Tag Archive | HDB

Pioneer generation gift I want…

… but unlikely to get…

I don’t know whom people like Madam Halimah Yacob has been talking to but as a member of the so-called Pioneer Generation — phew I just made it — I don’t particularly want my medical needs to be supported by the G as a gesture of the nation’s gratitude to me having been there and done that — whatever that might have been to make SG what it is today.

The real gift I want from the Government won’t cost tax payers a cent from their pockets but would benefit people like me.

I think the best “relief” the G can give “pioneer” Singaporeans is to allow those of us who own private property to buy HDB resale again and not charge any ABSD whether it’s my second or sixth property.

That way, it ensures a level playing field between Singaporean HDB owners (who are still allowed to buy private) and Singaporean private property owners from the “pioneer” generation.

By opening the door to more buyers for the HDB resale market, it gives HDB owners wanting to upgrade a bigger pool of buyers to tap. Also, it will give those “pioneers” who already own both HDB and private an added option: they can once again sell their HDB and know they can get back into the resale HDB market, if the need arises. Otherwise such potential suppliers of HDB resale units might be paralysed into inaction.

OK, Government, give those who don’t want this option their medical benefits till death. But give others who may have enough rainy day medical savings the option to buy HDB — which we enjoyed till a couple of years ago.

Go on, Tharman, show that you are a true maverick who can really think out of the box in Budget 2014 :lol:

Where are the SG girls?

One curious fact stands out. Almost all the folks arrested and charged, arrested but not yet charged and others merely helping police with investigations relating to a recent spate of high profile web-hacking, vandalism and illegal assembly are MEN and BOYS.

Where are the Singapore girls, women, aunties, grandmas and xiao meis? Why isn’t AWARE jumping all over the place for this under-representation of the female race?

Are we women so law-abiding that we are never ever tempted to do wrong? Or if we are tempted, do we quickly show temptation the door?

Actually this auntie here could have made up for the shortfall if I were at all gutsy. But I was and am not, when it comes to entangling with the law.

That’s why one recent Monday afternoon, in the HDB car park next to the Clementi Mall, I acceded to one police sergeant’s request to delete pictures taken on my pohone’s Instagram.

Not only that. Not satisfied, he insisted, ever soooo politely, on going thru the “gallery” of my mobile to delete any residual images as well.

Thorough job that and I felt as helpless as I was when I was robbed at gun point in a hair salon in Katong Shopping Centre, several decades ago.

Sure, I didn’t fear for my life in the latest epiosde but I didn’t relish spending time at the police station should I say “no” to Sgt Calvin/Kelvin.

What was my crime?

I don’t know if I had committed any.

I took a distant pix of the good sergeant and his two colleagues, their police car and the SCDF’s Red Rhino, with four men in their distinctive “combat” gear.

What’s the reason they were there?

Because a woman found her son had fallen asleep inside the car and she was unable to open the car doors to get in.

That’s what i understood from a fellow passer by.

What I couldn’t understand was why the police didn’t advise the woman to get a locksmith from the Mall downstairs or from the HDB shops next door.

I could and still can sympathise with the mum’s panic but not the Home Team’s men, who surrounded the car as if someone had died inside, while the woman pounded on the windows calling “Wake up, wake up”. At one point, there was even a civil defence ambulance hanging around. :roll:

I went to return my trolley to Fairprice Finest downstairs and on my return, all was well. The boy had woken up and the woman drove off, leaving the officers.

That’s when i decided to take a pix to remind me of the encounter which begs the question of what our Home Team would have done, had we been hit by a tornado, not just a locked car door?

Alas, I wasn’t allowed to keep my souvenir, with the good sergeant having the last word after he swiped the last offending pix from my camera: We have a serious life saving situation here!! :roll: :roll:

Call me naive.. or subversive

… but there are three recent developments in Singapore that flummoxed moi. :lol:

Take the latest first.

I refer to the victory achieved by the minority dissenting owners to kill the en bloc sale of the Thomson View condo.

The judge threw out the sale, already cleared by 80% of the owners, because the property agents handling the deal had paid a few owners out of their potential commission to sign the deal and achieve the tipping point. They even paid the return airfare for one owner to come back to Singapore from the Netherlands to sign.

