July 29, 2009
July 28, 2009
Lucky Tan said:
This week the govt passed amendments to the CPF Act that allows the govt to vary the payout on CPF Life at the Government's discretion. The reason given was that they may have to cut down the payout to ensure the solvency of the CPF Life scheme (due to incompetent management?). What is happening is this : in a life annuity risk is transferred from individual to the insurance company. However, with CPF Life, the govt passed the risk right back to the individuals. So ordinary Singaporeans are forced buy an annuity that we can't count on for a guaranteed income stream. Even with a guaranteed income stream, we are already forced to bear the risk of inflation ...like I said in earlier post, the basic scheme may not even provide enough for McDonald's Happy Meals due to inflation. However, with the guarantee on the income stream removed, the basic scheme may not even be enough for maggie mee! ...all to protect the govt's own scheme from insolvency....(hmm....protecting itself from its own lack of competence?)
Recommended by at82: "What good is an annuity if income stream from it is not guaranteed?! "
July 25, 2009
Fauzi Rassull is a slim 20-year-old blogger, popular among Singapore's fashionable youngsters, who flaunts his 1.73-metre (5-foot 8-inch), 60-kilogram (132-pound) frame in glamour shots splashed on his sites.
Followers share tips on eating and Fauzi himself swears by his regimen of two meals a day consisting of bread, instant noodles and salad.
Thanks in part to anti-fat advocates like Fauzi, thin is in among Singapore teens and young adults, but experts warn that the fad is behind a worrying spike in the number of people developing eating disorders.
July 21, 2009
But just as I was about to put the mailer onto my 'recyclable' stack, I realised something rather odd. Apparently, when you are high-class there is a different spelling system and "price incresses" instead of "price increases" (see image below).
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "It's always fun to laugh at those who consider themselves elite..."
July 20, 2009
July 19, 2009
July 14, 2009
Whenever I mention somethings about Malaysia to fellow Singapore friends, I do get some 'cute' tongue-in-cheek replies: "If Malaysia boleh (can), Singapore lagi boleh (can do even more!)" or "If Malaysia can, Singapore lagi can/ Singapore also can!".
Coming from this position & having written a dream for beloved Malaysia, thought I'll also share what I dream & vision for this island city... yes, I'm sure Singapore can dream more based on the responses I get from my friends!
Recommended by quachee: "Something Singaporeans share in common(?) :)"
July 09, 2009
Lucky Tan said:
Two financial institutions, Sun Hung Kai and KGI Asia, have compensated their customers in full and 16 banks have offered to repay between 60-70% of the principal invested. The securities watchdog, SFC, is likely to reject the proposal by the 16 banks as they are demanding the banks pay investors in full. The Hong Kong authorities have found misconduct among the banks in the selling of these products[Link]. I believe Hong Kong banks will eventually compensate investors in full. . In Singapore, 5350 out of 10000 investors filed complaints. Of the 5350, 66% or roughly 3500 received offers of compensation on a no-admission-of-liability-basis. 25% or roughly 1300 received full compensation.
Recommended by at82: "Catastrophic events such as the minibond saga that occurs in Singapore and somewhere else at the same time is rare but it allows us to compare the behavior of our leaders and the authorities with those of other countries. The type of outcome they aim for says a lot about where their interests lie."
July 08, 2009
Vijay Kumar said:
In all my life, I never believed people in a developed country like Singapore would ever consider car ownership a privilege. Three months later, one fine day, I came back home and realised that there was no electricity in the house. This time, my landlord did not have the money to pay for the utility bills. I was back in the Stone Age, using candles. This lasted for days until finally he borrowed money from somewhere and settled the bills. My landlord as a person I have known during that period never come back drunk or looked like a gambler. He had to pay for his mother's medical expenses, that much I know.
Recommended by at82: "This is Singapore is for those who can't earn..."
July 07, 2009
My favourite NMP, Mr. Siew Kum Hong was not reappointed as a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) for the second term. :(
Quoting Alex Au from YawningBread:
“Siew is outstanding as an NMP if you go by a simple measure of how often he participates in parliamentary debates. In the 26 months that he has been in the House, he spoke or asked questions on 134 occasions. The annexure What did NMPs speak on 2006 – 2008? lists the topics that he and other NMPs spoke on or asked questions about. What will strike you is that Siew ranged over different fields, while some other NMPs restricted themselves to extremely narrow topics. From a taxpayer’s perspective, Siew is value for money.“
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Why we never go for 'value for money'?"
July 07, 2009
Mercer releases its 2009 Cost of Living survey results which ranks Singapore as the 10th most expensive city.
Mercer's Cost of Living survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowance for their expatriate employees.
1. Tokyo (2)
2. Osaka (11)
3. Moscow (1)
4. Geneva (8)
5. Hong Kong (6)
6. Zurich (9)
7. Copenhagen (7)
8. New York City (22)
9. Beijing (20)
10. Singapore (13)
July 03, 2009
Whenever I read about the history of our Botanic Gardens, it was always mentioned that Sir Stamford Raffles established the first Botanic Gardens in Singapore in 1822 along the slopes of Fort Canning Hill. If this is the case, why are why celebrating 150 years now in 2009 and not 187 years?
