Sunday, December 23, 2012

Inceased in Polyclinic medical fee

I just noticed Polyclinic has increased their consultation fee effective from Dec 2012, which without subsidy is already way higher than GP charges in HDB estate.  Seems like there is no announcement on this.

This is not surprising as we have seen 'secretive' changes in fee and policies. Seems like if the govt can avoid making an announcement, they will do so.
(see post -  Medical fee being increased on the sly )

As far as I know, in Nov 2012, full consultation fee (without subsidy) at Polyclinic is $35.05. In Dec 2012, the fee has hiked to $36.82. This 5% increased  is higher than local inflation rate. The daily volume of patients at Polyclinic island wide is very HIGH. So wonder how much the govt rack in from needy patients with this increase in fee.

The full consultation rate in Polyclinic is much higher than private GPs in HDB estates. Normally the consultation charge in GPs are around $20. Our govt loves to jerk up the fee and then give a subsidy so that it looks good.

Likely most did not even know there is an increase. I would not have noticed it if not because of my blogging and reference make to my own Polyclinic bills.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

$2.42 million for a 2-bedrooms unit

Fancy paying $2.42 million for a 2-bedrooms unit. It translate to $2645 psf. This transaction just took place on 3 Dec at The Vermont on Cairnhill.

Then there is this other buyer who got 2 units at one go, paying a cool $8.13 million for each unit ($2950 psf).  The units are at Hamilton Scotts.

No thanks to these ultra rich investors/speculators, they are helping to speed up the property bubble burst locally. With low interest rate and so much positive feeling in the property sector, looks like we are heading the way of Japan and US property cliff. Some signs are already there - new home sales for Nov heading a low, high numbers of unsold units in the up end market and so many new launches in the months ahead. Overbuild and undersold ?

Medisave - White Elephant Scheme

Bad news again. CPF which is famous for perpetual policy changes to retain more and more money from us has just announced that from the 2013, the minimum required amount in Medisave account will increase from $32,000 to $38,500. That amounts to $6500 which translate to 20.3% hike ! The amount has been going up steadily year after year, but this round the increase is quite drastic due to local medical cost shooting up.

This will be followed by more bad news as there will be the yearly increase to the CPF minimum sum. The 2013 figure which the govt has yet to announced. In the year 2012, the increase was $8K (from $131K to $139K).

Retirees already have problem with daily expenses, and yet CPF does not spare this group. Thus, CPF account holders aged 55 and above must have at least $38,500 in their Medisave accounts, on top of the minimum sums set in their Ordinary and Special accounts, before being able to make a withdrawal.

For work done in 2013, they will be increasing the amount of contribution by low wage earners to their CPF Medisave account before these workers are eligible for WIS (Workfare Income Supplement). To add salt to injury, the amount of contribution required for those above 55 is more.  We know for a fact that for low wage workers, the older you are, the less you earn. Yet CPF insists on sucking more from this group of workers.

Besides, Medisave is a White Elephant to most of us. There are so many rules to its usage that unless one is critically sick, it is unlikely to meet normal aging medical needs. For example chronic diseases such as eye problems which are likely to hit the elderly, Medisave is of no use. Medical expenses which is out front cash payment for such regular eye examination and the many eye tests required are heavy as they are all under specialist consultation. 

A personal experience.  Just went for a MRI scan this month which cost bomb even after subsidy. Medisave cannot be used. How to survive if unforeseen medical all have to pay cash, especially if one is a low wage earner ?

Medical cost keep increasing, how can we keep up with forever increasing Medisave minimum sum and at the same time have to fork out cash for our medical cost ?  This does not make sense !

Besides - this so call 'subsidy' govt is giving, are they for real ?  First they jerk up the fee and then give us a 'subsidy'. Even doctors in private practice don't charge so much. For example, in HDB estate, GP general consultation charges is below $30.  Govt Polyclinic charges is $36.82 before subsidy. Then some medicine dispense in Polyclinic even after subsidy still cost more than Guardian Pharmacy.

Our 'subsidized' medical fee is just like HDB. Jerk up the flat cost sky high and then give a subsidy.  CPF is another big CON scheme.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Talking Point on CNA

This week Talking Point (last episode) over Channel News Asia (CNA) topic is 'Was 2012 more eventful year than 2011'.  The participants consist on Baey, MP for Tampines, Singh (SMU lecturer) and MediaCorp, Ken Teh.

Baey wanting to be politically correct said there is no single event that sticks out for him in 2012. According to him, it is just the internet that stirred things up. The Singh guy said that the single most newsworthy event is the 'National Conversation'. Good grief ! Is this guy for real ?  Of all things, he thinks the wayang where everyone terms the 'National Con' job stands out !  He is naive or what ? PM himself admitted as much it is not so much to get public feedback than to align the public to PAP thinking (in other words, brain washing time). It is always through slip of tongue that we double confirm what we already know. 

Listening to these 2 PAP apple polishers is painful. The only guy who is 'REAL' and in touch with public sentiment is Ken Teh. He pointed out the SMRT bus drivers strike stands out as it highlighted many teething issues in one event - plight of  foreign workers, industrial & racial relation, cost of living....

He is the guy that saves the program. If CNA Talking Point wish to keep its rating, better watch who they invite to the program and not insult viewers' intellect.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys a Broadway musical based on the American pop group Four Season is very entertaining. So many great songs couple with lively dance steps.  Some of the evergreen ones are :

- Sherry
- Big Girls
- Walk Like a Man
- My Eyes Adore You
- Can't Take My Eyes Off You

STI highest dividend paying stocks

What a coincident - the top 5 dividend paying companies in S'pore this year all start with the letter 'S'.
They are :

1) Starhub (service - telecommunication)
2) SingTel (service - telecommunication)
3) S'pore Press Holding (manufacturing - media)
4) Sembcorp Marine (manufacturing - oil and gas)
5) SIA Engineering (service)

Food over Electronic for Japaness graduates

Seems like the electronic era is over for Japan. Even their University science graduates are choosing a career in the food industry. So company like Meiji Holding Co. is favor over Sony and Panasonic. Looks like Japan will be churning out more innovative food stuff with so many bright brains. 

The Koreans will be dominating technological market in electronic gadgets.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Patients 'stumble' around Eye Center

If our government is serious about making S'pore more elderly friendly to cater for our aging population, they should be looking into local healthcare providers to see if they are up to the mark.

Take for example our national eye center - SNEC (Singapore National Eye Center) which has large elderly patient base. Currently the layout of SNEC is a safety concern for elderly patients with eye diseases and poor vision.

Their clinics are on the ground floor, while the eye test rooms are located on the 3rd floor. Patients are to register at the ground floor clinic, then they will be send to the 3rd story to do the eye test(s) if required. After that, patients will return to the ground floor clinic to see the doctor.

Elderly normally have mobility problem and SNEC make these folks struggle around just to consult the doctor. Just the other day, I saw an  elderly man who is bend double and he was asked to report to the 3rd floor for his eye test. Out of concern, I asked the nurse to get him a wheelchair. The reply was, "He can manage."  The man shuffled along slowly with his walking stick, supported by his family member on one side and the center attendant on the other side. Can't SNEC provides wheelchair for such patient, even if they still can walk ? Must they be paralysis before they are eligible to sit on a wheelchair?

To compound the issue further, patients' eyes are often dilated before the test. So their already poor vision becomes even worst. SNEC expect the patients to stumble around the eye center from one floor to the next and back again !

The poor layout at SNEC resulted in manpower problem for them as well.  As some patients may be new to the center, the practice is that an attendant will lead the patient up to the test rooms. However, patients have find their way back to the clinic themselves due to SNEC manpower shortage.

That day when I was there, seems like they did not even have enough attendant to guide the patients to the 3rd story. A nurse tried to give direction to a patient on how to go to test center. The patient looked worried and was told to ask around when she was on the 3rd floor.

Then the nurse tired another strategy, she waited until there were 3 patients before asking the attendant to bring them up to the test center. Hello - so the test center medical staff are idling around while waiting for patients to be sent up to them. Is this productive ?

Due to the poor layout, besides safety concern, it is also non productive and time consuming. No wonder the average consultation time at SNEC is around 2 hours ! Should not SNEC be more patient centric?

SMRT stations announcement

So after the trail run, SMRT decided to scape the controversial announcement of station name in Mandarin. The reason they gave was to cater to our senior citizens who do not understand English.

Come on, stop all the bull shit. For our elderly ? Really ? Last time when PAP ban dialects, do they care for our seniors who do not speak nor understand Mandarin ? NO! Our grandpa and grandma are expected to pick up Mandarin if they do not want to be isolated in their homeland.

The truth be told, it is likely to cater for the increasing population of mainland Chinese here. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life of Pi

Another interesting and thought provoking movie. Life of Pi is directed by Ang Lee. The movie is based on the book by the same title written by Yann Martel, who won 2 book prize award for his novel in 2003 and 2004.

 I entered the cinema late and missed the starting 15 minutes.  What a pity. Maybe I will catch it again since I enjoyed its humour and fantastic cinematography. I look forward to getting hold of the book too.

The setting for the novel is in Pondicherry, India. The story is philosophical without sounding serious. It is also religious without trying to sell any particular faith. In fact, it is all embracing as the leading character Pi, is a Hindu, Christine and a Muslim all in one. He does not find it conflicting, though his father advised him to decide on a single path.

The story center around the adventure of Pi when he was stranded in a life boat with a zebra, an orang utan, a hyena and a tiger, after the ship capsized, drowning everyone on it, including his family.

