29 April 2013

挂羊头卖牛肉 - Selling Beef Under the Guise of Mutton


3 stalls at Ayer Rajah Food Centre were selling beef as mutton. Personally, I can eat anything so it's not a big deal to me, but I know there are people who are not allowed to consume beef due to their religion, just imagine the kind of shock waiting for them when they learn of this news.
Madam Semi Sagi, 36, owner of a nasi ayam stall, said: "A fine or a warning would be enough, this is not right."
The stall owners were fined S$3000 each and their licenses revoked, I agree that it's quite extreme to revoke their licenses, but then again, they were deceiving customers. I think everybody has the right to know exactly what they are paying for, they can't just lie to people.

And these hawkers are planning to meet their member of parliament, I wonder what he/she can do for them, they cheat people and they still have the cheek to ask their MP for help.
Another hawker, who declined to be named, said: "NEA can't just come down and do this. If this happened to me, I'll go to their office and meet up with them."
Well, they are the authority, there are regulations, but even if there are no authority and regulations, does this hawker think that it is okay to cheat people?


At first I was sympathizing with them, but after reading some of the hawkers response, I feel quite pissed off and now I have to freely speak my mind, they speak as if they did nothing wrong, they speak as if it is okay to sell beef as mutton to people who paid good money for it, they speak as if when they do something wrong, all they need to do is look for their MP or go knocking at NEA office but so what? Wrong means wrong, you are punished because you deceived customers, period.

28 April 2013

Passing of One of The Best Actors in Singapore

Well, kind of sudden as he always looked so kind, so healthy and always smiling. Very humorous guy, I always chuckled whenever he appeared on TV, just his face alone is enough to lighten up my mood, and when he started talking or acting (the funny roles), most of the time I just laughed.

Sigh, his passing made me realize that I got so much older, how time have passed, people gets old, gets sick and such a thing is inevitable, just a matter of time, but I think he will live forever in the hearts of people who've been touched by him.

Thank you Mr. Huang Wen Yong, for all the joy you have brought me, and for accompanying me since I was a little boy.

And to his family members, please take care.

25 April 2013

Financial Literacy should Start from Young

I strongly feel that financial literacy is a necessary skill for everyone. It's the kind of skill that you can never learn in school, most probably not even at home unless your parents are financially savvy and teaches you from young, or you have friends who can influence and guide you.

I think the best time to start learning is from young, it's like trying to catch a plane, if you miss it, you will have to pay more and then wait for the next one.

It's actually a very simple concept, Earn, Save and Invest.


You earn by being employed or self-employed. The key point is to have a steady stream of income. You will have to spend, but spend it on NEEDS and not too much WANTS, and that is under expenses, anything left after expenses are spare cash and that goes to Save.


You set aside a small amount as emergency fund, if you don't ever need to use it, let it grow, but there should be a cap as there is no point holding onto too much cash. Anything after the emergency fund cap is for Invest.


Invest based on your risk appetite, don't invest in something because others are doing it or someone is saying you should do it. Do your own research, learn from it and invest when you feel confident. If you are not sure, don't do anything. Better to hold on to your money than to throw it away on a reckless bet.

As you can see, it's not wordy, the points are very simple, but I think there is room for refinement. If I knew this when I was 10 years old, my life would have been so much different.

24 April 2013

BAM! I Bought it!

If you read my last post, I was thinking of buying Semb Corp Industries at S$4.90 if I had the cash, but I don't.

Today I did something brave and did my first ever stock purchase using CPF, bought 4 lots of Semb Corp Industries (U96) at S$4.97.

We'll see how it goes, but I have plenty of confidence in this counter, furthermore, I will get S$600 of dividend from this purchase in 14 May.

DBS Bank Charges When Investing in Stocks with CPF


1. S$2.50 per lot when buying or selling, capped at S$25.
2. S$2 per counter every quarter as maintenance fee, minimum S$5.
3. Note that the amounts are before GST, so you need to add 7%.
4. Note that you also have to pay the SGX fees as well.
5. There is also a one-time S$0.50 (w/gst S$0.54) charge by CDP for each transaction

See that when you buy or sell, it's charged by PER LOT, so do not buy those low priced cents-category stocks like e.g. Sheng Siong or Informatics, buy those dollar-category stocks like SingTel, Starhub or DBS, it's all just examples, don't really go buy because I said so, anyway DBS is very expensive now.

