Thursday, April 29, 2010


This BBC documentary movie, EARTH is being screened only at Lido. A movie not to be missed as there is of plenty of spectacular scenery.

The movie sends a very strong message of the need for environmental protection. It started with a lovely white scene of the North Pole, with a Polar bear emerging from her den with her 2 little adorable cubs. The mother bear had lost half her body weight over the winter period. She still could not rush off to feed as she had to care for her cubs.

Meanwhile the 'daddy' bear was off to his usual seal hunting ground. Unfortunately with the global warming, the ice broke up under his feet and he ended up swimming in the sea. The bear sensing there was no prey if he swimmed back to shore, choose to swim 'forward'. He landed on an island full of walrus.

Polar bear hunts for seal which is its main diet. However being desperate with hunger, he tried to prey on the walrus which is as strong and hugh as him, besides having 2 dangerous tusks. At first he tried attacking the pups, but then the adult walrus quickly formed a proctected barrier around their youngests. The bear then tried to attack the adult walrus with the little strength left.

The movie ended with the sombre scene of the feeble bear dying in the foreground. In the backgroud was the colony of walrus. It is an irony - so much 'food' and the bear died of hunger. The situation reminds one of those lost at sea - surrounded by plenty water but not a drop to drink and dying of thrist.

Many of the animals, like the polar bear could not adapt to the changing environment. Even if some of them can, it takes time for adaptation to set in. But our environment is changing at such a fast pace. Thus, many animals could be facing extinction in our life time. The movie narrator warned that if global warming continues, polar bear will be extinct by 2030.

I was pretty upset by the bear dying scene. I heard a child in the cinema asking her mother in disbelief 'Did the bear die?' I can't help wondering if the BBC crew helped the bear or notified some animal groups to help it. After all Polar bear is an endanger species. Yes, I do understand they are trying to capture the 'reality' on film and hopefully it could boost the environmental cause. But it just did not seems right to not do something about an endanger species and let it died in front of the camera.

The movie captures many species of animals over different seasons and in many parts of earth. Just that I choose to focus on the polar bear scenes and link them together as I believe this is the message the BBC film is trying to get across to the audience.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More on violent

In my previous blog I was disappointed with a radical religious group for being so violent as to want to kill off a cartonist over his drawing. Now it is reported that another religious group is causing havoc in the well known university which is located in Pakistan. They too resort to violent to resolve issues. They beat a professor till he was unconscious for expelling them for their unruly behaviour.

An intolerant, aggressive minority group is terrorising the whole university of 30,000 students with their aggression. They block music classes, ban Western soft drinks and beat up male students for sitting near female students. Basically they are the one controling the university from its dormitories, cafeterias to snack shops.

They are like dictators, monitoring fellow students movement in dormitories and using religion as an excuse to bludgeon anyone who disagree with them as anti- religion.

These hooligans are using a place of study to perpetuate their 'brand' of faith. The university adminstration has her hands tied as this radical group has political backing. It is a case of a reputable university being ruin by selfish politicians.

Does giving a rebate work ?

I am delighted to hear that NEA is finally making a stand to require all supermarkets to do something about the tons of plastic carrier bags they issued out to customers each year.

NEA proposal is to get the supermarkets to rebate a token sum to those who bring along their own shopping bags. However, this approach may not work.

We know psychologically people are more adverse with parting with their money than being rewarded monetary.

Thus, charging them for each bag issues will be more effective than giving them a rebate.

NEA could gauge the effectiveness of their proposal through statistic available from NTUC Fairprice which currently only implement the green exercise to encourage folks to bring their own bag once a week on Wed.

The rebate strategy would not work if the statistic reveals that :-

1) There are less folks shopping at NTUC on Wed compare to other weekdays

2) The number of shoppers who bring along their own bag on Wed is less than those who do not.

If either of the conditions is met, it only shows that people avoid shopping because they have bring their own bag and the rebate does not entice them at all.

Thus, for any new green implementation to make an impact, it has to take into consideration people's psychology regarding monetary 'losses' and 'gains'.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I was caught by surprise by my nephew's concern remark that I will get into trouble and be arrested by the police if I say anything against the government. Good grief - here we have a 9 year old boy who is already fearful of our government! This is not a good sign.

