[Military] - World's Most Advanced Gun.
[Singapore]- Fast & Furious 6 cast members' reaction to car prices in Sg
http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/entertainment/91220.htmlEdited by UltimaOnline 23 May `13, 12:53PM
The most closely watched criminal court case in Singapore. Even if (all or some) of the 6 accused are sentenced to imprisonment, the length of the imprisonment terms meted out will be a big headache for the Singapore judiciary and government.
To be blunt, it's a case of willing buyer - willing seller. If the real issue is that of 'charitable status' and its taxation ramifications, the most helpful course of action would be to revoke said status from the church.
Evolved consciousnesses have no need for religion (which is routinely abused as an excuse for crusades, wars, and religious motivated violence around the world continuing to this very day). But for those humans who still require it as a scaffolding crutch, and particularly where is clearly a case of willing buyer - willing seller, governmental legalistic intervention (possibly motivated, at least in part, by socio-political reasons; not excluding inter-church rivalries and fragmentation within the disunited Christian community) may inadvertently result in more unforseen socio-political difficulties than it purports to resolve.
[Medical] - Worm wriggling inside eyeball 'Loa loa filariasis'
[Finance] - Singapore is World's #1 Richest Country
Then why are the vast majority of Singaporeans saddled with unsurmountable debts? Oh silly me. Of course. As with China, USA, and the entire planet, the top 1% of the world's population owns 90% of the world's wealth. Go, Rothschild!
As soon as Aliki Chrysochou, a Greek Cypriot soprano in London, stepped onto the stage at the auditions for this season’s Britain’s Got Talent, a popular TV talent show in the United Kingdom, the judges (especially the well-known music mogul Simon Cowell) were impressed.
The sexy soprano music teacher was welcomed with wolf-whistles and cheers as she walked on stage and sent temperatures soaring, reports The Sun. She impressed everyone with a rendition of Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life.
Cowell told Aliki she had “natural talent”, adding: “I don’t want you to go.”
Already impressed by her talent, Aliki stunned the audience when she told them how singing became her lifeline after battling back from the deadly brain bug encephalitis.
“I am blessed that I’m here today,” she said. “A few years ago I was diagnosed with encephalitis. Everything I learnt when I was a baby was all gone - all co-ordination and my speech. I couldn’t speak, read, write or walk. My mother had to do everything - feed me and bathe me. She was my voice when I couldn’t speak.
“When I was at the hospital one night she started singing to me. It was the first time I responded - by humming - after a very long time,” she added. “Singing was the only thing I could do after I recovered. I can’t believe I’m here.”
“There’s something very moving,” said Cowell. “Having heard your story, everyone wanted you to do well... This is the easiest ‘yes’ I’ve given.”
Amanda Holden, also a judge, said: “I can’t imagine what your mom must be thinking. The words were so poignant - the song was for your mom.”
Born in the town of Limassol, Cyprus, Aliki was dubbed a child prodigy. A significant turning point in her life was marked when she was signed on two consecutive commercial releases with one of the most important classical composers in Cyprus, Achilleas Lympourides, and Kostas Montis.
In 2005, she graduated from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in both piano and voice. She also holds a Pianoforte Certificate in Advanced Performance from London College of Music & Media at Thames Valley University.
In 2008, she moved to New York to study drama and opera. She’s now back in London pursuing a music career.
I found your website earlier on. I know you are not able
to help, but anyway I’ll just write to you, hoping it will release some of my
Probably, I can start with what’s worrying me these few
I feel that my life is very miserable since I got married in 2004 – we always
had issues with money. When we just got married, my husband and I have a low
combined income – about $2.3k thereabout and we really struggled with our
Now, he has a better job with doubled income compared to the time when we
just got married. I also have a new fulltime job but I couldn’t bring home my
full pay because I have many unpaid and medical leave due to my medical
Things are not going well even though our combined income is now more than
what we used to earn. The money we earned is never enough to pay for all our
bills and the accured debts just keep on piling up.
In 2006, my job was
at stake. I was very stressed with both my personal life and job. Soon after, I
started to be absent from work regularly – more from failing to deal with my
depression than anything else.
I have regular attacks of headaches, migraines, sleepless nights, became hot
tempered and very sensitive.
