Updates

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Going to The Wine Glass with Bella later on with $60 voucher courtesy of Joel. Thank you you :)

After which, Bella and I will be going to collect our freebies/free hampers etc from 3 different places this Saturday woohooo.

Will also be getting my Texas Financial Calculator soon and gonna start my CFA revision next week.

 

It's suicide

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Looks like this case is finally closed. Or is it not?

STATE coroner on Wednesday recorded a suicide verdict on the death of Nanyang Techological University (NTU) undergrad David Widjaja, who jumped from a campus block after allegedly stabbing his professor in his office with a kitchen knife..

A bloody Widjaja, 21, an Indonesian, was seen leaving the office of NTU professor Chan Kap Luk. Several witnesses who had testified earlier said they saw the student thrust himself off the bridge on March 2.

The coroner's inquiry into the engineering student's death turned up strong evidence that Mr Widjaja had been planning to kill himself - a possibility his family has repeatedly dismissed.

The inquest was told that months before he fell to his death on campus,Mr Widjaja was searching the Internet for ways to commit suicide and murder.

Text fragments gleaned from the undergraduate's laptop show he used search engine Google to look for 'a good way to commit suicide' and also the 10 most common suicide methods.

He also searched for murder methods and spent some time at a website titled How To Get Away With Murder.

Senior Staff Sergeant Joe Ng Suan Teck, who conducted a forensic examination of Mr Widjaja's black Lenovo laptop's contents, told the court that the text fragments he had extracted included Internet searches and links to websites pertaining to both suicide and murder.

His examination of the laptop also threw up what appears to be a suicide note.

The unsigned document, titled Last Words, was created on Jan 25 and left unamended.

In the note, which begins 'If this e-mail is sent, that means I am no longer in this world', the writer painted a picture of an unhappy family situation, saying he became 'hardened' and stopped crying after he turned 16. 'I just don't have any more tears for me to shed for other people.'

The writer said he 'found life much more difficult and complicated' after entering university.

Source.

 

Comic-Con Prank!

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Dispatches - Terror In Mumbia

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The untold story of 2008's terrorist attack on the Indian city of Mumbai. The story is told in the words of its victims and the gunmen. Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Dan Reed, Terror in Mumbai tells the story of what happened when 10 Muslim gunmen held one of the world's busiest cities hostage; killing and wounding hundreds of people while holding India's crack security forces a More..t bay.

Featuring footage of the attacks and interviews with senior police officers and hostages, including the testimony from Kasab - the sole surviving gunman, Dispatches reveals what happened, hour by hour, from the perspective of the security forces, the terrorists, their masterminds and the victims.

~

This is the act of the "religion of peace".

 

Precious Saturdays

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I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself.

He was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Tom." I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."

He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."

And that's when he began to explain his theory of "a thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."

"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."

"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and have thrown it away."

"I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones …"

"It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss.

"C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh, nothing special," I said. "It has just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."

 

Joke of the Day

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I urgently needed a few days off work, but, I knew the Boss would not allow me to take leave. I thought that maybe if I acted ‘Crazy’ then he would tell me to take a few days off.

So I hung upside-down on the ceiling and made funny noises. My co-worker (who’s blonde) asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was pretending to be a light bulb so that the Boss might think I was ‘Crazy’ and give me a few days off.

A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked, ‘What in the name of good GOD are you doing?’
I told him I was a light bulb.
He said, ‘You are clearly stressed out.’ Go home and recuperate for a couple of days.’
I jumped down and walked out of the office.

When my co-worker (the blonde) followed me, the Boss asked her, ‘And where do you think you’re going?!’

She said, ‘I’m going home, too. I can’t work in the dark.’

 

Structured Notes

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Did you or any of your close friends/relatives/family members bought the structured notes few years ago and are now suffering deep paper losses?

Several investors have suggested that a petition to be sent to the Prime Minister to ask him to get the banks to offer compensation similar to Hong Kong, namely 60% now and 40% of the proceeds at maturity.

