Singapore again

Posted: 8th May 2008 by Jacky Yong in Current Affairs

I’m writing this from Singapore again. Been here since yesterday, and flying back to KL tomorrow. This time is a bit different. I’m staying in M Hotel instead of the usual Holiday Inn or York Hotel. Fully booked, so I’ve heard. M Hotel is way off from Orchard Road. It’s in Cecil Street, right smack in the middle of the financial district of Singapore. I came here with Worachart, the CSC vendor from Thailand.

The cab (taxis are called cabs) driver who drove us from the airport to Starhub told us all sorts of funny stories upon hearing that I came from Malaysia. He is a Singaporean Malay, but his entire family are Malaysians, staying in Galang Patah. His father who was in the British army was stationed in Singapore before Malaya became independent. Thus he was born in Singapore while his other siblings were born in Johor. When Singapore split from Malaysia in 1963, he had a choice between Malaysia or Singapore. He chose Singapore, a choice that he said he regretted until now!

He told me a joke. Tun Abdul Rahman was Bapa Kemerdekaan. Tun Hussein Onn was Bapa Pembangunan. Tun Dr Mahathir was Bapa Teknologi. Abdullah Badawi – Bapa Mertua! 😀 LOL!! I laughed my head off! Then I realized something. He missed out Tun Abdul Razak. Then I know the answer already – Bapa.

Bapa kepada Najib lar, siapa lagi? 😀

Anyway he started critisizing Malaysian Malays and how they do not know how to appreciate the help given by the Malaysian government. Bagi baja, dia jual. Mesin yang sepatutnya atas nama Mohd Nizam, dia daftar atas name Tan Ah Kow. Kenapa tak miskin? But I told him, he is only saying this because he is in Singapore. He would have had a different point of view had he made a decision to stay in Malaysia instead.

Today I went to work in PSS, Prudential Services Singapore. It’s the first time I’ve been there. PSS is supposed to be the child company of PSA, Prudential Services Asia, the company that my LA is signed to. Anyway I had a chat with one Singaporean there. Singapore is no better than Malaysia when it comes to owning a car. In fact they can be much worse. Today’s news in Singapore, COE is reduced by as much as 29.4 percent, the lowest in a year. FYI, COE (Certificate of Entitlement) is something like our Excise Fee when we buy cars. Cars are cheap, only about SGD40,000, but add up the COE which can go up to SGD40,000, the car price doubles! COE is open for bidding too, I heard. Their price bracket is split into:

  • cars below 1.6 litre and taxi $11,009
  • cars 1.6 litre and above $15,889
  • goods vehicle and buses $15,889
  • motorcycle $1,289
  • open $16,500

(Price as at 1st May 2008)

Now I understand why most Altis’s here are of the 1.6 litre variant!