Monday, March 31, 2008

taiwan 2008/2009

after doing some thinking, if my budget allows me, the above should happen.

looking for travel partners from army or school. Some conditions:

- must be a male or female
- youthful
- loves to shop, eat, walk and run from morning to night (i seriously mean this)

will be drawing up an itinerary during summer holidays, major stops will be Taipei and Kaohsiung. First time trying out intercity travel =)

the travel period will be a minimum 14 days, in dec 2008, spend new year there. Or jan-feb 2009...

Sunday, March 30, 2008


She has a certain beauty that attracts me.
Maybe... electrifying eyes.

Her Blog
Wiki (Chinese)

off to sleep, good night.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

a young life suddenly left alone

this week ended with news of a serious car accident that deprived a young infant of her slightly elder brother and worse of all, her parents.

most of us were born into life with at least our parents beside us. No matter how times could be so bad to you or me, at least there is our sibling(s) and parent(s). I cannot imagine how the infant girl is going to spend her remaining life wondering why everyone left her this early. The mere thought of it is just so painful, let alone the actual person who bored the losses, yet could not comprehend what happened until years later.

look at the wreckage. A car can actually be a life taker, a life taker that snubs out anybody's lives no matter how colorful, enriching or happy the persons are at the moment in time. Yet there are people who wantonly treat their cars like Daytona racing machines, racing machines that emphasizes their personal ego, fame, and have absolute control over. Or so, they thought.

the utter truth is that these bastards are endangering lives of others. If you want to die, go ahead. But not many road accidents happen without dragging some innocent users in.

as usual, nothing is painful until the pain is felt personally. Human beings are always hypocritical. We pretend to say something to make ourselves feel good, but when shit hits the fan we become extremely incapable to handle the truth. We cry out loud, we perform the blame game, we are filled with utmost regret - it shouldn't have happened initially. It is a vicious cycle.

when operating a killer machine, we wouldn't want to feel the pain to feel our hearts. It's simply too late. For friends who are driving, please don't be complacent on the road. For friends who are not driving and yet are aware of an over-confident driving friend, it's good to provide some advice as a concerned friend. Recent statistics showed 30% of the fatal accidents involved young drivers. Look at yourself - we are in our mid twenties, at our peak in our youthful lives. Some of us are finishing studies, some of us are getting married, some of us are earning big bucks. The years ahead seem bright and unlimited.

it will only take a serious accident to change this landscape into a nightmare that will bring nothing good but regret and financial problems to immediate family members.

This picture said much of the grief.

What do you see, a car or a grave?

Monday, March 24, 2008


sometimes i just hate my body. It's as unpredictable as me.

actually, i knew why my body revolted. But... better not to say. Only kay and simon knows. The critical turning point was on thursday night, when i ate something too explosive. At the wrong time.

on friday, we kayaked. The sun was blazing hot. Real hot for comfort. I preferred the gentle sunlight, not the ultra strong ones. Looked at Cosy Bay in shock - it closed down. Hope singles or couples who spent happy moments there cherished their time.

then in quick succession i went AMK Hub to buy the dry cabinet for this birthday boy. Was already feeling unwell, but kinda pressed on. Aunt came my house, and we dined together before i accompanied her to interchange and went up Cwp to see a doctor.

got home, my body finally gave up. Was so weak and running a high fever. But on sat, had to send some items for tutorial. Gathered all remaining strength i had, braved the crowd on the buses and trains. I looked like a man on drugs on the way back home - fidgeting and trembling. At least i got my job done, didn't want to be labeled as irresponsible or something.

the rest of sat and sun were stuck on the bed. Nothing much i can do...

Monday, March 17, 2008


some random post about my life.

fish tank
last week, something happened to my fish tank again. The electronic solenoid that controlled the output of carbon dioxide broke. It still could turn itself on and off via the digital timer, but the output continued to release the gas into my reactor when the timer shuts off. Hate to dismantle the whole setup and bring it down to Balestier. sheesh.

then the air pump got weakened so much that my tank's water surface got too calm and now, too choked with carbon dioxide. Wonder what my fishes are thinking in the current condition. This is no good....

a forgotten promise... an unexpected incident
then met up with yx, to deliver the PC i promised to do since ages ago. I really mean ages ago. Then i heard that she threw her temper at him because of something i said. I don't know why, but this (still) mattered to me greatly and sadly, i'm disappointed. I don't wish to bother myself with this anymore, and i doubt you will take note of it anyway.