It is both touching and humorous, - his relationship with the Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker, which drifted with him on the lifeboat in Pacific Ocean for 227 days, before he was rescued.


This book is recommended for those who are interested in investing in REITS. It is written by Bobby Jayaraman, published by Marshall Cavendish. The title is "Building Wealth Through REITS".

It gives a comprehensive explanation on the various types of REITS. The examples and analysis given are based on local REITS.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creative Advertising

Nippon Paint latest advertisement links their colour scheme to the Chinese horoscopes. So they have various auspicious colour for each of the 12 animals in the horoscope. But will one repaint his/her home just because the existing colour scheme does not match one's horoscope?

Many of the colours offer are of  'modern'  hue. Doubt such colours even existed in ancient China when such stuff were first written in the horoscope. Wonder if Nippon 'invented' them for advertising purposes.

Osim has a series of advertisements line up for this Christmas. The series has a heart warming story line base on love. So we have the husband and wife story, where the guy gets his wife a massage chair for Christmas, making her grin from ear to ear.

Then we have the lover theme, where the girl gives her boy friend a leg massage equipment. The 3rd one revolves around a grandpa and his grand daughter. It shows the girl growing up and gets her grandpa a neck massage equipment for Christmas.

The advertisement series has pleasant background music with nice lyrics. Then the short 'punch' lines to convince consumers to buy the item for their loved ones.  Good sale pitch.

Just an observation :

- Man buys the most expensive item for his wife - a chair costing more than $6K.

- Girl  friend gets the legs massage unit costing a few hundreds dollars.

- Granddaughter only buys the low end range of OSIM product, costing hundred plus.

So the advertisement even cater to the earning power of various group. Wonder why can't the wife gets the husband the chair, while the boy friend gets his girl the legs massage ? Gender stereotype with regards to earning power ?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interesting Lawsuit

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has filed a lawsuit against Sea World using anti-slavery laws in a bid to free the whales and dolphins in the theme parks.

PETA argument is that whales and dolphins are capable of abstract reasoning, have vocal languages, exhibit family group culture and as individualistic as human. Thus, these mammals should have the rights of being a free  'person'.

If they are successful, it could help change this inhuman practice in many theme parks around the world, which includes S'pore RWS, which make use of these popular mammals to generate profit.

Banning Plastic Bags

Delhi, India is enforcing a ban on the use of plastic bag, due to environmental issue generated by 250,000 tons of plastic waste annually. They have tried unsuccessfully to do so before in 2009. Let us hope they will meet with success this time.

Then, Delhi will become a shinning example for the rest of the world major cities to follow.

In S'pore, plastic bags are given out generously by all shops. In many instances, it is not necessary to bag the item purchase, but all shop assistants will automatically put the item in a plastic carrier. We have become a city of plastic bag culture.

Supermarkets are one of the main culprits, as they are extremely generous when it comes to the use of plastic carriers. They will double and even triple bag groceries. When customers ask for more bags (for personal use), the cashiers willingly oblige.

The only retailer that walk the talk on environmental issue is IKEA. They have successfully 'trained' their customers bring their own bags.  Customers will be charge a nominal fee for plastic carrier if they don't.

In fact some supermarkets give a token discount to customers who bring their own carriers. However, the outcome is pathetic.

They just don't get it - it is human psychology that we don't like to be charged for carrier bags. It 'hurts' more to pay for them no matter how small the amount is. The token reward does not entice consumers to make the effort to bring their own carriers.

If only our supermarkets will do as IKEA does, our plastic bags culture will change for the better.

S'pore involvement in Wildlife Trafficking

S'pore has became a hot laundering spot for wild birds from Solomon Islands being exported as captive-bred pets.

Nothing surprising as over the years our govt has only given lip service to conservation and wild life protection issues. Basically there is more noise than action from them. NGOs group are the ones actively promoting and supporting conservation matters.

Malaysia govt has suspended bird imported from Solomon Islands due to concerns of such illegal activities, but not S'pore.

For details, visit

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Casino Wayang continues.....

All the talk in parliament about more target measures to rein in casino visits by locals - sigh - the wayang has to continue.

It is only about 2 years since the 2 casinos started operation and we are already faced with mounting issues of  problem gamblers.When they want to approve of something, they focus on the positives and side step the negatives. Build the casinos first and then put on the wayang show.

It is not as if they do not know the negative social impact. It is a conscious decision by PAP. So they have planted not 1,  but 2 tickling time bombs amongst the citizens knowingly.

It becomes more unbearable when they talked about the consideration to  renew the casino licences in 2015 based on the benefit vs social cost. Of course they WILL, NO DOUBT about it, whatever the findings turn out to be!  We know statistic is malleable. PAP is never open nor transparent with regards to raw data. So only they will  interpret the data and then paint to us a beautiful picture at the end of the day.

All the hypocrisy is disgusting. They will never shut down the casinos by not renewing the gambling licences.

They will not defuse the time bomb, as they lack the courage to go near it. Their lives are too precious. They would rather let it explode amongst the citizens and later make a big loud fuss of cleaning up the mess. Then they will do plenty of self praise to take credit for the clean up. This is the PAP way. We have seen how they work after all these years. Sigh !

SMRT - $15 million mistake !

The Circle line is the newest amongst the existing MRT rails and yet it is already suffering from numerous serious breakdown. It is announced that SMRT is changing the faulty power cables to high grade ones. They will be replacing over 1,000 cables over 120 km in length. They blame the problem on deterioration due to water exposure, manufacturing defects and damage during installation. Good grief ! One cause is bad enough, we have almost all the major avoidable causes listed.

Does it means that they are cutting corners and using sub grade cables in the first place?  What sort of project supervision is there? It is not as if Circle line is our first MRT project. Our MRT has been in operation for more than 2 decades. So there should not be any excuse for using sub standard materials nor lack of experience. Besides, we are famous for getting external consultant and expertise. Our close neighbours like HK, Japan and Taiwan all have good experience in mass rapid transport system. SMRT could have tapped on these countries expertise, if despite SMRT 2 decades of experience they still could not handle the project.

Such mistake is unacceptable as it is damn costly!  The replacement cables is estimated to cost around 15 million!

Money Funds advertisement

JP Morgan Asset Management has taken up advertising space in the MRT trains. Their advertisement boosts of 4.1 to 8 % yield for their money funds. Sound so credible with the point 1 decimal place and a yield table stating the return.

But beware there is a plain strip below the attractive poster with tiny prints clarifying the yield percentage. In other words, those numbers stated are just  'ideal' figures, which means it is unlikely you will get such attractive return. All these financial institutions are still up to their old tricks without bending the law as there are always loop holes in the law.

With the current interest rate so miserably low for saving and even fixed deposit, those conservative investors may end up being the target for JP Morgan.

Note : With the train moving and folks seat below the advertising poster, it is impossible to get close up to read the tiny prints. So putting them there is to protect JP Morgan interest, BUT does not clarify anything for the public since they can't even read it.

Semakau Landfill

Semakau island which is currently our landfill site for refuse is a scenic place. Yes - scenic is the word to describe it, though of course it is 'man-made'.  As with most 'nature' sites in S'pore - they are normally artificial.  Nature Society often conducts bird watching and intertidal walks there, so do other organisations.

Our daily tons of refuse are incinerated and remains are used for landfill. This is our only waste disposal site. The sea between Semakau and the adjacent smaller island is used for landfill. It is divided into cells. These cells are filling up fast. We are now left with the last 2 remaining cells. Looks like S'pore conservation effort is not successful as we are churning out more refuse than ever.

It is just like the keep S'pore clean thingy. After decades, we are still as dirty as ever, if not for the hard work of the swarm of cleaners employed to sweep and sweep and sweep.

This is one adverse environmental impact due to our current over population which is hardly mentioned. Most of the time the feedback centered on the lack of supporting healthcare and transport infrastructure. Running out of space to dispose of our waste is a serious problem.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Argo - the movie

This is a movie not to be missed. It is based on a real life hostage crisis in 1979, where 6 Americans working in Iran's US embassy managed to escape and hide in Canadian ambassador's resident, while the rest were capture by the Iranian regime. It has an exciting plot on how CIA send 1 of its man to rescue the 6 with the help of Hollywood. Sound unbelievable but that is what makes the story so absorbing. There is a sense of irony cum humour in the mist of the trilling spy action.

Besides, it offers a glimpse into history.  The ugly fact is that US is not always the 'hero' fighting for freedom and democracy. Their true agenda is often selfish as they wish to protect their source of oil which powers their economy. They would  interfered with any foreign government which they deemed threaten their oil supply.  When Iran nationalized the international oil companies such as Shell, etc, US helped to orchestra an uprising to put their 'puppet' to head the country in order to protect their interest.

As a result, Iran was ruled by a corrupt dictator whom US backed. His citizens lived in poverty and misery while he flew over his 'special' meal from France using the a Concord plane ! When the long suffering Iranians succeeded in overthrowing the corrupt regime, the strong negative reaction against US is hardly surprising. The situation was further aggravated when US offered sanctuary to the corrupt dictator after his escape. This is the background for the movie Agro.

Argo is actually the name of the Hollywood science fiction movie the CIA agent staged as an excuse to get into Iran to rescue the hostages.

Monday, November 5, 2012

S'pore Vision in the Past

Mr S Rajaratnam was S'pore first Minister for Foreign Affairs from 9 Aug 1965 to 31 May 1980. He was also one of the core leaders and architects of independent and modern S'pore. Below are some quotes from his statement to the General Assembly on 21 Sep 1965, on the occasion of S'pore admission to the United Nations.

