Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Hahaha.... I didn't expect my prediction would be this close. Yesterday, I said the STI will be around 3360 points, and today, STI closed at 3357.34 points. Unfortunately I am not rewarded for close predictions :P

Wanted to scoop some STI put warrants, but I was too stingy and too indecisive that I missed a good opportunity to get it at $0.205. That warrant subsequently went up to 0.21. I gave up. I don't want to get myself some heart attack when I come back from my holidays. I know how volatile the warrants are. Better not touch it if I can't monitor its movement closely.

Another surprise is the rise of many of the Reits. MMP reit went up, Mapletree Logistics went up, Suntec Reit went up. They are adding quite a few cents to their prices. The short term GAMMA for these reits are moving up too. What is happening? While some other reits continue their happy down trend. Mmmh.... A big question mark.

What will happen next? I have no idea. The only thing in my mind now is to enjoy my year end holiday. Let's see what bad news will come that can bring STI down to 3000 points or even lower.

Going off for holidays tomorrow. Wish everybody Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you guys next year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Rebound

As expected, STI rebounded 15.75 points today. There were some tussling during the session, but STI managed to stage a rebound. The day traders should be happy. Many of them must have scoop some good stocks at a dirt cheap price and then sell them off when the price went higher. The long terms investors may have done some bargain hunting as well. Long term, I mean you have to have the patience and a deep enough pocket for another 5-7 years, plus the opportunity cost.

For this newbie, I will just sit back and relax. Watch the STI go up and down. The show just began. There should be at least 20 episodes in the first season, and this is just Episode 1 of the 1st season.

Tomorrow is the last trading day before the long holiday season starts on 20 Dec 2007. Many people will be leaving for their holidays starting Thursday. The trading volumn is expected to be thin, STI should be stable at around its current level of 3360. However, that also depends on the response of the FED's auction of short-term bonds. The results will be available on 19 Dec (US time).

If anything that you can do, then it will be to get yourself familiar with warrants and Contract for Difference (CFD). Get your accounts ready. It will be nice to have some put warrants if the prices are right.

Disclaimer: Personal opinions only. Act on your own risks. No liabilities assumed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bull vs Bear - Round 1

We saw the fight between the bull and the bear in the market today. STI plunged 46 points at start, then it slowly climbed back up 20-30 points. This was the first wave, the plunge was a follow-up of Friday's 178 points drop in the Dow Jones Industry Average (DJIA).

The second wave came when Hong Kong's stock market opened. It saw the Heng Seng Index plunged over 600 points. The STI was down 76 points from last Friday's 3466. Again, it managed to pull itself up for 20-30 points before the close of the morning session.

The third wave came at the opening of the afternoon session. Singapore's November non-oil export data were released. Non-oil export declined 3.4% year-on-year (YoY), -6.0% month-on-month. One of the supporting pillars of Singapore economy, the electronics section, declined 8% YoY. This piece of bad news sent STI down to 3353.56 points at closing.

Winner of the Round 1? Of course the bear. What next? As I said in a previous post, if the STI goes down, it will go down to 3300 support level. If 3300 support level is broken, then STI will continue its downtrend all the way down to 3000. However, in the next couple of days, I do expect STI to rebound a bit before it goes down again. Potentially a bull-trap.

I count myself lucky that I sold off all my shares a few days ago while STI was still holding up well. I don't think I will ever touch any stock until the STI settles around 3000. Anyway, I am off for holidays in the next couple of days. There is no point buying anything right now. Whatever stock it is, no matter how good that stock is, you most probably will be able to buy that stock at a lower price in the next couple of months.

No point buying does not mean no point monitoring the STI. It is a good opportunity for those who are new to monitor the market, do mock investments to test out your strategies.

Ok, let's see what will happen tomorrow at round 2 of the fight :)

Disclaimer: The above is just my personal opinion. No liabilities for me to bear :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A COLD Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, but looks like it is a different kind of Christmas, a COLD Christmas. Singapore is a tropical country, it can never be that cold in terms of temperature. At most it is wet and cool. The rain brought by the annual monsoon lower the thermometer by quite a number of degrees, but that is not what I meant by a COLD Christmas. It is the mood.

Look around, do you actually FEEL Christmas is actually approaching? It is all nice & quiet in the office. There is no Christmas deco, no Christmas party. Few people talk about Christmas at all. Unusually COOL this year.

Went to IMM today around dinner time. Few shops decorate for Christmas. There were not that many shoppers, either. Giant Hypermart, which is usually jam-packed on weekends, had surprisingly short queues. Dinner time, MOS burger, Subway still had plenty of tables. Ajisen and Ajitei were half empty. One puzzled customer asked "why is this restaurant so empty, like a ghost shop?"

Where is the crowd? IMM is not an isolated case, a number of other shopping centres I went to had the same situation. Dinner time on a weekend, you can still easily find a table in the foodcourt. That was quite impossible a couple of months ago.

Have all the people gone to Orchard Road? Mmh, I am not sure. Anyone has any field report? Or with the booming economic, everybody is on an overseas holiday? I hope so. However, I still couldn't help fearing the worst. The inflation had taken its toll on the economy. People are spending less. STI seems to be in the process of the ugly head-and-shoulder formation. In the next couple of weeks, we will know with more certainty whether STI's uptrend will remain intact, or it is heading towards 3300, and then 3000. The bull & the bear are in a fierce fight right now. The bear seems to have a slightly upper hand. Once the bear wins, more ugly things will gradually unwind.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Living Room Feng-Shui

1。 客厅的方位

正东方:健康运 Green
正南方:名声运 Red & Purple
正西方:子孙运 Gold, Silver and White
正北房:事业运 Black & Blue
东北方:文昌运 Yellow
西北方:贵人运 White
东南方:财运 Green
西北方:桃花运 Yellow

2。 客厅的颜色

乾宅:坐西北,大门向东南 =〉必须明亮, 尽量使用大量的白色系列
兑宅:坐西, 大门向东
离宅:坐南,大门向北。不宜留太多空间, 否则易招火灾和官司
坎宅:坐北, 大门向南。 宁静,冷清色彩, 否则对钱财不利
坤宅:坐西南, 大门向东

------<客厅风水宜忌>, 王伟光 著,新疆电子出版社

Friday, December 14, 2007

Food Safety

The recent Prima Deli incident brought the public's attention back to the basics - food safety. Many had always assumed Singapore has a high standard in food safety and hygiene standards, unfortunately it is nothing but far from the truth.

Prima Deli incident is a good example. Four of their food handling staff had been found to have the Salmonella bacteria. What does this mean? It means their staff did not go through a proper medical check-up to ensure they are fit to handle food. But how many food handling staff have gone through a 'proper' medical check-up in Singapore? Look at the uncles and aunties at your coffee shop or food court, do you think they went through any form of medical check-up at all? How do you know they don't have any infectious disease such as hepatitis A/B/C?

Look at how some people handle food and money? Yes, they wear gloves, but the sole purpose is not to dirty their hands. They use the very same hand to handle food, sometimes in direct touch with food, and handle money. Isn't it common knowledge money is the dirtiest in the world? Oh, we are not talking about the sins of money, but the bacteria on it.

It is not uncommon to find hairs in your food in Singapore. I personally encountered numerous times such incidents. The bigger horror is to find cockcroaches in your food. A colleague of mine had that encounter a few months ago at a neighbourhood coffee shop. In his case, at least he got a refund. In yesterday's Today newspaper, a Korean study mama related her incident. She went for a meal at restaurant with her kids, then she found a cockcroach in her food! Guess what the duty manager said? The manager claimed that the cockcroach had been cooked under extreme high temperature in the oven, so it was clean without any bacteria or germs. Safe for consumption!

Food safety standard still has a lot of room for improvement. Maybe it is already much better than many countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Why do we want to compare with those with a lower standard but not a higher standard? Just to satisfy our ego? Even if ours is the best in the world, we should still continue to make an effort to stamp any weak points.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Year End

Time flies. I can't believe 2007 is coming to an end in less than 2 weeks. Time for everyone to look back and count their achievements/mis-achievements.

2007 had been a fruitful year.
For the first time in 7 years of my stay with the company, things are looking a bit better for me.

First time in my working life to be posted overseas for 2 months. It is something very trivial to many global trotters but quite something for this humble office worker :)

For the first time, I climbed up the Swiss Alps. That was a dream come true, although I didn't really enjoy the climbing. ;P

For the first time, our Singapore team worked so closely with our Italian colleagues. Together, we managed to come up with a solution to a difficult problem.
Finally, I can have a cubicle to my own, to have some privacy.

Finally, I can have a modern day laptop computer, Compaq 6910p, for work, to replace the antique IBM Thinkpad 600X, which has no more technical support, nor spare parts :)

Finally, my cumulative microstock income is enough to cover the cost my Canon EOS20D camera. This is achieved after two long years. Well, it takes a bit long, but at least it generates a bit of return from an expensive hobby. More importantly, my photos no longer remain in my HDD only for my own viewing pleasure. They can reach a wider audience. The joy, the excitement now can be shared with more people.

Finally, I am no longer a sure-loser in the stock market. Albeit very slowly, I am learning, and progressing. Chinese saying "There is gold in the books" (书中自有黄金屋), nothing can be more true. Learning from the gurus helps you to shorten your learning curve, less your tuition fees. Of coure, practice makes perfection. Practising what you learn perfects your skills. Still a long way to go, but at least I am making some baby steps. Don't laugh at me. I am slower learner, but at least I am still a leaner, I am still learning, better than those who never learn :)

So how was your 2007? Share with me your achievements/mis-achievements.

