Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley (a fitting goodbye post)

Posted: July 15, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Last Post.

Posted: by fievel in

This will be the last post of this blog. Thank you for reading my thoughts.

Thinking about tomorrow

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

Tired but I ain't sleeping
Thinking about some sad affair
And why i should be leaving cos some of these thoughts
Only seem to take me outta here
These habits are so hard to break and they're so easy to make
These habits are so hard to break and they're so easy to make

Thinking about tomorrow tired form all the time I spare
On what I still believe in
When none of my talk ever seems to get me anywhere
These habits are so hard to break and they're so easy to make
These habits are so hard to break and they're so easy to make

So long bye my friend so long
So long will it ever happen again
You know that I've been waiting for you
I've been creating for you so long
You know the light ain't fading form you
Nothing could save me form you, so long

Tired but I ain't dreaming falling into solid air
And why I must be leaving or one of these days
I'm gonna pull out all my hair
These habits are so hard to break and they're so easy to make
These habits are so hard to break and they're so easy to make
So long, bye my friend so long so long will it ever happen again
You know that I've been waiting for you
I've been creating for you so long
You know the light ain't fading from you
Nothing could save me form you so long 

I may know the words

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

I may know the word 
but not say it 
I may know the truth 
but not face it 
I may hear a sound 
a whisper sacred and profound 
but turn my head 

I may know the word 
but not say it 
I may love the fruit 
but not taste it 
I may know the way 
to comfort and to soothe 
a worried face 
but fold my hands 

If I'm on my knees 
I'm begging now 
if I'm on my knees 
groping in the dark 
I'd be praying for deliverance 
from the night into day 

but it's all grey here 
it's all grey to me 

I may know the word 
but not say it 
this may be the time 
but I might waste it 
this may be the hour 
something move me 
someone prove me wrong 
before the night comes 
with indifference 

if I'm on my knees 
I'm begging now 
if I'm on my knees 
groping in the dark 
I'd be praying for deliverance 
from the night into the day 

but it's all grey here 
but it's all grey to me 

I recognize the walls inside me 
I recognize them all 
I've paced between them 
chasing demons down 
until they fall 
in fitful sleep 
enough to keep their strength 
enough to crawl 
into my head 
with tangled threads 
they riddle me to solve 

again and again and again 

That's just what you are

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

In our endeavor 
We are never seeing eye to eye 
No guts to surface 
So forever may we wave goodbye 
And you're always telling me
That it's my turn to move 
When I wonder what could make the needle jump the groove 
I won't fall for the oldest trick in the book 
So don't sit there and think 
You're off of the hook 
By saying there is no use changing 
Cause that's just what you are 
That's just what you are 
Acting steady 
Always ready to defend your fears 
What's the matter with the truth 
Did I offend your ears 
By suggesting that a change might be a thing to try 
It would kill you just to try and be a nicer guy 
Its not like you would lose 
Some critical piece 
If somehow you moved point A to point B 
Maintaining there is no point changing 
Cause that's just what you are 
That's just what you are 
Now I could talk to you till I'm blue in the face 
But we'd still would arrive the very same place 
With you running around 
And me out of the race
So maybe you're right 
Nobody can take 
Something older then time 
And hope you could make it better 
That would be a mistake 
So take it just so far 
Cause that's just what you are 
That's just what you are 
That's just what you are 
Acting steady 
Always ready to defend your fears 
(That's just what you are) 
What's the matter with the truth 
Did I offend your ears 
(That's just what you are) 
Sleepwalking man, it's a danger to wake you 
(That's just what you are) 
Even when it is apparent where your actions will take you 
(That's just what you are) 
And that's just what you are 
And that's just what you are 
That's just what you are


Posted: by fievel in

We owe it to ourselves

Posted: July 2, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,
0 live an inspired existence...

Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

Posted: June 23, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Tanjong Pagar - The Best Ranking GRC - by watermark?