selamat datang

MKS is affecting my household now. My bro just came back from brunei and 2 days off burnt. Why? Deployment to search for him. In the name of National Service.

tests and more tests (surveys and more surveys)
the past week was concentrated on 2 tests - 1 from school, the other from school too. Driving school.

did 2 surveys in biz school, as a requirement for my MNO module. It's fun, but i don't really get the meaning behind. In one of the tests, i had to put my palm under the table while i do the survey. Strange?

dollars and cents
met up with Hadassah last week regarding my financial review. I'm pretty fine in the protection with a few policies, and she knows it too. She proposed two more plans to increase my savings and invest in unit trusts. But that will require quite a bit of my savings, which i'm not really keen too. But i understand her intentions - if i don't start now, it's hard to do it later. And the money will be useful in future.

but i have a new intention - to finance a really big purchase in 2009. Maybe i'll go ahead with the investment, but postpone the savings plan for now.

back to the theory test. Now that the basic is over, i'm ready for advance. In the poly days, i've postponed everything, including the theory tests because i really can't afford them. But i told myself this: when i finally start learning, i wouldn't want to stop at that piece of "Singapore Driving Licence" plastic. Good friends will know my intention =)

i told my bro, from now this "dream" at the back of my head will be shifted into higher gear. He smiled. I shall hope for the best. Haha...

when i replied a girl called jewelry at the printer room, her face was flushed! Can see the change! Omg... lol... hope she's not reading my blog.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

passed btt

spent only a small amount of time on basic theory. When my bro quizzed me yesterday, i was quite stumped by his questions. But i told him frankly, i couldn't really be bothered. =x

so i went for the test this morning. Was blur as usual, because the whole place looked so run down. Did the questions, ran through once, then ended the test. Got a PASSED grade and walked off like a happy boy who got his chocolate.

thanks mn for the book! I luv you!! er... maybe the book. lolz..

irrationality of some poly graduates

i just read a thread in hardwarezone, with 90% of the posters criticising the lack of places for poly grads.

before i attract flame baits, my position is from a ex-poly grad view. Think before any of you flame. I apologize for the strong words that follow.

my analysis is, many of the posters blame on a myriad of factors - foreign talent such as those from China (and narrow mindedly, only China because they really hate Ah Tiongs), 66.6% of the singaporeans who picked PAP as the government.

why not blame yourselves then? I understand the disappointment of those who worked really hard for 3 bloody years and couldn't get in. But if you dared to fool around like a playful shit in the 3 good years and getting by with just copying and little hard work, you've not helped yourself in the first place. If you think you're a natural genius and you can carry on your shrewd skills into university, face the cold hard truth. You have not helped yourself to move to greater heights in society by misusing and losing that chance (and money) of yours.

a number of posters follow the crowd - focus squarely on Chinese nationals, insisting that they have snatched the places from locals. Look - NUS and NTU's world ranking and prestige wouldn't be possible without their hard work. Would you want to study in a Singapore university that promises nothing except places for locals? Research quality will be compromised because of the lack of hardworking researchers. It results in a domino effect. Ranking drops, quality of students drop, the degree certificates are useless like banana notes.

next, another set of posters blame the government. This is unavoidable - the next few years will be a excruciating moment for the influx of poly grads who wish to pursue further studies. Planning is underway for the 4th university in the technological, design and business sectors. But the quota for existing institutions is increasing for the poly intakes. The only problem, how much more can the quota be stretched. Also, there's a 40% subsidy for you, provided you start work and take a part-time course in any of the big 3 and UniSIM. 40% is hell lot.

all in all, each of us have to ask - have we worked hard enough? Don't be a whining baby and expect the carpet to be laid up in front of you. Singapore is not a welfare nation such as those in Europe. Wake up or drop out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

letter to Minister

i've been wanting to write this letter for months. At the SGDi, all the emails of the PTC board members were removed. Not sure why, but this doesn't reflect well of PTC being a people's transport council. So, i changed the recipient of the letter. Anyway, here it goes. Pardon the little grammar errors...

Dear Sir,

I am taking a bold step by writing this email. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope you are able to spend a couple of minutes reading on. I am a bus enthusiast and a member of “Friends of SMRT”, currently an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore.