I personally don’t see what’s so wrong for the agents to induce the last few critical owners to sign.

Conflict of interest?

Only if the payment came out of the sale price (après commission) of the property and thereby has the effect of eating into the total sum paid to owners who didn’t need inducement.

Only if once the consent to sell is achieved, the agents then sell the property at prices below what could be reasonably fetched on the open market in order for them to close the sale and collect their commission.

But this would be unlikely as all en bloc agreements have minimum price clauses included. In any case, it won’t benefit the agents to sell at a fire sale price since their commission would be a % of the price achieved. The lower the price, the smaller their commission.

Of course there could be suspicion that agents who induce critical stragglers to sign have hidden agendas, such as selling the property below its true value and then collecting kick backs from the buyer.

But as pointed out earlier if there is a realistic and market sensitive reserve price, fire sales are unlikely.

If under-table shenanigans are discovered then of course the agents and their co-conspirators should be dealt with to the full extent of the law. Send them to jail and throw away the key!

This wasn’t the case with Thomson View. Hopefully, our law enforcers would in future see that there are inducements which are practical, legal and ethical and those that aren’t.

Which brings me to the 2nd development: curtailing the privilege of alumni from elite primary schools sending their kids to their parents or grandparents’ alma mater.

In my view, all alumni should retain their priority registration intact. These schools should open their doors to those with no alumni connection only if and when their alumni have got all the places they need for their offspring.

Unfair to children not blessed with such well-connected parents?

Nonsense.

If every school in SG is a good school, then let kids without parental connections go to those which have as yet to grow such a network.

If not every school is a good school, then MOE should hot-house those schools that have, for whatever reason, been unable to build up cohorts of loyal alumni. But not disrupt the prioritised inflow of schools that have already built their alumni families of multi-generations!

To prevent inbreeding and infuse new blood? Let that come naturally via any unfilled places left over annually or let the affected schools find their own solution, not have it imposed by fiat by the Government.

Unfair to those without parental connections?

Well, no more unfair than it is for those who own HDB homes being allowed to buy and continue to buy private property. Whereas those who own private property no longer have the reverse privilege to buy HDB, even when such buyers were confined to the resale unsubsidised HDB market, in days when the rules were different.

By contrast, most of those who own HDB have already had one or several bites of the state’s subsidy-cherry. Yet they continue to enjoy the privilege of buying private, while holding onto heavily subsidised assets.

How much unfairer can things get, you tell me!

Since the presumably better off are handicapped in the housing market, is it so outrageous then that the presumably less advantaged be somewhat left out in the cold when it comes to schooling in brand name primary schools?

While I believe in a more equal and inclusive society, I don’t believe that to achieve such equality G should level up one segment of Singaporeans while having policies that level down the presumed better connected and better off :roll:

In any case, if Singapore truly wants to build tradition, encourage real appreciation of heritage, continuity and community bonding, then depriving some descendants of alumni from attending the schools of their forefathers is hardly the best route to achieve such ends.

This brings me to the curious case of famous surgeon Susan Lim and the fees she charged a deceased relative of the Sultan of Brunei.

So our courts and her peers have found and continue to find her fees to be exorbitant! Case closed!

But like I had said in an earlier post — https://singaporegirl.wordpress.com/?s=susan+lim – I don’t belong to the camps that condemn her.

This is because there is plenty of choice for medical treatment in SG and Dr Lim, like your rich and famous Kim Robinsons and Michelin starred chefs, should be free to impose ridiculous fees on those who have money to burn and seek brand-name service providers, be it doctor, hair dresser, cook or bottle washer.

Instead, the courts and medical fraternity’s indignation and ire should be directed at doctors who turn away patients who can’t pay — telling them to go to A&E or retaining prescribed medicine until they bring the full sum to pay for consultation and drugs!

Charging what your rich patient can very well bear isn’t about ethics. But not attending to a sick person because he doesn’t have the means to pay is!

Such wicked doctors don’t exist in SG? I wait to be convinced!

To conclude, I wish my self-righteous fellow citizens, including our judges, would direct their disapproval, better still anger, at things such as the strange metamorphosis of a tender for a $19.14million project by the Republic Polytechnic to develop an academic system.