10 years ago, I came out from school to start working. In these past 10 years, some of my dreams did come true. Sometimes in a totally unexpected way, but they did come true. Want to have your dreams come true? First, have some nice dreams for yourself ;P

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Truth or Lies?

In recent months, the hottest topic in China is the discovery of the long extincted South China tiger in Shan'xi province. A farmer, Zhou Zheng-long (周正龙), claimed he photographed a live South China tiger in the forest. It was reported in all the major media. However, the photographs published attracted lots of skepticism from many internet users. Online forums are abuzz in discussing how genuine the photographs are. Then someone found the tiger in those photos looks unusually similar with a tiger in a Nian'hua (年画), paintings that Chinese display in their home for decoration.

Truth or lies? It is for my readers to decide for themselves.

Photo 1: The 'Original' Photo

Photo 2: A Zoom-In of Photo 1, after sharpening

There are a total of 41 photos taken by a digital SLR, a Canon EOS400D with a kit lens. All 41 of them are available for viewing here. All the EXIF data are listed as well. All my dear friends, if you have a couple of minutes, do take a look at all the photos and express your own opinions, especially people who have been photographing tigers for a while.

Zhou Zheng-long, the man in the centre of the controversy

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Day in JB

Went to JB with LYZ & LJ this afternoon. Going through the custom was unexpectedly smooth. I went through the Malaysian custom in 15 mins, that was really a record. LYZ & LJ joined the 'wrong' queue, so it took them 25mins & 30mins respectively. Anyway, that was still considered as 'very good'. Malaysia custom made some change since the last time I passed through. There is no more distinction between Singapore passport and other country's passport, all queues are considered as 'Foreign Passport' now, so there is no more disadvantage/advantage of holding a Singapore passport :)

As it was still early for dinner (only 3+pm), we went to City Square's Season's for some hearty ice cream. The ice cream was not too bad, the presentation was good too, but the service was still very much to be desired. We asked for a glass of water at least 3-4 times, but that glass of water was still missing after we paid our bill and left.

We walked around in City Square for a while. LJ told me that Doraemon comics selling at Popular bookstore City Square is even more expensive than in Singapore. It costs S$2.00 in Singapore, but RM4.90 in JB. This is quite a contrary to the other comic books. For the same title, usually it is RM4.50 in JB and S$4.50-5.00 in Singapore. So it is not everything is cheap over the other side. Open your eyes wide wide wide whenever you buy anything.

Lady Elf once brought me to a place in JB for seafood, and he told me the place was called Taman Sentosa (大马花园), but when I told the taxi driver, he corrected me saying the place is called Taman Sri Tebrau. Anyway, we went to the right place. For my mistake, we were 'punished' to pay RM2.00 more for the trip. Usual fare is RM6.00, but had to pay RM8.00. Usual fare I mean the over-inflated fare charged by the taxi drivers in consensus, the meter fare is only RM3.70. Few taxi drivers in JB use the meter, even if they use it, the meter may have been tampered.

Ok, next came our hearty seafood dinner. We ordered black pepper crab (~RM45.00/kg), steamed pating fish (清蒸巴丁鱼) (~RM45.00), butter crayfish (牛油虾婆) (~RM45.00), and wild boar meat on hot plate (RM10 for small). The total bill was RM136.00, so something must be smaller somewhere. The stall we patroned was #958, I think.

Wild Boar Meat on Hot Plate & Butter Cray Fish (top)

Black Pepper Crab

The crab was just so-so, not really that fresh. The meat sticks to the cell. The best was the steamed pating fish. Fish was fresh from the tank. The meat was tender & juicy, it melts in your mouth (does it sound like the M & M ad?) Crayfish was not bad, too. Crispy after being deep fried with butter. Wild boar meat was a disappointment. It was too chewy, not tender at all.

Live Pating Fish (From archives)

In terms of dining environment, it is only a hawker centre. As the crowd builds up, more and more smoke comes out from all the busy kitchens. At the end of the meal, you smell really bad.
Anyway, for that kind of price, it is considered not too bad. The 3 ice creams we had at City Square cost RM43.70. Comparing the RM136.00 for the whole seafood meal with RM43.70 for 3 ice creams, it is really value for money.

I found a nice shop near Taman Sri Tebrau, selling some local Malaysian produces. One interesting product is the LuoHanGuo Gao (罗汉果膏). I have not seen it elsewhere before. I gave it a try, the taste was good and cooling. The service there was good. They actually serve customers a cup of tea.

Yong Sheng Gift Shop JB
79, Jln Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau,
80050 Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: 07-2221362

The price is about RM2.00-5.00 cheaper than those in City Square.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Feeling Relaxed...

Today is Friday. Work has finally hit the milestone, where we can relax a bit. It feels good with all the work done (well, not exactly all done yet, but almost all). Working hard is never too much of a problem for Asians. The sense of some achievement is worth all that hard work. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tread-Mill Test

Did a tread-mill test this past Monday at TTSH. In a tread-mill test, you will be asked to walk/run on a tread-mill, that's why it is called a tread-mill test anyway; at the same time, they will check your ECG as well as blood pressure.

When your heart pumps harder and harder as you walk/run faster and faster, if there is any anormality is observed in your ECG or blood pressure, then you may have some serious trouble with your heart.

Before the test, the nurse will ask you some questions such as do you smoke, did you have flu in the past week or so, any drug allegic, etc. Then they will explain to you the potential risk, which is if you really have a heart problem, the tread-mill test might just trigger a heart attack! Scary, isn't it?

How reliable the test is, as usual, very much depends on the patient and how professional those people who do the test for you. Just imagine, you are not walking/running with a dozen of wires on your body, and from time to time, that arm band for blood pressure measurement will compress your blood vessels. Anything can happen, the accuracy of the equipment is also a factor.

During the test, the nurses observed something strange, not on me, but the ECG machine. They tried to figure out why the display was different under different screen. That really made me doubt whether they actually KNOW how to use the machine correctly.

One of the Singaporean Chinese lady nurse on-duty obviously has a slacking mentality. She just wanted to finish quickly, nothing else was really important. Hard to see any professionalism.

You see, human factor is forever the least predictable variable in any engineering design. Any equipment, no matter how expensive it is, will be totally useless/worthless if the owner/operator is not using it the correct way. A good example? Just look at how many crappy photos coming out from those super expensive cameras. Go figure...

Friday, November 30, 2007

One Night at A & E

Recently, I have a constant chest pain. It has this cramping feel, and my left arm becomes weak, sometimes even numb. I got a bit scared so I visited the company doctor on Monday. She then referred me to A & E. At the nurse's recommendation, I went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's A & E.

I arrived at around 5.30pm. The A & E was relative quiet and not that many people. Quickly I registered. Then proceed to the screening station, where the nurse checked my temperature. This is a legacy from SARS days. Funny the Filipino nurse can actually speak some Chinese, but subsequently she asked a paramedic to translate for her from English to Chinese. Thinking it a bit too troublesome, I just replied in English.

After the screening station, another Filipino nurse did an ECG for me, then again another Filipino nurse measured my blood pressure. Everything was fast and efficient, and then I just sat there and waited.

Around 6.40pm, it was finally my turn to see a doctor. Dr. Lee Ching Ching asked me some questions. She said most probably my chest pain was not heart-related, but just to play safe, she would keep me in observation for 6 hours. She took my blood sample at 7.00pm, a 2nd blood sample would be taken 4 hours late, then if everything was fine, I then could go home at 1.00am the next day.

Oh my, that started my one night experience at the A & E. I could walk on my own, but they insisted I should lie in a bed, and the nurses would push me, wheeled me around from this place to that place.

I did 3 x-rays. One for my neck, one for my chest, one for my back. Dr Lee suspected I had a neck pain. Frankly speaking, I was not very sure whether I had or had not a neck pain myself. Is stiff neck considered as neck pain?

Up to the x-ray part, it was still ok, but after that, the experience was a bit dreadful. They placed an Indian worker next to my bed. The Indian worker probably was injured at work, a fall or something. He vomiting violently for a while, what came out was blood! His pillow and bed sheet were stained with blood.

Then came a man in his 30s. He is very tall, at least 1.80-1.90m in height, but he is also very skinny. Chinese always say "skin wrapping the bones" (皮包骨), that describes him perfectly. His face was pale without any blood. I don't know what his illness is, but it looks like cancer. What other illness can rib someone of his life this much? Soon he was admitted.

Looking around the whole observation room, I was one of the 'healthy' guys, there was a 17-year teen too. He had a cut on his toe, and he couldn't extend his toe. How did I know this? His doctor was not sure whether he should admit the teen, so he asked my doctor, Dr. Lee Ching Ching, so I know :)

There was an old uncle in the room too. His head was bandaged. Around 9-10pm, a police officer came in to ask the old uncle questions. Very funny scene. The old uncle could speak good Cantonese to his sons, but when the police officer talked to him in Cantonese, he couldn't understand that guy's Cantonese. The old uncle's son wanted to help, but the police officer said no third party should be there while the questioning was taking place. According to the uncle, he was at the void deck of his block, and somebody hit him from behind and robbed him of his wallet. He was sent to TTSH by police.

