Friday, 31 August 2007

Welcome the release of all hostages!

Finally after 6 weeks of apprehension and anxiety, all the hostages held by the Talibans were all released yesterday.

On 19th July, the Taliban captured 23 and killed two of them days later as the government rejected their demand for militant prisoners to be freed from jail.

The Taliban militia announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to free its 19 remaining hostages following South Korea's promise to withdraw its military force from Afghanistan, as planned, and ban missionary groups from the country.

The father of Shim Sung-Min, one of the two South Korean hostages killed in Afghanistan, strongly criticised the Seoul church which had organised the ill-fated aid trip.

He said he felt "deeply irritated" at the recklessness of the church in pushing through with the humanitarian project in Afghanistan despite concerns over the safety of the volunteers and warnings from the government.

"I wonder why the church was so reckless in taking them to the dangerous country. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time, moving in such a conspicuous manner. They travelled on a dangerous road at night in a bus."

Well, I guess no one can blame him for his outrage, this man had just lost his son. Picture on the right: Mother of Shim Sung-Min.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Comments from public in ST Forum, 30th Aug' 07

Below are extracted from the ST Forum on 30th August. These again reflected public concerns on compulsory annuity plans and draw-down age for CPF.

(click here for larger image)

This is a public who wrote in to comment on why outdoor political events should be allowed, a response to Monday's parliamentary hearing.

(click here for larger image)

To Serene :)

We were class mates throughout our Secondary School education, both Serene Tay, Alice Ang and myself were very close Holy Innocents High School, along Hougang Avenue 7.

We eat, talk, laugh, gossip, skip school, write Chinese Compo, copy homework, etc together... I miss those school days, we were always full of nonsense and crap, I would say especially me :) Serene was the class monitress and Alice the quiet one.

Alice is currently still seeking around for her right man while Serene had found hers :) This year, Serene finally tied the knot with Kelvin and I would like to take this opportunity to convey my blessings to her.

Below is a peom which I came across:

Here's to Kelvin and Serene!
To a long and happy life
In an Eden of their making
As a husband and a wife.

Here's to Kelvin and Serene!
To the passion and the will
That has brought them here together
May it long sustain them still!

May they love each other
With a love that binds them fast
To the things in life that matter
And the ecstasies that last.

Hmm........ Miss Ang, so when will it be your turn?

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Woh!!! Reds qualify for CL group stages...

Liverpool are through to the group stages of the Champions League after goals from Peter Crouch, Sami Hyypia and Dirk Kuyt (2) gave them a 4-0 victory over Toulouse at Anfield on Tuesday and a 5-0 win on aggregate.

Liverpool: Reina, Riise, Agger, Hyypia (c), Arbeloa, Leto, Mascherano, Sissoko, Benayoun, Crouch, Kuyt. Subs - Alonso, Babel, Itandje, Leiva, Pennant, Torres.

Toulouse: Douchez, Cetto, Cesar, Ilunga, Mathieu, Dieuze (c), Fofana, Sirieix, Emana, Elmander, Gignac. Subs - Batlles, Bergougnoux, Jonsson, Mansare, Riou, Sissoko.

Hopefully with this new addition to the current team, more good news will be on the way :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Permit for WP Cycling event was declined..."City of Impossibilities"

The Workers' Party is turning 50 this Nov and the committee had wanted to organise a cycling event for our party members on 9th September 2007 which is this coming weekend.

The committee chairman, Mr. Eric Tan then wrote in to ask for a permit for this event about a month ago. However, the reply that he got from the police was a flat 'NO', permit not granted, we cannot cycle at East Coast Park. No reason for declination was given at that point of time, be it verbally or in writing.

During parliamentary hearing yesterday, WP Chairman, Miss Sylvia Lim questioned Mr. Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State For Law & Home Affairs, on why the party could not get a permit for the cycling event.

Guess what was the reply?

"Because political parties are banned from organising outdoor activities", replied Mr. Ho

The reason was because such outdoor activites may lead to public disorder and mischief. And the rule applies to all political parties.

As if that's not ridiculous enough, Mr. Ho even suggested to Mr. Low Thia Khiang to cycle in the stadium. And was rebutted by Mr. Low that if he considered cycling in the stadium a reasonable suggestion?

Oh god! So this is where our tax-payers' money goes to.... Minister who gives silly suggestions? Mr. Ho, a Minister, a Professor, gave such suggestion...did he keep his brains at home? Or he did it intentionally? Well, if he did, then its a childish behaviour.

