Sim Lim Square – Singapore’s Wild Wild West for shopping experience

A woman who bought an over-priced phone at Sim Lim Square demanded a refund and was given a bag full of $1,010 coins.

The woman, Miss Zhou, bought an iPhone 6 Plus for $1,600. She was shocked when the shop demanded that she pay another $2,400 for a two year insurance for the phone. You only get this in some unique shops in Singapore.

The shop, Mobile Air, was only willing to give her a $1,000 refund. The Small Claims Tribunal ordered the shop to refund Miss Zhou $1,010.

Miss Zhou was given the money in a bag full of coins. The bag was thrown onto the floor and the shop staff embarrassed her with nasty remarks when she was picking up the coins.

This is the kind of shopping experience one could enjoy from some shops in Sim Lim Square. The Tourist Board should promote this as a new exciting and unforgettable shopping adventure in Singapore’s Wild Wild West shopping centre where anything goes. There is no overcharging of course and no crime committed. Shoppers visiting the centre would have a memorable trip and a memory they would not forget, and will remember the exciting Singapore for a life time.

The full story of Miss Zhou is covered in a number of articles posted in The Real Singapore.

Kopi Level - Green

Tan Su Shan, the world’s best private banker

DBS’ group head of consumer banking and wealth management was voted the world’s best in private banking. This Global Private Banking Awards 2014 is presented by PWM and The Banker, a wealth publication by the Financial Times Group. It was reported that this award is for the best private banks in the world based on growth and performance. This award is certainly different from the World Best University rankings and would not be the subject of credibility discussion.

It is good to know that a Singaporean banker is good enough for such an award. The big question, would she be good enough for the Top Job as CEO of DBS or any local banks? Traditionally, over the last few decades, no Singaporean banker is found to be good enough to be CEO of a local bank, not even thinking of foreign banks. UOB is an exception for exceptional reasons.

Singaporean bankers are noted to be good enough only to be number 3 or 4 or 5 or 6, definitely not good enough to be number one. When Piyush’s time is up, would Tan Su Shan be the next CEO of DBS or would they go around the world, or to the 3rd world to hunt for another CEO? It would be good if she makes it to the top and bring back some dignity for daft Singaporeans, better than gold medals in sports won by foreigners.

My guess is quite pessimistic. Tharman has acknowledged that we lacked top bankers among the Singaporean breed and they had taken measures to start to train them yesterday for the future, maybe another 20 years to see the fruits. The current ingenious formula is to bring in a foreigner, issued him with a pink IC and called him a Singaporean. Instant tree, instant talent, instant Singaporean.
How long would the dearth of top Singaporean bankers continue to plague this island that is the financial centre of the region and with big dreams of being the financial centre of Asia, but only capable of producing half baked Singaporean bankers that would lose out to bankers from 3rd world villagers?

This is another Uniquely Strange feature of this strange island with 1st world pretensions but suffering from a disease known as ‘no local talents’, but a nation of daft. Something is seriously wrong with the gene pool.

Kopi Level - Green

NTU’s Journey from Greatness to the TOP of a Bogus World Universities Ranking Standard.

One Summer day in 1987, I hired a fresh Engineering graduate (called him “James” here) from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). James had graduated from NTU with a First-Class Honours Degree, which was truly outstanding during the 1980s. I vaguely remembered that he said he had actually topped his cohort. “James” was just one of several truly remarkable engineering graduates continuously molded and refined by NTU Engineering Schools. 

NTU began as Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) in 1981 before becoming a full-fledged University in 1991 with the vision “To Be The University of Business and Industry”.  By April 2001, NTU's research has resulted in 20 spin-off companies with many funded by venture firms, 150 disclosures, 76 patents filed and 30 patents granted. The research papers of its staff and students in refereed international journals had also won numerous awards in international competitions and conferences. 

NTU’s Journey from Greatness began with the advent of “World” Universities Ranking, an essentially commercial profit-making venture by a British organisation.   

In 2008, NTU’s “World” Ranking plunged 16 places from 61 in 2006 to 77 in 2008, or 29 places from 48 in 2003, to join the ranks of relative unknown and undistinguished Universities. The subsequent shake-up of NTU appeared to be the inevitable effect resulting from these “world rankings”, which look at factors such as international outlook and how often other academics cite a faculty’s research.