And don't buy too many counters, focus on one or two, because the quarterly maintenance is charged by PER COUNTER, you hold 10 counters then you will pay 10 x $2 x 1.07 = S$21.40 per quarter.

1 lot = 1000 shares

Buy example

Buy 4 lots of Semb Corp Industries (U96) at S$4.96 via CPF.

SGX Fees

4000 shares x S$4.96 = S$19840
Commission = S$25
Clearing Fee = S$7.94
Trading Fee = S$1.49
Total Fees with GST = S$36.83

DBS Fees

4 lots x S$2.50 = S$10
Assuming you will hold for one year, note that it will only be charged every quarter but I add it up so that it's easier to see as long-term, S$5 x 4 quarters = S$20
Total Fees with GST = S$32.10

CDP Fees

S$0.50 per CPF transaction.
Total with GST = S$0.54

SGX Fees + DBS Fees + CDP Fees = S$69.47

Sell example

Let's say after one year, you decided to sell 4 lots of Semb Corp Industries (U96) at S$5.50 via CPF.

SGX Fees

4000 shares x S$5.50 = S$22000
Commission = S$25
Clearing Fee = S$8.80
Trading Fee = S$1.65
Total Fee with GST = S$37.93

DBS Fees

4 lots x S$2.50 = S$10
Total Fee with GST = S$10.70

CDP Fees

S$0.50 per CPF transaction.
Total with GST = S$0.54

SGX Fees + DBS Fees + CDP Fees = S$49.17

As you can see, the administrative costs for holding 4 lots of Semb Corp Industries for one year is,
When buying S$69.47
When selling S$49.17
Total is S$118.64

So have you earned any money? Yes if you really managed to sell at S$5.50 one year later.

Total cost for holding 4 lots of Semb Corp for one year =  S$19840 + S$118.64 = S$19958.64

After one year, you sell 4 lots for S$22000.

Since you hold for one year, you will get their dividend, it's between S$150-S$170 per lot so we take the minimum of 4 lots x S$150 = S$600.

Total return = S$22000 + S$600 - S$19958.64 = S$2641.36
Return percentage = S$2641.36 / S$19958.64 x 100 = 13.23%

13.23% for one year, not bad, way higher than what you can get from CPF, but provided IF you managed to sell at S$5.50 a year later, anyway, S$5.50 or more is very much possible.

Me? That's what I'm planning, get 4 lots of Semb Corp Industries with CPF.

22 April 2013

One Stock I will Buy Now...

If I have money.

I bought 1 lot of Semb Corp Industries (U96) at S$5.15 on 27 Mar 2013. I was attracted to the S$150 dividend that they will payout in May, and I was expecting the price to go upwards, it did go up to S$5.23 in early April but from then on, kept going down, it's now S$4.90 as I type this.

Too bad I don't have the cash to average down.

Dividend Info
Record: 02 May 2013
Payment: 14 May 2013
Per Share: S$0.15

Let's see how it performs in late April.

And that's the good thing about trading long-term, if the price goes down, and if I have the money, I can choose to average down, if not, I'll wait since it's only paper loss. And I don't believe at S$4.9x or S$4.8x, or hell even S$4.7x nobody wants that S$150, it's just too good to pass.

Immigration Phone Scam

SINGAPORE: The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it does not call up members of the public for transfer of funds pertaining to immigration facilities such as extension of stay in Singapore.

This comes after ICA received public feedback that some individuals including foreigners had received suspicious phone calls from a caller who claimed to be an ICA officer.

The calls made to the victims happened over this week and were from a phone number that is similar to the ICA hotline (6391 6100).

ICA said the caller would tell the victims that they had not filled their disembarkation/embarkation cards properly.

They were then asked to transfer funds to the caller in order to make their stay in Singapore legitimate.

ICA said such calls are not authentic and that the police have been informed of the scam.

The public is advised to ignore such calls, and not transfer any money via remittance agencies, banks or any other means to the caller.

The public should call the police to report the case.

ICA takes a serious view of such scam calls as they undermine public trust in the authority.

- CNA/ck
Take note, don't be scammed.

20 April 2013

Photos from Thailand Trip

Photos! I didn't take too many though as I keep leaving it at my wife's home, but here goes...

New Tesco Lotus in Kumphawapi District

Random shot of chickens in cages

Rubber trees at my mother-in-law's house

Look at the neat formation

I heard this is the correct way to cut the tree

Cut rubber tree front view

See how the liquid used to flow down to the collection bowl

I think it takes time to fill up

Young rubber trees

Another small farm for young rubber trees

Growing healthily

Young spring onions

See how the spring onions have grown

Bamboo trees, it's a very useful tree

Lots of snail shells, I see piles like this everywhere

I wonder what these are for

This is how they manage their waste, burn.