Apart from that, political parties cannot engage in outdoor activites. What about PA and grassroots activities that were held by the ruling party. The lightning logo can be seen when such activites are carried out? Is a political message being sent out? Should there not be any display of such logo so as to not politicise the event? Because Professor Ho said that political parties are banned from outdoor events.

Extracted from 'Straits Times', August 28, 2007. Below is part of an extraction from Peh Shing Huei's article which I totally agree with:

"The arguement was unconvincing. One can think of multitude of causes which could have detractors who disagree with their aims and platforms.

For example, does that mean grassroots organisations shuld not have outdoor events, for fear that those who object to their close association with the Government might want to debate with them and caused trouble?

Or groups like Mendaki or the Chinese Development Assistance Council should stay indoors, for fear of those who disagree with the concept of racially demarcated self-help?

What kind of vibrant society is this if Singaporeans are so fearful of a disagreement that they have to avoid the sun?

Let's argue, engage and debate - in the House and beyond it too."

Peh Shing Huei is a political correspondent with The Straits Times. He graduated from the National University of Singapore and was awarded the Department of Political Science's book prize in 1999. After obtaining an MA (Political Science) from Columbia University, Shing Huei joined sports desk of The Straits Times. In 2004, he received Singapore Press Holdings' Young Journalist of the Year award.

Common Concerns

I saw this post on today:

Job availability and health are two main concerns of ageing workers

SINGAPORE : Most groups accept that working longer is an inevitable reality in an ageing population like Singapore.
For workers who will be directly affected, two big concerns seem to be job availability and health.

Financial planner Yash Mishra says retiring without planning is like a long, and perhaps difficult 20-year-vacation, without a single pay cheque.

Yash Mishra, Senior Vice-President - Private Client Advice, Ipac Financial Planning, says: "And if you have 20 years when you don't draw a pay cheque, you must make the most of it when you have one."

Which is why planning is not really a matter of choice in Singapore's ageing society.

And that is something Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong referred to immediately after the National Day Rally.

He says: "Well it's a fact that people are growing older. So the government will have to delay in the paying out - there's no other way. The life span of a person is going to 82 or above 80 - people are living longer. So the CPF is not inexhaustible. I mean if it's too long, people don't save enough money in the CPF, they just don't have enough for their old age, as simple as that."

On Friday, Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen released some information on how those who voluntarily defer their CPF drawdown age, would get a bonus.

No details were given, and there are many variables.

And financial planners say it could work out to a few thousand dollars.

Yash Mishra says: "What it could translate into is that if you make an assumption that close to 62 years old, an average Singaporean would have close to $70,000 in his account. And if you were to get to defer that in terms of retirement to about 65, at Singapore long term bond rate plus 1%, you could look forward to an additional $7,000 in that account. And that would last you about 7 years in drawdown."

Labour leader Halimah Yacob says most workers accept that they have to work longer.

But most have two questions - "Will I get a job after 62? And if I do, will I be healthy enough to perform?"

Halimah Yacob, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC, says: "Many of the reactions I get from union leaders are if we have jobs after the age of 62 that's okay, we have a source of income - only when we don't have jobs we have that concern. Some people feel will they be healthy enough after 62? Some may be suffering from chronic illnesses and so on."

Madam Halimah says there is a little-known provision in the CPF Act, that those too sick to work to support themselves, can withdraw their CPF.

The question is, what happens to those who fall in between.

Halimah Yacob says: "I'm not so ill as to be completely unable to work, but my ability to work is very limited and therefore my ability to earn (an) income is also very limited. Those cases I suppose one has to look at it very closely I'm not sure whether CPF can make it flexible in such a case."

A ministerial statement on this issue will be delivered in Parliament in September.

This goes to show that this is a common concern, refer to my previous post PM National Day Rally Speech 2007

Monday, 27 August 2007

Kudos to The Online Citizen!

The Online Citizen had collated a list of price increases from 2006 till now. It was a comprehensive list as far as I can see...and I wanted to bring more attention to it and therefore I am inputting a direct link here to the post: 'The Relentless Rising Cost of living in Singapore'

Great work for putting this together and I hope that it makes more people realise it too...yup, its after the GE as always...

Friday, 24 August 2007

Singapore inflation hits 12-year high in July

Got this from

Singapore inflation hits 12-year high in July

SINGAPORE (AP): Singapore's consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in 12 years in July as soaring rents combined with the impact of a sales tax hike.

