Friday, November 24, 2017

My Birthday / Xmas Wishlist

Since I bought a DJI Spark, my wishlist would be focused around the theme of the drone.


I need a new Camera + Laptop bag and this is the one that I like.
AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Backpack - Orange interior





I bought a DJI Spark, so I am interested in..

1) DJI Spark Carrying Case.
2) DJI Spark Batteries
3) Propeller, charger, etc?


Waterproof Speakers for the motorcycle.


It has to be >30W and loud!

An example.




-- Robin Low



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Train Crash when FINTECH Convention is happening (God is sending a Signal)


Train breakdown everyday. Yet fares increase and no one from upper management or the government seems to want to take responsibility.

LHL call for cashless smart nation, and when the FINTECH Festival is going on, the MRT Train crashes.

There were many delays today, and SMRT had very poor communications on what happened, still trying to plan how to cover up and push blame?

At least 3 train breakdowns, and not much of a squeak from them besides. "Train made contact..." Ya, with 26+ injured, some with fractures and dislocations?

Why pay people so high if they are incompetent and do not take responsibility? Isn't SMRT not a public company, why is it run like one, but CEO paid unusually high...

Lets wait for cashless smart nation, and by then, the new president may speak up or something.

-- Iron Bowl

Monday, November 13, 2017

Many Tourists disrespect Art


In many monuments and statues around the world, tourists come and take photos. It may seem harmless but in various cultures, it is actually disrespectful.

A simple case of wall street. I don't understand why everyone now wants to take photos of the bull by the balls. Many others will grab the bull by its horns.

What's worse is the disrespect to the "brave girl." I've seen guys grinding on her head, others rubbing their groins on her face. Well if they take a photo of themselves doing it, it would probably look like they are into pedophilia.

Anyway, tourists are weird. Going to NYC is not cheap, and you can clearly see, money does not buy class. Well, at least there is no public defecation there.

-- Ironbowl



Monday, October 16, 2017

Short sighted government -- Singapore


In the past, visionary leader have built up a good livable city, leveraging on Singapore's position and human capital. There is much progress and most citizens have gained much from the progress. Healthcare was good, housing was affordable, and public transportation was reliable.

It is clear that since 2000s, the leadership in Singapore is deteriorating. The visionary selfless leaders who cannot plan for successors have appointed loyal obedient "yes-men" to be the next generation of leaders.

Under the undemocratic GRC-system. Many of these "yes-men" were brought into parliament to follow status quo. Instead of looking at future and plan accordingly, the policies and culture favored the "safe" approach, which is to simply carry on what they think is successful.

Rules built on rules, law built on laws, Singapore found itself in a situation where everyone had to conform and innovation was almost impossible. The creatives -- artists, writers and inventors were a minority as the country does not seem to support the arts if the arts does not conform to the written government narrative.

The same way which promoted growth in Singapore in the past -- attracting MNCs, continuing to build housing and invest in real estate companies made a few rich and connected Singaporeans richer. The continued import of low cost labor means there is very little need for technological solution to solve current problems.

Status quo also means destroying historical landmarks and buildings to build more malls. Nature will always be secondary, and even Bukit Brown Cemetary -- a historical area which rests a lot of the benefactors of early -- Singapore is not spared. Our mangroves and forests are cut down and beaches reclaimed. There insatiable thirst for expensive infrastructure projects continued with more HDB flats and malls built and despite the low fertility rate.

Tengah is a secondary forest patch that connects the Western catchment area to the Central catchment. The plans for a new town means that the corridor connecting Western catchment and Central catchment will now be disconnected. Habitat fragmentation negatively impacts the biodiversity.

Our last few sanctuaries will no longer remain for our children to see.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is sad to see the government's interest for continued economic growth. And the solution for the growth is for more immigrants and cheap labor, which will require more homes.

Public housing, on a 99 year lease is never real ownership and most Singaporeans still believe that their CPF funds thrown into overpriced public housing which on a 99 year leasehold can be an asset.

Most will find that after paying for their overpriced public housing, overpriced car, everything else is expensive because there are a lot of rich speculators fueling the rentier economy. Many of these people do not need to work and add value, but demand high returns making rents high and driving up costs.

With the progress of technology and the Internet, the automation of processes, very soon, low cost workers will not be needed. With the advancements of online shopping and logistics, regular shopping at malls will not be required. With all these changes which are already certain in many advanced countries, why are primary rain forests and historical sites still getting destroyed? Are there people profiting from these activities?

MRT breaking down is also getting common, and it seems like SMRT, a private company with record profits almost every year, pays its chairman -- millions, yet no accountability has been seen from the top leadership at SMRT, LTA or Singapore government for the lapse to fulfill the basic duty of doing maintenance, however when it comes to collect bonuses, every cent saved by no doing maintenance goes into their bonuses and shareholder's dividends.

Sadly, even with the domestic problems of the Prime Minister where he was called out by his siblings, his refusal to sue them in court just shows his guilt in the accusations. Yet he is fast to sue bloggers and others not related to him, showing even more double standards.

Singapore is on a downward spiral with many irreversible changes. Once the forest is cut down, the biodiversity will be lost -- forever.

--Ironbowl

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tan Cheng Blocked



Tan Cheng Blocked is a good masterball player. Although he may not be good in defense or at shooting, what makes him standout is his ball handling skills. Being drafted into the strongest team OWNED BY the league owners, Cheng Blocked played well and had a great career.

