My Wish for Singapore

Regardless of race, language or religion,
I said this pledge when I was able to read and write.
My relationships with people are not defined by who they are.
We are just part of the human race.

What is important for me is whether we are considerate towards each other.
Do we think of others with each action we take?
Whenever I eat at a food court I push in the chair when I leave the table.
I clean up the table around me to leave it clean for the next user.

Are we patient with people around you?
Do we give them space?
Do we smile at people whom you meet often?
Are we friendly?

As the nation gets richer, we still feel we have not got enough.
Is wealth so important as to override relationships?
Do we see our aged parents often?
Is our mental well being relegated to second place?

My wish is for people to be more compassionate.
Can we do more for the less fortunate?
Give some of your time for them.
Can we be less litigious?

So as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.
With prosperity and progress are we truly happy?
We can work on this more.
Happy 52nd National Day!

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Have share prices caught up with 2013 prices?

Let’s see how shares prices of today compare with that beginning of 2013 (about 5 years back).

The STI for 31 December 2012 was 3,167 points. It is now at 3,318 points.

The performances of some stocks were exceptional like Thai Beverage. The jump was 138.8%! SATS, YZJ Shipping, DBS, UOL, Comfort Delgro and UOB did exceptional well.

Though CapitaLand were up this year, it was just back to where it was some 5 years back. City Development was still 9.6% below that in 2013.

Stock 02/01/2013 08/08/2017 Change
Thai Bev 0.40 0.955 138.8%
SATS 2.90 4.84 66.9%
YZJ Shipping 0.99 1.56 57.1%
DBS 14.92 21.02 40.9%
UOL 6.02 8.13 35.0%
Comfort Delgro 1.785 2.33 30.5%
UOB 19.95 24.27 21.7%
Global Logistics 2.77 3.25 17.3%
SingTel 3.33 3.77 13.2%
OCBC 9.90 11.20 13.1%
Ascendas Reit 2.40 2.69 12.1%
Hongkong Land (USD) 7.09 7.58 6.9%
SGX 7.10 7.54 6.2%
Jardine Matheson (USD) 64.00 66.37 3.7%
CapitaComm Trust 1.68 1.71 1.8%
CapitaLand 3.76 3.76 0.0%
ST Engr 3.82 3.77 -1.3%
Wilmar Intl 3.53 3.42 -3.1%
SIA 11.00 10.64 -3.3%
CapitaMall Trust 2.13 2.06 -3.3%
City Dev 13.06 11.80 -9.6%
Jardine C&C 49.20 41.56 -15.5%
Genting Singapore 1.47 1.195 -18.7%
SIA Engr 4.41 3.55 -19.5%
SPH 4.05 2.86 -29.4%
StarHub 3.81 2.60 -31.8%
SembCorp Ind 5.30 3.12 -41.1%
HPH Trust (USD) 0.80 0.465 -41.9%
Keppel Corp 11.08 6.39 -42.3%
Golden Agri-Res 0.655 0.375 -42.7%
31-Dec-12 8-Aug-17 Change
STI 3,167.00 3,318.08 4.8%

At the bottom of the list, we had really bad performances of some stocks. Golden Agri-Res, Keppel Corp, HPH Trust, SembCorp Ind, StarHub, and SPH were beaten down.

Now we can see how the economy and the sectors the company is in have impacts on businesses. Despite that the STI had moved up to above 3,300 points, the performances of different companies were uneven. Having said that, some stocks like Global Logistics were targets for merger and acquisition activities. Prices were chased up on account of these potential M&A activities.

Copyright © 2017, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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I Remember – National Day Parade in 1971

Back in 1971 when I was still in Secondary 2 some 46 years ago, I was in the Red Cross contingent for National Day Parade. Not everyone had the honour to participate in a National Day Parade. In Gan Eng Seng School, the Red Cross Society had a reputation for marching precision. As students we were quite good.

The National Day Parade was held at the Padang. We marched pass the City Hall steps and then moved on to a route where people gathered along the route to see us really closed up.

I remember that we had to stay quite still in the Padang for the proceedings to start. Our fear then was fainting while waiting. Good thing I did not faint. At 14 years old, it was an achievement to participate in this important event of the nation. I did not think too much about it back then except that I was relieved that it was over. There were too many practices and rehearsals.

This special event was mentioned in my Secondary School Leaving Certificate. That was nice. Now, I see that National Day Parade was such a big thing. I watched each NDP on television without fail. Getting a ticket for the parade on the actual day is a draw of the luck.

So for this 52nd National Day Parade, we will be seeing it on the TV. Happy National Day this coming 9 August 2017! The nation will be 52 years old!