Posted: June 17, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

Recently the Ministry of National Development, Singapore, released an appraisal report [read this] and the result prizes once again for guessing..
"The best-scoring town councils appear to be Tanjong Pagar, where Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is an MP, and Ang Mo Kio, the Prime Minister’s constituency."

As if the heavens heard the outcries, once again a "freak" flash flood had to occur in nowhere else but Orchard Road, Tanjong Pagar GRC. I'm impressed by this particular 'act-of-god'. 

Lessons learnt from North Korea's world cup defeat against Brazil

Posted: June 16, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Being a Piscean, I'm given the legitimacy to be branded as one of the more idealistic and dreamy individuals around. Today I was watching the David vs Goliath world cup match of North Korea vs Brazil in a very Singaporean setting - a typical kopitiam with plenty of local lads all wound up with their world cup bets (passion for the sport/nationality can be best found in a more up-market locale such as an Irish pub or beer tavern in Orchard).

While I was just a bystander this world cup (I've sworn off my gambling luck a long time ago), I found it extremely interesting to observe both the match and the tense-yet-happy-go-lucky faces of my fellow night owls at the kopitiam, and feel like I've walked away with a few epiphanies. If you, the random visitor of my blog, are interested, my thoughts were as follows;

The North Koreans must have trained on Mt Everest or somewhere else of equal altitude for the World Cup for they ran as if they each had three lungs. However, they still lost in the end, albeit by a single goal margin. What lessons did I glean from the match?

1) Hard work.
I felt that the match was truly defining of real life, where we all hold jobs of equal responsibility, but each 'kind' with a drastically different set of odds, with the Asian almost seemingly doomed to have to work MUCH harder for the same buck. It's like that AngMoh boss or colleague that you have in your Singapore office. Does he/she do a lot less than you and yet lead a much more comfy life than you? Do you often bitch between your own local-kinds that they simply get away with it easy 'cos they are not Asian? Well, that's exactly how it's like on the world soccer pitch. But hey, as with the economic arena, the Asians are working harder and smarter and are starting to get a fair bit more results. Japan won Cameroon. South Korea beat Greece. Even the North Koreans had a real good fight against mighty Brazil! The world's imbalance is getting less skewed as the Asians start to work harder and harder.

2) Brazil still won in the end.
Some self help books preach this - "do your best and you have won". What a load of crap. Say, if one day you end up in dire straits in Singapore, would you smile to the heavens and say, "I did my best and that's good enough", and then roll over and die? I, the Author Almighty, feels very strongly (at least at this moment in time), that we have to ponder upon why the Brazilians still won in the end. I think the take-away here is that despite the super-human efforts in every tackle, every sprinted off-the-ball run, every shot-like passes, the North Koreans were approaching the game the wrong way. They were too mechanical. They forgot that the beautiful game, much like life, is more of an art, than a science. Flair, talent, the need to enjoy the game, told in the end. Everyone is capable of working hard, every single Brazilian player had to work harder than hard to even get into their national team in the first place. Singaporeans, much like the communist North Koreans, are under the impression that life is meant to be slogged away at in order for us to deserve anything good. That's why we are all so ever-willing to squeeze into that sardine carriage that we call public transport everyday, frowning yet accepting, and continue on the finite passage way of life. I feel it is difficult to say why it's wrong, but just like the match of Brazil vs North Korea, we all know it is much better to be playing it like the South Americans.

3) Gambling
Gambling is plain wrong. I saw a whole bunch of Singaporeans worried of Brazil not finishing at least 2 goals better than North Korea. Nobody at the kopitiam was supporting North Korea for the fact that they are an Asian team. Nobody was marveling at their superbly well-coordinated (albeit mechanic) teamwork. Nobody was happy basically. To describe their collective emotion aura, they were anxious when Brazil simply could not unlock North Korea's defense, they were on the edge when Brazil scored their first goal late in the game as they continued to pray for a second goal, they were relieved when Brazil took a 2-0 lead, but quickly got banished back to their usual cursing-swearing-disbelieving mode once North Korea clawed back a goal, and finally they looked tired and 'sian' and went home after the match ended 2-1, which probably meant most of them lost their bets on Brazil. Passion for the sport does not live in the kopitiam-dweller-Singaporean it seems.

