Thursday, October 30, 2008

the rogue sellers

source: DBS taking swift action (STI 30 Oct 08)

DBS has started to compensate certain customers for being mis-sold financial products that were made worthless, and also removed relationship managers that are at fault.

i'm all for the removal of the rogue salespeople, if proven to be at fault. At fault meaning, sold the same product to a sizable customers in a segment (in terms of invested dollars) without doing proper financial assessment, and faced more than 1 complaint in this saga.

have seen many staff peddling some of these structured products to customers who walked into the bank to do basic banking. Some probably signed on because of the promise of good returns.

i'm not saying the customers have no fault. We are all greedy people, frankly. But if those relationship managers or bank executives glossed over details of the plan to any people, whether uncles, aunties, grandpa or grandma, just to get the share of the commission or trailer fees - they ought to be let go. It's just dishonest living (cheating) through a legitimate way (using the bank or FI's name). Anyway, they have earned enough through these years of high-end selling.

at the end of the day, tighter controls are required on both sides i feel. Salespeople in this industry have to be ethical through checks and balances. Probably record or tape down the sales conversation, a wild idea. Once there is a suspected case of wrongdoing, reduce/remove/recover all the commissions or trailer fees due to the seller. The best way is to remove the idea of commissions for financial products completely, because there is a conflict of interest between the buyer and seller. For the educated customers, use your eyes before signing on the dotted line of any agreement.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

driving #14 and #15

i had a new instructor Mr Teo, the 6th so far, for this parallel parking lesson. The whole afternoon was quite terok lah. Confused between parallel and vertical. I was doing parallel parking procedures in a vertical parking lot. When he confirmed whether i'm doing vertical i still can say 对对. I realised my pole A was damn far away after some time.

he was laughing all the way man. "对对". Another car next to me did vertical parking in a parallel lot. hahaha... we are all blur sotongs in the circuit. Plus 5 cars having double L, have to siam them along the way.

with parallel parking done, i'm cleared with all techniques. Now on to stage 4 (subject 28 to 30), which is to evaluate my readiness for TP. By friday, i should be able to finish subject 30, then book for test date.

with so much of theory, i think i still need help for real life parking. No poles outside, and it's crazy to bring poles to do parking also.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

driving #12 and #13

hi all, i'm flying on my lessons recently. My gay buddy is chiong-ing at a rate of 2 lessons/week, then i should be on a C130 chopper with a rate of 3-4 lessons/week.

just got someone's trysell slot for sunday 0815 hrs, on sunday 0000 hrs. Of course, went to sleep immediately given my bad flu.

it's Mr Yeow (yeah), we did vertical parking using the classic b&w poles, went round the circuit looking for stations to do the parking. Saw someone knock a pole down with a sickening thud, hope it wont't happen to me.

went out for hazard subject, no cockups also. Maybe sunday morning, lesser traffic. The moment i drove back to school, i forgot the hazard - pedestrian. Kenna friendly f from him. lolz.

next time must be extra careful when re-entering the school; the stop line, oncoming vehicles PLUS the pedestrian. Very chui if given immediate failure at the very last stage of TP.


add: went for #13 after this post; another trysell. Same car, same instructor. Let him guess correctly, someone really went to cancel his/her slot.

did platform ramp training, heavy traffic lane change and 4 test routes.

i heard the sickening thud of the stupid pole again. I've did it! Went up the ramp, braked like sissy. So, knocked the pole down. After that, i stepped the brake as though it's free.

left with parallel parking to learn. The last 3 lessons are familiarisation and test practices. TP i'm coming!!!

driving #10 and #11

lucky numbers 122 and 134. I got Mr Yeow as my instructor again, but kinda used to him. Maybe the no-nonsense attitude is good for me also. Both slots were back-to-back, i got the second slot from someone's trysell. The evening instructor was Mr Fariq.

covered a great deal today, right turns, u-turns, 3 point turns, emergency brakes, s and crank courses, plus review of stage 2. All cleared in the 2 lessons.

there are some problems though, mainly due to inconsistency and impatience. Shall learn to drive slowly, let the tester feel safe, blah blah.

with 22 subjects completed, i'm left with stage 3 and 4; the 2 parking techniques, lane changing part III, plus natural hazards. Before booking for TP, the familiarisation of test routes and mock tests lessons too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Straits Vista @ Marsiling II

my parents and i went for the flat selection exercise last sunday.

