Showing posts from 2012

Long-Term Visit Pass IRAS/CPF Statement


Not sure when it was updated but from now onwards, when applying or renewing Long-Term Visit Pass, the sponsor can choose to sign a form to allow ICA to obtain sponsor's Income Tax and Central Provident Fund information so that the sponsor don't have to print out and bring along both.
"Local sponsor's Income Tax Notice of Assessment for the last 3 years and CPF Statement showing monthly CPF contribution for the last 12 months. Alternatively, the sponsor may choose to complete Appendix VP to give consent for ICA to obtain and verify financial information provided in respect of this application with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) directly instead."

Decisive Call By Mr. Obama


It sure took a lot of time for the republicans and democrats to work on a best package but unfortunately, until now, they still cannot fully agree with each other. But I'm glad Mr. Obama called for a stop-gap measure, yeah damn right, it's late already, these politicians should just think of the bigger picture for now, there is no way they should ever allow their country to blindly walk over that cliff.
"There is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these Americans from a tax hike. At the very least, let's agree right now on what we already agree on. Let's get that done," the president said. That's why I like Obama.

Food Paradise Series on YouTube


Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #4 - Don't Spend More Than You Earn

I have this relative whose gross salary is close to S$4000, after CPF deduction, he takes home about S$3000+. He owes money to a few banks, totaling more than S$50000, all credit card debts.

I have no idea how he managed to chuck up all that debt, right now, Credit Counselling Singapore is trying to help him negotiate with the banks on installment repayments at a lower interest, I hope one of those banks will help him.

And if one of the banks does help, what I understand from him is he will need to pay about S$700 a month, for 8 years.

As for me, I don't think I will ever get a credit card, I still prefer to spend whatever amount there is in my bank account.

No money? Don't buy, it's that simple, I can't imagine myself slogging 8 years just to pay that kind of money.

And actually that relative didn't even know that there is such an agency in Singapore that provide advise and assistance on credit card debt, so another purpose of this post is to create awareness, if …

Funny Internet #1


Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #3 - Don't Keep Your Money in Your Drawer

As a matter of fact, I used to do that as a teenager. I would dump whatever spare cash I have into my drawer and when I have free time, I would count my money. You see the problem? The amount of money in my drawer will never grow unless I continue to dump my spare cash. So let's say I have 1000 dollars inside and I decided to stop dumping money, and after 10 years, it's still 1000 dollars, now the question is, how much is my 1000 dollars worth after a decade?

If you factor in Singapore's Annual Inflation Rate, that same 1000 dollars would have become "smaller" i.e. I need to pay more than 1000 dollars to buy what I could have bought with the same amount of money 10 years ago.

So think about it, have you found a better place to keep your money?

Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #2 - Take Public Transport

I think having a car is convenient most of the time, especially when there's a need to carry stuff or people, or to certain places where public transport is not easily accessible.

But the biggest problem with owning a car is the total cost of ownership, the monthly expenses is already quite a substantial amount. Just imagine how much you can save by converting to public transport.

Well, I have a colleague who has fully paid up his car loan, but he still spends slightly over 1000 Singapore dollars a month on his car, I think he would spend less than 1/10 of that if he converts to public transport, and the other 9/10, he can use it to increase his investment portfolio.

What I think is, Singapore is not a very big place, nowadays, our public transport is getting better, more connected, to more places, at higher frequency, worse comes to worst, one can always book a taxi, and it's just a call away. To be honest, I only take public transport for long distances, the rest I just walk…

Exercising Financial Prudence Tip #1 - Use a Cheap Phone

I'm currently using a Nokia 1280, and I bought it for 30 Singapore dollars at a neighbourhood shop. There are shops in People's Park Centre selling for 26.80, so for those interested, you might want to check it out.

It's a basic phone, cheap and useful, and there are two outstanding features:
1. Torchlight - press center pad up twice to switch on, up once to switch off.
2. Speaking alarm - set a time, when alarm goes off, phone tells you the time.

