Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to be the best school in Singapore

Recently these became the talking point:

ST Jan 12, 2008
Sec 5 class advised: Go to ITE insteadPrincipal tells students that they are unlikely to do well at O levels
By Sandra Davie

ST Jan 16, 2008Principal's 'wake-up call' to Sec 5 students had to be 'conveyed'
By Jane Ng

So we see the flaw of KPI and school rankings.

Every principle had change from an educator to a businessman who is watching his/her school-passing rate like no other business.

Who can blame them when or MOE are using this to rank our schools. (Why the hell they rank schools in the first place???!!)

Actually its not too difficult to be the best or worst school in Singapore.

You just need to enroll ONE student. Yes ONE.

So if he do really good say 9 As for his O-level.

Then your school become “100% passed with 9As”.

Sound good? Better if he represent his school in some sports and win.

“100% student represent Singapore in SEA games” or “100% student win gold medals in Nationals School Swimming meet”

But you have to make sure he is a good student else you get.

“100% student fail O-level”

Monday, January 21, 2008

It take two hands to clap.

Jan 21, 2008

Bad salt experience at Terminal One food court

I RECENTLY patronised the food court at Terminal One upon arriving in Singapore on Jan 13.

You would never have imagined the customer service that I experienced on the very first 15 minutes upon arrival.

I ordered a can of coke from the food court at Basement 1. After I made payment, I asked for salt and the staff told me that there wasn't any. It seemed strange to me that a drinks stall did not have any salt.

I tried approaching her again to check if she could get the salt elsewhere but before I could do so, she stared at me and told me: 'Don't have means don't have".

I did not want to start an argument with her and decided to purchase fruit juice from the adjacent stall for my girlfriend instead. And right in front of that stall was a container of salt. Then it dawned on me why Singapore's world ranking is starting to decline.

There are three points that I would like to highlight:

1. There is no necessity for the staff to stare at me.
2. It was totally unnecessary for her to use an angry tone with those harsh words.
3. She didn't even have to take the salt for me. She could have just told me that the neighbouring stall had what I wanted.

The main objective of this e-mail is not to penalise the staff or request an apology. What I'm concerned about is the reputation of the nation.

Janssen Tham Kwok Onn

I am actually quite surprise that this kind of letter got published by ST Forum online. I believe ST got better letters with REAL complaints to published like “GST, Taxi Hike, Civil Service Pay rise, etc etc”

Firstly to put things straight, the Terminal One Food Court is actually a staff canteen. It main purpose is to serve the staff working in the airport but it does open to the public.

What service Janssen expect when he visit a Food Court? Does he demand the hawkers serve him with a smile everytime?

I agreed that the staff was rude but what you expect with an underpaid long hour job worker.

To answer Janssen three points:

  1. How to define a stare? Were you staring at her too?
  2. This is true but what to expect from a hawker? You are not paying for any service. Must you really have salt in your coke and since you said the salt is right in front of the adjacent stall, can’t you see it? Did you try looking for a salt first before you ask her again? Need to be spoon fed I see.
  3. Maybe she really don’t know the salt is there? You just assume she don’t want to help you.

The reputation of the nation are already tanished by several other more important issue,(Human Right, High Cost of living, Hopeless Public Transport, World most expensive Cars……) so don't worry too much.

Not to worry Janssen, even MM said we are not gracious.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gracious Society? Fat hope!

I went to IKEA Tampines for Dinner yesterday.

For those who don’t know, IKEA restaurant have this policy of you clearing your own utensils after your meal. But obviously it is difficult for it to work in Singapore.

When I used to dine in IKEA, be it Alexandra or Tampines, I would say maybe 2/10 joker usually leave their mess behind.

But the situation had gone to a point of no return.

Yesterday I noticed the restaurant's tables were full of leftovers, not only that, those idiots seem to be in the competition to see who can make the biggest mess during their meals. I really pity the 2-3 cleaners who were busy clearing up the mess.

Also many parents treat the place like a big playground for their kids.

I don’t mind if the kids play in the corners but these brats were like running all over the store screaming at the top of their voice.

I think the words “Gracious” and “Considerate” are already missing in our National vocabulary.

The kid’s behaviors in the stores are the results of the adult behaviors in the restaurants.

This is indeed very sad.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Happy New Year SBS!

Look like some things just don't change.

To Whom It May Concern:

This is the 3rd time I am writing to SBS Transit within 6 months.

I last written to you in July and Aug 2007 in regard to the service standard of Service 89 at Pasir Ris during morning peak hour.

The load factor and schedule of Service 89 seem to fluctuate randomly. For the pass few months, the load factor and frequency are still acceptable. Just when I am about to comment that SBS really do take public feedbacks seriously thing starts to deteriorate.

Today, again at Bus stop 77019, I missed a Service 89 at 0800hrs. In the end, I have to wait till about 0826 for the next bus.

Is close to 30min waiting time acceptable to SBS transit?

Please provide your schedule for Service 89 which you failed to provide for when I asked in my previous two emails.

Under Public Transport Council guideline on Quality of Bus service standards item :

4.4 Bus service scheduled headways (frequencies):

a) At least 80% of bus services to operate at headway of not more than 15 minutes (to be changed to 10 minutes with effect from Aug 2009) during weekday (excluding public holidays) peak periods, unless otherwise stipulated by the PTC

Under you Customer Service Charter for Buses:

“Availability: Waiting time for 75% of bus services to be within 15min and 80% to be within 20min during peak hour”.

From my personal experience, it look like SBS transit need to be constantly reminded on its real service standard from the public.

I do not sense any sincerity for SBS Transit to provide quality services to your customer as promised by your service charter.

I hope you will be looking into the matter seriously and I look forward to your prompt response.

