Monday, January 26, 2015

Inflation is down 0.2%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2014:
January: 1.4%
February: 0.4%
March: 1.2%
April: 2.5%
May: 2.7%
June: 1.8% 
July: 1.2%
August: 0.9%
September: 0.6%
October: 0.1%
November: -0.3%
December: -0.2%

Both Food and Education & Stationery inflation again rose by 2.9% and 2.8% respectively year on year, similar to the previous month. Transport inflation trend continued from last month, going down by 4.1%, slightly lesser in comparison to last month. Housing inflation has also dropped 1.4%, slightly more compared to last year.

Food inflation remained high, with almost all the food prices rising compared to last month. Prepared meals have been rising by 3% as compared to last month and 2.9% as compared to last year. Judging from what I see on the ground, inflation will continue to trend upwards for food prices.

From a year on year perspective, inflation only rose 1% as compared to year 2013, as mentioned in my last post. Moving forward, inflation numbers will trend lower but it will not be obvious to us due to the rise of food prices. The downward oil price will be a relief as our electricity bill has already went down for the next quarter.

Looks like based on numbers, year 2015 inflation will not be that high, but I do not see it going towards deflation, no thanks to the hike in transport price which was approved recently. :(

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Friday, January 16, 2015

The future is always unknown

I quote from Lailah Gifty Akita:
The future is always unknown. Live your own life. Live in the moment. Live so well in the present, so that when tomorrow never comes, you may have no regrets.

Don't presume you know what will happen if you have not done it before. What you presume is only based on assumptions and may not happen. Only by doing it will you be able to truly shape your future.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Those with EP are paid higher but it does not resolve the locals salaries issue

Rising the qualifying salary of those with EP passes were made law with one very big assumption... Rising the salary of the foreign workers will result with locals having the same qualifications getting the same rise in salary. However, this may not be true.

The reason is very simple. Just look at the news. There are so many instances where Singaporeans were fired and foreigners were hired to take their place. Where is the law that helps prevents deserving Singaporeans who are doing a good job from being replaced by a foreigner?

Raising the qualifying salary without looking at the other parts of the law to protect Singaporeans do not resolve the problem and only helps to reinforce the impression that Singapore is favouring foreigners.

However, that doesn't mean that the law should protect undeserving Singaporeans. Yes, do not forget that we also have black sheeps amongst ourselves that would do the least work but expect to get same or more benefits than others who did much more.

Using EP to control the number of foreigners in Singapore is not effective at all, and only serves to bring about more cases such as those appearing in the newspapers lately. How to resolve this issue?

Look at Big Data...

You have data from MoM on the employees and employers and the nationality
You have data from CPF on the estimated gross salary paid

With this 2 sets of data, it's pretty easy to get clues on what is happening within the company and how the passes are being used

You do not need another set of law to do it. It's all there.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Actions speak louder than words

I quote from T.F. Hodge:
Both friend and enemy reside within us. One lives by the rule of compassion, the other by the rule of hard knocks. Though potential influence of either extreme is inevitable, our actions bear witness to the one we embrace. 
Yes, it has always been the case. Actions speak louder than words.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Taxi service standards set but ...

The time taken to hail a taxi in Singapore has improved since the taxi service standards have been set. Sometimes we still can't get taxis during peak periods but it has improved. However, it does seem that there are unintentional victims due to this service standard. The taxi drivers...

Yes, I understand that the minimum distance of 250km a day is to ensure that the taxis are fully utilised and that taxi companies do not indiscriminately buy more taxis causing more congestion on the roads when they are not utilised fully. However, somebody seems to have forgotten that that's the job of the COE, not the taxi service standard.

Just by the term taxi service standard... In what way does driving a minimum distance of 250km raise standards? The facts. It doesn't. In fact, it forces taxi drivers to regularly ply the roads, regardless if there are passengers or not, and releasing more carbon monoxide pollution in the air.

Do not forget too that Singapore is only 50 km from the east to the west, and 26 km from the north to the south. It is also not very often that you get customers from Pasir Ris wanting to travel to Tuas.

Guess what? Taxi drivers wanting to meet this service standard may instead travel all the way to Changi Airport waiting to pick up tourists that hopefully will go to some hotel in the east so that they could meet the standard. Doesn't this worsen the situation?

The minimum distance of 250km does help in keeping taxis on the roads but it is unfairly putting the burden on our taxi drivers, where most if not all are true blue Singaporeans trying to earn a living.

If we're talking about taxi service standards, I believe customers are only looking for taxi drivers that do not pick their passengers, drive around with an empty cab but with a busy sign on, and able to get a taxi when we try to book one, regardless of which taxi companies answer the booking.

The 250km minimum distance is no where in the customers wish list. In fact, all those who takes taxis regularly should know what are the bug bears. So how did this 250km standard come about?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Don't always be appraising yourself

I quote from Brenda Ueland:
Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. "I will not Reason and Compare," said Blake; "my business is to Create." Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.

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