Buying things at a huge discount from high value brands from USA during Black Friday or Christmas? Thinking about which forwarder to use to send it to Singapore?

Granted if service was similar, price would be a consideration as well. However, even though 65daigou is cheaper compared to Comgateway, it seems like their service is also subpar. If you bought the items at a significant discount and want to “protect” your discount, then using a more reliable forwarder is more important.

Having used both CGW and 65DG, what I have experienced is that CGW is more professional. They use DHL and tracking is very accurate. For 65DG, you can read about my horror story below.

I bought the item at 40% discount from USA. The item (Klipsch x11i) was on sale for USD$120, which is S$180. The same item sells for $550 in Singapore. Having used 65DG a few times previously, I decided to use them again because their price is cheaper, the service seems similar and I wanted to support a local company. Big mistake. I bought 2 of those earphones, so I guess I am looking at an opportunity loss of close to S$700 by them?

Their policy also states that you will pay either the Declared Value for insurance or the amount on the invoice, whichever is LOWER. This means that even if you wanted to protect my purchase by declaring it at a higher price, you would not have been able to do so.
It seems to me that it is possible that a product that is of medium value (worth more than $200) and not insured, can be taken by your outsourced drivers, and just compensated for $100. This is a HUGE risk to us as customers. Even if the item is insured, the time taken and the loss of value due a sale, is very disturbing for customers. I am just thankful I bought insurance, at least.
These are the facts of the case.
Item was supposed to be delivered on Monday, but wasn’t.
Item was marked “Delivered” on 65DG backend, even though it wasn’t. I was quite stunned when it happened.
Called 65DG office on Thursday to enquire what was going on, Darren from 65DG promised with great confidence that he or Mr Chow (the boss) will call me back by 6pm, but he didn’t. I had to call 65DG delivery hotline to try to remind Darren.
Promised a refund by 6pm on Friday, but it still wasn’t done. Again, I had to call to chase. New promise is for full amount of refund by 10pm.
This is their level of “service”.
There is no due care by 65DG driver to ensure packages are safeguarded and delivered safely, or marked undelivered correctly or to compensate customers fairly for losses.
I would recommend prospective customers to be wary of this level of service. Good luck to all.
For me, I would resume using Comgateway, since their service combined with DHL seems to be a lot more reliable.

Seriously, I am typing this as I am once again delayed by them, 1st Auto Commercial Pte Ltd.

 

After reading their positive reviews on 1st Auto Pte Ltd and knowing this is their new branch in the same building, I gave them a try as I worked nearby. For us business owners, a van is even more critical than a personal car as we use it for business operations. The front of my Liteace knocked into a pillar and the front grill broke as well as dented the bonnet and bumper.

 

In a separate incident, the van reversed into a moving lorry and had the right rear light smashed, back panel and right panel dented / scratched.

 

Knowing the damage is extensive, I took care to describe to Mr Yap on Friday (11 April) that the vehicle is needed on a day to day level, but we would delay our business for him to repair the vehicle. We agreed that I would send the vehicle for repair on Monday morning (14 April)  and I could collect it on Friday morning. I even placed a deposit ($300) with him so that he could order the replacement parts ahead of time.

 

However, Friday being Good Friday, I asked if I could collect it on Thursday night. He said it is not possible, but Friday morning should be ok. On Thursday, I smsed him and he told me it has been delayed till Saturday 530pm.

 

As I worked nearby, I decided to stay behind after work to wait for the van. The pick up time was delayed from 530pm to 7pm to 8pm till 930pm! What kind of business makes a customer wait for them multiple times? Why over-promise and then under-deliver? Throughout the many times I was being delayed, I did not hear a single sorry from the proprietor nor his worker, and I was the one who kept asking when I could collect back my van.

 

As a business, trust is key and reliability is very important. If the promise is for the vehicle to be returned on a certain day, I would schedule my backlogged deliveries after that. However, I now have to face the wrath of some of my customers for delaying their orders.

 

If you are a business owner and require a reliable promise, avoid this workshop. Period.

This is the word that is thrown around a lot by authority figures, particularly teachers, parents and politicians.

Belligerent behaviour is no doubt disrespectful, and we should never condone such behaviour. But the key is when the term is also used upon us when we make logical arguments that are superior.