What happen is that I was writing on my blog and he came and sat beside me. He was curious what I was writing. I took the opportunity to explain to him about being kind to animals what it really means. I gave the example about Sentosa Resort World trying to import in dolphins capture from the wild to be trained to perform for the public. How cruel it is and that government should not have allow it in the first place, since S'pore is committed to protecting wild life and have laws on it. It is at this point that he was concerned and told me that I should not say anything against the government.

I let him know that if all of us are so fearful then there will be alot of injustice around us. Government is make up of people and people cannot be right all the time as they are only human. If they are wrong, we have to speak up.

I truly hope he gets my point as children do understand the concept of 'fairness'. If it is wrong - they would say .."It is not fair, lah!"

However, this 'fear' is very real. Coming from a child it appears funny. But when it comes from an adult - when there is no strong reason for it - it is bordering on ridiculous. I have to amend one of my blog because in it I mentioned 'my friend heard that...... job that used to employ local S'porean, now employs PRs.' There was no name mentioned and I wrote it as 'heard'. I was accused of not checking my facts with the company....etc. Good lord, this friend told me about it and also mentioned that I should highlight it knowing that I enjoyed writing as an expression. Just because I wrote 'my friend...' - it got this person worry and fearful of getting into 'trouble'. (I change the sentence to 'I heard that...' and leave out the 2 'sensitive' words - 'my friend')

A climate of fear does exist amongst ordinary citizens in S'pore. This is certainly not healthy even if the fear is unfounded. Perhaps it could be attributed to the name our politicians make for themselves, sueing international foreign press for large sum of compensation for reporting the 'wrong' thing. They also sue opposition party members for saying the 'wrong' thing, some of whom went bankrupt as a result.

These few politicians from the same Party (also from the same family) could likely enter the Guinness Book of Record for bringing up the most lawsuits against anyone who spoke against them. Another record achievement for Singapore. Hurray ??

Why so violent ?

A radical religious group is threatening the creators of satirical cartoon South Park with violent retribution similar to the murder of Dutch film-maker in 2004 for his insensitive protrayal of them.

Why the violent and threat ? Why so sensitive ? Even if it is an insult - deal with it and demand an apology. Taking of life is going too far.

When India was under the British rule, Gandhi and the followers went through worst insult and humiliation, but they responded with non-violent passive resistant. India is an independent country now and Gandhi is still very much respected to this day.

Violent begets violent and it matters not which party wins, - they will not go down well in histroy and will never be accorded any respect.

Respect cannot be obtained through forceful means, these fanatic folks will only bring harm and dishonour to their religion through their violent acts.

Reality Strikes

It was reported that SATS union relationship with SIA union is bumpy due to the recent company restructure, whereby SATS becomes a separate entity and not under SIA anymore. SATS is unhappy that they are no longer entitle to SIA staff benefits such as travel, cargo rebate, culbhouse membership, etc.

Why is it so difficult for SATS staff to understand and accept this? The situation is similar to individual staff benefit. If you are a staff you are entitle to all the company's benefit. Once you are no longer with the compay, the benefit stops.

So instead of targeting their frustration at SIA, SATS union should work with SATS management on their staff benefit.

Perhaps their mentality is that of dependend childen that expects the parents to provide for them forever even after reaching adulthood stage ?

Maybe they liken their situation to that of a wife divorce from her rich husband. They are demanding that their ex-hubby (SIA) continues to pay their 'maintance fee.'

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

S'pore Mega/Super Markets should do more for the Green Movement

22 April is Earth Day. How many companies in Singapore are serious in environmental protection ? For example, it has been some years since the Green Movement started and so far the only company that walk the talk is IKEA. If NTUC Fairprice, Giant, Shop N Save.....and other Mega/Supermarkets do their part, alot could be done in the area of reduce and reuse of environmentally unfriendly plastic bags.

Recycle may not possible as those plastic carriers are not made of recycable plastic. The worst part is they are not biodegradable. Whether they are disposed of by incineration or landfilled they still posed an environmental problem. When they landed up in the sea, they are known to be a hazard to marine life, which either swallow it or get entangle in it.