I have a lot of ideas how all the above relates to some of my life goals and decisions, but I shall keep that to myself and let you the random visitor to my blog ponder upon yours.


Posted: June 11, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

Wow... Singapore's political scene sinks to a new low with this below-the-belt report.
What a bunch of bull crap...and yet, such messages do get through to some people out my own folks...
But I often wonder why they keep at this game when they jolly well know the proliferation of internet forums and alternative news sources have rendered many a modern Singaporean dubious of such reports.

Zee Avi - Bitter Heart

Posted: May 26, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

A Sarawak artiste making it on US soil..

Nickelback - Someday

Posted: May 21, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Kansas - Dust in the wind

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

Yellowcard - Only One

Posted: May 19, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Random thoughts

Posted: May 17, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Buy a remote control plane

WH Auden - Funeral Blues

Posted: May 12, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Just randomly came across this old funeral video clip from 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', this was I think the funeral of Matthew's gay partner...quite a moving poem I thought..

Funeral Blues
WH Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Thriving Ivory - Angels on the moon

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

Might wanna fast forward 1 minute to skip the talkin..

Property agents talking up the resale market

Posted: May 4, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

If you have been using the internet to search for a HDB flat in Singapore in recent months, you'll probably notice a phenomenon.

Well, many of them are of flats which are already sold when advertised.
The intent of such advertisements are not to sell flats, but to lure new flat owners to appoint him to sell their flats for them. This is a seller's market. We already know that from the fact that the prices have been relentlessly skyrocketing. Do not believe the mass-media's spin about how Q1 (2010) prices have risen less than the Q4 (2009) prices. (SEE LINK TO THIS PIECE OF NEWS)
The HDB resale market is showing signs of stabilising, with the Resale Price Index (RPI) rising by 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year over the previous quarter.
This is slower than the 3.9 per cent increase recorded from the third to fourth quarter of 2009.
Resale transactions also saw a decline of about 5 per cent, from 8,926 cases in 4th Quarter 2009 to 8,484 cases in 1st Quarter 2010.
No, the HDB resale market is not really stabilising. The milder 2.8% increment is calculated off a higher index base in 2009 Q4. Transaction volume declined from 8984 to 8926 would mostly likely be attributable to data noise and nothing else.

With the housing agents talking up the market like that, every other couple that views a resale flat unit on a weekend is feeling more like they are attending a price war. Why are we allowing property agents to advertise a flat and immediately decry it "SOLD!!!!" ??

Is still-affordable-Mah-Bow-Tan doing his job in monitoring the HDB resale market? He first screwed up the government controlled land and HDB supply in the preceding years and now he's sitting in his comfortable office armchairs, twiddling his thumbs gleefully, saying he has no control over the "free market", pfff, what a friggin joke.

trespassers william - lie in the sound

Posted: April 29, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

2 man bicyle kick goal

Posted: April 28, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Dang, this is like Kungfu Soccer!

Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit

Posted: April 26, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

I came across this French artist on another blog and this song is absolutely spellbinding~ and then I realized, this is Nicolas Sarkozy's wife! No wonder he says it is more important for the French nation's progress to be measured in happiness and not dollars! =)

Wear your seat belts advertisement

Posted: April 23, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

CNBC guest gets yanked off air

Posted: April 21, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

Check out this dude, Sylvain Raynes, attacking crazy-money Cramer on CNBC. Erin Burnett did her best to defend her colleague...and ex-Goldman Sachs colleague..well actually, all three of them, Erin Burnett, Sylvain Raynes and Jim I-didn't-take-money-from-Goldman Cramer are all alumni of Goldman Sachs.