In the public transport enthusiast circle (Singapore Buses @ SGForums), words were going round that SMRT Buses (SMRTB) is affected by a chronic bus shortage situation. Various members of the public has lent further strength of this rumour by giving feedback and even posting pictures on SPH’s Stomp.

“Peak hour crush on bus services 190 and 960” – 3 Jun 2007 - Link
“SMRT: We’re monitoring overcrowding on 960” – 11 Aug 2007 - Link
“He waited for over an hour to board his bus” – 12 Jan 2008 - Link

I believe with confidence that the SMRTB management has been working on overcrowding through innovative deployments of the bus fleet. However, remedy efforts have not changed the big picture on the whole. Certain SMRTB services such as 67, 190, 851 and 960 have been affected by the high-load factor of commuters during peak hours since last year. I would like to humbly offer my analysis.

Insufficient buses to cater to demand
The last new fleet of Mercedes buses was delivered to SMRTB in 2004. Commuter demand should have risen since then, and new buses should be injected into revenue service.

Hitherto, there were no purchases of new buses. To deal with the overcrowding situation, SMRTB has brought in a handful of existing buses from City Shuttle Services (CSS). These buses came from the withdrawn CSS route 608. Now, the ex-CSS buses are plying routes in the north-western corridor, such as route 178 and 187. Existing buses were transferred to other high-demanding routes to cope with demand.

However, this represents another problem – the ex-CSS buses frequently break down, causing untold inconveniences to commuters. I personally observed a higher breakdown rate on these old buses as I am residing in Woodlands. This has led to a question of whether the buses are still roadworthy for revenue service.

Meanwhile, while SMRTB has ordered new buses, the delivery will only start at the end of the year. The current demand from many services under its charge has overwhelmingly outstripped supply.

Severity of the situation
There are insufficient statistics to ascertain the extent of overcrowding on SMRTB’s routes. So far, enthusiasts have discussed bus deployments, but no quantitative measurements on quality of service.

In the past, events requiring mass deployments on special shuttle services, such as the Air Show 2008, and major route diversions such as NDP or Singapore Fireworks Festival, many SMRTB city routes came under great strain. Route managers attempted to assign more high capacity bendy buses from various depots to these special/city routes to alleviate overcrowding. But, such a move presents a “see-saw” effect. Other routes, such as feeder routes that still require these buses were affected to a certain extent.

For example, route 960 is frequently overcrowded on weekdays and weekends. During peak hours, additional split shifts were put on service. While my previous feedback in Aug 2007 saw the addition of 1-2 more buses to the route, some buses were swapped with non-articulated ones. In the end, the situation has remained largely the same. For a popular city route to the northern corridor, the frequency has been stagnant at 10-15 minutes for years. Comparatively, SBS Transit’s city routes has generally better frequencies. SBS Transit is also more proactive in combating congestion, such as the continuous tracking of buses on congested routes, and buffering congestion by injecting spare buses at the right bus stops when situations call for them.

Of recent, the escape of the JI fugitive has caused congestion at Woodlands Checkpoint and the surrounding main roads. SMRTB has diverted affected routes to avoid Woodlands Centre Road wherever possible. Still, the feeder route 903 that serves my residential area is badly affected. Commuters waiting at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stops after the interchange have no chance to board buses that were filled up to the door steps, leading to extremely long waits of minimum 10-15 mins per missed bus.

I read with excitement that SMRTB have ordered new fleet of buses in the coming future. Plans in the Land Transport Review also gave northern residents a glimmer of hope in the improvement of bus transportation in 2 years time. However, in the meantime, commuters have to put up with the chronic overcrowding situation on many SMRTB routes.

Therefore, I would like to suggest 2 possible solutions:

- SMRTB enters into a leasing agreement with SBS Transit, to operate the latter’s buses on SMRTB routes, to increase frequency, especially on city routes.
- SMRTB transfers a number of high-demand routes to SBS Transit until it has the ability to provide a satisfactory quality of service. Buses on transferred routes can therefore be used to increase frequency of other SMRTB routes in the short term.

SBS Transit has introduced more than 300 wheelchair accessible double and single decked buses since last year, with at least 300-400 in order. It is almost certain SBS Transit has a surplus of buses for now, as a large number of old buses that are to be scrapped in 2008 are extended by another 2 years. In the recent SMRT disruption between Pasir Ris and Tanah Merah, SBS Transit has comfortably supplied 30 buses under SMRT’s request. In my opinion, SBS Transit is well positioned to help solve SMRTB’s overcrowding problem now.