1) "Under British colonialism S'pore was developed not only as the commercial hub of South-East Asia but also as a military base for consolidating Western imperialism."  He went on to say that S'pore will never allow the base to be used for aggression.

2) "Singapore feels that money spent on weapons of war and armies is money wasted." His reason was we can never adequately secure our defence and that ultimately our defence and security must be secured through the collective and effective strength of the United Nations and peace keeping effectiveness.

3) "We seek a welfare state and not a warfare state. If independence and freedom are not to be empty slogans then we must continue to spend as much as our resources as we can fighting the only war that matters to the people - the war against poverty, ignorance, diseases, bad housing, unemployment and against anything and everything which deny dignity and freedom to our fellow men."

So we have confirmed once again S'pore is NOT a backward fishing village when PAP took over. This is what LKY claimed in order to inflate his own ego.

Then we also realised PAP policies have gone off tangent over the years and their vision becomes clouded due to their hunger for greater power and greed. S'pore beats all our neighbouring countries in defence spending, though they know in their heart that it is money down the drain. All these latest war 'toys' are only good in boasting their ego of what they can 'afford' to buy with $$.

During the initial years, the vision was cleared as welfare of citizens used to be top priority. Now PAP has became a self serving party interested in jacking up their bonus, on top of their excessive pay through all their extractive policies.

- Our income gap is the one of the greatest amongst developed countries. It is a common sight to see our elderly working  in physically demanding jobs which are unsuitable for their age.

- They do NOT like us to be well informed. What they want is to keep us ignorance if possible by controlling of MSM and press freedom.

- Our healthcare spending as a percentage of our GDP is amongst the lowest even when compare to developing countries. What a SHAME ! A few weeks in hospital can end up with a bill over $130K. This is almost the current CPF minimum sum for retirement.  How to retire then ?  They have the cheek to boast that they are very kind to allow interest free payment stretching over 42 years !  Cannot ever fall sick again if not the 2nd or even the 3rd generation have to pick up the hospital bill.

- Public housing has become million $ affair. Loan period stretch over our life time till almost 'grave' time.

- Our wages suppress due to cheap and abundant influx of foreign labour. Foreign 'talents' have infiltrated into all job areas name it, they are in it. Our PMET end up jobless at 40+ and we have the most educated taxi drivers in the region. Not only do we have plenty of degree holders, we also have Phd driving taxi.

- Our Seniors could not enjoy their twilight years in dignity but are seen searching through rubbish bins for drink cans and cardboards to sell as they don't have enough for retirement even after working throughout their lives.

- Freedom ? What freedom do we have when a gathering of 3 is deem illegal !  There is only one miserable corner at Hong Lim Park where we can apply for permit for public gathering and open speeches which is subjected to approval.

Where is the clear vision of PAP ? It is all in the PAST.

CPF Hungers for MORE of our MONEY

Seems like CPF hunger for citizens money can never be satisfied. Their policies are forever changing in order to get more and MORE money from us. Previously in order to con more money from us, they encourage us to top up the CPF of our spouse and parents, who are our immediate family. As CPF appetite increases, they ask us to top up money into our siblings, grandparents and even NON-immediate family such as spouse's siblings, parents-in-laws, grandparents-in-laws CPF account (s).

Their carrot is the 2.5% interest which is higher than what local banks offer. Bear in mind, we can do what we like with our money in the bank. But we have no control over our money in CPF account. CPF dictates if we can draw it out, when we can draw it, how much we can draw out,...etc.

Another of their carrot is the tax incentives. However, it is limited to $7000. Anyway the direct personal income tax rate is relatively low. It is the INDIRECT taxes such as GST, ERP, COE....etc, etc that are making life hard for the citizens. Thus, this is NOT really a carrot even for high income earners.

When it comes to conning money from us, our govt is very creative. So now they twit the CPF policy again in order to get more money into CPF.  Previous there is a cap to the top up amount, which is the Retirement minimum sum required minus what is in the Special account, approved sum used for investment, etc. Now they claimed they 'simplify' it. Basically, they minus off less items so that the top up amount increases tremendously. The difference in the previous cap and current cap can be as much as $50K or more !

For those who are enticed by CPF 'carrots' - BEWARE ! Remember that CPF has the habit of changing the policies and shifting goal post. It is more practical that we give cash outfront to those we loved than deposit it into their CPF, whereby they can't even 'touch' it.

S'pore has low external debt but very high internal debt as CPF money is used to buy into govt bonds, directly and indirectly filter into GIC and Temasek which in recent years gone into high risk investment and incurred heavy losses. We the public do not know how much fund is left untouched in CPF and how much went into buying bonds and investment.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Propaganda Leaflets at Community Center

There are plenty of so call 'information' leaflets at all the Community Centers, which are under People Association. We know for a fact that it is not neutral but takes direction from PAP, though it is NOT suppose to be a political organisation. What to do, when we have one political party dominating the scene for decades, they have control over every aspect of our public sphere.

These leaflets are mostly propaganda in nature, trying to sell PAP's policies to us. There is this one on 'Our Population, Our Future' - with lots of nice sounding slogans such as "Creating Our Future Together".  We know that there is no such thing as together, but rather the way PAP wants it. So the leaflet informs us that the govt is reviewing our population policies and would like to hear our views. We are currently have a 'National Conversation', which is more like a one way street. Despite the loud and clear feedback from the ground that S'pore is getting unbearably crowded, PM just said that 6 million plus should be no problem ! Is he hearing us ? It only confirms that they have been stone deaf for years but pretending to listen. Sigh !

The leaflet also claimed that middle income household with 2 children can 'enjoy' $142K from baby bonus, leave, tax and subsidies. The work leave component alone accounst for 83K. So much saving - REALLY ?  A local blogger, has just said that "Having children is a bad economic proposition" in S'pore as the cost could be from 500K to a million just to bring up a child. PAP being an extractive govt, is never generous to the citizens. Even their past policies to encourage childbirth over the decade have been met with failure as they were all half hearted effort due to their stinginess. They have overpaid themselves so excessively that they lost touch with ground reality. They can never understand the hardship face by middle income to make ends meet just raising a child and supporting aging parents.

Then it tells us about old-age support ratio. What contradiction - as they have pictures showing seniors working. We are suppose to work till 65 and beyond. We are force to have Minimum sum in our CPF account for retirement, besides Medisave, Medishield and Eldershield. Recently they have force all CPF members to buy into their CPF Life which is an annunity plan with miserable payout. All these compulsory force saving and insurances which they keep telling us will see us through old age - are they another con job by PAP, to retain as much money in CPF as possible, which we have no control over ?  If not, why keep 'frightening' our young that they have so many old people to support ?

Basically these useless leaflets tell us what we already know for years like falling birthrate, aging population, under capacity transport infrastructure etc. They are stating the obvious without providing concrete solutions, but trying to psycho us that they are doing something about them. Hello - we know all these teething problems because they are with us for years! Their policies of patching pot holes are NOT getting to the root cause of the problems. These problems will be with us as long as PAP is in power. They are more interested in their political party preservation than citizens' well being.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Money Never Enough for MIW

Inflation is already a prominent feature in S'pore. It is on the raise and yet our cost of living if further burden by so many increases in fee by all the various govt. extractive institutions under MIW. No wonder our productivity is on the declines for years. At the 1st sign of rising administrative cost, they pass the bucket to us instead of looking into ways to reduce it and do the work more effectively. What is infuriating is that they are making good profit.  They are using increase in cost as an excuse to suck more money from us.

Some examples of these greedy extractive organisations are :

1) Town Councils under PAP wards increased the Service / Conservancy Charges in various HDB estates. We know for a fact that Town Councils have so much excess revenue that a large portion goes to their sinking fund every year. They have blemished record of losing this sinking fund in the past by gambling it away in risky investment products. Till today, there is no accountability to this episode. It is from this incident that we came to know they have collected more than is needed. Now they have to be more transparent due to public outcry. After the money losing incident, Town Councils have to declare their yearly financial statement. This confirms our suspicious that they are charging higher fee than is needed to cover the estate maintenance administration expenses.

2) HDB Refuse collection charges up also went up recently. The excuse this time is it is due to collection of recycle materials. We support environmental policy and end up paying for it. Recycle materials are sold to recycle company. So where does this money goes to ? Town Council or HDB ? Why is this money not use to offset our refuse collection fee ? Should not our fee go down instead ? After all we have been recycling materials for years. Previously we have 3 recycle bins for segregation of  materials. Now we have only one recycle bin. So the cost of collection should go down instead of up as it is easier to gather up 1 bin instead of 3.

3) CPF  Medishield - From 2001 and 2010, MediShield collected $2.11 billion in premiums and paid out only $1.26 billion in claims. So they collected $850 million more than they paid out. This is no surprise as all of us know the likelihood of making a claim is slim since the deductible is sky high.Yet they are still increasing not only the premiums, but again jack up the deductible.

Is there any good solid reason for all these increase in fees ?  The answer is an obvious NO !

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peg Ministers pay/bonus to Citizens' Quality of Life

If our PM and ministers really care for the citizens, they should be pegging their pay and bonus to things that affect our quality of life. More telling indicators to show they are doing a good job are inflation rate, health care and housing cost,...etc.  For example for every percentage increase in inflation rate, their pay and bonus should be reduce by double the percentage. This will help to ensure they would work for their current excessive pay and obscene bonus.