You can view/sign the petition here. Still some way to go before reaching the quota of 1000 signatures though.

 

Check this out

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HAHAHA FYI the opponent is Bella.

 

Heard of a place to commit suicide legally?

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LONDON - BRITISH conductor Edward Downes and his wife have died at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, their family said on Tuesday.

The family said Downes, 85, and his 74-year-old wife Joan died on Friday 'peacefully and under circumstances of their own choosing' at a Zurich clinic run by the group Dignitas.

The family statement said Downes had become almost blind and increasingly deaf. His wife, a former dancer, choreographer and television producer, had devoted years to working as his assistant.

'After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems,' the statement said.

Dignitas refused to comment from its office near Zurich.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are banned in Britain, but British courts have been reluctant to convict people who help loved ones travel to clinics abroad to end their lives.

Born in Birmingham, central England, in 1924, Edward Downes had long associations with the Royal Opera House - where he conducted every season for more than 50 years - and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became principal conductor and later conductor emeritus.

As music director of the Australian Opera, he conducted the first performance at the Sydney Opera House in 1973, and he also worked with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra and ensembles around the world.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, becoming Sir Edward Downes.

The couple is survived by a son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca. The family said there would be no funeral. -- AP

Source.

 

Bintan Trip (again)

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This time round, we have another couple with us; Wendy's bro and his girlfriend.

As before, our breakfast was the super nice Lor Mee at Bedok Interchange; one of the best in Singapore no joke.


After the nice breakfast, we took a bus to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to meet up with her bro. Taking advantage of duty free, how can we leave Singapore without some nice beer? Unfortunately, we only bought 3 cans of Carlsberg which on hindsight is too little!!!


Sadly, we did not manage to board the new ferry; it was still the old Falcon/Penguin ferry.


Left: Wendy's bro and his gf
Right: One of the thing that I always anticipate when going overseas is the resort/hotel room and Bintan Agro has got one of the nicest around at affordable price



Bottom: View from our Balcony


First meal at Bintan, a nice Chicken Burger with fruit salad and drink ($7)

After a hearty lunch, we rest a while before going down to Kayak! As the sea bed was quite flat throughout the first maybe 1km?, we managed to paddle quite a distance out. ($5 per person for 30min!) In the last 15min or so, more and more water just got onto our kayak and it seems that we will sink any moment. We had no idea why.

Wendy and the rest went for a 3 hours massage cum spa while I stayed in my room as I deemed massaging a torture!




Wendy's spa photos


Dinner Time at the only seafood restaurant


Left: Super nice chilli crab
Right: Sun Moon Fried Rice (Nice!)


Left: Butter Oat Crab (Nice!)
Right: Baby Kailan (Booo)


Left: Black Pepper Crab (Nice!)
Right: Garlic Prawn (Nice!)


Heineken (Best!)


Wendy's bro bought some fireworks and we released it at the beach


Captured using a Point & Shoot camera. Trick: Use multi-frame shutter mode


The night is still young. I gave a call to the frontdesk and was told that the swimming pool is open for all till 11pm. We went for a 30min swim with the pool all by ourselves except for a non-existent guy :)


And... the night is still young! After our swim, we played our usual texas poker with peanut as wager. No prize for guessing right who has the more peanuts ;)


Water retreated quite a distance in the morning and revealed much of the seabed



Buffet breakfast. Roti Prata, omelet and noodle.


Flu for the 2nd day, must be the night swimming :(


Last ditch of activity by Bella, thai massage!



Bella with her beloved Pillow bidding goodbye aww~

Bonus Picture

 

Alonso And Gerrard Bonding

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The horribly slow murderer, with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon

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Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)

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YouBet

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No, its not an affiliate site by Youtube; rather its a name of a retail shop located at Harbourfront Centre opened by one of my friend.