The consumer price index rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier after rising 1.3 percent in June, the Department of Statistics said in a statement Thursday.

The rise was the fastest since January 1995 and topped a a 1.8 percent rise forecast by a Dow Jones Newswires poll of economists.

Immediately after the data release, four economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires said they expect full-year inflation to exceed 1.5 percent. The government's inflation forecast for the year is 0.5-1.5 percent.

The increase in the goods and services tax to 7 percent from 5 percent July 1 was widely expected to boost food and transport prices, and July marked the first month that a long-watched surge in real estate prices finally hit headline inflation.

Singapore's housing prices have surged in recent months as a boom in the luxury segment began to filter into the mass market. Private home prices rose 8.3 percent in the second quarter from the first, greater than the 4.8 percent rise in the first quarter, and the fastest since the record 11.8 percent rise posted in the second quarter of 1999.

Food prices increased by 1.4 percent due to costlier cooked items, fresh fish and fruits, the statement said.

Transport costs also rose moderately, mainly as a result of higher gas prices.

The consumer price index increased 1.5 percent from June in seasonally adjusted terms, also exceeding the poll's forecast for a 0.7 percent rise. The index rose 0.3 percent in June from May.

In unadjusted terms, the CPI rose 2.1 percent in July from June.


Err...actually I don't quite understand what I'm doing...

My 'xiao di', told me that he tagged me so I had to do in return something like that, this is blog ethnics :)

Well, basically its a way of finding out how others feel about you. So I see no harm in it and decided to just give it a try....

Answer the following questions.

1.(the person who tag you is?)
- a WP comrade cum 'xiao di'

2.(your relationship with him/her is?)
- quite good I should say

3.(your 5 impressions of him/her ..)
- bo chap, laid back, decisive, quite adorable at times, independent

4.(the most memorable thing he/she had done for you)
- hmmmmmmmmmm..... nothing at the moment

5.(the most memorable words he/she had said to you)
- 'Da jie da'....

6.(if he/she becomes your lover, you will..)
- HAHAHAHAHAHA! I will go for cosmetic surgery to make myself look 10 years younger.

7.(if he/she becomes your lover, things he/she has to improve on will be)
- His turn to go for cosmetic surgery, to look 10 years older.

8.(if he/she becomes your enemy, you will?)
- I will probably... oust him out of my sight!

9.(if he/she becomes your enemy, the reason will be?)
- When he does not know how to take care or treasure himself...

10.(the most desirable thing you want to do for him/her now is?)
- Help look out for a desirable, sweet, lovely partner for him :)

11.(your overall impression of him/her is?)
- Someone I can work with...

12.(how you think people around you will feel about you?)
- Loud and blur

13.(the character you love of yourself is?)
- Bold and street-smart

14.(on the contrary, the character you hate of yourself is?)
- Too fat... and not trying my best to do anything about it

15.(the most ideal person you want to be is?)
- Drew barrymore :)

16.(for people that care and like you, say something to them ..)
- Hi! Continue to like me :)

17.(pass this quiz to 10 people that you wish to know how they feel about you)

1) Jacky Koh
2) Cheryl Yeo
3) Ng Swee Bee
4) Koh Choong Yong
5) Perry Tong
6) Bernard Chen
7) Chris Soh
8) Liana
9) Yang Shumei
10) Aaron Peng

(who is no.6 having relationship with?)

(Is no.9 a male or female?)

(If no.7 and 10 are together, will it be a good thing?)
No, 7 is 33 years old and 10 is 23!

(How about no.8 and 5?)
Errrr… nope… 8 is engage with a very eligible bachelor!

(What is no.2 studying about?)

(When was the last time you had a chat with no.3?)
This morning, thru msn

(What kind of music band does no.8 like?)
MOS kind of music

(Does no.1 has any siblings?)
Yup, 2 elder sis

(Will you woo no.3?)
Err…If she wants me to…

(Is no.4 single?)
Nope, married with a child

(What’s the surname of no.5?)

(What’s the name of no.10?)
Xiao Di

(What’s the hobby of no.4?)
Err….. losing weight?

(Do no.5 and 9 get along well?)
They don’t know each other

(Where is no.2 studying at?)
Graduate long time ago, same school as me

(Talk something casually about no.1)

(Have you try developing feelings for no.8?)
Yes, friendship

(Where does no.9 live?)
Behind my block, buangkok crescent

(What color does no.4 like?)
Maybe blue?