At around 9pm, there was a change of staff. All those non-patients were asked to leave. The doctors and nurses handed over the shift. Some senior doctor came for his rounds. He went through each individual patient's record and plan. The junior doctors then would report.

The observation room is constantly in some kind of chaos. The drifts finished without being replaced. The oxygen tube removed and forgotten to be placed back. If you want something, the nurses will always let you wait, so you must be very patient, anyway, you are patient. I wonder, luckily I was not really in A or E conditions; if I were, I don't know how much my chances would be to survive. The staff were simply overwhelmed by the number of patients.

The last two hours were the most difficult times. The uncle beside me couldn't walk to the toilet, so he pee'ed in his bed with a bottle. I was like sleeping right next to a urinal! Around mid-night, a Cantonese lady was wheeled in. She was really energetic.

In her bed, she kept saying loudly her son didn't want her, her daughter didn't want her, her daughter-in-law didn't want her. She felt very terrible, hoping a good doctor would come and save her. She also said she had found a very good doctor, but that doctor's medical license had been revoked. She pleaded for that doctor, but didn't mention the name. She repeated that again and again and again, so much so that I could almost recite what she said that night word by word.

At 11pm, my doctor, Dr Lee Ching Ching came to take my blood sample again. She also told me my x-ray and blood test results so far were good. Then again, another ECG. At around 1am, a doctor came to me to say I could go home, but he also handed me a referral letter to see a specialist at TTSH.

Wah, I was so happy that finally I could go home and sleep. On my way out, at the screening station there, I saw a half naked tatoo'ed guy, with blood stains on his hands and forehead. Just wondering, victim of a gang fight?

An exciting night, but I wish never do I need to experience it again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Dragon Boat Race turned Tragic

It was supposed to be a joyful event of Dragon Boat racing on the Tonle Sap River in front of the royal palace of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, together with other teams from various ASEAN countries. The Singapore team finished their race, on the way back to the starting line, just about to disembark their boat. All of a sudden, their dragon boat capsized, all 22 members fell into the river. 17 of them were rescued, while 5 of them drown. Their bodies were found after a 30-hour search by 200 fishermen, soldiers and a team from Singapore.

It was such a sad event. There are many sad things in the world, but nothing has been so close. One of the 5 deceased, Poh Boon San, 27, was my colleague's younger brother! This news was so shocking. In addition, ReuBen Kee, 23, was Mr World Singapore 2007.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two Seven

The 2 Investing Rules of Warren Buffett:

Rule #1: Never lose money
Rule #2: Never forget Rule #1

The seven deadly sins of investing:

1. Believing that you have to predict the market's next move to make big returns
2. The "Guru" belief: if I can't predict the market, there's someone somewhere who can - and all I need to do is find him
3. Believing that "Inside Information" is the way to make really big money
4. Diversifying
5. Believing that you have to take big risks to make big profits
6. The "System" belief: sombody, somewhere has developed a system - some arcane refinement of technical analysis, fundamental analysis, computerized trading, Gann triangles, or even astrology - that will guarantee investment profits
7. Believing that you know what the future will bring - and being certain that the market must "inevitably" prove you right

These are from this book:

The Winning Investment Habits of Warren Buffett & George Soros
Mark Tier
Inverse Books, a division of Praxis Ltd, Hong Kong

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Day in Batu Pahat

Last Saturday's visit to Batu Pahat was refreshing. Didn't go to Malaysia for more than a year! The rustic look of Malaysian towns make you feel relaxed, the pace of life was a lot slower, and less stressful.

We arrived at Batu Pahat late, close to 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Everybody was hungry so we 'stormed' into a Nonya restaurant for lunch. KA recommended the 'hor fun', a Cantonese style of noodle. The taste was not bad, but the portion was very small. That explains why Malaysians are, in general, slimmer & leaner than their Singaporean brothers.

Alex's chicken goreng looked not bad, too.

Newly opened Batu Pahat mall is modern shopping mall in the making :) In the making means it is still very empty with many shop space yet to be lent out. Bowling in Batu Pahat Mall is reasonably priced. RM4.80 per game, and RM1.50 for rental of shoes. P, WJ, APJ Tan, PY & I enjoyed a bowling game. WJ was the champion with 102 points, followed by me, only 94 points. That was a 10 point improvement from my 1st bowling game, which was back in 1996, in Klang, Malaysia. And this was my 2nd time playing bowling....

EY arranged a room in Hotel Katherina for us to rest before proceeding to his wedding banquet. Being one of the few high rise buildings in a small town, the rooms have very nice views of the town, and the neighbouring hills/mountains. The sunset was magnificent.

Oh, I must mention another shopping centre in town - Summit. KA likes to go there for cheap stuff. Summit is a much older shopping mall than BP Mall, old ventilation system, which makes it less than pleasant to remain inside. Smoking in the building gets the air quality even worse. In addition, I got cheated there. I paid RM16.00 that I thought for a genuine book published by a Taiwanese publisher, only discovered it was a pirated copy. That was bad!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An EL Sale

After many long months, finally I got another extended license sale for one of my photos at iStockPhoto. More, more, more......

Here is the photo...

Some may say I am very 'hao lian', a Hokkien expression for 'self boasting', as I will show-off whatever small little 'achievement' that I have. Hehe... I just want to share the joy. If you don't like it, "that's the problem of others", to quote a former US treasury secretary ;) And you are encouraged to read this.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Good Books

1. Trend Trading
Daryl Guppy
Wrightbooks 2004

2. Chart Trading
Daryl Guppy

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Wedding in Batu Pahat

EY held his wedding in Batu Pahat yesterday. A group of us from the office went down to attend his wedding banquet hosted at Grand Seaview Restaurant in Batu Pahat.

I was positively surprised by the grandness of the banquet hall. It is elegantly decorated, with a sense of classic Chinese halls. The food was delicious too.

The day's menu:

1. Cold dish of yam, siew mai, etc

2. Shark's fin with crab meat

3. Roast pig
4. fish
5. prawns
6. mixed vegetable
7. Braised pork with Man-tou
8. Desert - Ice cream

The shark's fin with crab meat is worth a special mention. It really had shark's fin and easily visible crab meat. Many Singapore restaurants replace crab meat with the cheap egg white. Maybe not 100%, but the crab meat is hardly visible, nor detectable by our palates. In addition, for an 80-table banquet, it is quite challenging to have all the food served hot, which was the case yesterday. Comparing with our company's 20th anniversary dinner held at Suntec city a couple of weeks ago, in which the food was served mostly cold, it is quite a contrast.

Instead of just eating and eating, the host invited a Chinese orchestra to entertain the guests with traditional Chinese music. Some harmless teasing games for the bride and groom.

The whole event was well-organized, and kept everybody happy and satisfied.

Wishing the EY and his wife live happily together ever after...

Friday, November 16, 2007


The haze has come back. The pollution index went up to 83 yesterday. Hazy days ahead.... I couldn't see the near future clearly, it feels very much like standing in a thick fog, you can't even see your own fingers if you stretch your hand. It feels bad, I am confused, puzzled. The signals are mixed, charts are noisy, information has been encrypted, whilst I have not the proper decoder.

If DJIA closes up with a good few hundred points tonight, then it may set the stage for next week's rebound; if DJIA closes down, then what will happen? STI had been down for the past few days, but there is also an invisible force supporting the critical levels. What is that invisible force? Is it a super-hero or a dark lord?

There are many things in life that I don't understand. Saizen Reits was bashed on its debut. Its price nosedived from its listed price of S$1.00 all the way down to S$0.83 on the very first day, then finally recovered to S$0.86 at the 1st day closing. What makes it such an unattractive stock? Reading the prospectus, the first year return is 6.5%, whilst subsequent years is around 6% (if I didn't interpret wrongly). The investment is on Japanese residential property catering to the rental market. It is quite different in Japan. Property prices are very high, not any average person on the street can afford a house to call his own. Renting is not uncommon. Unlike Singapore, the Japanese rental market does not rely on foreigner working in the country. So why the bash? Something fishy that I do not know of? Mmmmh..... Then today, just as it was bashed down for no good reason, the price went up to S$0.885 for no particular good reason either. People betting on the appreciation of the Japanese yen?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Punishing Ourselves with Other's Faults

A friend of mine sent me this some time ago. Words of wisdom to share with everybody.

否着就埋怨, 气愤,


People usually expect others to be kind to them,
do as they wish;
otherwise, people will complain, become angry,
punishing themselves for other's faults,
that is the source of all worries.
---- Ven. Zheng Yan

Monday, November 12, 2007

Currency Speculation

It is said that Chinese have more than a trilion US dollars in its foreign currency reserve. With the recent depreciation of the dollar, the Chinese reserve just goes down together with the dollar. Although there are calls for the Chinese central bank to reduce its US dollar holding, many analysts speculate that China won't do that, as that will make China's reserve go down significantly in value, wiping out all the paper wealth it had accumulated over the years, with hard-earned money.

Why do the analysts think so? Who says if China reduces her US dollar positions, it will be a shot on her own foot? Do you still remember what George Soros did during the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis? They just sold down on a country's currency on the one hand, on the other hand, they bought futures on the devaluation of those currencies. You can't do it to a single stock counter, but you can do it to a country! Dumping a trilion dollars into the market will sure send the dollar down to hell, while the Chinese can still make some handsome profit.

Well, but there is a slight catch here. US dollar is still THE reserve currency. The Americans enjoy a special previllege as the legal owner of that reserve currency. They can just keep printing. No gold standard anyway, it is just good old faith.