And one other thing I like about this phone, it's durable, doesn't stop my heart when I drop it, I know it won't break ;)

In Singapore, I think most people sign up for a mobile subscription plan, the contract requires one to stay on that plan for 2 years and for your commitment, telcos will offer mobile phones at a much lower rate. So for me, I get a plan that suits me, and I get a phone with a high market value and sell it brand new, or I get a phone at 0 dollars.

If you want to save even more, consider using pre-pai…

Withdraw Money from PayPal to POSB Account

Country: Singapore Name on account: This must be exactly the same as the name under your POSB account, the name order must also be the same e.g. Tan Ah Kow, not Ah Kow Tan, if order is wrong, click Switch name order. Bank Name: DBS Bank Ltd Account Type: Whichever you wish, if not sure, check your booklet, usually is savings account. Current account is usually used for issuing cheques. Bank Code: 7171 Branch Code: 081 Account Number: POSB account is 9 digit, exclude the dash, put only numbers.

Budget Airline Excess Baggage Charge (Special Rate)

This morning I went to the airport with my wife because it's that day of the year again, when she will return home to visit her family, and eat all her favourite food, papaya salad, fried ants, yeah. According to a neighbour in her home town, those are the top two delicacies of northern Thailand. The first one is arguably okay for me, but I just can't bring myself to try the last dish.

And so we were well aware that her checked luggage was over the 25KG allowance that we purchased during booking, and it's a total of 7KG over the limit, and we just wanted to try our luck and see if we could get through without paying, but before I continue, I just want to emphasize that the point of this post is not to get anyone into trouble.

The lady at the counter told us to put our checked luggage on the weighing machine and the overweight came at no surprise. She told us there would be a charge of 20 Singapore dollars for each extra KG over the allowance and the total charge was 140 Si…

How to Pronounce Suvarnabhumi?

When me and my wife were discussing whether she would like to go Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airport...

Me: So you want SU VAARR NUB HU MI (slowly read out loud) airport?
Wife: (laughs) SU WARR NA POOM.
Me: Why POOM?
Wife: Thais say SU WARR  NA POOM.
Me: Ok...

Now I know why that taxi driver in Bangkok gave me that weird look when I told him to go SU VAARR NUB HU MI, and why my wife chuckled in a corner...

Airline Currency Conversion VS Bank Currency Conversion

Yesterday I bought a Tiger Airways ticket for my wife, flying from Thailand to Singapore and at the payment section, I noticed that there is an option to pay in Singapore dollars; usually when I buy from Thailand to Singapore, I pay in Thai Baht and then my bank will do the conversion and charge me in Singapore dollars.

So I did a quick search on Google using 2615 thb to sgd and the result is about 103 Singapore dollars. Obviously I should continue to pay in Thai Baht, so I did and here's what my bank statement shows:

But do note that 102.90 is not confirm as it's still pending settlement. When the bank finally charges, they will use as of that day's conversion value, so the final amount that they charge could be slightly higher or lower, but I'm sure it will still be much lower than what Tiger Airways is charging.

So make sure you do a quick check, unless you don't mind donating money to Tiger Airways.

UPDATE: I just checked and the charge has been settled at 106.…

Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang?

As you will know by now, some budget airlines will be relocated to the old Bangkok airport i.e. Don Mueang International Airport.

When buying ticket, bet you will wonder which airline fly to which airport.

No worries, I'm sure you've seen the code BKK, and you probably know BKK means Bangkok, you are quite right.

BKK is also a 3 character airport code, see here,
BKK = Suvarnabhumi Airport (New Bangkok International Airport)

So what about Don Mueang? See here,
DMK = Don Mueang International Airport

So make sure you know where you are going before you buy that ticket!

Anyway, they are not incredibly far apart, check this out.

A leader's job is not to provide answers?

Then what is a leader's job?
If we give answers, will the government listen?
And if we are supposed to give the answers, then vote you in for what?
We pay tax for your salary for what?
Shocked, disappointed and disgusted.