Members of public is also guilty as they want the convenient of not bring their own bags. They give the excuse that they could reuse the bag for bagging other stuff at home. But the point is the most important part of the 3Rs in the conservation equation is REDUCE. This could only be achieved if folks make an effort to bring their own carriers.

All the major Mega/Super Markets should exercise their social responsibility and just don't give lip service to environmental protection. Start charging consumers for every bag issued. The token sum collect, which I forsee would be substantial initially could be donated to support an environmental cause. Once it becomes a social habit to bring along your own shopping bag, then the companies could reap the reward of saving in expenses for purchasing plastic bags.

In fact, in the past housewives bring along their basket and bags when they go marketing. Nowadays, folks go marketing and shopping 'empty handed' and come up with their hands 'full of bags'. I have seen some asking for extra bags, double layer bags...etc. Then supermaket staff are so professional they segregate the items into different bags - issuing more bags than necessary. For example, a can of pet food will be place in a different bag. I agree that perishable items such as vegetable and food stuff should be bagged separately. But things in a container can be bagged together (eg can food for human and pets).

Singaporeans are very practical - charge them for shopping bags and they will remember to bring their own.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Age of Stupidity

A series of documentaries is screen over CNA in conjunction with the coming Earth Day makes it debut today. I find the some of the punch lines :-

* We would not be the first life form to wipe ourselves out, but what is unique is that we do it knowingly. (thus the documentary title - The Age of Stupidity)

* We could save ourselves, we didn't. What state of mind are we in ?

* All the politicians are talking about it. But when it comes down to action, it is just not happening.

Those who miss tonight episode can try to catch the next few installments. I think the dates are 22 Apr and 25 Apr 2010.

Lots of interesting facts presented in the documentary. Some of which are :

1) We can tell the cardon dioxide content in the past so as to compare it to the present level from ice core taken at the poles. The level has increased by about 50% over the last few decades.

2) Scientists can know from soil core samples if past hurricanes,tsumani...had swept across a location. They look for sand sediment deposit which was carried by the strong wind and wave inland. Such natural disasters are happening in increase frequency in recent years no thanks to global warming.

3) We have the technology to generate electicity from coal without emittng carbon dioxide. The cardon dioxide is trapped but now the issue is how to dispose of it. They say it is possible to inject the carbon dioxide into the soil (a particular kind in a location which I can't remember the name). If this happen, the area is large enough to absorb carbon dioxide generated for the next 50 years. After that hopefully the world will switch to clean energy. Since it is not possible currently, and most countries generate electic power from coal, this is the best solution. However the irony is only one plant in the world is doing it now. So by the time this technology is taken up by the rest of the world - the carbon dioxide emission has cause lasting damage to mother earth.

4) Minute difference in temperature rise is already leaving its horrible marks not only at the North & South poles (ice land mass shrinking affecting the biodiversity there) but also on oceanic life around the world. Habitat and migratory path of marine life have changed and some are dying off. This will upset the ecosystem and ultimately drives many marine life to extinction.

5) Some animals like the pole bears just cannot adapt to rising temperature and will be extinct if global warming continues.

6)A forest of pine tress in UK is being destroyed by bugs. These bugs population is control by the cold winter. But with global temperature on the rise, they flourish expotentially and cause massive destruction of the pine trees.

The list of horror is already unfolding before our eyes - on land, air and the sea. No where on earth is save from man's stupidity.


My previous blog article on 'HDB flat a valuable asset?' was published under the forum page in Todays paper. Unfortunately it was heavily edited as the newspaper editor did not agree with my 'unconventional' interpretation of 'monetary gain'. The title was also changed to 'How much would I have made?' There were some discussion over the internet too, but most folks go for the 'conventional' interpretation, which does not give a true picture of the value of HDB as an asset to an ordinary citizen who consider it a home rather than a money spinner.

Perhaps an analogy would help. In order for something to be valuable and profitable, not only must it be in demand, but the owner must be able to do without it and sell it too.