Parents especially, given their position of authority in having raised the child, feel they have the right to have an absolute stranglehold on the thoughts of their offspring.

Yet no one is always right, a logically deduced set of arguments should always take precedence over the weaker argument you currently have.

  • If you as a parent, limit your child’s ability to reason with you on the grounds of disrespectfulness, you discount your child’s ability to fully develop their logical mind.
  • If you present everything to your child as black or white, you fail to allow them to grasp most events in the world are in various shades of grey.

They lose the ability to realize that in all issues, no one is always right. Someone has to make a compromise. But in your case, you as the parent always wins. Imagine they take this ideology to the real world, and they impose their status as authority figures and always expect to be right.

Because you make them feel “you are always right”.

When your teenager progresses into a young adult, you will also lose the valuable chance to bond with your child as a friend, because when the logical faculties of both parties have developed, the argument that wins should be the one that is the most coherent, not the one that comes from the person with more authority.

Your child then learns to avoid arguments even if they truly believe in it. When I was younger, I debated with my parents regarding curfews, religion and the right to choose my own kind of education. There are some arguments I lost and accepted, because I recognized the presence of a superior argument, not because it came from an authority figure. I hated it in secondary school, when my discipline master forbade issues like ankle socks or centre parting hair because delinquents also sported such appearances.

That’s why I love professors. When they are wrong, they readily admit it. When they are right and you point out they are wrong, they will demolish your argument. I feel happy in such arguments, because there is nothing ever set in stone as long as your data is superior.

To all authority figures, introduce some flexibility in your thought process. Because the ever flowing stream eventually erodes the rigid rock.

Why bother having a televised national conversation, when so many members of the audience are somehow directly linked to the PAP? I don’t even need to link them on my blog, it is everywhere on Facebook.

I am not talking about people who voted PAP, it is people who actively volunteer with grassroots activities related to PAP or in publicity or working in branch offices.

Why don’t we see other members of the opposition activists in the audience? Oh right, it is a non-partisan exercise.

Whatever hope that I got from the National Day Rally is all gone. Thank you PM Lee.

Look around, if you don’t see any underperforming member in your group, then you are probably the one.

Now that we have got that out of the way, let’s get on to the main topic.

Having spent 3 years in Singapore Polytechnic and another 3 years since entering NTU, I have had my share of underperforming group members. I remember clearly the times that I had to work late into the night while they were out clubbing, gaming or enjoying themselves.

Yet I do not begrudge them, because their inability to focus forced me to take up double, sometimes triple the workload. Times like this allowed me to understand the depths of untapped reserve a person has, the lower limit of sleep necessary and how passion can be more invigorating than redbull.

In an ideal world, we would be working with people of similar commitments, and work produced would reflect accurately the result of your hard work. I am aware most of my university mates prefer to stick to their “dream team”, but doesn’t this defeat the purpose of an education?

Like anyone, I love the satisfaction of getting an A for an assignment, but where’s the challenge when all the group members are cooperative? It may be a little more troublesome at the beginning, but being able to influence someone positively is a thousand times more fulfilling than just completing any assignment.

There are some friends who recommend ignoring a freeloader even if they are in the group. Indeed it is easier. I honestly think having 4 functional group members is better than having 5 members with one being dysfunctional. Again, it is the easier solution, but is it the right solution?

Because, face it, when you enter the workforce, not all colleagues, suppliers, vendors, subordinates or managers are going to be part of your dream team. There will be those that just want to watch the world burn.

The skills learnt during university dealing with bad teammates will stand anyone in good stead in such situations.

Rather than simply absorbing knowledge from school, the life skills learnt through such scenarios are much more valuable. So step out of your bubble, refuse to work with others like yourself and try to work with people just a little different.

You will walk away standing taller.

Warning: such practices may result in lowering of GPA, but seriously, screw GPA. I take real learning over GPA any day.

It may be depressing to start off with this but it is important to start thinking of ways to invest your money wisely as well as to seek protection from illnesses when you reach a certain age

Prior to this, I myself have been reading books on investment and insurance, trying to educate myself. I have also bought savings policies and dabbled with platforms like POEMS.

However, one must always be on the search for information and new knowledge. It is with this interest that I went for two talks recently, Tan Kin Lian’s FISCA “Consumer Guide to Insurance” on August 25. It was a 3 hour seminar and I paid $30 for it as I am not a member.

