Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Determination

I am totally exhausted for the past few weeks.


I have been working hard to fulfill my goals all these days.


It has been a long journey lasting me some years, and I am still running the journey.


Despites many hurdles which have tripped me, I refused to bow down and to be defeated. I have been increasing my speed of running this ardous journey where I can not see the light of the tunnel as of now these few weeks.

I am very very tired already but I refuse to give up and run to the very end.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Twilight Eclipse

The sequel to Twilight movie: Twilight Eclipse will be back this Thurday! (1 Jul 10).


Though I am not a fan of these lovey-dovey movie plots, I found these Twilight movies quite nice in plots. Vampires and werewolves in the show make me relaxed as the plot transports me to a supernatural out-of-the world realm.

I managed to obtain a trailer below (from Youtube). I believe this movie will sure be one of this year's blockbusters with its droves of teenage fans in Singapore and the world over.

I managed to catch the eclipse (real lunar eclipse) in Singapore at twilight last Saturday. So I experienced the real Twilight Eclipse already. Luckily there were no vampires and werewolves coming out at that moment.

The authorities have already have a hard time when Mas Selamat went on a short 'holiday' last year or last last year back. Can you imagine a vampire or a werewolf running amok in Singapore? Though girls may be excited at having the accompany of these two!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Slave to Computer

I think I have become a slave to computers. As if it is not enough to be facing computer for 8 hours in the office, coming back home to clear emails, read websites and do some personal admin things also require me to look at the computer.

I am really getting tired from being a slave to computer. Nowadays, the touch screen iphones are slowly but gradually replacing computers and I can see more and more people turning to them always on the move, watching tv, reading websites, etc, on the move.

It seems that mankind is really getting busier as a result of technology. I would crave for yet another chance not to see my computer and high-tech device and indulge in pure nature in places like my beloved Hokkaido and be with Mother Nature.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How to be a MULTI- millionaire in Singapore?

The other day, I have shared with readers on the property purchase made by a Singapore permanent resident, who is a China chinese for a Sentosa Cove bungalow at a whopping price tag of $36 million ! And ordinary Singaporeans like me were shocked at the astronomical amount paid for a property in Singapore. Already, Singaporeans are thinking twice for a resales flat property purchase now that the resales market has been on the ascending trend, hence it is really shocking to read of this news for Singaporeans like me earning ordinary wages.


In today's Sunday Times, there was again a feature on the pricey bungalows here in Singapore. I was appalled to read that a foreign High Net Worth Individual (HWNI) has asked the property agent whether she has made a mistake in the price tag of $15 million for a bungalow. The reason is that the buyer could not believe the price as it was too cheap (as compared to bungalows of such in the rest of the world)!

Indeed, with the rise of China and India as the main engines of the global economy, many many people are getting very very rich! In Singapore, the number of millionaires, with a liquidity of US $1 million amount to 61,000 and more!  The other time, people in Singapore are searching for the answer to the question: "How to be a millionaire?" but with the number of millionaires growing so rapidly in Singapore, the question now is "How to be a MULTI- millionaire in Singapore?" (i.e the benchmark of wealth rachets up a few notches)

In Singapore, a multi-millionaire is someone with a net worth of at least US $10 million to hundreds of millions in net liquidity, excluding housing. The routes to becoming such multi-millionaires would be to be an astute
investor, or open up a successful business, be involved in property businesses (since land in Singapore is so scare) or to do well in Sales.

Talking about Sales, let us focus back on property agents. Today's Sunday Times features an ordinary young (29 years old) property agent, except for the fact that she specialises in selling the Sentosa Cove properties! Wow! As she has said in the article, many property agents in Singapore aspire to be in her leagues. Why is that so? Let us just see the following few cases:

Tom, a property agent sold a 4-room resales flat for $400K, his comission at 1% amounts to $4,000.

Next, let us turn to the property agent who sold the Sentosa Cove property at $36 million, assuming his comission to be minimum 1%, he or she earns a comission of $360,000! for just one transaction!

