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Showing posts from July, 2013

Singles and Singaporeans with Foreign Spouse May Now Buy Direct from HDB (BTO)

Source

But limited to 2-room units in non-mature estate, that's okay, but what I read next was puzzling.

If you are buying a 2-room flat in non-mature estates under the Built-To-Order System (BTO) exercise under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme, Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme and Joint Singles Scheme, you must be at least 35 years old at the time of application.

This kind of regulation baffles me, why 35? Who came up with this magic number? Don't anyone realize that we have to wait for a few years before we can actually move in? Well unless they have ready-built units then fine, buy at 35 move in at 35, but even so, why 35?

If you think about how married couples can buy at the age of 21, or even buy before marriage (Fiance/Fiancee Scheme), then this 35 thing is absolutely rubbish. Aren't we all Singaporeans? What do I lack as compared to them? I did what I'm supposed to do, I am married, I want to have children, the only "problem" is my wife is a foreigner. I do…

Bought Ticket for My Wife to Go Back to Thailand

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She will be leaving on 01 Aug, I know it's kind of rush but no choice because she is supposed to see the Haematologist at SGH on 02 Aug for her INR test as she is now back to Warfarin. The doctor in Thailand who operated on her will only be around on Tuesdays, so I'm trying to make sure she can get back home as soon as possible so she will have enough time to settle down and go see that doctor, and I'm also looking forward to this doctor's opinion.

When my wife did her valve replacement surgery in 2010, the total cost including hospitalization in a 6-bedded room (like our B2 ward) for 12 days is more than 600,000 Thai Baht before any form of subsidy, let's just put it at 700,000 since we are going to compare with today's money.

Yesterday the Cardiologist told me that a valve replacement procedure may cost between 30,000 to 50,000 Singapore Dollars, let's just take 30,000, and as for hospitalization charges, let's just say we stay in a B2 ward, according…

Good News and Bad News at SGH High-Risk Clinic

The good news is, the baby is doing fine.

The bad news is, we have to choose between abortion or keeping the pregnancy but both carries an amount of risk.

Another problem is the massive cost because my wife is a foreigner, it's beyond my financial capability. The following letter that I have prepared for her doctor in Thailand sums it all up.

Dear Srinagarind Hospital Doctor,

Me and my wife have seen the cardiologist (Mdm Tan Ju Le) and gynaecologist (Mr Tan Lay Kok) in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on 29th July 2013.

We have a medical report from the cardiologist specifying her prosthetic valve condition.

This memo contains additional information provided by the doctors during our meeting, and also things that we need to bring to your attention.

According to the cardiologist, my wife is likely to have moderately severe to severe prosthetic valve stenosis. The main concern is whether my wife can survive her pregnancy because there will be increased strain on her heart as her pregnan…

Get Stock Quotes with Yahoo! Query Language (YQL)

Code
<b>Result</b> <div id="yqlResult"></div> <script> // prepare the request var yqlUrl = "http://query.yahooapis.com/v1/public/yql"; // this query will retrieve the Name, Symbol and LastTradePriceOnly for Semb Corp, CDL HTrust and Sheng Siong var yqlQuery = encodeURIComponent("select Name, Symbol, LastTradePriceOnly from yahoo.finance.quote where symbol in ('U96.SI','J85.SI','OV8.SI')"); var format = "json"; var env = encodeURIComponent("store://datatables.org/alltableswithkeys"); var request = yqlUrl + "?q=" + yqlQuery + "&format=" + format + "&env=" + env; // initialize the XMLHttpRequest object var xmlhttp; if (window.XMLHttpRequest) { // for new browsers xmlhttp=new XMLHttpReques…

Regarding First-time Consultation at SGH

Today I learned something that was quite surprising, on my way to SGH with my wife, a lady from the High-Risk Clinic called and reminded us that we have an appointment on Monday and we will be seeing two doctors, a senior Gynaecologist and a senior Cardiologist. She emphasized that the total amount would be S$180+ for first-time consultation, then I was puzzled as we have seen the doctors for quite a few times so I told her that and she said to hold on while she check.