Nah, whatever it is, it seems to me the current events have more and more similarities to what happened 10 years ago. Everything that has a beginning, has an end. While an end, is always the beginning of the next ending :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Asia Meltdown

Reading this book Asia Meltdown - The End of the Miracle? by Leo Gough, published in 1998. This book chronicles the sequence of events of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, the crisis I personally experienced 10 years ago. The memory is still vivid, just as if it happened yesterday.

The book puts the blame on the unsound banking systems in the South-East Asian countries, especially Thailand, the country that triggered the collapse. First, it was a property boom. Then Thai banks borrowed from foreign lenders loans in dollars terms, then lent to domestic borrowers in baht. High-rise buildings mushroomed in Bangkok, without knowing who would buy those buildings, until one day, they find the buildings are there standing empty, no tenant, no buyer. The companies that built them became insolvent. Borrowers defaulted on their loans, banks accumulated mounting 'non-performing' loans. When the news spread to the outside world, foreign investors lost their faith in the Thai financial system, lost faith in Thai baht. Nobody wanted to be the last person holding the Thai baht, which triggered the heavy devaluation of the Thai currency in a couple of months. Easy credit vanished over night. Even the 'lender of last resort', the Thai central bank, ran out of US dollars. Following Thailand's footstep, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea & Japan fell one by one. The mighty tigers, dragons lost their financial power, the wealth accumulated over the past 10-20 years evaporated. Money just disappeared.

Does that sound very familiar? Change the name of the country from Thailand to the United States of America. First that was a property boom, easy credit was available to people who previously was not qualified for any mortgage loans. Then suddenly there is an increase in 'non-performing' loans, a credit crunch ensued. Well, the Americans are a lot smarter, they packaged the 'non-performing' loans to be CDOs and sold them to the unsuspecting investors, who naively thought those were AAA rating investment grade debts. The US dollar is very much like the Thai baht 10 years ago, people avoid it like a plague. When the Asian Financial Crisis happened, IMF was called in to bailout the nations. If a financial crisis of the same scale, of the same nature happens to the Americans, will IMF be able to bail it out? Or would America be willing to let IMF bail itself out?

If the US does not want to take the bitter pill to clean up the mortgage industry, as well as the banking industry, the problem will continue. The burst of the bubble will not be avoided, it is only delayed. The pain will be more unbearable for a delayed burst.

Events unfolding in the next couple of months will be very interesting to watch. I bet a 75% chance of a crisis or a recession in the US by the end of 2008. Ah Ben is now between a rock and a hard place. No matter what policy he implements he will 'die', it is just a matter of whether he puts the national interest above the Wall Street interest or vice versa.

Now I am more interested to know what would happen to Asia if there is a financial crisis in the US. Would Asia fall together with the US? or ???

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Korean King's Treat in Red-Hot Singapore

PurpleRain brought me to this Korean restaurant on the basement level of Far East Plaza. They are offering a menu very similar to what Crystal Jade's Korean Restaurant offers in Centre point, but the price is lower.

We ordered a set menu for two, which includes 6 Korean side dishes, BBQ chicken, BBQ pork collar, Ginseng chicken soup, & bimbimbah, plus complementary fruits.

You have a choice to ask the kitchen to BBQ the chicken and pork collar for you, or you can do it yourself on the dining table. I am never a fan of doing BBQ myself, but purple likes doing it, so I let her do all the BBQ work, while I enjoyed the food:)

The pork collar is worth a special mention. Never had I tasted something so tender but chewy before. That 'feel' is really good and it lingers in mind even after weeks.

The BBQ set is more properly designed, which somehow manages to get rid of the smoky effect which I often experience in other Korean BBQ outlets.

Just a word of caution though. The food of the set meal for 2 is a bit too much for two, especially ladies. The amount I think is enough for two adults (one man, one lady) plus a kid maybe.

Oh, please forgive me for my poorly taken photos. You can't expect much from a handphone camera not even into the megapixel range ;P

Su Korean Cuisine Pte Ltd
14 Scotts Road #01-21
Far East Plaza
Tel: 62350420
Fax: 62350429

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Roller-Coaster Ride

So far I have never ever taken a roller-coaster ride in my life. Some say they like the thrill of it, but I don't, and I am honest about it. But think about it, it is not really that dangerous as I thought before. There are a lot more dangerous things/events than a harmless roller-coaster ride.

The Dow Jones Industry Average fell 360 points last night, followed by a sharp drop in Asian bourses as well. Will it bounce back sharply today or tomorrow? I don't know. Your guess will be just as good as mine. Looking at the curves, don't you think they look very like a roller-coaster ride?

Life is full of risks, risk is everywhere, in every aspect of our life. Even eating your lunch or dinner, drinking a glass of water will be a life-threatening risk if not done properly. Risk avoidance will never work, what we can do is risk management. Know the risk, and manage it and enjoy the roller-coaster ride :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Voice of Knowledge

"All humans create their story with their own unique point of view. Why try to impose your story on other people when for them your story is not true? When you understand that, you no longer have the need to defend what you believe. It's not important to be right or to make others wrong. Instead, you see everybody as an artist, a storyteller. You know that whatever they believe is just their point of view. It has nothing to do with you."

----From the Voice of Knowledge, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Something I read about from Nat Ho's blog. How true it is!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ahead of the Curve - A Commonsense Guide to Forecasting Business and Market Cycles

Ahead of the Curve - A Commonsense Guide to Forecasting Business and Market Cycles
Joseph H. Ellis
Harvard Business School Press, 2005
HB3730.E55 2005

Key Notes:
1. Four stages of economic downturns:

Stage 1: The peak
Stage 2: A modest slowing
Stage 3: Intensifying worry
Stage 4: The advent of recession

2. The leading indicators

Consumer spending -> Capital spending -> Employment

3. Factors affecting consumer spending:

a) Personal Income
b) Personal wealth, or non-income spending power.

c) Consumer Confidence Index (published by The Conference Board) & the Index of Consumer Sentiment (compiled by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center) may not predict real consumer spending. Past records have not shown any evidence that the two do.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It is crab time...

It is Autumn in China now, time when the crabs are at their best. The most famous of all the different types is the hairy crab (大闸蟹) from Yang Cheng Lake (阳澄湖). The food gurus say the hairy crab is one of the most delicious dish on earth. Hong Kong TV artiste Lydia Sim (沈殿霞) obviously has a special liking of the hairy crab. She risked her own life, but still she wanted to eat the hairy crab. Typical Cantonese :=)

Went down to Yue Hwa at Chinatown this afternoon to take a look at the hairy crabs. They are selling female hairy crabs S$128/kg, male big ones S$158/kg, male small ones S$98/kg. I don't really know why they distinguish the different types of crabs. Is there a difference? Each crab is about 250g, according to the lady manning the counter.

I wanted to try this famous hairy crab, but I could not make up my mind. It sounds very pricy, considering a normal Sri Lankan crab is around S$33/kg. What puts me off is how I am going to cook it.

I found 3 recipes from the internet. Mmmmh....



这是最好的吃法。挑选个大、肢体全、活力强的阳澄湖大闸蟹,放在清水里洗净,用绳或草把大闸蟹的两个夹子和八条腿扎紧成团状,入锅隔水蒸熟。也可以放在水里煮熟。下锅时可放一些生、紫苏、黄酒、食盐与之同煮,可以避寒去腥。食用时配上自己精心调制的酱汁和黄酒,既能调味驱腥,又能完全吊出阳澄湖大闸蟹的美味。 蒸煮螃蟹时要注意:在水开后至少还要再煮20分钟。


过程:选熟透且带有两片叶子的大橙子,把顶部切下去瓤,留下少许橙汁,把 大闸蟹的黄、肉塞入其中,再以切下的顶部封口放入蒸锅中,加酒、醋、水蒸熟。吃大闸蟹时蘸醋、盐,滋味清香,令人悠然而生雅趣...


首先配制醉液、醉露,用精盐、葱、老姜、桂皮、八角、花椒组成“醉液”,倒入锅中用旺火烧沸,稍煮片刻,捞去葱姜桂皮等,用纱布过滤除去杂质,冷却后倒入干净的坛中,再以白糖、味精、高粱酒制成“醉露”,将醉露倒入醉液坛中搅匀。然后再处理 大闸蟹蟹,取健壮的活大闸蟹洗净后在水中暂养两到三天,并每天换水,为了排除大闸蟹体内污物。然后捞取放置让大闸蟹吐干水分,再在大闸蟹脐内放少许精盐稍候片刻。最后,就可以把 大闸蟹放入坛中且全部浸没,密封保存10天就可以食用了。



1.死阳澄湖大闸蟹不能吃 因为大闸蟹死后其体内丰富的蛋白质和脂肪会变质而致人食物中毒。

2.生阳澄湖大闸蟹不能吃 因为其身上有寄生着肺吸虫及其他病菌。

3.阳澄湖大闸蟹的胃、肠、 鳃、心不能吃 大闸蟹的胃俗称“蟹和尚”为三角形囊状物,在头胸部前端;大闸蟹的肠子为一条黑色条状物,装着消化食物和粪便 ;大闸蟹的鳃位于头胸部两侧俗称“蟹胰”,上面常有污物和寄生虫;大闸蟹的心脏位于胸部中央,为一六角形包囊。

4.阳澄湖大闸蟹不能与柿子 、茶水同食因为柿子、茶水中所含的鞣酸跟大闸蟹的蛋白质相遇后,会凝固成不易消化的块状物,人会出现腹痛、呕吐等症状。

5.脾胃虚寒者可少吃阳澄湖大闸蟹 因为大闸蟹性寒,多食会引起腹痛、腹泻。适量吃大闸蟹时蘸姜末醋汁,可去大闸蟹的寒气,就避免了身体的不适。

6.患有高血压、冠心病、动脉硬化者尽量少吃阳澄湖大闸蟹蟹黄 因为会引起胆固醇增高。

7.患有胃病、发热、伤风、腹泻者不宜吃 阳澄湖大闸蟹 因为会加剧病情。

8. 孕妇应少吃阳澄湖大闸蟹

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Who is your most favourite radio DJ?