I also went for Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group’s (AKTLG) “Wealth Expo” on 1st September. I paid $24 for a 2 day expo, Gold seats paid $100 while Platinum paid $250. On the website, General tickets sold for $60, hence I thought I was getting a great deal. A friend told me they were selling gold tickets at $20 on a group-buy website.

 

On the surface, it would seem that the Wealth Expo would be more value for money, but sadly I was wrong. The two talks were different as heaven and hell, and I will share about TKL’s talk first.

TKL talk was held in a small SMU lecture room with about 20 people. There was no fluff, it went straight to the point regarding the different types of insurance (life, term, car, home, death etc), the ideal types to buy, rationale for doing so and it ended with a simple book promotion. The books were also not very expensive, $8 for a book. After that, there was an open Q&A where we got to pick his brain.

Most importantly, you could tell he was sincere in sharing whatever he knew and honestly felt. For example, he has an almost zen-like approach to cancer and death, which I paraphrase “When you are above 80, and it is time to die, no amount of medical care can cure you. It doesn’t matter if you are in Ward B2 or in a private hospital. Say your last goodbyes and leave your children with a fortune, instead of wiping out their savings.”


Wealth Expo started with so much promise, so much hype. But here is what truly happened.

The event started with everyone entering the expo hall with uplifting soundtracks, moving spotlights and dry ice smoke. I commented that it seemed I stepped into an evangelical church instead of a place to learn about finance. Next, there was an introductory video, with similar exciting soundtracks accompanying information about the Wealth Expo. The speakers came in the order of Adam Khoo, Joey Yap, Ron Kaufman, Conrad Lim and Fabian Lim. I left midway through Fabian’s talk, I just couldn’t take their fluff anymore.

Let me share a bit about each speaker, and what I thought about them.

Adam Khoo

He started off with his motivational speak about congratulating us for spending a weekend here so he knows we are the type of people who are eager to learn. For those who do not know, this is known as framing your audience. By making them think better of themselves, they will think of themselves in the same frame and will be willing to spend money to show they are “eager to learn”.

Next he brought up slides which showed that Singapore is the richest country in the world, with one in 6 households being millionaires ergo, it is easy to become a millionaire in Singapore. He also mentioned we have 3 times as much millionaires as a percentage of populations than the United States of America. He conveniently forgets to mention that USA, being such a big country has rural farmlands and big cities, and compared to the cities, Singapore is far from Switzerland (Geneva) or USA (New York). All these are attempts at trying to make something tough sound much easier than it is, in hope you will part with more money to learn more of his “tricks”.

He also rambled on a bit about trying to become financially free with FD being impossible (using 2% as interest rate) but extremely easy when you are able to trade on a 22% annual return rate. At this point, alarm bells should start ringing, even the best fund managers in the world cannot promise this rate of return, and he can? I promise you, as a fund manager with this type of performance, he will earn much more than as a teacher, so why don’t he?

Some of the primary school tricks is making the audience stand up, high five their partners, and completing his obvious sentences in agreement. I seriously hope the mostly adult audiences are more mature than this and are doing it because…. everyone else is doing it.

The only drop of knowledge he provides is how to conduct TA based on 150 and 50 day moving averages. Anyone who has picked up a FM book would have known this. But this too is a facade, to ask you sign up for his class to learn more advance techniques, because he describes it as a kindergarten technique. I agree, because it really is. He also seizes on this chance to promote an online trading platform.

Finally, after his talk, he ended off with a sales pitch for his CD which includes functions like expense tracker, tax calculator etc, for a limited time only sale! Many people ran to the booth at the side to make a purchase. Seems like most of them do not realize all these tools are available for free on most finance websites like mint.com .

Joey Yap

He shared a bit about the using BaZi to decode your destiny. He provides a website which would churn out your BaZi using your relevant details.

Like all the other speakers, there are very few concrete details and he skims past likely on the details. If it was for the lack of time, why pack the speakers time so tightly? I am sure the audience would prefer, for example, the removal of Ron Kaufman to listen to more details from Joey.

He ended with a promotion of his book, and also his multi day seminar, which would cost a seminar only special of $1700! Wow, what a good deal. Only in my head I am thinking that if I spent $1000 to buy all the English and Chinese books on Chinese astrology, I would learn more than he could ever teach, and I would still be left with $700 spare change! Wow!