Please do show some sincerity by not sending my a template replies as per your previous two responses.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Why our public transport are hopless?

I think I finally know why our public transport are so screwed up.

Let see what the PTC suppose to do:

The Public Transport Council (PTC) is an independent body that regulates bus services, public transport fares and ticket payment services. It is constituted under the Public Transport Council Act (Cap 259B), which was brought into force on 14 August 1987. As an independent regulator, the PTC is entrusted with the challenging mission of both safeguarding the interest of the public and ensuring the long-term viability of public transport operators. It aims to strike an optimum balance between the two and, on this basis, seeks to:
  • Create a comprehensive and integrated bus network;
  • Assure quality bus services;
  • Maintain affordable bus and train fares for the public; and
  • Safeguard public interest in the mode of payment of fares.

Look who are the council members for Public Transport Council!!

I seriously doubt the claims. “Many of the Council Members are regular users of public transport…..”

Council Members were appointed on the basis of their competency, good public standing and experience, especially their ability to contribute effectively to PTC's deliberations on issues relating to public transport. They are drawn from a wide cross-section of society including:

  • professional services
  • business enterprises
  • academic institutions
  • labour unions
  • grassroots organisations

Many of the Council Members are regular users of public transport and all are familiar with the operations of the public transport system both locally and overseas.

The composition of the Council facilitates a wide representation of views from the public. It enables PTC's deliberations to be comprehensive and rigorous, taking into full account of the diverse technical, economic, financial and social perspectives. This ensures that decisions made are robust, balanced and readily acceptable to the public.

Taxi in Singapore

Income of its drivers up by 10 per cent, says ComfortDelGro
Today Online Friday • January 4, 2008A

Some cabbies had griped about seeing their takings plummet since fares were hiked three weeks ago — but an initial finding by the largest taxi operator here suggests that the contrary is, in fact, true.

"From our initial findings, income of drivers has gone up by about 10 per cent," said ComfortDelGro spokeswoman Tammy Tan, in response to Today's queries.

"We have over 30,000 drivers and while some have indicated a drop in takings, others have seen an increase. "

The fare revision is aimed not just at regulating demand and supply but also increasing driver income, and early indications are that this is happening."

Some cabbies claim to have suffered a 5- to 50-per-cent cut in takings as commuters resist the impulse to take taxis, turning instead to trains and buses.

Nr Ng Kian Cha, 54, groused: "Business has gone down especially during the morning peak hours. I picked up only three people in two-and-a-half hours. It is even worse after 5pm."

But other taxi companies say it is too early to tell if their drivers indeed face an income crunch.

Mr Lim Chong Boo, managing director of Premier Taxis, with a fleet of 2,400, said the number of call bookings dipped during the Christmas period — which he attributed to people going on holiday overseas — but picked up just before the new year.

"It's too premature to come to any conclusion," he said.

Meanwhile, commuters are still coming to grips with how the revised surcharges are tallied — and a few unscrupulous taxi drivers are taking advantage of their confusion.

One cabbie allegedly charged undergraduate Daniel Soh an extra $3 on Wednesday night, after a short journey from Newton MRT station to Zouk discotheque in Kim Seng Road.Under the new fare structure, a $3 city area surcharge is levied between 5pm and midnight from Monday to Saturday, for anyone boarding a taxi within the zone bounded by the electronic road pricing gantries. Newton falls outside this.

"I knew there was no surcharge but the driver said there was," said Mr Soh, 23, who paid the fare but complained to the taxi company.

Office manager Ziehan Adnan, 25, claimed she was taken on a roundabout route on Wednesday, after she had boarded the taxi 10 minutes before the peak hour surcharge — now 35 per cent of the metered fare — expired.

When confronted, the taxi driver argued that she was paying less in surcharges than if the whole ride had fallen within the peak period.

"I am more angry about the drivers' attitudes than about the money," she said.

While new fare guides have been posted in taxis, bank executive Audrey Chow, 27, said: "There are just too many surcharges and you cannot remember them all. I will just pay whatever is on the meter."

Cabbie Teo Teck Huat, 60, said there was little incentive for drivers to inflate fares by taking a longer route "because that would waste a lot of our own time".

A spokeswoman for SMRT Taxis, which has 3,000 taxis, told Today it had not received any complaints."

To ensure our passengers are charged the correct fare, our taxi meters automatically capture any additional surcharges incurred throughout the journey," she said.

Still, commuters are advised to keep their receipts, which give a breakdown of the fare.

ComfortDelGro's Ms Tan said: "Our meters are tamper-proof so there is little risk of miscalculation."

I believe this article to rubbished those complaints from cabbies that claim they income have dropped due to lack of passengers after the increase in fare.

The first part of the article states that some comfort taxi drivers income increase by 10% instead.

This statement is so idiotic.

Note that Tammy don’t provide any figure.

We only know comfort has about 30 000 drivers. But how many of them actually had a 10% increase in his income? Could be only just 1 of the 30 000!!


Before the fare restructuring, Comfort Driver Bo Jo Kang only drive his cab 2 days in a week and he take his normally take it easy so his average daily income is about $100. Multiply by 2 and his weekly income in $200.

After the fare restructuring, Bo Jo Kang daily income dropped by 50%. So he need to work longer hours to compensate. He drive 5 days instead of 2 days in a week and his weekly income is about $250. A whopping 25% increase in his income! Hooray!

So what we see here? Bo Jo Kang had to work longer to earn what his used to get. At the end of the day it is the bloody taxi company that benefit from all the fare restructuring. Now drivers had to rent more cabs from them while the drivers and passengers suffered.

Then the article speaks for itself how some driver increase they taking of the days. BY OVERCHARGING.