We have an over bloated cabinet with members having so much time that they take up numerous directorships in various private companies to fatten their pocket even more. This is regardless of conflict of interest and doubt if they will be doing due diligent work as directors in these companies. Likely they attend meeting to warm the seat only.

Our PM and his gangs have been saying like a broken recorder that we need foreign talents as we don't produce enough. Surely this is a sign they have failed us badly in our education policies. They love to point their fingers at the citizens when things don't work out.  The only way to make them ponder over their policies that went off tangent is to hit their pocket, since they are already blinded by greed and power.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Panda Fever

Two Pandas, named Jia Jia and Kia Kia arrived in Singapore recently. They are on loan to us from China as a gesture of good will.

Seems like there is panda fever on the island. There were long vertical banners hanging from lamp poles along Tampines Town central avenue which welcomed the two pandas. These were put up months before their arrival. Each panda has several banners dedicated to it with its name on it. So we have banners which welcomes Jia Jia  and another welcoming Kia Kia.

Tampines is not any where close to the zoo, wonder why the banners are put up. Perhaps they are welcoming the pandas in all housing estates across the island ? Wow ! Our govt don't even do this when foreign head of states visit us. So far, cannot recall any banner put up to welcome any of them.

Last Sat, I passed by a Church opposite Cathay Cinema near Dhoby Ghuat MRT. The church has a long horizontal banner with a huge panda face on it. The banner caption is something about 'He loves us so that we are not unloved'. I suppose  'He' refers either to God or Jesus. So what has the panda has to do with God or Jesus love for mankind ?  Is the church using the panda to represent us ? Though panda is a mammal like us, but in terms of genetic make up, it is not that close to us. Anyway, they don't believe in the evolution theory, so unlikely mammal is on their mind when they used the panda face. I suppose panda is so endearing and cute that the church is banking that it will capture more attention from the public compare to putting up a human face.

Our local zoo will be trying to breed them. Likely we will see success as our zoo has good track record breeding endanger species.  If successful, the new additions belong to China. Look like China is having a  great deal with their  'good will' gesture loaning pandas to zoos internationally. Their good will is never free. Not sure how much S'pore paid for the pair.  Any baby pandas born world wide will belong to China unconditionally. If I am not mistaken, they will be returned to China without charge for the expenses put in breeding and rearing the panda babies, when China claims them back.

When you have something the world demanded, you can demand anything from the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Called to Serve

The book 'Called to Serve' is written by Steve Chia who is an NCMP from 2002 to 2006.  The book is a collection of his speeches and questions during parliament sessions. It provides an insight on how ineffective our govt under PAP has been. Many of the key issues which we have currently had been brought up as far back as 2002, which is 10 years ago !

As an NCMP, I think he has done a good job questioning those shortsighted policies. There has been comments in the internet community that opposition members in the parliament are not raising questions regarding those illogical policies which PAP bulldozed through. Perhaps they could read up this book and then they may realize that it is PAP, which has been turning a deaf ear, ignoring good feedback and suggestions from opposition members in the parliament.

Below is a summary of some of the issues Mr Steve Chia raised during his time serving as NCMP. We also notice some of the issues were repeated year after year with no resolution in sight.

2002 (10 years ago)
Budget Debate
- Widening income gap.  Heavy burden of direct and indirect taxes : GST, ERP, COEs.....etc
- Request for kinder and more caring society by not subjecting lower and middle income and aging community to more hardship and taxes.

2003 - Budget Debate
- Commented that govt accumulate huge reserves and surplus during good years, spend little of those surpluses in difficult years, and not providing any report of the investment return on the accumulated surplus.
- Request for greater transparency.
- Commented on the high salary and bonus of civil services without the same degree of rigorous benchmarking of private sector with regards to performance.
- Commented that retirement is only a luxury for the rich in S'pore. The rest has no option but to try to find work even way passed 65.
- We should be allow to use our own CPF money to tie over tough times.
- There should be distinction between S'poreans and non-S'poreans. Being S'poreans seems to have more liabilites than privileges due to govt liberal immigration policies.

2004 - Budget Debate
- Question if the introduction of  'S' Pass will depress wages and salaries further, making life harder for locals who are struggling with CPF and wage cuts. How could locals plan for more children then.
- Question how reducing a Ministry budget by a percentage to their Productivity Growth Rate could motivate productivity. Instead Mr Chia suggested that reducing a Minister or senior officer salary if productivity does not increase will be more effective.
- Question where is the money from business diversification from Temasek, EDB and other statutory boards. Mr Chia commented that the money should go back to govt revenue instead of remaining with Temasek,..etc.
- The high cost of educating a child (tuition fee,etc) impact procreation.

2005 - Budget Debate
- Request more to be done for our aging seniors.
- Remove or reduce water tariff taxes.
- Commented that the govt has already made up its mind of the casino project thought they claimed it is under proposal consideration.
- Adequacy of retirement fund
- Request govt to assumed greater responsibility for healthcare and education.

2006 (6 years ago)
Budget Debate :
- Object to PAP sweetening the ground before election creating unfair playing field for opposition parties.
- Called to reduce the size of GRC back to 1998, three-men team.
- Question if the govt is collecting more money than it dares to declare, how it arrives at an operating deficit when there is surplus revenue receipts and billions in Consolidated Fund to be transferred into national reserves.
- Request for transparency in disclosures from govt.
- Request to scrap or reduce TV/radio licences, water conservation tax and domestic worker levy.
- Request to do more for elderly and low income.

In Mr Chia other speeches such as Presidential Address Debates, Debate on Motions, Ministerial Statements,..etc. he touched on topics such as promotion of civil societies,  active citizenry, building social cohesion, fair election, reducing business cost, ISD, education, under capacity transport system (in 2002 this problem has already surfaced in Mr Chia's speech), NKF saga, PA and community grassroot should be neutral and not PAP vehicles....etc

Basically, Mr Chia brought up issues close to our heart which impact our daily lives. I would say as an NCMP, Mr Chia did more for us than our previous and current president who are suppose to safe guard S'pore reserve. But it seems that these 2 figure heads personal policy is "Silent is Golden". If they open their mouth to question the PAP, - the 'gold' will no longer go into their pockets.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spawning of Money Lenders/Pawn Shops

There is a noticeable increase in the number of Money Lenders / Pawn Shops  in all HDB heartlands. Some traditional pawn shops have taken to 'upgrading' their image to those 'trendy' money lenders, which called themselves 'financial companies'. They have learned to use our Govt deceptive strategy of calling our 2 casinos - 'Integrated Resorts' to disassociate from the negative gambling den image.

These Money Lenders also have 'deceptive' shop front that looks like those jewellery and time pieces shop with nice layout and display showcases. Only their shop name reveal the business they are in. We have Maxi-Cash, CashMax, MoneyMax....etc.
MRT interchange has become the hot spot for these Money Lenders.  There are 2 of them at Pasir Ris Interchange and the 3rd at White Sand Shopping Mall just beside the interchange.

There are also 2 money lenders at  Tampines MRT interchange and another 3 pawn shops at the bus interchange. These 5 'financial companies' are all within 1 to 3 minutes walking distance from each other.

When there are so many of them so close to each other - it is an indication business is GOOD and demand is STRONG.  

So 'thanks' to the govt policy of using 2 casinos to help boost GDP,  money lenders are having a field time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

'Goodies' - are in fact RAW DEAL

 Those staying in low rise HDB block have to pay between $1500 to 2500 for their lift upgrading program, depending if it is 3-room or 4-room flat.

For high rise block, 3 and 4-room flat pay between $500 to 700 respectively. Taking a conservative calculation using a 12 stories block, the govt easily rack in about $110K per block. So for an HDB estate, the sum is pretty substantial.

We the residents are made to pay a heavy sum for MIW mistake of not catering to aging population. This is the type of typical 'goodies' MIW have for us, which are in fact raw deal being package nicely to deceive the public.

I know of an elderly woman in her 80s live on the 2nd level of a low rise HDB block. She just complained to me the other day that she has to pay over $1000 plus for the lift upgrading. She told me that her CPF is almost depleted, but she also does not have enough cash to pay for the upgrading bill. She lives alone and depends on her daughter for monthly expenses. So she intends to spread out the payment via monthly installment using her CPF. Sigh, CPF charges an interest of 2.60% p.a. (subjected to adjustment) for monthly installment.  Besides losing out on the 2.5% interest earn on her CPF saving, she has to pay even more for the upgrading due to the interest charges on her installment plan. As with everything in S'pore, the charges included GST of 7%.

It is folks like her who are hardest hit by all these govt 'goodies'. They are burden further with interest charges. In fact, the govt is penalizing them for not being able to pay cash outfront. Is this not robbing the poor ?

Our govt extractive institution has many payment modes and schemes to collect money from the public. They have refined the art of extraction is to ensure all PAY UP. So they have cash payment (at self service kiosks - AXS, SAM all over the island), CPF payment, cash/CPF,  GIRO, CPF/GIRO. When it comes to collecting money, they are very efficient.

As for those who suffer financial hardship, they have many 'creative' assistance schemes to suck more blood from you. They offer extension of years for repayment, deferment of payment until the flat is sold...etc, etc. But the catch is - they come with INTEREST repayment. Thus, the longer one drags the payment period, it will cost them even more due to interest charges.

So, BEWARE of  'goodies' from the govt.

