Thursday, December 30, 2010

Alternative policies for Singapore

1. Land Transport

1.1. Private Transportation

1.1.1 Road Tax

Current System

Road tax is based the engine capacity of a vehicle. This archaic system is suitable when it was implemented because the cost of a vehicle then is generally in tandem with the engine capacity therefore those who can afford a more expensive vehicle pay more tax. However, this is no longer applicable as the cost of vehicles now are no longer in tandem with the engine capacity.

Big families who buy MPV that generally come with big engine capacity are disadvantaged as compared to those who buy cars with small engine capacity but expensive eg RX8.

Proposed System

Road tax should be based on the value of the vechicle. This can be determined by the open market value (OMV) of the car. LTA has other tax structures that uses the OMV as base, therefore it is not impossible to base road tax on the OMV as well. This system is fairer as those who can afford a more expensive vehicle, regardless of engine capacity, will pay more, just as what the current system was for when it was first implemented.

This system will apply to all vehicles.

1.1.2 COE

Current System

Buyers bid on a fortnightly basis for a COE from a pool of limited numbers as determined by LTA. Successful bidders are those who form the top list and every successful bidders pay the lowest of them all.

This system defeats the purpose of an open bidding because

- it pushes the responsibility of getting the entitlement to the buyers with cost instead of the car dealers themselves even when most COE biddings are decided by the car dealers and buyers simply pay for the advertised total vehicle cost.

- dealers will normally bid the same amount for all their cars.

- highest bidders will definitely get a COE as they will form the top group. This is a loophole because some bidders will not hesitate to bid an unreasonable amount just get a COE and yet need not pay for what they bid for.

Proposed System

COEs to be divided into 4 Category.

Cat A - Private Vehicles
Cat B - Commercial Vehicles
Cat C - Motorcycles
Cat D - Open Category

Cat A, B and C will be based on a first come first served based queue system.

Dealers will submit an application for a COE on behalf of buyers using their NRIC or business registration.

Buyers can only submit one application for each exercise and only through a car dealer.

Unsuccessful bidders will remain in the queue maintained by the dealers unless they opt out or decide to apply through a different dealer.

Any new applications will have to join the existing queue.

Only administrative charges apply for each application.

The number of COE to be allocated to each dealer can be on a percentage basis or on an equal basis.

Eg of Percentage Allocation System

Number of COE available = 100
Applications submitted by dealer A = 30
Applications submitted by dealer B = 40
Applications submitted by dealer C = 50

COE allocated to dealer A = 25
COE allocated to dealer B = 33
COE allocated to dealer C = 42

Eg of Equal Allocation System

Number of COE available = 100
Applications submitted by dealer A = 30
Applications submitted by dealer B = 40
Applications submitted by dealer C = 50

COE allocated to dealer A = 30
COE allocated to dealer B = 35
COE allocated to dealer C = 35

No car dealers will have extra COE for keeps unlike the current system now.

Cat D will retain the bidding structure as of now except that bidders will have to pay for what they bid for. COE obtained through Cat D can be used for vehicles in the other categories.

LTA will decide on what percentage of COE are to be allocated to each category.

1.2 Public Transport System

1.2.1 Buses

Current System

Commuters are currently charge by the distance traveled. Although commuters are now not charged for making multiple transfers, they will generally choose a route that cost them the least. This leave them with not much of a choice unless they are willing to pay more.

This will also result in a certain route or services being used more than others. As a result public bus companies will also need to roll out more services or increase the frequency for certain services will other services suffers.

Proposed System

Commuters should be charged by the shortest possible distance regardless of how far the total distance traveled is.

With GPS and the ezlink system, public bus companies can calculate the shortest possible distance that a bus can travel directly from the starting point to the end point.

The theory behind this is that bus companies should provide direct services for all the commuters and commuters are then fairly charged. Practically, this is of course not possible. Therefore by charging commuters the shortest possible distance, it is a win win situation for both parties

Bus companies will not make a loss due to abuse as no commuters would want to travel more than necessary.

This system will give commuters more option on the service and route to decide on therefore helping to ease popular and overcrowded ones.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Have we progressed?

I was reading Today's Voices column where a someone wrote in about the treatment her father received as a senior worker.

In an instance, it reminded of my late father.

I remembered the time when he was released by his company after he was struck down by a serious illness. He recovered though after that.

Having work for years, staying home is not something he looked forward to even though that was what his children wanted him to.

He pride himself as a independent man, so he worked as a cleaner, one of the few jobs he qualified for in this place where educational level is everything.

He didn't last very long. It was only after his passing that through my mum, we found out that he was made to carry heavy loads which he can't afford anymore considering his age.

That was almost 13 years ago. Nothing has changed in this place where money is everything and we are simply numbers filling up that profit making machine.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to school

3rd term starting 25th of this month and feeling is neutral. Not that looking forward to it or otherwise. Too much things happened that dampens whatever spirit I have left.

Not sure how many of classmates made it although I know I'll be seeing Vincent.

My request for another module to be added, which is on a Monday, was granted. So it's 1-3-5 now. The more days I'll be coming home late, the better it is. Less contact, less friction. Simple laws of physics.

Hate classes on Friday as that is the day I normally stay back late at work to finish up stuff that I can't during normal days.

