Tag Archive | Standard Chartered

A matter of timing

Life is a matter of timing. Take today. I had just dropped my sis Daffy @ her Ming Teck Park home n was heading for my own for a quick snooze be4 tonite’s Surabaya Johnny performance (about which more will be written in a future post) @ GM’s home.

When I hit the top of Sixth Avenue and was stopped by the red light at the junction of Bukit Timah Road n Sixth, I noticed some people running along the section where Tin Hill Bistro Winebar used to be and which now houses a Standard Chartered branch.

Traffic cops appeared from all directions and more surprisingly they turned into Bukit Timah Road against the flow of traffic – till i noticed there was strangely little traffic but more and more people were running.

Had I been anywhere else but in Singapore — my country, my home and where, despite having been robbed at gun point yonks ago in Katong Shopping Centre, I feel safe — I would certainly have panicked, thinking something really untoward had happened.

As the red light seemed stuck, I had plenty of time to note that a large crane was entangled with something. Then the lights changed and I was on my way along Dunearn Road and home.

Traffic was heavy but moving as more traffic cops appeared to close off slip roads turning back into Bukit Timah Road, where, across the canal, I saw bumper to bumper traffic, moving slower than a crawl.

I wondered what the cause was. The roads weren’t flooded today although there had been intermittent light to heavy rain.

Got home safely, had my snooze and then on waking, I was horrified to see from my balcony, that traffic was now also slowing to a crawl along the road outside my home.

The mystery was solved later when a neighbour I met on my way out said excitedly she heard on the news that a crane had hit an overhead bridge near Sixth Avenue and the bridge had collapsed.

After the Surabaya Johnny performance, I returned home and checked the net. My neighbour’s version of the news is only half correct.

The crane hit the overhead bridge in the morning and it was around the time I was leaving my sister’s that the decision to cut the bridge and close part of Bukit Timah Road was taken. I had witnessed the start of the process to execute that decision.

“Heng Ah!” is what some people would say. Had I dillied and dallied at Daffy’s –as I sometimes do – I would have been caught in a massive jam and might never have made it home to rest up for maximum enjoyment of tonite’s performance!

Life, as I said, is really and truly all a matter of timing, although it isn’t always entirely in my hands to get it right. It just happens sometimes.  

Road blocked for six hours

A SECTION of Bukit Timah Road had to be closed off for six hours on Saturday after authorities decided to saw off a portion of an overhead bridge which was struck by a crane earlier in the morning.

A lorry with a crane on it had crashed into the 4.5m-high bridge at about 10.30am, punching a gaping hole into a part of its base.

A woman in her 50s was crossing the bridge on her way to work when the crane stuck it. She fell and injured her elbow. She was later sent to hospital but was discharged by noon.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) decided to remove a portion of the bridge due to safety concerns. It said that the other parts of the bridge were unaffected and would not fall down. The bridge will be repaired after assessment.

To facilitate removing the damaged piece, a stretch of road from Fourth Avenue to Sixth Avenue was closed to traffic from about 2pm onwards causing massive jams stretching back to Newton Circus.

The section was eventually brought down just before 7pm and the road was reopen to traffic about an hour later. The driver of the vehicle who is in his 40s was not injured and is assisting police with investigations.

Zero zero sum game?

First, there’s the NTUC Link Card. I’ve been a holder for 10 years or more. It gives me Link points which currently can be used to offset my shopping bills at Fairprice.

In addition, I get to enjoy dividends paid out by Fairprice, thanks to a handful of shares alloted.

Sure the sums are tiny; probably not enough for me to have a one-time binge at Starbucks every year.

But that’s better than nothing which is what happens when I shop at other places, like Cold Storage, besides the usually higher prices I’ve to pay at the Dairy Farm subsidiary’s ubiquitous outlets.

playing my cards

Then comes the Passion Card, issued by the People’s Association. I became a Passion card carrying member in March when I joined a yoga class run at the Kampong Glam Community Club.

And voila, since April 1 (no joke) I’ve begun earning Passion points at Cold Storage when I shop, and should I shop at its family of shops– Guardian, Shop n Save and Giant —  I’ll be earning points too. I don’t know what these points will translate into but guess they will probably be like what Link Points offer.

Which brings me to these question:

Are the products of Fairprice and the Dairy Farm subsidiaries priced (or overpriced) in such a way that they can give the retailers a profit, despite giving rebates to Link and Passion members respectively?

Are those who are non-members subsidising us because without all this earn-point business, their purchases might have been priced lower?

And what about those retailers which give up to 5% rebates for customers who have Citibank or Standard Chatered credit cards?

Looks to me very much like those of us who earn points may only be enjoying an illusion of benefitting while those who don’t have any of the affiliated cards are the born losers. Yet if everyone were to have all the cards that give points or rebates, it could mean no one would benefit, other than the retailers!