Wednesday, February 23, 2005
"The Novena Medical Centre's collaboration with Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Raffles Hospital, and Mount Alvernia Hospital creates extensive synergies by pooling together existing excellent medical facilities and adding value with Novena."
Said GL Yap, executive director (property services) at Far East Organisation, "Doctor friends we've got say it would be convenient to have a supermarket, for example, where you could go and pick up groceries before you go home, and for patients if they could go down to a pharmacy to get maybe rehabilitative type of equipment."
Now, in addition to getting an operation, you can shop at the same time. How thoughtful. Patients can now check into hospital, get groceries, buy some clothes, all at the same time.
The hospitals are clearly benefiting from the increased rent income. Will the extra income be channelled back to lowering costs? Will it be passed back to the patient?
So where's the part of the news that say medical costs will be lower? Last time I checked, Hospitals cure patients.
What's the benefit to the patients? They already spent a fortune getting cured, you want them to part even more money in your shops?
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
There was initally much happiness over the deduction of $50/mth for the foreign maid levy.
After many rounds of self-congradulation and highlighting merits of the new budget in our national newspapers , comes this piece of news:
Pay for Indonesian maids up by $50 to entice more to come here
"From January this year, the ministry required that new maids who want to work here must be at least 23 years old and have eight years of formal education.
From April 1, they will also need to pass an entry test.."
Ok,this applies to Indonesian maids only. They do not form the entire maid population.
But wait, in the same article, there is mention that new maids must now have a minimum of 8 years of education, and must pass an entry test.
I am sure in typical Singapore fashion, maid employment agencies will charge more for the maids. Their justification? Employers are getting more "qualified" and educated maids.
It is now not your typcial uneducated maid, it is a *slighty* uneducated maid you are now hiring. Maids are now forced to do "ten year series" of MOM's entry test. So much for being more qualified.
Ms Ivy Lee, managing director of Maid Power, said: 'Already, agents here are faxing over the questions to Indonesia, for agents there to help the girls memorise the answers before coming here. That defeats the purpose.'
Another agent, who declined to be named, said: 'It'll be like doing 10-year series... practise like siao (crazy in Hokkien), until can pass.'
Someone tell me costs will not increase because of such measures. These tests costs MOM manpower and money to administer. Would this costs be passed on to maid employers? Most probably.
And someone told me maid employers actually saved $50/mth.
Somehow, I find this hard to believe.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
I went to Sim Lim Square to upgrade my iBook RAM and buy a pair of Apple in-ear headphones for my iPod Shuffle.
I got my iBook lovingly done up by the nice people at SGL (I am not the only one who thinks they're nice people.)
Its near the entrance to the overhead bridge. Mac Owners, You cannot go wrong if you buy from there. However, SGL do not have stock for the headphones.
So I browsed around Sim Lim looking at the hideous Music players (clue: Creative Zen) on sale. I came to this shop, at the ground floor (clue: near the escalator). It looked professional, nice uniformed sales staff, selling everything from cameras to laptops to Music players.
I asked one staff manning the crowded music-player booth about the price of their Apple in-ear headphones. I remember the recommended retail price for this is $68 dollars.
Do you know what the salesman said? It'll cost me $75. No one sells above Apple recommended price. No one. Un-frickin-beliveable.
I don't know, if there is anything wrong with the retail scene here, especially for electronic goods, in Sim Lim Sq, its that it is sold by unscrupulous ah bengs that just want to earn a fast buck.
Maybe I just look like a tourist.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Why let girls have all the fun? Why not a 'Men's' Day?
What I am proposing, that on this day,
- All the girlfriends shall buy a six-pack (or more) cans of beer or alcohol of choice, for their boyfriends.
- Any gifts must either be an electronic gadget/game, car related gizmos,DVDs of choice ,CD box sets etc. You get the idea.
- The suitablility of the gift can be ascertained based on practical usefulness. Absolutely no useless ornaments/flowers/plants/art/greeting cards/soft toys.
- Cash will be gladly accepted barring any lack of gift ideas.
- All important sporting matches will be played on this day. It will be shown live on national television. Free.
- No expensive dinners, couples will order in pizza and men shall drink aforementioned beer and watch live soccer.
- If expensive dinners are warranted, it must include some form of red meat and alcohol. In large quantities.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
In October, Mrs Sng, a human resource executive, found out she was pregnant.
She said: 'I didn't choose to have another child because of the perks alone, but it helped us reinforce our wish and move ahead with the plan for a third child.'
I feel sad for the yet unborn baby. It is conceived so that its parents can earn a few bucks. One day mommy will say to her son: " You were born so that we could get a tax cut!"
Why do I have the lingering feeling that every one of us in Singapore is part of a large social experiment?