Both Erin Burnett and Jim Cramer are Goldman Sachs alumni. According to her wikipedia entry Burnett began her career in 1998 as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs in their investment banking division, where she worked on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. Cramer obtain employment in 1984 as a stock broker in Goldman Sachs’ Private Wealth Management division, according to his wikipedia page.

Sylvain Raynes is a founding principal of R&R Consulting, a structured credit metrics consultancy founded in 2000. He co-authored “The Analysis of Structured Securities: Precise Risk Measurement and Capital Allocation” with Ann Rutledge, the other R in R&R Consulting. Their second book“Elements of Structured Finance” is scheduled for release in May 2010. He is also a Goldman Sachs alumni.

Living in a box - Room in your heart

Posted: April 20, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Sometimes when I hear this song I can feel a bit of much needed peace in my mind. 80s music has that kind of effect eh

Al Jazeera videos on Singapore

Posted: April 19, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

Any wonder why Al Jazeera got axed from MIO TV? Just watch a few samplings of their feature documentaries on Singapore. If anything, this also explains why the red light district Geylang has been so frequently raided recently that the sex workers have gone either online or to new enclaves such as Kovan and Serangoon. Geylang isn't the only place to have been raided after Al Jazeera's videos were released, apparently the homeless have been raided as well.

Correatown - All the world

Posted: April 17, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Looking deeper into Singapore's real estate administration

Posted: April 16, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

I think Mah Bow Tan has not and will not ever "bow" to the aggrieved Singaporeans, which definitely outnumber the happy ones, for the poor control of real estate inflation in recent years.

Nor will our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Nor will his daddy MM Lee Kuan Yew.

There's a trend here. The higher you go up the chain of command, the more unlikely it is to obtain a fair review and admission of the mistakes committed in each of their jobs to plan and to accommodate for the influx of immigration via proper control of housing supply.

...and so I thought, how about we take a look at the individuals responsible for the very specific job of planning and execution of land and housing development in Singapore.

Well so how about we go take a peep into HDB and SLA, both government organizations responsible for land and housing related issues.


Interestingly, you will find that the position for "Planning and Policy" is vacant. I wonder why...?
So hey since there's no fall guy in that position...the next person would be his boss right? Well he is
Simon Ong, Deputy Chief Executive of SLA as well as the "Commissioner of Lands". Right above him we have Vincent Hoong, Chief Executive of SLA as well as the "Controller of Residential Property".

In HDB, we have a group of fellas called the "Building Group", run by a Mr Sng Cheng Keh. The relevant fellas in the group are Fong Chun Wah (Development and Procurement), Raymond Toh Chun Parng (Research and Planning).

Now if there were no proper reasons for HDB not to have built sufficient flats to accomodate for the increase in immigrants, these are the very people who were sleeping on their jobs and yet have kept silent up till now.

With Singapore being such a small nation, it should be really easy to obtain and work with data. As such, I can only conclude the failure to plan was more of a deliberate move than an accidental occurrence.

Now please do not compare Hongkong and China and the likes to Singapore when it comes to the recent inflation. Every country has an unique set of conditions, and in any case, our politicians are the highest paid and to run the smallest country, um sorry.., city.

So please, will somebody in the know please stand up and explain yourself already. Or perhaps, will the opposition politicians engage in some detective work to look into the real estate buying and selling activities of these above mentioned head honchos of Singapore's land and housing prices. You never know what can be dug out! And if there is nothing there, then at least it will put many a suspecting Singaporean to rest.

