Archive for the ‘Columns’ Category

If Buy Car for CNY, Buy Diesel or Hybrid, Got CEVS Discount Mah!

November 13, 2012

When 1 January 2013 come, newly registered cars with lower carbon emissions got up to $20,000 discount off… chope, the ARF, not full price. Wah! But ah, from 1 July, new cars with higher carbon emissions would kena a tax of up to $20,000. Piangz!

The Green Vehicle Rebate system would close shop liao when this new Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) open car. Now Cat A COE at $77,201 and Cat B at $92,400! KNN Who will buy new car now! Oni those towkay or ah sia kia, those desperate need it for work or family or those damn stupid. $92,400 to burn on a piece of paper called COE?  Might as well burn as hell money make hungry Japanese soldier ghost happy and gives me winning 4D so I can be as rich as a minister. Or I takes money invest in junk bonds which are sibeh hot now more worth it!

But hor, this CEVS is a good thing to hedge any COE increase if die die want to buy car before CNY. If you buy low carbon emission chia like Prius C 1.5, about $145,000 , rebate can be up to $20,000 or more than 10% discount! But must read fine print – the $20,000 discount is for ARF nia and some more got min $5,000 ARF. In the end, gahmen never give real freebies one an always got catch! Eye must open besar besar dua dua. Anyway, Borneo actually say hor cheaper to buy Prius now under Green Vehicle Rebate compared to CEVS time.

So if you really mati mati max benefit from CEVS when buy low carbon emission car, make sure the ARF is smelly smelly $25,000 and got $20,000 CEVS – not that many liao the choices for Cat A cars. The other factor is not go for hybrids, but for diesel which oso got lower carbon emissions and got chance to take the CEVS discount of up to $20,000.

The tax now for Euro V diesel cars is $1.25/cc. Chop! Carrot head! But from 1 January 2013, the new diesel tax is $0.40/cc, ormost like 66% discount sial, but subject to min $400 diesel tax. Tax almost the same as petrol cars liao like that. Now 1.6 diesel must pay $2,000 /yr, but after January is oni $640/yr. Best lah like that!

Volkswagen early ready liao and would launch diesel versions for its cars.  Today oso did comparisons and Jetta petrol version is more expensive than diesel version. Not too sure exactly abt Today’s calculations as ARF for Jetta is abt $19,000 now and CEVS rebate is worth $15,000, so still must come up with $5,000 as that is the min ARF. Oso as diesel is cheaper than petrol when pump car, in long run can be cheaper. Maintanance of diesel car like cheaper and Ubi workshop can do compared to hybrid. But hybrid like more sart and modern, and quiet, not so malu don’t sound like taxi for those who care abt such things.

So talk here talk there what it means? Aiyah, if stubborn want to buy new shiny car now yaya before CNY as MRT often spoil, bus crowded and public transport CMI, quickly take advantage of coming CEVS regime when it just start as people still will wait and see. Gar gar lai and buy! December get ready to buy car liao before more people know about CEVS and drive up demands for COE. Look for diesel or hybrid. Diesel macam more worth as not oni “cheaper” at start as got CEVS, maintenance and running of car also cheaper. Just remember that CEVS is offset ARF and got min $5,000 ARF and it is not big discount off the overall price of car can liao.

A Summary of WP Speeches Last Night (for the lazy asses, almost like Cliffs Notes)

May 23, 2012

Here you go, a brutal cut of WP rally speeches last night, when it rained. A spread of topics, from local to national, to addressing criticisms of party dynamics, to meet the various expectations of various audience in Singapore and Hougang.

 

Similar themes as Saturday’s gig – vote for WP to preserve Hougang as a SMC and opposition ward, the last of its kind since the fall of Anson and Potong Pasir. Literally “preserve” as no PAP upgrading for Hougang if it remained in WP hands. Some policies were weakly mentioned – singles buying HDB and the adjustment of foreign workers by industry. So idiot xenophobes out there, the WP is not for you as WP is also sensible enough to know that certain sectors depend on foreign workers. Personally, the speeches which touched on national issues interested me more as I’m not a Hougang voter. WP has a difficult job of pitching the right message to the right audience in a rally setting, so no big deal.