I have once overdosed myself with sleeping pills. My husband was quick to
realise that I have taken an abnormal dosage of my sleeping pills and brought
me to the hospital.
The police came to my ward and questioned me. I keep denying that I have
I told them that I had a bad headache and I just couldn’t sleep.
The officers then took my statements and warned me not to repeat my
intentions again (I knew they wont be taken in).
My parents soon came to know about the suicidal incident and they offered
to help me and my husband after I explained to them out financial problem.
They then used their savings to lend us $10k to settle our debts and any
However, things are still not good right now.
I feel that we have more debts than ever – like history is repeating
It’s even worst now – I have to pay my parents monthly for the loan they
lend us, plus the loan they lent us when we got married and that is about $16k
for our house renovation.
Since my husband’s income has met the eligible requirement for bank loan and
credit card, we apply for those credit facilities - in the hope to clear our
outstanding bills and debts.
I feel that my life is all wasted on this money issue. I’m feeling so tired
with my life right now…is there no light at the end of the tunnel for me?
Though I have a job. I seldom take back the full pay of about $1.3k monthly
because I have many unpaid and medical leaves.
My regular unpaid leave also make my employer and colleagues have negative
impression of me.
I have frequent headaches and fall ill too often.
I still have sleepless nights even if I take medication to help my insomia
- that is part of the reason why I am always absent from work.
still not blessed with a child - this is also part of my worry.
Since 2010, my husband and I have went to KKH to seek for fertility
After all the tests, we were both declared medically normal.
I was on some hormone medicine to help me conceive, but still no baby – not
being able to conceive is an added stress for me. I feel so abnormal.
really dont know how to lead my life now.
I’m really feeling lost, even with my hubby around. I just dont know where to
begin with and how.
The truth is, I harboured thoughts of suicide whenever I’m lonely.
I know that my husband is very stressed with our current situation and he is
a lot stronger than i am.
I rather disappear from the lives of my loves ones, especially my
As of today, our bills are really piling up again – the power supply company
has given us termination letter, intending to cut off our supply in a week’s
time if we still don’t pay up our outstanding bills.
I called them to ask if I can extend the payment and whether we can just
They say that they can only extend 5 more days and we will need to at least
settle half of the outstanding bill.
The banks have also given their final reminders, telling us to pay all the
outstanding amount or they will terminate our account which will result in
having to settle the full amount.
Every month is hell for me. I can never find a way to settle these
Thank you for listening.
This is the first time I share my problems and worries with a stranger.
I’m not sure if there will be anyone who will be reading this but thanks
[Perspectives] - Two sides to an altercation incident
STOMPer Mother of 2 says this man spewed insults at her after she sounded her horn to warn him that he was reversing into her.
She also says that he was spewing insults at her during the exchange.
She relates the incident:
"Yesterday morning (May 17) at 10.45am whilst dropping off my kids at Tanglin Post Office, this driver quickly reversed his car out of the parking lot in the direction of my car.
"As a natural reaction I sounded the horn briefly to avert an accident.
"The driver continued to reverse his car and then stopped and wound down his window to shout curses at me.
"There were too many to mention but suffice to say, I was taken aback.
"I then wound down my window and told the man, 'I sounded my horn because I was afraid you would hit me' and in return I was once again greeted with a litany of curses from the man.
"He then put his car purposely into reverse gear again to intimidate me.
"He then got down from his car to confront me. I was by then deeply afraid for my life and used my phone to snap photos of this big burly man.
"The man then whipped out his own phone while still spewing obscenities at me and took photos of my car and walked up to my window and pointed the camera at my face and snapped a photo in retaliation.
"Throughout this time, he threw insults at me and behaved in a highly aggressive manner which left me scared and shaken.
"I was literally shaking in fear thorough out this incident."
Apparently (although it might possibly be a trolling impersonator), the 'bully' got wind of the posting of his photo, and gave his side of the story :
KangaRude posted :
Sadly the story isn't quite as interesting as portrayed. As the ang mo in the pics, some facts to add balance:
* I engaged with the driver of the vehicle after they sounded the horn as a premature warning (I could see them clearly while reversing)and gesticulated to me, whereupon I opened my window to hear what was being said
* The angry tone from the driver gave me the impression they believed I had hit their car. I was unable to hear them clearly, so exited my vehicle to take a photo of their front bumper as evidence that there was no collision
* after returning to my vehicle I was required to reverse my car a few feet to allow a truck that was parked across the exit (you can see it at the front left of my vehicle in the photos)to move to allow me to go forward. I waved to the driver to indicate I'd be reversing and did so leaving adequate distance between the vehicles.