Our Govt. Extractive Institutions

Our govt, dominated by a single political party for decades has become an Extractive Institution. They have refined the art of sucking the public dry over the years. A typical example is first they privatized public infrastructures like our bus service and mass rapid transport. Then our govt investment arm will become major shareholder in these companies. They received a handsome sum selling them off and later collect rich dividends yearly, besides washing their hands clean from running basic important public infrastructure.

Another clever con job is their lift upgrading program, which they sell to the public as 'asset enhancement' of our HDB flat. They have used it as a 'carrot' during past elections to entice the citizens to vote for them.

First they made a blunder in not catering to our aging population, not only do they not admit to their horrible short sightedness - they have the cheek to make us pay for the lifts. Then they declared that  they are doing us a favor as they are 'subsiding' the lift upgrading. Did they really subsides the lift upgrading - only God knows !

It is just like our public housing flats which they claimed they are selling to the public at subsidy. Basically the con scheme is similar to those run by unscrupulous retailers who first jack up their selling price and then declared they are have a fantastic discount sale. So let's say the origin price tag is $100. They jack it up to $150 and then give customers a 20% discount. End result is they make more profit than before. This is the art of extraction our MIW is very good in.

They denied opposition ward to uplifting program, until opposition did it on their own without help. The best thing is the residents need not pay for it. All of us in MIW wards paid for our lifts. The point is the Town Councils have collected so much money that every year a large proportion ends up in their sinking fund. We know that some of them have lost millions investing these sinking funds in toxic high risk products in the past. So they can gamble away the sinking fund but not put it to good use to upgrade the lifts.

This is the type of Extractive Institution MIW has become.All their talk about an inclusive society is just pure talk. How to become build inclusive society when their fundamental principle is base on extracting as much as possible from the citizens to benefit their own 'elite' group financially and politically.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Can Asia Beats Corruption ?

CNA is currently running a program on "Bridging Asia".  Last week, they had some' thinkers' debating on the topic 'Can Asia Beats Corruption ?'  The votes from viewers are a resounding NO.

In fact, one of the female judges, sum it up much better than the debaters as she highlighted that corruption comes in many forms and it is impossible to be truly rid of it.

A good example is 'squeaky' clean S'pore. We have been bombarded with a number of corruption cases recently involving high ranking officers in various govt. organisations.

These are cases infringing the law, but then we have so many 'untouchable' cases involving 'legalised corruption' which will not surface since they do not infringe the law, which has been change to accommodate them.  So many examples come to mind. Just to name a few ....Electorate dept under the PM, redrawing of electorate boundaries at every election to give MIW an edge, our infamous GRC concept....etc, etc ..sigh.

Dignity Kitchen

Dignity Kitchen is a social enterprise started by Mr Koh Seng Choon. It is truly an unique and inspiring set up to help the socially disadvantage from diverse background. They range from the hearing and sight impaired, intellectually challenged, autistic, Parkinson suffers, single mums, ex-prisoners....etc. Their age group is from teenagers to senior folks in their seventies.

At the moment it is not really self sustaining but Mr Koh is confident it will be, given another year or so. The food is good and there are many kind hearted folks helping out (eg. some of S'pore famous chefs).

There were many initial hiccups due to lack of govt support. Mr Koh has a frustrating time being directed from one govt organisations to another trying to get funding. In the end, he just did it on his own. Now that he has established Dignity Kitchen and proved that it is possible to train and prepare disable folks to run hawker stall and prepare them for job placements, our govt got interested with the publicity he has received. So after giving him 'hell' initially, they want to share the limelight.

Mr Koh is a visionary as he aims for IPO and to list the company in SGX in the near future. This will provide more seed money to enable him to reach out and do much more for this neglected sector of society, which our govt is not doing much to help.

Do drop by Dignity Kitchen with your friends and family. There are 11 stalls selling a wide variety of delicious food at reasonable price. There is a chicken rice stall run by an one-arm hawker. Seeing how he slice up the chicken 'single handed' shows that nothing is impossible at Dignity Kitchen.

It also has a drink stall manned by the hearing impaired duo. There is a poster to teach customer how to order their drinks using sign language. If you prefer the easy way, you can point to the item in the drink menu next to the counter. The soya bean drink is so fresh and yummy.

Then there is also a corner where paintings by a mentally challenged painter is displayed. They are for sale. There is also a book corner selling 2nd hand books run by single mums with many children to feed.

The place is very well run and efficient though service is at a slower pace. But the staff are all so cheerful and positive, it is just great.  It is just opposite Bedok North Secondary School. The address is 1 Kaki Bt View, Techview. It is on the ground floor. They operate from Mon to Fri. Weekends normally cater to company visits and events.

You can donate your books to them and organise your company function at their place. They are able to cater to activities run by their staff. You can interact with these folks and see first hand how positive they are not to let their disadvantage hinder them. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

SIM Annual Convention

One of the outstanding talks at this year SIM convention is by Ms Yen Tan,, COO of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. She was involved in the restructuring of Alexandra Hospital. She is a passionate speaker whose love for her job came through clearly in her speech. Her talk was on "Transformation : Lesson from S'pore Last Restructured Hospital".

She has a simple rule which helps to promote caring and patient centric service. Always tell oneself :
- If not me, who ?
- If not now, when ?

She believes in leading by example and going out of the way to ensure patients' comfort. She inspires !

Another outstanding speaker is Ms Jessica Tan, MD of Microsoft S'pore. She is sharp and could grasp questions from the floor and answer them clearly. What a great contrast to the Sn Parliamentary Secretary which I blogged about in my previous post. We can see a distinct contrast of those who spend most of their life in the private sector and those who are from the govt public sector. After years in govt sector, they become parrots of their master, only able to repeat what their master dishes out to them. It is a pity SIM selected such block head to give the opening speech. High 'ranking' govt official does not equate to intelligent speaker.

Then there was  Mr Richard Eu, CEO of Eu Yan Sang who gave a interesting history of how his great great grand father started the company. Mr Eu is the 4th generation who successfully modernized and re-branded the company. Mr Eu's family business was at its peak during the 2nd generation. They owned tin mine, rubber plantation, bank, remittance firm....beside dealing with TCM which his great great grandpa started.

However, the business tide turned turning the 3rd generation, when all the businesses were sold off, including Eu Yan Sang Chinese medicine business. This was due to the inheritance being divided amongst the 13 children of Mr Eu great grandfather.

Mr Richard Eu together with 3 of his cousins bought back the medical business and the rest is history.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"We must accept"

Now the popular overused phrase by those MIW block heads is "We must accept".

Think it started with LKY who told us we must accept flood as it is part of global climate change and no amount of engineering can help. But now we are pumping in millions into engineering solution to resolve it. So engineering does help after all.

Climate change is only part of the flood equation. The other factors are MIW's failings. They knew it and as usual will never admit it openly.  When they run out of excuses, now they tell us TO ACCEPT IT ! In other words, they are telling us to shut up and just accept the mess they have created.

Why should we accept their messy shortsighted policies ? Just because they have done some right things in the past, it does not accord them the privilege to mess up the future of S'pore and expect us to "accept it".

I was at SIM annual convention over the weekend. One of the speaker, a Sn Parliamentary Secretary turned out to be one of those typical block heads with no substance. Either he could not grasp the question from the floor or could not provide an intelligent answer. So he used the phase "We must accept it" when a question related to the large influx of foreign workers was asked of him.

Sigh, if this is the type of so call 'high caliber' folks we have administrating the country, - we are doomed !

Cats - Hierarchy Of Needs

We have hierarchy of basic needs and now a manufacturer of cats' product has come up with hierarchy of needs for our feline friends. They are :
1) instinctual needs
2) emotional needs
3) physical needs

Ok - the product is catnip and according to the product package - it is good for cats' physical needs as they need stimulation provided by catnip.

Reading at the product information write out, one would have thought it is for human consumption. They are highlighting how eco friendly the product is :

- certified organically grown
- grown and processed without pesticides or chemicals
- supports sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture ? I think the manufacturer is really overdoing and exaggerating things.

So our pets are going organic too to support the environment.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why Nations Fail - book recommendation

A prominent local blogger 'singaporemind'
has recommended the book 'Why Nations Fail'.
It is written by Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist
and James A Robinson,a political scientist from Harvard.

Perhaps our PM and his gang should spend time
reading this book instead of having a national
conversation invaded by his own PAP supporters,
which does not address our concerns. 
Most of us think it is just another wayang
cum propaganda to lend support to their
existing failed policies which they could not
let go, but keep patching up pot holes as
they appear more and more frequently over the

Over flooded with Condos

Is S'pore being over flooded with condos ? There are so many condos units being built all around the island. Recently their advertisements appear so frequent during TV commercial breaks.

Just along East Coast Road, numerous condo developments are springing  up both left and right of the road.

Even once upon a time 'peaceful' HDB estate is invaded by condo development activities. Travel along Loyang Avenue (towards Changi direction, before turning into Pasir Ris Drive 1), there are 5 directional bill boards advertising new condos within a span of less than 15 feet !

Wonder when will the property bubble burst. All the ingredients for popping are there.

Unbelieable - $11k psf for a 355 sq ft unit ! !

Unbelievable - paying $11,261 psf for a 355 sq ft  unit ($4 million) at Sim Lim Square ! The 2nd highest for the same commercial building went for $1,689 psf  for a 1066 sq ft shop unit ($1.8 million).  Really wonder what sort of business is those buyers involve in. Perhaps they buying with the intention of flipping them in the near future.