After the deadline, the poly allowed a vendor to submit a revised proposal. Bad enough, right?

Worse! It was a substantial change from the original tender, says the Straits Times, citing the G’s Auditor General annual report which highlights cases of cavalier behaviour by those who handle our country’s coffers.

Worst! This substantial change wasn’t disclosed to the tender approving authority and believe it or not, the vendor who re-submitted got the contract.

I rest my case. And I don’t even wonder why there’s no Committee of Inquiry for all those scandalous cases involving our civil servants that run to millions of dollars or dozens of illicit occasions for cheap sex, often in car parks, for crying out loud! :cry:

Khaw Boon Wan doesn’t geddit!

The media says that Mr Khaw Boon Wan told a Our Singapore Conversation group that there is “something wrong somewhere” with the Executive Condominium (EC) scheme and the scheme cannot carry on in its current form.

Here is the link to the Straits Times version of this confession and the brick bats thrown at him for his belated Eureka moment!

I could have told him so — and did — in January when I wrote a post extensively on the G’s Medusa-like HDB policies. Here is the link and the screen shot.

not just EC policy, Mr Khaw :(

not just EC policy, Mr Khaw :(

I believe the most important and urgent U-turn is for G to stop continuing to promise all future Singaporeans a HDB home. The first, second and 3rd generations of Singaporeans born and bred have already had their first and in some cases second and third — and for all we know even fourth!! — bites.

Let fourth and future generations either inherit, rent or work and save up to buy from the market, whether HDB resale or private.

Otherwise G may be doing to future generations what Singapore used to laugh at — the welfare state of our ex-colonial masters which ultimately took the Great out of Britain!

We — at least I — don’t want the PAP’s 80% public housing policy to be the Archilles heel that takes the zing out of Singapore :roll: :cry:

Really, get real!

When I first saw her speaking on TV a few weeks ago, in eye-catching cyclamen pink, I wondered whether she was an actress doing a skit. Then I saw her again on TV tonite and realised she’s not an actress. But the real McCoy!

Ms Ow Bin Bing was among the 180+ investors of a defunct gold trading company who signed a petition earlier this month urging the Commercial Affairs Department to step up investigations into the failed business in which they had invested a lot of money.

Today, Ms Ow was again among those collecting signatures to petition against the setting up of a child-care centre at the rooftop garden of a multi-storey carpark at Blk 180, Edgefield Plains in Punggol.

Speaking on camera, Ms Ow said:  “If the small kids – two months old baby to seven years small kids, if anything happened, how can they run for their life? Let’s say if there was a fire or anything, I have been teaching for 27 years, I know the small kids are very active, if anything were to happen, who will be responsible for their safety?”

I’m sure SG will get to hear more of and from Ms Ow!

ow

At Hong Lim Park

ow2

No to child-care centre!

Aiyah, learn to live with less, lah!

So, the single Singaporean, 35 years or older and earning $5,000 or less a month, will soon be able to join the queue buying HDB flats direct from the Government.

You would think this group of singletons would think themselves lucky. But no! Judging from what I’ve read in the SG newspapers, some potential beneficiaries are unhappy with the size of the homes they would be offered.

These quibble that the 375 sq to 485 sq ft units priced from as little as $100,000 — which incidentally isn’t enough nowadays to buy a brand new basic car!!! — are too small for them. Never mind that after a promised $15-K grant from an increasingly populist inclined G/PAP, the flat would cost less than a COE, muwahhaha!

The ungrateful comments remind me of that Cantonese saying: given a bed, would demand a blanket!

I’ve just visited a Singaporean friend who has lived in Hong Kong for two thirds of her life. Her home in the Sheung Wan area measures all of 400 sq ft but the useable area is some 10 to 15% less. It’s in fact a converted office unit with many offices in the 17-storey building having been similarly converted into homes.

I’ve not seen a cuter dwelling. Friend has a fully equipped kitchen complete with built-in electric oven, bathroom and toilet and a full-size washing machine. But she has no cupboard for her clothes or a bed. She sleeps on a futon on the floor while her clothes are hung in an alcove screened off by a discreet curtain.