* at this stage the driver of the vehicle behind again expressed their "concerns" verbally and I, unfortunately, advised in clear terms that they were out of line and I'd appreciate their silence from this point on. I believe the abbreviation STFU is clear enough.
What was a simple misunderstanding was escalated due to what I said and for that I'm sorry. Be aware that I'll be much more calm and forgiving in any future traffic discussions.Edited by UltimaOnline 19 May `13, 1:54AM
There's nothing great about Gatsby. He was quite the prick, as was just about everyone else around him in the roaringly Decadent Twenties.
Originally posted by klaasy:
:P Haha, love?
Thanks for all the help!
But just to confirm, is it possible to combine GP and the 3 H2s with 1/2 H1s of a different year? Since I'm not taking MTL or PW.
Should be ok. Better for you to email / call / visit the NUS admins office of the faculty of your intended course to confirm.
Originally posted by klaasy:
Is H2 Chem really necessary if I only want to pursue Mathematics or maybe Physics? I have almost no interest in Chemistry...
How can someone not love Chemistry... Chemistry is about Love... *sigh*
Ok ok, you don't have to take Chem if you're gonna study Math or Physics in the Uni.
See NUS subject prerequisites for A levels :
As cubs a lion, a tiger, and a bear had been owned by a drug dealer who did not properly care for them. The bear’s harness grew into his skin because the owner did not alter it as the animal grew. They had been abused and neglected early in life, but were finally rescued. The bear's harness was surgically removed.
After they had been taken in by an animal sanctuary in Georgia, the staff tried to separate them due to obvious concerns that the three large predators would fight. During the trial of separation, the animals were uncooperative and behaved poorly. Once reunited, the three calmed down and were well behaved.
Twelve years later, the three friends spend their days playing, cuddling, and eating together. There are no plans to separate these lifelong friends.
Regarding PW, since you cannot possibly have it outside of a JC, simply declare this on your Uni application. Depending on the Uni and course involved, you may (or may not, depending on the course and Uni) be at a disadvantage compared to other applicants. But honestly, a little thing like PW shouldn't deter you from taking A levels as a private candidate.
Next, regarding Chemistry, you should take it as a H2 subject, no doubt about it. H2 Chem is extremely useful and necessary for many Uni Science courses, while H1 Chem is utterly useless as a prerequisite for these Uni Science courses.
Lastly, since NUS requires GP and the 3 H2 subjects to be taken in 1 sitting, obviously you should retake all these subjects at least twice, in 2013 and again in 2014, or even a 3rd time in 2015, if that's what it takes to get decent grades (eg. AABB).
For your self-study, you may find my recommend lists of Chemistry resources (both books and websites) helpful :
An unhappy Singaporean posted this on another forum :
this gov is trying to make life as miserable as possible for the poors.
in the past the poors can afford to hv a meal drink in any of the coffee in sg.dont hv to ask price,just sit down and hv your meal.
NOW?this gov has to make them miserable going ard ask the price 1st before they can hv a peaceful mind to hv a meal there.if some estate dont hv cheap food,cheap drink,they dont hv to eat drink anymore?today u see this pricing,u qurrantee the rest of the coffeeshop will not follow?
even u force those poor ones to eat at home,price of a can food or the thing at market will not cost cheap too,some of u cook at home might cost u more expensive then u eat outslde.gd luck singapore.
dont believe,no harm trying buying a drink there.
are u telling me again,dont drink milo can drink coffee?
dont smoke cig can smoke angho? must we do this in a rich country?1st world country ??where this gov is providing this kind of life style for the citizen. poor people not human?poor people didnt contriblue??
a poor low income earner earn $1k per mth.
minus out $200 for cpf,balance $800.