A book by Lilian Too that I read 5 years ago was so much more informational than that hour I wasted. A reader (Luke) has suggested this website: http://www.123cha.com/sm/ and I find it informative. A pity it is purely in Mandarin, but it is definitely more comprehensive than the talk, plus it is free.

Ron Kaufman

I heard him previously when he came to do a talk at Alexandra Hospital. His call to fame is his book on service quality. It was really applicable to workers at a hospital, but seriously, at a wealth talk?

His talk was weakly linked to the concept of wealth, so badly constructed was his talk such that I will not bother to reproduce it here. The concept of linking business success to service quality is nothing new, so I am not too sure why he has to highlight it incessantly.

Also, it was extremely unprofessional to constantly shout in the microphone, I was wearing earphones or plugging my ears throughout the entire talk.

I highly suspect, and this is my suspicion and not an assertion of truth, that he was there purely to sell his services, which includes a 1-to-1 coaching and group coaching. He also has a nice booth behind with many balloons. It costs around $800 for a 1-to-1 coaching.

Conrad Lim

He is supposedly a known trader who is capable of multiple styles. Was looking forward to his talk but he decided to give a talk on the history of money, the Federal Reserve being as Federal as Federal Express (super old joke by the way) and ended off with fear mongering about the future of the money markets.

Also ended off with a spiel about how the cost of to attend his classes is always rising, and those who didn’t sign up previously have regrets so it is better to sign up for a class now at a seminar only price of $5000! Perceptual contrast! It works! Wow! (Maybe it is more, my brain shut off at this point in time.)

Fabian Lim

To be fair to Fabian, when his turn to speak came, I was already extremely disgruntled. The talk started by broadcasting a RazorTV video of him flying his own recreational plane to “have lunch in Malacca”. He is supposedly an internet marketing expert, how is this related? Plus the fact that time is such a limited commodity in this series of lectures, I would expect them to teach as much information as they could.

Alas, it seems their aim is not to share knowledge, but to impress upon us how rich and successful they are and if we pay for their courses and learn from these great holy masters, we will emulate their success.

At this point, enough is enough, I left the expo with my friends.

Needless to say, I will not be going back to the talk tomorrow. It is a complete, I repeat, complete waste of time.

Parting Thoughts

 

Previously, during an intermission break I walked to the “gold” section seats and talked to 5 random groups of people. None paid for their tickets and they received theirs either through organizations or email lists. They too felt the talk was in their words, “like shit”. In. their. own. words. Also, if the majority did not buy their “Gold” tickets, or bought it cheaply from groupbuy websites, does it not make it seem like they are trying to make the seminar more expensive than it actually is?

From this, we can tell that most people did not pay for their tickets, or got it cheaply. We can then question their motivations for offering their tickets at such a rock bottom price. If they really saw the value of their talk, would they be offering it at such prices? Towards the day of the seminar, my mum received an email offering free tickets from NTUC, and my friend got offered free tickets from JobsCentral.

Perhaps their intention is not to let any seat go to waste, if a seat can’t be sold, at least a filled seat becomes a prospect right?

Let’s revisit the Wealth Expo’s selling points:

  • Where and how to invest your money in 2012 and beyond for maximum profit returns
  • Unlock your hidden talents you never knew existed and realize your path of least resistance to financial success, health and relationships
  • Protect your portfolio from the global economical uncertainties and turn the European debt crisis into your advantage!
  • How to increase your business profits by keeping your customers happy and coming back for more
  • How ordinary people generate passive income starting with little or no money in less than 9 days
  •  Secrets of the rich that you will not find anywhere else
  •  How to plan, design and create a roadmap to financial success to achieve the lifestyle you always desired
  •  How to spot great property investment opportunities

Was it an oversell? Undoubtedly. Perhaps I was overqualified? In that case, why keep highlighting the fact if we want to learn more, we have to pay and pay? At this point, I really felt like a mindless cow being led into an abattoir.

But if you went there without a shred of financial knowledge, you will definitely benefit. But you will also become a sitting duck for them with their sales pitches. Naysayers will say there is nothing that they do to force you to buy any product, or sign up for their courses.

They are being naive. The entire spectacle is set up to make you purchase today using your instincts and emotions, limited price offers, limited seats, ringers who seem to run towards when the booths open etc. They trigger the need to act when there is uncertainty. This delves into topics of persuasion, so I will not go into detail here.

