Posts from the ‘Grumbling’ Category

Darn AAPL.

4th Oct was a very much anticipated day for many Apple fanboys. The Iphone5 has been rumored for a while, the fake version was even selling like hotcakes in China. Plenty of websites with the wish-lists of the new features Iphone5 can bring.

In the end, it almost came to nothing.

Read this.  It didn’t take a genius in you or me to figure it out why Apple was and has been so feverish in its legal pursuits against Samsung. It was almost like a natural reflex that they had to do so, and confirmed when the specs of the Iphone 4S was released.

Oh well.

Truthfully, I don’t want to see the end of Apple products. I don’t want Apple to go down like Palm. I want Apple to go on, to survive, so that my dear Android can have a reason to compete, to continue to improve and benefit users like me.

On a sidenote, I do and often trade in Apple stocks. AAPL has been a constant prick in my throat when I see that I am not earning much out of it. Please let me have one less reason to dislike this company. Darn.

GE 2011 – My thoughts after

Its 3 days after the election results. Dust is beginning to settle and mood beginning to calm. The past ten days have been nothing short of exhilarating, inspiring, but also tiring at the same time. In the end, when the results were announced, when I finally settled down, I was made to think hard about what the results really meant.

The negativity of the results first.

1) The most hated mini-stars, WKS and MBT remained, albeit by a much smaller margin compared to last election. It was disappointing, heart-breaking even, I had expected and hoped so much to see them go.

2) The shooting in your foot system – GRC.

Foot stomping, tongue-tied TPL got herself an MP status by piggy-back onto our SM. Well loved foreign mini-star GY got booted out. Mr MP, as a minority, can get elected without going to a GRC. The system, its very initial intention already doubtful,  has stopped being a safe haven for PAP, and is like a tight slap across its own face for the situation it has created today.

I am saddened by the fact that a popular guy like GY, who has not done anything gravely wrong like WKS and MBT, who has already done his soul searching before the campaign, has instead become the first casualty from the PAP’s own invention.

3) The people’s MP, Mr CST, lost in his maiden fight for a GRC. He has fought for 20 years, as Potong Pasir’s MP for the people, solitary against the MIW. He worked for this people, without the financial assistance of PAP. He was sometimes, in his healthier days, changing light bulbs for his people without the press covering. His town council worked for this people, when help refused to come from stat boards. He quitted his lawyer job and worked full time as an MP. Ask, who else can claim to have done all this?

Yet because of the biased press/media, none of the deeds done by Mr CST ever got mentioned or raised. Such a people’s champion will never be openly recognized, never praised or rewarded. And because of the lack of open recognition for Mr CST, the people of Bishan/Toa Payoh will never get to know how much they lost.

4) Our leaders were not as ideal as I thought they would be. So disconnected with the people, an apology which was the minimum gesture, came few years late and mere three days before elections.

And although there was a marked improvements in less low-handed tactics, I still wished they can have more integrity. Re-drawing of GRC/SMC boundaries, last minute reputation smearing, baiting old citizens with food and transport to attend rallies should not happen. Using upgrading as a carrot is downright despicable, for the money came from all Singaporeans.

5) The ratio of pro-PAP versus those against stands at 60% to 40%. While this means that out of every 10 person, 4 are against PAP or pro-Opposition, I take it that there are still 6 person who can’t see the light. Whether it is because of fear, greed, lack of foresight, blind faith or whatever, I hope its not too late by 2016 for them to realize the truth, to get screwed badly by PAP’s policies, to get marginalized by the never-ending tide of FTs. Only then will daft singaporeans wake up to fight for democracy and themselves. But maybe, by 2016, it will all be too late. True blue singaporeans maybe a minority then, sidelined by the new citizens PAP has been so eagerly wooing.

6) The fear in civil servants are still knee deep. They continued to be held ransom by their rice-bowl, completely missing out who they are paid to serve. Being a singaporean, their first and fore-most duty is to ensure that the public can get served well, and only by having a just and clean government can that be possible.

I don’t despise the civil servants who voted out of fear. I pitied them.

What positive can we take from this election?