She’s not my only Singaporean friend who lives in such a tiny flat. Another who moved to London a dozen years ago lives in the top-class district of Buckingham Gate. Her home – across the road from the New Scotland Yard building – is all of 180 sq ft.

As I’ve never visited her, I can’t vouch for how truly titchy it is but my friend tells me, her bed folds into the wall and she has a bathroom, toilet and all the other stuff that makes modern living comfortable in that space :roll:

Now if neither of these examples underline what a gr8 consolation prize our increasingly populist inclined G/PAP is offering Singaporean singletons of lesser means, then let me share an NYT article which my friend Bubur Hitam sent me about living with less.

For ease of reference, I’ve reproduced the whole article at the bottom of this post. For those who want the hundreds of comments the article has attracted, go here and here

After digesting the information, I hope that more Singaporeans, single or otherwise, would seriously consider doing more with less.

Here our increasingly populist inclined G/PAP — especially Minister Khaw Boon Wan – should take a new lead. Instead of doing war dances over shoe-box homes, G/PAP and Mr Khaw should preach the benefits and practicalities of doing with less space in exchange for more time, money and leisure: To live well with 7 million or more!

The New York Times

March 9, 2013

Living With Less. A Lot Less.

By GRAHAM HILL

I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.

I have come a long way from the life I had in the late ’90s, when, flush with cash from an Internet start-up sale, I had a giant house crammed with stuff — electronics and cars and appliances and gadgets.

Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me. My circumstances are unusual (not everyone gets an Internet windfall before turning 30), but my relationship with material things isn’t.

We live in a world of surfeit stuff, of big-box stores and 24-hour online shopping opportunities. Members of every socioeconomic bracket can and do deluge themselves with products.

There isn’t any indication that any of these things makes anyone any happier; in fact it seems the reverse may be true.

For me, it took 15 years, a great love and a lot of travel to get rid of all the inessential things I had collected and live a bigger, better, richer life with less.

It started in 1998 in Seattle, when my partner and I sold our Internet consultancy company, Sitewerks, for more money than I thought I’d earn in a lifetime.

To celebrate, I bought a four-story, 3,600-square-foot, turn-of-the-century house in Seattle’s happening Capitol Hill neighborhood and, in a frenzy of consumption, bought a brand-new sectional couch (my first ever), a pair of $300 sunglasses, a ton of gadgets, like an Audible.com MobilePlayer (one of the first portable digital music players) and an audiophile-worthy five-disc CD player. And, of course, a black turbocharged Volvo. With a remote starter!

I was working hard for Sitewerks’ new parent company, Bowne, and didn’t have the time to finish getting everything I needed for my house. So I hired a guy named Seven, who said he had been Courtney Love’s assistant, to be my personal shopper. He went to furniture, appliance and electronics stores and took Polaroids of things he thought I might like to fill the house; I’d shuffle through the pictures and proceed on a virtual shopping spree.

My success and the things it bought quickly changed from novel to normal. Soon I was numb to it all. The new Nokia phone didn’t excite me or satisfy me. It didn’t take long before I started to wonder why my theoretically upgraded life didn’t feel any better and why I felt more anxious than before.

My life was unnecessarily complicated. There were lawns to mow, gutters to clear, floors to vacuum, roommates to manage (it seemed nuts to have such a big, empty house), a car to insure, wash, refuel, repair and register and tech to set up and keep working. To top it all off, I had to keep Seven busy. And really, a personal shopper? Who had I become? My house and my things were my new employers for a job I had never applied for.

It got worse. Soon after we sold our company, I moved east to work in Bowne’s office in New York, where I rented a 1,900-square-foot SoHo loft that befit my station as a tech entrepreneur. The new pad needed furniture, housewares, electronics, etc. — which took more time and energy to manage.

AND because the place was so big, I felt obliged to get roommates — who required more time, more energy, to manage. I still had the Seattle house, so I found myself worrying about two homes. When I decided to stay in New York, it cost a fortune and took months of cross-country trips — and big headaches — to close on the Seattle house and get rid of the all of the things inside.

I’m lucky, obviously; not everyone gets a windfall from a tech start-up sale. But I’m not the only one whose life is cluttered with excess belongings.