By the contents of the www.wealthexpo.com.sg website, the talk was supposed “to educate the public on financial literacy and empower like-minded individuals with the financial know-how to make better informed decisions to thrive beyond this economical uncertainty.” The only thing I knew was happening more than 90% of the time was, if we wanted to be educated, we need to part with several thousands of dollars to attend their future seminars.

It is important to note that both insurance purchase and investment planning are equally difficult. A wrong decision can set you back by at least $500k if you are not careful. TKL can easily edit his talk to become a 2 day seminar, where he delves into the history of insurance, different types of plans etc and charge a cool $3000 for it. But… he doesn’t. You can tell when someone wants to teach you something, or simply wants to earn your money. The key is sincerity, and whether you can discern it from a smooth talker.

I am also a budding businessman. I run my own online store, conduct personal training on weekends and have ran other businesses previously. I understand the importance of a fair exchange of value. I won’t go as far to call them a “scam”, but this doesn’t seem to be a fair exchange at all.

I may never be as “successful” as any of the speakers, but at least in whatever I do, my conscience will be clear. Or at the very least, I will call my expo the “Upsell to Wealth Expo”, not “Wealth Expo”.

As an ending note, just sign up to be a FISCA member and attend TKL’s talks, at least they seem to be doing really good work for now. No fluff nor upsell, straight to the point.

Post-Edit: AKLTG has offered to refund me my tickets in return for me taking down my content. I appreciate the offer but I refused categorically. It was an experience that I learned and feel has negatively impacted my impression of Adam Khoo and his associates. I had 3 friends with me in different age ranges: one is 25, I am 24, another two of them are 20, one being in university year 2 and the other in national service.

All of us felt there was so little knowledge sharing done. And we are all “young” people.

I feel it is in the public interest to understand what happened exactly at the Wealth Expo. The first day was simply not worth the time and all the speakers’ agenda was more to sell, than to share knowledge. In this case, I would rather sacrifice a little and let more people know about it than to get back my money. There is no way the refund can recover my lost of time and parking. 

Recently, prominent plastic surgeon Woffles Wu was fined $1,000 for getting his elderly employee to accept the fine and demerit points for him. It is not stated if there was payment or coercion involved in getting his employee to agree to this, though being in a position of power, it can be deduced some degree of subvert coercion is involved.

In 2005, Wu also made the same employee take the rap for him. It was only discovered during the investigation of this offence but it was taken into consideration by the judge.

However, take a look at this similar story from 2010, where a sales executive commited the exact same offence.

In this case, sales executive Charlie Lim was jailed for 6 months and the person who took the rap was also jailed for 6 months.

Let’s recall

  • Both had “intentionally perverted the course of justice”.
  • Both had previously done something similar in getting someone else to take the rap. It is the case of a repeat offender.
  • Charlie got a friend to take the rap through agreement, while Woffles got his employee to do it for him. I would argue the latter is more serious than the former.
  • Charlie is a common man, Woffles is an elite who does plastic surgery for those in high society.
  • Yet, Charlie gets jailed for 6 months, and Woffles gets fined $1,000. A puny sum to anyone who easily earns this amount within an hour of his time.
  • Why was the precedent not followed?

Is Singapore corruption free? I hope to get some form of explanation from the media for this, because a case of good investigative journalism is needed.

Just joking. No one expects good journalism from The Straits Times anymore. We need the HWZ CSI team.

In my time serving the compulsory two years, I have been

  • awarded platoon best in BMT
  • dropped out of OCS to pursue a civilian posting while serving out my duty (see below for clarification)
  • posted to a stay-out signal battalion up north and
  • posted to an active signal battalion in the west of Singapore

So I can say I do know how it feels like to perform well in the SAF, but also how to protect yourself from life-long injury and the in worst case scenario – death. I have seen enough how different units carry out their punishments and procedures, and there is nothing to be afraid of as long as you are clear of the rules.

In light of a higher number of deaths, I just hope I can help more people stay alive and injury-free. The way the SAF conducts its investigations regarding such incidents is not transparent and therefore it is important to take a stance of self-preservation. My advice is meant to help you stay alive and injury-free.