the selection was more anxious than exciting, because almost all the choice units were taken up. Luckily my choice, one of the 3 special units along the same column (#20/23/26-65) with bay windows for the MBR, was still available. But the process of staring at the teletext outside the sales office was cold sweat. Imagine you have already set your mind on a couple of units, only 1 or 2 available when you reach.

oh yes, it's my choice. It's for my parents, yet they let me choose. This decision means quite a big deal behind... don't ask me to interpret.

anyway with the option fee paid and 10% downpayment payable in the next 4 months, i'm beginning to somewhat panic. I have a shortfall, which i have to finance through a loan, because it would take me another 7-8 months to save up that much. If i can't raise that amount, then the option fee will be forfeited and flat application cancelled.

had discussions with my school mates, and found myself to be first in this situation. I thought its good to buy a new flat (whether for my parents, or for my future) as early as possible. But i have to forgo the plan to get a car. It's quite a sacrifice, and i find myself getting into this situation much earlier than others. Hope my decision will benefit me later.

i realised a lesson - saving for rainy day. Now that rainy day has come. I want to be a super saver!!!

3D model

OCS - Optional door and floor finishings at $4.8k

The view from the block in front of my unit

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

driving #9

the weather was rather toasty, quite a difference from the last sway session. It was the same car, 122. Cold sweat. Maybe it's a coincidence. But i realised the passenger's seat had those blue plastic cushions on. These were used by the instructor i met last week. Was it really a coincidence?

looked around the car... saw the damn familiar grey bottle.

yeah, it's him all right. What luck i have.

anyway, some photos i taken last week.

The controls looked kinda obiang, actually

So far, only Fariq used the red button. The right clock, is crucial to the SDIs.

Getting ready to go

we continued on the lane changing last week, but went on to do reversing and directional change in the circuit first.

he introduced me to the 4 stations for this purpose, 9, 10, 13 and 17A. 9 and 10 are normal directional change lots, 13 and 17A have platform ramps. 17A is the hardest, since it's the narrowest and there are no cones or poles to mark the stopping position before reversing.

this part surprisingly went on fine and after an hour, we hit the road for practice. When i came back from the roads later on for repractice, the positioning and low speed control wasn't nice, had to do corrective action to prevent striking the kerb.

as for road practice, i'm aware of his nags earlier. So took extra care to brake early and anticipate traffic junctions. Started to do intensive right turns... and kalang kabok - didn't notice the deceleration lane, abrupt lane change, didn't check traffic properly, etc. His nags just came and came, i just listened and listened.

cleared the lane changing and directional change subjects, but he didn't indicate that i started on right turns. I personally thought my performance was below expectations, so never mind. Will improve on it coming friday.

although this guy is good to remind me on weak points and minimal instructions (useful for TP), i feel uptight driving with him.


- positioning and low speed control for directional change

- need lots of practice and alertness for right turns

- note difficult driving areas in AMK

going home - kluang

i went 'home' last weekend. I call it home because my father grew up there, staying there until his late teens. The whole family would go back once or twice yearly, until my father turned 50+. Now he's already 60. Too tiring for him to travel that often.

the last visit was in 2006. The place has not changed much, except for a new (and first) shopping centre. My gu zhang passed away due to a freak road accident last year, thus his coffeeshop was taken over by someone else. Despite my busy schedule, i very much wanted to go back, so i took the chance since it was my cousin's big day.

had a wedding lunch/dinner at Restoran Kim Wah Loon. It was lunch/dinner, because the time was 4pm. Lots of couples holding their dinner that day too, whether in Malaysia or Singapore.

As usual, our launchpad was Larkin Terminal

One of the main street of Kluang

In its heydays, it was hugely popular

My sister's do re mi came along, my father should be really happy

Hotel Anika, owned by a distant relative of mine.
Stayed here for the night

My BIL and his son - looks very alike!

My da gu's house

My cousin's wedding lunch/dinner

My youngest aunt, from my 2nd grandma's side

My da pher (eldest uncle) on the left

We went over to Kluang Parade after the wedding meal

It was time to leave; took the train back.

Odd looking mini machine

Train is here!