3 meal a day,find the cheapest food in singapore.
a drink and a plate of rice cost u $5 x 3 meal a day x 30 days = $450
pls bare in mind,NO supper no snack no extra drink when u feel thirty or whatever.$450 just for 3 meal a day.
single trip to work and come back = $150 (might be more if u travel long distance.) again remember,cannot efford to travel any other place,work go hm 365 days.
phone bill home item $100,find cheapest soap shampoo etc,cannot afford buy cloth whatever as your wish.dont think is enough.
total $700 make sure u dont fall sick 365 days.
pls note,havent end yet..............
if u hv an hdb flat or hv to pay rent,then u very fast run road,not enough money borrow here and there,end up you will hv a lot of debt.
have to pay TC,insurance,pub bill etc etc.might end up a few more hundred.
u cannot afford home item like bed, tv ,furniture etc etc,if u hv them,make sure those thing dont spoil,if not u cannot afford to buy a new set.
cannot travel cannot catch a show,cannot whatever..work ,eat ,wait to die.this is the life of local poor singaporean staying in 1st world country.
can save??got extra money to buy insurance?? can benefit from those scheme?
can afford to hv children?they dont hv parent to take care??money enough??not enough find who?old uncle want smoke to relax after a long day of work,this is the only thing they can do,tax them high high?if they try save money,buy cheaper ciq,fine them.
Thallium poisoning case of Zhu LingThallium Poisoning of Zhu Ling Location Tsinghua University, Beijing Date ? – April 1995 Victim Zhu Ling
Zhu Ling (Chinese: 朱令; pinyin: Zhū Lìng, born 1973) photo is best known as the victim of an unsolved 1995 thallium poisoning case in Beijing, China. Her symptom was sent to Internet via a Usenet newsgroup by her friend from Peking University, Bei Zhicheng and was subsequently proven to be thallium poisoning. Her case was then reviewed by physicians in many different countries who examined her symptoms and made suggestions as to diagnoses and treatment. This effort was recognized as the first large scale tele-medicine trial. Her life was ultimately saved, but she suffered serious neurological damage and permanent physical impairment.
This case drew great attention of Chinese media, because the victim and the suspect were living in the same dormitory in the most prestigious university of China, and the case was never solved. Internet discussion of the crime has continued since then and became hot topic on major online Chinese communities very frequently as a high-profile cold case.
- 1 Poisoning case
- 2 Diagnosis via Internet
- 3 Police investigation
- 4 Suspect
- 5 Symbolic significance
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In 1994, Zhu Ling was a sophomore in Class Wuhua2 (Class 2 majored in Physical Chemistry) at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Classmates described her as attractive, intelligent, and talented, with an interest in music. She began to show strange and debilitating symptoms at the end of 1994, when she reported experiencing acute stomach pain, along with extensive hair loss. Following her hospitalization at TongRen Hospital, her condition gradually improved and she was allowed to return to school. The following March, however, her old symptoms returned worse than before, this time accompanied by pain in her legs, loss of muscular eye control, and partial facial paralysis. Unable to breathe on her own, she was placed on a respirator.
One physician at Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH), Dr. Li Shun-wei, reported having diagnosed a similar poisoning case in the 1960s and strongly suspected that Zhu Ling's symptoms were caused by thallium poisoning. However, Zhu Ling denied that she had had any contact with thallium in class, a claim which was confirmed by her university's chemistry department. As a result, her doctors ruled out thallium poisoning as a potential cause. Instead, she was diagnosed with and treated for Guillain–Barré syndrome. Her condition deteriorated rapidly.
Diagnosis via Internet
Frustrated with local physicians' inability to help Zhu Ling, her friends Cai Quanqing and Bei Zhicheng, undergraduate students in Peking University, posted an "SOS" letter on a number of Internet usenet groups on April 10, 1995, describing their friend's symptoms and asking for help with a diagnosis. It was remarkable that by 1995 only a few research institutes in China had Internet connections, including Cai's advisor. Responses began pouring in within a matter of hours, and news reports hailed the event as a milestone in remote diagnosis by Internet, especially in China. Of the more than 1,500 responses which Zhu Ling's friends received, roughly one-third proposed that she was suffering from thallium poisoning, the common antidote for which is known as Prussian blue.