After a while, she told me that for the Cardiologist, it's our first time, so repeat for Gynae and first-time for Cardio, which is 79 + 109 = 188, but that's before GST, with GST would be S$201.16.

Then it all made sense when I made payment for the Haematologist today, I was charged first-time consultation as well, so I'm sure that for every new type of doctor that we see, we will need to pay the first-time fee.

But one good news from the Haematologist is, my wife can go off Heparin after we see him again on…

S$1.7 Million Donated to Marina Bay Sands Casino Instead of Helping the Needy

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An assistant director and a head of department in our anti-corruption agency, he is a man tasked with fighting corruption in Singapore and yet he himself is corrupted. 1.7 Million Singapore dollars can help a lot of needy people, all these are taxpayers' money, how can he allow himself to do it, what a scum.

I always complain when I pay for inflation and income tax but I know ultimately the money will come back to us in different ways so I'm okay with it, but the government should really be more careful with our money, how can one man so easily siphon money out of the agency since 2008 and was only discovered in Sep 2012, I just find it impossible to believe for 3-4 years no one noticed, what happened to their audit?

Either he is versed in magic or everyone in CPIB is sleeping, one man show? We are not talking about stealing money from the petty cash box, we are talking about large figure sums, should be at least 5-figure amount for each transaction, how can he so easil…

Be Careful with Starhub *138# Connecting Tone Service

Today I noticed an additional S$2.00 charged to my wife's mobile line and we have no idea what it is for, but I remember several months back they charged the same thing, I called them up and they waived and cancelled the charge for me. I also told them not to sign me up for it again.

G Premium Services
       Connecting Tones Basic      1Dwlds      $2.0000

I called Starhub customer service again and they told me it's a service whereby all callers to the number will get to listen to some music, I asked the staff why my wife's number was signed up again when she didn't do anything, the staff said maybe we re-contracted but I told him that was quite a while back (about 8 months back), but anyway he waived and cancelled the charge for me.

Then I wondered why I don't get auto-subscribed since I'm also using a Starhub mobile line, so I checked up on the service and found some information here, there are actually 4 ways to subscribe to the service,

How do I subscribe to …

Urging Singapore Government to Review Medisave Coverage

I posted this in REACH, hope it will get their attention...

My wife is currently 11 weeks pregnant, she is a foreigner and she has a high-risk pregnancy. We have so far spent slightly over $2000 as pregnancy costs; consultation, ultrascan, cardiography, heparin, anti-xa assay and etc.

Currently, we are only allowed to claim up to $450 for pre-delivery expenses, but as you can see, I have already spent far more than that, and this $450 can only be claimed provided the baby is delivered, quoting from MOH FAQ:

Can  I claim Medisave for my pre-delivery medical expenses before i deliver?

You may claim Medisave for your pre-delivery medical expenses only when claimed together with your delivery. You should retain the bills incurred for  pre-delivery medical care and present them to the hospital where the delivery takes place. The hospital will submit these bills, together with the delivery expenses, for Medisave claims under the Medisave Maternity Package.

I just checked my Medisave and I ha…

Youths Insist Minimum S$10 Donation but Flees when Cops Arrive

STOMP - Singapore Seen - Youths insist on minimum $10 donation -- then flee when cops arrive

Now that's really curious, why would they flee if they are doing it for charity? What are they afraid of? This reminds me of this tattooed guy soliciting donations at Tampines MRT station, not that I have a problem with tattooed persons but this guy is not even displaying his collection pass, he only shows a laminated card with pictures of children in need and asked people to donate. Something is really fishy about him, usually he will take a puff before going around to ask for donations, it just doesn't leave a good impression, a smoker asking people to donate to kids? Not that a smoker cannot do good, but smoking and charity don't go together, period.

Anyway, I never donate to these collectors on the streets, if I really want to help, I would volunteer my time to any charity organization, blindly giving money is not helping, I really don't know where the money will end up, fu…

GST Voucher - Cash Should be Based on Per Capita Household Income

This would extend more help to those with children because Singaporeans under the age of 21 are not eligible for the cash component, and most Singaporeans that age are usually studying or serving national service, or even if they work part-time, there's also a limit to how much they can contribute to the family.