Stopped at Kempas Baru, switched tracks to let the KL bound train take our track temporarily

The CRT Panasonic TV is gone

Home sweet home

i'll go back again soon. Went back so many times and watched the people/place change, but i want to recall and write these memories down.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

driving #8

sway number: 122.

quite a lousy session, maybe i was tired or something. It was drizzling on and off for the 1st hour, my first time driving in the rain. So had to adjust to different braking and the wiper control.

then i forgot to cancel my signal 2 times, stop the wiper when the rain stopped. Stupid right? lolz. Also more seriously, overshot the stop line few times due to late braking, got ngiao quite badly for that.

oh yes, the instructor is new to me, Mr Yeow SC. Didn't have much chemistry, he just kept quiet and let me drive on and on. Good thing is he didn't help me brake at all, so i realised the big problems on the road so far. Bad thing? He's very straight, commented on all the faults i have. Maybe it's a good thing after all, because i can focus on improvements.

thinking of fixing my instructor to either Mr Leong or Tan, but undecided. Let's see what kind of instructor i'll get next Tue.

now, takeaways:

- left turns, keep close to kerb to prevent lane crossing

- obey STOP sign at minor road

- brake early, reduce speed at traffic junctions (argh x100)

***, i'm always having problems braking. Especially when the stupid traffic lights suddenly change to amber. Today finally kena f, albeit politely by that guy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Straits Vista @ Marsiling


had a day doing homework for the flat selection. Went down to take photos from the neighbouring blocks, unit selection and comparison, etc.

it's a BTO project that will complete in 4-5 years time, if the response is good.

all the high floor choice units facing the Causeway are taken up, including the expensive ones! 26 or 30th storey, people also take, never mind the price!

no choice but to face the Woodlands Regional Centre. Hope my choice units are not taken by when we go down to HDB on sunday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

driving #6 and #7

my lucky numbers, 115 and 123. #6 was with Mr Tan again, so the experience is pretty much the same. For #7, i had the pleasure of having a riding instructor (those F1 kind racing uniform), Mr Fariq. Initially we were quiet, but hit it off towards the end. He taught me some stuff few lessons ahead, such as positioning for right turning, narrow and wide U-turns, plus a value-adding expert lane change.

covered slopes for #6. For automatic transmission cars, nothing much to rave about. Finished it quickly and went on for evaluation of stage 1 (subjects 1 to 12). Cleared it without much problems, and i started practicing stage 2 subjects.

Mr Fariq's teaching style is special; he's more hands-off than the previous 3 instructors. I think he stepped on his brake less than 5 times during the 2 hours, leaving me to control the car the other times. If there's a need to accelerate to overtake, he's not extremely cautious about it. I had some nasty encounters with taxi drivers (who don't have while driving =p), he asked me to change lane, pull up side by side with them and gladly scolded them for me! lolz...

it's one of the packed lessons so far, as he introduced many techniques for turning left, at filter lanes, turning right at T/X junctions, merging lanes, humps, u-turnings and s-course. Plus expert lane change, which is pretty common nowadays for licensed drivers.

really fun filled. Tomorrow's lesson will be in the circuit i guess, since it's talking about pre-drive checks.


- improve speed control, especially braking at high speed (still quite terok, Fariq emphasises speed control for auto)

- handling humps

- left turns, filter lanes, pedestrian crossings, left-turn-on-red

- turning right at T/X; positioning and steering wheel movement

- u-turning at 2 types of kerbs, positioning and steering wheel movement

Saturday, October 11, 2008

mature content, so to speak

before i idle my blog again, let me post up something i read from a pretty girl's blog. Credits to the poster.

it spoke volumes about a relationship, how things can change people drastically in an endless pursuit of money, career, etc.

for a moment, i was rudely reminded when i read about he asking his wife, in a joking way, about divorce. It was something obviously familiar in context, and some other parts drew parallels to my experience. It's a reminder.

note: the sentences have been realigned and punctuated appropriately.


"On my wedding day, I carried my wife in my arms. The bridal car stopped in front of our one-room flat. My buddies insisted that I carry her out of the car in my arms. So I carried her into our home. She was then plump and shy. I was a strong and happy bridegroom.

This was the scene of ten years ago.

The following days were as simple as a cup of pure water: we had a kid, I went into business and tried to make more money. When the assets were steadily increasing, the affections between us seemed to ebb.

She was a civil servant. Every morning we left home together and got home almost at the same time. Our kid was studying in a boarding school. Our marriage life seemed to be enviably happy. But the calm life was more likely to be affected by unpredictable changes.

Dew came into my life.

It was a sunny day. I stood on a spacious balcony. Dew hugged me from behind. My heart once again was immersed in her stream of love.

This was the apartment I bought for her.