Firstly, staying alive is more important than being an officer or sergeant. I have seen more friends get injured (torn meniscus, ligament, slipped discs etc) during training in OCS than in any other training institution. Obviously, vocations in places like SISPEC, commandos, guards and infantry would have similar levels of risk.

Is the slightly higher allowance worth it? Definitely not and hence my first advice.

Advice 1: Do not over-perform in BMT, just be normal.

Do you have asthma, damaged eardrums or generally just a low sense of self-confidence? Do not be garang and chiong. Because the first penguin into the ocean never survives.

For example, lung related illnesses (like bronchitis or asthma) have a recurrence rate during the use of smoke grenades.

If some activity makes you think twice about doing it, don’t do it. If anyone forces you to do it, ask them if they will take responsibility for your life if anything goes wrong.

Advice 2: All past illnesses are considered serious, do not overlook them. Report them and protect yourself from risky activities.

Heavy objects – unless your civilian profession is a weightlifter, do not act garang. Rather appear weak and protect your erector spinae and spine. That refers to your lower back region. Remember that muscles heal but structure does not. If you injure your spine, you are screwed for life.

DO NOT THINK that lifting heavy things will make you stronger. In the gym, we do it in a controlled environment with a sound training plan, good diet and proper rest. In the army, you do it with little sleep, carbs rich food with limited protein and under undue pressure.

WAIT FOR HELP to lift heavy stuff. It would include universal power supply(s), artillery shells and generally anything bulky and above 20kg.

Advice 3: Avoid heavy objects.

Superiors are just doing their job. On a daily basis, they encounter NSFs who are perfectly fine but would keng their way out of duty. You have to play the same game, but play it even better. Make sure to sound worse than you actually are. If you feel feverish, say you feel like fainting. Seriously. But remember to be consistent in your “act”, all the way till you reach your doorstep.

A lot of mistakes happen during military exercises or route marches, where your logical mind is put to a rest and you just try to push through. As an athlete, I know the importance of telling the conscious to shut it and push through the discomfort.

In the field, do this with extreme care, with the hot sun or cold rain, it is easy to fall sick or get heat stroke! During safety briefing, the safety officer would say safety first but the officer or sergeant would shout at you to push on during the exercise itself. Don’t be stupid lah, just act tired.

Advice 4: Superiors are not as scary as they appear. They are bounded by the same rules as you.

At this point, many readers would be sniggering and wondering if I am serious.

Yes, I am dead serious.

30 years from now when you are nursing a slipped L4 L5 disc or a torn knee ligament, the only person suffering is yourself. And your momentary contribution to some make-belief military exercise is all but forgotten in the annals of SAF history.

Worse, if you died, no AVIVA will be able to cover the pain felt by your family and friends.

The place to prove your strength and mental fortitude is not in the army because in the worst case scenario, you are only sent to a government hospital 1.5 hours after the incident. This is because of the needless process of an inexperienced medic trying to treat you, then sending you to a medical officer in the medical centre who tries again to revive you and finally sending you to a proper doctor where more often than not, that doctor has the thankless task of pronouncing you dead.

I have been through the process of going to medic to MO to government hospital before, yes it takes 1.5 hours at the least. Thankfully, it was for a much less serious incident. I got my MC though.

In the real world where you try to bust personal records, you get sent to a proper doctor in 30 minutes max. Get it? If you get seriously ill or injured in the army, you have little chance.

As I end this post, remember the quote by Charles Darwin,

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

I was not the best soldier in the army, but I did stay alive and injury free.

EDIT 1: I was away for the past 4 days for a mini getaway in HuangShan. Beautiful place. People with no command of language other than hurling vulgarities should go there to gain some good energy.

EDIT 2: Which brings me to the next point, I hate deleting comments, but those who resort to name-calling would be deleted.

EDIT 3: I understand there’s a note by Cpt Choy disparaging my use of “flawless logic”. Just remember he is a professional soldier and it is in his interest to make his organization look good. It is not my prerogative to do so. I am watching out for the reader’s best interests. He mentions about “making noise” on social media to make the nationalistic point of view stronger. Seriously? Anyway, to clear things up, in the event of war, I would fight alongside everyone else. I just wanted people to know not to push themselves beyond the point of extreme fatigue where death and injuries occur.

EDIT 4: I am really shocked at the amount of shares my humble little blogpost has. I did not expect so many views and it was meant for friends to learn from my experience.