So, what exactly did NTU do wrong?   Here’s a brief list of NTU’s “wrongdoings in the early 2000s to be relegated:

  1. NOT ENOUGH FOREIGN Students - NTU had mostly (more than 94%) Singaporean Students.
  2. NOT ENOUGH FOREIGN Professors – NTU had NOT hired more Foreign Professors.
  3. TOO MANY STUDENTS – NTU had High Students-Staff Ratio.
  4. TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON INVENTIONS AND SPIN-OFF COMPANIES – NTU had too many Research Papers with Low Citations.
  5. REPUTATIONAL SURVEY – NTU was Unknown to Many Academics Worldwide.

In the years that followed, so seduced were we by the New Clothes of “Global” Universities Rankings, a series of measures were embarked on to increase the number of foreign students (at the expense of local Singaporeans?), break various laws so as to reduce the number of Singaporean Professors, to hire even more Foreign Staff.  

Finally, by 2014, NTU was ranked as the Top Youngest University in the World by QS Ranker, and ranking just 39th Worldwide.  Indeed, what a “climb” from 77th in 2008!  

NTU’s Journey from Greatness to the “bogus” Top of World Universities Rankings has been remarkably as relentless as her early rise from NTI into a NTU as a Great University in just 20 years. In her pursuit of the “bogus” world Universities ranking standards, we are reminded the Moral of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “Emperor’s New Clothes”.

Every child knows the Moral of the story is that one should not believe in every authority. The important thing is to let other people think whatever they want, and not to lose one’s self-esteem by letting others diminish the accolades of our genuine acclaims and true achievements, so that we can lend them our excellent reputation of authenticity and honesty to cover up their lack of credibility, validity and reliability.  

Kopi Level - Green

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Parents of Special Needs Children speaking out

Below are a few paras of a letter by the parents of Special Needs Children at the Hong Lim Park YMCA event. The full article is posted at The Real Singapore. It gives a different viewpoint, from the parent’s perspective.


Shame on you Teo Ser luck and all you despicable PAPs grassroots leaders who hijacked the YMCA event and used our children as pawns to score political points. No, the protesters in no way scared our children. It was clearly a set-up and GOD is our witness to this shameful act. As the father of one of the children, I can clearly testify the following facts.

1) The children were stressed by the loud sound system, which we suspect was done on purpose to disrupt the CPF protest. The show initially was supposed to begin at 12noon to 2pm. Then at the last minute, we were told the time is changed to 2pm to 4 pm. I think to clash with the CPF protest, they changed it to 4pm to 6pm on the same day….

5) Our Lord Jesus truly works in mysterious ways, turning a cunning scheme by the government to fix the CPF protesters, into one that has shed light on the difficulties for parents with special needs children. Let’s see how much they do to help us, now that our plight is out in the open. Hope Roy and Han Hui can do a protest to highlight the plight of struggling parents like us. I am sure you have friends who can apply the permits for you.

6) As for people like Roy Ngerg and Ms Han Hui, I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the sacrifice to stand up against the tyranny . GOD bless you both and I’m sure many are praying that you will come out safe from your selfless sacrifice. As for Mr Ngerng, I am sorry that you lost your job in the process and are now made to look like a criminal for standing up for your fellow men and women….

Mary & Joseph
TRS readers

Kopi Level - Blue

China US partnership – A New World Order

This New World Order is taking shape with the latest US state official praising China for its increasing role in Afghanistan. The US had moved in with its military, did all the mop up operations to kill and destroy all the Afghans that they did not want to see, flattened the country from the air to Stone Age, then they moved out.
Next, the Chinese would move in with all the economic aids to help the Afghans to rebuild their broken country and to restart life anew. China has pledged to give Afghanistan US$327million in aid, in addition to the US$250 million it contributed after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. The Americans had dumped perhaps more than what China is giving, in kinds like bombs and bullets.

The changing roles of a destructive US and a constructive China are not premeditated or planned by the two powers. Neither is the new China US partnership. It just happened naturally. The Americans just enjoyed throwing their bombs in other people’s countries, mowed everything to the ground. China just sees it as an opportunity for economic development and building friendly ties with these countries. A Chinese statement said, ‘It does not seek to fill a void left by the US withdrawal, but has promised to play a big commercial role in reconstruction’.

