Get Well Soon! Princess

There is something about her that I absolutely adore.


It is really hard to pinpoint because it is not something that I can qualify or quantify.


It is not just about the way she beams, showering her warmth on everyone, like a brilliant spectrum of light at the end of a tunnel. It is not that.


It is not just about those large, remarkably alive eyes that elude so much energy and individuality that tell a story of her generous soul. It is more than that.


It is not just about her kindness to anyone and everyone, so much goodness that reaches out and touches everyone’s heart. It is deeper than that


It is not just the richness of her laughter, or the funny sniggle and pout she sometimes emanate when she was clowning around. Both of these were present in abundance though.


It seems to have everything to do with her very existence. The way everything seemed so easy and natural around her; how she can lure out the long-forgotten laughter and effortless conversation; how she share the same ideas, beliefs and mental state of mind; how we can look at each other and goes “Did you see that?” or “I was thinking of that too!”; how time spent together never seems enough and left us pleasantly surprise with the mutual company.


I could just watch her as we smiled, and laughed, and feel happy simply to be near each other.

I Do Not Know Why I Always Overspend

The cause may appear unclear initially but actually the following are some of the common reasons why people spend beyond their means:

Buying happiness: This is an easy trap to fall into, since most advertisements go to great lengths to associate a product with happiness. They lead you to purchase things by persuading you that doing so will make your life better. While the purchase itself may give you pleasure, the feeling is fleeting. You will end up having to purchase something else to find more ‘happiness’.

Keeping up with the Joneses: Spending to bolster your image is dangerous. In many cases, the Joneses are doing exactly the same thing to keep up with you.

Embarrassment: Often it is hard to admit to friends that you do not have the money to take part in certain activities, so you play along instead and pay for things that you cannot afford. These could be anything ranging from a weekly dinner at a fancy restaurant to regular golfing sessions.

Lack of patience: Some people want instant gratification. When they see something they fancy, they want it immediately, regardless of whether they can really afford it.

Laziness: Instead of doing some research, looking for deals and spending their money wisely, they often pay too much for things. When bargaining, a sure-fire technique is to ask dispassionately, ‘What is the lowest you can go?’, even if you feel that the price is already very good and you really want that item. Often, the seller will give you a better offer.

Hopeless optimism: Many people spend with the expectation that they will earn more money soon as a result of a pay rise or bonus. But if the bonus or raise does not work out as expected, there will be a lot of debt to account for.

Charge and charge: Some people who do not have the cash in hand see credit cards as real money. This, of course, can get them into a lot of financial trouble.

These are just a few reasons behind overspending – some people may be motivated by a combination of several reasons. Whatever your reasons, understanding the motivating forces behind overspending can help you address the issue and get a new ‘lease of life’, financially speaking.

– BT, 14 May 2008



How Can She Sleep At Night?

Business Times – 09 May 2008

Zero-rating GST on food won’t help poor

IN his letter (‘Zero-rate GST on basic food items’, BT, April 30), Manmohan Singh suggested that if GST regulations can be introduced to zero-rate trust services, computer server equipment and annual meetings of international organisations, why not basic food items to help the poor and the unemployed cope with inflation?

GST is a tax on domestic consumption of goods and services. Zero-rating is accorded only to overseas consumption. Trust services and Web-hosting services provided to overseas persons are thus zero-rated. If the same supplies were made to local persons, 7 per cent GST would still be applicable.

GST is also payable on the supplies of goods and services for all international events in Singapore, including the 2006 IMF-World Bank Meetings and other events such as the Singapore Airshow. However, for the IMF- World Bank event, as part of the local costs incurred by the IMF/World Bank which the host country had to pay for, the government reimbursed the two organisations the GST they paid.

Zero-rating the GST for basic food items is not the best way to help the poor. Lower-income households account for only 7 per cent of the total GST that is paid on food. Zero-rating food items would thus end up benefiting the higher-income group disproportionately, making it an inefficient way to help those who really need it. Further, most of the spending of lower-income households is not on basic foods. Thus zero-rating the GST for such items will have only a limited impact in helping these households.

This is why the government’s approach has been to help the lower-income group directly, through the GST Offset Package and targeted measures under ComCare. Families who need additional financial assistance may approach the Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC), the Community Development Council (CDC), self-help groups or voluntary welfare organisations, who are in the best position to assess the needs of such families and tap the CCC ComCare Fund if necessary.

This way, we can provide lower-income households far more substantial assistance, which they can spend on food or other items according to their needs.

The government is concerned about inflation and the rising cost of living. That’s why this year’s Budget included the Growth Dividends and other relief measures, targeted especially at lower- and middle- income Singaporeans. Together with measures such as last year’s GST Offset Package, the government will give out over $3 billion in benefits to Singaporeans this year. Lower- and middle-income households will receive benefits that exceed the increase in the costs of living that they face.

Chin Sau Ho
Director (Corporate Communications & Services)
Ministry of Finance

THE Big Picture

“Raising wages to address the issue of rising costs may be an enticing option but that is not the right solution, said Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong.

He said adjusting wages upwards to meet rising prices would only result in a “price-wage spiral” and Singaporeans should look at the bigger picture.”

– 25 April 2008

“Industries need to provide proper remuneration and recognition to retain foreign workers in Singapore especially in the construction sector, according to Senior Minister of State for National Development, Grace Fu. “

– 5 May 2008



Mmmnnn, now I understand the big picture.