(Are no.5 and 1 best friends?)
They can try cos equally big built

(Does no.7 likes no.2?)
Will not happen, don’t know each other

(How do you get to know no.2?)
Poly friends

(Does no.1 have any pets?)
Used to….

Thursday, 23 August 2007

The most ridiculous thing I had ever heard!

I was browsing through the net and I came across this piece of news...

On 11th August 2007, a group of about 40 people were out running along Singapore River when their nice, morning jog was interrupted by the men in blue, our very own Singapore policemen.

These police officers then started asking everyone of them for their Identification card. Next the most ridiculous thing is about to happen; this group of people who were doing nothing but jogging had just committed a crime!

It was said that they had committed some ....Miscellaneous Offences Act...???

As what Mr Wang mentioned in this blog, they were simply just JOGGING! They were neither having sex openly or treating Singapore River like some nudist beach which is a common sight in other countries.

Oh I forget to mention, this group of people were all gays and lesbians. Because they were a group of gays and lesbians, thats why jogging becomes a crime?

And I picked this line up from a foreigner's blog:
Good work Singapore! You've once again made yourself the laughing stock of Southeast Asia.

Some good news....Potong Pasir is equally old, so do consider it too

Abstracted from

Govt launches HIP scheme for upgrading of HDB flats

SINGAPORE : If you've been waiting to upgrade the toilets or repair a spalling concrete ceiling in your old Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat, a new upgrading scheme launched by the Government on 21st August means that you now can - and you will pay less to do it.

The Home Improvement Programme (HIP), which replaces the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP), will allow residents to opt for improvements to their toilets, front doors and grilles or refuse hoppers, even as "essential" upgrades to their waste pipes, bamboo pole holders and structural repairs are carried out - the cost of the latter to be borne fully by the Government.

Residents will also enjoy much higher subsidies, as the Government will foot 87.5 per cent to 95 per cent of the cost for optional improvements.

Residents can expect to pay $550 to $1,375 if they choose all the upgrade options in the optional improvements component.

Some 300,000 flats across 22 estates and towns built in or prior to 1989 and that have not undergone the MUP, are eligible for the HIP.

As under the MUP, works will proceed if at least 75 per cent of the eligible lessees in the block vote for it.

Details of the new upgrading programmes, as well as rejuvenation proposals for Punggol and Dawson, will soon be on display in a series of public exhibitions, the first of which will be held at the HDB Hub Mall from Sept 1 to 8.

As announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 19th August, Yishun and Tampines will be the first to pilot the HIP scheme.

Other eligible estates and towns are Ang Mo Kio, Queenstown, Bukit Panjang and Pasir Ris.

Hougang - which includes the Opposition ward held by the Workers' Party's Low Thia Kiang - is also included, although it is not immediately clear which blocks there will be affected by the HIP. Missing from the list was Opposition ward Potong Pasir.

Mr Desmond Lim, consultant for the Potong Pasir Town Council, said that the Government should give "due consideration" to the flats in the Opposition wards "if the criteria is the age of the flats".

According to him, the 60 blocks in Potong Pasir and Toa Payoh Lorong 8 - which are under Mr Chiam See Tong's purview - are more than 20 and 30 years old respectively, and eligible for upgrade.

But speaking on the sidelines of a business event, Ms Grace Fu, Minister of State for National Development, said: "Like all HDB upgrading projects, there will be prioritisation involved".

She noted that the selection of eligible areas was based on the age of the estate, and not politically-demarcated wards. "

As long as they meet the age criteria for the programme, they will be considered," she said.

According to the HDB, precincts are selected based on age, the condition of the flats, common areas' geographical spread, and support for Government programmes.

Ms Fu noted that the HIP, which has been tailored to meet changing expectations, gives residents flexibility to choose how much they want to upgrade.

If you are a young couple and have done renovations before, you may not want the full fledged HIP. But if you have not renovated for 20 years, you can go for the full package," she said, estimating that the pilot schemes would be completed in about two or three years.

Yishun resident Mdm Mary Chee, who has been living in her three-room executive flat for about 20 years, welcomed the scheme.

She plans to choose all the upgrade options: "We've been wanting to renovate the toilets for some time now. This scheme means it's cheaper than doing it ourselves, so why not?"