 

Did WP give a better performance? IMHO still the same, although the rain helped. The downpour gave a dramatic flourish to the rally – they stayed on to rally, and people stayed on to be rallied and be drenched. The problem was that the curious, cynics and fence-sitters were the ones who left when the rain started, and there were many. And they would be the ones who would make the difference to whether Desmond can score better than last year. Hence, at that point onwards despite the awesome display of camaradarie of those left on the field, WP was preaching to the choir, the diehard WP fans (plus the smattering of media, plainclothes policemen, and PAP cadres!)

 

 

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Sylvia Lim

So Hougang voters, I think you know which party has your welfare at heart. Is it the PAP, who for the last 20 years was quite happy to let Hougang residents suffer? Which party really cares for Hougang? You know the answer.

 

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Glenda Han

Right now, singles are only allowed to purchase flats from the resale market, subjecting them to the same criteria for PR households in Singapore. Not only are singles relying on their sole income, they also have to cope with surging prices of flats in the resale market. Besides that, they also usually have the responsibility of taking care of their aged parents. This outdated rule needs to be reviewed and revised. Should Singaporean singles be penalized just because they have not found a marriage partner?

 

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Pritam Singh

And I would like the DPM Teo to look into his heart of hearts and ask himself why the PAP punished the residents of Hougang, young and old, his fellow Singaporeans, NSmen of Hougang and tax-paying residents of Hougang for 21 years by putting them at the back of the queue for programs like lift upgrading? What crime did the residents of Hougang commit? I am sure DPM Teo knows that in the PAP’s eyes, the crime they committed was that they exercised their democratic right to vote – and the PAP punished everyone in Hougang for it, including their own PAP supporters

 

Png Eng Huat’s speech at second WP Election Rally for Hougang By-election

The Workers’ Party has been in Hougang for the past 21 years. We have served the community to the best of our ability despite the obstacles we faced. We have upgraded some lifts without asking the residents to pay until the HDB stopped us. We have built some covered walkways using our own funds and we will do more.

 

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Chen Show Mao

Singapore should reduce its over-reliance on foreign workers through increased automation and productivity improvements of our local workforce.” …

“The inflow of the foreign workforce at all skill levels should be CALIBRATED for EACH INDUSTRY, taking into account the suitability of Singaporeans for those industries, productivity targets and sustainability.

 

SG’s Explanation on the sidetracking issue of NCMP – 22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally

But this is a weak attempt at discrediting the Workers’ Party. In fact, I would invite all of you to take a look at the minutes. It shows that the Workers’ Party functions in a fair and transparent manner, where decisions are made collectively. In addition, it also dispels rumours that the CEC is made up of all yes-man and women, or even fully controlled by Low Thia Khiang!

YOG Start Liao!

August 15, 2010

The ginah Ohlimpic games comes to Sg liao! Yesterday official opening ceremony at froating pratform, supposed to be Sg’s proud moment, but some parts like Sg’s malu moment leh. I is not talking abt the SFI catered dog food for volunteers! I is KPKB abt the part when the countries walk in with their frags, wah CMI man.

Some foreign athletes walk left, some walk right, most of them the face blur fuck and don’t follow the YOG staff in front! KNN if it is NS, most of them kenna run to touch Merlion at Durian and back by CSM! Chope. Not the foreign athletes salah fault! hehe Make the organisers run touch Merlion and back and do star jumps until hernia!Actually super cock coordination by YOG organisers doing the frag walkin, and even cockest recovery as the foreign athletes still clusterfuck on the main stage later.  Some more TV opening ceremony is shown to the world woh!  Halfway thru the walk-in as organisers still didn’t manage to make everybody fall in behind and follow instructions backstage.

