take it, I still like this job so far.

12 December 2013

STI Index at 3 Month Lowest

I think it's scheduled for a rebound, obviously, but the question is when? At current prices, a lot of stocks are very attractive, especially REITs, look at Sabana, its yield is 8.7%, even my CDL HTrust has broken the 7% mark. Also my Sheng Siong is now back to 5% yield.

I'm thinking of buying 2 more lots of Sheng Siong and 4 more lots of CDL HTrust, damn glad I didn't do so earlier this week because the prices have been going down, wonder what will happen tomorrow, there seems to be a sign of recovery at the end of today but it went down again, I think tomorrow will either stay flat or continue to plunge.

I'm also looking at SPH, today it closed at $3.96, anything below $4 is attractive to me because it has the potential to reach $4.20+, and the dividend is good at more than 6%.

Sigh, I only have about $8000, or maybe $8200 max, limited cash, limited choice.

11 December 2013

DBS Vickers CPF Investment Account Interest (Update)

In my last post, I mentioned that the monthly interest for the account was 0.0008%, which is wrong, I noticed that sometimes I get slightly more, then today I took a closer look at my investment account statement and found that they actually stated that the interest rate is 0.05% per annum, which comes to about 0.00416% per month, I think that made sense, I didn't verify though, it's like pieces here and there and would probably give me a headache doing so, anyway good to know they pay more!

09 December 2013

44 Years Since the Last Riot in Singapore

It's all over the news, riot in Singapore, wow, in Singapore, I bet everyone thought this will never ever happen (again) on this tiny dot, I did and it happened while I was at home watching The Fellowship of the Ring. So when was the last riot, according to this Wikipedia page, the last one was in 1969, and some people decided to break our decades of peace. They even set fire to a couple of vehicles, including a police car and an ambulance, but why the heck would they burn an ambulance? They must be out of their minds, well somehow I'm right, because according to news reports, the rioters were drunk and throwing beer bottles.

But the thing is, I don't really care what started the riot, what shocked me was that these people actually had the guts to do something like that here in Singapore, this is Singapore. Drunk or not, we have drunk people everyday but we don't see riots everyday, those who started the riot must be severely punished by handing them the maximum punishment possible and making sure they never have the chance to step into Singapore again, we don't need troublemakers.

I know it's not easy for them to come to Singapore, I may sound harsh but the law is the law, no one is above the law, they come here, they are expected to follow our laws, we are not talking about petty crimes, this event if not handled in a stern manner could send a wrong signal, let people think it's okay, then what happens in future, everyone will start rioting, look at other countries, protests and riots like nobody's business.

08 December 2013

This December is a Month of Sudden Rains and Cold Nights

I noticed that the rain nowadays comes so suddenly, last week me and my wife walked into the lift at our housing estate, the sky was clear with sunshine, and it was barely one minute after we reached our level, then it started to rain heavily.

Today we went for lunch, the sky looks clear, a bit dark but I didn't think it was going to rain because it rained last night, when we finished our lunch, it suddenly rained heavily, luckily we dined near where we live because we didn't bring an umbrella.

And the weather is getting colder, I haven't had a flu for a long time but yesterday it got me, but I think I'm recovering very fast, the flu is mostly gone now, I think because I work out quite often, good to have a strong body to withstand this kind of unpredictable weather. The water that comes out of our tap is also cold, especially during shower, the water is chilling.

06 December 2013

Complain Complain Complain

Sometimes I feel that the people here are not very nice, I feel that people here are always in a rush, so much so that they forget to be nice to people, for example, people always like to cut into my path, I know it's very obvious I'm walking this way, but some people will deliberately quicken their footsteps just to cut across, I usually just give way to them, I think out of 10 times, only 1 or 2 times people gave way to me. I'm also always in a rush, rush to work, rush home, rush everywhere, but I don't cut people's path because I know it's really annoying.

Some extreme cases are when some people totally don't want to give way, they will even go as far as to walk with a "bump into me if you dare" kind of style, of course I don't bump into them, I avoid them, what's the point of them trying so hard to gain that ego point, don't understand.

And also when walking on a narrow path, obviously at most two or three person can walk side by side, some groups just walk side by side anyway and force you into the grass patch, people here really don't like giving way huh.

Playing with phone, playing with tablet, read book, read newspaper, another annoying thing is people like to play with gadgets or read stuff even while walking, especially when exiting the train station, massive crowd, they just play and take their own sweet time to walk, blocking the way, why can't they just do it without getting in people's way, or better is to quickly get to wherever they need to go, settle down and play or read until they happy. Or some of them even play with a big tablet on a crazy crowded train, or flip open the newspaper going full page, it's already so crowded so why not just stand properly instead.

Talking about train, people always like to lean on the pole, why can't they just realize that the pole is for many people to hold on, not for one person to lean on. And handbags, those women like to swing their bags to their side, I wonder if they know that their bags always hit the person behind, and one of those always getting hit is me, I don't think it's so difficult to hold their small bag in front right, it's more ladylike, but most women don't do that, they just swing their bags to the side like aunties.

I think I need a holiday soon, get away from this place for a while, get away from all these nonsense.

What Stocks to Buy Now?

On 04 Dec, SGX suddenly plunged, most of the counters that I am following become cheaper, thinking of buying Sheng Siong and CDL HTrust to average down, planning to buy 2 lots of Sheng Siong, and maybe 4 lots of CDL Htrust. Next Tuesday I will have $6919.72, I top up another $1600 then should be enough.

There are also other stocks that I would buy if I have more money, like KepLand, Cache, Lippo Malls, Sabana, Venture, M1, all these should rebound later on, if I'm not wrong, have been monitoring their pattern a while now, especially M1 and Venture, once M1 hits $3.2 and below, it will always go back to $3.2-$3.3x, as for Venture, $7.50 seems to be their main support now, once it hits that price, it will always go up. By the way, today M1 closed at $3.20 and Venture at $7.52.

04 December 2013

My Thoughts on the Recent Protests in Thailand

As we all know already, it's Suthep versus Yingluck, so I asked my wife who she likes more, she says red shirts support Yingluck, her step-father even went all the way from Udon Thani to Bangkok to show his support, even though he was there only for 2 days. She also said the red shirts are there to make sure Yingluck don't lose.

Then I remember that Yingluck and her Pheu Thai Party was put to power by the 2011 General Election, she won by 4,310,428 votes, the people voted for her, basically she won fair and square in a democratic manner, but now Suthep is trying to bring her down by getting people to storm into government offices, start violent protests, that's not democracy. The question now is, what kind of political standard is Thailand trying to achieve?