It will benefit families with kids, like my co-worker, he has 3 kids under the age of 21, I'm not sure whether his wife is working or whether she is eligible for the cash component but he for sure is not eligible because his assessable income is over the limit of S$24000.

If I make a wild guess, let's say his total monthly household income is S$5000 and divided by 5 would be S$1000 per capita. As for me, my total monthly household income is S$3480 and divided by me and my wife would be S$1740, so actually I'm having an easier time than him. It's ok for me to not get the cash component since we obviously still can manage but as for him, he has a tougher time…

Vietnamese Lady Entered Sham Marriage to be with Married Singaporean Man

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SINGAPORE: A Vietnamese woman and a Singaporean man have become the first couple to be prosecuted under a new law aimed at deterring marriages of convenience.

31-year-old Vietnamese, Tran Thi Kim Phuong, met a Singaporean man in 2009 while on holiday in Singapore and they were said to have fallen in love.

But the man was already married.

Between 2009 and 2011, Tran travelled to Singapore to be with him.

Desperate to stay in Singapore to be with the married Singaporean, Tran agreed to enter into a marriage of convenience with another man - 47-year-old Singaporean Theong Peng Nyuk.

Theong was promised a sum of S$5,000 and S$300 for every successful visit pass extension he helped to sponsor.

The couple subsequently "registered" their marriage on 31 January 2013.

After the solemnisation, they went their separate ways.

The couple would only meet up at the ICA Building when Tran needed to extend her Visit Pass.

Unknown to them, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers h…

Blogger Dynamic Views Generates More Page Views

Yeah, but that doesn't mean I have more traffic, no wonder after I switched to my Simple template, I noticed a sharp drop in page views, actually it's just the way Dynamic views records page views.

According to this Blogger Help post,

If you enable Dynamic Views for your blog, you might notice an increase in pageviews. The reason for this is that Dynamic Views provides more specific information about actions on your blog. Specifically, every click to a post is recorded as a pageview. If a reader clicks on 10 posts, you’ll see those clicks recorded as 10 pageviews. In a traditional Blogger template, if a reader enters your blog once, they can scroll through ten blog posts in a single pageview. So while it may appear that traffic to your blog has increased, it's more likely that Blogger is simply recording more accurate data about your blog than was possible in the past.

That means if a visitor clicks on 10 posts, the Dynamic view records 10 page views while in a normal templ…

WTF Low-Key In-Camp Training Again

It was originally scheduled for 10 days but suddenly they sent a letter to inform me that it has been changed to 6 days, it really pissed me off and I immediately emailed my unit since their line is not available during weekend, but I can't wait so I called 1800-3676767 to ask them why did my unit suddenly change the schedule, and also why do they keep putting me on low-key training, the guy on the line is also an NSman so he can totally understand how I feel, and I realized that there's not much he can do because he will also need to forward my enquiry to my unit, but well, it's good that someone is following up for me.

This made me check my NS Booklet and do some research on the definition of low and high key trainings, and also when I can MR (Mindef Reserve).

I found two pages that cleared my doubts, but their definition of Low-Key Training doesn't seem to tally on both pages.

Page 1

The duration of your call-up may be as follows:

1. Low Key (LK) Training and Make-Up T…

New Blogger Makes it Easy to Add Google Analytics

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Wanted to add more tracking to my blog as I found the tracking that comes with Blogger doesn't seem to provide enough information, yeah it has the basic but I wanted more.

I remember last time I tried using Google Analytics (GA), it was quite troublesome as I had to paste the tracking code on every page, if it's not on the page, it won't track that page, so if I have 100 pages, I have to make sure every page has it. Well, I could always use an include file or something similar, but provided I remember to include the file on that page.

Anyway, coming back to GA after a few years, and using Blogger, it's so much easier now. So how to add GA to Blogger?

First of all, obviously you need a Blogger and a GA account, so go create, by the way, this guide is meant for the new blogger interface and using the new template, I'm not sure of how to add GA to the old interface and classic templates so don't ask me.

So once you have your GA account, just click on the Admin bu…

Been Messing Around with Blogger Look and Feel

So what do you think of my new design, cool?