1) The people of Aljunied and Hougang have proved that, the alternate voice in parliament is ever so important. When GIC and Temasek lost billions, the policies that hurts singaporeans get passed, there was only a small voice then crying out for us. The people of Aljunied and Hougang have stepped forward, bravely so for the sake of all singaporeans.

Sadly, I can’t take much positivity from the results. While Worker’s Party has certainly done well in retaining Hougang and gaining Aljunied, I feel the future of Singapore is bleak. Singaporeans are still very much hanging on to their myopic and materialistic way of life. And so, the sunrise I was hoping to catch a glimpse of, never came.

Sibei hot part 2

Elections day is drawing near and the ruling party has begun throwing all they can into the arena, hoping to lead the voters into their school of logic.

One good example is Mr MBT and his example of how a young couple can afford a flat, as extracted in the news report below.

Mr Mah cited an example of how a young couple below 30 and earning a combined income of S$4,000 can pay the 5 per cent downpayment for a new four-room HDB flat with no cash after working for half a year to build up their CPF, and pay less than S$50 for their monthly mortgage payment.

He told reporters: “You would get a flat with zero deposit. Now, how many countries in the world can say that? How many housing ministers in the world can say what I have just said?"

Now, if we were to look in depth at his words, as advised by his colleague, our deputy PM Wong KS, the sums do not seem quite right.

With a couple, both working for half a year, what would be the amount of CPF they have inside the Ordinary account?

Income = $4k

CPF contribution = 35.5% which will amounts to $1420

Ordinary Accounts (combined) = $920 (22% of wages)

For 6 months, Ordinary account = $5,520

Now we have the amount inside, let’s see what is the price of the house they will be getting.

Deposit = 5% of house price

If $5,520 = 5%

House price 100% = $110,400 excluding stamp fee duty, option fee and whatever fees HDB charges.

What 4 room flat can one get with $110,400?

Which 4 room flat cost this amount nowadays?

Thats why, i wonder if MBT really knows what is going on.

See liao blood boil ah!!!

When i read the papers today, something really got under my skin and I have to vent it out here.

The following is an extract from what Mr Mah BT said, in reply to Workers’ Party call for HDB to peg new house prices to median salary.

Inserted in between are my thoughts.

“All the markets are inter-linked … So, when you reduce new flat prices, there’ll be an impact on the resale flat market," he said.

What is he talking about? New flat can only sell after 5 years, by that time, a lot of things would have changed. And who are those buying new flats? Young couples who have just started working and should not be asked to fight with the market out there, comprising of people who have worked for some years/have saved up along the way or rich PRs. And of course they are inter-linked, so by not controlling the resale market, they have indirectly raised the prices of new flats. Can’t he see the fucking logic?

Mr Mah, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Corporate Seminar, said a price reduction means the Government would have to provide additional subsidies.

I LOL-ed at this statement. In the first place, the subsidy given was non-existent, a mere discount by a far-fetched standard. Subsidy, according to the dictionary, is “a grant or contribution of money". I will only ever consider a subsidy is given if gahmen sells new flats below the cost price. Don’t try to smoke us by saying that gahmen gives subsidies since they are selling flats below market rates. In the fucking first place, HDB is meant to be cheap and affordable, not pegged to market rates. WP’s recommendation to peg to median salary was already kind enough in my opinion.

He defended the PAP’s approach: “We’re proud of the asset enhancement policy. (It) has given almost all Singaporeans a home of their own, a home that’s also an asset … that grows in value over time."

So what if it grows? We are merely owning it for 99 years. We have to pay from CPF, pay back with that fucking interest back to CPF when we sell the house. And since the market is growing endlessly, we sell the house and need to buy another, which would be ridiculously expensive. So what’s the fucking point?

Please lah, PAP. You painted such a nice beautiful picture but it’s a vicious cycle until we get out and buy from private market. Isn’t PAP screwing with its people, the young ones especially when HDB new flats are so freaking expensive?

HDB expensive > young singaporeans cannot afford + FT coming in to depress the salary level = need to save up much longer to get married = marry late = no time for kids = singaporeans’ population decrease > import FTs

Isn’t this so obvious?

And yet, PAP, you don’t want to realize your mistake and start making amendments?

