Thursday, November 23, 2006

7% GST Will Make The Poor, Poorer

For those residing in Singapore ...

Example 1
In 2006, if after rebates etc and your net taxable income is $60,000, the income tax you need to pay is $2,700 ( 8.75%). If you spend $800 a month on needed goods and services, the GST paid for 5% will be $480 Total=$3,180 in Tax paid.

In 2007, if after rebates etc and your net taxable income is $60,000, the income tax you need to pay is $2,600 ( 8.50%). If you spend $800 a month on needed goods and services, the GST paid for 7% will be $672 Total=$3,272 in Tax paid.

From $3,180 to $3,272, the effective increase is 2.89%.

Example 2
In 2006, if after rebates etc and your net taxable income is $400,000, the income tax you need to pay is $61,650 (21%). If you spend $4,000 a month on needed goods and services, the GST paid for 5% will be $2,400 Total=$64,050 in Tax paid.

In 2007, if after rebates etc and your net taxable income is $400,000, the income tax you need to pay is $58,700 (20%). If you spend $4,000 a month on needed goods and services, the GST paid for 7% will be $3,360 Total=$62,060 in Tax paid.

From $64,050 to $62,060, the effective decrease is -3.11%.

Example 3
In 2006, if after rebates etc and your net taxable income is $25,000, the income tax you need to pay is $187.50 ( 3.75%). If you spend $800 a month on needed goods and services, the GST paid for 5% will be $480 Total=$667.50 in Tax paid.

In 2007, if after rebates etc and your net taxable income is $25,000, the income tax you need to pay is $175 ( 3.5%). If you spend $800 a month on needed goods and services, the GST paid for 7% will be $672 Total=$847 in Tax paid.

From $667.50 to $847, the effective increase is 26.89%.

The fact is: The poorer you are the more the GST is going to make you poorer.


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tribute To The Freedom Fighters

As we see rampant corruption, people suffering and unfair happenings throughout the world, let us not forget to lead a dignified life...and do it your way. The people will remember you and pay tribute to you even when you die. Here's to Elvis.


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

Friday, November 17, 2006

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Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Irene Ng - What An Accent!!!

I must say that I had a hard time trying to grasp what was she trying to say. She is trying too hard to sound like a British. I thought we're no longer under colonial rule???


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scholarship Without Bonds

We have seen increase in tuition fees for Universities. We have also seen talented Singaporeans forced to study overseas because there weren’t enough slots allocated for them. How about the middle class who can’t afford to send their children overseas for studies? We have seen an increase in debts for undergraduates over tuition and course fees. It seems that being non-Singaporeans have better privileges.

I was talking to an Indian undergraduate who was studying for his Masters at NUS. We started chatting and what I found out was very disturbing. He had come from Chennai to study in Singapore. He was offered scholarship to study in NUS so I asked him who pays for his scholarship. Was it the Government of India? No, he said. But you have to serve out some of bond right? I asked. No, I can go back to India after my studies with no obligation. I was dumbfounded. I will not be surprise if the other scholarships given out to the students from China, Philippines offer that as well. No wonder our scholarships are running out like hotcakes.

Just how do you grade the intellectual capability of an individual? Having excelled in studying only means that the individual is good at memorizing perfect answers. It does not necessary mean that the person in question has the ability to be successful, make important decisions or the passion to use his knowledge to good use. Very soon, we will be training many intelligent scholars only to find out that we are doing our neighbours a favour.


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

Double Standards From The Government?

We have seen the continuous efforts from the government telling Singaporeans the need to get their skills upgraded in this ever competitive landscape. On one hand, we have been told that when we upgrade our skill-sets, opportunities will be plentiful. On the other hand, the government opens the flood gate in issuing work permits and PR status, thus creating competition for Singaporeans. I think the agencies in question need to sit down to look into this seriously. What are the priorities?
What is more important? Getting more ‘would be Singaporeans’ to join us to boost our GDP or helping real ‘authentic’ Singaporeans find jobs? It seems that the government is interested in getting quick fixes. I have seen reports saying we need to have foreign talents so that MNCs would be more interested in setting up operations and investing in Singapore. Let’s not forget that the Government’s responsibility is to take care of its people first. What’s the point of having investments in the pipeline when there are real Singaporeans suffering and can’t wait to end their lives. We have heard of the $500,000 MRT ride.
We have also not seen the actual breakdown of jobs that was really offered to Singaporeans as MOM has a way of including PRs as Singaporeans. Perhaps more could be researched onto how long a PR actually stays in Singapore before they leave the country and how many of these PRs actually commit themselves and become a Singaporean.