After retiring for a few years, Cheng Blocked started playing in the eliteball league, however, this time he found that he was not the player supported by the league owners and the game was much harder to play. When he got elbowed, shoved or even grabbed, the referee which would usually call foul during the masterball game seemed to ignore these infractions. Being an independent with friends who know the league owners has its advantages, and soon, Cheng Blocked was doing very well and had a great game. Skills which he previously did not need were honed, and Cheng Blocked could shoot and defend as well.

Many of the rules of the game was changed, and Cheng Blocked luckily still had the credentials to continue to play despite the court and the goalpost shifts. There were several other players who were pretty good as well.

The finals came. Cheng Blocked was in good form. He drove hard and managed to play very well, but in the last moment, he shoots and was blocked by the star player from the league owners. Cheng Blocked felt that he was fouled, but being not the appointed candidate, he gathered himself and decided to try again next time.

Before the season rolled around again, Cheng Blocked trained hard and focused more on his skills which he needed to develop. Cheng Blocked was very determined and trained with members from the other teams to practice.

However, the league owners decided that Cheng Blocked may in fact win this time and they changed the rules of the league. Cheng Blocked had a hard foul, the fans were outraged with bad calls by the referee. Cheng Blocked challenged the referee and requested a video review, however, the owners of the league changed the rules again.

This leaves Tan Cheng Blocked no choice. It is their game, in their league, where they write and change their rules. After the game, the rules have changed again, and now Cheng Blocked cannot play because the owners made a new rule which says so. "Let others have a chance."

Isn't the Eliteball World Cup open to get the best players? Why exclude some players? How would this be a World Cup then? The fans have questions but it seemed that the owners of the league does not care. The fans complained, "Why not let the best player in the league play. He almost won last season, and worked hard to be the best..." however the owners of the league decided to limit the players for a "better experience"

"Who are you to decide on what is the best experience?" A fan asked.

"We created the game, and we know what is best for you." The owners replied.

===================================================

To spruce up the game, the owners changed the whole pitch. They wanted to get a contractor for the job, to appease the shareholders, one of the staff members working for the owners quit, so that she can take the contract.

She does not have any experience in renovations but still she was the preferred contractor. But to try to look above board, the owners looked for 2 other contractors to give quotes and as expected, a few weeks later when the contract is given out, the other contractors with years of experience did not qualify because of some new rules set, allowing her to win the contract.



-- Much fiction... such wow...

Monday, September 11, 2017

No Holiday for U!


When people think there is going to be an election...
When people think PAP play fair...
When people accept that Tan Cheng Bok is blocked...
When people think all the candidates are not Malay for a Malay election...
When the election cause doubts in the Malay community on who should be labeled a Malay...
When people question the PAP's candidate's ability...
When people organize and plan to block the PAP's candidate making PAP lose a speaker of the house for nothing.


Singapore government creates a Walkover.
All doubts are over.


And the worse thing is: THERE IS NO HOLIDAY!!!

-- Ironbowl

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sugar Kills - Rio Ice Cream


I've seen this sign several times in Jaffna.

I am a big fan of ice cream, but in Jaffna, there is a local brand that has some form of cult following -- Rio Ice Cream.

Rio is one of the sweetest ice cream I've tasted. I've tried it several times now and I can't finish it... even in the hot muggy weather of Sri Lanka, Rio ice cream is too sweet for me.

When you visit any Rio Ice Cream shops, it is usually packed with people. So if Sugar kills, I would say many people in Jaffna would probably be dead.

-- Iron Bowl

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Singapore practice "Winning at All Cost"


Recently, I've started playing Pokemon go in Singapore. I believe Singapore is probably the only country where people will pay others to play for them. You know -- because walking is too hard.

After playing the game in Japan, Taiwan and the US, the first thing I notice when I am playing the game in Singapore are the hoards of Spoofers. Spoofing is one of the ways to "trick" the GPS of your phone to think that you are walking and it allows you to fly from location to location.

This allows you to get to rare Pokemons which spawns in far away places, attack / defend gyms which are far away from you, and of course, take part in the new Raids with rare Pokemons. I guess, Maybe Singapores are more "Kiasu" - Afraid of Losing, or simply want to win at all cost. Talking to some of these people (age ranging from teenagers to uncles and aunties in their 60's) Many of them have multiple accounts and multiple phones to play the game.

In the current version of the game, you are supposed to be more social and play the game with a friend which makes raiding a gym a lot easier, but by having multiple phones and accounts, you don't need to be social. With software hacks or "cheats" you don't need to walk to places to capture Pokemon, and all you need to do is to use the "spoofing" software and "fly" to where you want to go.

This type of behavior of winning at all cost is very common. It can be seen when parents want to get their kids into a primary school, and will relocate, volunteer and do whatever it takes. However, when I see people behaving like this for a "free to play game" with absolutely no real returns, it just reflects on how many Singaporeans are conditioned to see that everything is scarce.

At Supermarkets, I've seen people double bagging everything, including bags of potato chips. YES-- Potato Chips. Just because -- plastic bags are free.

When driving, people will speed up when you signal your intention to get into another lane. Others will tailgate closely so that people cannot cut into the lanes. I've seen people driving aggressively and sometimes overtaking dangerously, all during the stop and go traffic during peak hours.