China did not seek this role and did not seek to be lauded by the US. It is just a natural thing to do, to help countries that needed economic help and reconstruction. And there is a bigger role cut out for China after the US has done its destruction in the Middle East and decides to leave the region. Many Arab countries would need the resources, funds and reconstruction capability of China to rebuild their countries.

Now the sickening part. After rebuilding these countries, the people of these countries will curse China for taking ‘advantage of them’ and increasing its influence in these countries, and seeing China as the enemy. They would want to drive the Chinese out. So was the story told for the last few decades. Would it change, would these silly Asians think and know who is their real enemy and who destroyed their land and homes and lives?

Kopi Level - Blue

Sinkies beware when in foreign land

Sinkies must be reminded that if they are in a foreign country, they must be extremely polite and not to get in the way of the locals and residents. This is especially true when the locals or residents are on bicycles. Please do not honk at them or they would turn around and beat you up.

There is a recent case of a Sinkie driver honking at a local resident on his bike. The Sinkie thought it was ok to honk once. But the local resident cyclist was annoyed and turned around, dumped his bicycle on the bonnet of the Sinkie’s car.

You see Sinkies, when you are in a foreign country, this is the kind of things you should expect. When you are in a foreign country, the local resident would bully you and their police and govt would not come to your help. You are very lucky they did not beat you up.

So Sinkies please be very careful when you are a foreigner in a foreign country. I read about this in the news. The couple of Sinkies must count themselves lucky not to be beaten up.

Kopi Level - Blue, Thank you

A return to hard headed policies

Tan Chuan Jin is shaping up nicely in the mould of the first generation ministers, tough and an advocate of hard headed policies. He spoke his mind, like calling the protesters at Hong Lim Park heckling Special Needs Children as vile. Yesterday he spoke again for the need to make tough policies that are necessary to tackle challenges.

Chuan Jin referred particularly to the issue of foreign workers and talents in the country. He said, ‘some are calling for further tightening to protect Singaporeans and their jobs…But this “seemingly pro Singaporean” mindset is but a fallacy.’ How is that so? My guess, the call for tightening of immigrant workers here is actually against the interest of Singaporeans and is not pro Singaporean but anti Singaporean. And the influx of more foreign workers and talents policies are really pro Singaporean, not against Singaporeans. So these policies are the hard headed policies and should continue.

The little problem here is that the people did not see eye to eye with him and the govt. The people are seeing a few million foreigners here and all happily employed but Singaporeans are losing their jobs or under employed. Maybe this is also a fallacy. Maybe the people are really daft and did not know that these millions of foreigners are here for their own good. Read whichever way you like. Would be good if MOM could provide some statistics to show how this is the case.

What is the purpose of the MOM Jobs Bank? Nothing heard of it lately. It was created to help Singaporeans to get jobs, a pro Singaporean creation. How successful is this? Or has MOM found this to be irrelevant as the need for foreign talents and creating jobs for foreigners are more important as they will end up creating more jobs for Singaporeans, especially the PMEs who can now look forward to driving taxis after being retrenched or sacked? Without the demands for taxis by the foreign talents they may not even have the chance to drive taxis.

The Govt knows what is right and good for the people. That is why it is calling for more hard headed policies, like bringing in more foreigners to create more jobs for Singaporeans. This is the hard truth. Singaporeans must face up to the competition and not run away from competition. My suggestion is that if Singaporeans are not competitive here, they should venture out to India, China and neighbouring countries to compete and make themselves relevant in these countries. Tap on the privileges of free trade agreements like the great CECA to get jobs in India and China, and live there for a better quality of life, if they can’t find it here.

What do you think? I think the hard headed policies will triumph and Singaporeans that are uncompetitive only have themselves to blame. Got taxis to drive is better than nothing to do. Forget about the Jobs Bank. That is history, created at a time when the mind was weak. Singaporeans must open their arms to embrace more foreigners, like 6.9m. Singapore need tough leaders and hard headed policies to survive.

Kopi Level - Blue. thank you and thank all the IBs flooding here to top up my kopi level.