Friday, 23 December 2011

SMRT : More uses of cable ties! Even Santa use them!

More uses of cable ties! Even Santa use them!
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Cable ties we bring
To you and your kin
Good tying for Christmas
And a happy ride home
Oh, bring us her resigning
Oh, bring us her resigning
Oh, bring us her resigning
For all the train fear
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So get Saw out-of-here

Monday, 19 December 2011

Plastic Cable Ties - huge demand flies off the shelves !

The Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system broke down three times in the past week. Preliminary findings were twenty-one claws that were dislodged. These claws were essential to hold up the third rail supplying electricity to the trains. The press conference by the LTA and Minister of transport showed the remedy of using plastic cable ties to secure the claws.

To this effect, it has been reported by several citizen journalists that the demand for Plastic Cable Ties have experienced an exponential increase.

The suppliers of such cable ties, SKP and mustafa's, commented on the situation. Manager Mr Wu Lui Tan says," You all saw the news right! SMRT and LTA using plastic cable ties for the tracks! You know how long the train lines are ? Got N-S line, NE line, E-W line, Circle line and all the new MRT lines are going to use them! We sure make money one! I'm the process of discussing with my suppliers in rural china to import at least 100 more boxes!"

The national airline carrier's chief of engineering has also weighted in on the situation, Mr See Buay Khiang quips, "Since our esteemed engineering colleagues in SMRT and LTA have thought of such an innovative solution, I have put together a task force to assess if the cable ties can used for our aircraft. Some brainstorming ideas include using plastic cable ties for securing our aircraft, securing parts of the wings and the main cockpit instrumentations. The light weight and low cost plastic cable ties will save our company millions of dollars which we can distribute as dividends back to shareholders." When asked if this may jeopardize passenger safety, Mr See retorted,"Cannot be lah! Our esteemed colleagues must have already done all the tensile tests and chemical analyses of these plastic cable ties! Sure okay one!"

Hawkers are also getting onto the bandwagon, PRC-born Mrs Bao Ho Jiak explains,"Last time, my customers complain that my fish soup ta bao already always leaked. So I replaced the rubber bands with cable ties now! If they still complain, I tell them that if the China-made cable ties can hold up the SMRT trains, they can definitely tie their fish soup! The customers all tiam tiam."

Not to be out-done, International Fashion designer Mr Gavid Icreativeunot has created his latest jewelry collection with plastic cable ties, "Wee wee, itz beautiful. I not only have white plastic cable ties, I haz meda black, blue, purple, yellowz, greenz jewelry out of them. In facz, I just gave the SMRT CEO a complimentary necklace made out of cable ties. Shez likz it wery much, her only complain is that she dun know whyz the necklace seems to be getting tighter and tighter round her neckz everyday....?"

Thursday, 15 December 2011

SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa - draft resignation letter

Here is a draft for SMRT CEO's resignation letter.

"Dear Singaporeans,

I, Ms Saw Phaik Hwa, the soon-to-be-ex CEO of SMRT, hereby tender my resignation with effect. I offer my sincere apologies for my poor performance during my tenure as CEO. The Singapore's Circle Line has been plagued by diasters and disruption from the start. It exceeded its original budgeted cost of S$6.7 billion; saw a section of the tunnel collapse in 2004, killing four workers; and experienced a cave-in at one of its construction sites in 2008.

In 2010, when trains were packed and commuters were complaining, I as the CEO of SMRT, dismissed these concerns and defended the company. Instead, I insensitively said: "People can board the train, it is whether they choose to."

There have been disruptions in each of the last two months — on 20 September 2011, a faulty cable stalled train services for four hours, affecting more than 26, 500 commuters, and on 17 October 2011,"train faults" led to thousands of commuters being stranded.

There were two security breaches at SMRT's depots — the first in May 2010 at Tanah Merah depot, and the second at its Bishan depot in August 2011.

Despite all these, I was not asked to resign.

Singaporeans used to be proud to have a clean, efficient and world-class transportation system which included SMRT. The train system is the economic lifeline of Singapore. It is used by millions daily for their commute. While the public can and will accept the occasional hiccup, these disruptions are now more serious and more frequent.