So let us go thru the years and see why;
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Insightful and detailed research and explanation on Botanic Gardens' heritage. Very interesting read for all Singaporeans to learn about our heritage."
June 20, 2009
Peijing Teh said:
When I see Singaporeans in a rules-free environment, I am often reminded of this Zen story about a horse that worked its whole life turning a grinding stone in a mill; when it was retired and allowed to graze on a large field, it went to the only tree in the field, and continued walking circles around the tree (like it did when it turned the grinding stone).
Like the horse, a lot of Singaporeans who grew up with a lot of explicit and implicit rules tend to be lost when they are thrown into an organic environment where the only limits are the ones you set for yourself. Like the horse, they then draw their own rules, and limit their own thinking to the imaginary box that they grew up with. So even if they are in a large open field, they will find their own tree and orbit around it. ...
I suspect that is why there are so many implicit social rules for Singaporeans, like "marry and have three kids", "get a stable job", etc., often without any real questioning of assumptions. Most people in Singapore complain about the pressure of social norms; they really only have themselves to blame if they unthinkingly accept those norms and apply them to their own lives.
Recommended by at82: "The question I have for you is this: what assumptions around you and inside you have you questioned today?"
June 17, 2009
The Edge gives a brief summary of MM Lee Kuan Yew's eight day visit to Malaysia.
Monday marked the last day of Singapore's former premier and current minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s visit to Malaysia.
The eight day visit from June 8 to June 15 saw the island republic’s Lee travel to various states within the peninsular. Aside from meeting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and federal-government officials, he also met the Yang-Dipertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, and some opposition leaders.
June 07, 2009
Lucky Tan said:
I became a participant of the GSS today and met a young salesman trying to sell something that will help me to "save on the cost of detergent + water and will result in cleaner laundry". The product turned out to be a plastic ball with beads inside that you put with the laundry instead of using detergent . The salesman showed the big a folder full of scientific studies that showed the ball performed better than detergent. He had newspaper cuttings and a documentary to back up his product. He claimed that many laundry mats in Hong Kong have switched to using this plastic ball instead of detergent to save costs. The ball which uses "nano technology" can be used up to 1000 times and costs $59. I didn't have time to watch his video but found something on the Internet about it:
$59 for a ball that can be used with 1000 batches of laundry would save me something like 9 years of detergent. Wow. Irresistable. When something is too good to be true, I usually have to do some checking but the other shoppers around me were completely convinced and snapped up the ball like hot cakes.
A quick check on the Internet yielded the following:
"The Laundry ball is a pseudoscientific product whose sellers claim that when placed in a washing machine it will clean clothes without detergent. The product is often sold by participants in multilevel marketing schemes." - Wikipedia article[Link]
Recommended by at82: "When it is too good to be true, it usually is."
June 05, 2009
Hri Kumar said:
My suggestion in Parliament last week to allow the PM to appoint Ministers from outside the pool of MPs has attracted support, criticism and speculation.
Some people speculated I was putting forward the suggestion on someone else's instructions. That is not how things work. No one tells me what to say or vets my speeches. The first time the leaders knew of my speech was when they heard me in Parliament.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "PAP MP puts forward case for unelected cabinet ministers."
May 21, 2009
Recently, one of the popular Chinese portal sohu.com conducted an interview with the Singapore Ping Pong ex-coach, Mr. Liu Guodong.
The published article set to sparks many disagreement, anger and uproars among the PRC Netizens. Up-to-date, more than 180 ugly remarks were targeting on Singapore and question our fairness against the ex coach
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "What are we going to do with all the insults from the PRC? Who are they to judge just because of one body behaviour.
May 18, 2009
A video made by Singaporean is being selected as the finalist representing the East Asia Pacific Region in a competition being organized by the American Government. The job is simple, "Create a short video to complete the phrase "Democracy is..." Over 900 videos from 95 countries are submitted and after going through 2 rounds of judging, the video is now one of the Top 18 finalists.
Recommended by padderay: "Let's lend our support to our fellow singaporeans and vote for their video!"
May 17, 2009
Glorious Citizen said:
It's amazing to imagine a bulk of pedestrians have gone berserk and went around killing jaywalkers. This headline sounded more like a direct translation from an article of the "My Paper" Mandarin edition.
Recommended by Glorious Citizen: "Sometimes our local publication tries too hard to catch our attention"
May 16, 2009
Darren Boon said:
A Facebook group, ‘We Support Siew Kum Hong’, has been set up to support Mr Siew Kum Hong’s bid for a second term as a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP).
In a strong show of support for Mr Siew, the group, which was set up only yesterday, has 430 members so far, ballooning from 90 odd members to more than 400 members in a number of hours. The number is still on the increase.
Recommended by at82: "Those who support SKH can sign up for the facebook group."