The HDB on Tuesday also expanded on the new Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, which replaces the Interim Upgrading Programme.

Residents will see precinct-level upgrades such as block surveillance systems, skating parks, tennis courts and soccer hardcourts.

It will affect 200,000 flats, some of which will also being undergoing the HIP.

The HDB is studying the list of suitable neighbourhoods - including middle-aged estates such as Bishan and Serangoon - and details will be announced in coming months.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Reactions to PM National Day Rally Speech

Comments are abstracted from 'TODAY', Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Govt has done well to plan for the aged
- Letter form Gilbert Goh Keow Wah

I refer to the PM's National Day Rally Speech.

Mr. Lee Hsien Loong's ortorical skills are admirable. His regular injection of jokes, warm and persuasive stage persona are hallmarks of a good speaker.

The Government's future plan for the country's ageing population is commendable as it not only tackles the financial aspects by tweaking the CPF but also enables retirees to work longer via legislation.

I am glad that concrete action is being taken to deal with these issues.

However, the population will not take well to a later draw down age as it would mean depending on their own savings till the age of 65 for retirement.

More needs to be done to persuade them to leave their own savings plan for retirement instead of depending solely on their CPF.

Some of my friends are already lamenting that one has to till the age of 65 instead of 62.

I do not blame then as our work culture here can be very demanding and stressful.

Some may personally prefer to stop working even before they reach the age of 60 to enjoy their retirement years - if they are capable of doing so financially.

With the high cost of living here, I foresee a sizeable number of our elderly retiring abroad.

They could rent out their HDB flat for income and lead a comfortable lifestyle either in Malaysia or Indonesia, where the living standard ismuch lower.

I also wonder if the employment legislation will work well when it takes effect in 2012.

Already, we hear of age discrimination, where some employers are unwilling to hire older workers in their 50s and 60s.

The issue of having enough suitable jobs for them is also one that needs further discussion.

Nevertheless, I feel a great sense of comfort knowing that the current Cabinet is on a mission of planning ahead to resolve possible problems.

As a worker in my 40s, equipped with a few upgrading courses, I hope, with optimism, to work till I am 65 years old or beyond.

With the Government backing, I am sure this is feasible.


Review CPF scheme as it doesn't seem to benefit retirees
- Letter from Chia Hern Keng

Since the Governement seems determined to raise the retirement age beyond 62 - to 65 and then to 67 - its time to ask some important questions.

Why, despite several decades of CPF savings, do retired Singaporean seem to have difficulty sustaining their lifestyles? Has the CPF scheme failed them in some ways?

For the younger generation, I can see that their CPF savings will be significantly invested in HDB flats given the high prices and this could create future problems.

However, the older generation would have bought their HDB flats at much lower prices in the 70s.

So, is the CPF savings scheme with its low interest rate now proving to be an inferior one given current inflation in the cost of living?

Could our CPF savings, which easily runs into several hundred dollars each month, been better invested in insurance schemes that pay far higher dividends? If so, it is still not too late to change to the latter for the younger generation.

Another question on the issue of extending the retirement age is whether the old will be healthy enough to continue working?

PM Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that Singaporeans live rather long, including 500 centurians here. These are just absolute figures that do not tell us about their state of mental and physical capacities.

By implementing laws to keep people working, would the Government be discriminating against those who are unable to do so for health reasons?

Even though they want desperately to retire because of ill health, they know that the higher retirement age means that they cannot retrieve their CPF savings to see them through monthly expenditures. As a result they would to toil on.

Mr Lee wants to create for us, lives filled with 'security and hope'. But for some who might have to work till they die, I'm not sure this is the kind of 'security and hope' they look forward to.

Therefore, may I suggest that the extension of the retirement age should be one of personal choice rather than one that is an across-the-board policy.

Please consider that some might find pleasure in leisure provided by earlier retirement when they can occupy themselves in hobbies and past-times or even in further education for the sale of self-development.

It is wrong to think that retirement is synonymous with doing nothing. It is really up to the individual how he or she spends time. There is a time to work and there is a time to rest; there is a time to earn and a time to retire, as King Solomon of Yore would have said.

But if the Government foresees a welfare crisis for the elderly looming ahead, then what it has to do is to deal with the cause and not attempt to treat only the effects.

This cause lies, I surmise for the lack of sufficient information, in the inferiority of the simple saving scheme that the CPF represents.