Even as I now leave with a heavy heart and non-chalatant attitude, I am glad to be the highest-paid SMRT CEO ever, with a salary of S$1.67 million in 2009, and this increased to S$1.85 million in 2010. I am leaving now, not because of the recent 14 Dec 2011 and 15 Dec 2011 disruptions which left tens of thousands stranded, it is because my bank account is fat and I can retire comfortably overseas and ride in my expensive car, without the need to take MRT trains.

Good-bye and enjoy your ride. You have been taken for a ride."

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Do you feel the chill wind? Singapore's economy may grow 3% in 2012: MAS -

[Commentary : Do you feel the chill wind blowing ? Batten Down the Hatches and Hunker Down]

SINGAPORE: Private sector forecasters expect Singapore's economy to grow by 3 per cent in 2012.

This is according to the median forecast in the Monetary Authority of Singapore's December survey of Professional Forecasters.

The most likely outcome, as reflected by the mean probability forecast, is for growth of between 3 per cent and 3.9 percent.

That is down from the September survey range of 5.0 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

The outlook is slightly more bullish than the official growth forecast issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) of between 1 and 3 per cent for 2012.

Private sector economists expect first quarter 2012 year-on-year growth to be zero per cent, before picking up for the rest of the year (Q2: 3 per cent, Q3: 3.6 per cent, Q4: 4.8 per cent)

Overall, a moderation in growth is forecast across all sectors next year, with the sharpest adjustment in the manufacturing sector.

In 2012, the industry is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent, down from an expected 8.5 per cent this year.

The financial services sector is expected to grow 4.2 per cent in 2012, less than half the 9.4 per cent pace forecast for this year.

In the manufacturing sector, growth is expected to be at 3.4 per cent, down from 8.5 per cent this year.

For hotels and restaurants, growth is expected to be around 4 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent in 2011.

Amid the forecasts of slower growth, unions are preparing workers for the bumpy road ahead.

Francis Lim, President of the United Workers of Electronic and Electrical Industries (UWEEI), said: "The union is working with e2i and WDA to help the company to go for training. The last few months, we've started our union, our officers and also e2i have met up with some of the companies. So, they are working out and mapping out some training road map for the companies and also for the workers."

Mr Lim said he's seeing some retrenchments, as well as workers going on shorter work weeks although not at an alarming rate.

Hiring has slowed down considerably.

He added that: "Looking ahead, normally at year end when people get their bonus, they start to move around, especially after Chinese New Year. There will be a slowdown because I think many of them dare not leave their companies, because a lot of uncertainties are ahead of them. They won't know whether they can find another job."

For 2011, economic growth forecasts have been trimmed to 5.2 per cent from 5.3 per cent in the previous survey in September.

The official forecast by MTI for 2011 is for Singapore's GDP to grow by 5 per cent.

In 2012, headline CPI inflation is expected to taper off to 3.1 per cent from the forecast of 5.1 per cent for this year.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Additional buyer's stamp duty for private property from Dec 8

[Commentary] is about time that the FTs and Foreign Speculators kena tax on the purchase of Singapore private property. See my posting
Powerful eh my blog....
We did not serve NS to protect empty private luxury appartments owned by that they can make money to send back to their home countries...In my view, the 10 percent is still too should be at least 50% tax and we use that 50% to rebate Singaporeans (with a PINK IC) for purchase of their HDBs or private property.... Many Singaporeans feel that we are 2nd class citizens in our own country.

SINGAPORE: The government has imposed an Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) for private property of between 3 per cent and 10 per cent for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and foreigners to moderate investment demand for private residential property and promote a more stable and sustainable market.

The changes take effect on December 8.

Foreigners will pay 10 per cent Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) for any residential property.

Permanent Residents owning one and buying second and subsequent properties will pay 3 per cent ABSD.

Singaporeans owning two and buying a third and subsequent residential properties will pay 3 per cent Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty.