So property investors / speculators are moving from Housing to Commercial and Industrial units. This is not good for ordinary citizens as the cost of living is heading up and up. The cost of doing business is getting ridiculously high with such unbelievable fix cost. With so much Reits in the market, rental is heading North too. Inflation is our permanent resident and eroding our savings.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

'Dashing' cat and Butterfly

Some stray cats have a peculiar habit. Lucky they make up the minority as their strange habit of dashing around is rather confusing to both the feeder and other strays. When a 'dashing' cat is fed, instead of enjoying its food, it will run over to another cat being fed and start eating its neighbour food.

So if a feeder is feeding a few strays, a 'dashing' cat will be running all over eating other cats' food. Some strays have this confuse looked in them, probably thinking "Why is he eating my food ?"  Others more dominant strays would 'scold' and chase it away.

Often wonder if this dashing habit is survival trait - get to eat more if it runs around swallowing others food. Is it due to greed or insecurity ? Sound pretty much like the human race.


Saw a butterfly at the ground floor of one of the HDB block. Seeing any 'friendly' insect in HDB is like striking the lottery as they are a rare occurrence. The frequent spraying of insecticide has killed off most tiny life forms except for resilient pest like cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes, which ironically are suppose to be the target group for extermination.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Idling and Unproductive

It is a common sight to see only 1 worker WORKING and the rest of the workmen looking on idly. Just today, saw a worker operating an excavator and 4 others standing by looking bored. No wonder productivity in S'pore keep sliding down and down. With so much cheap import of labour and local wages suppressed, companies can afford to hire workers by the dozens and don't bother about putting them to productive work.

Most construction sites have a worker standing by the main entrance the whole day. He is suppose to ensure traffic safety when heavy vehicle enter/leave the site.  There is usually a guard post at the entrance. The security guard could have easily taken on this role as the vehicular movement is seldom heavy throughout the day. A worker could be deployed to the area when there is a need, instead of standing there doing nothing most of the time. I often see such worker looking sleepy and bored. 

In fact a saw one so 'turn off' that he did not even hear the heavy truck honing to get his attending to clear some vendors holding a conversation near the site entrance. I don't see how traffic safety can be improved with a man standing at the entrance the whole day when his mind is bored to death instead of being alert.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Myna & Curry Sauce

Saw two Myna birds dipping their beaks into the container of left over curry sauce at MacDonald. They ignored the left over French fries at the next table. They seems to have acquire a taste for spicy stuff.  I would have thought they will go for the French fries instead.

The bins are near by and yet patrons did not clear their trays after eating. So much for being considerate. Anyway it 'benefited' the birds as they get to have a go at junk food.  But then since it is junk food, perhaps they do not benefit after all as they may become obese birds if they make it a point to hang 'over' the fast food outlet for easy pick of food.

I recalled this advertisement for some brand of sauce. This duck wanders over to the boy, grabs a piece of French fries from him and instead of eating it, dips it in the sauce first. Good humour.

Perhaps MacDonald could use these Myna birds to promote their curry sauce, - so good that even the birds love them. But they would not be able to promote their French fries at the same time as these Mynas don't seem to like them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Condo vs Bungalow

A 6,232 sq ft four-bedroom unit at The Marq on Paterson Hill was sold for $30.4 million ($4878 psf). It is  freehold. It is not the most expensive condo as there was one which was sold at $33.9 million at Seven Palms.

Then there is this good class bungalow (GCB) at Chestnut Drive which is 18,500 sq ft and freehold. It is going for $26 million ($1405 psf). This makes one wonders why paid so much for a condo unit when GCB is a much better buy. Perhaps it is the long term maintenance fee and property tax. After all up keeping a private swimming pool in GCB is heavy compare to the fee charge by condo property maintenance management.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ergonomically design Cat Food !

I was pretty amused when I came across a promotional leaflet for Iams cat food. Their improved cat kibbles (dry biscuits) are ergonomically designed so that they are easier to pick up by the cats eating them. According to the pamphlet, "The enhanced design provides a more natural "mouth feel" which cats prefer."

The leaflet is informative and an interesting read. I just learned that a cat's jaw can only move up and down and that 75% of cat owners consider their cat as fussy eaters. This is their sell strategy - a good one. So get your kitty Iams kibbles as your cat bound to love them since they smell and taste great. They even looked into the texture and feel of the kibbles.

Think I shall get my cat some to make him purr as he makan. After all he is 12 years old and deserve the best to keep him happy and healthy. Some cats purr when fed. Mine don't. Perhaps Iams kibbles will make him 'be over the moon' as he eats ?

S'pore Bronze medal in Olympics

Seems like most S'poreans did not feel our pride swell when our table tennis players won a bronze medal. This is not normal, as rightly we should be deliriously happy that our team won a medal. After all it has been decades since our last medal at the Olympics.

One of the reasons is she is a foreign talent bought over by our govt with $$$. I think the main reason is there is a lack of connection between these foreign talents and us. After years in S'pore, most of them, if not all are still very foreign. Their mannerism and speech just to name some aspects.

She was interviewed and as expected spoke in heavily accented Mandarin. In her interview, she did not use the more endearing term 'my country' in Mandarin, but use the word S'pore - just like foreigner would do when talking about another country.

There is a table tennis match this evening - S'pore vs Poland. As usual our team is represented by foreign talent. The Poland player is using her left hand as her right hand is amputated below the elbow. I find myself hoping that she will win. She must have a hard time proving herself. Being able to represent her country in Olympics is likely a tough fight for her. Pity Poland lost. Did I feel proud or happy that S'pore won ? No.

It is sad, but many of us feel this way.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Medishield = Medishit

Once upon a time the deductible for Class C was $500 and Class B was $1000. As with all other CPF link policies, Medishield is so ill conceived and patch work needs to be done ever so often. Most of us citizens lost track of the numerous revisions since its implementation in the 1990s. Looks like each time the deductible is revised, it goes up by $500. This strategy will allow all the government privatised hospital to have free rein to jack up their medical fee while keeping the numbers of eligible claimants to the minimum.

Once upon a time the premium ranges from $12 to $240 (upper age limit was 75 years old then). The premium is always on the rise as insurance contract with the CPF is very flexible and all goal posts are perpetually shifted to extract the most from the public.

Medishield was revised in 2008, just 4 years ago. They are revising it again in 2012.  The deductible will be up by $500 for both Class C and B patients. Thus, the lower income group have to cough out $1500 medical expenses, which is very heavy.

The elderly citizens are the worst off with each revision.  In 2008 revision, the premium range went from $30-705 to $33-1123. The premium increased was the highest for the senior age group - 59% vs 10% increase for the youngest age group.

In 2008, the deductible was not revised for those below 80 years old. But for those between 81 to 85, the deductible for both Class C and B saw an increase of 100% ! Class C deductible went from $1000 to $2000, while Class B went from $1500 to $3000. Those in this age group likely need more medical attention. For those in the lower income range, probably they have used up the bulk of their retirement savings. Yet they are penalised the most.

This time round reporting from main stream media (MSM) did not mention this category. Not sure if it is affected or not as MSM always try to avoid and downplay reporting on unpopular government policies.

What we find incomprehensible is that Medishield has accumulated a surplus of $100 million due to premiums exceeding payouts. Why are they still bleeding us dry when they are so bloated up with our blood already ?

Paying interest to ourself - CPF ridiculous policy

Most of us who bought our flat in before 1990s took up HDB loans. During the 1980's the loan interest rate was 6% and more. Now if we don't meet minimum sum, we have to 'refund' CPF not only the loan amount, but the CPF accrued interest which we would have ‘earned’ should we not used the CPF money for the flat. So our money goes from CPF to HDB. We pay HDB interest for the loan. Now we have to refund accrued interest to CPF. In summary, it is money into govt pocket all the time.

The idea of 'paying back ourselves' CPF interest rate accrued is so ridiculous! We don't have the right over our own CPF money. It is as if we are borrowing from both HDB and CPF for the flat loan.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Raw Deal from CPF Medishield

We are taken for a ride again by the raw deal from Medishield. Govt claimed that the revised policy is to 'enhance' our healthcare coverage. Is it ? Our experience and common sense tell us it is another spin story.

As it is the existing deductible ($1000 to $1500)  is already so high that unless one is a cancer patient, terminal case....sigh- in really bad shape, we are bearing the full impact of the health care cost. Don't ever think of making a insurance claim even though we have been paying the Medishit ...I mean Medishield premium for decades.

Now they not only raised the yearly premium by 27% to 51% (depending on age group), they are also increasing the deductible by $500 for both Class C and Class B patients, which translate to 50% and 33% respectively. In other words, the lower income in ends up paying more. Does this make sense ?

But the disturbing issue is they can do all these without public consultation. We are the insured clients. No private insurance companies will do such thing to their clients, as it is illegal. If they offer enhance healthcare coverage, the clients have the option to opt in and pay the higher premium.

CPF Medishield run by the govt can shift every single 'goal posts' in our policy contract without battering an eye.  All this bull dozing, is this not abuse of power ?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MRT right to the door step of the casino entrance

One of the exits of Bayfront MRT station leads directly to the entrance of Marina Bay Casino. No wonder problem gambling (which govt term as 'gaming') is getting worst amongst local residents. After all MRT penetrated most,  if not all the HDB heartlands of Singapore. Our govt has made is so convenient to visit the casino which they call 'integrated resort'.

So who is to blame by making such visit seems so harmless and so convenient ?

Not long after the 'integrated resorts' started operation, they provided free transport at a few more populated HDB heartlands so the public can visit the 'resorts'. There was some feedback against such convenient provision which could encourage residents to visit the casinos ...- I meant resorts. So the govt acted and said it is against the law set up to govern the casinos and that the operators should not promote gambling via free transport.