What can be done to revamp the scheme, given that it is not delivering to the people what it had promised to do?


Conversion of whole life policies to annuities
- Letter from Jane Wong

The hot topic of late is how to ensure that Singaporeans, especially older ones, have sufficient income for their golden years. Solutions were unveiled in the PM National Day Rally speech, including buying annuities, a delay in the draw-down age for CPF monies, et cetera.

Another way is to allow whole life policy holders to convert their policies to annuities. A whole life policy benefits the beneficiary when the policy holder dies.

Although the policy owner can choose to surrender his policy when he is in need of money, the return value is very small.

If policies are allowed to be converted to annuities, the insurance company can invest the surrender value and pay a higher annuity 20 to 30 years later.

Some firms do not allow such a conversion. However, they should re-examine the matter now tht the investment environment has changed, as more people now turn to endowment policies or term insurance.

Monday, 20 August 2007

PM National Day Rally Speech 2007

Last night's speech by our PM promises a lot of stuff, hopefully the government can dutifully fulfilled in time to come. However there were also some points to take note of and I still don't see the solution to widening income gap:

- 1% increase in interest rates for first $20, 000 in CPF OA, catch is a limitation on our right to invest our CPF.... The government still cannot trust us to manage our own money.

- Will HIP be used as a future election carrot?

- I understand from friends who are currently staying in Punggol 21 that, the government had previously painted a very nice picture of Punggol 21 but till today nothing done... so hopefully something can be done very soon...

- By inviting the opposition leaders to last night's rally, our PM is saying that he is gracious? This is a National Day Rally speech not a PAP rally therefore as long as one is an MP, etc, representing their people, its only right that they are there, isn't?

- Drawing down min. CPF withdrawal age to 65 and maybe 67... frankly speaking I would love to work till 67 or 70 if my health allows me to. But who will hire me? Yes, we've got jobs such as cleaners, dish-washers, etc... So everyone will be competing for such jobs and will there be jobs available for everyone? Are most companies in Singapore really relunctant to employ people of that age?

- I have to say the encouragement to learn a 3rd language is commendable... our children should be encourage to take up a 3rd language and not just the language but also their culture and history.

By the way, what do you think of the wave and smile that he gave at the end of the speech?

WP Youth Wing Conference 2007

The WPYW Conference was held on 19th August 2007, a new batch of exco had been elected. Well, maybe not the whole batch, half of the YW Exco had stepped down and was replaced by newly elected ones.

We also had a new YW VP, that is Choong Yong. Congratulations, Choong Yong! I'm sure you can deliver :)

During the election, it brought back memories to me. One year ago, I was like the rest of the nominated candidates, blur and confused. By the way, I was one of the Exco that stayed in the Exco.

And now, let me present to you the new WPYW team...

From left to right (back): Faisal, Anthony, myself, Bernard & Hidayat ... Julia Goh (cannot see her, look carefully again!)

From left to right (front): Vice President - Choong Yong, President - Perry & Secretary - Glenda

Heehee and now for the other side of WPYW Exco:

From left to right (back): Aloof Faisal, Piggy Lilian, Violent Anthony, Mafia Hidayat & a disappearing Julia Goh...still cannot see her? Try harder...

From left to right (front): Grumpy Choong Yong, Cool Perry, Murderous Glenda & Distorted Bernard

Friday, 17 August 2007

Blind man drives!

I was in JB yesterday and I came across 'The Sun'.

This is a local Malaysia paper that is given out to shoppers free, exactly like our 'Today'. I was browsing through it and this article caught my attention.

"Blind Driver Caught Again" - Tallinn (Estonia):

An Estonian man who was caught driving a car even though he is blind has been at it again, police said yesterday.....

That was the gist of the article. I was very very curious, how did he do it?????

Every year in Inakadate...

Every year in Inakadate, Japan farmers use their rice fields as palates...By planting different color rice to paint huge pictures... very creative....

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Liverpool's opening match!

Liverpool recorded their first opening day victory since 2002 with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

Captain Stevie was the hero when he netted the late winner from a stunning free-kick to give the Reds all three points. Despite Villa having been awarded a penalty kick, the team went on with character to win the game.

Its always important to win the first game. On top of that, the Reds' away performance had always been a disaster. Hopefully this is a good start to more wins!!!