You know why? hehe coz those athletes are not Sgporeans lor! They firstly dun understand WTF is happening, and they bochup abt instructions, not like sheep Sgporean kwai kwai obedient follow lor! Lucky got so much fireworks! It is like SOP liao, when stage performance is so-so, to make crowd ooooh-aaaah just set off fireworks! Make money explode into lights and sound in the air next to Sg skyline! hehe

First time ever got YOG and comes here, not Shanghai, not Sydney, not Santiago. Shoot-over-budget 3x to $387 million YOG comes to Sg I actually sarpork lah. Come liao why sabo ourselves. If want to sabo someone, not ourselves but PAP lor later at GE to show our frustration. Oso, the publicity and orgnaisation so far like so-so oni, they shld give free tickets to schools to go and watch, or they have oredi done dat?

Inaugural events got 2 kinds, the nobody gives a fuck one, and the everybody happy excited one. Unfortunately for Sg, it looks like the former leh. Even our own Sgporeans dun care. So kesian yumkong one, esp our Sg athletes who are taking parts now in horse-riding, weight-lifting and those ulu sports. OK so maybe the YOG orgnaisation is fuckup so far, but Sgpore athletes out there, I is still hearts you, sarpok you dip dip. Jiayou!

Buy Your Car Now! Or Not.

July 18, 2010

In case you didn’t know, while all the debate on distance-based bus and train fares are a con are going on, the LTA released last week that the number of COE quotas for the next six months would be reduced. That means, assuming the hunger for buying new cars does not change, the cost of COEs would go even higher because of the reduced supply. The recent higher COEs since April is proof of that demand-supply relationship. Industry pundits like car dealers are quick to assure that COE would not go up that much, as they don’t want to spread further hesitation about buying new cars. The previous scare that COE prices are going up did shoot up demand for cars, but it was only a temporary rally in March-April and stakeholders in the car industry now want potential car buyers to know that prices are stabilising and they should return to the car market. For the Cat A 2nd bidding round for June, total bids received dropped to 902, the first time it dropped below 1,000 bids since 2005 (LTA’s public figures only go back to 2005), and car dealers are surely worried. Borneo Motors already laid off staff supposedly to adapt to the changing market situation.

The vehicle quota is 23,063 for the six months from August this year to January next year. This means per bidding month, there would be a 3844 fixed limit. The current per month vehicle limit for the period April to Jul is 4238. Just to give a better idea of where COE prices is heading, the monthly quota before this new reduced COE formula was implemented was 6982 vehicles.

This coming July 21st Wednesday bidding for COE would be exciting indeed. The monthly quota for cars has shrunk, but not that much compared to when the new formula was introduced a few months ago. When LTA announced the new COE formula in March earlier, COE for Cat A cars was $20,802 before the bad news was revealed, and jumped to $28,389 for the last bidding after the announcement and before the new quota kicked in. And truly reflecting the panic buying, the COE for this category shot up to $34,001 next in the first bidding under the new reduced COE quota period from April to July.

History usually repeats itself and there would be probably be a surge in demand for new cars this coming Wednesday as buyers expect even more hunger for COE once the latest reduced COE quota figures swerves in from August onwards for six months. Besides COE for Cat A cars is now below $30,000 again, teasing would-be buyers that they better act now before the COE for small cars would go up beyond the $30,000 ceiling.

So the bottom line, if you already have a car and don’t need to replace it with a new one and can wait, hold on and watch, and rather perversely contribute to the fewer number of deregistered vehicles these six months ahead. This also means even fewer COE recycled into the car pool for the February to July 2011 period as the current COE quota system is based on the number of deregistered cars in the last period transferred into the next period, and a vehicle growth rate of 1.5%.  An unpleasant dilemma for the car buyer. LTA’s grand scheme to reduce the car population drastically to make up for its mistake in allowing accelerated car growth in the past few years is working. However, the car dealers are going to cry foul very soon.