Winning at all cost also makes people obsessive about rankings. School rankings, having the best airport, busiest port, etc. seemed very important, and there is often a lot of unnecessary funds spent to be #1. However, after all the money dumped into making it up the rankings, quality of service and productivity is rarely improved.

I've seen a lot of money spent on infrastructure in schools, building nice facades and having state of the art equipment, however, quality of education is still the same.

Being competitive is good in some ways, but when some are too obsessive just to "win", you often miss the plot. It can be seen by looking at the school rankings and PISA test scores for Singaporeans. If you can measure it, Singapore can easily find it way to the top, however, this does not mean Singaporean students or graduates are better or smarter. Most of the time, it simply means they are better at taking standardized exams.

The desire to win at all cost also means putting the pressure on kids, workers and other stakeholders to perform. Singapore's office workers also have one of the lowest productivity in the world. So, how did the best students and PISA scores lead to worst productivity?

With one of the highest population density in the world, and one of the highest cost of living, will the attitude of being competitive and constantly comparing with others simply create more stress?

It said that more than two young people aged 10 to 19 committed suicide in every month in 2015, and something has got to give. Do you need to win in everything in your life? Do you need to own that car to show your status? Is it important that you live in a Condo?"

It is sad that Singaporeans still chase the 5"C"s like what they were doing when Singapore was a developing country, and today, they are increasingly hard to obtain. ("Five Cs of Singapore" – namely, [C]ash, [C]ar, [C]redit card, , [C]ondominium and [C]ountry club membership)

Will having all of that give you happiness?

-- Iron Bowl

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lee Kuan Yew is the loser


In the Lee Family dispute, there is one this clear to me. Its not about who is lying, who is incompetent, or who benefits from this.

One thing for sure is -- LKY is the big loser.

Seems like LKY wants to demolish 38 Oxley Road. There is even a video proof, besides countless other evidences -- even found in the museums.



But it seems that since LKY set the precedence of one man rule, created dogs and lackeys by paying them high salaries for obedience, no one in parliament is standing up for his will.

It seemed to be clear that LKY does not want to be up in a pedestal, he does not want to be worshiped, and he does not want to have his house kept as a memorial. I respect him for that as he seemed consistent in his drive to make Singapore a better place.

Now his son, LHL wants to discuss family matters in parliament, something which wastes a lot of public funds and time, because his son does not want to follow his wishes.

I guess, he was a bad parent.

-- Iron Bowl

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Flea Markets at important to the community.


The Sungei Road Flea Market has been around before I was born. And I guess I have to speak up as I have had great memories there, shopping for random things and then going to Jalan Besar hawker center to have lunch.

In Singapore, I do feel that many things have been destroyed and there is no after thought and simply regrets. Many places I cherish is gone. The old National Library, Victoria Concert Hall, even my primary school building. There are so much memories which brings communities together, and in the name of progress and profits, they are all gone.

When a 30 year old house is destroyed, all that remains are the memories. There are often regrets, but such regrets are irreversible. Clearing of the jungles, removing of kampungs, I do believe that some of which have brought progress and improved quality of living, but today, in Singapore, some people may consider it to be already "First world" and I don't understand why heritage is not cherished.

When it comes to the government talking about conservation, even the botanic gardens was once at risk of getting removed and turning possibly into condos and malls as it was sitting on expensive land. Yet 38 Oxley Road -- the home a Lee Kuan Yew -- a private house which LKY himself wants to be demolished and it was put in his will is probably going to be conserved.

As Oxley Rd is a highly restricted place, I would say most of Singapore, >99% of everyone have not been to Oxley Rd, let alone see the building. For something that private, there is not much more heritage value more than seeing it in photos at the National Gallery. If a person wants his house to be destroyed after his death, his wishes should be followed.

=======================================================

Flea Markets play an important role in society. I've been to many flea markets and in Singapore, the Sungei Road Thieves Market is the biggest (and the only) one.

I've often saw vintage items which I've not seen before and talked to vendors to learn how to use it. It is very educational to understand how some of these items were used in the past. As a maker, understanding how and why some of the inventions and evolution of technology is very important as it gives a good context to understand how things were before some technology were created. Its also gives a much hands on understanding more than any wikipedia page or books can provide.

Of course, the benefit of a flea market that sells used goods is for people to find good deals. When Singapore is pushing the "Green movement", we are told to reduce, reuse and recycle. And the flea market is definitely "reuse" of these old items.

I like re-purposing things for parts, and for costumes, the flea market is a great place to buy something, cut it up to fit your needs. It creates a very good way to save money and reduce the waste which we see too often in society today, the whole idea that most things are disposable.

For many people who lost their jobs and cannot find jobs, selling some of their possessions of useful things they find is a good way of making a living instead of begging. Some of the carefully curated items are great for bargain hunters.

Over time, a community is also formed. The vendors know one another, and some of these old people keep each other company and finding treasure and selling it is a great way to stay active.

When I go to Sungei Road, I see familiar faces and a strong community there, and it is actually a tourist attraction, something that was organically formed and quite well known to tourists.

In the US, you do see garage sales, but in Singapore, many things are prohibited, especially putting things on the sidewalk and selling. The only place that it happens is Sungei Road and it is very disappointing that this will go away.

=====================================================

I am very disappointed that street food, even many hawker centers have slowly changed to air-conditioned food courts. Everything seemed so artificial and I would argue that these locations have land use as some of the hawker centers and markets are only open half day and the foot traffic is low. A structure built for such activities seemed a lot more wasteful than an open air market. While hygiene may be a concern for food vendors, I would say what we have left -- second hand items at Sungei Road does not share such concerns.