My wife's uncle's house

This is how they store clean water

See how big the jar is

Honeycomb, this is honey fresh from the trees!

Rear shot of the honeycomb

Yummy, very sweet stuff

Fishes caught at a nearby pond

This is their kitchen

Charcoal-based cooking stove

Firewood for the stove

Lumber mill

Across the bridge is Laos

Look at those boats below the bridge

A mini market selling food, drinks, jewellery, clothes and some other stuff right under the bridge

Just Came Back From Thailand Trip

Went to my wife's hometown in North Eastern Thailand (Udon Thani) with my parents and then had a short stay in Bangkok. I have some pictures to share but I will post my spending, get some sleep and then upload tomorrow.

Air tickets to Bangkok (4 adults)
Fare Price S$200
Tax S$136
Checkin Baggage S$18 (1x 20KG)
Booking Fee S$36 (online booking charge)
Seat Fee S$20 (seat selection)
Total S$410

Air tickets back to Singapore (4 adults)
Fare Price 5160 THB
Tax 2800 THB
Checkin Baggage 900 THB (2x 20KG)
Booking Fee 900 THB (online booking charge)
Seat Fee 500 THB (seat selection)
Total 10260 THB (S$428.06)

My spending for the trip (11 days)
Taxi to Changi Airport S$10
Bought a 10 pack Sampoerna S$32
Changed S$3450 at Suvarnabhumi Airport @ 22.63 for 78073 THB
  • 12000 THB for my wife to return to her mom.
  • 15000 THB as payment for sinsod (by installment).
  • 2104 THB for bus ticket to her home in Udon Thani (526 THB per pax).
  • 2400 THB for bus ticket back to Bangkok (600 THB per pax, so-called VIP bus).
  • 1550 THB for hotel on the last 3 days of the trip in Bangkok (700 per night for 2 nights, 150 was late check-out charge on the last day)
  • Spent the rest (45019 THB) on food, fuel as my wife's relative was driving us around, liquor, shopping, I think we spent the most on food as there was always food to eat, in fact too much food.
Taxi from Changi Airport back to home S$20
Total S$3512

Grand total S$4350.06

Phew. Back to work again, work earn spend ;)

08 April 2013

Singapore Budget 2013 - Wage Credit Scheme (Update)

In my last post, I mentioned that I am eligible for the Wage Credit Scheme, but today when I looked at this article from IRAS, seems like I am not eligible.

Basically the government will co-fund salary increment, but only for employee whose Gross Monthly Wage is S$4000 or below.

So how do they derive Gross Monthly Wage?

My monthly salary is S$3300, and I usually get 3 months bonus a year, and I have a S$500 allowance for each year.

Total basic wage = 3300 x 12 = 39600
Bonus = 3300 x 3 = 9900
Allowance = 500
Total = 39600 + 9900 + 500 = 50000
Total divided by Number of Months Worked = 50000 / 12 = 4166.66

Meh. I was happy for a while...

06 April 2013

Furious World Tour - Bangkok

Other than Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey, Furious Pete is the next guy I want to see on a Food + Travel show, enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

05 April 2013

Singapore Budget 2013 - Wage Credit Scheme

Today I came across this scheme at our budget website.

It seems that our government will help businesses pay their employees a higher salary increment for 3 years by topping up an extra 40%, but this only applies to employees whose monthly salary are S$4000 or lesser, which also means I am eligible, Yay... I wonder if it is capped at S$200 since the picture shows only that amount. Anyway, I don't think my employer will pay me that much, I'll probably get S$100-S$150 increment for 2013 depending on performance.

So let's say I get S$100 increment from my employer, and our government tops up 40%, I'll get a total of S$140 increment for 2013, sounds like not bad huh.

The thing is, what happens after 3 years? From the 4th year onwards, employers will need to cough up that extra salary increment from their own pockets? I don't think they will like that.

04 April 2013

Google Glass - Say Delicious in Thai

Wow, voice command, GPS and... translation!?!

"Say delicious in Thai" - Aroi

Maybe I should get one.

Bought Sheng Siong at S$0.65 on 01 Apr 2013

Today it closed at S$0.67, I think it will go higher later on. It's giving out dividend in May, let's see...