Some clarifications. I had a choice midway through OCS to choose between working in a civilian posting as a project manager for the NDP website team or continue in OCS. The civilian posting would mean reporting in civilian clothes to an office in Tiong Bahru and working normal office hours. I chose my own path.

Secondly, the part about holding up your “act” till the doorstep is that if you look “well” while on the way back, you can potentially be charged for malingering even though you are still sick. So this is just helpful advice. There are plenty of evil superiors who will nitpick on every small detail to charge you for malingering. There are nice superiors for sure, but there are also evil ones.

Finally, I am not discouraging anyone from serving with honour and fighting for glory in the SAF, but do so with your eyes wide open. The organization only provides medical subsidy for your injury, that’s all. And that’s only if you can prove you sustained a life-long injury while in the course of duty.

My friend who got a hamstring tear in BMT and ord-ed more than 3 years ago still cannot get his specialist at a government hospital and the MO to agree on the condition. This is not a one-off incident and more common than you think. You can ask your friends who are in similar conditions.

For those who say deaths and injuries are part and parcel of soldiering and for the protection of the nation, would you say it straight in the face to the family of the dead person? You wouldn’t. You would say he was a good soldier blah blah blah. That means you are being a hypocrite. No one wants anyone to die or get seriously injured. Yet, you willingly push good men to the risk of injury.

I note there are many others who disagree with my point of view. But these same people agree with my point about medics’ incompetency. Therefore, how can I in good faith encourage my friends to train to full abandonment in service for the country and organization, knowing at the back of my head if they get seriously injured, they have a high chance of permanent disability or fatality?

The entire point of my article, was to prevent it.

I understand the need for bus drivers to be sourced from overseas. Overseas bus drivers only need to be paid $20,000 a year.

Local bus drivers will not be able to survive with this amount of salary. Plus, if I could drive well in Singapore, I would rather earn more and be a taxi-driver.

So for transport companies to pay adequately to attracted local drivers, their operating expenses would increase by at least 20%.

But, I also believe it is no coincidence that there is an increased spate of accidents on the roads of Singapore involving bus drivers.

If anyone has ever taken the public bus in China, they would know how they operate. If you are the lone passenger boarding the bus, you barely have time to tap your card to the reader and get a firm footing before the bus driver floors the accelerator to the next bus stop.

I am not judging how they drive or operate in China, I know they have a tight schedule to follow. The trouble starts when they bring such practices to Singapore.

But SBS Transit and SMRT, please, if you are hiring drivers from China, the least you could do is to teach them road courtesy is unlike that of China, and also, some basic English would be nice.

I have provided this timer for free, but if it is useful to you, please consider donating a cup of coffee to me. Link is at the bottom! Also, it will be nice to let me know when you are using it for an event.

This flash application was written particularly for Kettlebell Sport but can also be used for any other purpose.

Traditionally in Kettlebell Sport Competition

Traditionally, such events are counted with a simple LCD display which has one facing the audience / judge and one facing the lifter. It makes sense if you are organizing in Russia where competitions are aplenty, hence it will be used often. However, where the sport is still new, it does not make sense. In Singapore, it cost around $1000 to make 1 set. Multiply it by 3 times and the price becomes prohibitive.

Therefore, my application uses something which is more commonly available – computers and laptops. In this example, you can see that using a laptop,

  • the judge has his own screen
  • the audience can look at the big TV
  • while the lifter looks at the monitor.

 

Therefore, all equipment is readily available or can be borrowed at low cost.

The equipment that will need to be purchased would be a VGA-splitter (SGD$10) and 10m long VGA cable (SGD$25) for each platform.

How a VGA Splitter looks like

Application Controls

To control the program, these are the keys.

  • “Enter” – starts countdown timer from 10mins.
  • “A” – adds a repetition
  • “D” – minus a repetition
  • Clicking on “Reset” will reset respective fields.

To display the application optimally, open the application in “Google Chrome” and press F11 for full screen.

Download Application: **This timer is no longer provided free of charge.

Pictorial Guide (click for high-res version)

This can be printed and placed next to laptop / keyboard.

 

Donate

If you think this application has helped you saved costs, please donate!


Donation Amount



Australian Kettlebell Club using it at their competition. Photo from Facebook.

Also, if you do not donate, at least “Share!”