However, like the lady property agent we talked about earlier, these propery agents do not just sell one bungalow, being a specialist of such high-worth bungalows, they do keep selling and imagine, they can easily earn $1,000,000 from just selling 4 to 10 houses, assuming each is sold at minimum $10 million!

Hence, if you want to to be a multi-millionaire in Singapore, but do not want to open a business to achieve your dreams, consider servicing these mega-millionaires by being private bankers, property agents, insurance agents to them and get their referrals to introduce their other HNWI friends to you, and in no time, you will be earning millions at a very young age.

If you do not like sales or to open up a business, the other way is to do well in school and cocurricular activities, get a scholarship for a fast tracked career.

The basic principle of being rich is to do something you like, and do it well and monies will in turn come to you. for example, very famous movie stars, lawyers and soccer players do earn millions by pursuing their hobbies.

On this note, I sum off my article. Everyone wants to be a millionaire and the only way to do so is finding out your niche and taking actions towards your goals. Along the way, determination and perservance will help you stay the course.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My wish: to watch a live National Day parade before I die!

I was very sad when I learnt that successful applicants for the tickets to this year's National Day parade can start collecting them with effect from today. I did apply for the tickets this year, yet again, losing count on the number of years that I have applied. Again, I was not able to get hold of the highly coveted tickets since the year balloting of the NDP tickets started.

Why was I so unlucky? Every year, I crave for that little opportunity to catch the National Day parade with my family or wife, but again my wishes were not granted yet again! To increase my chances, I have actually applied for tickets not to the actual parade but to a rehearsal for just 2 or 4 tickets. I thought that would increase my chances to fulfill this little wish of mine for many years, for just this year, but , I was disappointed once again!

As a Singaporean, I just wish to watch the National Day parade after so many years! Every year, I have applied but all my efforts were in vain! The last time I was at the parade, in 1999 was not due to I being lucky in getting the tickets but I was there to help out. Since then on, despites religiously applying for the tickets, and waiting patiently every year, hoping to get the coveted tickets to the greatest parade of our nation, my luck kept failing me.

Hence I have decided that one of my wishes in life was to be able to watch the National Day or its rehearsal live, before I die. I hope I would be able to have this wish fulfilled in years to come. I will keep trying for the tickets... be it 20 years, 50 years, I just wish to catch one good National Day show live with my family and my wife, when all of us are still around.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Orchard road flooding

This year, the inter-monsoon season seems to come a little bit earlier: on many days since last week, it rained very heavily in the early mornings but today the rain or rather, the downpour persisted till late afternoon!


And who can guess, the rain turned our popular tourist belt cum shopping paradise, Orchard road into a big low-depth swimming pool!



I was shocked. Who could expect Orchard road to be flooded? So far, it has always been low-lying places in our country such as Geylang and Kallang being flooded.

One good thing did come out from the Orchard Road flooding incident: Just as the recent vandalism case at Changi MRT depot has reminded us that our security measures at our public installations is not comprehensive, the Orchard road flood uncovered deficiencies of our drainage system in the Orchard road area.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Town council management report

Just a few days ago, the government released the inaugural town council management report. The report grades and as a result of the grading, ranks town council in areas like maintenance and facilities.


As a layman living in a housing estate managed by the town council, the town council management report and its result does not really interest me a lot. In fact, though I am an avid reader of the daily newspapers, I did not even check the ranking and results of the town council managing my estate.

Like me, I think most Singaporeans are quite apathetic to the results of the town council management report as generally, the facilities, hygience and upkeeping standard of town councils do not differ much from one to another. There will bound to be times where facilities are dirty and hygience problems arise but if these problems were to persist for a prolonged period of time, they will be reported in the daily newspapers already in the form of letters to the forums or even a special feature!

Instead of a town council management report, the authorities should comission a report on the "Happiness Index of Singapore constituencies": how happy are residents living in their consitituencies.