Paolo Nutini - These Streets

Posted: April 15, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

These Streets:
Cross the border,
Into the big bad world
where it takes you 'bout an hour
just to cross the road
just to stumble across another poor old soul from
The dreary old lanes to the high-street madness
Eye fight with my brain to believe my eyes
and it's harder than you think
to believe this sadness
that creeps up my spine
and haunts me through the night
and life is good and the girls are gorgeuos
suddenly the air smells much greener now
and I'm wondering 'round
with a half pack of cigarettes
searching for the change that I've lost somehow

Portishead - Sour Times

Posted: April 14, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

To pretend no one can find
The fallacies of morning rose
Forbidden fruit, hidden eyes
Curtises that I despise in me
Take a ride, take a shot now

Cos nobody loves me
Its true
Not like you do

Covered by the blind belief
That fantasies of sinful screens
Bear the facts, assume the dye
End the vows no need to lie, enjoy
Take a ride, take a shot now

Cos nobody loves me
Its true
Not like you do

Who oo am I, what and why
Cos all I have left is my memories of yesterday
Ohh these sour times

Cos nobody loves me
Its true
Not like you do

After time the bitter taste
Of innocence decent or race
Scattered seeds, buried lives
Mysteries of our disguise revolve
Circumstance will decide ....

Cos nobody loves me
Its true
Not like you do

Cos nobody loves me
Its true
Not like you
Nobody loves.. me
Its true
Not, like, you.. do

Glen Hansard - Lay me down

Posted: April 9, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Cary Brothers - Honestly

Posted: April 8, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Kings of Leon / Paramore - Use Somebody

Posted: April 1, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

These days it seems everyone's doing a cover of everyone's songs. Paramore did an amazing job with this one but check out the original below Paramore's...

Here's PARAMORE's acoustic cover...

Tyler Hilton - Missing you (cover)

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

The singer/songwriter covers the John Waite classic on Park City Television during the Sundance Film Festival.

...and here's the original

New word to describe Singapore's housing prices - Mesosphere

Posted: March 30, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

Check out the above link....It's Singapore's Chinese newspaper featuring another amazing feat 'achieved' by our 'still affordable' hdb flat resale market. A prospective buyer has bid $900,000 for an Executive Maisonette flat in Bishan, paying a whopping $170,000 cash-over-valuation.

The kick, however, is that the deal has not gone through as the owners are asking for a firm offer of $950,000!!
Somehow this piece of news did not feature on Straits Times Online though...

The next time you feel like using a big word with your friends, don't say Singapore's cost of living has gone through the roof, don't say that it's gone through the stratosphere, say that it's gone through the mesosphere!


Posted: March 18, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Disgusting...even ChannelNewsAsia has lost its integrity of independence in my eyes now.
Why did Debra Soon, the Managing Director of ChannelNewsAsia invite such a one-sided panel of 3 to present this case? Nicholas Mak is a sorry excuse for an alternative voice, if you ask me. The questions of affordability were never truly addressed.

The simple fact is that housing prices HAS outstripped our economic fundamentals. Nobody in this happy-gala get-together even bothered to look into this issue as a 'talking point' proper. Every issue was touch-and-go and addressed in such a cavalier manner. I wished I could jump into the show and get these clowns to STFU.

What a farce!


Posted: by fievel in Labels: , ,

Another financially rewarding land sales for our PAP government. $302 million for this plot of land...another few of such sales and our GIC and Temasek's recent losses would be more than made up for.

Who pays for all these ultra high bids eventually? The Singapore consumer. Sweeet.

Much ado about nothing

Posted: March 17, 2010 by fievel in Labels: ,

Came home from work today late at night feeling extra-epiphany-ish..Went to the kopitiam opposite my place for a cheap $5 Tiger beer by myself...with my ipod for accompaniment, which doesn't necessarily lose to human company sometimes.

The wife called me earlier, told me we just got balloted a 1400+ number in our queue for a public housing flat, for which there are only 400+ units available. It's not exactly unexpected and it's not exactly something that can dampen our Singapore not-exactly-a-dream dream any further anyway.

I don't know how all my random thoughts link up but sometimes they just come in waves, so much so I lose precious sleep over them. If I could record my thoughts graphically it'll probably strike an imaginary audience to resemble an episode of The Late Night Show with David Letterman, with a twist.