Pay Singapore Income Tax via POSB iBanking

You can choose to pay either referencing TAX REF NO. or PYMT VOUCHER NO.,

For TAX REF NO., actually it's your NRIC,

For PYMT VOUCHER NO. (you have to get this number from,

For my case, took two days for Account Summary to be updated. Very convenient.

Get Rick Quick Playing Diablo 3

It depends on how one defines rich, but by my standard, I can't get rich by playing Diablo 3.

I have been playing since launch on 15 May but I'm no hardcore player. I played for a total of about 300 hours from all my characters combined, farmed up quite a bit of items to sell on the RMAH but as you can see here, I'm not earning much. Over the course of 20 days of selling, I made 191.56 Singapore Dollars (less 6 SGD; 2x$3 refunds for confirming paypal account info), which works out to about $9.55 per day. It's not much because my job actually pays me way more than that.

For a entertainment product, I think I got more than what I paid for. Just want to say this, just play this game as a game, don't play it for the sake of making money, the amount of time invested just doesn't make any sense.

As I have always said to in-game players, good luck and have fun!

Diablo 3 RMAH Profit


Lady on The River

In the middle of a river, the water still.
Where is this place, no one knows.
Resting on the boat, she looks at him.
Her skin is fair, and her lips are red.
She smiles faintly, and she seems happy.
Who is the man with her, just who is he...

Game Maker

There was a little boy who loved playing games so much that whenever his friends have a new game, he would run to them and join in. He would play card games, he would play board games, he would play video games, and he would play any games all day long.

One day he said to himself, “I’m going to become a game maker when I grow up and make the funnest games ever!” but he’s not sure how he can become a game maker and he asked the richest kid he knew, and so he asked Jim, “How do i become a game maker?” and Jim said, “My dad buys me all the games I want, I don’t need to know that.”

The little boy didn’t get the the answer that he needed and he asked the smartest kid he knew, and so he asked Eddy, “How do i become a game maker?” and Eddy said, “My dad buys me a new game whenever I do well in school, I don’t need to know that.”

Again, he didn’t get the answer that he needed and he asked everyone that he knew but no one gave him the answer, and so, he stopped asking.

Many years later into h…

Diablo III Open Beta Weekend

If you are not aware, and you love Diablo games, and you have mysteriously stumbled upon this page after a busy day, please go to this webpage and download a game client. Blizzard, the creator of the Diablo series is now offering a Diablo III Open Beta Weekend.

It's open to everyone.

What you need is simply a account but if you don't have one, just create one at their site. And you'll also need to create a BattleTag after you have your account, very easy.

But as of the posting of this article, you can't login to play yet. You can only start playing on 20 Apr 12:01 PM PDT and the open beta ends on 23 Apr 10:00 AM PDT.

PDT = Pacific Daylight Time

No worries if you are not sure how to convert or know what the heck PDT is, just go to this webpage, look at the section on the right.

About 5 hours more... to play... Diablo III.

Genting Highlands Trip 01 Apr 2012 - 06 Apr 2012


On 01 Apr, our 7.30am coach was slightly late as there were too many coaches competing for the tight parking space beside Golden Mile Complex. We finally boarded at about 7.40am and it was a quite a quick boarding since everyone was already waiting and we left at about 7.50am.

Our coach was Sri Maju Group SVIP 24 seater, and I purchased at The ticket price was 30 SGD plus 3 SGD surcharge and 2 SGD convenience fee, so total cost of one ticket was 35 SGD.

When we were about to reach Singapore customs, we were told to leave our belongings on the coach and bring only valuables and passport for clearance. At Malaysia customs, we had to bring everything to crossover. For our return trip, it's the other way round, leave everything onboard at Malaysia customs, and bring everything to crossover back to Singapore. Just to share, if anyone is wondering.

The entire ride was fine and I must emphasize that they have comfortable seats. They had an LCD TV onboard and I tho…

HDB Resale Flats - Public or Private Housing?

I think HDB has to be honest and reveal their master plan for resale HDB flat. Looking at the direction that resale flat is going, makes me wonder if one day they will decide to simply privatize resale flats. Just take away the subsidies and regulations and they can turn resale flats into condominiums. Who knows, maybe residents can setup their own management community, build swimming pools right below the block, put up fences and hire a few Ah Neh security guards to protect the block.