I want to make a clear distinction between foreign talents and foreign workers. Not all foreign workers are really talented and thanks for the excellent branding our government gives them. We have just inadvertently told the world that we’re not good enough. Try telling that to the South Koreans, a country that treasures their local talents and have made huge leaps of progress without jeopardizing welfare and jobs by opening up the flood gates via a foreign talent policy.

Living standards are rising by the day but it seems that salaries have not increased much to match inflation. What’s the reason for that? The influx of foreign talents is the root cause of it. We should welcome the foreign talents but not ‘over embracing’ them. Can you tell me which employer would not like to have lower paying salaried workers? By having an over supply of low-wage workers, it is just Economics 101. The salaries will either maintain or go down. This situation worsens when we have more supply. Take a look at Old Chang Kee and you will see workers of different nationalities. When there are too much foreign entry level workers and not enough jobs, we create other social problems. Crime rates go up but at whose expense? Just take a look at Little India and you will realize that it can get really rowdy at times.

How about the mid-tier jobs? You have slogged through 16 years of studying only to realize that there are literally thousands of foreign workers vying for the same job. With that ratio, it is hardly surprising that all the good jobs would have already been taken up. In India alone, there are 400,000 computer science graduates every year. How about China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam? By making Singapore a haven, the situation is only going to get worse. We need to ask ourselves when the authorities will say enough is enough and put a stop to that. Until we hit a population of 7 or 8 Million people? What are the jobs left then? Jobs like Retail, Customer Service, Receptionist, Insurance / Property Agents? You don’t study 16 years to do that.

Let’s not forget our roots and create a Singaporean for Singapore society.


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

Wrong To Charge 17 Year Old Teen Over Wireless Tapping

I’ve read in a report in Straits Times earlier that a man had decided to press charges on Garyl Tan Jia Luo over a wireless tapping incident. I’m a wireless internet user myself and I am saying this is a harsh decision that would send the wrong signals to the Internet community with our Wireless SG initiatives starting by 1st Jan 2007.

As far as I know, there are a few methods that could have prevented this incident. The owner could have done any of the following steps to prevent his wireless network from being accessed but he failed to do so.
  • 1) Secure his wireless network by adding a WPA or WEP encryption
  • 2) Adding MAC address so that only PCs/Laptops with the designated address can assess
  • 3) Not publishing the Name of his wireless network

All wireless router vendors have detail user guides to easily configure the first two commonly used steps. An average user could have easily configured the necessary settings to prevent any unwelcome visits to his wireless networks but the owner had failed to do so. If he had not known the steps he could have contacted his vendor for more details.

Let me give you an analogy. ‘Imagine you are returning home one day and you see your neighbour’s door wide open, what would you do? If it were me, I would likely go into my neighbour’s house to see what happened.’ Just out of curiosity but it does not mean I have ill intentions.

Similarly it is unlikely a malicious attempt for Garyl to access the owners network. Anybody who frequent hotspots will know they need to search for wireless networks like SkynetGlobal if they’re looking at connecting to the free internet access at McDonalds.Let me give you real scenario that happens all the time.

Let’s say I’m a new linksys wireless router user and without configuration it will be named ‘linksys’. There are a lot of non IT savvy guys staying near me. I log on to my computer but I forgot to turn on my router. My computer is automatically configured to hunt for my primary network ‘linksys’. Later, an amateur user who did not configure his network comes online. I access to his ‘linksys’ network unintentionally and unknowingly. Does it mean I’m liable to be prosecuted?

Let us understand the fact that Garyl is still a young kid and we are talking about a home network here. We are not talking about hacking into a corporate server that has tons of classified information. By sharing the same wireless network as the owner, it is highly unlikely that Garyl would have been able to access any classified information.

He could only have access to shared folders; that is unless the owner decides to share his folders. Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. “If Garyl should be prosecuted for his actions, then the owner should also be prosecuted for his actions in attracting other internet users and causing them to be prosecuted.”

I hope the MP serving the constituents of Casuarina Walk would look into the matter and assist Garyl to make sure we do not condemn this kid’s future before it even started.

Edmund Ng


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President

No More Sending Letters To Straits Times.

I've been sending a lot of letters to the Straits Times. Guess what. This was the reply I got for every single one of them. I will stop sending letters to Straits Times from now and will be posting on my blog instead.

Edmund Ng

Thank you for writing to us. We do appreciate your making the effort. We receive 70 letters on average each day. Limited space means we can publish only about a dozen every weekday. This means having to make often-difficult editorial judgments on which letters to publish. We regret we are unable to publish your letter, and hope you will appreciate the constraints on space we face every day. We hope you will continue taking an interest in the Forum Page.

Yours sincerely
Ms Noor Aiza
for Forum EditorThe Straits Times


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President