It may only be three points on the board after one game played, but at least the Reds have already begun to deliver on their pledge to make a flying start to the new campaign.
(picture taken from

Saturday, 11 August 2007

881, The Movie

Swee Bee, Clara, Gordon and myself went to catch the sneak preview of 881, a Royston Tan production, at AMK Hub.

Its a musical-movie which comprises of hokkien songs. It featured two young Seventh Month starlets who call themselves the Papaya Sisters journey to become one of the most popular 'ge tai' singers in Singapore.

A tale of two very good friends, their struggle for success and the obstacles they face. Towards the end of the story, one of them is stricken with cancer.

'Ge Tai' veterans such as Lim Ru Ping, Ling Li and Liu Ling Ling cast in the movie as well. As usual, Liu Ling Ling is the most entertaining one. The audiences in the cinema could not help but laughed aloud whenever she starts speaking.

Story line was good, costumes were flamboyant and colourful, songs sang were fantastic. I, for one who does not listen to hokkien songs was mesmerised by it too. There were some memorable scenes in the show...the part where the two sisters went to beg 'The Goddess' to bless them with a good voice and the last part, where one of them is suffering from cancer and eventually passed away. However, unnecessary characters such as 'The Goddess' was a bit err.... and other special effects...

Anyway after the movie, we went down to the carpark to get Gordon's car. And guess what? When we got into the lift, the whole group of people inside were sniffing away and of course with red, puffy eyes... we all cried...

I would rate this movie 3.5/5, below is the movie trailer:

'Nation Builders' By Martyn See

Andrew recommended this video to me, he told me that he nearly cried...I told him, " Andrew, if it nearly made you cry, then I will probably cry because I am very emotional..."

I watched the video with a heavy heart...

At 13:11 mins, the screen says this:

"My job is to look after those who built nation. Without them doing the hard and dirty work, I would not have had a decent life. I would not have been a leader, my children would not have been educated."
- Lee Kuan Yew, The Straits Times, April 23, 2007

And at exactly 13:20 mins, tears flowed down my cheeks. Marytn focuses on a mega poster along Tanjong Pagar Road which featured LKY and his team and right in front of it, is an old man, very tan, probably from the continuos exposure under the scorching sun, collecting and collating his cardboards....heart-wrenching...I could not bring myself to watch it a second time...

Friday, 10 August 2007

Happy National Day!

Today, 9th August, is our Nation's Birthday. As per our previous years, the Workers' Party did an outreach. About 25 members turned up at 9am sharp at Kovan MRT, our first destination for the outreach. We were spilt into two teams each lead by both Rahizan and Glenda. Everyone looked fresh, energetic and ready to start the outreach. It was great to see a sea of blue moving off together :)

We went around to convey our wishes in English, Mandarin and Malay...we also handed out flags to little children who were up early for breakfast at the market with their parents.

What made the event more meaningful for me was when I saw some less active members turning up to wish fellow Singaporeans...Happy National Day.

When I saw Jack, memories of last GE came flooding into my mind. I remembered going down to Hougang Town Council to make my oath as both polling and counting agent and Jack was the man whom I met to do my registration :)

We have a new member who just joined us, came for the outreach too. Its his first party event in our party T-shirt, WELCOME Aaron.

I must say that I was really encouraged to hear this from a man who came forward with his daughter to get a flag from Bernard....Ah! This is the party that you should be getting your flag from...

By the way, the people from RCs were there too and YES! We met Cynthia Phua again. We greeted each other and she and her group of people mingled around with us for about 5 mins or so and they moved off.

A group of our members even started to sing the National Anthem and other songs such as 'Count On Me, Singapore", "Stand Up For Singapore", etc...

Our next destination was Bedok Interchange and we ended the day with really sweet and mouth-watering longans to quench our thrist.

We also took a group photo under this interesting banner in Bedok Hawker Centre.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Pledge in Mandarin

Never know how to recite our pledge in Mandarin? Here is it, HAPPY NATIONAL DAY TO ALL BLOGGERS! LONG LIVE SINGAPORE!!!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

WP Rally MTV

This MTV was highlighted to be by Shaun, one of our Youth Wing Exco.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Interesting sign board

I always see this whenever I go to the HQ, it can be found in a back alley.... and finally about a month ago when I was there, I took a picture of it. Interesting sign board, I must say!

Friday, 3 August 2007

When Perry Tong is not around, hee hee...