Let say I bought a 10Kg bag of rice for storage 10 years ago for $10. There is a global famine and food shortage 10 years later . Now I need food to survive, so it is unlikely I would sell it to make a profit no matter how much the price of rice has appreciated. Thus, though rice is valuable, but it is not a profitable asset as it is a basic need to me.

Let us presume that I did sell 10Kg of rice and got $30 for it. I used $20 to buy a loaf of bread. My profit is not $10 nor $20! (depending which route of conventional interpretation one adopts) It is in fact zero ! We have to consider the cost of the rice I paid for years ago. I also got back much less than I have before - a loaf of bread. We should not forget that the price of other food stuff has also increased tremendously and it is a basic need we cannot do without!

Now let say I bought 10 ounce of gold instead of rice 10 years ago. If there is a global famine, of what value is this gold to me since I can't eat it to survive ? I definitely cannot sell it to make a profit either, as no one will be interested gold under this situation.

Back to the HDB flat issue. I got a 4 room flat for $90k, 26 years ago. If I downgrade to a 3 room HDB flat, the difference between a 4 and 3 room flat is $100k. Most folks fall for the conventional thinking that I make a huge profit. The editor of Today papers took it that my profit is $100k. (which is not my original interpretation). Some even argued over the internet that I make a profit of $400k -$90k = 310K. (current 4 room flat price minus my flat cost)

But have we forgotten that for something to be profitable, we must be able to sell it because we do not need it.

I cannot just sell my flat as I need a roof over my head! So if I downgrade - we need to deduct what I paid for my original flat since a home is a basic need. Hence it should be $100k-$90K = 10K profit. (the rice and bread analogy) Divide this over 26 years and it works out to be a miserable $384 per year ! Besides inflation which reduces the value of money over the years, there are also many other cost to consider, - legal and administrative fee, GST, home relocation expenses....So much for profitable asset, sigh...If all these expenses are taken into consideration, is it a negative sum game. The 7% GST itself is already more than enough to wipe out the $10k of profit.

Is a HDB flat to an average citizen a valuable and profitable asset then ?

Do not forget that it is 99 years lease and HDB normally repossess it before the lease period. We would need to buy another flat. The price will be sky high then and the floor area will be also very much smaller.

Besides,the demand of a HDB flat could always change (the gold analogy). It could be affected just by twitting of the law - which they are in fact doing now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Komodo Dragon

National Museum held very good talks. This month it is about Komodo Dragon which was first sighted by European in 1910. The first official documentation of the species existence was in 1912.

That time the native in Indonesian call it the land crocodile. As it was found on Komodo, it was given the name Komodo Reptile, which could weigh up to 100kg. The initial report was that it was 7 m long, though later scientific study done confirmed that the animal is about 3 m in length at most. There were other myths circulating about the reptile around that time, such as it was deaf and a sort of dinosaur.

It became the 'Dragon' due to 'play-up' on its name to excite people's imagination and demand. Yes - demand for the Komodo dragon was very high with it fetching as much as $10k per reptile. In 1920 to 1930 days - this was a hugh sum of money. The demand was mainly from Zoo and Natural Museum around the world. It was a great money generator. According to the speaker, the money collected from public entry fee for the few months before the Komodo died was enough to upkeep the facility for a year !

Unfortunately the Komodo did not survive well in captivity. Most of the time more than half of them died and those that arrived at foreign zoos, normally died within the next few months. Seems like London Zoo had special environment created with heated rocks for the Komodo to rest on to increase the survival rate.

There was so much fascination with the Komodo Dragons that luckily the Dutch administrator of Indonesian at that time had the foresight to pass a law to protect them in 1932. Its faith was also saved by the War World as it was left alone for around 15 years before interest in it rekindled. Its past status was like that of the panda in recent years - making headline news and public flocking to see it at the zoo. Komodo Dragon would be presented to important foreign delegate as an official gift. Seems like our MM Lee KY was presented with one some years back.

Currently there are about 4000 Komodo Dragons in the world. Most of them are located in Komodo and 2 other areas in Indonesian.

Other interesting insight from the talk is that Singapore was very active in wild life trade back in 1930s. Official records shown that as many as 300,000 animals were handled by Singapore. An American by the name of Frank Buck lived in S'pore during that time in Katong area. He was a hunter and animals trader. In his book, he mentioned that he had 10,000 animals in his compound. At that time, Bird of Paradise were in demand for their beautiful feathers which were used to make ladies' hats.