The ABSD will be imposed over and above the current Buyer's Stamp Duty, which are 1 per cent on the first $180,000 of purchase consideration or market value of the property (whichever is higher), 2 per cent on the next $180,000 and 3 per cent for the remainder.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Finance and National Development ministries say the government's objective is to promote a sustainable residential property market where prices move in line with economic fundamentals.

They said prices of private residential properties have continued to rise, albeit more slowly in the last two quarters.

Prices are now 13 per cent above the peak in the second quarter of 1996, and 16 per cent above the more recent peak in the second quarter of 2008.

They said that even with the current economic uncertainties, the demand for private residential property remains firm.

Given the uncertainty in stock markets and with interest rates remaining low, private property in Singapore continues to attract local and foreign investors.

They added that excessive investment demand will make the property cycle more volatile, and thus increase the risks to Singapore's economy and banking system.

The government said the higher ABSD rate for foreign buyers in particular is necessary, in view of the large pool of external liquidity and strong buying interest from abroad, and the relatively small size of the Singapore market.

The government said foreign purchases account for 19 per cent of all private residential property purchases in the second half of 2011, up from 7 per cent in the first half of 2009.

For purchases made jointly by two or more parties (eg a Singaporean with a PR, or a PR with a foreigner), the higher applicable ABSD rate will be imposed.

For example, if a citizen purchases a property with a foreigner, the ABSD of 10 per cent will apply.

In the case of a joint purchase by Singaporeans, who each already owns properties, the ABSD of 3 per cent will apply as long as one of the purchasers already owns two properties.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said: "We have always had open markets and must keep them that way. However, the reality is that investment flows into our property market are now larger than before, and unlikely to recede as long as interest rates remain low.

"The additional buyer's stamp duty should help cool investment demand, and avoid the prospect of a major, destabilising correction further down the road."

Nicholas Mak, Executive Director of Research and Consultancy at SLP International, said: "It will curb investment demand for private residential properties quite drastically, especially demand from non-resident foreigners. And I think in the next one to two months or so, demand from non-resident foreigners will almost dry-up."

Home buyers are mixed in their views.

One Indian foreigner said: "I know there is a stamp duty, but any increase in that will probably take it out of my level where I want to buy."

An Indian who is a Permanent Resident said: "Nowadays, HDB properties are also difficult to buy, because of more conditions. So they have to buy property here. Definitely they'll keep buying more irrespective of whether the stamp duty is increased or not."

One Singaporean said: "It probably wouldn't have an effect in the short-term, because the property market prices are still rising, people are still speculating."

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said: "We are ramping up the supply of new Executive Condominium units through the Government Land Sales Programme.

"This will help higher-income Singaporeans own private condominium units in an affordable way, as the sale of new EC units is restricted to Singaporean households only."

Singaporean first-time buyers and upgraders, and buyers of HDB flats will not be affected by the new measure.

Certain reliefs will be provided so that the measure will not impact home occupation demand by residents.

For example, relief will be provided for Singaporean-foreigner/PR married couples buying their homes.

Reliefs will also be provided for qualifying developers and for purchases falling within the scope of Singapore's international trade agreements.

The government will continue to ensure an adequate supply of private housing to meet-medium term demand.

There are 41,000 unsold private housing units in the pipeline.

The government will inject sites that can potentially yield a total of 14,100 units in the 1H2012 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, similar to the supply in previous GLS programmes.

Of these, about 7,000 units will be from sites on the Confirmed List.

These numbers take into account the ample pipeline supply and the dampening effect of the ABSD.

The government will also expand the supply of executive condominiums (ECs) in 2012 and is prepared to release sites that can potentially yield 5,000 EC units for the entire year.

Sites for 3,500 EC units will be made available in 1H2012, including 3,000 EC units on the Confirmed List.

The Confirmed List quantum is comparable to the 3,000 EC units from five sites sold for the whole of 2011. More details will be provided in the press release for the 1H2012 GLS Programme on MND's website.

The Government will continue to monitor the property market and adjust its property policies in step with changes in the market and the economy.

- CNA/de