Dew said, You are the kind of man who best draws girls eyeballs.

Her words suddenly reminded me of my wife. When we just married, my wife said, men like you, once successful, will be very attractive to girls. Thinking of this, I became somewhat hesitant. I knew I had betrayed my wife. But I couldn't help doing so.

I moved Dew's hand aside and said, You go to select some furniture, O.K.? I've got something to do in the company. Obviously she was unhappy, because I had promised her to go and see with her. At the moment, the idea of divorce became clearer in my mind although it used to be something impossible to me.

However, I found it rather difficult to tell my wife about it. No matter how mildly I mentioned it to her, she would be deeply hurt.

Honestly,she was a good wife. Every evening she was busy preparing dinner. I was sitting together. Or, I was lounging before the computer, visualizing Dew’s body. This was the means of my entertainment.

One day I said to her in a slight joking way, suppose we divorce, what will you do? She stared at me for a few seconds without a word. Apparently she believed that divorce was something too far away from her. I couldn't imagine how she would react once she got to know I was serious.

When my wife went to my office, Dew had just stepped out. Almost all the staff looked at my wife with a sympathetic eye and tried to hide something while talking with her. She seemed to have got some hint. She gently smiled at my subordinates. But I read some hurt in her eyes. Once again, Dew said to me, He Ning, divorce her, O.K.? Then we live together. I nodded. I knew I could not hesitate any more.

When my wife served the last dish, I held her hand. I've got something to tell you, I said. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want to divorce.

I raised a serious topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be much annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? . I'm serious. I avoided her question. This so-called answer turned her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man!

At that night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer, because my heart had gone to Dew.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. I felt a pain in my heart. The woman who had been living ten years with me would become a stranger one day.

But I could not take back what I had said.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer.

A late night, I came back home after entertaining my clients. I saw her writing something at the table. I fell asleep fast. When I woke up, I found she was still there. I turned over and was asleep again.

She brought up her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but I was supposed to give her one month's time before divorce, and in the month's time we must live as normal life as possible. Her reason was simple: our son would finish his summer vacation a month later and she didn't want him to see our marriage was broken.

She passed me the agreement she drafted, and then asked me, He Ning, do you still remember how I entered our bridal room on the wedding day? This question suddenly brought back all those wonderful memories to me. I nodded and said, I remember . You carried me in your arms, she continued, so, I have a requirement, that is, you carry me out in your arms on the day when we divorce. From now to the end of this month, you must carry me out from the bedroom to the door every morning.

I accepted with a smile. I knew she missed those sweet days and wished to end her marriage with a romantic form.

I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she does, she has to face the result of divorce, she said scornfully. Her words more or less made me feel uncomfortable.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. We even treated each other as a stranger.

So when I carried her out for the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly, Let us start from today, don't tell our son. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for bus, I drove to office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. We were so close that I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this intimate woman carefully for along time. I found she was not young any more. There were some fine wrinkles on her face.

On the third day, she whispered to me, The outside garden is being demolished. Be careful when you pass there.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I seemed to feel that we were still an intimate couple and I was holding my sweetheart in my arms. The visualization of Dew became vaguer.

On the fifth and sixth day, she kept reminding me something, such as,where she put the ironed shirts, I should be careful while cooking, etc. I nodded. The sense of intimacy was even stronger.

I didn't tell Dew about this.

I felt it was easier to carry her. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. I said to her, It seems not difficult to carry you now.

She was picking her dresses. I was waiting to carry her out. She tried quite a few but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, All my dresses have grown fatter. I smiled. But I suddenly realized that it was because she was thinner that I could carry her more easily, not because I was stronger. I knew she had buried all the bitterness in her heart. Again, I felt a sense of pain.

Subconsciously I reached out a hand to touch her head.

Our son came in at the moment. Dad, it's time to carry mum out. He said. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had been an essential part of his life. She gestured our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face because I was afraid I would change my mind at the last minute. I held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom,through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly, as if we came back to our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. She said, actually I hope you will hold me in your arms until we are old.

I held her tightly and said, Both you and I didn't notice that our life was lacking of such intimacy.

I jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my decision. I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door. I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I won t divorce. I'm serious.

She looked at me, astonished. The she touched my forehead. You got no fever. She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I can only say sorry to you, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of life, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I understand that since I carried her into the home, she gave birth to our child, I am supposed to hold her until I am old. So I have to say sorry to you.