There is a "Happiest country in the world" ranking by some authorities, hence we can also have a "Happiest Estate in Singapore" form of ranking. Residents can be surveyed on how happy they are living in the estates. This report will definitely be more useful than the town management council report which, in my opinion measures just the tangible aspect and not the qualitative parts of Singapore living.

If an estate scores the poorest in this "Happiest Estate" ranking, the town councils, residents committees, CDC or CCC can immediately follow up to find out the root causes. Some reasons that may cause unhappy estate living could be due to overcrowding, congestion, increase of foreigners in the estate, increase of rodents, insufficient community engagement and so on and so forth.

Like the town council management report, if this "Happiest Estate" ranking were to be implemented, definitely I do not want them to be used to the housing agents' advantage. Can you imagine a housing agent telling a buyer to pay more for a flat in Tanjong Pagar because it is No.1 or Happiest town council in ranking? Luckily, Singapore now have the Council of Estate Agents to rein in errant agents.

I hope the government can look into implementing the "Happiest Estate in Singapore" ranking. The survey or means of collating the responses from residents can be coordinated by the Citizens' Consultative Committees from each consitituency.

Some people may say such a "Happiest Estate" ranking is irrelevant as the results will show up every 5 years when it comes to General Election. However, the happiness of residents when come to polling day hinge on the which political party he or she would like to bring Singapore forward.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

$36 million sentosa cove bungalow

How much are you wiling to pay for a bungalow in Singapore if you have the means?


With land being a premium, the prices of housing in Singapore is not low. An executive condominium can easily command a price of $1 million and more. The prices of bungalow will be in the leagues of $1 million and more, depending on the size.


But fancy paying $36 million dollars for a bungalow? Yes, that is what one China foreign folk did.. buying a posh bungalow at the exclusive ultra-premium Sentosa Cove. This guy must be a multi-millionaire or a billonaire at the very least.

I am not really shocked. The number of ultra-rich people in Asia is rising with China and India, the twin engines of Asia gearing up! It is not news anymore to hear of China Chinese, India Indians or Singaporeans lapping bags and other luxuries at our Orchard roads for $100,000 and more per shopping trip. These guys and gals are dirt-rich!

In Singapore, the proportion of millionaires (people with a disposable income of a million and more, excluding property) now stood at around 11%, numbering around 61,000! Again, I am not really surprised now that there are so many millonaires around us as many Singaporeans are entering into businesses (profitable ones), doing well in their jobs or are experts in investments.

Again, this is just one side of the coin, there is also the lower segment of the population who earn $2000 and below in our society. This group consists of the lower-educated or those who could not find work after retrenchment.

I think the onus of breaking out of the poverty trap if one is really in, rests on one's self. One should take action, e.g taking courses or developing their career competencies to increase their employablities and taking-home.

It may not be easy, but one must never give up. For me, I am also, constantly striving, never giving up, in my pursuit for a better life.

As such, I do not really like those jobless young men at the void deck of my apartments or beggars. They can really take action towards a better life. Small incremental steps will accrue one day to a positive change.

Singapore Hotels in Chinatown

If you are looking for hotels in Chinatown, and if you are a tourist, you should know that most of the hotels in Chinatown are cater to the budget tourists. Chinatown hotels are actually quite good hotels overall, just that certain hotels may attract the wrong kind of crowds. So do be discerning when you are looking for hotels in Chinatown.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Men of Religion

The ongoing probe into City Harvest church's fund management has raised a ruckus in our society. Singaporeans have expressed similar sentiments when the famous monk Ming Yi was found to misappropriate his religious funds. This sentiment is not surprising as we expect men of faith and religion, especially those who hold leadership roles to uphold and exhibit even higher moral values and standing.

