Friday, September 30, 2011

Pyramid Top-Down Hierarchy-Shit & Assholes

Another corollary from Kiyosaki which i read in one of his books offering another perspective is why climb? Shouldn't you be working on building your own ladder/pyramid? What he really meant is building up our own financial assets so we can be free instead of living in fear of shit coming down.

Also the person on top may not necessary be free of shit either. President/Prime Minister have to answer to the voting masses. Boss of a company has to rely on customers.

Crossing Border for Currency Arbitrage

This is a picture of the causeway jam coming into S'pore from Johor Bahru at 7:20am this rainy morning. It is estimated that 300,000 malaysians cross the border daily to work in S'pore.

Hassle of waking up earlier & immigration is worth it when considering the extra firepower from converting earned S$ back to RM$. Furthermore the costs of living in Malaysia is much lower than in S'pore. After a couple of years of work, one can own a decent freehold home with decent retirement $ in S'pore compared to their S'porean colleagues which are heavily laden with 30year housing lease loans & high costs of living in an increasingly crowded hectic environment.

When a person is paid in S$ & go back to their home country to spend with increased purchasing power, he/she tend to be obedient at work & not make waves. Why jeopardise the currency arbitrage they enjoy?(no offense to foreigners) When a corporation/institution is filled with these people, it just goes into a slow & lumbering mode compared to start-ups & fast growth small companies.

During weekends, S'poreans jam up on the causeway to head over to Johor for similar reasons-stretch their dollars further there instead of paying rental component in S'pore.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

$1 Chendol at Tanglin Halt Hawker Ctr

Hawkers are under pressure to raise prices due to inflationary pressure. I'm wondering if the $1 desert stall for most deserts at Tanglin Halt hawker centre is still $1. Turns out is the same.

I loathe to spend $ eating at local eateries other than hawker centres when one can stretch their dollars much further in neighouring Malaysia.

Tanglin Halt is perhaps the only place where the half-half shops are below average levels compared to other residential areas. Many shops & coffeeshops have closed shop due to high rentals. Those struggling rent half a shopspace to stay afloat hence 'half-half' shops.
Still many full-sized shops in Tanglin Halt

Personally i find the retail scene here becoming more & more uncompetitive with the relentless jacking up of utilities & rental which are fixed costs to a business. Govt's desperate measure is to flood in cheaper workers from other countries to keep businesses afloat & to boost consumption hence gdp up. More foreigners comes the headache of social issues to the country.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Remarkable 'Slave' Ad

Stumbled onto this picture which someone says is truly out of the ordinary compared to the stale ads we often see infesting the jobs section of the newspaper.

Is a recruitment from a startup company. We hardly ever see such stuff coming from large corprations & bureaucracies since the people in big institutions tend to toe-the-line & are status quoers. Is no wonder that big companies often have no idea how they are often outmaneuvered by small companies that are nimble & agile. Their corporate culture is totally different in their stages of growth.

Many HR & bosses like to hire 'yesman' or 'yeswoman' to work for them. They don't want someone with initiative making waves & rocking the boat. Irony is that by avoiding 'renegade' workers who can contribute much more those same risk averse bosses are putting themselves & the companies they work for in far greater risk.

When those so-call 'renegades' go work for another company & contribute much more to its forward motion compared to a yesman/yeswoman, those risk averse bosses face the prospect of retrenchment when their slow lumbering companies can't compete.

'Renegade' workers are often more valuable though they may be harder to manage than yesmen/yeswomen. I speak from experience because i'm one of those renegade workers with a tendency to question the status quo & start things without approval whom my superior find a pain in the ass to manage.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Warehouse Storage Solutions -Increasingly Cluttered Homes

Warehouse storage companies have been sprouting up like mushrooms over S'pore. Why?

- Retail therapy by many people unhappy with their jobs
- Malls srpouting up like weeds
- Keeping up with the joneses
- More, more & more mentality

End result is an overdose of consumerism. Many people buy stuff in effort to be happy which is short-lived. I'm aghast at people having 4-5 badminton racquets, 4-6 bicycles at home. Furthermore home size in S'pore are shrinking as the govt aims to squeeze ever more people into this tiny crowded island to boost the economy at all costs.

Instead of solving the issue with quality, most people are stuck with the mindset that more is better. When space runs out at the their homes where do they turn to? That's right- storage rental solutions. Again is another $ pithole where the consumer (not citizen) pays monthly charges as his stuff collects dust at some storage facility.