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“The Corsican Caper” by Peter Mayle – A Book Review

The same main characters of “The Vintage Caper” continue in “The Corsican Caper”. Sam Levitt and Elena Morales are good friends of billionaire Francis Reboul who lives in Le Palais du Pharo in Marseille. Le Pharo is a desirable residence that Oleg Vronsky, a super rich Russian, was eyeing to get Francis Reboul to sell it to him. When Reboul refused even with large sum of money dangled at him, that was when criminal option was considered by Vronsky.

How would Francis Reboul respond to this threat? Can he get away from the Russian way of brutality? Is Sam Levitt able to devise a plan to get his friend from danger?

Peter Mayle, in his straightforward style, is ingenious in the story line. It is fresh and easy to grasp the plots and the actions. It is subtly humourous despite a crime story at that. The writer brings out the best of France with its food, wine and places of interest. You get to know about Corsica by reading this novel. Corsica was chosen to carry out the act of crime by the Russians, hence the title “The Corsican Caper”.

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Walk trails and boardwalks of MacRitchie Reservoir

Catch the early morning sunrise at 7 am along the southern side of MacRitchie Reservoir. Walk the Chemperai Boardwalk and Jering Boardwalk before turning into the Lornie Trail.

The whole journey took about one and a half hours to two hours, 10,000 steps about 5 km. Very good for your physical fitness and feel the tranquil atmosphere of the reservoir and forest.

If you are lucky you may see a huge water monitor lizard gliding by the boardwalk as you walk. Hear the birds and insects as well.

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Being 60

I am now 60. Call me senior. I am fine with it.

Senior is a label tied to me now with regard to government policies on aging. I am part of this statistics.

I am happy that I reached this age. With age I see people around me growing up. I see an ever-changing world. I lived through crises and good times. I realise how it might be like for my parents and older siblings living through it. I am always the youngest in the family. We all crossed 60 in our own quiet ways. It was like an anti-climax, a non-event.

At the end of the day, 60 is just a milestone. It is an artificially demarcated timeline. It is nice to cross this arbitrary number. It is just a moment to live through.

What now when I cross 60?

For one, I can look forward to receiving PAssion Silver Concession Card to enjoy concessionary fares on public transport. This helps to reduce my public transport cost by 25%. I can get my senior’s discounts on groceries bought from NTUC Fairprice and Giants. These would be easier on my wallet.

As I move on, I remember so many people whom I met along the way. They had been kind and were there when I needed them. Life is like a big classroom where I learn how to live by real-life lessons taught to me. I reminisced more in recent years and recorded all these in my blog posts (so called memoirs). I do not wish to lose these memories.

What is truly important is acceptance of it and as someone said, “carry on”.

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I Remember – My journey through National Service

Singapore commemorates 50 years of national service (NS) this year (1967 – 2017). Since my enlistment at a young age of 18 years old in 1975, I had been a part of NS for 42 years.

My group of friends from the Officer Cadets School (OCS), SAFTI is planning to get together next month to celebrate 40 years after being commissioned as an officer of NS. The strong bonds among us kept us together after all these years. We met on several occasions since 1980. August 2017 will be our 4th major get-together.

I served two and a half years after taking my GCE “A” Level examinations in 1975. My university education was put on hold until my completion of full-time NS liability in 1978. We used the term run-out-date (ROD) to mark the end of full-time NS. Now it is called operationally ready date (ORD).

We then went on to serve 13 years of reservist trainings starting from 1979. These were short stints of trainings and exercises during our university breaks and when we had to take leave from our work place/employer.

National Service is one way for us to show and exercise our loyalty towards Singapore. While we were going through the trainings, we might dislike them and felt that it was disruptive to our lives. But on looking back, I was a better person for it.

I can laugh at many silly things we did. NS taught me to be independent and to be able to do things on my own. From sweeping the fallen leaves on the road to keeping our living quarters and toilets clean. I was taught housekeeping unknowingly, to shine my boots, iron my uniforms, and mend my clothes. We had to stand-by-our-beds for morning inspections. My commander would throw a coin on the bedspread over my bed and see whether the coin bounced up (it must be that taut). He would look into the barrel of my rifle and pronounced that there was an “elephant” in my barrel. I had not cleaned the barrel well enough to be free of explosive powder dust.

Those were days. They left an impressions on me. I still remember them. Happy NS50 Singapore!

Timeline of NS for me

Enlistment:
Report on 29 December 1975 to Central Manpower Base
Did recruit training in Pulau Tekong for three months.
Completed Section Leader course in Pulau Tekong

SAFTI – OCS 4th SMC Senior Term
13 December 1976 to 30 April 1977

Trainer at OCS 6th SMC
1977 to 1978

Reservist Duration:
Posted to 152 PDF (Beach Road Camp) from 20 Feb 1979
Last reporting for a full-scale exercise was from 7 January 1992 to 18 January 1992.

Commissioned as Second Lieutenant of SAF

Completion of 13-Year Cycle of ICTs 29 January 1992 at Field Defence Squadron RSAF Tengah Air Base. Put on FDS-TAB dormant reserve for another 3 years.

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