In a study published last year titled “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” researchers at U.C.L.A. observed 32 middle-class Los Angeles families and found that all of the mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. Seventy-five percent of the families involved in the study couldn’t park their cars in their garages because they were too jammed with things.

Our fondness for stuff affects almost every aspect of our lives. Housing size, for example, has ballooned in the last 60 years. The average size of a new American home in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. And those figures don’t provide a full picture. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people. This means that we take up more than three times the amount of space per capita than we did 60 years ago.

Apparently our supersize homes don’t provide space enough for all our possessions, as is evidenced by our country’s $22 billion personal storage industry.

What exactly are we storing away in the boxes we cart from place to place? Much of what Americans consume doesn’t even find its way into boxes or storage spaces, but winds up in the garbage.

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports, for example, that 40 percent of the food Americans buy finds its way into the trash.

Enormous consumption has global, environmental and social consequences. For at least 335 consecutive months, the average temperature of the globe has exceeded the average for the 20th century. As a recent report for Congress explained, this temperature increase, as well as acidifying oceans, melting glaciers and Arctic Sea ice are “primarily driven by human activity.” Many experts believe consumerism and all that it entails — from the extraction of resources to manufacturing to waste disposal — plays a big part in pushing our planet to the brink. And as we saw with Foxconn and the recent Beijing smog scare, many of the affordable products we buy depend on cheap, often exploitive overseas labor and lax environmental regulations.

Does all this endless consumption result in measurably increased happiness?

In a recent study, the Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen linked consumption with aberrant, antisocial behavior. Professor Bodenhausen found that “Irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mind-set, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in well-being, including negative affect and social disengagement.” Though American consumer activity has increased substantially since the 1950s, happiness levels have flat-lined.

I DON’T know that the gadgets I was collecting in my loft were part of an aberrant or antisocial behavior plan during the first months I lived in SoHo. But I was just going along, starting some start-ups that never quite started up when I met Olga, an Andorran beauty, and fell hard. My relationship with stuff quickly came apart.

I followed her to Barcelona when her visa expired and we lived in a tiny flat, totally content and in love before we realized that nothing was holding us in Spain. We packed a few clothes, some toiletries and a couple of laptops and hit the road. We lived in Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Toronto with many stops in between.

A compulsive entrepreneur, I worked all the time and started new companies from an office that fit in my solar backpack. I created some do-gooder companies like We Are Happy to Serve You, which makes a reusable, ceramic version of the iconic New York City Anthora coffee cup and TreeHugger.com, an environmental design blog that I later sold to Discovery Communications. My life was full of love and adventure and work I cared about. I felt free and I didn’t miss the car and gadgets and house; instead I felt as if I had quit a dead-end job.

The relationship with Olga eventually ended, but my life never looked the same. I live smaller and travel lighter. I have more time and money. Aside from my travel habit — which I try to keep in check by minimizing trips, combining trips and purchasing carbon offsets — I feel better that my carbon footprint is significantly smaller than in my previous supersized life.

Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy life.

I like material things as much as anyone. I studied product design in school. I’m into gadgets, clothing and all kinds of things. But my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support.

I wouldn’t trade a second spent wandering the streets of Bangkok with Olga for anything I’ve owned. Often, material objects take up mental as well as physical space.

I’m still a serial entrepreneur, and my latest venture is to design thoughtfully constructed small homes that support our lives, not the other way around. Like the 420-square-foot space I live in, the houses I design contain less stuff and make it easier for owners to live within their means and to limit their environmental footprint. My apartment sleeps four people comfortably; I frequently have dinner parties for 12. My space is well-built, affordable and as functional as living spaces twice the size. As the guy who started TreeHugger.com, I sleep better knowing I’m not using more resources than I need. I have less — and enjoy more.

My space is small. My life is big.

Graham Hill is the founder of LifeEdited.com and TreeHugger.com.

Man’s ingratitude

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

These were some of the earliest Shakespearean lines I learned at school, oh so many years ago.

They kept coming back to mind when viewing and reviewing events of the couple of days leading up to the so-called 5,000-strong protest at Hong Lim Park. And what took place on Feb 16.