Subsequent tests confirmed that Zhu Ling had extraordinarily high levels of thallium in her body, about 10,000 times more than normal people. Doctors were able to administer the antidote, Prussian blue in time to save her life, but she sustained serious permanent neurological damage. While she has recovered the ability to breathe on her own, she still cannot speak and remains largely paralyzed and almost blind, with severely reduced mental function. In addition, she has contracted Hepatitis C from a tainted blood transfusion. Once again, her family and friends are using the Internet to seek help for her, but this time they ask for donations to help pay for her care and rehabilitation on a website dedicated to the cause.
The police began investigating the case in May 1995. It was not until January 2006 that police finally revealed to the media that their initial investigations had yielded a possible suspect. No explanation was given for the delay in releasing this information, and no one has yet been formally charged in connection with the case. The primary investigator, Li Shusen, told a correspondent from Southern People Weekly in a January 2006 phone interview that investigators have in fact reached some important conclusions regarding the case, but that the information is too sensitive to be released to the public at this time.
The main suspect after police investigation is Sun Wei (孙维) (born (1973-08-20)August 20, 1973), who was Zhu Ling's classmate and roommate in Tsinghua University from 1992 to 1997. Tsinghua University also said Sun Wei was the only student who would have had official access to thallium compound among the students with close relationship to Zhu Ling, according to Zhu Ling's lawyer, Zhang Jie. The investigation result of the case was refused by authorities to be released to Zhu Ling's parents after their appealing. However, Tsinghua University denied to issue Sun Wei's B.S. certificate and refused to provide her document needed to get a passport or visa in 1997. It is believed Sun Wei has changed her name to Sun Shiyan (孙释颜).
The case began to draw extensive public attention near the end of 2005, after an ID named "skyoneline" posted on one of the largest Chinese online bulletin boards, Tianya Club, again questioning the innocence of the suspect and her family's role in blocking investigation and prosecution of the case. In response, after over ten years of silence, on December 30, 2005, the main suspect Sun Wei released a statement proclaiming her innocence, which was confirmed by a weekly newspaper, Qingnian Zhoumo after interviewing Sun Wei's father in 2006.
According to the statement, the suspect was identified as the only student with official access to thallium in her experiment for undergraduate research. She was detained by the police department on April 2, 1997, and signed a paper acknowledging she was a suspect. Sun Wei's family retrieved her from the police after eight hours of interrogation. In her statement, she also claimed that, according to the law, she was cleared as a suspect in August 1998. However, in a Morning News Post report dated March 2006, Zhu Ling’s lawyer, Zhang Jie said of the suspect, "She was only exempted from the compulsory measure that she was subjected to as a suspect at that time, but not excluded from suspicion."
Internet discussion of the crime continues since then and became hot topic on major online Chinese communities frequently as a high-profile unsolved case. A hacker who claimed he had hacked into the email account of one of Sun Wei's classmates, revealed communications purporting to be between Sun and several of her classmates, showing Sun Wei was guiding them how to post on forums to declare her innocence and they were preparing for Sun's statement in 2005. Among the Internet users in the discussion, many people speculate that the main suspect has not been charged due to her family connections. Sun Wei's grandfather is Sun Yueqi (孙越崎) who was an important member of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference as a senior leader of Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang and her first cousin once removed, Sun Fuling (孙孚凌) was deputy mayor of Beijing from 1983 to 1993 and Vice Chairperson of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1998 to 2003.
2013 White House Petition
An online White House Petition on the whitehouse.gov website was created on May 3rd, 2013, demanding investigation on the major suspect who was believed living in the US at the time. The number of the signatures reached 100,000 goal three days later after it was created. This online campaign also drew great attention from US and Chinese mainstream media, about Zhu Ling's family and the cold case.
Widespread awareness by the Chinese public and cynicism regarding the matter and the alleged whitewashing of it pose public relations problems for the government of China. Information regarding the matter is too widespread to suppress, but, at the same time, evidence adequate to establish the guilt or innocence of the primary suspect is probably unavailable. Thus the matter serves as a vehicle for expression of public dissatisfaction with corruption and abuse of power by the political elite associated with the regime.Edited by UltimaOnline 14 May `13, 3:18AM
[TV] - Nikita and Amanda
The New Paper
Monday, May 13, 2013
The brawl had left the Geylang coffee shop in a big mess.