I didn't do anything fancy, just changing the colors and text to make everything look clearer because a totally white background is too bright for me, but I'm not sure if people like it. Now I'm making it all black and darker, I hope people like it.

If you have any suggestions, please drop me a comment.

How Much Ang Bao to Give?

My long-time friend is getting married soon and this question keeps haunting me, I read up quite a lot of related forum posts and articles, seems like the consensus is to give enough to cover the cost of one person e.g. if the table costs S$1000, you give S$100 minimum. If close friend, give more, some people suggest 50% more.

So in my case, my friend's table costs S$1500 and I'm going with my wife and my parents. My parents can only afford S$75 each, that means I have to prepare S$150 for my wife and S$150 for my parents. As for myself, I have to prepare S$150 + 50% = S$225, so S$300 + S$225 is S$525. WAH... That's going to burn a big hole in my pocket.

Sigh, my wife is not working, my mom is not working too, my father is low-income earner, sigh... what to do... Or maybe I'll take one big red packet, put my parents' S$150 + my S$358 to make it S$508, at least it looks nicer, even though it doesn't cover the costs... But he is my long-time friend, I should at l…

Old Man Outside the Train Station

Today I was on my way to work and as usual, I would take a puff before I enter the station, there was this old man, he approached me with a smile, I knew for sure he wanted something from me, strangers don't usually approach with a smile, he was smoking too, his cigarette was more high class than mine; I am smoking the cheap hand-rolled type. I was immediately alerted at that moment, if he was going to ask for money, straight no.

Indeed he was trying to ask for money but he started by saying he is not doing well and he didn't have a decent meal for days and all he wanted was just some money for tea. I told him I'm not doing well too, everything is expensive, I was expecting him to get pissed off and walk away but he smiled and said how can I be more worse off than him. So I asked whether he has a job and he said he has been trying to find one for a long time but he always got rejected due to his age, according to him, he is 65 years old. He said once a person reaches 55, i…

5000 Singapore Dollars for Investing Plus S$100 a Month?

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Why not, I started with exactly S$5000 in November 2012, right now, I have put in S$12735.40 in capital, current return is 3.89%, and it's not even a year, no matter how you look at it, it's still better than leaving it in the bank or buying some stupid investment-linked insurance policy.

If you read the forum posts, look at this part posted by this Dividends Warrior,

Never mix investment with insurance.

Investment is investment.

Insurance is insurance.

My advise. Invest in REITs. With $5000, you can buy:

- 3 lots of Mapletree Industrial Trust (6.6% yield)
or
- 4 lots of First REIT (5.2% yield)
or
- 5 lots of Starhill Global REIT (5% yield)


The red part is the key, most people who signed up for investment-linked insurance ended regretting it, but of course it all depends on how much you think is regrettable, after all everybody has varying levels of risk tolerance.

I remember long time ago, NTUC offered me such a plan, they said I can get up to 3.75% return, let me repeat, I can…

Kurt Tay Spent S$4000 on Breast Enlargement... What?!?

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Source

Actually I didn't know about him until I saw that video of him singing "Nong Nong Ago" in Singapore Idol audition, and that was a few months back.


Anyway I thought he was a gutsy person, maybe with more practice he could do better, but I think the problem is his tongue, seems to be hindering his pronunciation, that aside, he's got the guts to go on TV with that standard, no serious, if it was me, I don't think I would even dare to sing to myself, not to mention in front of the nation, singing 0/5, guts 5/5.

This news of him going for the breast augmentation was shocking, I saw his YouTube videos yesterday and I thought it was all a joke, you know, like Steven Lim, he can get crazy sometimes but at the end of each video, I know it's just a show for entertainment, but this boob job, and the news, it's all real, the boob job in Bangkok, C-cup some more... It's beyond comprehension. I wonder what Steven Lim has to say about this.

According to the n…

Bride Questioned Guest for Giving S$100 Ang Bao

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"Last weekend I attended a wedding of a not-close friend with my boyfriend and as a gift we gave $100 cash. This was generous considering my financial situation. I just finished university with $40,000 in student loans, and have only found part time (12-18 hrs per week) minimum wage work. I gave as much as I could and attended to show my support.