SMRT's Crowd Control Failing

July 4, 2010

While I try to recall and rewrite my COE opinion “The COE Rambling Rant” that was lost a few days ago because of a horrible crashed database, SMRT has slowly come to its senses. In a way making a U-turn, SMRT has indirectly acknowledged a crowding problem and proposed bus services to parallel SMRT lines.

SMRT’s public image is a train wreck. Swiss Fricker who sprayed graffiti on a SMRT train carriage tagged that SMRT has serious security lapses. A rotan-defying foreign talent could sneak into a SMRT train depot and somewhat “bombed”, in graffiti jargon, a train carriage. Particularly when SMRT screens a short video on vigilance on suspicious people and packages in all its MRT stations, exhorting commuters waiting for the trains to be alert to terrorist threats. The government subsequently clucked its tongue in frustration that SMRT was sleeping at the wheel and rightly insisted that taxpayers should not foot the bill for SMRT to pay for security guards and whatnot.

Soon after and genuine thanks to the media who are picking the right quotes for us to read and rant, SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa blurted “People can board the trains – it is whether they choose to” when talking about commuters’ imagined overcrowding of MRT trains. This dialed up the public’s lynch mob mood as the CEO was clearly not in touch with the realities of cathing peak hour trains. Phaik Hwa recently insisted that she had her ear on the track “I am very aware it’s crowded. I take the trains all the time. I take the effort to go all the way to the northern towns to see how crowded it is during the morning peaks and I take the train with the people.” This sounds a little bit like dismal public relations damage control. Adding on, I really doubt that Phaik Hwa really took the train regularly enough at popular stations at peak hours to understand the gravity of the overcrowding situation. Referring to Tokyo’s crowded trains with station staff in white gloves pushing stuffing people into trains might be accurate in pointing out that the situation in Singapore is not that bad in comparison, but Phaik Hwa has missed the train if she wanted to contain the public’s frustration.

Increased MRT Ridership and Overcrowding

The SMRT overcrowding concern has to be taken in context which the SMRT CEO does not seem to be concerned about, as it is not really her business to do so. With the government stepping on the brakes on car ownership by slowing down the growth of the car population since April with the new COE quota system, and thinking of making driving more expensive with the distance-based ERP, public transport is the logical alternative for the masses and more people are expected to use the MRT.

Besides, public transport like the MRT system, despite the laudable construction of the new Circle and Bt Timah lines, is itself straining with the influx of foreign white and blue collar labour and the consequent increased population in Singapore. SMRT has monthly ridership figures which document increased traffic on trains. As a quick snapshot, in May 2010, MRT ridership was 49,320,732. It was 43,082,486 in May 2009, 41,964,448 in May 2008, 38,532,342 in May 2007 and 36,012,048 in 2006. Clearly MRT ridership has gone up and from the coffeeshop complaints, train frequncy cannot keep pace with the increased number of passengers.

There are Solutions and There are Solutions

Returning to the SMRT proposal to run SMRT buses shadowing the MRT train lines, it is about time although SMRT would rightly think that it does not make sense for them. A shadow bus service instead should be taken up by a so-called competitor like SBS or a new player which would liven things up slightly for the public transport oligopoly. Let the competitor divert some traffic and therefore profit away from SMRT. Furthermore, rolling out a shadow bus service is the most convenient solution.

The MRT platforms are based on the length of the existing MRT trains. Introducing longer trains or more carriages might just mean that they won’t fit into the existing train platforms. Extending the platforms for the aboveground stations is feasible but probably less for the underground stations. Which is unfortunate as underground stations are the city ones mostly and therefore more crowded and more in need of extension to cope with peak hour traffic. Also, I don’t expect SMRT to absorb the costs of extending platforms and adding more carriages to the trains and they might transfer the costs to commuters. So the usual question to ask is how much we are prepared to pay for an improved quality of service in MRT commuting, or the other way around. We are paying so much and yet we get such quality of service?