Before I took the first sip of my beer I was thinking, rather cleverly, that maybe I'll try something new tonight; rather than to analyse the same old questions about the decisions I have been struggling to make, maybe I'll analyse me, myself, as if I were outside of my own skin tonight. But of course that was just ambitious thinking. The beer straightened that weird notion out in no time.

Anyway, one thing I like about blogging is that it lets me record my thoughts down for future reference. But then more often than not, by the time I get down to it, what were earlier crystal-clear insights-of-the-century somehow just slip through my web of neurons or synapses or whatever they are called. Maybe it's finally time I go figure out twitter.

Housing woes for a PR

Posted: February 25, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Woke up this morning to this piece of news...heard from my mother, the unofficial broadcaster of all family news, that one of my uncles, a Malaysian PR living in Singapore for the past 15years, decided to give up waiting for the housing prices to turn south and jumped into the resale market as rental costs continue to price him and his wife out. They used to rent a whole HDB unit but now can only afford to rent a room in a HDB flat; with new measures taken by the government, in what can only be seen as "too little too late", to cool the housing market, he is now required to pay up to 20% downpayment for this flat purchase. They are afraid of any further measures taken against PR's favor and so they are jumping in quicker than they can think. They paid their option deposit to the real estate agent and are now desperately going around the extended family looking for loans to help them with the $40,000 cash shortfall required for down-payment and other costs such as stamp fees and real estate agent fee.

I find this story to be rather disturbing, not just because it happened so close to me...but because I think this is a representative case of many other lower wage PR workers in Singapore and their plight. (I hate to digress but yesterday I was at a dental visit when a foreign indian couple with a pregnant wife decided against treatment because they can't afford it, and opted for just taking painkillers instead. Can you imagine being pregnant and having to live with a toothache so bad you can't sleep? (she told the dentist she couldn't sleep))

With my uncle's job being a heavy industry laborer in his 40s, I do not see how he can expect to be financially productive for that many more years. His wife works in a kopitiam and earns $1500 a month (only because she is currently on good terms with the boss and she runs the drinks stall) - she is also in her 40s. The flat they bought was a 3 room flat in Tampines that is 25 years old, looks rather dilapidated, and costs $30k cash above valuation at $300,000.

Their jobs are not the progressive type and hence their salaries have been stagnant for many years now. It doesn't really take a crystal ball for one to foresee that they will end up in dire financial straits a few more years from now, if they are not already in one.

So this is one of the social repercussions that people will have to deal with, just because of Mah Bow Tan and HDB's collective failure and lack of ability to "predict" market demand and supply for housing, afterwards using a slipshod measure to counter the problem. I really wonder if he did indeed graduate from Operations Research as his major. Supply management can be a very sophisticated science but the way Mah is doing it, swearing by his built-to-order mandate, is outrageously juvenile and borderline stupid...definitely nothing in the  multi-million dollar salary level intelligence going by most people's standards.

I hope my uncle will clear his head and simply return to Malaysia. He must have forgotten why he came out here in the first place - to create a better life for himself, and he is obviously not doing that here. Something is very wrong with the way Singapore is being run now. But of course you can also choose to ignore all that you've read online and pretend all is alright.

excellent stuff from the band 'live'

Posted: by fievel in Labels:

Older Chests - Damien Rice

Posted: February 24, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Uproar against rental housing is a joke

Posted: February 9, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

It appears there is a hot new issue going around kopitiams regarding our beleaguered Mah Bow Tan and his housing policies. This time, it is regarding the issue of sudden decisions to build blocks of rental flats in Tampines and Pasir Ris for housing the growing army of homeless families of Singapore.

[refer: Straits Times: Uproar over new rental flats]

Apparently, HDB owners of adjacent blocks in these selected sites have gone to their respective MPs and HDB to protest against 2 issues;
1) HDB did not consult the surrounding residents before beginning work on building these rental flats
2) They have several concerns about having a block of homeless Singaporeans living next to their homes

What kind of jokers do we have among our midst?
Do they know what it means to be living in a HDB flat? It is public, subsidized housing! (though these days I beg to differ on the definition of 'subsidized')

Can these people get real please? Do they know that they are also renting their flats from HDB, except they did so with a 99 year or less lease? The homeless are just like any of us, except their finances have been caught short and they are in a homeless, or rather, long-term-rental-less plight. Please do grow some empathy!