Sir, I feel that SMRTB will not exercise these solutions unless there are strong motivations to do so. However, many commuters would be happy to see an improvement on the ground. I thank you for reading this email, and I look forward to a truly effective transportation landscape for Singapore in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Ng Zhi Ming

Monday, March 10, 2008

wanna do a tutorial?

you don't need any notes nor knowledge. For those who are idling, try these exercises. If you're busy, don't close this screen, but do question 3. I assure you a fun read.

1. Type A or B - examine the first picture, then try the 7 questions.

Type A or B?

2. Locus of control - examine the second picture, then try the 10 questions.

Are you a pessimist or optimist?

when you're done with the 2, use the scoresheet in the third picture. Note, there's no right or wrong.


3. Girl and Sailor - read the comprehension, then rank the 5 characters in order of 'likeness'.

Girls in my class had different views of certain people in the case.
mn, do this!! wanna know what you choose..

i really want to know YOUR results! Tag it or tell me over msn!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

spotlight on malaysia

Malaysia is our closest neighbour - do take some time, "look" and "see" what's happening around us. 8 March 2008 was their election day.

as a Singaporean, what are your feelings towards Malaysia on the whole? What is particularly familiar to us would probably be frequent news reports of Singaporeans getting robbed (or killed) while in Johor or KL.

my parents had Malaysian roots before assuming citizenship of Singapore. So, in my younger years i had the chance to experience life in Malaysia during visits to relatives, etc. I thought, Malaysia before the 2000s was better. Somehow.

i visited Penang in Jan 2007. We should know Intel once based their regional operations there. But it was no more. My impression of Penang at that point in time - it can do better to attract investment and tourism dollars. It seemed sleepy and losing its vitality.

before this GE, there were several eye popping signs of a complacent and ignorant government, which i read from ST:

1. Mahathir's stinging criticism of his successor, Abdullah. I believe there were reasons for the former to do so. As read from Pak Lah's wiki entry, Mahathir accused him of lying. If you visit the entry, you'd see Abdullah sleeping. This is a deliberate move by somebody, because it seemed many people remembered him as a sleeping politician (or PM).

2. brandishing of the keris (traditional Malay dagger) by UMNO Youth leader. There was even a remark - "UMNO is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood to defend the race and religion." Alarm bells rang...

3. slowly increasing restrictions on freedom of speech. The Star was bought over from a tycoon, because it was not really speaking too well of the government.

4. protests by Indians because of under-representation at various levels. The reputation and credibility of MIC, a party that is part of the National Front alliance was badly scalded. As reflected from the latest election result, Samy Vellu, the leader of MIC, lost his seat to opposition. He is almost politically finished.

during the Mahathir administration, i don't really remember protests of such scale. Maybe he was shrewd enough to keep the situation under control.

5. threat by Abdullah to make Chinese vote for BN, otherwise they won't be represented. This broke the camel's back by angering the Indians and the Chinese. So is this PM representing all races of Malaysia, or his own?

this quote reflects the voices of the rakyat (people):

Pak Lah,
If you truly love this country, you ought to know that your government has moved nowhere the last four years. We were full of hope that you will begin to dismantle the baloney built by Mahathir when you first became PM. You have 90% of the seats in Parliament, what else do you need? Yet you squandered the opportunity and continued the business as usual and used the same incompetent and corrupted cabinet ministers. Some said you are being restrained by vested interest groups and UMNO old guards constantly watching over you. But I disagree, you are an old guard, and you represent interest group too.

As the PM, I think you have no idea how frustrated ordinary citizens felt about this country and this government. We have every opportunity to be the first rate nation in the region. Yet you and your government have continued to indulge in good for nothing politics and squandered all the wealth of the nation. Singapore has nothing and today the Island Republic is in the midst of buying stakes in four largest banks in the world - Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Lehman Brothers. What have you got show Pak Lah, given the enormous amount of oil and gas revenue. Where do all the monies go?