It is the time of the year for the annual Golden Mike Award for radio DJs. The advertisement is aired very frequently on all the mediacorp radios.

All of a sudden, I feel quite at a loss. Who is my most favourite DJ? I don't think I like any of the DJs, not much impression on any of them, as a matter of fact. DJs here in Singapore are very different from DJs elsewhere that I know of. DJs in Hong Kong, for example, will talk about interesting stuff. Anything that has any amount of 'advertisement' intend will be avoided. As a result, contents are a lot more interesting, sometimes even thought-provoking. Social ills and inequalities are exposed, good deeds are praised. For the light-hearted ones, at least you get some interesting stories, some knowledge.

Singapore DJ's are a world different from those in Hong Kong. I always wonder why do I have to tune in to endure all the advertisement talks by the DJs. Everything they talk about seems to have sponsor. And they will only talk about things that have a sponsor. DJs should be renamed to MJs - Money Jockeys, as they see nothing but $$$. Lin Linzi, who had jumped ship to 100.3, is the worst of the lot. She talks like advertising. Whenever she is on-air, I would either change to another station, or just turn off the radio.

Radio is a mass media tool, it should be a channel for the listeners to enjoy the program contents, to relax, to gain knowledge, instead of being fed advertisements. Advertisements should be strictly reserved for the air time that the various companies buy from the radio stations.

Ooops, I couldn't figure out who is my most favourite DJ, but seems like I figured out who I dislike most :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grace Society

My colleague related to me his true life story of the 'grace society' we are living in. He rented a room from an old couple. A few months later, the old couple sold the flat and down-graded to a small one. They kindly offered my colleague a room at the same rate in their new flat.

On the day they moved to the new flat, not a single child of the old couple came up. No, it is not true that the old couple are childless. They do have children from previous marriages, but still no one turned up. My colleague, a tenant in the house, was the only one helping in the house-moving. Helping the old couple is of no problem, but the strange absence of their children is a problem. What is filial piety? Yes, their children are residing in Singapore. How graceful they are to let their elderly parents to fend for themselves.

This reminds me of another incident which was reported in newspaper quite some time ago. Once a volunteer visited a senior citizen who lived alone in a one-room flat. It happened that the old man's son was there too on a visit. The light in the living was out of order. The son immediately ORDERED the volunteer to repair the light. Who did the son think he was? What a shame.

You can't wake up one day to have a grace society. It needs cultivation in everyday life. The Singapore education system teaches all the wrong concepts, making false perception that as long as you have money, then you can get everything you wanted. In addition, everything you do must have a quantifiable money value in it. If there is no value, time should not be wasted doing it, resources should be reallocated.

Oh, my. Buddists believe in Karma. Whatever you do, some day it will come back to you. You sow sweet seeds today, you harvest sweet fruits tomorrow; you sow bitter seeds, you harvest bitter fruits. Do whatever you like, just be ready to bear the consequences. It is a fair game, everybody will be equal in this aspect, from Emperors, kings & queens to presidents, prime ministers to the ultra poor, everybody will be equal in this game.

Monday, October 29, 2007


A few months ago, someone offered me something. He said he had made the recommendation and everything was going places, we just needed to wait for the outcome.

Today is the outcome. A number that had sturbornly remained the same for a couple of months. What had been offered is not delivered, hopes have been dashed. No explanation, not even a single word about it. I am puzzled. All the hard work is not appreciated.

This is the 3rd time disappointment. The 1st happened 7 years ago, the 2nd happened 4 years ago. It happened again this year. The culprit of all these disappointments seemed to always be the same person. He clings so dearly to his redundant post and the only function of his is to yield whatever leftover power to block the advancement of the younger generation.

The following is good motto for this occasion:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Search is On....

After three long years, I started the painful search for affordable housing again today. Three years ago, I was still 'young' and inexperienced, with high expectation of life. Three years later, I kind of accepted the fact that everything is fated. Sometimes I can't get what I wanted right away. Detours may not be all that bad. Paying a bit higher price for a shitty flat built by some idiots may not make myself an idiot as long as I can get my cash flow settled.

My property agents, a husband & wife team, did a good job in organizing an effective flat viewing. 12 flats were viewed over a time span of a little more than 3 hours. Some flat owners are asking for ridiculous prices which any sane person would ever consider. However, the housing market in Singapore now is insane. Everything is going up and up almost every single day. Sunny did warn me the prices going skyhigh today, it means prices may fall back to square one a few years down the road. The current price inflation is not sustainable at all with an average Singaporeans' income. Foreign 'investors' are the culprit. Once the hot money finds a greener place, Singapore's housing will go nowhere but fall.

Made one offer, but the owner was undecided. Let's see what will happen next week. Keeping my finger crossed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Paper Money

Chinese call those 'money' offered to the dead as 'paper money'. Paper money comes in BIG denominations, really big ones, issued by the Bank of Hell (BoH). The minimum value is well over a million dollars I think. A few billions in paper money or hell money is just small sum. In the 7th month of the lunar calender, piles & piles of paper money will be burnt as offer to the dead, to finance their after life, for the benefit of the living.

In the past few days, some big financial institutions in the living world announced their 3Q financial resuls. Reading their results, you might just wonder whether you are living in hell or the living world. I actually pinched myself to make sure that I am still a living person. Merrill Lynch said they lost US$7.9b in 3Q, Countrywide US$1.2b, JP Morgan will write off US$2.1b, while Citigroup announced they lost some billions too (I can't remember the exact amount). Many billions of dollars just vaporized over night. However, it does not seem like the dead had benefited from this vaporization, neither do the living. That amount of money just went up in smokes.

The Fed now acts more like BoH, printing money like nobody's business. The green back has fallen from its high of S$1.80 to US$1.00 down to S$1.46 to US$1.00. Investment gurus from Warrant Buffet to Jim Rogers to Julian Roberson all agreed that the dollar's downfall is still far from over. Jim Rogers even said he will convert all his US dollar dominated assets into some other currencies, mainly Chinese yuan, in the next couple of months, according to reports.

Asian countries, from Japan, to China, to Vietnam, have all reduced their reserve amount in US dollars, while favouring some other currencies, which are not publicly disclosed yet. Nobody wants to be the last one standing holding the bodies of the past dead presidents. There is no fun. The green back probably soon will be as good as paper money issued by Bank of Hell, with the Jade Emperor's portrait on the front.

Is it really this bad? For the short term, I do think so, thanks to Mr George W. Bush, for his poor management of the only remaining superpower on planet earth. In the long term, there might be some turn-around. Remember some 15 years ago, back in 1992, the United States was also in a similar situation, and at that time, it was coupled with high interest rates. I could still remember George W. Bush's father, George Bush, fainted during his visit to Japan, with the hope of convincing the Japanese to buy more American goods. Then after Bill Clinton took office, things became better, and led all the way to the year 2000 boom, and the subsequent busrt in late 2000, early 2001. Will the same happen again? Most likely. Economy development goes in 'cycles'. Well, anyway, I just don't want to see the new paper money is actually printed by the US government :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Keep or dump 377A, you say?

In recent months, there is a debate as whether Singapore should keep or dump section 377A of the penal code. What is the big deal? It is a section of the law that outlaws homosexuality. Under this code, gays are subject to prosection in this country.

The two camps debating over this issue set up their own website to garner supports. One is; whilst the other is

What do you say? Should we keep or should we dump? Frankly speaking, I think it is a waste of time debating such a subject. The law is there to outlaw homosexuality, it is a fact. However, the government has adopted a not-to-actively-pursue such criminal acts attitude. They kind of close one eye to all the gay saunas, gay websites, gay activities. For those who have chosen an alternative lifestyle, they can live their life their way without being disturbed. So what is the big deal?

Your blogger here is still having diffculties in coping with the rising rent, rising housing prices, rising food prices, but stagnant salary. Our MPs should spend more time in keeping the inflation in check, making Singapore a better place for her citizens to live in.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Some say a person's personality determines how successful he/she will be in life. What is your personality then?

According to this test, mine is:

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.
In love, you are loyal and honest.
If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.
For you, love is something that happens naturally.
And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.
At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.
You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.
How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable
When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical

This makes me think of this song by Jackie Wu, Andy Lau & Blackie Ho - Stupid Boy (笨小孩)

So what is your personality? Does your personality have a good prospect for a successful life ahead :)

Monday, October 15, 2007


I have been using the same POSB ATM since the day I opened my account with them 15 years ago. Recently I found the card is really too to keep up with the newer machines. At the ASX machines, the card simply can't be read at all.