No matter how much ang bao money you can give, this HDB issue alone is enough to make me vote against you.

Shoot faster than I think

I did something I seriously regretted last night.

I leaked out something which was meant to be a secret. Something which could have embarrassed the concerned person. Really. Fuck me.

I felt that I have failed one of my resolutions for this year. That is to be aware of the consequences of the things which I say or do. Having said what I said last night, I did not spare a thought for the concerned person. I also did not spare a thought for the person who told me this news, for I had indirectly damaged her reputation. And lastly, to myself. Seriously, what have i degraded to? Gossip monger?

Really. Fuck me.

 

My thoughts on the PAP noobies so far

PAP has revealed many faces so far for the upcoming elections. Here are my thoughts on what some of them have done or said.

1) Mr Desmond Choo

“I understand how the poor feel"

Extracted unedited from TODAYonline.

“As a child, Mr Desmond Choo lived in a maisonette and made annual trips to Hong Kong to visit his father who was working there.

But those trips stopped after his father’s antique business failed and the family was plunged into financial distress.

“From being able to travel to Hong Kong every year to see him, suddenly, we had problems getting pocket money," recounted Mr Choo, 33. He added that his father had to borrow money to put food on the table.

Mr Choo’s family later moved to a four-room flat where they have stayed for the last 15 years.

His family’s experience helped shape his mentality that “no one should be left behind regardless of their financial situation", said Mr Choo as he explained why he entered politics."

If Mr Desmond Choo believes that, having stayed in a four-room flat, he can truly empathize with the really poor people of Singapore, I think he’s not gonna be very correct. Some people in Singapore, like yours truly, have never stayed in a four-room flat before. And I don’t even consider myself “poor" because I have seen and heard people who are worse off.

2) Dr Janil Puthucheary

“I’m fully invested"

Found on many websites, this was what he said.

“As for criticism that he did not serve national service, as he became a Singapore citizen at the age of 35, the paediatrician said he has been in public service: ‘I’ve spent the last 10 years saving kids’ lives.'"

Yes, you spent the last ten years of your life saving kids who might have otherwise died. You came to be a Singaporean when you were well past the age for National Service.

Dr Janil, please make no mistake what National Service means to Singaporean males. We “used up" two very precious years, getting miserable allowances, and came found ourselves having to play catch up with ladies of the same age. Being a paediatrician was a job you chose, but we didn’t chose NS. You were paid, i believed, handsomely for this job, we weren’t. And did you really think, only being a paediatrician or a doctor, you are the only one doing a part for the country? Aren’t we all chipping in for the GDP so that our ministers and president can get a fat paycheck? By saying what you said, you have just brushed off the contributions of every other professions, from a bank CEO down to the cleaner in a kopitiam. I feel disgusted.

To be continued.

Some comparison it is.

At a forum for contributors to the government feedback portal, our dear SM Goh said this words.

“How many of you followed the latest tragic events in Japan with the tsunami…and then put into context our floods in Singapore against that kind of disaster.

“I am not saying we shouldn’t do anything about the flood. But the amount of noise you made with just sporadic flood compared to the Japanese. I saw them on TV. Very stoic looking. You don’t see them crying. This has happened, just get on, that’s the kind of spirit you want to have and you call it nation building."

My initial reaction was like WTF?

Firstly, isn’t SM Goh a tad too insensitive to use Japan as a comparison, now? When they are still reeling in from the tsunami and earthquake?

Secondly, flooding in Singapore was of a totally different mechanism from the tsunami in Japan. One is a consequence of poor design/planning while the other is a natural disaster and un-avoidable. So what’s the link, may i ask SM Goh?

Thirdly, can our ministers compare their salary to their counterparts in Japan and see the difference in the way they handled the tragedy? For whatever they are getting, Japan can and had effectively reduced the number of casualties to a large degree. For the relatively much higher salary SM Goh and Minister Yacoob are getting, getting Bukit Timah or Orchard Rd flood-free seems almost insignificant. The Once-In-50 Years excuse don’t cut it with majority of Singaporeans, for our expectations of the ministers are much higher since it should be proportional to the salary paid.

Seriously, I think the ministers are really not understanding what Singaporeans are thinking.