Isn't even more convenient now with the operation of Bayfront station that the exit leads right to the entrance of the casino ? What an irony !

$3256 for 1 square feet

An apartment at Reflections at Keppel Bay was sold for $11 million which translate to $3256 psf.  I looked down at my room floor tile which each measured 1 by 1 feet. It is something an ordinary folk like me find 'amazing' - paying much for condo with only a 99 year lease.

Then there is this house that is sold at $20.8 million with a floor area around 22,000 sq ft. This one is freehold and going at $959 psf. Surely this is better value investment compare to the condo.

This house is 22  times larger than my HDB flat. Can't imagine needing so much space to live in, though a large garden is a welcoming thought.

STERILE Garden By The Bay

There has been a lot of publicity regarding the latest tourist attraction - Garden by the Bay. It is being promoted as a billion $ garden by S'pore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB), which itself attracted plenty of comments. Some think STPB and our government are so obsess with money that they use a money theme to promote the garden. Truly 'unique' way of garden advertising.

Do we need a billion $ artificial garden ? Well, obviously yes to our govt as they think it will bring in more money for them. The garden is just opposite the casino and is linked by an overhead bridge which span across the express way. Part of the garden is free. But the main attractions which consist of  2 conservatories and the sky bridge charge admission fee.  For a tourist visit all these 3 areas, it will set them back $33. So a family of 4 visiting S'pore it will cost them $132.

For locals, there is some discount. The govt has promised to 'care more' for the citizens after all the noises by locals that they feel like 2nd class citizens in recent years. So now they started this different rate of admission fee for tourist site. A local family of 4 will folk out less than $100 for the garden outing. Such outing to absorb in artificial nature certainly does not come cheap.

All the food eateries sited at the garden are costly. Likely half a day outing at the garden can easily set a family back $200. Better visit Botanic Garden instead. It is 100% more natural with birds, butterflies . ......aplenty.

Garden by the Bay is STERILE.  There are 2 giant metallic dragonflies at the 'lake' but no real dragonflies to be seen. There is some information board about frogs, but ..where are the frogs ? The 'lake' is devoid of life form - no fishes nor water birds, which one is used to seeing in Botanic Garden.

On rare occasion, there is some chipping sound of bird. But again no bird is sighted. Those common birds we have plenty here like the mynas and pigeons are also missing in action. Even the mosquitoes avoided the place. What a difference when one visit Botanic Garden - full of life.

Garden by the Bay - only humans are visible.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Outcome of Stray not given treatment at SPCA

Met Mr O this morning. He told me that he brought the stray cat to a private clinic. The growth on the cat's face was removed surgically without x-ray, blood test...and all the bull shits SPCA vet told us.

Mr O has lost all trust and faith in SPCA. It is a pity that this incident due to one inconsiderate vet in SPCA marred its image and lost the support of a stray caregiver.

What upset me is the vet attitude and lies. Perhaps he does not wish to take on 'difficult' case. Or perhaps minor surgical procedure is not his area of expertise ? He could have referred the case to other vets in SPCA if he could not handle it himself. Instead he kept up his lame excuses for denying the stray treatment.

I need to confirm some facts. I was under the impression that those vets on rotation in SPCA do voluntary work. But Mr O told me they are paid.  What ever it is, it is another area of weakness in SPCA which needs improvement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SPCA vet making excuses

Stray not given treatment at SPCA Clinic

The reason SPCA vet on duty gave was that SPCA could
not treat cancerous growth. But it is an excuse as there is 
no way the vet could know. So I wrote another email to
appeal to them to help the stray. An extract : 

To my understanding, the vet told Mr O that in order to
confirm if it is cancerous growth, a tissue biopsy test is
needed. Hence,he asked Mr O to bring the cat to a private
It is therefore unlikely that the vet on duty is able to
tell from observation if it is a malignant cancer growth
without a biopsy test.
We do not expect a stray cat to receive such 'elaborate'
treatment such as biopsy test and prolong medical attention.
But can SPCA consider giving the stray a chance by removing
the growth surgically? The growth may be non cancerous.
Besides, even if it is cancerous, it could be a benign growth
which could be surgically removed and the stray would be back
to good health.
We plead on the stray behalf to let it have a chance to live.
Can SPCA vet just remove the growth ? 
NO LUCK - this time the excuse given by the vet is that in
order to cut off the growth, they need x-ray machine, blood
test...all of which SPCA cannot provide.
I could not comprehend this as they are able to perform
sterilisation on strays without all these machine and tests.
So I asked a vet in private practice. As expected, SPCA vet
is giving excuses after excuses as there is no need for
x-ray machine. For blood test, it is only done if the animal
is sick.
SPCA should audit their voluntary vets and review or implement
SOP to ensure well being of strays are not compromise due to
individual vet's decision.

Stray Not Given Treatment At SPCA

This post is partial extract from an email I wrote to SPCA regarding a trying to get treatment for a stray cat.
We are an informal small group of stray cats caregiver. On 21/5/12, Mr O bought a stray cat to SPCA clinic at Mt Vernon for treatment as per prior appointment. It has a growth on its face near its mouth and has problem eating.

The cat was not given any treatment and the vet on duty asked Mr O to bring it to a private clinic. According to Mr O, the vet knew him as Mr O is one of his clients in his private vet practice. Likely the vet thought the stray is Mr O’s pet and denied it treatment. This stray is very fat which could have contributed to it being mistaken as a pet. But the stray has clipped ear.

This stray has been hanging around the eateries in housing estate before making the Muslim eatery its regular hangout site, as the Malay community is more tolerant of cat in general. Being fed by many kind hearted souls may have caused its obesity. This could be easily verified by checking with the stall holders at the Muslim eatery.

The cat’s growth is getting larger by the day. SPCA clinic is set up to help strays and encourage strays caregiver to do more than just feed them. We used to be just feeder and this is our first attempt to do more to improve strays well being and it was very discouraging for us. Why deny the stray of treatment just because it is fat and does not look pathetic.

We are appealing to SPCA to review the case. If the condition is treatable, please help the stray. If it is not treatable, please advise if it should be put down.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anti Strays People - complain without substance

I was approached by a Malay man this morning asking me "Why don't you bring the cat home ?". I was feeding one of the strays around my place.Trying to reason with such people is normally futile as they will continue to heap accusations without any evidence.

Sigh, this is not the first time I have been tackled for feeding strays. They come in all ages, race and gender. I have be approached by elderly Indian man, middle age Chinese woman, ...but this is the first time a Malay has confronted me, as they generally have an affinity to cat due to its association with their Prophet Mohammad.

These folks normally are quite aggressive in their manner. Typically they will utter some of these statements :

-You should not feed the cat (but there is no law against feeding strays)
- Go and feed it at other blocks (shows their selfish mentality)
- The cat dirty the place (just an excuse as they don't have any other reason to give)
- I am complaining to the Town Council about this cat (resorting to threat as they realised their complaint is hollow)

Normally I will be patient and reason with them. I can't bring all these strays back as there are so many of them.  I am not the one that abandon them. It is easy for me to challenge them on cleanliness as I am a responsible feeder. They have never been able to prove that the stray they are complaining about dirty the place. In fact, I think they are lying.

Just like this man, he claimed that the stray 'walk' up to his place to dirty the corridor. I have been feeding this cat for 2 years. He is shy and hang around the car park area, sleeping under parked cars. I have seen him doing his business and burying his discharge in the greens around the car park. I have never seen him walked up the stairs of the HDB block.

I asked the man if he has actually seen the stray dirtying his place. He said no, but he has seen it walking along the corridor. Could it be his neighbour's cat ? He said no when I offer my help to talk to his neighbour. There are a few cats that look like this stray which is black / white.

Frankly, I think he is lying because if this stray did dirty his place, his opening statement to me would be "This cat dirty my place" instead of asking me to bring the cat home. As I was able to answer all his 'accusations', his final words were that  he is calling the Town Council.  The way to deal with such threat is to tell them that the conscience will be on them if the cat is terminated. They know in their heart that the problem lies with them and not with the stray. Such intolerant and lack of compassion only reflect negatively on them.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Public Transport Woes Continue

It was Sat morning, 12 May, the air con was not working well on the East-West direction SMRT train. Everyone was fanning themselves but at least the train was running. After countless of major hitches recently, air con down is the lesser evil compare to train breakdown.

The public bus situation was worst on Sat evening between 6 to 7pm. I waited almost an hour before boarding bus no. 67 along Dunearn Road, the bus stop after Hillcrest Rd. It was the 3rd bus, as the 2 others zoomed by without stopping. The 1st was relatively crowded but definitely had standing space if the bus driver asked the commuters to move in. The 2nd bus was relatively EMPTY. It was one of those long buses. Half the bus after the exit door was 'empty' - no one was standing, only seated passengers. The bus driver did not bother to make an effort to ask commuters to move in.

The attitude of the bus driver could aggravate our transport woes. I was able to board the 3rd bus because the driver asked the commuters to move it. At the subsequent stops, he took the initiative to let commuters to tap their bus card at the entrance and board at the rear of the bus as the front was very pack.

If every driver is like him, we need not feel the frustration of seeing one bus after aonther zooming by without stopping. The bus company will make more profit as the bus would be jammed pack from front to rear, instead of half empty.

Commuters nowadays are so inconsiderate. They board the bus and then 'froze' and remain rooted to the spot till they alight. So the bus is normally  pack like sardines in front but 'spacious' at the back end.