The original history of zoo shared a common feature with Botanic Gardens / Parks around the world - they were all started by private collectors. They were usually the Royal Families and other rich and elite.

Thus, during the 1920-30 days, hunting of the Komodo Dragon was the top favourite past time of the super rich. Just like nowadays, these folks paid to hunt wild animals in Africa.

Seems like our fascination with these wild animals, be it from private collectors or the zoo often does more damage than good to these animals. If not for the intervention and sanity of others, these animals could be driven to extinction through the 'love' of man for them, be it dead or alive.

The situation is the same in S'pore currently. Resort World is trying to import in wild dolphins captured to be trained for performance due to the public love of them - great money spinner. More than half of these captured dolphins had died. Perhaps it is better to die than to spend miserable long years in captivity. We are talking here about another highly intelligent mammals losing their freedom to entertain mankind.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cats are clean animals

Cats in general are clean animals. They are very particular about grooming themselves and can spend many hours a day doing so. Hence, it is rather unfair to accuse them of dirtying the environment when it is actually inconsiderate fellow humans doing so. Some 'cat feeders' do not clean up after feeding the strays.

Then there is also accusation that the strays shit and urine all over. So far, I have never come across such incident. What I have witnessed is inconsiderate dogs' owners who do not clean up after their pets have done their 'business'. You can see them leaving urine marks at their favourite pillars at the void deck. If the owners are considerate, they should train their pets to discharge at grass patches or even into the drainage holes.

Just that day I saw a stray cat which discharged its urine into a drainage hole at the void deck. I wonder if it is an abandon cat who has been formally toilet trained. Even if it is so, I am impressed by its intelligent to be able to transfer what it has learned into a new environment.

Dogs are supposed to be more 'trainable' than cats. If a stray cat can maintain such high standard of hygiene and cleanliness, surely pets' owners could do better in up keeping the environment when walking their dogs.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bring the cat for a walk

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a couple walking their cat this morning at Pasir Ris Park. Yes - they brought their cat for a morning walk !

This is the 1st time I see a cat taking a walk with its owner. If it is dog - that is a usual sight.

The best part is the cat is not on leash - freely running after its owner. For a dog to be running freely, it has to be well trained. I spoke to the cat's owner, this feline does it naturally - no special training done. It has been following them around and this is the first time they let it go with them to the park.

Well, surely this is one 'gifted' cat. How many felines in Singapore can do this - take a walk with its owner ?

HDB flat a valuable asset ?

There has been alot of discussion recently about HDB being 'affortable' and it being a 'valuable asset' and even a 'profitable investment'.

Mr Leong Sze Hian has written extensively about it and he has given convincing facts that with the steep increase in price in recent years it is not affortable to the common mass anymore.

Thus, I will share my personal experience on whether it is a 'valuable asset' or even 'profitble investment' to the average citizen like myself who purchased a HDB flat mainly to stay in it with my family.

I got my 4 room flat in 1984, the selling price was about $67K. I took $48K in loan from HDB and the interest rate that time was 6.25%. Repayment period was 20 years. In total I paid $23K in interest which amounted to a whooping 47% of my loan. So in reality my flat cost me $90K.

The myth the government is trying to have us lap up is that we will make a 'hugh' profit selling our flat. Now, we are only average citizen who just want a stable home, so presuming I downgrade to a 3 room flat, the difference between 4 and 3 room flat now is about $100K.

Since I paid $90K for my flat, effectively I only make a profit of $10K over 26 years (2010-1984) of 'asset investment'. So my average return per year is only $384 ($10K divide by 26 years). Surely this is very poor return, even without taking into account the yearly inflation. And in order to have $10K of return after 26 years, I have to downgrade.

If HDB flat is such a 'valuable investment' and 'profitble' as the government would have us believe, should not I be upgrading instead ? I would have been better off if I have bought a private property instead years ago and not a HDB flat.