I wonder what is the cause of this, is Singaporeans so money minded that its leaders have to resort to bribing them to have sex? Does that mean that if there is no benefits, there will be even fewer babies being born?
Have anyone ever wondered how the bulk of the post-war baby-boomers ever got born if their parents were stressed out. Their parents had bigger problems to deal with, lets see, there's World War II, a depleted post-war economy, post-war joblessness , Communist Treats... etc etc.
And despite these problems, many babies are born. These babies are now our fathers and mothers (50-60 yrs old today). The baby-boomer generation (born 1947-1964) make up one third of our population. -Singapore Statistics.
My grandmother related an instance where she ran to an air raid shelter carrying her baby (my uncle) in WW2. How is this for stress? Bombs dropping, bullets flying.
So, just because life is a wee bit stressful in peaceful Singapore, despite having a roof over your heads, a nice car to drive, a paying job, our couples today are too stressed to have babies?
What is your miniscule money/tax/stress problems compared to the stress of experiencing World War II? Get some perspective.
Are Singaporeans today just whining weaklings? I really wonder in worse times, will Singaporeans today just crumble under the pressure?? From the looks of it, probably.
Link of the Day:
enable two-finger scrolling in pre-2005 ibooks/powerbooks
This worked on my 2004 ibook. Make a backup of your mouse driver just in case!
Friday, February 11, 2005
"The effect on the lower socio-economic grouping, on youths and on people with addictive behaviour, are in fact greater compared to the other groups. So we are very mindful about the effect, impact on such groups." Mohd Alami Musa, President of MUIS
This topic is done to death by me and many other bloggers. But what the hell..
One thought came to me while reading this. Why does MUIS not publish the paper for everyone to read and to debate? (no luck at the MUIS website) Why only for the government to read?
Incidently, the website for MUIS is www.muis.gov.sg. From the website address, one can gather that it is a government linked group. Hence, does that mean what MUIS is doing, submitting a paper, is just like the government submitting a paper to itself?
Anyway, lets assume that poor people and young people are at a greater risk from the Casino. Does that mean that we are going to stop building a casino just because of it?
Have it ever occured that they could place restrictions? How about setting a age limit, and implementing a 'members only' Casino? This would address the fears of MUIS.
Casino Bad, Stop Building Casino. One track mind.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Sunday, February 06, 2005
"Every year, people all over the world say stridently stupid, misinformed or absurd things about HIV and AIDS. Here's a list of some folks who make you wonder what, if anything, they were thinking before they opened their mouths in 2004. Their comments are best met with three little words: Just shut up."
Our Senior Minister of State for Health,Balaji Sadasivan is one of the winners for this award, for his comments on Aids a few months ago.
It is sad that just because "there are conservative people in Singapore, the Action for Aids have to tone down in their publicity. More people have to die of Aids because of this.
In Singapore, we have people who spread FUD about Aids, who say things without thinking, who rant about negative energies, who stick their heads in the sand instead of facing the problem face on.
We cannot apply old solutions to new problems.
Just because Aids was tackled by less aggresive methods in the past does not mean it will work now.
If you think Aids in Singapore are mainly spread by homosexuals, you are ignoring the thousands of Singapore men who engage in sexual services with foreign "tourists". You are ignoring thousands of Singapore men who go overseas (thailand, batam,bintan), for the same purpose.
There are many facets to this problem, and we risk worsening the Aids problem if we fight the wrong battle on the "homosexual" front, so to speak. Homosexuals are an easy target.
Most conservative people will say, "Hah, i always knew gays are the source of the problem", without much thought, when they read the remarks from the minister.
For the typical conservative, little do they know that the Aids problem might hit closer to home, perhaps from the ah peh living next door who goes to batam once every month, or the unmarried uncle who goes thailand once in a while, y'know, to "destress". Do you think the hundreds of men entering Bintan and Batam are going there for the golf and the Banyan Tree spas?
Blaming Homosexuals are easy, they are more often than not, looked upon as "freaks" by most conservative Singaporeans. The perfect bogeyman.
I am not saying they are not part of the Aids problem. I am saying that they are just one of the many causes of Aids proliferation. We should be fighting Aids on many fronts.
The Aids problem is as much a problem for our society as it is a reflection of how "being conservative" can cause us to ignore the main causes of a problem.
Link of the day: Enable two-finger scrolling on pre-2005 ibooks/PowerBooks
It works for my 2004 ibook! Super cool.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Here's a funny Mac Mini review.
From the review : "So is the mini a maxi value? For me, clearly, no. When I consider that a good deal of my time is spent running applications like Disk Defragmenter, Scandisk, Norton AV, Windows Update and Ad-Aware--none of which are available for the Mac platform--it doesn't make sense for me to "switch" to a Mac at this time."
Ok I'm convinced. I am dumping my ibook. Get me a Win XP machine now! ......