What is the SAF Thinking?

May 30, 2010

Well the flashbang has gone off in Mindef’s Public Affairs Department for sure. 2 SAF guys training in Bridge Over River Kwai territory were shot accidentally by a Thai farmer / hunter / neighbourhood watch (which one we don’t know) but the news was only recently revealed and the SECOND shooting was publicised only after someone complained that there was a SECOND incident. (ahem) SAF cover up! (ahem) Kudos to the family of the NSF for reporting the incident for the media to follow up. Kudos to the media for letting that round away rather than covering up as well.

As far as we know or don’t know, that Thai guy might have been pissed at our Spore 3G pixeled camo troopers after stepping on uncovered poop left behind by the troops on field exercise, or they had stole his durians, or angry that it was Temasek’s hunger for Shin Corp which pushed Thailand into its current mess since 2006, and wanted some payback by ambushing our guys with his blunderbuss. Anyway, WTF was the reaction of the SAF dudes when one of their own was taken down by Mr Tom Yum Gong? Pasang bayonet and rifle butted the Thai hillybilly? That’s the result when not enough info is released after some time despite some pressure from the public. Our imagination gets all fire up and carried away.

We don’t know details. heh Fair enough as the internal inquiry and musical chairs is still going on to see who is left standing when the music stops. Also, I’m not going to diss the poor unlucky dudes who were shot as they were at the wrong place at the wrong time or say that there were pwned by some Thai Elmer Fudd. Come on, a NSF and a regular were hurt so no giving them crap here and I hoped that the SAF regular is well taken care of and not discharged, and both are adequately compensated (hoped they bought SAF insurance though).

The accidents happened in March during the old CDF’s watch. But the new CDF now has to put out the fire, and his first public wallop at that! The 3-star guy right at the top has to take the shite for his homies although I like former defence correspondent David Boey’s explanation of the PR frakups SAF has gotten into,

So where does MINDEF’s embattled Public Affairs Directorate (PAFF) go from here? Does this rank as an honest mistake? Should all of us just move on?

We can. But brace yourself for more PAFF gaffes because I hold the opinion that a certain someone there lacks the temperament, writing skills and PR savvy for the job.”

Is that statement about Mindef’s PA dept fair? David probably has his ears on the ground on the footstomping in Gombak so yours truly will not dismiss his opinions with a roll of my eyes. But let’s face it, the SAF is not the most popular govt organisation and whatever it does or does not do, it is damned either way in the court of public (NSmen) opinion. Still IMHO the whole circus could have been done better.

Let me try my hand at this – “2 SAF soldiers were accidentally shot during a SAF exercise in Thailand. More information would be released when the inquiries are completed”. Now that wasn’t too hard right? Sure, they didn’t have to say anything until the facts are clear and coordination with the Thais on what is to be released and not released is spelled out. But at least give due respect and preliminary transparency to the public especially when a NSF was wounded. Mindef, don’t be an arse.

Reform Party M&A Happening Right Now!

May 10, 2010

Reform Party is showing that it is no pussy pushover when it rolled out its conditions for an alliance. Heh. From the ridiculous terms e.g. Kenneth Jeyaretnam to be installed as either Chair or Sec-Gen and the Reform Party to contest under its own Party flag in wards of its own choosing, it was more like a M&A rather than an alliance.

For many, especially fans of Chiam See Tong and the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), this was a hard act to appreciate. Who was this political youngling to make such demands of an old political sage and expected the Potong Pasir rebel to give in because of his current frail health.

Taking a step back and relooking at this early speed bump towards an opposition conglomerate that leaves out the WP, Kenneth Jeyaretnam is sabre-rattling and demanding preposterous terms so that SDA would reject it and counter-propose. Then they would slowly move towards an accommodating agreement after cycles of offers and counter-offers. Something like haggling at the market. Both sides start at extremes and insult each other with absurd offers, and then they might reach an agreement. Or they might not. Heh.