If they are concerned that their HDB prices will be adversely affected by having another block so near to theirs, I think that is another ridiculous claim. Almost 90% of flats are going to have no clear open space next to them eventually, in fact, it is so certain that you should never purchase a flat with a nice plot of empty land next to it. You can only be more assured of your existing open spaces if you own a private property, or else get a new government who doesn't intend to squeeze 85% of the 6.5 million citizens into HDB pockets.

And since when has HDB or our government  bodies ever consulted the citizens before? Why are these guys crying foul only now? Did PAP consult the citizens when they decided to hike their ministerial salaries to obscene levels in 2006? No. Did they consult you when they decided to build the casinos? No. Did they consult you when they decided to increase our population to 6.5 million? No. A big fat NO. So stop pretending to be so surprised. (Somehow I think the joke is really on these fellas since they were the ones who voted Mah Bow Tan into Tampines in the first place.)

One particular thought fleeted across my mind as I read about this piece of news - why are there so many homeless citizens all of a sudden? Where are they living right now as these blocks are being built? It can't be they are all from Angsana home in Buangkok or Sembawang park's tents....maybe they are preparing to evict the citizens who have been falling behind on their HDB mortgages in recent years? Who knows?

All in all, I think we need a new Minister for National Development to take over Mah. Somebody with fresh perspectives and not just fancy spectacles. Somebody with a vision to proactively create a better life for our citizens through his/her work and not just someone defensive and always in denial of real problems.

Rachael Yamagata - Quiet

Posted: February 7, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

Hub-wannabe of everything, but hub of none.

Posted: February 5, 2010 by fievel in Labels:

-random thought

JK Rowling - The fringe benefits of failure

Posted: February 2, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

I thank the cosmic forces that allowed me to stumble upon this Harvard commencement speech by JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter. Every word, every sentence of her speech wins my complete admiration. Do sit through the beginning warm-up jokes though'

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

As is a tale, so is life,
Not how long it is, but how good it is
Is what matters

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Nuclear Singapore

Posted: by fievel in Labels: ,

Check out the audacity of PAP in their latest fantasy play with GDP desires.
I think there comes a point when the Singaporeans need to stand up and say "enough is enough!". And if putting a nuclear plant on our little island is not that time, then I say to those of you who share my sentiments, let's get the hell out of here because this is no longer the Singapore you and I knew. Nuclear power on a 30 by 40km island?!?! How much dumber does it have to get?

The stupid REALLY just got dumber. They want to put nuclear on Singapore...little red dot gonna become little yellow radioactive dot...things are truly getting out of hand. And if the past effectiveness of this incumbent group of politicians are anything to go by, a nuclear plant will be built before you can even pack up your luggages.

I will be the first to start a public protest if Lee Hsien Loong and S R Nathan decides to pursue this dumbass plan of Tharman and co.

The blindless pursuit of GDP number will now literally kill us all.

Singapore Mulls Nuclear Power, Fewer Foreigners, Minister Says
2010-02-01 06:00:00.8 GMT

By Shamim Adam
Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore should consider using
nuclear power and depend less on foreign workers in its efforts
to transform the economy in the next decade, a government-
appointed panel said.
The city state must aim to double its productivity rate in
the next decade and encourage companies to expand abroad to spur
growth after emerging from a recession last year, Finance
Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who heads the Economic
Strategies Committee, said in Singapore today. The
recommendations have been accepted by the government and will be
addressed in the budget to be unveiled on Feb. 22, he said.
Singapore is seeking ways to ensure its economy expands in
a more sustained manner after three recessions in the past
decade, with its most recent slump the deepest since
independence in 1965. The government has said it wants to boost
productivity to make up for an anticipated slowdown in growth as
the nation becomes more developed.
The panel today announced seven proposals to restructure
the economy. They include making the city state a hub for global
companies seeking to expand in Asia, improving energy security
and being more flexible in land usage.
The committee urged the government to study using nuclear
energy as a future source of power and the import of coal and
electricity. It also recommended the creation of a “waterfront
city” on existing port facilities run by the Port Authority of
Singapore in the southern part of the island when the lease
expires in 2027.