"Today I received a rude and condescending message from the bride via Facebook messenger:

"'Hi Tanya, how are you? I just want to know is there any reason or dissatisfaction of Mike's and I wedding that both you and Phil gave 50$ each? In terms of the amount we got from you both was very unexpected as a result we were very much short on paying off the reception because just for the cocktail + reception alone the plate per person is 200$ (as per a normal wedding range with open bar is about) and Mike and I both have already paid for everything else including decor, photography, attire etc and didn't expect we ha…

Money Stolen from DBS Bank Account Via PayPal

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Source

Based on her article, Chanise seems to be holding on to a Debit Card from DBS and she has an iBanking account so there should be Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for any transaction made. But the problem is that for transaction made through PayPal, there isn't any 2FA. Anybody can add a new debit/credit card in PayPal and start using it for payment. You may argue that there is a sending limit if the PayPal account is unverified, that's true, but confirming your debit/credit card in PayPal is not the only way to get verified; you can also add a bank account to get verified status hence removing all limits.

And also for the limit, according to this FAQ, the sending limit (buying limit) for unverified account is USD2000,


That means an attacker can steal up to USD2000 before hitting the limit.

So what exactly happened in Chanise case?

Hence I rushed back home immediately to login to my ibanking account and found out that there were 2 pending transactions made to AirAsia of am…

What a Despicable Human Trash

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Source
http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Crime/Story/A1Story20130711-436456.htmlhttp://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/this_urban_jungle/1862492/man_accused_of_raping_16yearold_student_after_posing_as_cop.htmlhttp://therealsingapore.com/content/man-accused-raping-teen-says-girl-offered-him-sex-200

I'm not talking about the 20 year old boyfriend, I'm talking about this guy who posed as a police officer and raped a 16 year old girl. Remember this name Sivakumar Selvarajah and remember this face.


You might think that I'm only reading one side of the story but if you read the 3rd link, you will realize why I'm angry.

At the last few paragraphs,

He (Sivakumar) then approached the car with the girl and her boyfriend because he saw something being thrown out of the rear window. He told the boyfriend to step out of the car to ask him about the litter. He also asked the couple for their identity cards and where they lived. When he caught the girl out for lying…

Why Do Singaporeans Have to Fear That Their Foreign Spouse Might Not Be Able to Stay?

I've been thinking about this question a lot lately, there are thousands of LTVP applications rejected yearly and our fear is not without reason, and from what I know, it's usually because of income, but how much is enough?

Just think about this, if the foreign spouse is not able to stay in Singapore and has to stay in his/her homeland, I think it really puts a strain on their relationship and it also puts a strain to both of them financially as they have to travel in order to be together.

But in the first place, if it's due to income, then why allow them to marry? Why let them marry and then break them up? If stopping them from marriage is a violation of human rights, then how about stopping a married couple from being together?

It's not as if the foreign spouse cannot find employment in Singapore to increase their household income.

And foreigners with high salary can easily get a PR, but Singaporeans with low income have to be afraid.

Just Upgraded My Starhub Internet Connection to 100Mbps

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And it's blazing fast, so fast that I don't feel anything, getting used to the speed already. My last connection was their obsolete 50Mbps plan and that one is already extremely fast. Anyway I upgraded because they got a hubber promotion which is overall about S$15 cheaper than my existing hubber promotion, and my contract is ending this month. It's cheaper and faster!


Gordon Ramsay Can Cook Singapore Chilli Crab (LOL)

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He is not just "can cook", his chilli crab even beat a dish from our local Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, now that's quite a feat. But for him to cook a local dish, and a spicy one, that's unimaginable, I always thought westerners cannot eat spicy food, not to mention cooking spicy food, he changed my mind.

Save and Invest is Not, and Should Not be Limited to Rich Singaporeans

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Everybody should save and invest, not just the rich, and one has to balance earning, spending, saving and investing in order to survive the ever-rising prices in Singapore. Most people around me take it easy, but it's because they are still single but once they get married and have children, the weight of inflation will land hard on their shoulders.

I think most people should be doing fine with the earning part, be it through employed or self-employed, it's just a matter of how much each person earns but that's another topic. The most crucial part is spending, some people simply cannot get out of debt because they spend more than they can earn.