BTW Reform Party is no innocent clueless kid walking into the political bazaar. Its leader, coached by his dad, knows its dark corners and good partnerships as well from the way he is trying to carve out stall space for his party.

Reform Party is reaching out to SDA because Chiam See Tong might retire from politics soon, leaving a vacuum that Kenneth knows that he is very easily capable of filling. Reform Party is not considering a joint gig  with the other opposition giant, the WP, because Low Thia Khiang is not going anywhere soon, and even if he did, WP Chair and NCMP Sylvia Lim would take over. Kenneth knows that he has nada zero chance there.  Furthermore, from his dad’s history with the WP, and JBJ and WP consequently moving their separate ways, Kenneth cannot make such overtures of reconciliation to the WP for his dad’s sake so soon. Maybe after the next election, but not now. Also on collaboration, crap SDP is not in the sights at all as unlike his dad, Kenneth is more hesitant about openly committing his reputation and scarce resources to hold hands with Chee and his loser party which has no political chance in Spore.

Anyway, the wheeling and dealing is just starting, IMHO Reform Party has to get an alliance to leverage on the SDA’s support base and resources. So let’s just wait and see how it turns out.

Rebel Alliance FTW!

Rebel Alliance FTW!

Emproyer CPF Contribution Upz Woh!

May 3, 2010

Waahhsay! Happy Labour Day man. Our gahment heart turned soft sial! Emproyer CPF contribution restoration to go up by 1% pt to total CPF contribution 35.5% by 12 mths time (20% employee and 15.5% employer, for those below 50 years old). If we comprain to gahment more and more abt our xenophobia, expensive resale HDB flats coz Sgporeans are trying to robert foreigners buying them and high minister salaries, waaah gahment takut and even restore emproyer CPF to 20% and makes total CPF contribution to 40% before Asian financial crisis dat time. Come on jiayou, let’s KPKB more! Gahment say at mostest restore emproyer CPF cao cao 16%. I dun believe! I is cocksure gahment can restores to 20% ….errrrrrrrrrrr…before GE and then cuts back to even 15.5% emproyer CPF contribution within 1 yr of GE!

hehe but chope. Let’s take the kopitiam GE babi barrel politics+CPF restoration gossip with a big pinch of garam. Last time emproyer CPF contribution upz was in July 2007, when total CPF kee from 33% to 34.5%. Pwah, CPF naik after the GE and not before the GE. Unless this is first time CPF used to woo voters hehe. Depends how we wants to see it lah. Oso, homeowners and those who chased mkt and buy vely expensive 99LH ulu condo and now scared SIBOR slowly rising; dun anyhow happy hor think CPF restoration by 1% pt means more $ for your mortgage. 0.5% increase from September 2010 is go to your Medisave Account and 0.5% 6 mths after dat from March 2011 is to your Special Account hor. Kosong goes to your OA!

But if you is employer, sure sibei dulan. Yah Q1 growth 13% sial and economy juz picked up, but conpirm not all sectors picked up evenly wat. Nahbeh must upz CPF by 1% coz gahment wants to be populist and sayang its dear citizens. Emproyers wat to do now that business costs go up coz of CPF restoration? Muz lobby gahment cut corporate tax next Budget from now 17% to 16% lor. After all, second 0.5% pt increase is oni from March 2011 and budget is usually February every yr. You hopes ah gong can oso take cares of you!

The NSP's War Chest Grows and Prepares for Expansion

April 25, 2010

Our bud Goh Meng Seng is making the news in the right way. He finally came out and explained that he was selling his 4-room HDB flat not to finance his political campaigning in the next GE, but to bolster the National Solidarity Party’s war chest and help out fellow National Solidarity Party candidates who might need the extra moolah in the next election. RESPECT dude. Come on, all Sporeans gotta respect that, even diehard PAP sycophants.