Recently, there was a funeral wake at the void deck of an apartment just a stone's throw away from where I live. After a recent jog, I took a double look when I saw someone in a monk's suit smoking at a Senior Citizens' corner in the void deck. I went closer for a look: it was an old monk, most probably a monk who assisted in the rites at the void deck. He was busy lighting up his cigarette, puffing away while making a call on his mobile phone, with a blue tooth ear piece in one of his ears. I am not against a religious man using high tech gadgets or driving. But to see the monk smoking, I was shocked! I was shocked as men of religion should eschew bad habits and be a moral example for the rest of his fellowman. Once I saw another monk in Ion Orchard shopping. True religous men should have given up chasing the luxuries, bad habits, wealth and fame of life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Where to watch free world cup in Singapore?

If you are one of the many Singaporeans who do mind very much paying around $90 buck to watch the world cup 2010 games, you can refer to this site for a list of places to watch the world cup for free!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Blogging


I was one of the people in the world who kept a diary long before the advent of the internet and web 2.0 technologies. By a diary, I mean a notebook or a real diary notepad, where I penned down my thoughts, my life on every day of the year.


I kept diaries since I was young, as early as 10 years of age; however there were breaks in between when I could not keep up the routine, discipline, rigour and commitment of keeping a diary. My dozens of notes (which I fastened together as diaries) helped make me sane during National Service. However, with time, all these diaries or ‘makeshift’ diaries have long gone with the wind as I decided not to immerse myself in the past but to move forward and make the most of future!

With the advent of blogs, I find the passion of writing diaries online being rekindled. There started my first foray of online diaries in the form of blogs during my university days. At that times, blogs were used as online diaries and I kept blogging my thoughts on this new found medium of diaries till one fine day, being free, I did an experiment and was shocked to find that my blog footprints could be bared naked to the internet world at large by simply keying a few of my friends’ names. From then on, for a few years, I stopped blogging and deleted my online diary blog.

It is not that I have written something horrible about my friends. It is just that I am a private person and prefer to keep my life to myself. These days, blogs have morphed into something bigger than just mere online diaries. They have now a commercial slant or are for posting of targeted content towards certain niches. Many have found fame and a money motherlode with these blogs.

I think blogs can never substitute the old diaries due to the simple fact… nobody really want their lives to be exposed. They can keep a blog which contains more subtle, less vivid details of what they actually want to write as compared to a real diary!

Littering in Singapore: Stiffer penalties and more visible punishments for litterbugs

The National Environment Agency will increase the fines for litterbugs and implement the existing corrective work orders (a scheme whereby litterbugs are ordered to clean up public areas) in streets with heavier traffic, part of its bid to curb the ever-increasing littering problem in Singapore. More litter-bins will be added to public places while public education against littering will continue.


I believe the measures will only achieve limited success as littering is really a personal habit. The new measures, which are just strengthened existing measures will only deter litterbugs from littering in places with heavier traffic such as in shopping areas for fear that an enforcement officer be in ‘ambush’. In places with no or few people nearby, I think the natural instinct for litterbugs is to chuck their litter onto the floor even though a litter bin may be just nearby. Hence I believe the authorities should send enforcement officers, in plain clothes, to places with lesser human traffic such as the void decks and target the litterbugs in these places too to send the message that: “Litterbugs are everywhere but we are also everywhere!”

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Rent condominiums

If you are looking for apartments for rent, or are buying a house and if you are loaded with cash, then you may want to consider the new condominiums for sales or rent at the central business district in Singapore.

It was reported in The Straits Times today that there would more condominiums in the central business district. These condominiums are either for sales and for rent. Currently, the condominium in the district are The Sail@ Marina Bay and the Icon in Tanjong Pagar. But coming soon will be the Lumiere, The Clift, One Shenton and Altez. All these condominiums have very nice appellations and definitely these apartments do not come cheap. A month rent for a studio apartment starts from $3500 to $4000, and definitely these are targeted for the very affluent expatriates who earn at least $20,000 per month, I mean in my opinion, if you are not earning that much, you would be crunched to pay these high rental costs every month.

For more property news, please read this
link.