When the President, Perry Tong is not around (on a lighter note): (click here for bigger image)

About 30 minutes later, (click here for bigger image)

From left (back): Firuz (Exco), Glenda (Secretary), Faisal (Exco), Lilian (Exco), Mohd (Exco) & Melvin (Exco)

From left (front): Choong Yong (Exco), Chee Wei (Exco) & Bernard (Exco)

Absent: Perry (President), Salim (Vice-President) & Shaun (Exco)

Letter of complain to SBS Transit

My youngest sister who is currently studying in SIM travels on bus no. 156 very frequently. Practically every night when she reaches home, she will complain and complain and complain about the bus services and waiting time.

The last straw came on 31/07, whereby she could no longer take it anymore and she directed an email straight to SBS Transit. Below is the content:

To whom it may concern,

Firstly, I would like to express my displeasure that bus 156 has an extremely large frequency between arrivals. Approximately 8/10 times, I had to wait for at least 25 mins for the bus despite the bus guide at the bus stop that states 156's frequency is 14 mins. It was the same during two years ago when I studied in NYJC at Serangoon avenue 3; I always had to wait for 156 for outrageous period of time. There has been quite a number of times that I actually waited for 35 mins or so.

Secondly, regarding today's incident, which also has happened on several occasions previously, is regarding bus captains who actually seem to have no intention to slow down when approaching a bus stop. The bus stop at Bouganvillea Park (Bukit Timah Rd, opposite the Chinese High School), to start with, does not have a good position. It is extremely difficult to make out what is the on-coming bus, because it is blocked by tall bushes just before the bus stop.

Due to this 'blind spot', I had noticed several times, commuters at that bus stop often are unable to flag down the bus in time. However, it is not the position of the bus stop that I am unhappy with.

This would not happen if bus captains are meticulous enough to actually slow down when approaching bus stops, especially bus stops that are situated like this. Regrettably, many bus captains like to drive very fast at night. I am not making a sweeping statement here; it's just that this type of incident is very typical especially during night time.

On 31/7/07 Tuesday, I waited for the bus at the mentioned bus stop for 25 mins, and the 156 finally came. I saw it emerge from the blind spot about 50m away, and quickly flagged for the bus, reached for my bag and tried to take out my wallet. When I looked up again, the bus had already dashed off! It was less than 2 seconds I suppose. So I waited for another 25 mins for another 156 to come. I spent a good 50 mins at the bus stop, which I could have used the time to do many other things.

I would suggest that SBS let bus captains know the importance of their job.

We all know that our transport system is government-monopolized, thus every commuter has to depend on it, whether we like it or not. But we all also know that Singapore is working towards service excellence, isn't it?

Please look into the matter, and I hope SBS Transit will take prompt action to rectify these problems.

Thank you very much.
(Picture taken from sbstransit website)

Thursday, 2 August 2007

What colour will this be?

The Singapore Land Transport authority had granted Prime Car rental & Taxi Services a taxi operator licence.

With this latest addition, there are now 8 taxi companies in Singapore. Singapore is rank the first when it comes to the number of taxis (proportionate to our population).

Currently we have; yellow, black, blue, white, silver, green, red and sometimes if you are lucky you can see gold. So what will the colour of Prime taxis be?

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

ERP rates at Orchard, YMCA and Fort Canning Tunnel to go up

Extracted from

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is increasing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) rates for motorists entering the Orchard Road area. From August 6, cars passing the Orchard, YMCA and Fort Canning Tunnel gantries will be charged an additional $0.50. That makes it $1 per entry. Rates for motorcycles will also double to $0.50. Goods vehicles and small buses will now be charged $1.50. Heavy goods vehicles and big buses will be charged $2.

This must be a big blow to people who drives to work in town. Out of curiosity I searched the LTA website and thought that this might be something which a lot of people wondered about:

Aims of having ERP:

- Charges are levied on a per-pass basis and rates are set based on traffic conditions at the pricing points.

- A motorist is encouraged to decide whether to drive, when to drive and where to drive.
He may choose a different route, mode of transport, time of travel, or not travel at all.

- Those who choose to pay and stay on the road will enjoy a smoother ride.


- Fair

Charges are based on usage so those who contribute more to the congestion pay more. Those who use the roads less frequently or who travel during non-ERP hours will pay less or not need to pay at all.

- Convenient

Motorists need not purchase daily/monthly licences.

- Reliable

As a fully automated system, there is no risk of human error as human enforcement is not required.

As such, was there any improvement on your journey along the CTE, PIE, etc?

Thank you for visiting