Sold Cambridge Industrial Trust at S$0.695

Recently SGX is on a downtrend, hardly going up, 3200 seems to be very far away, not sure if there will be a Christmas Rally, so today I sold my Cambridge for a small profit of S$222.10 (inclusive of S$125.10 dividend), and right after I sold, Cambridge moved down to 0.690/0.695, lucky I sold early? Last few weeks the price was sort of stuck at 0.695/0.700, haha, everytime I do something the price will move, strange.

So anyway my next step is to probably to buy more of CDL HTrust and Sheng Siong since they are so cheap now, CDL HTrust closed at 1.580 and Sheng Siong closed at 0.595, what a sudden plunge, but it's a good chance for me to average down, but not sure if I can get my money in time to buy in, the sales proceed will only be available on next Tuesday, see how.

03 December 2013

This Litterbug at My Neighbourhood

I used to be a litterbug when I was much younger, I would throw stuff on the ground when no one is looking, I even threw water bombs from the 7th floor, but eventually I grew out of it when I realized that somebody is going to clean it up. All the rubbish and the mess don't just magically disappear when I wake up the next morning, some cleaners start cleaning as early as 4am in the morning, when everyone else is sleeping, wonder how many people are aware of that.

And cleaning is not an easy job, nobody really say it out loud but I'm sure at some point in your life, you have looked down on cleaners because their salary is pathetic, don't need any education, anyone can do, very easy, but it's not easy when it's your job, but it's always easy to stand at the corner and judge.

Now back to the main reason why I started this post, just now I went to the supermarket with my wife, there was this young lad chatting with his girlfriend, he took out a stick of cigarette, crushed the empty packet and threw it into the drain like nobody's business, he knew I saw him doing it and he looked a bit guilty, I didn't do or say anything, not like I would care if someone told me not to litter when I was his age, but I hope he will grow out of it like me, this is not a one litterbug problem, just look at our neighbourhood, you can see all sorts of rubbish everywhere, it's a culture problem, people need to be more considerate, don't go ahead and think oh we pay conservancy fees every month, it's their job to clean, come on, there's no need to make their lives so difficult.

02 December 2013

So Many Balance Flats in Nov 2013 BTO

I checked out the recent Nov BTO launch and saw that there are 3974 flats available under the Sale of Balance Flats scheme, wondering how come there are so many flats leftover, I thought BTO is always over-subscribed, 100 to 1 or 200 to 1 that kind of ratio, so if you ask me, I think there shouldn't be anything left, so this is very strange.

So maybe some people ended up not getting the flat due to a multitude of reasons, marry then divorce, engage but not marry, book already don't like, book already cannot get loan, surely there wasn't 3974 of such cases right, even if that was accumulated since a few launches, the number is also very high if you compare to the number of flats for each BTO launch.

01 December 2013

Planning a Trip to Thailand Next Year April for Songkran

Still thinking of how much to set aside for this coming trip, for our last 11 days trip this year April, we spent a grand total of $4350.06, so let's see how much to budget for this time, by the way we are planning for 8 days because 11 is a bit too much.

Air tickets to and fro
$350 per person for 4 people, total $1400 for me, my wife and my parents. This time we are taking plane to Bangkok and then to Udon Thani, no more taking bus, the bus ride is too long, 8-10 hours, damn tiring for my parents and wife, I'm actually okay with it though.

Give sinsod installment and mother-in-law insurance
40,000 THB, $1700 Singapore dollars should be a safe number.

So $5000 - $1400 - $1700 and I'm left with $1900, that means we will have $237.50 to spend per day, which is more than 5000 THB per day, I think for our trip we spent less than that, I think around $200-$210 per day if we exclude the bus fare, so in the end we gave the leftover cash to my mother-in-law for the sinsod, and my wife spent everything else on shopping in Bangkok, oh and don't forget my wife gave her mom 12,000 THB, so I think we actually don't spend that much.

For the curious, as of now, I still owe my mother-in-law 135,000 THB for the sinsod, and I think maybe setting aside $5000 is way more than enough.

29 November 2013

LTVP Approval Took Less Than 3 Weeks

I submitted my wife's LTVP renewal on 10 Nov 2013, today 29 Nov 2013, she received the In-Principle Approval, nowadays ICA is really efficient, the first few times it took 4-6 weeks. Now I'm wondering whether she's getting the normal LTVP or the LTVP+, they didn't indicate anywhere, only show Type: Long Term Visit Pass (Renewal), but whatever, still can't buy BTO even if she gets LTVP+, perhaps the only benefit is lower consultation and medication charges when she visits polyclinic to get her Warfarin, and I'm not going to let her see the doctor here if she is pregnant again, even with subsidy, the healthcare charges here is ridiculous, might as well fly her to Thailand, it's way cheaper there.

Update: I just remembered one of my visitors mentioned that the time when we will know whether we are getting LTVP or LTVP+ is during the completion of formalities, can refer to following:

Link to the post with following comment

Contributed by richelle

Thanks richelle, good to have people willing to share their experience to help many others.

And I also just noticed that nobody replied to Mr Rahman:

Mr Rahman

If anyone can help, you can post in the comment section here, not sure if he will see it but I'm sure it will help many others, I can't advise because my wife haven't got her LTVP+, wish me luck.

27 November 2013

Panzar is Now Available on Steam

Steam

This game looks really nice, it's free to play, going to try!


26 November 2013

Looking Forward to Year End Bonus Next Month

I wonder how much I can get, last year I got 1 month which is normal, after that I remember reading somewhere that the amount is not fixed, and better performing employees will have a chance at a higher payout. Looking back, my performance is considered decent for this year, I hope I can get more, maybe 1.1 or 1.2 months is also not bad, even 1.05 months is better than 1, anyway I'm trying to save up more money for next year's Thailand trip to my wife's hometown, most probably my parents will want to go too, and confirm I'll be paying so yeah, more is better.

24 November 2013

Dishonest Wonton Mee Seller

I don't really mind bad attitude because I know they were very busy, I mean from the looks of the woman taking orders, it was very obvious, she even yelled at me to quickly place my order, okay, so I quickly ordered two Wonton Mee, gave her my table number and went back to my seat.

It took quite a while but finally the noodles were sent to us, but I wasn't sure how much it all costed so I thought maybe it would be $3.50 per plate, so I gave her 4 pieces of $2 notes, she took it without saying anything and left, I thought she would return to give me my change. After a while I still don't see her coming back, so I went to the stall, then I realized that one Wonton Mee costs only $3, it was clearly written on a small board, so I asked that same woman about it, she showed an indifferent look, grabbed a $2 note and handed it to me without saying anything, I expected at least a "sorry".