Bazaars that pop up from time to time are getting worse as even the rents of these bazaars are creeping up and there are only the few that could afford it, and some of them own cafes and restaurants.

I guess when the government does not collect rent, and cannot regulate well, the option that the bureaucracy has trained them is to destroy what they can't control.  And with this, it will be a sad loss for our heritage.


--Iron Bowl


To me, the market represents the Singapore spirit:

A harmonious community of people, regardless of race or religion, working hard alongside one another. 
They bring value to the nation by showing us all that items we consider trash still has value, and can be reused or resold, instead of consigning them to the incinerator and harming the environment.

Monday, June 12, 2017

So Stressful in Singapore -- Otters have factions.



Singapore is a small island, many things are artificial. Even the rivers are man made (and dammed up)

It was surprising to see a family of back in 2010s, and even as early as 2013, the otters split into factions. One group living at Marina is at conflict with another group on Bishan.

Similarly, on bike sharing, Singaporeans seem to destroy the bikes.


It seems like some Singapore still have that very competitive mindset. To be successful, others must fail.


Back in 2008 when I was involved in digital media, the social media was fragmented once it got to a certain size. Similarly now with entrepreneurship and startups. The founders seem to have factions depending on which universities they come from.

Everything seems to be a competition, and it seems even Singaporean Otters have picked up that behavior.

-- Iron Bowl

Monday, May 08, 2017

Making Mom Upset.


I was having a Mother's day meal with my mom and I realized that my mom was upset. Apparently, the Town Council accused my mom for dripping dirty mop water.

Initially I was wondering how did my mom do such a thing. She was in Genting last weekend, and has been traveling quite a bit. And well, I do not mop. No one else in the house mops. I was checking the grills we have by the kitchen window and they were locked. The locks were also rusty and can't be opened.

It was in fact quite impossible for us to hang the mop outside or any form of laundry.

I would have to thank the Toa Payoh Town Council for making me check on my window locks as I have removed them since, but the fact remains, I don't think we mop the floor much and certainly did not hang the mop outside -- Well if you consider the mop heads "outside" (See photos below)

The mops were NEVER hung outside as the window grills cannot be opened.

I don't understand why the town council would put our address in all the elevators and notice board around the flat like loan sharks shaming us if we had owed money.

Then I recalled. I did complain about the lift not being level, lift doors not closing completely. I highlighted the flaws of the lift to the town council, and perhaps I have given them my address. And is this how they treat whistle blowers?

Is it wrong to put the mop where it is?... (No, we don't usually mop the floor, not me, not my mom, not since Chinese New Years Eve )

Please let me know. Otherwise, is the Town Council not happy because I reported about the bad and possibly unsafe lifts to them?

And I have do not hang my clothes outside as well -- BECAUSE THE GRILLS DO NOT OPEN.

-- Iron Bowl.










------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Update:

The notices are sent by Town Council.



I am not sure if my family was harassed because it was politically motivated or perhaps it was due to me informing them that the lifts have been dangerous as they were not level and the doors don't close properly. 

I would like to ask if you think such behavior of sticking notices of your unit number for something you could never have done is considered fair?

Please let me know what you think.

Regards,

Robin


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Stealing People's lunch.


In Singapore, the Prime Minister entourages citizens to "steal other's lunch". This seems to be a rhetoric that he keeps repeating.

I guess this can be said about his success.

It is of course, his wife Ho Ching that manages Temasek Holdings. And together with him managing GIC, they manage all the sovereign funds. It could be said that the sovereign funds are not managed as well as it should, and they probably over charged, but such behaviors where related parties are placed into important positions and given high salaries is all too common.

In the SMRT, the CEO is paid a very high salary, and yet there are no improvements in the train system. Without relevant experience and connections, and accountability, breakdowns are common.

On the Crony-capitalism index, Singapore is #5.

People in parliament, and high ranking officials in government linked companies are much related.


With connected people in high positions, they seem to get away with mediocre performance, and enjoying high salaries.

I would say there are a lot of people whom I respect, made their way to the top and became rich, but also many others who are there because of their connections.

Many rich families with mediocre second generations get into the family business, and in Asia, by managing properties, get even wealthier and believe they have made it. With their egos inflated, they fail at everything else and then increase rents to cover their outside losses.

With enough of these rent seeking families who own most of the properties in the market, they create a non-elastic situation where they can make money off the backs of everyone else.

In many countries, such practices are often curbed as it affects social mobility, but in countries where the ruling party controls finance and much of the economy with their friends and families, they can create rules and regulations that favor their friends and families.

In the case of a country where the GDP is so high but a lot of people do not have buying power, it is easy to see how some of these cronnies have so much money to enjoy the high life, yet they provide so little value to society.

Controlling media, it is easy to make others angry at foreigners for "stealing your lunch" but with lax immigration policies, "low business morality" and paying people below market values, it is easy to sway others away from the fact that "There is much less social mobility than before"

If you are born in those families, you can do nothing and be rich, and if you are outside, you can work till you die and not even afford public housing.

Don't get angry at foreigners and think that unskilled labor and semi-skilled cheap programmers can easily come to steal your lunch. Remember, it is the policy makers and their connected friends who own the business that decide to hire these low wage staff and not pay market rate while they keep the profits to themselves and pay little taxes on that.