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into cry. I walked downstairs and drove to the office. When I passed the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet for my wife which was her favorite. The salesgirl asked me to write the greeting words on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until we are old."

student tsos

of recent, we recruited a group of juniors to join our lab operations. They came at a time where level 6 was reorganised, just nice.

melvin got them out for lunch. I invited 2 more guests who helped out with the pack too, jewel and guangyun.

hopefully this big batch will learn as much in time to come! Of course, must give them the exposure and confidence, on our side. No point hiring them if any of us is scared of this or that, "can they do it?" kind of looks. As far as i can see, they are willing to get their hands dirty, so i have no doubt on their performance.

driving #5

my lucky number? 115. I have a new instructor, the 3rd i met so far. Time for some evaluation..

the first, Mr Raup, gave good orientation and foundation skills in my first class. He's also quite particular on blind spot checking and good posturing. The second, Mr Leong, is even stricter on blind spots, lane changing. I felt Mr Tan is friendlier than the two, however less particular in lane changing/blind spots. I also received more guidance on whether the traffic is clear or not. These can be very bad, because bad habits can come back!

anyway, he gave me 2 options when we met, to warm up in the circuit or just go out. I don't think i needed warmups, so simply chose the latter. Off we went to the tennis centre for me to take over. This time, i couldn't really give a map because i covered almost the whole AMK. Too much to remember, too focussed on the road! I told him my weak points (late braking), and he was really helpful throughout.

covered a new subject, low speed movement. Basically, it's to move the car really slowly through the use of the foot brake, and 'feel' the length and width of the car. He evaluated my 'feelings' by putting poles at the front, rear and sides, then going forward, backward and sideways without hitting the poles. Went on quite well, and cleared that quickly. Even did an S-course, he said buay pai. =D

the next subject will be slopes, before the evaluation of stage 1. 3 lessons next week!


- speed checks at filter lane, stripes (what's the stretch of the road that has stripes of white lines to slow down things?) and road speed limit

- read directional markings on the road, look out for road signages

- rules for turning right at T, X junctions

Thursday, October 9, 2008

very busy lately

i think my blog is sitting idle, because my engine has been running sufficiently warm (no spare time to type).

just finished 2 term tests, and sad to say the after-feelings weren't fantastic. For C++, i saw it coming, yet for stats i think i've put in the necessary effort. But what the lecturer tested us were way harder. Maybe it's something in undergraduate studies i find it hard to adjust to.

work wise, the poly term is starting next week. As usual, a mad rush to get everything up and running. I worked non stop since 8am just now, all the way to 11.30pm. The only break was lunch, 30 mins long. It's satisfaction seeing things nicely done for my customers, the students. The only hope is not to see such effort being dismantled at the management's whim and fancy.

we are getting closer to the end of the year, and there are many to-achieves coming up. I have to job hunt, learn to drive and get my licence, graduate successfully.

my resume is ready, but no time to attend career talks. I don't really believe in this though. Somehow, i feel like i'm crowding together with a big group of job applicants - nothing much to differentiate between.

my driving lessons are booked till mid Dec, 18th lesson by 13 Dec! Hope i can finish the evaluation and book for TP by then...

graduate successfully? It must happen. That explains why the stress now.

if i can get my way, i want to take january and february off. Take a breather, do what i have to do, love whom i really love, full time! =)

Friday, October 3, 2008

driving #4

last week, i was circling around the SBST and SMRT bus depot area, doing my left turns. Quite alright, except for speed control and blind spot checking.

today was mainly speed control. He only told me at the end of the lesson, that i was supposed to practice only around St 64, St 65 and a section of YCK Rd. But because of tree pruning and some amount of confidence, he told me to drive in the heartlands around Blk 601-610 instead...

Drove round, round and round...

my main problem is too late in braking, especially near the junction and traffic lights. He had to ebrake at a crossing, as i didn't realise it was green for too long. Other than that, i didn't anticipate yellow boxes and pedestrians. And experienced peeps know not looking out for pedestrians = borderline case.

since it's really on the roads, i had to speed up from my normal 40kmh to 50-65kmh most of the time. Braking distance had to be adjusted too. My right foot felt so tired...

then we went back to circuit 15 mins before time was up. Suddenly my standard dropped. Lane crossed and mounted a kerb while making a narrow turn! Wah lau, very chui!!!

some takeaways as normal:

- brake early at higher speed, keep safety distance

- anticipate yellow boxes, pedestrians and lights turning red

- do not road hog especially after turning, drive accordingly to road limit

- check rear before turning+change lane (a surprise car in the circuit incident)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

what a tainted letter


30 September 2008

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam
Mr Philip Jeyaretnam

Dear Kenneth and Philip Jeyaretnam

I was sad to learn that your father, Mr Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, has passed away.
Mr JB Jeyaretnam was a Member of Parliament for Anson constituency from 1981 till 1986, and a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament from 1997 till 2001. He used to engage in heated debates in the House. Perhaps it was because he and the PAP never saw eye to eye on any major political issue and he sought by all means to demolish the PAP and our system of government. Unfortunately, this helped neither to build up a constructive opposition nor our Parliamentary tradition. Nevertheless, one had to respect Mr JB Jeyaretnam’s dogged tenacity to be active in politics at his age.

However, our differences were not personal. In 1993, one of you (Kenneth) wrote to Mr Goh Chok Tong, who was then Prime Minister, to say that you found employers in Singapore reluctant to offer you a job, and your only explanation was that the employers felt the authorities would not welcome your employment because of your name. Mr Goh replied with a letter which could be shown to prospective employers, to say that the government did not hold anything against you, and that employers should evaluate you fairly on your own merits, like any other candidate, because Singapore needed every talented person that it could find. Mr Goh had previously made the same point to your brother Philip, whom he had invited to lunch. I am therefore happy that both of you have established yourselves in Singapore.

Please accept my deepest condolences.

Yours sincerely

Lee Hsien Loong

i won't highlight the sentences that were inappropriate to the recipients.

i'm not the recipient, but the letter carried underlying messages i can read out from. Not a single sentence, but one after another.

look - people expected negative responses to a condolence letter from anyone in a rival party. But at the least, be sensitive. If there are bad things to talk about, don't mention it in the letter. Furthermore, the letterhead stated the sender in big lettering. Now, the pie of people who confirmed the ruling party is ignorant and arrogant has just gotten bigger.

this is an insult to the dead, an insult to the political system of Singapore, an insult to the people of Singapore.

many issues at work

1. timing. Since this is the 84571298 times it happened, i think it's useless to talk about it. I just hope people can be more tactful, more mindful of mutual respect. It's very ugly to see a seemingly kind person, then turn out to be not-so below the table.

2. responsibility for a lost item. I'm most likely to take responsibility for an item that was appeared to be issued and received by me. The problem is, the item is nowhere to be found (and the system still states x borrowed it). The circumstances on that day was different, because a temp staff was at the helpdesk. There are many things i cannot say here, because it will affect her reputation. I blame it on my short term memory, which i couldn't confirm that i received the item from x. But 2.5 months is rather difficult for anyone doing such jobs to recall. I have probably received more than 500 items in this period.

i accept this responsibility wholeheartedly, but there is a problem - no enforcement on the loan system. For example, y can borrow items for as long as possible, even though the system prompts and prompts via email. Say if management decides to recall all items borrowed out, i'm very sure every colleague of mine will have to accept responsibilities. Because x, y or z will insist they have returned their items, and say a, b or c received it. There's almost no proof to confirm it, although i won't say how here.

if you still don't get what i mean by responsibility, it means pay. Pay for the loss.

unfortunately, i'm the one to be put on the chopping board first. Me being helpless is an understatement. $1000 bucks may be out of my pocket soon. If i hear i'm rich or anything along this line at work, be very sure i'll be very nasty in my reply. If on friendly terms, i'm cool with it. But otherwise, no. I'm after all still a student with finances to manage. What i spend on is my business. You may spend on this, but i don't. I run my life, i don't attempt to run yours. So don't attempt to run mine by giving me hints or instructions.

more ever, i don't have the privilege to use certain government property as my own. Of course, i have to buy them for my own usage.

3. deflection of arrows. I thought this only existed in army, now i get it at work. This really made my day.

4. a task that went over time. I thank my student TSOs who did their best. It's their very first time setting up half a lab in 2-3 hours. Not easy, because it's not just about connecting wires together. Any tom, dick or harry can hook up in that case. The school's standard is beyond that.

on hindsight i should have foreseen they couldn't finish on time. I believe these people need recognition for their efforts, getting their hands dirty for the school. Especially GY who stayed to help although he wasn't paid. Plus Richard who stayed with me till midnight to find the missing item, but no avail.

it's no good to have pent up frustration. So i'm letting them go here.