Foreign Workers

The government plans to reduce the Southeast Asian island’s
dependence on foreign workers by raising levies imposed on
employers hiring overseas labor in a “gradual and phased
manner,” Shanmugaratnam said. Policy makers will seek to
maintain the foreign labor force at the current level of about
one-third of the total workforce, he said.
Singapore has been looking at ways to restructure its
economy since 2001, with the government-appointed Economic
Review Committee that preceded the current panel urging changes
to policies relating to taxation, wages and new industries to
draw more investments.
That led to the promotion of industries such as
pharmaceutical manufacturing, biotechnology research and wealth
management to offset slowing electronics exports. Singapore’s
efforts to be a more competitive place to do business has also
seen it shave 9 percentage points off the corporate tax rate
since 2000.
Singapore may grow at a slower annual pace compared with
the average 5 percent expansion of the past decade because the
$182 billion economy is more developed now, Prime Minister Lee
Hsien Loong said last week. Gross domestic product may grow 3
percent to 5 percent in 2010, after a 2.1 percent contraction
last year, the government forecasts.

Boosting Income

“We have to do it so that progressively and inexorably,
our economy will be transformed,” Lee said Jan. 25. “Then,
provided we can raise our productivity, even if our total GDP
grows more slowly, our workers can become more productive and
our income per capita can continue to rise.”
Singapore’s productivity rate lags behind that of the U.S.,
Japan and other countries, the panel said today. Productivity in
manufacturing and services are about 55 percent to 65 percent of
the levels in the U.S. and Japan, it said.
Productivity growth of between 2 percent and 3 percent
annually will help GDP increase by 3 percent and 5 percent per
annum in the next 10 years, the panel said. The rate averaged 1
percent in the last decade.

Global-Asia Hub

“We have significant room to increase productivity in
every sector of our economy,” the panel said in a report.
“This shift to productivity-driven growth will require major
new investments in the skills, expertise and innovative
capabilities of our people and businesses over the next
The country is targeting as much as S$12 billion in fixed-
asset investments this year, after attracting S$11.8 billion in
Singapore should aim to be a “key Global-Asia hub for
global players seeking to tap opportunities offered by a rising
Asia, and for Asian enterprises looking to expand beyond their
home markets,” the panel said.
Singapore’s manufacturing industry makes up about a quarter
of the economy and its dependence on electronics and
pharmaceutical exports has made it vulnerable to fluctuations in
global demand and business cycles. That pushed it into a deeper
recession than many neighbors in last year’s global slump.
The government aims to keep its manufacturing industry an
“integral” part of the economy even as it seeks new strategies
to help it grow faster than other advanced countries, Trade
Minister Lim Hng Kiang said in November.

Complex Manufacturing

“High value and complex manufacturing generates good jobs
with diverse skill requirements, provide opportunities for
constant upgrading and stimulated demand for sophisticated
services,” the panel said, recommending that the industry
continue to contribute as much as 25 percent of GDP. “We should
continue the shift into complex manufacturing.”
The panel recommended fostering the growth of local
companies. There were about 530 Singapore companies that had
revenue of more than S$100 million as of 2007, and the target is
to create 1,000 such enterprises by 2020, the panel said.
The government should help companies expand abroad by
forming institutions such as an export-import bank and export
credit agencies, the panel said.
The panel recommends that the government develop an
“underground master plan” to create more space as there may be
limits to how much land it can reclaim, it said.