PC Show 2010

If you are going to buy a computer, laptop or any other digital device, hold your cash first! This Thursday, the PC Show 2010 (a.k.a Personal Computer Show 2010) will be here once again!


PC Show 2010: 10-13 June, 12-9pm


4 levels of Suntec City: Level 1, 3, 4 and 6 will be choked full of bargain-hunters and visitors once again. Are prices going to get crazy? Well for me, I will get crazy even before I land my hand on the items on offered as the crowds will be maddening!

Do check out these related posts:


Comex 2009

Comex 2008

Cheapest computer accessories

Saturday, June 05, 2010

MRT train vandalised with graffiti in Changi Depot

This is an incredible tale in Singapore! A renowned Swiss national, possibly with other accomplices including a Briton broke into the Changi MRT depot and spent at least 20 minutes vandalising the exterior of a MRT train with their signature graffiti artworks!

Security has been breached in our transport network! Though the intent of the artists or should we call them vandals, is harmless, the ease of breaking into the guarded premises of the Changi MRT depot just shows the ease of breaking of  potential terrorists into a node of our transport system or even public facilities to sow the seed of destruction!

And if that was not bad enough, the vandalised train went on its normal operation of carrying passengers for at least 48 hours, as reported! Many Singaporeans would have thought that the graffiti artwork might be once again a marketing gimmick like what Singapore Post did to its mailboxes on New Year eve! Hence they would not have reported the incident or cared about it too much. What an embarrassment.

Ong You Yuan, an ITE student who shot the video below and posted it to Youtube, has half a page coverage on national newspapers, The Straits Time today, page A12 dedicated to him. Hence You Yuan has became famous instantly because of what did in this vandal incident: tell the world via new media!

For the Swiss national who carried out this artwork, I think he has at least taught our authorities here that our guarded premises are not that fool-proof at all. He should be given a stern warning and a hefty fine, in my opinion but not a jail term though he did committ trepassing but his intent might be due to just sheer fun.

Maybe we can enforce the Swiss culprit to spray paint all our drain covers all over the island with even more professional graffiti for free! For your information, a number of drain covers have been painted with artwork or graffiti by the local authorities in an education outreach effort. You can read more about it
here.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Toilet Stories

As I walked into one of the world-class toilets in Singapore today, I was shocked to see a notice plastered on the wall: “You are being served by Mr XXX (Name of the toilet cleaner)”. The notice even contained the photo of the toilet cleaner.

I turned around and saw the toilet cleaner just inches away from me. I was shocked. Though I understood the intent of the message, which was to elevate up service quality and professional image of the toilet cleaners, to many other users of the toilets who have been accustomed to the mantra or notion of traditional customer service rendered by waiters or waitress or shop assistants, the message can be misleading.

Imagine a Man A with such a mindset seeing the toilet notice as he enters the toilet. Looking around, he saw the toilet cleaner and asked him how is he going to serve him? How would the toilet cleaner answer? Logically the answer would be that the toilet cleaner helps serve the man by keeping the toilet clean for his use, and nothing else like helping the man to pee.

Hence the sign or notice is not really appriopriate inside the toilets. A more suitable and simple sign would be that "This toilet is maintained by xxx". This scenario is akin to nurses bidding a discharged patient: "See you again!"

Hair loss

The increasing hair loss situation in Singapore is really alarming. On the streets each day, we can notice an increasing number of youths, sometimes youths as young as secondary school students balding!
This is indeed shocking as some tens of years back, balding and hair thinning are the provinces for the elderly. With the rapid increase of hair loss sufferers, hair treatment centres here are enjoying roaring sales and I have much confidence to believe that the hair styling and gel treatments and products markets have similarly seen a decline in their customer share.

So what cause such a widespread hair loss crisis in Singapore? Well, if hair loss affects so many of us, then the many common-cited reasons are:

1) Increasing stress
2) Eating more and more junk food
3) Eating more and more artificial, preservative-laden food
4) Water (real or unreal) we drink, void of minerals?


