Wednesday, November 21, 2012

COE prices nearing $100,000!

Today, the COE price for the Open Category went sky high to $93,000 which works out to at whopping $9,300 license fee just to have the vehicle on the road and mind you, the prices are sky rocketing...

So what I would suggest to the Singapore Government is make the best of the situation and use a Robin Hood scenario where there are sure to make extra income.

For example, have just one COE rate for ALL Cars. Cars below 2000cc pays the same rate. Gas guzzlers or Dirty Technology Vehicles exceeding that (Sports Cars etc) must pay a hefty quantum of one fold for every 1000cc exceed 2000cc or part there of. So for example, a Mercedes 320 would have to pay 4 times the price of the normal COE and they would have their COE limited to 5 years use only, for 'health and safety' plus 'environmental issue' purposes. That would work out to as much as $2Billion or more worth of road duties for the car market. And limit the ownership to only Singapore Citizens. It's our privilege  If they lease it out.. their taichi lor. Foreigners can take the cab.

The Public Transport need a rework. Bus operators cannot have more than 500 buses. Thus the need to have more bus companies plying the route and without the need of a huge monopoly. Same principle applies to Taxis. Bring back the old Comfort Owner Driver scheme to help taxi drivers out of poverty.

Allow Taxi Drivers to OWN their own Taxi Cabs. With the existing system, these cabs are limited to ONE DRIVER to One Lifetime of Free COE and Taxes, to relieve the current costs of rental etc. The Open Category is a huge measuring tape of the current cost of taxis and our fares. Each cab is rented out at $120/day or $306,000 over a lifetime of 7 years. This is more than the worth of a 4 room HDB Flat. COE is the huge cost in that chunk. So a Singapore Taxi Driver having driven 5 years or more, can apply for ONE FREE COE Taxi Cab Permit. No Parf or other fees. OMV of a Cab is about $25,000 so the cabby can pass down these savings to your lower fare of say $2.00 flag off? By constricting these means, we have remodelled the public transport by adding 10,000 more taxis and more buses on the street.

Oh yes.. limiting the current 50,000 buses on the street will lower the transport cost, without the need of COE. Savings passed on to the commuters and more income to the Government since fares are GST Chargeable.  That is also the same for the cabbies... so no more claims of $7,000 net earnings if not substantiated by the taxi meter.

In the end, we as citizens, save more money and the PAP...get more Pay! Which then when near elections , we get the freebies back again. Tax the foreign talents and the rich silly.. not us....nanti the vote lari!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

American Express - Don't Leave Home Without It

That is the only think I could remember with AMEX Card and since 2000, they have so many co-branded cards or credit cards issued by banks and even Prepaid labels by individual operators. It's a sign of prestige and when it is co-branded with EZ-Link, it's more value for money since the actual cost of having such a card is less than $2 plus registered post fee.

The Imagine AMEX EZ-Link Card is an excellent choice for those who want to save up money  but since the exchange rates, interest rates that are super low and that of hidden fees by the local banks (yes.. I am talking about the $2 monthly charge plus other hidden fees)

Imagine is a far better card than of the M1 Prepaid Mastercard or the Fevo Card that is jointly issued by EZLink and it's partners.

You don't need to be a Singaporean or earning tons of money to be eligible for an Amex Black Card. Heee ...this is really nothing to do with a Charge Card but merely a Prepaid American Express Card.

So it's more for the people who HAVE MONEY and Want To Keep It Safe.....with a brand that is renowned worldwide...and that you can't draw cash out of it so you won't be silly and waste it or get robbed.

Color wise, and since this is my Ez-Link's an all in one. I am protected if some joker is to steal this card from my bike IU and they know it's a big issue if you use some one else's credit / debit card..... risking a hefty fine and jail sentence, plus the Ez-Connect feature insures me against fraud on my Ez-Link card.. so no skimming or RFID Pinching.....

To get it... get to the Imagine Card website and for a limited time offer, the cost is $50 +$3.50 postage with $40 inside the spending purse and while waiting for the card to be activated & registered (you do need a Passport or IC - FIN for registration) , you can use the card at Petrol Stations, Pizza Hut outlets (walk in only, not for delivery!) , Paypal, Air tickets (you can only have up to $1000 on the card btw!) and many more. You can load the EZ-Link up to $500 and use AutoReload facility if you need to do so.

And for a limited time.. they give a free Movie ticket worth $8 at Shaw...and that is the reason I want to get it. If you are OUTSIDE Singapore and want this... I can get it for you...for a small fee.. just email me your MyKad and PASSPORT Copy ok and the money....


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Backing the wrong Green

Seriously, Malaysia changed the law for Electric Bikes in the Peninsular States overnight where they are mulling registration and licensing for the Electric Bike in the kingdom. To avoid some confusion, these are related to EN15194 EU Standards with laws read under the current Road Traffic Acts in UK and Singapore as a reference and press releases by the Department of Land Transport Malaysia (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan) and not the Ministry of Transport.