The planet has enough for everyone but is unsustainable if everyone goes into 'steriods' type of consumerism.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stuff in JB, Malaysia that U don't See in S'pore

A couple of our supremo leaders don't think highly of Malaysia. Yes there's some stuff which isn't as orderly & structured as ours but they are better in other ways too.

Let's look at some:

Cross junction where there's no pedestrain crossing unlike S'pore. Crossing the road there is a test of alertness & jay walking forced by circumstances.

Cellphone truck deployed to boost signal for the vicinity. Other than similar types from army signal battallion we don't see such stuff in tiny tiny crowded high rise buildings S'pore.

Woah! Construction of residential units still ongoing on top of an existing mall where people go. No such towering construction on top of existing big structures here locally.

Residential units converted into car repair workshops. In S'pore oermission need to be obtained from the relevant authorities as well as fire compliance etc. In S'pore lots of stuff are about following rules & regulations before 'acting'.

2 residential units converted into a hotel (Holiday Plaza is building on left). I doubt they need to get permission before starting the business. They operate more in the style of no such rule/regulation means can do/act accordingly whereas in S'pore is got such rule/regulation then can go ahead.

Another auto repair & servicing workshop converted from residential unit.

Need a bus stop like S'pore to stop & pick up passengers like in S'pore? No such thing as shown here for the bus whose main purpose is bringing shoppers to KSL mall especially S'poreans. The mall even designated with markings for the bus bay. No such govt authority in Msia regulating the setup of bus-stops. No bus stop near the mall - heck just stop right outside the mall. I'm sure the mall management/owners are more than happy that the bus company are bringing shoppers in unlike some malls in S'pore which has to spend to cater buses to lure shoppers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ang Mo Cyclist Carrying CPU Tower + 2 Mercedes Accident

2 white Mercedes involved in a very minor accident at a cross traffic junction near Clementi mrt that disabled the middle lane traffic.

However what intrigued me is not the car accident but the admirable Ang Mo (colloquial term for caucasian) carrying his CPU tower with 1 hand while riding a bicycle with other 1 hand on slick tires! He has another friend riding with him as escort. I saw them stopping at the cross junction near Ave 6 to rest his arms before moving on.

Whether the tower he's carrying is empty is unknown but i do admire his ability to pull off the feat. In s'pore i've yet to see any locals do such a means of transport. Part of the reason can be attributed to 'face' too as indicated in previous post 'Rich Son Poor Son'.

There is still the stigma of bicycle as a poor man's transport here in S'pore although cycling is increasingly popular as a sport.

Ang Mo turn his head & look at the Mercedes accident as he ride across the road.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rich Son Poor Son

Video clip from Malaysia but totally applicable in S'pore context. Personally i'm sick of the comparisons & superficial talk during festive occasions like Chinese New Year.

In S'pore sporting talents are like the extinct dodo birds. Main reason why the sporting scene in S'pore is in the pits is the over emphasis on academic success. Forget about the foreign sporting talent imports- they are not local born & nurtured. People come into the world with their own talents but the government's obsession with paper certs have snuff out many potential sporting talents as they are streamed out of the educational system & end up as cheap cog labor in the economic machine.

You don't find parents boasting that their kids are sporting talents in a group talk, probability of finding one is as good as being strike by lightning.

Here's a posting below by someone on the local education system. The sg system has won praise overseas on the criteria of scores but it comes at a high price.

Lets be fair
for a little girl to commit suicide, sorry we must solely blame the government. The government is the main murderer, while the parents are merely accomplices. I grew up in an era where people committed suicide becos of loanshark, love, poverty, drugs addiction.. but never over educational pressure. Something is deadly wrong if kids of tender age between 7 to 10 are comtemplating suicide or finding life meaningless...

Let me express my view on why are we in such a dreadful situation.
In the past, maybe in the 60s or 70s , the main aim of the educational policy then was to provide a broadbased education platform for the general public. The pace of learning was dictated by individual talent & abilities. At the end of the day, the general standard was raised a few bars, some made it to tertiary some dropped out along the way & it was to each his own. Parents were there to pass values & knowledge but not to put on additional pressure.

But all these took on a 360 degree turn around when the government, on the insistance of our beloved MM pursued a totally inhuman approach of sucking the best out of the people. Suddenly , our children became mere digits, just like genetic engineering. They started to stream our children as young as 8 years old & continue until tertiary level. Why? On the reason that social engineering is compulsory so that the country can produce a ELITE class of citizen. With this ELITE class of so called genius, the people will have leaders to lead them into the global economy. Sound great in theory, but in practice the result is horrendous, shameful.