Tedious - SPCA Sterilisation Program

The current SPCA sterilization regulation is not user friendly.
It only allows for 1 cat per appointment or per voucher.
For appointment, we have to call on the 1st day of the month.
The appointment is normally scheduled the following month.
For voucher, we have to go down to SPCA personally to register
for balloting held once a month. There is also no guarantee
of one getting a voucher.
It is a tedious process full of inefficiencies and loop holes: 
1) A litter of kittens normally consist of 3 to 4 kitties.
If there are more than 1 male, the other male could get the
female(s) in the litter pregnant while we are trying to get 
the 1st male sterilised.

2) Since there is no guarantee we could get a voucher through
balloting and the nearest appointment date via phone booking
is at least one month away, the chances of more unwanted
pregnancy happening is very high.

3) It is very demoralising for us that we have not even get
the 1st litter sterilise and more litters are on the way.
It looks like a never ending struggle to get the strays
population under control.
4) Be it by appointment booking or voucher, we have to make
a trip down to SPCA. In future when SPCA moves to those far
flung site, it is very difficult for those of us who depend
on public transport to support this cause. Bringing in a
cat involves taxi fare. Taxi is expensive nowadays.
For example, a litter of 4 kittens - it will take 8 taxi
trips to get them all sterilised.

Beside it is very time consuming for us caregiver to bring
one cat at a time. It is also environmentally not friendly
to involve so many vehicle trips.
5) We have to make so many trips down to SPCA just to try
to get non-guarantee vouchers to sterilse a litter of kittens. 

The current process is so tedious and it does not motivate
one to continue helping to sterilise strays.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

PRC in 2012 vs 1990s

In the early days when China opened up, their citizens were very keen to learn English. They took every opportunity to practice the language with tourists visiting China.

In 1990s, there was an influx of workers from China to Singapore. In those days, semiconductor sector had a large number of China citizens in their workforce (we don't refer to them as PRC then). Many of them were graduates. Those from university recognized by Singapore held senior positions, while those whose education certificates were not recognized, worked as production specialists (something like production operators). Thus, even the lower rank work force was highly qualified.

They spoke Mandarin which though accented, but could be easily understood as they were mainly from Beijing and Shanghai. Communication in English was not an issue. Though they spoke amongst themselves in their native tongue or Mandarin, but to us locals they were willing to communicate in English. There was never a problem of them telling us off that being Chinese, we should speak to them in Mandarin.

Fast forward to present time, PRC now demand that we locals communicate to them in Mandarin. Sigh! Their Mandarin is so heavily accented it sounds foreign instead of familiar. There is a  larger influx of workers from PRC and they are not as qualify as those in the 1990s. They compete with lower income workers for jobs. They worked in cleaning, food, sales and transport industries.

Besides their poor mastery of English, they are an arrogant lot too. There is a possibility that even though some could communicate in English, they refuse to do so. China is a big brother now, so their citizens are acting 'tough' to show their national pride. Perhaps they feel ashamed that their standard of English is lower than local Chinese. To hide their shame, they become demanding and aggressive to locals.

My mum who is educated in Chinese till only primary level, understands English well. She can speak in English (more to Singlish) to get through any daily activities and hold a conversation even with a native English speaker.

The point is, PRC could handle English if they choose too.  But likely they don't see the need to do so. They are here to invade and conquer.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rain - Cat & Dog

Whenever it rains, my cat is restless. Especially if it is a thunder storm. He would be hiding in a corner till the storm blew over. I attributed it to him being sterilized and perhaps it was raining during his stayed in the veterinarian clinic ?

Then I came across my friend's dog which fear of impending rain is even more drastic. I found her breathing very heavily that day. She refused the doggie treats I got for her which she usually gobbled up eagerly. I thought she was sick but was told she is stressed whenever the weather turn cloudy.

Then it rained, and she was hyperventilating. She was in the porch and and I was sitting in the far corner of the living room.  I could hear her heavy breathing even with the background pattering of rain and rumbling of thunder. I knew of the term hyperventilation. But I have never come across any one who suffers from it. Now I observe first hand what hyperventilation is from a dog. If not for the assurance from her owner, I thought she is in danger of dying.

According to her owner, she is a stray which used to hang around. They adopted her and sterilized her. Though a young stray, likely she has given birth before as her tummy showed signs of it.  Perhaps she has been badly traumatized before which has association with bad weather. Talk about auto response trigger by external stimuli. This is a classical example.

Poor thing. She should be let indoor during such time. Cover her with a blanket and keep her warm and cozy to reduce the stress and fear.

Invasion of PRC

The uncle in front of me order his food by giving the number. He ordered in English,  '14 and 19' from the menu display. The stall assistant, a PRC said something incomprehensible and the uncle repeated his order. The stall man answered in heavily accented Mandarin, (I realized it is Mandarin this time round) though still incomprehensible. The uncle lost his patient and started to jab at the menu on the items he wanted and said the he should learn to speak English in Singapore. The stall assistant told the uncle off that he should speak in Mandarin as he is Chinese. He then compliant to his other 2 PRC mates manning the stall about  the uncle. Yes, the whole stall is manned by PRC. They are now selling local dishes like chicken rice, laska, kua chap..etc in HDB heartland.

Sigh, typical scene repeated many times daily in recent years all over Singapore. PRC has invaded into every nooks and corners. We see them every where in all walks of life.  The main problem is they don't speak English or refuse to. I think it is a combination of both factors. We are a multi-racial society.  As a Chinese myself, I find it hard to understand their heavily accented Mandarin and fast talk. Yeah, they talk very fast. I thought we locals speak very fast, but they beat us to it.

I wonder how our Malay, Indian and other nationality friends feel, as simple daily activities now become a struggle in communication. Try asking for the bus fare or direction from a PRC bus driver - dead end. Try ordering food in hawker center, restaurant, food court - it is a chore if one does not speak Mandarin. One must be also patient enough to try to comprehend their heavy accent Mandarin.

They do not speak local Chinese dialects either. I feel closer to local Malays and Indians than Chinese from China.  Actually our govt has been successful in fostering Singapore identity during my generation. But all these are fast evaporating due the massive import of foreigners.

I feel like I am in China when in Chinatown, People's Park Complex.  The stalls are all are selling mainland Chinese food. The crowd of Chinese there speak in a language that I don't understand. The invasion is complete.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

CPF schemes are NEVER well conceived.

At last someone prominent has spoken up about Eldershield plan, which is suppose to take of the medical cost should we become an invalid. Prof Phua K H said that the scheme is completely inadequate. We the ordinary folks know this insurance plan under CPF is another sucker scheme all along. But our feedback has fall on deaf ears. After all, our leaders think we are 'daft' so what we say can be ignored as 'just noise'.

It is suppose to be provide 'affordable' health care. Perhaps the premium is 'affordable' but the payout is miserable that hardly covers half the potential health care cost, which has been escalating drastically in recent years. We are talking about invalids who cannot perform 3 of  life daily activities. These folks will need help in their daily life and may required the service of a maid. They will find it hard to take public transport and may need to use the taxi. If the payout is already insufficient to cover medical needs, how are these invalids to cope with all these other costs ?

Besides, being handicap and unable to perform any 1 routine of daily activities is bad enough. Eldershield requires us to be almost totally handicap as they will only pay out when we cannot do 3 activities ! They cap the payout to 72 months, so pray hard we will die within their stipulated period. They don't care what happened to us after that. They are only interested in collecting the premium out front.

When CPF increases our minimum sum every year, they said it is due to inflation. But when they force us to buy their insurance schemes such as Eldershield, CPF life, the pay out never factors inflation cost. Their planning or lack of it is obvious. Take the recent example of CPF Life scheme. Its compulsory element will take effect next year. But it  has been revamped again this year. They reduced the 4 plans to 2 options.  Revamping it within such a short duration only shows poor conceptualization of the scheme.

Then the Eldershield scheme which was launched in 2002. In a short span of 5 years, CPF told us to upgrade it 2007. Hello - it is not free as seems to be implied by the press report, which say that "Government increased the monthly payout from $300 to $400, and the maximum payout period from 60 to 72 months".

We have to pay for the upgrade and were recommended to buy into their supplementary plan. If the Eldershield plan is a good scheme and well conceived, why do we need to buy into more and more plans? For an additional $400 payout from the supplementary plan, we ended up forking out 30% more in premium compare to the original Eldershield plan which includes the amount paid for the upgrade.

Now the government under PAP said they intend to review the plan  2013. Shark ! More bad news as more of our CPF money will be depleted again. Every time they made a mistake, we end up paying for it. They will come up with more fanciful plans, upgrade...etc and tell us to buy into their nonsense which never pay enough for us to survival anyway. Their top priority is still cost recovery.

The worst part is most of their schemes are compulsory or auto-inclusion. Unless one is alert and follow up with their non stop change in policies, one will be included in all these schemes unwittingly.

So be very alert ! Make it a point to opt OUT of any CPF scheme if given a chance. Our 'Central Ponzi Fund' is just that -  it is a bottomless greedy pit which sucks big time. There fooled us into believing that the various schemes are for our retirement, it will take care of our medical cost, it will see us through old age disability needs...which all fail to materialize !

Most of us already do not have enough fund for retirement. But all CPF is interested in, is to lock up and deplete our money with more devious schemes. They use our hard earn saving to buy into more govt bonds to fund govt spending and fund the big boys in risky investments which often turn into billions $ losses.