Broken chairs were strewn all over the place and tables - some with bloodstains - were left overturned.
One man is in hospital with slash wounds. Nine others are on the run from the police.
And all because of a simple food order, it seems.
The bloody confrontation between two groups of men - nine on one side and five on the other - occurred yesterday morning.
Mr Allan Chua, 53, said he was shocked at the sight when he arrived at work at 8.30am. His office is next to the coffee shop at the junction of Guillemard Road and Lorong 12 Geylang.
The owner of an F&B and hotel consultancy said: "There were broken beer bottles and dishes.
"There was also a trail of blood."
The coffee shop had been cordoned off and he could not enter his office.
"I waited for more than an hour while the police officers took pictures and evidence," said Mr Chua.
Shin Min Daily News reported that a large group of men arrived at the 24-hour coffee shop at about 6am. A coffeeshop employee said the smaller group arrived about 10 minutes later.
He told the newspaper: "Despite ordering later, the (smaller group) received their dishes first."
This angered the first group, and a fracas broke out, he said.
"They (the larger group) went into the drinks stall and kicked over a shelf holding eight empty beer bottles," said the employee.
"They then picked up chairs and hurled them at the (other group)."
The melee quickly escalated and some even overturned tables to vent their anger. Beer bottles were thrown.
Witnesses said the fight, which lasted about five minutes, attracted a large crowd, reported Shin Min Daily News.
The New Paper understands that all the men involved, except for one, fled before the police arrived.
He had a head injury but did not want to be taken to the hospital.
A police spokesman told TNP they received a call at about 6.30am and an injured man in his 20s was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
No arrests have been made and police investigations are ongoing.
The coffeeshop employee said that both parties were regulars but they did not know each other. He added that he could smell liquor on some of the men.
Mr Chua told TNP that fights would occur in that coffee shop once in a while, but "this was the worst".
His 51-year-old colleague, who declined to be named, said the coffee shop was popular from 4am to 6am.
He said: "There'll be models and singers coming from the Orchard discos."
The coffeeshop owner estimated the losses to be about $10,000, reported Shin Min Daily News.
4 Things Rich People Should Stop Saying
By Ryan Ong in Featured Post, Money Talks | May 10, 2013 6 Comments
I have nothing against rich people. Hell, I’m hoping to become rich too. And if you ask around, some people would place me in…would place me in the “not poor” category, let’s leave it at that. But that being said, I want to point out that there are some seriously annoying rich people in this country. Not because they have money, but because they like to say the following crap. If you’re one of them, please stop it:
Actually, the city lights are off. That’s the glint of money.
1. If You’re Not Rich, It’s Your Own Fault
Ah, the meritocracy argument. The belief that effort always correlates to success.
This belief conveniently ignores context. See, certain professions pay better at different times and places. If this were the 1940s, for example, my pay as a writer would kick seven shades of faeces out of a movie director. And if we were in the Middle Ages, we’d probably point at doctors and say “That’s what happens when you don’t study hard“.
Now, let’s look at 21st century Singapore: No matter how much effort a mechanic, cleaner, or childcare teacher puts in, that person will not earn more than an investment banker.
That isn’t necessarily because investment bankers work harder, or somehow contribute more to society (in fact, the closer to manual labour a job is, the more likely it is to directly benefit society). It’s just that the current economy makes banking a more profitable trade.
If we can save the company $5 million, we might get an extra sandwich at lunch.
The investment bankers, like the app developers who work five hours a week, happened to be in the right place at the right time. They’re rich partly due to circumstance, and not because they’re inherently superior beings launched from Krypton.
I’m not suggesting they didn’t do any work to get there. Or that they don’t have talent. I’m just saying they need to acknowledge it’s not just will, but also circumstance (including educational opportunities) that gave them their success. And maybe following us on Facebook, because we talk about career upgrading all the time.
And that sometimes, people can’t succeed because they’re in the wrong place or time. Not because they don’t try as hard.
2. Mocking the Amount of Money Involved in Scandals
When a scandal hits the front page, there’s a lot of public indignation. Maybe someone seriously overpaid for bicycles, or the director of a charity fund decides “Hey, you know what would help impoverished kidney patients? A golden tap in my office.”