There are many ways to look at statistics. We have been presented with a rosy picture all the time, but reality speaks otherwise.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Excuse to be unruly

We know that during disaster, natural or otherwise, there will be folks who take the opportunity to riot, steal and rob....basically break the law. But those are usually under extreme conditions such as earthquake or in war torn countries whereby there is shortage of basic needs such as food stuff. People in extreme conditions could be driven to desperate acts.

However, in this case, the unruly behaviour of those involved is inexcusable. It was reported that a couple caught having extramarital affair in Indonesia were paraded naked through their village and beaten by an angry mob. They would have died if the police had not intervened in time.

Under the law they would face public canning. Now this is double punishment. Though having an extramarital affair is socially frowned upon, however it is still a private matter between those involved and not a public affair.

Aside from the official heavy punishment which is unjust, the couple has been publicly humiliated and beaten up. Surely taking the law into your own hands and seriously injuring others is also breaking the law. Those unruly folks should be dealt with by the law too.

Besides, these folks are suppose to be so conservative, demanding their women to be cover up from head to foot, why are they parading the couple in their nakedness ? They are taking the opportunity to do openly what is forbidden both under the law and their religion. They are just a bunch of coward bigots who hide behind a religious front to commit obscene act as a group.

The sad fact is we have plenty of such people with similar mentality around us, who use the protective mask of various religions to go about prosecuting others under the pretext of upholding morality.

Population Growth

It was reported that Australians do not like the idea that their country population expanding by around 50% few decades down the road.

This is a natural reaction for most folks with common sense as it will definitely affect the quality of life besides bringing with it other social problems.

We know how vast a land mass Australia has. Now in comparison, S'pore is a very constrain place and yet our population has grown by more than 100% over the past few decades.

Wonder why our high ranking ministers don't have the logic and normal common sense possess by most to figure it out that it is unsustainable and detrimental for the country ?

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Kind Hearted are being punished

Life is never fair. So here we have kind hearted folks having to pay between $500 to $1000 fine to AVA to save the cat / dog which do not belong to them from being terminated.

These are care givers who spend personal time and money to help strays which are abandoned by their owners. They have grew attached to these helpless animals and could not bear for them to be put down.

Town Council and AVA as usual take the easy way out to any feedback by the public on strays, - by rounding them off and killing them. Putting down healthy animals is cruelty.

What happened here is that there was an online posting about lack of cat ownership responsibilities by HDB dwellers. These are precisely the irresponsible pet owners who would abandon their pets without second thoughts when a child comes along, when the animal grow old and sick, or when their family gets tire of the pet.

They would often abandon their pet at HDB void deck or some other places far away from their current dwelling and leave the animal to its fate. Luckily for these abandon pets, there are kind hearted animal care givers around who take to helping them. But unluckily for them there are always people who want their environment spotless, clean and sterile. These folks would make a fuss to high handed officials like Town Council and AVA.

The root cause is irresponsible pets owners - these are the folks that should be dealt with severely. Why punished the innocent care givers ? They are doing the work which should come under the Town Council and AVA, sterilizing and looking after the strays. Of courses they would not view it as their work since these officials lack compassion. They would rather spend money and resources in rounding off and culling animals than sterilizing them to control their population, in spite knowing it is an more effective way.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

$1 to bring along a friend for FREE !

These are the advertising gimmicks for an upcoming seminar :

- VIP seat going for S$149, usual price is S$500 (an old trick but giving 'huge discount' still works, be it real or imaginery)

- GOLD category of seat costing S$49 is sold out (even though this is their 1st advertisement)

- General category of seat is $19, the usual price is $99 (how come the General category cost more than the GOLD seat? )

- add an additional S$1 to bring along a fried for FREE (how can it be free if $1 is paid? )

This seminar advertisment reminded me of supermarket discount gimmicks. Then the 'buy one get one free' (or rather paid only $1) - made me think about those pasa malam scene with the stall holders either shouting away or display large plycards advertising their cheap sales.

Somehow such gimmicks when used in promoting a seminar just do not gel well. Perhaps seminar is suppose to be educational and more 'serious' stuff, thus it sort of 'sploit' the image of training and education sector.

How serious is the TB problem locally ?