Queued for almost an hour at the bank to get it replaced. The lady behind the counter told me I had to pay S$5 if I get back the same simple ATM, but if I change to the GO card, then it will be free of charge.

What is a GO Card? It works the same way as an ATM card, you can withdraw cash from ATM machines, use it for NETS transactions, but in addition, you can use it a bit like a credit card. There is an authorized signature at the back of the card. You can choose to set your purchase limit to $500, $1000 or $1500. Anyone older than 18 years old and has an account with POSB can have this card. Wow, sounds like easy credit going all the way to the younsters too. Oops, here comes the catch. There is a difference between GO card & a credit card.

For a credit card, the bill only comes at the end of the month (or the beginning of it). For the GO card, the money is deducted at the moment the transaction is through.

I simply can't convince myself to get such a card with disadvantage. True, it is very useful for the young adults who are probably still students. Very convenient for them when they go overseas and needed some extra money. To me, it is a great disadvantage, as there will be no reward points, no way for me to cancel any fraudulent transactions before money changes hands.

At the end I said to the lady, it is not very fair to charge me $5 for the replacement of my ATM card. As it is because the card was too old, not because I mishandled it. And I had used the card for 15 years! She laughed, and gladly replaced the card for me, waiving the $5 charge.

Singapore banks are more and more like their counterparts in Australia, charging their customer on every possible occasion. I wonder when they will start charging for every over-the-counter transactions, and per ATM cash withdrawal. The day has not come yet, but it will. So everybody, work harder, stash piles of money for the rainy days...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Yesterday, during the tea time chat with LYZ & LJ, suddenly I remembered yesterday (Oct 13) was the aniversary of Yu Xiao Feng & Lin Fang. Time flies, many years had passed quietly since they left. Life goes on, nothing seems changed with their absence. A Chinese poem says " I came quietly, I left quietly, without even bringing a piece of cloud with me"...

往生咒 (拔一切业障根本得生净土陀罗尼)


May Yu & Lin live happily ever after in the land of paradize...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gathering of Old & New

Friday evening was the rare occasion that almost everybody in our group went out together for dinner at the Noble House, one of Tung Lok group of restaurants. The food was not really good, the prawns were not fresh at all. However, the ocassion was rare, it has been a long time since the last time we had such a gathering. Everybody was happy.

Today, I went for a gathering with LYZ & LJ, then I brought along our juniors from the 12th batch, XW & his g/f HW. A wonderful chitchat session cum tea appreciation at Tea Chapter. XW & HW are going to graduate next year, they wanted to learn more about what the different types of jobs are like so that they can choose wisely.

After the teas session, we went to Buddha's Tooth Relic Temple for a visit, then dinner at a Sichuan restaurant. The food was in fact was not bad, although it was not fantastically good either. Most importantly, everybody had a good time.

I had only met XW once, that was on my flight from SG to Macau last Chinese new year, so I actually couldn't remember how he looks like :) Anyway, he & his g/f are an interesting pair.
LYZ & LJ are my old friend who came to SG with me back in 1992.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement, a cliche in the Total Quality Management (TQM) world. You might have heard of it thousands of times, from school to work, everywhere, although people don't really seem to bother. Those who don't bother about it in his/her personal life will suffer.

The world is changing. Look around yourself. Casino was a no-no just a couple of years, but now the same group of elites that opposed casinos are now flag-bearers for casinos. Too big an issue for you to bother? How about housing prices? How about rent? Back in 1997, when I first came out to work, I still remember very clearly what the property agent said to us, "The owner will not consider anything below S$1800" for the 5-room flat right next to CCK MRT. It was the boom days. Then in 2004, a 3-bedroom condo unit, furnished, was only asking for S$1200. What a huge difference. Now, at present 2007, history repeats itself. It is boom time again. The same 3-bedroom condo unit is going for S$2500.

Do you see the point? Everything is changing. Those who can't adapt to the changes will be left behind; those who can't catch up with the changes will be left behind too. Forget about the preachings of everyone is equal. It is never true. Darwin taught the theory of natural selection, the essence of which is survival of the best.

For the current boom, I have not benefited anything from, but suffered quite a bit. Rising inflations, skyhigh rent, skyhigh housing prices, but stagnant income. Who is to blame? Myself. Those who spotted the uptrend earlier have been making huge profits ever since 2004. The power of the wealth accumulated over the years just starts to unleash today.

So continuous improvement is a must for everyone, every organization to survive, to grow stronger. It is not something for show, to get the high quality paper.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Extortionate Prices

Our flat owner just informed us she would increase the rent from the current S$1450.00/month to S$2500.00/month next year. This is a 72% increase!

Raising prices seems to be the most fashionable thing to do these days. The prices at food courts, coffee shops had risen by 5-10% in the recent months. The housing market is the worse. HDB resale prices have climbed around 10% for the year, rents have gone up unreasonably anywhere from 30% to more than 100% for condos. HDB rents have gone up too, albeit at a smaller percentage.

I don't know how these prices can be sustained. How much does an average Singaporean earn? The last time I heard, the median salary is about S$3800, which is considered to be 'high' pay. After 20% CPF contribution, disposable income is only S$3040.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Make Your Voice Heard...

The Singapore government is planning to convert the supreme court and city hall buildings into the national art gallery. It is for sure a good step forward in making Singapore a truly 'grace society', to inject some sense of culture into this diverse but shallow society.

A competition had been organized to choose the best design for the make-over of the two century-old buildings. Total there are 111 entries for the competition. A panel of judges had hand-picked 3 designs of the 111 as the best. Out of the 3, one will be chosen as the final design for the art gallery. The 3 designs will be on exhibition at City Hall from 5th to 17th Oct, 2007.

The public can express their own opinions at the exhibition, as well as at the following website:

Please, I encourage each and every one of you, make your opinions heard by going through the online survey

We must do our part to vote out the ugly, uncharacteristic, tasteless designs. At least for me, I don't want to have another eye-sore in the city.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Camera Armour

It has been a kind of 'tradition' or 'must-do' for expensive camera owners to gaffe their cameras in Singapore. The money signs are covered with black tapes. Some people can do it so well that they even offered such a service, with different choices of colour somemore. To take this one step further, a website is selling something called 'camera armour'.

The 'armour' is made of some silicone blend. It not only covers up all the money signs, but also provides some form of protection to the camera from impacts and day-to-day handling. The price is not too steep, US$49.00 for Canon 30D, including the armour, lens armour & leash, and LCD screen shield.

For those who are interested, take a look at the site:

Have fun :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Busy Days

Last week, my project leader transferred to another department, so this week, I have to do all the dirty work that a project leader should do myself. It is kind of crazy. Usually I won't get more than 5 emails a day or even a week, but now my inbox is flooded with all kinds of emails, with all kinds of interesting requests, demands, etc, etc, everyday. It doesn't matter whether they know me or they don't know me, they just send in their requests, demands, & sometimes opinions. Out of the blue, I have become everybody's good friend :) Whilst just last week, I was still enjoying my quiet and peaceful semi-retirement life.

Being in a small team, I don't have that many people that I can 'empower'. Well, if I can, I am more than willing to empower 100% of work to whoever inspired to be the next project leader :) Mmmh, I suddenly have this spark. I should start a competition within the team called "The next Singapore Top leader". Hahaha..... I wonder whether the guys (& gals, of course) would be interested.

Being a project leader is never easy. You have to please your boss, your customer, & even your subordinates. A ball will be a perfect model for any project leader in this world. It is ALL rounded; it can go anywhere; it can cushion whatever heavy impact, and then bounce back.

Ok, I will stop my mumblings here. I just feel a bit amused today that I found out my boss does not have much idea of what I do at work.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Indulgence Day

Today is the Indulgence Day for me. First we went to the newly opened Central Mall right next to Clark Quay. The original plan was to have lunch at the Grains, but the last minute we decided to go to Tom Ton instead. Tom Ton is one of the rare restaurants that serves meat from black pigs. If I am not wrong, black pig is a speciality of South Korea. The last time I had pork from black pigs was back in year 2001, in Jeju Island in South Korea.

I ordered Yaki Pork Spare rib & Sukiyaki, whilst PurpleRain decided to have Shoga Bimbimba. Well, these names sound greek to non-Japanese speakers. Yaki Pork spare rib is just grilled pork (from black pig); Shoga Bimbimba is rice with ginger & pork served in a hot STONE bowl; Sukiyaki is hot pot with ingredients of pork (from black pigs of course), a few different kinds of vegetables, and the main is udon.

My Sukiyaki is not too bad. The black pork does taste a bit better (maybe just psycholological), the soup is way too salty to my liking. Shoga Bimbimba is not bad. Btw, if you can get a good table in the restaurant, you can get a good full view of Clark Quay, which will be interesting to see all the night life in the area.