It's an obvious contradiction here, is resale flat supposed to be public housing or private housing? It's a public housing that can be sold like a private housing, seller can set any price they wish. Market valuation is pointless to a buyer since there is COV, actually also pointless for the seller since they can set whatever amount they wish.

If they still wish to refer to resale flat as public housing, I would expect HDB to do away with COV and strictly allow sales to proceed with ONLY valuati…

What is The Point of COV When There Already is Market Valuation?

This question was posted at REACH on 28 Mar 2012, 10.39AM

What does market valuation of a resale flat do? Surveyors determine the market price of a resale flat by factors such as location of the block, surrounding amenities, level of the flat, interior condition of the flat and special features inside/outside the flat.

Seller A asks for COV because he has renovated his flat and he has built a bar counter in his flat.

Have the above been covered by market valuation?

Seller B asks for COV because his flat location is good, near to MRT, near to bus interchange, schools, shopping malls and plenty of coffeeshops.

Have the above been covered by market valuation?

Seller C asks for COV because his flat is at the top floor of the block, with incredible view.

Have the above been covered by market valuation?

Then what is the point of market valuation if COV serves to do what it already is doing?

How can HDB allow such a contradiction?

This is one reason why HDB resale flat is becoming more expen…

Condolences to Madam Samai Chatthahan and Family of Mr. Lim Wei Kwan, Jason

I only learned about the whole story today and I feel shocked, and very sad for the family but I'm glad that help has been swiftly offered by NTUC and MCYS, and also very glad that Mr. Lim's eldest son, young Mr. Lim Itthiphat has finally obtained his citizenship after 10 long years of trying. My heart feels heavy when I realized that the late Mr. Lim is unable to share the happiness with his family, but I'm sure he will be happy now, wherever he is.

Now that I think back, let's look at the new LTVP+. One of the eligibility criteria is that a foreign widow of a Singaporean is allowed to apply, provided she has a Singaporean child. Doesn't that ring a bell? The incident happened around mid Dec 2011, and ICA is introducing the new pass on 01 Apr 2012. I also understand that the late Mr. Lim tried applying for permanent residency for Madam Samai, 3 times but was all rejected.

With the introduction of the new pass, Madam Samai will be eligible for LTVP+ and that means …

Long-Term Visit Pass - Plus (LTVP-PLUS)

Good news for those of us who cannot get PR for our beloved spouse, because the Singapore government has come up with a enhanced long-term visit pass called LTVP-PLUS or LTVP+. I'll sum up the key points in the FAQ provided by ICA so you don't have to go through one big page.

Do let me know if I missed out anything or correction is required by dropping a comment.

GENERAL LTVP+ will be in effect from 01 Apr 2012.LTVP+ holders will enjoy extended duration of residency, public healthcare subsidies and easier access to employment.No separate application required for LTVP+; an application for LTVP will automatically include your spouse for LTVP+, if eligible.LTVP applications submitted from 01 Feb 2012 will automatically be considered for LTVP+.The first approved LTVP+ will grant 3 years residency and subsequent renewal will be 5 years.Current holders of LTVP will be considered for LTVP+ on next renewal. If holders of LTVP wishes to …

Homestay in Malacca

I recommend these two places because the owners are very nice people (and I mean really really nice), and they charge reasonably. If any doubt, just tell them and they'll be glad to help, I think that's the most important thing when one is abroad, you have hearty people willing to help, to enlighten, so you can really have fun and enjoy the trip.

Homestay 1 @ Jalan Angkasa Nuri
DT 1562, Jalan Angkasa Nuri,
Taman Angkasa Nuri,
Durian Tunggal, Melaka.

Homestay 2 @ Jalan Taman Kota Laksamana
7A, (TKT 1) Jalan TKL 10,
Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka.

If interested, please contact
Cassie Chan - 012-6185628
Candy Chan - 017-3320728
Mr Chan - 016-2094593
Email -
Facebook - cassiebiz