They have been stealing your lunch from the start yet people are often too distracted to realize that they are in for the ride.

-- Iron bowl.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Most expensive motorcycles in the world.

Can the Finance Minister stop meddling with poor people?

In his Ivory Tower, the Finance Minister who survived a stroke, decided that to lower the cost of small motorcycles, he need to increase the tax for all motorcycles.

I don't think increasing price will ever lower cost. Perhaps, when they increase prices for public transportation, it made buses and MRTs more affordable?

Well, there is the COE. See, in Singapore, you have to pay to buy a piece of virtual paper before you can own a motorcycle for 10 years. This paper now cost $8,081.


In the past (like 2015) A Harley Streetglide would cost $45,000. And Today, the same motorcycle (the 2017 model) costs $65,000.

That is a hefty 25% - 30% increase.

Sadly, for smaller motorcycles. The situation is much worse.

In 2010, My friend bought a Spark 135 for about $5,000. And Today, the same motorcycle cost over $12,000.

That is more than 100% increase.

Sadly, this increase does not only affect riders. Many dispatch riders that deliver mail, packages and your food use these motorcycles, and it will eventually end up driving costs up and affecting all consumers.

Motorcycles is a necessity. There is no such thing as a "Luxury motorcycle" In Singapore, it rains almost every day. No matter how luxury, you endure the rain, sun and exhausts fumes. There are also many bad drivers that make it dangerous as well.

Many people who own motorcycles -- even the big ones -- own it more for a hobby, riding to Malaysia for touring. And they do not use it everyday. So why TAX THEM MORE?

The cooling measure clearly failed, and cause motorcycle cost to increase. The basic principle of supply and demand plays a role. With the COE choked, the number of motorcycles is shrinking and when the Tax is increase, most people will not buy a new motorcycle, and decide to repair their 10 year old motorcycle and renew COE. This cause the available COE to be reduced, and hence price goes up.

The SG Budget should help Singaporeans but I start to wonder why driving cost up in the most expensive city in the world actually helps the people living there?

Sure many people are concerned about the 30% increase in water price, but as you do your online shipping, guess who delivers some of your food and goods. Its on Vans and Motorcycles, and be prepared that the charges for delivery to be increased again.

Perhaps the government want Singapore to be #1...

#1 in bike cost in the world

-- Iron Bowl

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fearmongering after Amos seeks Asylum


With Amos Yee successfully getting Asylum in Trump America, what does this tell you about Singapore laws?

To get things straight. I do not agree with Amos Yee, and I do find him rather annoying. His behavior is rather immature, but granted, he was a teenager, 16 year old when he first put up video posts, I could not expect more.

FACTs:
Former PAP youth leader or a former NMP can incite hatred over religion and race without prosecution. May get counseling or a nice talking to.
If you are a 16 year old boy who has criticized an authoritarian leader then similar comments will send you straight to jail.

======================================================

So, after Amos Yee successfully seeks asylum, many Singapore seemed to be jealous and say that US is encouraging hate speech and US lets Singaporeans "escape NS" And many people will follow.

Bitch please. Anyone can try slandering the Prime Minister and go to jail to escape NS, I DARE YOU TO DO SO. I've known of a person who broke his legs a week before enlisting and now, he walks with a permanent limp and was in a wheelchair for 2 years. He did not go through National Service.

Sure, if you are desperate to not want to serve National Service, you can jump from an overhead bridge and don't bend your knees. That ought to shatter both kneecaps and perhaps you don't need to serve NS like him.

======================================================

The IB trolls failed to get more attention on their negative replies on Facebook, now it seems that people are spreading rumors.

PAP grassroots members circulating misinformation of police action to instill fear and discourage discussion of unpopular policies

Spam message circulating on WhatsApp warning public to refrain from talking about the Government

The message goes like this.

"Don't forward any posts or videos etc., u receive regarding politics/present situation about Government/PM etc.
Police have put out a notification termed ..Cyber Crime ... and action will be taken...just delete...inform your friends & others too.
Writing or forwarding any msg on any political & religious debate is an offence now....arrest without warrant...
This is very serious, plz let it be known to all our groups and individual members as group admin can b in deep trouble. Please take note of this seriously."

I feel that such misinformation is much worse than what Amos did. During the election, there are cases where people receiving messages telling them to "Vote Wisely" because their vote can be tracked, and there will be consequences if they are in civil service or government linked companies.

I do feel that such misinformation is in fact more dangerous and the people involved should be imprisoned for a longer sentence than a 16 years old cursing on video at a dead man.

Clearly, some people in the government feels threatened. Someone is doing something right.

-- Ironbowl




Monday, March 20, 2017

Grab / Uber Offers #Singapore #March 2017

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GrabShuttle – Enter promo code GRABSHUTTLE to enjoy 3 free GrabShuttle rides from 2 – 31 March
GrabFamily – Enter promo code FAMILY to enjoy $2 off (waiver) GrabFamily rides from 10 – 31 March
Also: Nike's Air Max Day has arrived and here's what you need to know
ComfortDelGro
ComfortDelGro – Enter promo code LAZBDAYRIDE to enjoy $3.30 off (booking waiver) from 21 – 23 March
Uber
uberPOOL – Enter promo code 4LESS to enjoy $4 off up to 3 uberPOOL rides now till 24 March


From a friend. Got Offer must share.