And clearly she was aware that she collected extra, if I didn't go to her, she would just keep quiet and keep the money.

Bad attitude plus dishonesty, not good for running a business, never going back again. The stall is at Tampines Street 81 Block 826, "826 Wan Tan Mee". The taste is okay, but I hate it when people are dishonest.

22 November 2013

SMRT Going to Increase Fares

Source

As "predicted" (it's obvious to everyone anyway), SMRT is going to increase fares to bring in more profit, that's very much expected since they will be increasing bus drivers' salary and that means more "operating expenses". This year seems to be a bad year for them, Jan-Mar, they made a loss of $12.049 million, Apr-Jun, profit was $16.328 million, but down 55.2% from same period in 2012, Jul-Sep, profit was $14.304 million, down 57.1% from same period in 2012, for their coming Oct-Dec report, I think should also be "no eyes see".

From a social point of view, increasing bus drivers' salary is a good thing, you increase their spending power which will also improve their quality of life, but from a financial perspective, this is not good for the company which is already struggling with incredibly high "operating expenses". But then again, to provide better services, spending more on staffing is necessary, this also helps to provide more jobs for the country which is also a good thing as a whole. I can only say too bad for investors, no more high dividend yield.

I don't mind them increasing the fares as long as they keep it reasonable, I think most likely both bus and MRT fares will increase, but I wonder what the future holds for this company, if you ask me, I think it is dying slowly but surely at this rate, and the only thing that can keep them afloat is to keep on increasing fares, or cut costs, not easy to be the CEO at this time, but actually not easy to be the CEO of a public service company, you will always be in a dilemma, on one hand you have to bring quality and affordable service to the public, on the other hand you have to answer to investors and major shareholders, damn headache.

21 November 2013

Volvo Trucks - The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6)

Van Damme. Split. Epic.


Fellow NSman Suffered Cardiac Arrest after IPPT Run

Source

Hope he is okay, also hope he passed, and no point giving his life away for a stupid IPPT. I think this kind of incident happened quite a few times already, if I remember correctly, seems like every one of them did not have existing or prior medical condition, their heart suddenly stopped working. I also came across the following article saying that signs of such attacks will come weeks before.

Signs of 'sudden' cardiac death may come weeks before

These few days I feel my left chest cramping a bit, is this a sign? Actually this is not the first time I have this issue, it is because I exercise lesser nowadays, so once I start working out often, the cramping will go away, I do make sure I go for a 3KM run every Saturday without fail, even so, every time I read this kind of news it still scares me a bit, I should really start working out now, since my wife came back, been slacking too much, eating too much good food.

Everyone take care, holiday season soon.

20 November 2013

Documentary About the Struggles of Degree Graduates in China

These people are well educated and yet they have so much difficulty finding work in their homeland, I wonder how they will survive, even if they can find work, the salary is so low that it hardly compensates their living expenses. I think graduates in Singapore are still much more fortunate, most can find work within 6 months after graduation, and our salary is more than enough for most people as most of us can choose to live with parents, but for these Chinese graduates, they have to travel to the city to find work and rent a place, not easy with such a low salary.


18 November 2013

How to Tell Which Stocks Can Be Bought with CPF?

In order to invest in stocks with your CPF, you need a CPF Investment Account, but not all stocks can be bought with this account, only those which are CPF approved i.e. those which falls under the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS). So which ones?

Go to sgx.com, move your mouse to Company Disclosure and click on Stock / Indices List.

SGX.com Stock / Indices List

So for example you are looking for Lippo Malls, then just click L at the Alphabetical CPF, and there you go, Y means you can invest with CPF, N means you can't.

List of CPFIS stocks

16 November 2013

Starhub Annual Handset Upgrade

Today went to re-contract my wife's mobile line using the annual handset upgrade offer extended to Starhub Hub Club members, and got this cool looking Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 for S$129 with the Power Value 100 plan.

Front View

Back View

We were looking at S4 and the likes but it is too expensive, this is like a cheaper version of the S4, not bad though, very nice screen.

15 November 2013

Some People are Overly Worried about Brokerage Fees

The first time when I bought my first stock, I was also thinking too much about the fees, worried it might eat into my profits or cause me to lose more money, after a while, I realized that the charges can be negligible. Every of my buy or sell trades so far costed me around $20 to $30+, and lucky for me, I mostly see profit, and the earning more than makes up for the cost, I think I am doing okay so far, overall I haven't lost any money, yet.

What I'm saying is, stock pick and going in at the right time is far more important than that $20 to $30, but of course it doesn't hurt to find a cheaper broker. I know Standard Chartered Bank offers lower charges because they do not have a minimum commission, but well, I won't worry about that.

Recently read about a guy who have been losing money in stocks, he said he mainly buy because others are buying, sell because others are selling, no wonder he is losing money, following the crowd is a big mistake, if you follow the right crowd, you could end up with more money, but usually the right crowd are the big players, you won't ever get near enough to know what they are planning next, it's better to not do anything when not sure than to follow the crowd, like people in forums, or blogs, usually they tell you to buy because they are invested in that stock, sell because they are waiting to buy or they are shorting it, it's always advise to their benefit, so don't read into it too much, make your own judgement.

If you are really not sure, no idea what to buy, no time to research and form your own judgement, it's better to stay away from the stock market, put that money in some endowment plan, or top up your CPF, rather than losing it for no good cause. Be safe.

Bought 7 Lots of Cache at S$1.16

Previously bought 12 lots with CPF at S$1.165, today bought another 7 lots at S$1.16, wonder why it went down, just a while back, after they gave out the dividends, it shot up to S$1.20, maybe some people were shorting it? Don't know, but this stock looks promising to me, high dividend yield at 7%+, mainly local industrial parks with one other chemical warehouse in China. If the price don't go too high enough to tempt me into selling it, I might just hold on to it for a while.

12 November 2013

Created a New Blogsite to Provide Free IT Advise

In my years of being in the IT line, I have seen many non-tech savvy people, from clerks to directors, nurses to doctors, teachers to principals, they may be really good in their domain, but once they are outside of their comfort zone, technology can be quite intimidating to them.

Actually technology doesn't have to be so scary if there is someone who is willing to answer whatever questions these people may have, and technology is meant to assist, not to hinder. And knowledge should be free whenever possible. So I created a simple site where these people can ask whatever they have in their mind, I hope my little knowledge and experience can help some people. You can click the following link to get there.

IT Advise Singapore

11 November 2013

Some People are Revealing too Much on Facebook

I have come across some Facebook profiles where people display a lot of their personal information such contact number, email and residential addresses, working place, job position and etc etc, personally I think unless if you are a public figure, I think it's quite okay to reveal your work place and job position, anything else may be too much.