Some of our food pics. (All pics taken by PurpleRain)

Shoga Bimbimba



1. Yaki Pork Spare rib $4.80

2. Shoga Bimbimba $18.80

3. Sukiyaki $18.80

Total (++): $49.90

After lunch, we went on to Vivo City and then indulged ourselves in Haagen-Dazs ice creams & coffee. Feeling guilty about all the calories we had chalked up for the day, we went to Sentosa for a 2-hour walk to shed off some of the fat ;P

Dinner was at Fortune Restaurant at Food Republic @ VivoCity. We shared a small bowl of boat congee (艇仔粥), a plate of Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉), one plate of ShaoMai(烧卖)& one plate of crystal pao. The Chee Cheong Fun with Char Siew was not bad, it brought back some of my fond memories of having it back in my hometown many many years ago. However, the Chee Cheong Fun was NOT made on demand as claimed by the restaurant. On the contrary, it was ready-made, and only to heat it up when a customer orders it. Ok, the taste was not bad, so I am not so critical about this. The rest are quite ok, but not exceptionally good.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friends (朋友)

Some songs dedicated to all my dear friends, for their continuous support...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Chinese Prescription for Sensitive Nose

My mum has a very sensitive nose. Whenever the dust content in the air goes up, she will start sneezing non-stop. I kind of inherited that from her, too. About 10 years ago, a monk gave me a prescription to cure my allergic, or at least to reduce its impact. I am going to share it here.

1. Lotus root
2. Almond nuts

1. Wash the lotus root clean. Make sure there is no mud left-over.
2. Cut the lotus root into small pieces
3. Put the lotus root and almond together into slow cooker, add water
4. Cook for 3-4 hours, then add salt.

Drink the soup and eat the lotus root & almond.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bad Luck

Chinese are always good in expressing themselves, in a humorous and reserved way. They don't say bad luck, they say you have 'foul hands'. Just like people say you have 'green fingers', which means you are good at gardening work, a pair of foul hands will just bring 'death' to almost everything. If that pair of hands touch a project, the project will fail, or be cancelled, or be put on hold in the best case. If that pair of hands touch a specific stock, that stock will turn for the worse, usually from strong uptrend to nosedive downtrend. The owner of that pair of hands probably is just a stupid retail share investor, who is generous enough to contribute to the wealth growth of many other sophisticated investors.

In Cao Xue-qin's (曹雪芹) novel "The dream of the Red Chamber" (红楼梦), he described Lady Feng (王熙凤)as "Too smart for her own good". I strongly dispute this comment. She is NOT too smart for her own good, her failure is NOT due to her intelligence; instead, she failed miserably because she is still not smart enough, not sophisticated enough. If she is really smart, then she would ride through all the ups & downs of the four families.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fake Supersampler Shots

Lomo is fun, but then for each roll of film I shoot, it will cost at least:

1. film: $2.50 - 3.50
2. Development: $3.50
3. Scan to CD: $5.00

Total cost is about S$10.00. It does not seem much for one roll, but if I shoot 10 rolls, the cost just snowballs to $100.00, which is more than the cost of the camera itself. This cost escalation is not acceptable in economic terms.

Last night, I learnt a trick from Clubsnap to merge many photos together and get that supersampler 'look'. Here is my first attempt, does it look like a supersampler shot?

There are pros & cons of using a DSLR as a Lomo.

1. ISO is changeable on the fly and as the need arises
2. Many different available lenses
3. Shoot digital, no film cost, development cost => almost 0 consequence cost

1. DSLRs are too big & heavy to carry
2. DSLRs attract too much attention when in action

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) = Moon Cake Festival?

The coming Tuesday (25 Sept 2007) is the mid-autumn festival in China, and some other Asian countries such as Singapore & Malaysia. In Chinese, it is call 中秋节, which means it is a festival on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar, right in the middle of Autumn, so the English translation of Mid-Autumn Festival is correct & precise. However, in South East Asian countries, such as Singapore, many of those other-language educated people tend to refer to this festival as the MOONCAKE festival. All they know is you must eat moon cake. As a matter of fact, Mid-Autumn festival came thousands of years ahead of the tradition of eating mooncake on this special day.

Mid-Autumn festival came into being 3000 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty. You can read the details here:

Eating mooncakes only became a tradition for this festival after Zhu Yuan-Zhang (朱元璋)founded his Ming Dynasty. It is said that Zhu planted a revolt againt the Yuan Dynasty. To keep the communication secret, they hid the messages in the mooncakes. After Zhu became the 1st emperor of his Ming Dynasty, he gave his ministers & subjects mooncakes as a token of appreciation. Ever since, eating mooncake became a tradition.

Well, let's cut the history part short, but keep the eating part long :) In the past, there were only limited variations of mooncakes. Usually the pastry is made from lotus seeds; and only one type of mooncakes skin. With less and less modern people care about tradition, the mooncake manufacturers have to come up with new ideas to attract both the young and old customers. First there were mooncakes with one egg yoke, then two. And then they change the recipe to have "snow skin" mooncakes, with many many different favours such as durian, green tea, custard, yam, etc. I personally favour the snow-skin over traditional mooncakes.

A recipe for snow skin mooncake can be found here:

No harm giving it a try. There are many other food/fruits for you to eat in the celebration of Mid-Autumn festival, but I will just stop here, as I am getting a bit hungry just by writing all these stuff ;P

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Solid as GOLD

Back in 1997/98, that were talks about gold is no longer the reserve currency, and the value of gold is going nowhere but down. True enough. At the time it was the Asia financial crisis. Asian countries have to dump their gold reserves into the market to raise whatever amount of money that they need. I can still remember very clearly the Thais queuing up to donate gold to the government to pay back the loan from IMF.

To put salt on the wounds, some world financial institution announced they would slowly reduce their gold reserves. More gold would be dumped into the already saturated market. That went the gold. For an ounce of solid gold, you only needed to pay ~US$300.

As a Chinese saying goes "The east side of the river will prosper for 30 years, then the west side of the river will prosper for 30 years, and the cycle repeats". Down from its trough, gold has been climbing up slowly, unnoticed. Here is a photo of the Gate of Paradise at the baptistry in Florence, Italy. Whoever bought gold back in 1997/98 will be in the euphoria of paradise now.

Look at this chart of the price of a gold ETF. From a low of US$45, all the way to yesterday's US$71.43 and thanks to Ah Ben, who flooded the financial market with liquidity by lower the Fed fund rates to 4.75%, the price of this gold ETF is still going strong. For the same ounce of solid gold, now you to have to pay US$729.86. That goes the US dollar...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Microstock: Travel Photos

Travel and photography seem to come hand in hand naturally. When you visit an interesting or beautiful place, you want to capture the beauty of the place to share with family & friends when are back home. Many people start their first journey with photography during their first travel experience. It is natural too to think that travel photos are ideal candidates for stock photography.

The founder of one of the more prominent microstock sites - Shutterstock, was a travel photographer, too. He started selling his own travel photos to various customers. Then he found that being the only contributing photographer, he didn't have enough time & energy to shoot enough photos for his customers. That came the microstock agency - Shutterstock.

Till now, you may think that travel photos must be selling well at all the stock sites. Not true. On the contrary, travel photos in general don't have good sales. Why? How many travel magazines out there in your local bookstore/news-stand? How many travel fairs does your city host every year? Yes, customers do come in to grap photos from time to time, but that is about it.

However, you should not be completely disappointed with travel photos. There are still some tips that can help you improve your sales of travel photos.

1. Have photos of all the HOT spots. World events, especially the rise of some new economy power will attract lots of interest to the place. For example, My Ho Chih Ming City series has been doing pretty well.
2. Get a series of travel photos, instead of sporadic ones. Sometimes customers want to do a story or something about a place, they will just come in and grap everything related to the same place. Voila! You will have sudden jump of sales :-)
3, Be unique. Many tourist hot spots have been photographed zillion times by others. In order to catch some eyeballs, you have to grap attentions. Even photographing a cliche place, try different angles.

Ok, I will stop my mumbling here. Happy shooting :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Snake King

You see, sometimes Chinese can speak 'perfect' English while a native English speaker without any knowledge in Chinese will have no clue about what is being talked about. Snake King, both words are standard English words, when they are put together, what do you think it means? King of snakes? Someone who is very good at dealing with snakes? No, no, no, you are missing the whole point.

What are the characteristics of a snake?

Snake is slippery;
Snake is dangerous;
Snake is lazy.

If you fit these characteristics, especially the last one, then you are qualified to be crowned "Snake King".

Everybody will be lazy in some aspects of time, or just some time in life. You see your classmates coming to school with assignments unfinished; colleagues goofing off occasionally at work. It is part of life. However, some just do much better than others, including being lazy.

A colleague of mine, who comes from a 5-star country (being his fellow countryman, I feel ashame of myself), is the greatest ever Snake King that I have ever met in person. He can openly goof off at work, trading his stocks online, reading news, sleeping, and still dares to say he feels guilty that he didn't do any work for the whole day openly to the entire team! Then he continues to tell everybody his attitude is right and adorable because at least he feels guilty, although he is not going to change any bit anyway.

It is the first time that I have such an encounter, and I don't know what is the best way to deal with it. I did consider talking to my manager, but then would it help? I can't do much with this guy, can my manager do anything? Nothing much really. With the current tight labour market, and the low salary this company offers, we had been having difficulties in recruiting for quite a while. The 5-star guy knows this well, too. Before he transferred from our production plant to our department, his Snaking behaviour was even more daring. He himself told us that he usually came to work at 9.30am (while officially it is 8.30am), then went off at around 4-5pm (officially 6pm). He even went for a job interview during office hours without getting any time off or day off. And to make you feel better (or worse), he was praised by his supervisor.

I feel bad that I don't know how to do with it. My incapability to deal with this guy jeopardises other members in the team. Whatever the Snake King leaves unfinished has to be finished by someone. :(

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Microstock: A Good Concept

Yesterday, I talked about how to get more sales by having more photos in your portfolio. That is only one aspect of the game. A good concept is even more important in microstock. What is a good concept? Like Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart, once said about pornography, "I know it when I see it"... Your wallet will know it too. A photo with a good concept will get you good sales. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I will just show you an example.