Under the Malaysian definition, a Electric Bicycle is a bicycle with a pedal and motor powered using batteries not to exceed 250W (Approx 0.33BHp) of power and speed not to exceed 25KM/H. This is the same guideline and legal requirement for LTA Approved Bicycles in Singapore, where there MUST NOT HAVE A FOOT REST and / or A THROTTLE. If there is a foot rest or Throttle, the Traffic Police  will deem this as a Motorcycle or Motorised Cycle. The Bicycle must also not carry a load of exceeding 18KG (Did not know that either!)! It must also have headlights and rear reflectors, cycle only on the LEFT of the Road and the rider MUST BE AT LEAST 16 Years old and WEAR A HELMET (not specified of type but leeway of using a bicycle EC Approved helmet is acceptable by UK Standards). These are read with the Singapore Road Traffic (Power-Assisted Bicycles — Approval) Rules 2004 which do specify 200W as power of the motor.

The Malaysian law amendment proposal does not require you to register your cycle if it meets the criterion. The British Law (DVLA DOT) read this as the new regulatory Moped Amendment Laws which requires the Q or AM entitlement on their driving license. It's darn expensive BTW and cumbersome to get one. Older entitlements are amended with A1(Tricycle) to allow the Motability Cycles or Scooters to be on the road. In the olden days, a Moped is a bicycle with a 50cc grass cutter engine attached.

However, if your cycle is NOT meeting the above, meaning it does not have a pedal or it's totally battery powered or the speed exceed 25KM/H...then it is classed as a MOTOR CYCLE.  The image below from the Star Dated 14 Nov is a classic example of a clear cut violation.

Disallowed in Singapore, (C) The Star 14/11/12 and a real nuisance.

Singapore does not allow this type of cycle in Singapore so it is also banned in Malaysia as per the Road Traffic Acts (Federation of Malaya Act 1957). The image above is a real clear cut violation as there is no protective shield in front, no headlamps, no proper motorcycle helmet and this is not EN19154 approved despite this imported from New Zealand. This Ang Moh is surely courting death with the roads in Malaysia IMHO.

So the Malaysian Government is not wrong banning the Electric Bikes but the wording is twisted and turned as usual. If you use a Singapore LTA SEALED CYCLE, then you are not in the wrong as it's APPROVED for ROAD USE.

For a Guide:

Electric Bicycle  ( APPROVED Power-Assisted Bicycles )
Pedals and Must be moved by CYCLING.
No Throttle. EN19154
Must have headlights.
Must Wear Helmets.
Rider must be over 16
Power not to exceed 250W in Malaysia (200W in Singapore)
NO NEED LICENSE. If riding into Singapore, require LTA Approval Seal. (Seal # Displayed on Plates)

INCLUDES Mobility Scooters.

Electric BIKE (Electric Motorcycle)
Power & Battery Pack not to exceed 11KW.
Require A B2 Driving License in Malaysia.
Cannot exceed 50KM/H
Require a registration license and Plates.
As per regulations of a Motor Cycles
Require Road Tax and INSURANCE.

This is not the law but guide for your use of E-Bikes.

Sources: DVLA UK; Dept of Transport UK; Singapore AGC ; Land Transport Authority (E-Bike); OneMotoring; Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Malaysia JPJ

Friday, November 9, 2012

Remembering those who perished

This is quoted from ANZACDAY.ORG.AU in rememberance to those who perished in the Wars and Any conflicts that had caused a loss of life.

I have lost a handful of friends and to those who perished, to their families, my deep felt condolences.

May God give their Souls Peace....

A Poem for Remembrance Day

"The inquisitive mind of a child"

poppyWhy are they selling poppies, Mummy?
Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love.
For the men who marched away.

But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppies grow.

But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.

poppyThe heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.

But why, Mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child.
For the world is forgetting again.
Author Unknown

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Blues

Fact of a Malaysian life:

You go borrow from PTPTN or MARA to go to university for usually about RM45,000 to RM200,000 just to find out your degree is useless and get you a job less than RM3000 a month.... so eventually you have to pay till end of your youth till pensioning age to settle the debt.

WTF rite? So eventually many try super get rich quick scams only to get more stuck with Credit Card Bills etc etc and they get more depressed. 

Compare the guy who never passed SPM, jual burger, everyday work hard.. still make and take home more than the Degree Holder....and without any debts.....

Tribute to my friends and relations who is riddled with MARA , PTPTN loans of up to RM650,000 (those study overseas like US, UK etc).... so don't blame us for not returning back only to work to pay off the debt.

tagging all my friends who are in debt....

So the moral of the story is.. a degree gets you no where....unless you have good experience to work on....else.. go sign on and get the Dole mate.