When that happens, we’re all shaken. It ruins our trust in charities, government bodies, etc. But then a small percentage of our population (typically the rich) will say something stupid. Stuff like:
“Come on, $X dollars only? That sort of money is nothing! Why are you people getting worked up over what is, to me, a tiny amount?”
It gets even worse when backed by arguments like:
- $2,000+ is an okay price for a bicycle. I mean, who can’t afford to pay that money for a bit of convenience?
- Compared to how much swindler X made for charity / the government / a company, the money he took is no big deal
Those arguments are (1) a slap in the face, and (2) missing the point.
Eh, I provide a LOT of policemen with jobs okay? Now put the money in the bag.
A few thousand, or hundred thousand, is not a small amount of money. It might seem that way, if you have a District 9 condo worth a Saudi Prince’s harem.
But for many Singaporeans, an amount like $57,000 could pay their HDB loan for years. When rich people roll their eyes at the “trivial” amounts, it’s no less than a wealthy, fat tourist waving a a drumstick at hungry villagers. We’re happy you’re rich and all, but you don’t have to act like a contemptuous dic…person.
Second, we’re not outraged at the amount of money involved. We get that, when someone commits a commercial crime, it isn’t so he can buy a $2 Slurpee. We’re outraged at the betrayal of trust.
It’s not about whether $10,000 or $10 was wrongfully taken. The point is that it was wrongfully taken. If your 10 year old son steals $20 out your wallet, how would you feel? Betrayed and alarmed? Or would you laugh and say “Hell, it’s just $20?”
That’s what we’re pissed about. And that’s why rich people need to lay off the “He may have stolen $X, but he made $Y” argument. It misses the point.
3. Dispensing Advice That Only Other Rich People Can Use
“Well if it takes that long to maintain the building, you ought to hire yourself a secretary.”
Rich people who were born poor will never do this. But Singapore is home to the occasional heir, who never had to earn his money. And when that person gives advice, I cringe.
Mostly, the advice sounds like this:
Poor Man: I don’t even have a bowl of Yong Tau Foo, I’m starving man.
Rich Brat: Then why don’t you drink some Bird’s Nest? It’s very filling.
Other examples are:
- Suggesting your relieve stress by taking a one month holiday, and not understanding why you can’t do this
- Wondering why you won’t go on an all salmon diet and sign up for a $3,000 Yoga class, when it’s for your own health
- Asking why you don’t just “take a cab there”. Every. Damn. Time.
- Suggesting you cure your poverty by investing in property or gold. Because he thinks someone who makes $1,200 a month is in a position to do this.
Look, if you inherited money, congratulations. We’re all happy for you. But if you’re going to walk around dispensing advice, may I suggest you listen first?
Perhaps if you spent less time talking, and more time understanding the issues of the less fortunate, you’d be able to make a real contribution.
4. Saying That Money Trickles Down, Even if You Won’t Invest in Us
Think of it as importing gold, except it walks, talks, and has a worse attitude.
Do you invest in local start-ups? Contribute a lot to charity? If you do, you sort of have a right to use the “trickle down” argument.
But you need to realize some rich people are just here to stash money, or for the tax breaks. Or to buy our property. And that money doesn’t “trickle down”. It sloshes around in their bank account, never circulating into our society.
Saying it “trickles down” is like putting a bag of plasma in my hand, and telling me if I hold it long enough I’ll have a full blood transfusion.
So if you’re one of those rich people who walk around saying: “Singaporeans suck, they have no creativity, I’ll never invest here, blah blah blah“, then stop using terms like “trickle down” or “a rising tide lifts all boats”. You do nothing for us. We’re doing you the service, by giving you a low-tax residence that you contribute diddly squat to.
Now back in the ’70s and ’80s, people didn’t put their money here because we’re a tax haven. Or because it’s easy to import cheap labour here. They came here to set up businesses and invest in our workforce, because we had the best and brightest.
They believed in us. Hell, we believed in ourselves. And as a consequence, we got richer together. Now that’s a trickle down effect. If we’re lucky, we’ll recapture that spirit.
But in the meantime rich guy, unless you actually invest in us, lay off the trickle down arguments.