For every f**k*ng 10 A student they produced out of the system, there were probably a few thousand that get flunked out at pri 3, then sec two. then N level, then O level then A level etc etc.... The social injustice created just to attain the selfish goals of the government is further ridiculed because the so called ELITE class did not rise to take on the challenge of leading the people towards the global economy but instead joined the civil services or Government Linked Companies to futher oppress the very people who sacrified their children happiness for them.

This is social injustice and it is the result of the government's selfish pursuit of the dogmatic objective to find talents to continue their dominance over the people.

Look at the USA, their education system is not perfect, but at least their creme de la creme from IVY league, Stanford , MIT, Harvard end up in GE, IBM, CITICORP... the private sectors that take on the world economy. Look at our so called creme dela creme..........
government scholar, president scholar etc etc .. where are they now , in private sector??? Fat hope! All in the civil service..LTA, URA, SINGTEL, PSA, SIA what the heck.. What happened? Where are they to lead the helpless citizens to tackle the global economy?

We must stop believing the lies of the government. All their policies are there to protect their own backside.

The thousands of children that were wilted out of the school system who ended up as halfpast six workers, suffering in lowly paid job, hostess, masseurs, loansharks, dvd sellers... Ah Seng, Ah Beng were in fact the innocent guinea pigs of some silly old man social engineering to preserve his personal legacy. This is no different from Hitler's social engineering to produce the white ARYAN master race....

If our so called ELITE class can wake up & start to make their headway in the private sectors & create a lot of opportunities & employments for the masses. Then I would conclude that our oppressive system has done well! The truth is the reverse. All these people are now sitting in their laurels up in the ministry cooking up new schemes to suck the very people in the name of efficiency. So my stand is very clear. My middle finger pointing at the educationist hypocrites....


48km Ride -1st Time Loop Back from Thomson Area

There's always something new in the night rides & i'm appreciative of the efforts by the organiser to shake off the monotony in a workweek instead of riding the same few routes. Turning into Thomson Road via the off beaten Mandai Road is my 1st ride in that area.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mooncake Stall Booths Difference In Msia & S'pore Malls

Squeeze like chickens in a coop is a word to describe the booths in the mall nearest where i live. Malls in S'pore like to squeeze as much rental out of available space which repels me due to lack of open spaces.

Why get rip off buying mooncakes locally & paying high rental component? What value is that? Comparison of the booths selling mooncakes in Johor Bahru, Malaysia & my local mall. All pictures are taken during lunchtime from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

At City Sq, JB which is the most popular mall & linked to the immigration & customs building. It has the most booths for obvious reasons. When booths are cleared the open space is big.

KSL mall, JB. Still got enough walking space in between.

Pelangi Plaza, JB. An upmarket mall which i visited for the 1st time. Sadly the mall has fallen on hard times. I estimate the mall is around 65% occupied by shops. Mall is relatively quiet as can be seen from the picture.

Clementi Mall. My neighourhood mall. Notice how narrow the space between the middle & right booths. Imagine how bad & packed it gets during weekend crowd. Note also little space the staff has to sit & move around too. Is a like small prison cell.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thompson Submachine Gun - Masses are Slow to Wake Up

History of the Thompson submachine gun is a fine example of how the masses are asleep for a long time & need a terrible jolt in order to wake up from their slumber.

The gun is considered the fastest firing potent weapon of its time. Salesmen have went to the military & police to demonstrate the potency of the weapon yet the military & police are very slow in adopting it. Is no doubt that large bureaucracies are slow in adopting new stuff.

How did they wake up? Apparently the gangsters are quick to see potential in the weapon & adopted it. Police are outgunned! It is after the accidental killing of an infant that outraged the public which trigger the military & police to 'wake up'.

Inventor & his company has been struggling for more than 20 years to sell the weapon which has solidly proved its high marks for rate of fire, simplicity of use & lethality. After hearing this i got reminded of the history of the landing craft carrying soldiers to storm beaches during WWII- if the good guys are slow to wake up then sell the fast moving boat to the smugglers! When law enforcement guys can't catch up he approach the good guys & offer to sell them a faster version of the boat. When those bureaucratic folks are awake from the rude shock of being outrunned by smuggers the sales process is much smoother.

Start watching the 1st part of this amusing history of the Tommy Gun:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

44km Night Ride

1st time riding to Jurong Hill. Its slope are not difficult. Night view to the south is spectacular(no camera with me) while is covered by trees for the other directions from the viewing tower. A building for storing container & its trailers is easily seen since is a "no front door/window" building. It goes to show how space starved S'pore is.

Old Choa Chu Kang Road is a quiet stretch i like to ride as there's hardly any vehicles. It ought to be my 2nd or 3rd ride on that stretch.