For someone like me who is just another ordinary Singaporean, I feel that it's better to keep those information to myself, unless some long lost friend needs to contact me, they can always drop me a message, but I really feel like deleting my Facebook account since I hardly use it, I really don't find it fun at all and I have no idea why so many people can get stuck on it at work, on the train, while eating, during gathering, anywhere, anytime, even while walking! It's ridiculous.

Anyway back to the topic, what I'm saying is people should try to reduce their "internet footprints", don't leave personally identifiable information online, when you leave that kind of information for public eyes to see, who knows what will happen when somebody decides to abuse it, at the very least, set it so that only friends can see it, but I think that is also quite dangerous. In my friends list, there are a couple of strangers, and I have absolutely no idea how they ended up becoming my friends, I don't if it's a bug or some crazy feature, but one thing is for sure, they are friends of my friends, maybe it's some sort of feature, but hypothetically speaking, all the bad person needs to do is to either be your friend, or be your friend's friend.

10 November 2013

LTVP/PR - Particulars of Applicant's Parents and Children by The Present Marriage

When you are filling up the form for LTVP or PR application, you will see this section, I always thought because it says "by the present marriage", it means since my wife is married to me, so her parents by the present marriage should be my parents, boy was I wrong, the correct reference should be my wife's parents, not my parents!

I confirmed this when I submitted my wife's PR application last month, the officer who attended to us told me very clearly that I should fill in the details of my wife's biological parents, not my parents, and I realized I have been filling in the wrong info all along! Actually when we tried to apply PR for the first time, the officer did tell me that it was wrong, but I asked since that section was referring to my wife's parents, then why put "by the present marriage" behind, I don't remember getting an answer from her and she accepted the application anyway, I hope they didn't reject the PR application because I put the wrong parents...

09 November 2013

Singapore to Block Ashley Madison

Source

The block has been implemented, at least for Starhub internet users, I can't access the site,

ashleymadison.sg blocked

Yesterday I managed to view the page on my office computer though, I think we are using Singtel internet, but no problem, that can be easily bypassed using a proxy server such as ninjacloak.com,

ninjacloak.com

ashleymadison.sg

In the name of internet freedom, I don't think our government should block the website, there are plenty of other adult friend finding websites available such as adultfriendfinder.com, idateasia.com, thailovelinks.com, the list just goes on and on. I know Ashley Madison is different, they are more aggressive with their marketing, maybe we should simply limit the amount of marketing they can do rather than block them? I'm not their supporter but I really don't think our government should block this block that, it's so annoying, and it's not as if blocking this one website will decrease the number of divorce cases caused by infidelity, if the spouse is meant to cheat, he/she is meant to cheat, do they really think blocking one website will make it less likely to happen? They might as well make it illegal to cheat on spouse, I think that would be far more effective.

Another thing comes to mind, porn sites, over the years, this MDA has blocked so many of my favourite porn streaming sites, I had to experiment with several proxy servers but the experience is mostly terrible, I have yet to find a decent proxy that can run it all, ninjacloak.com is decent, but it won't run the videos on most of my favourite sites. These are all adult content meant for adults obviously, so if they don't want kids to have access to these content, it's up to the parents to ensure, our ISPs provide safe surf services, the parents can utilize the service to filter off unwanted content for their children, there's really no need to block everything, depriving every resident of our rights to porn, so annoying, we are not children, please. And it's not as if we don't have alternatives, porn is ALWAYS available as long as you are on the internet, you can't block it all.

08 November 2013

What's Up with the Hijab?

Today while surfing the net, I saw a lot of articles on Hijab, I don't quite understand the story, I didn't even know what Hijab was until I Googled it. So how did the whole saga start? How come our government suddenly took interest in this? I thought Muslim women have been wearing the Hijab for a long time? What's going on? Government don't allow them to wear anymore? Curious, there's just too many articles on it for me to ignore, I wonder what's going on.

SMRT Bus Captains Can Earn Up to S$3500 a Month

Source

I think S$3500 a month is more for experienced drivers, for new drivers probably will be lower because the new salary scheme is a progressive model, something like grading, higher grading higher salary, and of course higher grading means more experienced, and I think new drivers will surely start at the bottom of the hierarchy, so I don't think S$3500 a month applies to every of their drivers, furthermore, this amount is inclusive of overtime pay, allowance and incentives, which technically makes it even more unlikely for every driver to earn that amount.

Of course I think it's a good thing for Singaporean bus captains to be able to bring home more money, it will also help to retain and attract more local drivers, with higher salary and a progressive career model, I think it's appealing even to younger people, so overall the idea sounds good. But I'm wondering where will all the money come from? I'm sure we will be expecting a fare hike announcement in the very near future, I don't really mind paying a bit more for bus fares, just don't increase the MRT fares, bus and MRT are two different things, increasing bus captains' salary doesn't make it okay to increase BOTH bus and MRT fares. Let's see.

07 November 2013

On Standby Thanks to Anonymous

Today my boss informed me that I will be on standby in case Anonymous decides to do something funny, great, now I have to be on mobile phone standby, anything happens I may be activated to go check our server stuff, damn, why me, there's like two other guys who can do it too and these days I'm quite busy with a new system implementation and production support for another system, I sure hope nothing spectacular happen, or even if something does happen, better not be our system!

I find it quite amusing that one video can cause everyone to be on high alert, we don't even know whether the video is real or prank, but better to be safe than sorry I know. The person or group who produced it sure have a lot of guts to issue a threat to our government, I think here in Singapore, we have incredibly strict laws, this kind of threat will be taken very seriously, see even our PM is getting serious,

"Our IT (information technology) network, the Internet, our communications have become an essential part of our business and our lives now. And, therefore, when somebody threatens to do harm to it... we take that very seriously and we will spare no effort to try and track down the culprits and if we can find him, we will bring him to justice and he will be dealt with severely." - PM Lee.

So now the big boss has given the word, they better not get caught, I bet the prosecutors will make it a point to dish out the maximum punishment, and we have the highly controversial Internal Security Act, who knows what our government will do with that. You can read about the threat transcript here.

"For every single time you deprive a citizen his right to information, we will cost you financial loss by aggressive cyber intrusion." - Anonymous

That's no way to send a message, causing damage just to make a point? Please no. When our nation suffers a financial loss, whose money do you think that is? The people's money, all the GST, income tax, property tax, road tax, COE, ERP, all these money comes from the people, dealing the government a financial blow is the same as dealing us a financial blow, for most people, it's our hard-earned money, if Anonymous thinks that Singaporeans will be grateful, think again, maybe the kids here who have yet to join the workforce will cheer for you, but I for one will not be grateful, I would rather you stay away from us, let us deal with our own problem our own way, the complain way, the voting way.