The rule is very simple, if you have the money, buy it, or else, forget it. I know purchasing with installment plans sounds like a good idea, but provided the interest rate is 0%, anything higher you might as well just save the money and buy later. Why pay more to buy now when you can pay less if you buy later, especially whe…

Damn, Got the Notice to Pay Income Tax

I thought I don't have to pay for this year and to my horror, I received a letter from IRAS telling me to pay up by Aug, shit, it's slightly over S$300 even after a 30% discount. And while panicking, I checked my payment notice for last year and realized that I received the notice also in Jul, I must have confused and led myself into believing that I don't have to pay...

That part where they say, "Thank you for your contribution towards nation building", really annoying, collect money then thank me, I serve NS never thank me, oh wait, they gave me an S$80 Safra Voucher and a Safra Membership card that I will probably never use, hahaha... life sucks huh.

Google Chrome Still Freezes On a Daily Basis

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I made a post saying that it was fixed but actually it still happens every day after I applied the fix, just that I didn't really test it out thoroughly and I got so fed up that I switched to Firefox. To be honest, Firefox just isn't as fast as Chrome, the speed difference and smoothness are miles apart. The other problem with Firefox is the screen tearing, it's very obvious when scrolling long pages, not a big problem but it bugs me sometimes.

So recently I did a clean re-installation of my Windows 7 64-bit, just wanted to start anew, clear away the junk, and I thought it was a good time to go back to using Chrome,  I thought the freezing would be gone since everything is new, but to my disappointment, it still happens. I'm using Windows 7 32-bit at work, and it runs perfectly, no problem at all and it struck me that the problem could have something to do with my 64-bit OS, so I did a search based on that and found this.

Those guys were having similar problem in Windo…

Useful Information Before Applying for Long-Term Visit Pass

Summary
Number of marriages between Singapore citizen and foreigner is increasing.

Factors considered when applying for Long-Term Visit Pass, Permanent Residency and Citizenship:
Sponsor's occupation.Sponsor's income.Foreign Spouse's education level; degree holders have better chance.Children.Good conduct.Ability to contribute to society. Those who earn below S$1500 a month (referring to sponsor) usually have a harder time to get their application approved.

Summary A 34 years old Singaporean man Mr. Leo, managed to obtain PR for his wife from China in less than one year after their marriage in Nov 2011, but he has not forgotten about his fellow Singaporeans with foreign spouse, following was what he said:
If the couple is truly in love, really married, they should let them (foreign spouse) come, rather than send one overseas, every month have to go there or what, it's very tiring, yeah, in the end we also will move over there, we also will give up Singapore citizenship.
Su…

Mob Bullying a MacDonald's Employee Over Hello Kitty

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Based on what I understand from the video, seems like those men and a girl were offered 2 soft toys instead of 4 per person, they also claimed that they queued overnight, so? Does that give them the right to talk down to another person? Furthermore, that lady is merely an employee, she's just working for the company i.e. McDonald's, if they are not happy with the offer, and if they feel that they are not getting the justice that they think they deserved, they could always bring it up to McDonald's HQ, it's just an email or phone call away, what's the point of making things difficult for the employee?

Nobody forced them to queue overnight for some stupid soft toys, these idiots don't deserve anything, they are a disgrace, they even have the cheek to threaten to bring in the media, what are they going to show? Show the nation or maybe even show the world how stupid and ugly Singaporeans are? These losers should just stay out of sight so they can stop embar…

My Wife Almost Won 4D First and Second Prize

Following is today's 4D results.

Draw No: 3502
Wed 03 Jul 13
1st Prize11192nd Prize19293rd Prize4477Starter Prizes1332174423593647488350466459836497429969Consolation Prizes0632354746605364556858516395651487839252
My wife bought 7 similar numbers, she could have bought iBet instead... anyway, of the 7 numbers, there are 1191 and 1939, she said she was thinking of buying 1119 but she marked wrongly and bought 0911 twice instead.

That was really close, imagine winning both the first and second prize. Oh, she also bought S$2 of Toto for tomorrow's draw, I am now very curious what will happen... some people say pregnant women brings luck, we'll see how true that is.