For goodness sake, with him at 89 years old and  said to be too unwell to attend his constituency’s lo-hei dinner; with the goodwill of Chinese New Year still very much in the air, I wonder where’s the decency of those who colic-d at Hong Lim Park the evening after news of his inability to show up? Worse, to exploit young cute kids, to get them to carry placards! How lxx can you go? And I don’t mean Thia Khiang who like all House members stayed away. Thank goodness for their dignity, compassion and graciousness.

Don’t get me wrong. I may be madder with the PAP G than even some of those who made hue n cry at last Saturday’s protest.

Grouse Number 1 for me is their COE policy that has raised the COE for a new basic car to 100+% of the price of what I would have had to pay 30 months ago for a car + COE.

But I got a bigger grouse with myself. I had failed to read the news closely regarding pending drying up of COE numbers and so hadn’t bid aggressively enough (via the car agent lah!). I now have to drive with the consequences of my misreading — an almost 7-year old car :cry:

Grouse Number 2 for me is the uneven playing field they have created for HDB owners and private property owners. Why allow HDB owners to buy private and still hold on to their HDB homes when private are now banned from venturing into the HDB ressale market?

Yet again, I got a bigger grouse with myself. When the rules were relaxed some 10+ years ago, family members and I did go sniffing around HDB estates. But we always came away with more minus than plus points and our search for that perfect HDB resale unit was never ending. Somehow, nothing grabbed our hearts or purses!

Not so an acquaintance who came back to live in SG after a life-time in Europe — just after the HDB resale market was liberalised. Without any home in SG, she heard from me about the joys of a Marine Parade 3-room flat, owned by a dear friend of mine. I extolled the great sea-view and the greater renovation. No, this friend wasn’t  selling. I was using her home as a conversational piece.

Imagine my surprise when within a week, the acquaintaince called to say that she had settled for a unit in the same block where my friend is, on the same floor but in a different wing. A corner unit for the grandtotal sum of $270,000! Could I introduce her to my friend as she would like to use the same contractor and designer that my friend used when she took possession of the flat??

I was taken aback by her super quick action and wondered whether this acquaintance hadn’t been too hasty and hadn’t thought through her options etc

Given where the property market has gone since then, she certainly didn’t buy in haste and now lives to enjoy at leisure :lol:

So, yes, while I’m mad with the G for it’s unfair treatment of private property owners, I really only have myself to blame for not rushing into the window of opportunity but instead dithered irresolutely.

And yes, I’m also unhappy about the population White Paper but not over the potential or “worst case scenario” of 6.9 million residents. In fact, I’ve no problem with even more people, because in any contest, won’t it be better to have 10 million Singaporeans marching strong, than 10,000 Singaporeans?

What makes me apprehensive is the mad dash to build homes and infrastructure. Besides the mess, the inconvenience, the perpetual disruption to vehicular traffic and thereby negating much of road improvements, think of the inflation explosion which this mad rush to build, build and build will cause. See here. Might make what the COE prices have done to my savings look like a minor blip in the continuum!

And of course where public transport connectivity is concerned, our G gets a major F from me, when i compare it to Hongkong!

Yet despite all this anger, would I like the PAP G a lot better or be less angry with it, if it allows wild cat strikes as the new normal? So instead of being hopping mad with buses that don’t come or come in convoys, would I be happier if there aren’t any buses or taxis to be had for love or money — say for 24 hours? Ditto, instead of super crowded trains or breakdowns, we get regular walk outs of drivers and there isn’t any MRT, crowded or otherwise, every few months?

It’s been a life-time since we didn’t have radio or TV when we tuned in. Would we feel more liberated, if like the BBC, Mediacorp’s crew now and then down tools to protest their rights? And of cos, if the Straits Times staff now go on strike like they did in 1971, it’s more their funeral than the readers, given the vast array of alternative sources of news and information ;)

Frankly, now that most countries in our neighbourhood or farther afield have taps, telephones and all other modern cons that work, there isn’t much that truly distinguishes Singapore from the rest.

Mayb it’s time that we went back to the time where nothing worked so that we can stand out distinct, unique, poor and a harbinger of what could await those who aren’t grateful for what they have inherited?