05 November 2013

Woohoo! Tomorrow No Need to Work!

Last Saturday was Deepavali, for people like me working on a 5 days week, we get one day off in lieu, so I choose to clear it tomorrow. I'm still thinking of where I should bring my wife, should I bring her to eat BBQ at Chinatown or bring her to eat chicken rice and then go to Sheng Siong, hmm...

And these few days, it's all about the Anonymous threat, our company has ramped up cyber security, updating patches, installing new security solutions, getting people on standby, lucky I'm not in the IT security line, I'm just someone who implements business solutions, security is none of my business, we leave it to our security team.

And now I know why they choose 5th November, it was the day when Guy Fawkes was arrested for the Gunpowder Plot, and the Guy Fawkes Mask is the mask used by Anonymous in their videos. I wonder what they will do in Singapore, I sure hope they don't cause too much damage, just do their usual deface thing and that's it, if they hurt our economy, it's the same as hurting the citizens here because ultimately the money will still come from us, people won't thank Anonymous for it, instead people will be very angry. I'm fine with sending a message, just don't damage anything that costs money.

Well, at least the security guys here will get something to do, I think being in the security line in Singapore is quite boring, this Anonymous threat finally gives them something to work for. Those people I know working in the security line, what they do is they run penetration tests, submit report, repeat, do the same thing everywhere, it does get boring very fast, but actually who would bother to attack the systems here, maybe it does happen but always nothing a firewall can't handle.

03 November 2013

New Zinger Burgers from KFC

Tried the new Cheezy Zinger today, I bought the Ultimate Zinger Box at S$7.70, the service staff gave me a big piece of spicy chicken thigh, shiok! The burger itself is very simple, as the name suggests, just imagine eating Zinger with a slice of cheese, it's that simple, but not bad la. I think they forgot to put the cheese sauce for me, don't remember seeing the yellow cheese sauce, now then I realize!

New Zingers

I don't think I would try the Asam Pedas though, sounds like the sweet and sour type, don't really like sour stuff.

Time for Air Con Servicing Again

My father says the compressor unit is getting noisy, I also find that my fancoil unit is getting noisy, according to my mom, the last cleaning was done on 03 Jul, it is about 4 months now, Gain City service guys recommend to clean every few months if not it will be noisy.

Was thinking of trying those smaller cleaning companies but heard that my sister had a bad experience, I'm not sure which company but they broke her air con cover, don't know what cover, in the end that company had to pay for it since they broke it.

I think I'll stick to Gain City, cleaning-wise, I think they did a pretty good job so far, I'm not adventurous enough to try the service of another company. Their pricing went up a bit, now it's S$80 for 2 fancoil units.

If you are interested, you can check out their rates here.

IDA is Aware of the Anonymous Threat Video

Several SG government websites down since 1pm; IDA says it's planned maintenance
Government agencies on alert after hackers threaten attacks

Yesterday several government websites were down, not sure if it's related to the "hacker" group Anonymous, it's very likely for government sites to run their maintenance during weekends, also very likely during weekdays, but the crux is the timing, at 1.00pm? Nope, usually should be while users are sleeping, it just doesn't make sense to run maintenance when you know people are going to use it. Someone called it an attack, see following link.

Singapore Government Under Attack

I wonder if it's really an attack, from my experience, other than "hacking", systems do go down sometimes, faulty hardware, network slowness, application server cannot start up due to code error (happens when someone accidentally deployed problem code), there's a variety of possible causes, so it's hard to say. Just last week, one of the systems that we support went down for a whole day due to old and faulty hardware, that system is for public to access, so it was a big deal. And so far, Anonymous has not claim responsibility to this so-called "attack", so let's just wait and see.

And you might be wondering why I'm double quoting, Anonymous should be a Cracker group, not Hacker, there's a difference.

What are crackers and hackers?

Basically Hackers build things, Crackers break things, I think it's better for everyone to simply refer them as Anonymous, we have to respect true hackers like Tim Berners, Linus Torvalds, Steve Jobs, Richard Stallman and the list goes on and on, they are people who built things that are useful to this day, putting them together with people who break into systems is an injustice to them.

02 November 2013

Anonymous Threatens Singapore Government

Source

So something is going to happen on our tiny island? I wonder what will happen...



Full transcript from the video:

We are Anonymous and we believe that we have your undivided attention.

We also believe that you have had the pleasure of meeting our comrade The Messiah, who demonstrated what a single Anon could do to your so call technologically advanced island.
Now allow us to explain the objective of our recent invasions.

The secondary objective was to welcome you to the new rule where ignoring the issues of your citizens will not go ignored by Anonymous. We advise you to stop feigning ignorance and serve the people.

Any form of arrogant and ignorant statement from a person of position towards the people will not go ignored by Anonymous.

Have you forgotten who you work for? Traditionally the workers respect the boss. Let us stick to tradition.

But the primary objective of our invasion was to protest the implementation of the internet licensing framework by giving you a sneak peak of the state of your cyberspace if the ridiculous, communistic, oppressive and offensive framework gets implemented.

Did i mention the previous hacks was executed by a single
Anonymous member?

Now close your eyes and imagine a legion of Anonymous unleashed upon your tiny little island and infrastructures. It will be like dipping yourselves into a pool of piranhas.

We have faced much larger and more secured corporations such as the F.B.I & the NSA.

Do you think the I.D.A will be a problem for us?

After all, security is just an illusion against time and temporary ignorance.

So mark our words when we say that we Anonymous stand firm on our belief that no Government has the right to deprive their citizens the freedom of information.

No one has the right to tell an individual what he can or cannot read or write.

This is a basic fundamental of democracy and we will use everything in our resources to protect it at all cost.

We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you. For every single time you deprive a citizen his right to information, we will cost you financial loss by aggressive cyber intrusion. An intrusion your $130 million cyber security will not be able to stop.

After all how do you stop an idea?

You may be ambitious enough to try and stop us but remember, the people you are after are the people you depend on:

we cook your meals, we haul your trash, we teach your children, we pay your high salaries, we feed your families, we guard you while you sleep!

It is not wise to piss us off.

And finally we call upon our fellow Singaporean brothers and sisters to join our protest by dressing fully in black & red on the 5th of November to paint your streets with the colors that represent the current Singaporeans emotion.

We urge you to black out your FB profile picture for a day along with the status message:

I am a Singaporean and i had enough of being oppressed! I want my freedom back!!