-- Ironbowl

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Making Motorcycles cost more - Singapore

Recently, with the government's attempt to reduce the Motorcycle COE prices to make smaller motorcycles more affordable, they created a tiered system to tax the motorcycles.

The current ARF will apply to motorcycles with OMVs up to $5,000. After that, the next $5,000 will be subject to a rate of 50 per cent, and the remaining OMV beyond $10,000 will be subject to a rate of 100 per cent.


On the surface for people who do not know about motorcycles, this looks like a good idea, however, if anyone actually met up with motorcycle dealers, riders and the distributors, this is a DISASTER.



So, most motorcycles WILL COST MORE.

The CB400 is simply a workhorse. If the machine price costs S$7000, with 50% for the $2000 above $5000, YOU WILL AT LEAST PAY $1000 more for a very common workhorse motorcycle which is one of the most reliable bikes.

So with COE today, this bike can be around $18,000!

And by the way, if you think this is ok, this motorcycle is around $10,000 in 2007

Looking at other motorcycle prices, The Yamaha T-max is considered a "luxury" Motorcycle because the motorcycle machine price is around $12,000

So the additional tax is $4,500 (for machine price of $12,000) so every Yamaha T-max 530 will cost $4,500 MORE



My Heritage Softail Classic, NOT EVEN a Luxury motorcycle has a machine price of $22,000 (OMV Price)

The motorcycle on the road back in 2007 is about $40,000 And today, it is $55,000.

================================================================


The government decided to charge motorcycles COE from $1 and more after 1994, and when they limit the number of COE for motorcycles, the price of the COE increased sharply.

FACT:

Motorcycles are not a luxury. It rains almost every week, and in Singapore, the weather is not predictable and you get caught in the rain more often than you plan.

The danger is real. There are a lot of bad drivers who do not check their blindspot. Recently, a van rammed 8 motorcycles on the BKE, killing 2. Whether you are riding a big bike or a small bike, you dies when you get hit hard.

Motorcycle do not really take up a lot of space on the road. During traffic jams, most motorcyclists do "lane splitting" and filter between the cars. This reduces the jam significantly as they are not part of the traffic.

Furthermore, it is a more efficient way of transport when most people travel alone and riding a motorcycle saves space and reduces traffic jams.

If you increase the price of new motorcycles, people who cannot afford to buy a new motorcycle will renew their COE and continue to ride, thus making the COE quota to decrease, and COE premiums to increase.

Singapore already has one of the most expensive cars in the world. This move will make motorcycles most expensive as well.

There is no such thing as a luxury motorcycle. Motorcycles are essential for delivery today in future business as eCommerce picks up. With higher motorcycle prices, delivery charges will increase and it will cause inflation.

Today, COE price is $7,483. It is the highest ever.

The finance minister did not solve the problem. He made it worse.

A small motorcycle like FZN150  costs $14,300 on the road, where a similar motorcycle costs $8,000 in 2007.

People who need to get places and CANNOT AFFORD cars, NEED to ride motorcycles. The public transportation system does not bring you to many places, and motorcycles is still a necessity.

WHY TAX PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD CARS BY CALLING IT "LUXURY MOTORCYCLE" which is simply a way to tax the poor more.

So sadly, Singaporeans and motorcyclists have to "eat it" and pay more again, while policymakers continue to make millions by not solving problems and using the only book they know.

"If there is a problem, charge more...."


-- Ironbowl





Monday, February 20, 2017

Singapore Budget 2017

Its seems like most years, there is only bad news when it comes to the Singapore budget.


For the past few years, there seemed to be a little positive direction in the budget in having more social spending, and I would have thought that the same would happen this year.

Sadly, it seems like the government is unable to deviate from its expansionary budget. I would say, the government collects record amounts of funds every year, from taxes, land sales and investments, building up funds to be used "on a rainy day"

With the doom and gloom in the horizon, lower investments entering the country, stagnation of industries, residential housing bust, etc, I expected perhaps the government would find ways to spend funds to stimulate the economy.

I was wrong.

Days after declaring the increase of service and conservation fees, the government decides to increase the cost of water by 30% (without any real reason given).

There are new ERP charges on Adam Road, and the motorcycle taxes will increase.

It seems to go in line with the unpopular white paper to increase the population to 6.9 million people when these charges are in place to put in more infrastructure, and control the vehicle population, etc, however, with increase cost and increase population in a time where the country is not doing so well, it just seems to create a negative cycle.

Inflation with a stagnating economy.

There is a lack of innovation and risk taking by the policy makers and by favoring one industry -- finance industry -- REITS has made it much harder for businesses to afford rents.

In my opinion, this budget does nothing much to revive the economy. The increase costs will make life more difficult for many and not really affect much the rich as there is no capital gains tax and inheritance tax in Singapore.

I feel that in our long term planning to move the country forward, nothing has changed and it reinforces the mindset that everyone needs to look out for themselves and the government does not spend much on social spending. There is not much social spending to alleviate poverty and yet we are continuing the surplus for more reserves.

In many developed economies, social spending is up and public investment in social security, poverty alleviation, education and healthcare usually raises the bottom up and reduces inequality. In Singapore, this continues to be absent as these spending is low according to OECD standards.

====================================================

In terms of innovation, Singapore seems to want to go in the right direction, but once something happens, it shrinks back to its shell.

Testing Self driving cars, nuTonomy got into an accident last year and all tests have halted. Cars are grounded and no further tests allowed. Instead of looking at how laws can be setup along with insurance policies that would cover driverless cars, innovation cease when a minor accident happens.


