Pete Murray - Opportunity

Posted: December 29, 2009 by fievel in Labels:

Interesting remark from an ex-Singaporean

Posted: December 24, 2009 by fievel in Labels: , ,

I was reading a blog post on "Diary of A Singaporean Mind" called "Humiliation of the poor", when I came across an interesting (though a bit lengthy) remark posted by an ex-Singaporean which I'll like to share here.

Testimony of an ex-Singaporean who has a special need child:

In Singapore, one can go bankrupt if there is a major illness in the family and need to be hospitalized.

As we ward our daughter,all hell broke loose. We did not have CPF medisafe bec. we were self-employed, then no insurance. I remember vividly standing at the registration counter of the SGH LIMITED.. since I did not have all the usual coverage, she asked for my credit card and got me to sign on the BLANK copy and told me they will charge me later. I was signing a "BLANK CHEQUE"! Can you imagine how heavy my heart was when I was walking back to admit my daughter!

Not long after we landed in Canada, we received a letter (I kept it till today so that I will show my great grandchildren later) from the University of Alberta Hospital. It gave us two full-days of schedule with all those professors and sepcialists...from heart, hearing, speech, ear name it we have it check on my 3 year old Singapore-born daughter. Again (like the same scene in the SGH) on the day of the medical check-ups I went over to the registration desk. After the white receptionist helped me to fill up all the forms, I sheepishly asked her: "How much must I pay for all these professors and specialists check-up on my daughter?" Listen, listen listen to the answer, ready?: "Sir it is FREE. It is under Alberta Health Care."
What!!? I could not believe her...I have not even paid my first Alberta Health Care premium (that time we need to pay about Can $100 per month for a family) and not a single cent of tax and yet we got FREE real professional check-ups for my daughter! I almost cried! The receptionist did not ask for my credit card. It was/is FREE!!!!!

Same daughter, same illness but in a different country and heaven and hell difference. Lucky we mmigrated to Canada. Lucky. Pure luck.

At kindergrader her class had only 7 special needs kids but they were taken care of by a full-time teacher, an assistant and watch over by a nurse and a specialist for special needs kid!

Fast forward. On reaching 18, she is given a monthly inflation-indexed allowance of Sin $1,500 (C$1+S$1.3), free medical and drugs, free dentistry and glasses (Sin $ 400 every 2 yrs). She can enroll for all kinds of studies and even dance, swim or social dance ... all paid for..yea FREE. Monthly bus is half price at Sin$45 per month ...unlimted bus and train travel.

If she is out of job, the social service will immediately find her a suitable job. Now she works 1 to 2 days a week in the Dollar Shop to do stuffing and packing...earning about sin$400 per tax and no crawl back as it too low an income. So total monthly allowance+income about Sin$2,000.

I always tell Singaporeans that it takes alot of courage to emigrate out of Singapore but it takes even more courage to live in Singapore!

Canada is not a perfect place but you know for sure that it is not Singapore where if you do not die in the hospital, you will die of shock by just looking at the hospital bill!

Open to the idea of emigrating out of Singapore. We are not taking about politics here, we are talking about happy laughter of our children and grandchildren playing in the snow. We are talking about focusing on how to have our children get well in the hospital without worrying over the hospital bills.

The name of the writer is kept confidential to protect the rights of the child. This is a true case as I know the writer personally.

By WingLeeCheong, at 24/12/09 07:54

Mistaking garbage for cheese

Posted: December 16, 2009 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Writing about the housing situation in Singapore is like my temporary new addiction. I hate it, but I keep coming back to it. Why? Because there are many men-in-white whose lives are very sad and boring and hence so very often partake in the cruel sadistic sport of telling Singaporeans through their blogs..oops i meant newspapers...that signing up a 30yrs mortgage that takes up about 30% of your monthly combined income is entirely affordable.

Yet another bunch of new built-to-order flats have been released. A 85 square meter unit now comes served piping hot as a...(drumroll)... 4 room flat!...(drum roll builds up again..) at $440,000 on average!! If you are unable to associate 83 sq meter with real size, let's just say 83 sq meter used to be the size of 3 room flats. Yes yes, this unit is in Queenstown, i hear you, you YPAP kids (I say it in a disgusted tone). So how bout let's go live in Sembawang then...which is fine I guess, at $250,000 for a similar "4-room flat", if you don't feel a little ripped off not getting a discount for living so far away.

The next election is looking like housing costs will play a key role in swaying the votes. PAP must have decided a larger portion of the electorate will vote for them based on 1) fear that opposition politicians destroy their "asset wealth" and 2) hopes that their newly purchased properties will continue to rip through the roofs.

A fellow blogger has already written about the illusionary effect of wealth created by PAP regarding our rising housing costs. [Read here]

I think that despite good reasoning from pockets of Singaporeans on why the continued rising cost of housing is not good for us citizens, I am relying on logic that the men-in-white must have good statistics to lead them to believe that a perceived continued rise in property prices will be winning them more votes. (else they won't be playing the game this way by now)

Hence, I believe that a particular Bernard Leong is correct to tell fellow citizen blogger Alex Tan, "if you are so disenchanted, why not leave Singapore?". [read here]

PAP will win another election handsdown despite all the pockets of discontentment because too many years of the rat-race environment has altered the DNA of the majority of our fellow citizens. They are just like ratatouille's brother in the following clip...happy to just eat garbage.

" won't be so hard if you weren't so picky!" father rat's voice over (sounds terribly familiar eh?)
"If you can muscle your way through the gag-reflex...all kinds of possibilities open up." Brother rat

Newton Faulkner

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

Another amazing guitarist...he's jaw droppingly good!

Matt Nathanson

Posted: December 11, 2009 by fievel in Labels:

Matt Nathanson - Little Victories

Matt Nathanson - Car Crash

Mat Kearney - Where we gonna go from here

Posted: December 10, 2009 by fievel in Labels:

Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats

Posted: December 9, 2009 by fievel in Labels:

One of the most charismatic musician around...sure gotta post more of his songs in future

Discussion on the Death Penalty in Singapore

Posted: December 8, 2009 by fievel in Labels: ,

Quote on Freedom

Posted: December 5, 2009 by fievel in Labels: ,

In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

- Reverend Martin Niemoller, Germany, 1930's

Me too

Posted: December 3, 2009 by fievel in Labels: ,

Seelan Palay has announced on his blog that he will not be observing the cooling-off period "proposal".
Just for the record, I'm not going to either. And I do so with full expectation that my "anonymity is an illusion", to quote our dear PAP Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

"Anonymity in cyberspace is an illusion. You will remember in 2007, we prosecuted three persons under the Sedition Act because of the blogs they put up which denigrated the religion of one of our communities in Singapore. " - Vivian Balakrishnan

May many more bloggers raise their fingers of integrity in unison.


Quote on press freedom

Posted: December 2, 2009 by fievel in Labels: ,

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be ... The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe.

- Thomas Jefferson

War on the cards?

Posted: December 1, 2009 by fievel in Labels:

Iran is inviting war by declaring their intention to build 10 more nuclear reactors... It's sad but I think Obama's hands are forced here...I think he will announce on Wednesday's address they'll be doubling the troops in Afghanistan to "finish the job"  ...which in all likelihood is but a convenient excuse to start mobilizing troops to the Middle East...

With China and Russia backing Iran, promising World War III responses should Israel be allowed to attack Iran's nuclear facilities...I wonder what will happen in the coming months, if not weeks...