I remembered what Meng Seng said during the last GE. That political idiot James Gomez almost tripped the Workers’ Party Aljunied GRC chance when he falsely insinuated the govt of hiding his election-related  forms and sabotaging his election chance. When the PAP went to town with the facts  putting a I-am-dork conical hat on James, Meng Seng did a clever recovery, rallied and worked the crowd up and stressed that as a NS officer, he learnt one important thing and that it was “leave no man behind”, implying that the WP would not abandon James Gomez at that point right in the middle of the GE. Leave no man behind.

Meng Seng, as NSP Secretary-General, has again showed leadership when he pledged his own HDB cashcow (particularly in today’s $900,000 Bishan HDB “penthouse” prices) to be sacrificed for the sake of his party. Meng Seng was careful and made it clear that his leadership example was neither spectacular nor unique and other political leaders have inspired him to be so, even first generation PAP elders and his former Workers’ Party boss Low Thia Khiang.  Maybe it is only moi, but it puts the idea of sacrifice in politics in context.  LOL was that a pointy dig about PAP ministers making so-called huge sacrifices and must be paid millions in salary as compensation? There are sacrifices and there are sacrifices. Meng Seng gained +10 Humility and +10 Others before Self.

Is this pledge of his fortune, putting everything on the line and leaving politics altogether a make or break tactic if he is defeated by the voters again? Since it is ultimately the voters and not the PAP which has the final say altho the PAP would use HDB pork-barrel politics again. YAWN. BTW pork-barrel politics are common anywhere and not unique to the PAP, the next govt after the PAP would also make use of that I’m sure.  Anyway, Meng Seng’s unconfirmed ultimatum also reminded me of Steve Chia in 2006 who pledged his MP allowance to his ward if he won a MP seat in parliament and also that he would quit politics if the voters did not give him a seat.  Unfortunately for Steve and perhaps for all Spore, Choa Chu Kang voters were not enthusiastic about the SDA candidate. Heh. For our bud Meng Seng, who is focusing on HDB cost vs market subsidy it seems which is a FTW platform, time will tell.

Madcow and the sacrifice of his HDB cashcow. Hail. (Thumps fist on armour)

Hold the line! Stay with me!

Hold the line! Stay with me!

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's

April 6, 2010

Starting right about one month ago in March, City Harvest Church announced that it was about to pump $310 million as a bid to take control of Suntec Singapore. Woah! The funds were presumably drawn from the tithing if its willing congregation. Then the Commissioner of Charities became interested and poked his Roman nose into the matter and wanted to smell whether something was fishy. In a nutshell, charities and religious organisations are not taxed but the twist is that CHC, supposedly without a proxy, was getting directly into the real estate business using its donation money, and thus might escape taxes on the profits because of its “charity” status.  A perfect fish and loaves money growing formula-miracle and the anxious IRAS was not sure what to do.

About 3 weeks later and not immediately, 1 or 2 weeks after the controversy started which tells a lot to conspiracy theorists,  CHC cleared its throat finally and explained. There was a CHC subsidiary company, not CHC itself, that bought into Suntec Singapore, so all is cool and legal, and that’s Gospel.  A CHC member, careful to say that he is no Doubting Thomas, was puzzled on the lack of transparency and accountability and made it known to the authorities. Oh oh. Blind faith was just not that appropriate here. What is this CHC holding company that was only later brought up? Was it was hurriedly frogmarched into the Suntec deal as an afterthought, or worse, created only after all the hoohaa ripped in March? Heh.

CHC has since dismissed that it could not be more transparent to its congregation and us pesky pagan public as it had a legal non-disclosure agreement with its fellow investors in the Suntec deal. So shame on us for setting the lions on CHC. They have also tried to turn the tide and indignantly fumed that the request for transparency among some CHC members sabotaged CHC’s quest to look for more space like Suntec Singapore to corral its flock. Oh well. As a taxpayer, my parting words on churches thinking about the taxman.

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s…..”

Yo Caesar dude, everything is kosher. Are we cool?

Yo Caesar dude, everything is kosher. Are we cool?