Photo with A Good Concept:
(Note: This photo is NOT mine, so I just use a link)

Flip through some magazines, both local & international, take a look at what kind of photos are commonly used. When you shoot, ask yourself, under what kind of theme/circustances can your photo be used?

Yes, microstock photos are different from your fine art/journalistic photos. What you think is a good piece of art may be quite useless for stock. Just keep this in mind. :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Microstock: Getting More Sales

It has been quite a long time since I last wrote about microstock, it is time for me to start writing about it again.

As in any other business, having sales is the top most priority. Microstock is of no difference. To be successful, you need to have both quality and quantity to have good sales.

In terms of quantity, having 400-500 photos in your portfolio will be good. Nowadays, almost all the microstock sites go for the magic number. They always want to out-do each other by having more contributors, more photos on site for their customers. Quite a number of sites passed their 1 million photo mark in the past one year. Just imagine, out of the millions of photos, you have to grap the attention of a potential customer. By having a bigger portfolio, you will have a higher chance of getting your photo noticed, simply by statistics. It is a numbers game.

In addition to having a bigger portfolio, your constant presence in the microstock scene is very important, too. Just like the sales people, they call on their customers from time to time, even there is nothing in particular important. Sending greeting cards for major holidays, birthday cards to the customers. Why do the they do that? They just want their customers to be aware his/her existence, to remember him/her when there is business to do, profit to make. The same applies to microstock, but in a slightly different way. You don't send cards to your customers, you don't call on them, as you don't even know who the customers are. How do you make your presence known? Contribute photos periodically. For example, in Shutterstock, if you don't have any new uploads for a month or two, no matter how big your portfolio is, you will notice there is a drop in your sales. How big the drop is varies from person to person.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wrath of Nature

Yesterday evening, an earthquake measured 8.2 on the Richter scale rocked the west coast of Sumatra in our friendly neighbour Indonesia. The shock waves from the earthquake and its many aftershocks could be strongly felt in Singapore.

When the earthquake happened yesterday, I was in Mr Huang's car, so I didn't feel anything. This morning, around 10am, all of sudden, my colleagues all stopped work and wandered around, asking "Can you feel it? Can you feel it?" The electrical wires in the lab started to swing on their own. The tremor was not strong, but it lasted for a minute or two. For that minute or two, the concrete building was like a paper box, which was shaking in the wind. OMG, mother nature has again expressed her wrath on the ungrateful residents living in her territory.

I don't know what is the physics behind it, but every time I feel the tremor from an earthquake, I will have a very bad headache, so bad that it hinders my brain's proper function; at the same time, I also feel my stomach stirring, there is an urge to vomit.

In the past, I always wondered why didn't people just run away when an earthquake strikes, now I realise that when it strikes, it will paralyse the people, just like in the sword-fighting stories, the gangsters will use some kind of incense to paralyse their preys before they take action.

Last but not least, let's all pray hard that all our friends & family will always be healthy & safe. 出入平安

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


September 11, such a special day, it is a day that will be remembered in history for the collapse of the New York World Trade Centre, as a result of the terrorist act of some cowards.

September 11, it is also my anniversary day of joining my current company in 2000. On the 1st anniversary, I was sitting in my living room, with my flatmates, watching the tallest building in the world being ramped into by two jumbo airliners, and the subsequent collapse of the two towers. Awe & shock, what else can better describe my first reaction?

September 11, happens to be one of my friend's birthday. I don't know whether she has the mood to celebrate her birthday, on a day that many others are actually mourning.

September 11, 2007, unlikely there will be another terrorist act of the same scale as 6 years ago, but the financial market may pose a much bigger threat to more than the terrorists.

Let's pray for a brighter future, and better tomorrow...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lomo Supersampler

Haha... Probably you already know, my new toy is a Lomo supersampler. That's how it looks :D Well, photographs are deceiving. It looks cool, doesn't it? In reality, it looks plastic & cheap. See that black square at the top? That is the 'viewfinder', which fell off before I started to use the camera. That buckle at the bottom? It is the film advance string. 100% mechanical, not a single piece of electronics is there. I ordered it from Hong Kong, the total cost (inclusive of shipping) is ~SGD$92.00. Kind of $$$$.

The supersampler was designed not by the camera manufacturers, but the Lomographers themselves. They came out with the design, put it into production in a factory in Shenzhen, China.

A lot more Lomo cameras can be found at the Lomo Asia site:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My First Lomo Adventure

My first adventure with a Lomo supersampler had been thrilling. Very unusual not to look at the viewfinder, as there isn't one for you to look through anyway; very fearful while I was shooting with all rules broken. Using a roll of Agfa Vista New color film with an ISO of 200, whose expiry date is July 2005 (Yes, it is 2005, not a typo), under a cloudy, rainy condition, I had no clue what would actually come out. Now the results are out. Most of them, as expected, are under-exposed. Ok, no picture no talk, just see for yourself and make your judgement.

Personally I like the beach volleyball shots. Too bad, the weather yesterday was all doom & gloomy, hardly there was any sunshine, hence the dull colors. Nevertheless, it shows the advantage of the supersampler, which is good for action shots. I am quite happy with the actions captured, although it is a bit too small to see clearly. More interesting angles may be explored. Some old habits just can't be changed instantly, eg. always keeping my hands steady while taking photos. For Lomo, some 'motion' may be more desirable.

From this first experiment, I also got to know with ISO200 film, it doesn't work in any indoor environment or in a rainy day.

Next weekend, if the weather is good, I will go back to Novena square Velocity to take some more beach volleyball shots. Anyone keen to join me? :D

Film development is $3.50, scanning to CD is $5.00, done at Choa Chu Kang Lot 1 Fujifilm lab.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Squid Ink & Food

The first time I heard of people eating squid ink was a number of years ago on a TV travel program. That program brought TV audience to Hokkaido in northern Japan. A famous local delicacy is the squid ink ice cream. It was kind of disgusting to see the TV host's mouth & teeth turned black as he was enjoying the ice cream. First reaction: yucks! I will never try it.

Then two years ago, back in Milan, a plate of rice simmering in some black liquid was put on my dinner table. As I was scratching my head what that was, my Italian colleagues told me that was a local delicacy - rice with Squid Ink! It looks very much like a pile of rice dipped into that black liquid for Chinese calligraphy. However, the scent from that black pile was way too attracting to resist the temptation to give it a try. Once I tried it, then I couldn't stop. Never knew squid ink would have that appetising fragrance. I guess I must looked very ugly that night, with a black mouth & black teeth :)

Last week, CK bought for me from Milan two packs of squid ink pasta. Expensive stuff, the 500g pack of spaghetti cost 2.70 euros, while the 250g pasta cost 4.70 euros. Expensive they are, the good taste is worth the money. How good are they? You can eat them on their own :D

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Teo Ming, Dave 兵变

Teo Ming, Dave is the most talkabout person in Singapore the past few days. A 20-year old full-time NS man stationed at the Mandai Hill Camp, on Monday evening, he disappeared from his guard duty together with his SAR-21 assault rifle and ammunition! The police and the Singapore Armed Forced started an island wide manhunt and finally tracked him down through his handphone signal. 20 hours after his disapperance, Dave Teo was arrested on the 3rd floor toilet of Cathay Cineleisure at Orchard Road, with his SAR-21 assault rifle & ammunition.
It was very lucky nobody was hurt in the incident. Just imagine he opens fire at Cathay Cineleisure, how many lives will be lost! (Ok, he did not have that many bullets, thank God)

This incident also shows how fast news can spread in this information age. Shortly after Dave's arrest, news already came out in one of the online forums - Then later, it appeared in as well as many other online forums in Singapore. People went to friendster, flickr to look for his photos. That is not the end yet. As people are curious about his intentions, some mananged to find out his ex-girlfriend's blog. Voila! Another shock.

It appeared that Dave Teo broke up with his girlfriend of 3 years 5 months ago. To make things worse, his ex-girlfriend soon found her new love, a new love of a SHE.

The whole event became even more complicated when the police charged a 2nd person - Ong Boon Jun, 21. Ong is said to spend some time with Dave in a Geylang hotel on Monday morning. What the heck were two young men doing with a rifle in a red-light district hotel room?

There are many questions unanswered in this incident.

1. How did he sneak out his army camp with his SAR-21? Don't they have guards?
2. What happened to his guard duty partner? Was he the one who raised the alarm?
3. How did he go from Mandai Hill Camp, which is near Woodlands, to Geylang, and then Orchard Road with a BIG piece of weapon unnoticed? (Well, probably everybody thinks it was a toy rifle)
4. Why did it take a full 20 hours for the police and SAF joint forces to track him down and arrest him?

If it is true that he deserted his duty just for his ex-girlfriend, then it is really a stupid & rush act of the young chap. Considering he is going to leave the army in a month's time. Instead of leaving the army with honour, he now has to face a 5-10 years jail term, and maybe 12 strokes of caning.

The Straits Times report is available here:

The online New Paper report is available here:,4136,140919,00.html

Background Information:

All Singapore males reaching the age of 18 have to serve national service, and many of them start to have problems with their girl-friends. Some end up with a broken-heart after their 2-year national service.

For people who have never seen a SAR-21 assault rifle before, here is how it looks: