Monday, December 28, 2009
I was just at Orchard road the week before Christmas and as usual, the malls are packed with shoppers and the link between Wisma and Takashimaya was so packed that human traffic came to stand still.
This got me thinking. Does malls in our country has to pass any Fire Regulation test? Is there a maximum number of people allow to be in a particular building?
Please note that many countries have fire safety regulation to their malls.
In Taiwan and Japan, there is always a sign at the entrace showing what is the maximum number of people this building is licensed to have and there is a counter showing you how many people are in the building now. This is to prevent the building from being overcrowded and make safe evacuation possible in case of fire or emergency.
This is definite lacking in Singapore.
The matter is made even worst with temporary push-carts and store blocking walk ways and exits of malls.
I really doubt a safe evacuation is possible for our malls during emergencies especially during weekends or festive seasons.
So why is Singapore, being a First world country, chose not to look into this matter?
Well, firstly, I think your life and my life is cheap. You won’t see Minister shopping in a crowded shopping center right?
Secondly, land is expensive in Singapore, so as a mall owners, I will packed as much stores I can into my building and even create temporary stores during festive period so I could get my return in investment ASAP.
So folks, be careful when you go to crowded malls the next time. Always keep a look out for the nearest exit because it is just a disaster waiting to happen in Singapore.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Dec 2, 2009
Holiday trip spoilt by GST shock at airport
MY FAMILY recently returned from a holiday in Europe.
As usual, we bought some gifts from the countries we had visited.
But we were stunned when the Customs officers stopped us and slapped us with 7 per cent goods and services tax (GST) for the gifts we purchased abroad.
Even the watch I was wearing on my wrist was not spared.
We were told that the maximum limit for gifts purchased overseas is $300 - anything exceeding that is taxable.
I checked with many friends and relatives and none of them knew that this rule exists, not even the tour agency.
Needless to say, the incident dampened our spirit after a great holiday.
Ignorance does not meant you are not guilty.
This letter serve no purpose except to remind the rest that such rules exist.
I knew this requirement long ago and has been telling my friends about it.
Dear all, Please note you are required to pay GST for you over-sea purchase if they exceed $300. Note it is total worth and not individual items.
So do not waved your new LV bags, which are still in their paper bags in front of the custom officer, any jokers will know you should declare and pay your GST.
Peter and his many friends and relative need to know the rule book man.
The custom has been closing one eye for many years but I guess now Singapore’s economy is not very good and gahment is noticing people of spending their cash over-sea to avoid the GST here. Therefore to dig more money from us, the are really strict at the custom now. Also I got a tip that GST will go up to 10% after the next election as MIW had spent too much on the Stimulus package and I guess they will not increase the corporate tax in order to attract foreign investments.
Sad… the rich the richer, less taxes, the poor get the stimulus package, and the middle income get SQUEEZED again and again. Time to migrate…