====================================================

If surplus budget is to store for a "Rainy Day", I would like to ask how does a "Rainy Day" look like, and would the Gini coefficient need to be, before the government takes action to solve income inequality?

-- Ironbowl







Monday, September 05, 2016

What Pokemon Go Teach you about Singaporeans


Singaporeans have been conditioned by the government to follow certain norms. And because of the controlled media, it is sometimes hard to find out what exactly is wrong as the government run media companies don't really report objectively.

What the government describe as "Kiasu" mentality, where the youths are stressed and most of them spend much time on tuition and extra classes to get better grades to a point that Singapore probably has the highest suicide rates for young people.

I don't think "Kiasu" is even a good thing. No matter how you spin it, Kiasu people who do not take risks are simply replaceable by robots.

Sadly, it is not only the "Kiasu" mentality, many of these Kiasu people are also very hateful inside. Its is not about winning and succeeding, it is also about others failing.

I've been to popular areas where there are rare pokemons, and you do find a lot of Singaporean. What seems to be only a game, you get hordes of people following the crowds to get rare pokemons. In many other countries, you do get helpful people teaching others about the game and building communities, but in Singapore, you may not even get much response when you ask people in the crowd "Hey, why are you running that way?"

I've encountered situations where people block the bridge at Marina Bay Sands, even after they caught the Dragonite. They just stand there and not move, and with enough of them, many others cannot come close enough to catch the Dragonite.

In many other cases, some idiots will think it funny to go in a crowd and shout "Snorlax" and begin running in a direction, hopefully, tricking others to join in. While creating a stampede, they stand back and watch people confused and searching for the imaginary Snorlax.

There is also an app on a webpage which allows people to put in Pokemon Sightings, and you get a lot of fake posts of rare pokemons on the site.

Is this the kind of uglyness you want to portray? Is this what you get from 51 years of brainwashing?

When you show a high CP pokemon a forum or the Facebook group, you get people calling you a cheater. Some even report the account to Niantic...

So when you see others succeeding, is it Singaporean to be jealous and hateful that they succeeded?

Of course there are many that spoof their accounts and cheat to get rare pokemon just to show it online and brag, but who cares if they cheat like Singapore bringing in Foreign Talents to compete in Olympics. Even if they win, nobody cares.

Come on guys, Pokemon Go is just a game, it gets you walking outside and you get to meet others. Please say hi, and share tips. Congratulate others on their rare pokemons, form groups to fight in Gyms.

Go meet new people and travel to various parks and gardens to be close to nature. Don't be jealous, and don't put others down.

By the way, I have no sympathy for the guy who will eventually be stomped on by the mob by shouting Snowlax in a crowded area.

--Ironbowl.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Suggestive Logo?



When I saw this without my glasses, this is what I saw.

STAND.UP


I was like WTF yo...


-- Iron Bowl

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Schooling is very Singaporean.


Schooling like Chang cannot just get gold to succeed. He has to beat his idol, other top swimmers in the world and the Olympic Record as well. Yup, 3 second place, all behind him.

Phelps can have 22 gold medals but he can't have the one against Schooling.

-- Iron Bowl

Friday, July 29, 2016

Singapore is like a Ferrari owned by a 71 year old woman



Recently, a woman stopped her Ferrari in the middle of the road in front of a tour bus and blocked off three out of five lanes, which caused a traffic jam along Orchard Road.

There seems to be a parallel to Singapore, an island state which invested heavily on science and technology, but seems to have trouble apply it. A self proclaimed smart nation, Singapore wants to embrace the Internet of Things, only to prevent civil servants from accessing the internet by next June.

Its like an old lady driving a Ferrari. All the power, but decide to road hog and block traffic.

DBS recognized that Fintech is getting big, but MAS and the Singapore banks are slow to move, with full of regulations and rules and no one knows how to regulate. Alipay hit $100b in less than a year with zero branches, DBS took 50 years to get there: Piyush Gupta 

Even for a game like Pokemon Go, aimed at kids, the government needs time to study. I strongly believe that the "leaders" have no clue about technology, yet want to spend a lot of money not knowing what will happen, and eventually, fear doing anything with technology as they fear failure.

The big question is, you have already failed on so many fronts -- Failed to keep Casinos out of the country, Failed to control traffic and congestion with ERP and COE, Failed to provide a reliable public transportation, despite privatizing it, Failed to keep to budgets on big projects like Youth Olympics, Building of National Stadium.

Spending 87% of the cost on consultants for building a bin center is no way "prudent spending".

I don't understand why there is still so much fear. Failure has happened, no one was fired or took any accountability, why not allow more startups to go into Fintech? Why not allow Pokemon Go? Are you sitting on your high salaries and just saying no, because actually you don't know and don't want to look stupid?

-- Ironbowl



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Homophobic Country? Singapore


I have put on a rainbow flag on my motorcycle, showing solidarity and support for the marginalized people in Singapore -- Yes the much bullied LGBT community.

I would have thought that most Singaporeans will not know what a rainbow flag would mean, however, an early morning at East Coast, I got called names, "Faggot, Homo, Molester"

This is so shocking to me, to a point that I dare not leave the flag on my motorcycle, in fear of people vandalizing it. Later, I parked at Marine Parade to go for breakfast, and people who are above 40 years old, (Not teenagers) giving me the evil eye, and again, heard homophobic slurs thrown at me.