Anonymous will be making a virtual protest by your side.

Let us demonstrate our frustrations in organized unseen unity that may live a thousand years. This action might not make a political change but it is the first step towards the mental conditioning needed to achieve our goals.

Remember, remember. The fifth of November.

We are anonymous, we are legion.
We do not forgive, we do not forget.
Expect Us!

(Editing by Josh Horwitz)

Smoking Linked to Health Benefits?!?

5 Health Benefits of Smoking
Years of Smoking Associated With Lower Parkinson's Risk, Not Number of Cigarettes Per Day

I feel enlightened, for my whole life, smoking has always been linked to numerous health problems like heart disease, lung cancer and etc, now the articles say that smokers have a lower chance of getting Parkinson's Disease, knee replacement, obesity and etc, so actually smoking isn't all bad, but I'm not saying everyone should start smoking, it's more of a hobby to me.

I'm a long time smoker, I have been smoking since I was 13, I used to smoke a pack of 20 sticks a day, nowadays I'm smoking a small packet of Storm King a day, it's a hand-roll type of tobacco, much cheaper than those boxed packs, costs me S$2.60 per packet, saves me a lot of money, of course not smoking saves me even more but it's really a negligible amount, some heavy smokers I have encountered smoked 2 packs of 20 sticks a day, Marlboro brand, I think it easily costed them more than S$600 a month!

The Bigger Your HDB Flat, The More Expensive It Gets

Let's look at the recent Punggol BTO exercise.

Punggol Sep 2013 Sales Exercise

We use the maximum Square Meters (SQM) and the maximum price, as you can see, the bigger your HDB flat in terms of rooms, the more expensive it gets per square meters, does that make any sense to you? Shouldn't they charge the same price for each square meters?

I don't know what's the logic behind that but it seems like you buy big you pay more, if I were to apply for BTO, I think I would probably buy a 2-room, cheaper to renovate, don't need to take a massive loan, probably only have to take about S$10,000 housing loan and that's it.

And I like the 2-room type 1, it's just nice for me and my wife, and if I have a child in the future, I think it's ok, we can sleep together, maybe when he/she gets older we can plan for a bigger flat, but that's a long way to go, or maybe my wife wants the child to live in Thailand, who knows, so really no point getting such a big flat and paying so much for it, and I hate taking loan.

HDB 2-room Type 1

Look at the floor plan, it's just so nice.

01 November 2013

Cambridge Industrial Trust Reported Good Results for 3Q2013

Source

DPU Up 3.9%

Actually not just DPU, everything went up compared to the same quarter last year, which looks good, that means the 10 lots that I bought the other day at S$0.68 was a good buy, and today they closed at S$0.70, last few days was hovering at the S$0.68 to S$0.685 range, yesterday suddenly shot up to S$0.705, I guess people like this stock, me too, mainly because they have many properties, 48 as of now, and everything else looks decent to me, no complain.

31 October 2013

Watch Out for Scammers Claiming They are from ICA

Source

63 cases this year and over S$40,000 cheated from 26 victims, that means on average each victim was cheated of more than S$1500, wow, how can they just transfer so much money to strangers just like that, that's some easy money, too easy.

Just think, if I were to get a fine from ICA, they won't call me up and tell me to transfer money to a bank account, ICA is a government agency, they are not a private entity, they will never ask you to transfer money to their bank account. And this is Singapore, every fine comes with a ticket or letter, in black and white, no paper no fine, it's that simple, and also, after you pay the fine, you will get a receipt, that's for sure.

30 October 2013

San Francisco Meth Zombies Documentary

Documentary about meth addicts, dealers, suppliers, shows a part of their lives, I find it very interesting, and shocking, especially the addicts, their lives revolve around drugs, only drugs, and their only friends are fellow drug addicts.


29 October 2013

When will I Buy a Car?

I was thinking as long as I'm in Singapore, I will never buy a car, the reason is obvious, I can't afford it, but when can I afford it? Let's see.

I'm currently earning S$3480, after CPF and CDAC deductions, my take-home pay is S$2783, now let's look at my expenses.

Expenses
Give mom 500
Give wife 600
Myself 500
Mobile phone 46.65
Internet/Cable TV  66
Total 1712.65
Left 1070.35

I invest most of the rest, probably about S$800 a month, so I am left with S$200+, don't think it's enough to pay for one month's installment, unless I have another S$1000, I think that will help, that means if my take-home pay is S$3783, I think I might be able to afford a car, but that's provided I don't have children.

So when will my salary hit S$5000? Maybe when I'm 40? By then S$5000 is probably not much due to inflation, and COE will probably be a 6 digit sum, when I think about this, it's quite scary, better try not to see too far, can get depressing.

28 October 2013

27 October 2013

96% will Move in For Others to Board the Train, Haha, Don't Bluff La!

Source

94% will give up their seat to those in need

There were at least 2 occasions since I saw these signs, in fact the signs were right behind these sleeping commuters and on each occasion there was an elderly standing right in front of them, suddenly all of them fell asleep!

96% will move in for others to board the train.

No, I don't believe, just look at the center of the cabin, there is always some space, some idiots just refuse to move in, they rather use that space to read newspaper, play their phone or tablet, some even stick out their feet, hold the handle and lean on the pole, one person take up 3 person space. And those who get to sit, especially women, they like to sit with their legs crossed and their feet sticking out, come on, it's a crowded train, spare a thought for those squeezing at the train door area.

98% will queue up and give way to those alighting.

Maybe, nowadays the queue thing became a trend, seems like most people are doing it, but giving way, nope, most people still don't know how to give way, if you take train you'll know what I'm talking about, sometimes I really feel like smashing their faces with my elbow, crowded train, of course let people come out first then you can go in, alamak! Then the worst part is at Tanjong Pagar, that is the place where you will realize that well-dressed is not equal to well-mannered, even ladies can push their way in, die die want to go in means want to go in, well-dressed and behaving like animals.

The giving up seat part, it's really hard to say, it's a personal thing, we can't force people to give up their seats if they don't want to, they can argue that they paid for it, they are right about that, but 94% says they will give, hahaha, really bullshit to the max.

They should also ask this question for the survey, "Will you lean on the pole?", many people like to lean on the pole, I don't understand, that is for people to hold on, not for people to lean on.

Create Diagrams Online Using Gliffy, for Free!

Last Friday I was doing up a user guide for a new system and I needed to provide a diagram to show an overview of the system but I didn't have Microsoft Visio, luckily I found this free web application and managed to quickly draw up the diagram that I needed, it was so simple, all I needed to do was drag and drop the shapes that I want to form the diagram, create an account and export the diagram into a picture e.g. jpg.