Maybe it's telling not to put work to high up on the priority list anymore and instead on things that leads towards real happiness. Work have been that for many years and have seldom failed me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today in history changed the course of the future

Twenty six years ago today was a Sunday. I was 12 years old and it was not long that the family moved in to our new 3 room flat at Jurong East.

I cannot recall what I was doing back then but as a kid who cannot sit still and spent most time outside exploring, I was probably in the longkang (drains) catching fishes or cycling around on my BMX on numerous trails courtesy of an undeveloped area.

I wish I could I remember exactly what I was doing back then around noon because somewhere else, something magical happened - the world said hello to a little beautiful girl named Azrina.

Little did I know then she will have a tremendous effect on my future. She took 23 years later to do that. It was a long wait but it was worth it.

Thank you my dear for coming into my life. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There's always a first time for everything

I guess the term never say never slapped me like Shiva last Sunday when my clean record is finally broken with Axela finally hurt after close to 5 years. But the big plus side is that, no one was badly injured and for that I was super grateful.

A couple of things to be learnt from this incident.

Firstly, never drive when your mind is occupied or vice versa. For this, I would like to give the finger to Murphy and his law. In the end, what I was thinking about did not get solved either.

Secondly, the first thing to do is to check on the passengers before anything else even though no one was flown around or the sorts. While I was calm, I was still dazed for a moment, going 'Oh crap' from time to time. But I guess that should be quite normal for a first timer.

Thirdly, you just have to accept that sometimes laws can be stupid on the other side. You cannot make a traffic accident report, which is required to process my claim, without the vehicle involved. I was like WTF? I have to drag my car back in the condition it's in just to file a report? It makes no sense. I let the insurance company handle that since the car is already in the workshop.

Lastly, and the most important one actually is that having your other half supporting you makes a whole world of a difference. They need not be there physically. You just need to know they are there for you and I was glad mine was, all the way.

For now I just need to wait for Axela to be cured. Her major parts are not damaged so she'll be alright. And in a few months time, I'll have to source out for other insurance company since my current one will not go easy on me, not with my 30% NCD erased like the sands by the beach by the pounding waves.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rude or anal?

The car park was congested and I stopped to let a car leave a lot. There was already another car waiting for it in front of me. Any decent driver knows that the lot is considered taken and I was no exception.

Since the car needs to reverse for it to take the lot, I do not have to wait for it to park as I can move forward by its side. It was only after I started to move my car that I realised the car beside the car that was leaving was also doing the same. As it was now perpendicular to my car, the only way it can leave was for me to move forward because I cannot reverse with another car already behind me.

However, there was no place for me to wait in front except by the side of the car waiting for the lot and that will make me the biggest jerk as then no car could leave the car park with me blocking the only way out. So I decided to take the 1st lot which will then allow the car beside it to leave and the waiting car can take the that soon to be empty lot instead.

I heard the driver of the waiting car honked his horn at me, probably thinking he's going to lose his lot. Technically yes but there is another lot just beside me so nobody is at a lost, at least that's what I thought.

But when he parked beside me, he gave me that wtf gesture. Kind of pissed, I gave replied with wyp. He said that I was being rude that I did not let him park first. In other words, I stole his lot. I told him I saw two lots, one for each of us so what is the issue now since both of us are parked. He then said never mind and walked away.

Seriously, was I rude or he's just anal?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Paperwork is just as important.

When my fiancée and I were scouting around for a marriage prep course a few months back, we initially planned to go for the one conducted by Suchi Success titled Kasih Sejati since the miss heard it was good.

It took many days after I applied online before someone gave a me call. When they finally do call, I was asked to confirm my registration and make the payment through bank transfer.

I asked to be emailed the details so that I will have proper reference therefore avoiding unnecessary errors. And most importantly, I can't simply trust someone I practically do not know giving me information that I cannot verify.

No emails. We should have called them, I know but we're the customer. They may be popular but that does not mean we are at their mercy. So I said screw them, we'll go with someone else and we did.

A few days after we went for our prep course, they called me to confirm my registration, again. I was like 'what the...'. Still, I was polite and told them that we have already completed the course with someone else.

They called me again this morning to confirm my registration, for the 3rd time! Looks like their management really needs to iron out their issues.

If they call me again, I am going to give a feedback they won't forget.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tick tock... tick tock...

I don't know the man personally but if he did not stand up and condemn the wrongs, then he is just the same. So thank you for your contributions and be on your way. You have been rewarded enough for your work. We cannot be held ransom to gratitude our whole life.

I think the old man knows his number is coming and probably shaking his magic ball furiously for something good. He's also probably upset that the same thing will happen when it's his turn; that despite all the propaganda spewed by the states times, it is still not garnering the kind of response expected.

Face it old man, no one is going to cry for you. My bubbly is still in the fridge, waiting to be popped.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jetstar take a friend for free sale

Travel in pairs and pay only for one with Jetstar Friend 4 Free flights. Sale is on now until midnight Thursday 6th May 2010 (21:59), unless sold out prior.

1. Click on the link above
2. Look for the destination of your choice.
3. Take note of the qualifying dates
4. Click on 'Singapore'
5. Specify the date(s) you want to fly (must be a qualifying date)
6. Look out for flights marked 'Friend 4 Free'. If you don't see such flights, means seats are sold out.

Prices includes tax.