I think the rakyat have had enough of UMNO led government. Today may be many Malays in the rural areas are still not fully aware of the abuse and mismanagement perpetuated by you and your government. But the time is coming. By next election, the process of transformation that shall begin tomorrow will take its course.

as election results stream in, BN is in danger of losing the 2/3 majority in parliament. Previously, this wasn't a real problem at all. Abdullah and his allies are in serious political danger.

as 'political winds' change, Singapore will be indirectly affected as Malaysia's policies (and sentiments) towards us change. And good luck to all my rich Malaysian Chinese friends and their businesses.

links: Malaysiakini, Lim Kit Siang's blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

interesting taxi driver

i was running late for a tutorial class just now, so i thought i grab a cab and be able to present the tutorial question i worked quite a bit on.

this driver was very polite. Greeted me, which of course i returned the greeting. Before getting on, he flashed the ang pai with JURONG on it. Hey, quite fated uh.

after the journey, it appeared he had thoughts that weren't so simple. Like..

- asked me what i'm studying. Normal. Then he went on to talk about arts, and posed me a question: say if i'm in a museum and talking to a group of kids about a sculpture, how will i go about saying it? Needless to say i was quite clueless, but being the typical student i tried to smoke some stuff la.

- asked whether i knew a big bird sculpture outside UOB or OUB building. I said no, then he wanted to tell my mum about this (jokingly). Hmm, i admit i'm not so good with Raffles Place for some sentimental reasons i wouldn't say here. But what has it got to do with my mum?

- said next time with a degree i can go out and scold the computer engineers (my subordinates, he meant). This sounded a bit absurd and kinda stereotyped university undergraduates. Not everyone goes out and boss around lower ranked colleagues. There are exceptions though, just like black sheeps everywhere in the world. To this i simply said it's not my working style, unless the mate is really not performing.

- switched topic to relationship/bgr. Quite surprising. Talked about how girls like guys who are real bad, with tattoos and even those who beat girls up. This was something i can more or less agree, but told him i wouldn't do a tattoo to attract girls. And wasn't the top priority at the moment too. Suddenly some rough words came out from his mouth while he talked about some experiences.

rather speechless. Wanted the taxi to teleport to campus right away. If i could use my maple scroll, i'd gladly flash it.

- at the alighting point (Computing block), he stopped outside the porch where many shuttles would pass by. Told him to move further down in case a bus comes in. He exclaimed; "i thought you're so big (tua pai) that the bus have to wait for you". Wow, but i don't have the surname Lee.

quickly paid up, closed the interesting (and thorn-filled) chat with oh you take care, have a nice day.

no issue against him, because if he never spoke up i never knew what others think of a NUS student. After all, he could be trying to stay awake and i'm there idling as well. lolz...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

will i get thru this?

how to solve my inefficiency problem? Need someone to help me with it. Nana? lolz..

the police ops is affecting transportation around my area. Just now at 10.30pm, i decided to lose 15 minutes of my precious time taking an extra round on 903 towards Woodlands Center. Wanted to see for myself the traffic. It was still darn jammed up, vehicles backing all the way up to the junction between Woodlands Ave 3 and Ctr Rd. For those who doesn't know where i'm talking about, that is the junction at Marsiling MRT.

so how did it affect transportation? Because the section of Woodlands Ctr Road from Woodlands Ave 3 to the roundabout is blocked, all intratown services 911, 912 and 913 plus 178 and 856 bound for Yishun had to get stuck for a good 15-30 minutes before they can execute wrap-arounds and seek escape routes back to interchange. With the current bus crisis SMRT Buses is having, service will be affected.

for Woodlanders, it is interesting to see wrap-arounds happen. During a heavy jam, drivers just change route details on the EDS and watch for cues from on-site service guys:

- 903 avoids turning into the circus. Goes into Marsiling Rise and back to usual route

- 911 turns right into Woodlands Ctr. But it turns into Marsiling Rise, then takes on 913 route

- 912 either turns right into Woodlands St 13 (912--> 911) or turns right into Marsiling Rise (912--> 913) or turns right at the mosque (912--> 903)

- 913 turns left into Woodlands Ctr towards Marsiling MRT. Either assumes 911 or 912 depending on demands.

- 178? Not sure. As for 856 towards Yishun, it is the one that's impacted the most. Because a 15-30 minute delay means the entire schedule is screwed. I don't know how the route master settles such delays.

speaking about the crisis, scores of people complained about the Air Show's shuttle service. It only showed SMRT Buses' inexperience and insufficiency to deal with big events. Hope they will buck up and speed up the delivery of the hundreds of buses soon. Otherwise, it's time to petition to PTC to force SMRT to temporarily hand over the cash cow 61 or 190 to SBS, to relieve the stress on other heavy routes.