I explored a bit more and found that there are so many types of diagrams that I can create, network, flowchart, UML, even ERD and floor plan!

A Simple System Overview Created with Gliffy

If your interested, here's the link.

23 October 2013

IPPT Changes? Nope...

This morning I overheard my colleagues talking about IPPT 2.4KM has been changed to 3.2KM but I was too busy to check it out. Then after I went home, I saw this news with an update from the army on Yahoo!. The army has clarified that there will be no change, well too bad, I was hoping they would come up with something new, the 5 stations are boring as hell, I've been doing it for so many years!

But looking at the changes, other than the run, standing broad jump replaced with push-ups sound good, push-up is way easier than jumping, this can save a lot of people.

Just read about this article saying 13 year old girls are running 3.6KM at cross-country, was quite pissed off when I read it, obviously the writer has absolutely no idea what he/she is writing, it's not all about the distance, we have different category, we have different timing, we have different consequences, so what if the girls lose the cross-country, nothing will happen to them, if we fail our IPPT we need to go for 20 sessions of RT, that's a hell lot of difference already, imagine finishing work and then rushing to the camp for RT and ending at around 8 or 9pm, reach home maybe 10+.

And it's not as if most people don't try to pass, I didn't manage to clear my IPPT once, that time I was working on a system development project, OT almost everyday, weekend also burn, during rest day also tired to go out, just want to rest at home, after that I couldn't pass my IPPT, no choice have to go RT, at the 20th session I managed to pass, but really wasted a lot of my time, so damn tiring.

We have to juggle between work, family and fitness, how can we compare to a 13 year old student whose only duty is to go to school?

Update: I found out who posted that rubbish.

Posted by Les Tan

So who the hell is Les Tan?

Les Tan is Leslie Tan

He is the creator of redsports.sg, now I know why he posted that rubbish, controversial posts always garner more traffic, that's a really lame way to get traffic, so pathetic, he's a guy, he studied at Anglo-Chinese School, so I assumed he served NS, and he can still go ahead and write that kind of insensitive things, not trying to bring in traffic then what? Eat too full?

21 October 2013

What's the Point of Medisave?

From what I understand, Medisave is part of CPF, this whole CPF thing is meant to help Singaporeans save up for rainy days. CPF is made up of 3 main components, Ordinary Account for education, housing and some other stuff, Special Account is for retirement and Medisave is for healthcare, but today an incident made me lose confidence in Medisave.

My mom went to the polyclinic because her forehead is swollen due to a fall, they directed her to CGH for x-ray, no referral letter, they simply told her to go there, so my mom went to the A&E and paid S$100 in cash, after that she did the x-ray, she paid another S$157.50, so today she paid a total of S$257.50 in cash, she has money in her Medisave, but they won't allow her to use it, and I overheard her telling my dad she's only left with S$10+ in cash.

She's born in 1957, which makes her 56 this year, she's unemployed, financially she's mainly depending on my father, I do give her S$500 a month but that's for utilities and weekday dinners, I think there's still some surplus, well I'm okay if she asked me for more but she didn't, but I make it a point never to take money from her if she asked me to buy things.

So you know why I'm asking, what's the point of Medisave to my mom when she can't use it when she needs it? What will happen to her if me or my father is not here with her? How is she going to survive with S$10+ in her pocket? Or look further into the future, what will happen to my mother and father if I'm not here with them? When they need money, they are not allowed to use it, then what's the point of it all? Sigh, this kind of policy is really rubbish.

19 October 2013

Regarding Ms. Han Hui Hui and CPE

I think I saw this news a few months back but I didn't thought much of it, and today, I happened to see this news article on Yahoo, I read about it and found that CPE was trying to sue Ms. Han for defamation. This really kept me thinking, I don't really know much about CPE except that it regulates private schools like Informatics, MDIS and etc, it's like the private school watchdog to ensure they do things correctly, same like how IDA regulates telcos, see the recent record-breaking fine handed to M1 for service outage.

CPE was only setup in recent years, I don't really remember which year but when I was studying for my private diploma and advanced diploma at Informatics, they didn't exist, and that was from 2004 to 2007. During that time, many private schools can suddenly close down, leaving many local and foreign students in the lurch, most lost their money and had no way to recover since the school owners went missing.

Lucky for me, Informatics was one of the largest private school at that time, so I didn't have to worry about them closing down and running away with my money. I think later part there was an arrangement by CASE with the big private schools to take in these students who were left hanging, I saw a lot of them transferred into Informatics, which was a good move, at least they were able to continue with their studies and get their certification, but I'm not sure how the course fees were settled.

Next was the worst financial crisis seen by mankind in 2008, even more private schools went bust, owners went missing, leaving more private students lost, confused with big holes in their pockets. That time Singapore was trying to be an education hub, this kind of news only ruins that image, international students were losing confidence in our private education system.

Then came CPE, I think they were mainly setup to protect students in our private education system, then came EduTrust to certify private schools, and the Fee Protection Scheme, and some other measures, all meant to protect private students, be it local or foreign, and seems like they have been doing a good job so far, I don't see news of private students losing their money anymore.

So what I'm thinking next is, who is Ms. Han, was she a private student? How did she get into this situation with CPE? What transpired between her and CPE that lead to the potential lawsuit? I still don't understand the whole story, but one thing is for sure, CPE was trying to sue her.

What I'm thinking is, if Ms. Han is a private student, and CPE was trying to sue her, this really defies the mission of CPE, they were meant to protect private students, even if Ms. Han was indeed wrong and said or wrote something defamatory, lawsuit is just overkill, how can a young girl have the capability to take on a statutory board?

In the first place, how come a statutory board can sue her? Am I right to say that they are using my money to sue her? Who's paying for it? How did she attack CPE? Did she question their policy or did she attack a particular person in CPE? If she attacked a particular person, then that person should sue her on his/her own capacity, not via CPE using taxpayers' money, but if she attacked CPE's policy, then wow, does that mean a statutory board can sue people just because their policy was criticized? I've been criticizing ICA and HDB for a long time, how come I don't see them suing me? Maybe I should shut up from now on? Then how to improve?

I really think our government should come out and clarify this issue, this concerns every resident in Singapore, if people have to be afraid of speaking up just because of fearing a lawsuit from a statutory board, then how will they know whether they are doing things right?