This is not meant to insult anyone or organisation... just that I feel we are being victimised by the paper chase that we forget the meaning of life and other things that are more important to us, like health, life, family and enjoying yourself.

Run your own business...then the rewards are more than you deserve.

Friday is here.. Happy Deepavali and Salam Maal Hijrah to all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Defensive Riding or Offensive Driving

This evening, I almost had my life ripped out by a silly idiot who claimed that he "did not realise the Pakcik was going to stop for the Red Light at the Pedestrian Crossing" and me being an ON-Time On-Target speed demon, whizzed in and swerving between the lanes only to find out the pakcik beside me was knocked off his machine.

The impact caused him to fall, fracture his ankle and also that the point of impact almost tore his helmet off, and the driver claimed that he was driving slow. The stretch of Yio Chu Kang Road in front of Jalan Napiri off Block 506 Serangoon North Ave 4 is a deadly zone with kids and shady trees.

 See the impact of the car crushing the motorbike directly into his bonnet. It was supposed to be me... as I was on the same lane.. just that I swerved to the other side.

The mess the guy made is terrible and I really feel sorry for the man. What is worse is that the driver just passed his license 2 years ago in Malaysia and is holding only a Malaysian license while working in Singapore, as it is against the law for Residents (workers alike) to own and operate foreign registered vehicle and they must convert their license after 1 year being in Singapore.

 So what caused this? Well, the road condition is NOT Raining and it is not wet at the time of the incident and no skid marks showing he slowed down or jammed emergency brakes.

Time of Accident: 1720Hours approximately.

Age of Motorcyclist: approx 50-60 year old Malay Man

Age of Driver : 27 year old Chinese Malaysian

For me.. I do ride recklessly ..but it saved my bacon many times.. this time.. it did again.. but it really brought me shivers.

From what I got ... the rider suffered MULTIPLE FRACTURES of the Femur and Leg and require multiple operations tomorrow morning.

May Allah bless him and wish him speedy recovery.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A little loading a unloading

That is the exact thing I saw stenciled across a parking lot which, mind you sits just across the Pasir Ris Punggol town council office here in sengkang.

Don't they ever learn that foreign talents can't spell or write in English language especially those from the mid Asia continent??

I leave you to your comments.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What is so great of Windows 8?

The launch, the Hype and the Publicity. All the same with iOS, iPad Mini, Windows 8 and Android Nexus (Google own OS?). All the fanfare for as low as $17.99 for those who had Windows 7 to upgrade with.

Honestly, I have not fully tested out Windows 8 but from my POV, it's only for All-in-One PC and Tablets alike Or should I say smart devices as they deem it right now. So what about those laptops that are not touch based?

First off for me was the removal of the Windows Start Button. No more Windows. All Tiles and Scrolls. But then, why that format? Can't we stick to something like Apple's Lion X? All below? Or just plain Windows 7? I just don't get it why Windows is going after Android or iOS and this is for PC too.... Crap is more like it for me.

The Drop Point Requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch (more info)
  • To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply)
  • Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database
  • Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance
  • Microsoft account required for some features
  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software (more info)
  • Windows Media Center license sold separately (more info)
  • BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
  • BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 or a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
  • Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 8 Pro only)
  • A TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Center (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)
  • Free Internet TV content varies by geography, some content might require additional fees (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)

Which comes to this... if you want to watch DVD, you don't get Media Player.. or just get VLC etc. The hardware requirements in itself is a killer blow to the Atom Processor Computers. 1GB RAM, 1Ghz CPU. There is less than 1GB on most 1.6Ghz Atom CPU, so these is already out of the question... am I right???

16GB HDD SPACE for a TABLET?? You are kidding me right Microsoft?We want it as small as possible, not as huge as you can think of it. Though SSD is getting cheaper, memory space for Smart Devices start with 512MB or 1GB Ram with 4GB NVRAM (which is the Hard disk) and that expands depending on the stability of the TF Card (Micro-SD Card with SUPER HIGH SPEED Modules to us) and that is super costly.

Gosh.... the CPU will surely OVERHEAT and Burst like crazy reminding me of the first generation Creative churned out their ZuNe MP3 Player, which is bulky, lousy battery life ( I had to make an external one out of that) and super hot when it is operated on.

Having said that, I did test out some of the tablets that were running Windows 8 RT version which were shipped to the office from China for my consideration and mind you, mostly are running off Intel ATOM series , or some with AllWinner CPU which I have no idea what but they said it's Quad Core.

The verdict?? Sluggish. Slow, Hot, and I did not like the OS. Dual boot back to Android...and it's super fast, with many games etc.
They are killing the hardware with Windows 8... and you should not take it. It's not for Tablet or Smart Device but rather Windows 8 for Touch Based PC and Laptops.