I don't really see why must people HATE the rainbow flag. I mean what I put on my motorcycle is my business. I don't understand why are people threatened by "Equal Rights" for Gays? They are not taking rights away from people, they are not making others gay? They are not calling people names like "Faggot!"

So if there are equal rights, does it mean the bigots who hide behind their religion cannot get away with hating and bullying gay people anymore? Is that why there is so much hate?


I left the flag out at the parking lot on the motorcycle. Thinking that I should not fear, I am not gay, but I do support gay rights, what are people going to do?

At the end of the day, I found the flag on the ground, with the shaft of the flag separated. I really do feel violated. I can't even imagine how a gay person in Singapore must have felt, if they were openly gay, and probably would live their whole life -- as a lie.

-- Iron Bowl

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stop Your Voluntourism - Singapore



Many students in Singapore like to go overseas for the "CIP" Community Involvement Projects, which is compulsory for them, and they need to clock in hours. When you force people to do things, many of them are either resentful or they simply do not care.

From an undisclosed source, Singapore Students visited Nepal and help raise funds to "build a school" It might be a noble gesture, but most schools in Nepal have been rebuilt with Bamboo and Tarpaulin, it may look temporary, but it works.

I don't understand why people think that construction is a "unskilled job". Just because Singapore companies import cheap labor in construction, it does not mean they are not trained. Simply getting school children to build a school after they watch a Youtube video is not enough.

Similar to this school as pictured, student volunteers actually built schools. They stack bricks and made cement. Yay...

However, unskilled construction in a country that was just struck by an earthquake -- IS A BAD IDEA. The brick walls are built without any supports, columns or foundations. Mixing concrete is also not so easy. Getting the cement mix to be of the right consistency, adding the right amount of sand, it all varies with the quality of sand / cement used and using the right amount of water matters.

If you think you are helping by building a school with unskilled Youths, I need to inform you that a building actually did collapse. Your voluntourism actually harmed people.

This school shown in the photos is actually done by unskilled, cheap contractors, and it is not stable. If you don't know anything about civil engineering, please don't "help kill more kids" when the next earthquake happens.  Earthquake destroyed the original school before, and it will happen again. Please don't risk the lives of others and waste funds doing thing which are not critical. Nepal does not need your crappy schools.

-- Ironbowl.






Saturday, April 30, 2016

Still no access to Handicapped lots.





I feel that the town council in many estates is out to make money and not serve the people. When you call them "lazy" as nothing is done to rectify the lack of accessibility after constructing the "barrier parking", the town council started visiting flat to flat to tell you about the clutter inside and outside your HDB flat, and ask you to remove a shoe rack outside the flat.

I don't even understand why they need to increase barriers at the multi storey carpark?

There was a slope for handicapped people, and 2 handicapped lots at the ground floor of car park. but after they built the "barrier parking", all the slopes around the HDB flats are removed, and as an able-bodied person pushing a cart or dragging a luggage, I find it hard to clear some of these very high kerbs.

I must think it would be very hard to access these carparks which I've never seen any handicapped person use -- EVER -- in the 15 years or so I've been there. Now, its IMPOSSIBLE to use them as there are no slopes and the barrier is in the way.

I do feel disappointed when town councils and public service creates more barriers and problems than help, and your tax dollars pay for their existence. I do hope they can exercise thoughts, but it seems like most of them just follow orders and procedures from someone who has never been on the ground.

Besides election time, I've never seen any MPs walk the ground, and when I talk to RC people or Town Council people about the accessibility issues, I NEVER get a respond.

-- Robin


Monday, April 11, 2016

The unnecessary construction


There are constant construction going on everywhere in Singapore. In Toa Payoh, they sealed up the drain outside the library opposite Blk 79, create a wide walkway. It did not really do much at all, and there are more construction done every year which does not seem to add much.

In the past year, all the car parks have gone to electronic parking. I do support electronic parking in principle, but when implemented, it seems to cause much traffic jams as either the sensors are not sensitive enough, or connection is bad. During peak hours, this adds to traffic jams when cars are stuck trying to get into the car park and blocked by the barriers.

What's worse is that with the electronic parking, it comes "barriers". To prevent motorcycle and scooters to escape through the barriers without parking, all the slopes at the pavement are blocked. Yes, in order to make more revenue by prevent the few from parking illegally, handicapped people and people using carts to deliver goods have barriers that prevent them from travelling efficiently.

Usually, after much complains, there are more construction again to create more slopes, but the new routes are often far and not well planned.

Looking around Singapore. I realize that unnecessary construction happen everywhere. Terminal 4, 5, project Jewel, the new parks opposite Istana, and the old rail corridor is getting rebuilt to be a "green corridor". The one thing I don't understand Singaporeans is that they want "Nature" but they want nice walkways, toilets and lighting? Perhaps vending machines and food courts too?

I am getting annoyed at the Grassroots system where few "volunteers" consisting of contractors and people working in government linked companies hoping to rub shoulders with the "who's who" and hope for promotion. Many with motives join the system (and in senior position too) and it makes many other volunteers feel uncomfortable as everything that they do is for their benefit. (not really benefiting others in the community.)

I've always said that unnecessary construction is a sign of cronnyism, and I've seen this in Taiwan, Hong Kong, where the public gets mad when they find out, but in Singapore, media is so controlled and people seem very obedient.

-- Ironbowl