So which is the real reason?

Surprising, when I travel overseas, I am shocked to find quite a number of people there with thinning hair, even among the youths, so is the reason behind our local hair loss problem a universal problem as well?
If we were to read books and trawl the internet website for more information relating to hair loss, we would know that part of the reason for hair loss is due to hereditary causes. Thus can the reason be, in my own thinking:


All our ancestors have genes for hair loss, only when time passes, to this 21st century age, then all the genes are expressed simultaneously across the world universally?
Or is the hair loss syndrome due to global warming which causes a hole in the ozone layer just as it does to our widening hole in our hair?


Global warming is often being used as a scapegoat to explain the temperature rises, increasing sea levels and all inexplicable natural calamities. So maybe can we say due to global warming, the ozone layer hole widens, sending in more sunlight of killer wavelengths which kills our scalp follicles?

Or is the hair loss problem due to economical reason? Think of hair product companies trying to capture a bigger share of their markets by devising more and more sophisticated shampoos and hair products. If you enter the supermarket these days, you will see an amazing assortment of hair care products. Not all these products are suitable for us, hence we risk using the wrong hair care product which may lead to hair loss!

As you look through the complex list of reasons I have given above to find one that you think is the attributing factor towards hair loss, let us not forget that hair loss could be due to not doing simple things (example washing your hair).

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Slashing spree in singapore left 3 injured, 1 dead

As I went out in the night earlier, I turned back a numnber of times to ensure that I was not followed and slashed and silenced. Well,my worries are not completely unfounded.


Early Sunday morning, an Indian foreign worker was found dead in a field off Kallang with multiple knife slashes across his body. Just stone throws away, two others were slashed; one of them was a 19 year old who had his palm slashed off, this poor guy has his other body parts slashed too!

It turned out that the attackers was a group of foreign men, speaking in Thai, as was reported in the newspapers. It is such a scary thought that such multiple slashings could take place in a safe country like Singapore.

I notice that all these incidents occur after 12 am where there are fewer people on the street. Though Singapore is often lauded as a place where one can walk in the street after midnight safely, the recent spate of incidents proved so otherwises.

It is not worth at all if one is killed by all those thugs. The Singapore police should prove its mettle by nabbing the culprits soon. The police should also proactively patrol the streets more regularly. It has been ages since I see policemen and policecars patrolling the streets. Instead, I have seen many of them in the air-conditioned Neighbourhood Police Posts, away from the hot sun.

The police should engage in active patrolling and pre-empting crimes and not solving crimes after they have occur.

2 year old Indonesian toddler smokes 40 cigarettes a day

What kind of parents are they? Fancy letting their 2 year old toddler smoke 40 cigarettes a day! What a news!


Singapore table tennis wins world champions 2010 -WTTC 2010 Moscow Women Final

Our girls have done it! Let us see our girls video now!




Food and Health

These days, I have been choosing my food for consumption very carefully. We often heard of the saying “We are what we eat” and how true this saying goes! Besides regular exercise, a good diet as well as a nutritious and wholesome meal will make us healthy and as fit as a fiddle.


I have been troubled by the increasing phenomenon of hair loss in our society. I, too, am also a sufferer of hair loss. Why is there such a rapid increase of hair loss sufferers in our society? Notwithstanding stress, I believe another reason would be due to the food we consume.

The food sold in our hawker centres, though appetizing, is not really healthy. There is also a generous dose of salt, preservative, MSG added to enhance their flavours.

I try to eschew those food described above and opt for fruits and vegetables. But these days, fruits and vegetables also seem to be genetically modified, which may possess a health risk too.

Riding the increasing ‘health-centric’ bandwagon of consumers today, there is now an increasing fad towards organic food which is quite expensive but touted to be healthier. There is now organic food, organic shampoo, organic cosmetics and in the future, there may be organic mobile phone (to reassure phone users of the radiation risk) as well as organic computers.

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