Tuberculosis (TB) the once 'fearful' disease has disappeared from Singapore scene for a number of years. We don't hear it mentioned anymore. Now it is H1N1, Sars...etc. So if you mentioned 'TB', they thought you said 'TV'. Some may not even know what TB stands for, with so many acronym already in used locally.

Thus it came as a surprised when I saw a short clip on it over the television (similar to govt campaigns clips). Then it was reported in the papers that the government is giving free treatment to those who has contacted TB even if they are not PR or citizens.

Now this is something - our govt don't give free health treatment (even to the old and needy local citizens). Especially now that they committed to have differential treatment for citizens vs foreigners. (note : the general election is coming, hence they are doing this to win citizens' heart and votes)

So if they are giving free medical treatment to foreigners, it could only mean that the problem is serious and prevalent amongst them. The issue has definitely worry them enough for the wide publicity. If not contain, we could have a major outbreak as Singapore is now overcrowded and pack like sardines. Ideal media for the spread of a contagious disease like TB. Take for example our public transport like the MRT and buses - enclosed environment, recirculated air and dense crowd.

With the high influx of foreign workers from all over the world, it is not surprising if they bring with them contagious diseases like TB.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Projection is just ...projection

The recent steep increase in vehicles' COE price is due to the reduce number being issued. Limited supply leads to the increase in price. This is because of another government projection which went way off the mark.

They have been underprojecting the number of vehicles on the road over the past few years and 'suddenly' realise it this year. So the numbers of COE has to be reduced to make up for past years mistake of issuing too many COE.

This is not the 1st time their projection is off target. Once upon a time they projected S'pore would have a budget deficit, but we ended up with a major budget surplus that year.

Then there was the 'over population' projection which led aggresive campaigns in family planning to stop at 2 kids. This resulted in our current dilemma of population replacement issue.

One thing leads to another - and recently they realised their population projection for our economic sustainablility is off mark too. The high influx for foreign talent and labour besides taxing heavily on our basic infrastructure has undesirable social and economical impact.

Perhaps they should be more cautious in making major policy changes base on projection which they don't seems to be able to get it right at all. There is a high price to pay everytime they got it wrong and go into damage control mode.

Religion is center around Financial Wealth ??

Some religious sectors are attracting followers by promise of financial wealth, which their faith will bestow upon them. These sectors give the impression that their focus is more into business than charity. Nothing surprising if their focus is center around money.

It seems to be more prevalent amongst 'new age' religions.

One of them which is involved in land acquisition and building of a entertainment center recently advertised in the papers regarding their Easter production. Their belief system is reflected in the advertisement -

And so success is not about what you know but who you know, is not about what you own but who owns you."

It seems to imply that you will bump into rich folks when you join their center and it will lead you down the path of financial wealth. Well, this is another modern day dream in religious form.

SPA, Beauty Saloon, Slimming Center..

Recently there has been a number of reports of SPA, Beauty Saloon....etc shutting down suddenly leaving customers 'dry and stranded'. Some are trying to recover their package payment.

It is high time the authority takes notice of these centers which have been mushrooming all over Singapore. They normally persuade potential clients to take up expensive packages and pay for them out front.

There is a combine force by 3 such centers to market their expensive packages. One offers facial treatment, the other two offer hair and body slimming respectively. They have been advertising aggressively in the local papers, each taking up full page advertisement. They also took up prime slot in television program under the cover of health and education.

Consumers are paying for all these expensive advertising cost which went into their treatment package. Perhaps the costly package psychologically makes them believe it works and the product must be quality stuff since it costs so much. They could be in for a big surprise if they find out the product cost against the whole package deal.

How effective are these treatment packages ? It is anyone guess. Perhaps they do no harm, but if they are not delivering their 'promises', does it not constitute intention to mislead ?

Now even Yoga centers are jumping into the game. They are even more aggressive as they do 'cold calls' offering free trails. The aim is to try to get you down to their centers for them to 'work' on you to sign up for their package ultimately. Oh..there have been 'negative' reports of yoga center operation too in recent years.

Seems like the line between all these centers is blurring. Soon there could be a one stop center where one does her hair, face, soak in a spa and sweating it out at a yoga session. Wonder how much would such package cost ?