17 October 2013

And I Thought Filipinos Only Job Offer is Bad

Quite a while back, I saw a job offer at a restaurant, forgot which restaurant but they pasted this note on the wall beside their entrance which says something like this, "Seeking Service Staff, Filipinos Only", I thought it was very discriminatory, how come a restaurant running their business here in Singapore can post a job offer like that, right in public eyes, I wonder how many Singaporeans saw that. Please note that I have nothing against Filipinos, it could be Thais, Burmese, Indians or any other nationality, what annoyed me was they only choose a specific group of candidates instead of opening the position to anyone capable of doing it.

Today I saw this, this one really ultimate, it was a job offer from this recruitment firm called Randstad.

Source

This position is open to candidates who are not Singaporean Citizens or PR.

They actually posted "This position is open to candidates who are not Singaporean Citizens or PR.", wow, I sure hope MOM is doing something about this Randstad, this kind of posting is insulting, what are they trying to say, Singaporeans and PRs are not capable of doing it? Come on.

US Debt Crisis Over... For Now

Source

As expected, they managed to come up with an agreement before the 17 Oct deadline when the US would hit the debt ceiling limit. And also as expected, they did not completely solve the problem, this deal merely funds the government until 15 Jan 2014, this is when they will face another government shutdown if they cannot resolve their differences.

Another date was also set for the debt ceiling limit, it's on 07 Feb 2014, basically what this means is we will see another drama if they cannot resolve their differences before 15 Jan 2014.

01 Oct 2013 - Government Shutdown
In between - Fight between Democrats and Republicans over Obamacare
17 Oct 2013 - Debt Ceiling Limit

15 Jan 2014 - Government Shutdown
In between - Fight between Democrats and Republicans over Obamacare
07 Feb 2014 - Debt Ceiling Limit

I know where the Republicans are coming from, they wanted to save money for Americans, they see Obamacare as general waste of money, I also know where the Democrats are coming from, they want to help Americans by providing for them, but as an outsider, it's just my opinion but I see some things that are very questionable, like the food stamps, they spent hundreds of billions a year just on that, we don't have such benefit in Singapore, so it's peculiar to me. I even saw on YouTube where people are shown abusing the food stamp benefit, there's even a term for it, "Food Stamp Fraud".

And in America, fat people who have difficulty moving are considered "handicapped", and they do get benefits based on that, that's just a strange concept to me, here in Singapore, if one is too fat to move, it's your problem, no benefit is ever going to come from our government, we say "wait long long".

16 October 2013

STI and US Markets Rise

Seems like investors here and the US are not very affected by the debt ceiling issue, me too, I have confidence that the Democrats and Republicans can come to an agreement, just like what Warren Buffet said, "We will go right up to the point of extreme idiocy, but we won't cross it", he predicted a last minute deal that will solve the debt ceiling crisis. I just find the whole thing too dramatic, they are like arguing over something that needs to be done no matter what, why not just do the necessary and negotiate later? If the Republicans have problem with Obamacare, attack it bit by bit instead of putting their economy at risk, and Democrats should be nicer to them, I know standing firm is good, but not in the face of a potential recession.

I think the shutdown is more of a problem now, federal workers don't get paid, their families suffer un-necessarily, even affecting US war veterans, these are people who have put their lives on the line for their country, how can America let them down?

DBS Vickers CPF Investment Account Interest

Just noticed they actually give interest for money parked inside the CPF Investment Account, seems like it's given on the last day of the month, mine was credited on 30 Sep 2013. I had S$20,476.70 inside, now there is S$20,476.87, S$0.17 difference, how many percent is that?

0.17 / 20,476.70 * 100 = 0.0008%

Very pathetic, but better than nothing since the money has to go through there anyway.

14 October 2013

Bought 12 Lots of Cache Logistics at S$1.165 With CPF

Initially wanted to buy 19 lots, but unfortunately there was a hiccup, my buy limit is only S$15,000, DBS Vickers suggested that I use up my buy limit first, then request a temporary increase to purchase the rest, but that will mean extra charges. The commission, clearing and trading fees are negligible, the problem was with the CPF buy charge, for every 1000 shares, there will be a S$2.50 charge, up to a maximum of S$25. You can get the full CPF Investment Charges here.

Let's see the total cost of buying 19 lots at one go versus buying 12 and then 7.

19 Lots: S$22,239.85

19 Lots

12 then 7 Lots: 14,056.27 + 8,205.15 = S$22261.42

12 then 7 Lots

Difference: 22261.42 - 22,239.85 = S$21.57

Hmmm... not a huge difference, actually this amount is negligible, assuming I have 19 lots and if there is a S$0.005 change in the share price, I'm looking at almost S$100 difference, but well, market is closed now, too bad.

But today I was aiming for Cambridge, the selling price kept staying at S$0.68, and then I saw Cache selling price fell from S$1.185 to S$1.165, thought it was a good opportunity, was also looking at Sheng Siong, S$0.64 seems like a good price, what I really like about Sheng Siong is they have no debt, and they are earning money. I wonder how the market will perform when SGX opens on Wednesday, US market is opening in about 30 minutes time from now, maybe I can check that out first.

13 October 2013

Singapore Press Holdings 2013 Full Year Profit Down 26%

Source

The result is for 01 Sep 2012 to 31 Aug 2013.

Profit after taxation (S$000)
2013 434,302
2012 586,648

Dividend 2013
Final S$0.08
Special S$0.07
Total S$0.15

Dividend 2012
Final S$0.09
Special S$0.08
Total S$0.17

Total Debt 2013 (S$000)
2,721 + 872,495 + 865,727 = 1,740,943

Total Debt 2012 (S$000)
3,293 + 301,582 + 978,740 = 1,283,615

Long-Term Debt 2013 (S$000)
872,495 + 865,727 = 1,738,222

Long-Term Debt 2012 (S$000)
301,582 + 978,740 = 1,280,322

Total Asset (S$000)
2013 6,373,354
2012 5,485,359

Total Liability (S$000)
2013 2,157,648
2012 1,732,183

Total Equity (S$000)
2013 4,215,706
2012 3,753,176

Gearing Ratio 2013
Total Debt / Total Asset = 0.27
Total Debt / Total Equity = 0.41
Long-Term Debt / Total Equity =  0.41

Gearing Ratio 2012
Total Debt / Total Asset = 0.23
Total Debt / Total Equity = 0.34
Long-Term Debt / Total Equity =  0.34

Their foundation is still very strong, but their newspaper and magazine revenue is declining, nowadays with the computer and internet, who needs hard-copies, even the older generation is picking up IT and updating themselves using forums, news site like Yahoo, no wonder they are moving into property business, that's a good move though, I think if their share price drop below S$4 can buy, S$4 and above I find it expensive, as at 11 Oct is S$4.12, have chance, maybe during dividend period will drop, or can wait until XD.