YouBet is a one stop shop for home casino supplies with items like poker cards, poker chips, mahjong sets etc. It also offer Magic courses trained by professional Magician, Mr Daryl Ho.

Visit their site for more info.


 

10 barred from notes sale

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Definitely one of the biggest punishment for FIs in Singapore. They deserve it!

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has barred 10 financial institutions here which sold toxic credit notes linked to the collapsed US investment bank Lehman Brothers from selling new structured notes for between six months and a minimum of two years.

The unprecedented MAS directive followed its investigations into complaints of mis-selling of the Lehman-linked structured notes from investors in Singapore who lost money last year in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse.

The central bank probe found the 10 financial institutions had in place procedures and controls for the approval and sales of the notes.

However, the level of internal controls differed. As a result there were various forms of failings on the part of the FIs in the sale of the notes, said MAS which released the findings of its investigations on Tuesday.

Some of the failings include assigning inconsistent risk ratings to some series of the Notes that were inconsistent with risk warnings stated in the prospectus and pricing statement; insufficient steps to ensure sales staff were properly trained to sell the notes and weaknesses in how some FIs equipped staff with accurate and complete information about the products.

MAS has ordered the 10 FIs to stop selling new structured notes for periods ranging from a minimum of six months to a minimum of two yearsfrom July 1.

Note distributors like ABN Amro, DBS Bank, Maybank, DMG and UOB Kay Hian will have to stop dealing in and providing advice for new structured notes, for six months, or until they have implemented adequate measures to address their failings or whichever is later.

They also have to appoint an external party - to be approved by MAS - to review their action plan, and also appoint a member from its senior management to ensure compliance.

Similarly, CIMB, Kim Eng, OCBC Securities and Philip Securities have also been told to stop dealing in and providing advise for new structured notes, for one year from July 1.

Hong Leong Finance received the heaviest penalty - it cannot sell new structured notes for a minimum of two years.

OCBC Securities was ordered by MAS to stop using introducers to provide advice for new structured notes for good.

Ten financial institutions sold over $660 million worth of Lehman-linked investments to more than 10,000 investors, who bought Lehman Minibonds, DBS High Notes 5 and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 LinkEarner Notes.

THE 10 FIs banned from selling new structured products are:

1. ABN Amro Bank Singapore Branch - Minimum 6 months

2. DBS Bank - Minimum 6 months

3. Maybank - Minimum 6 months

4. DMG & Partners Securities - Minimum 6 months

5. UOB Kay Hian - Minimum 6 months

6. CIMB-GK Securities - Minimum one year

7. Kim Eng Securities - Minimum one year

8. OCBC Securities - Minimum one year

9. Philip Securities - Minimum one year

10. Hong Leong Finance - Minimum two years

Source.

 

Financial Planner/Consultant/Adviser etc etc

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Recently, I got a phone call from a financial planner who got my contact through one of my friend. His voice was familiar but I did not bother to verify it as I was still quite pissed off that my friend just passed my contact like that. Whats worse was that he claimed that my friend will inform me beforehand which he did not.

If I am not wrong, this financial planner is just a part-timer. But whatever reason my sentiments tell me that, is not important at all. This just bring me some thoughts about the financial planning industry.

Very often you see job advertisements on the above mentioned positions requiring education level that of 'O' Level only. While I agree that the required knowledge are not that intensive, it is still, in my opinion, essential that a related diploma/degree is necessary. This, not only enable to consultant to have basic foundation to understand a product thoroughly, but also to be able to see the big picture and differentiate and choose products carefully for his/her client.

I understand that company do send its employees for courses to familiar themselves with the products before launching it. But on average, how many of them understand every single bit of it? I stressed the importance of understanding a product is more critical for a financial planner than an investor because he/she is paid to advise on money matters that is not properly executed, will become a liability instead. Just look at how many personal/private bankers/relationship managers mis-represented the structured product linked to the collapsed of Lehman brothers.

How can someone who just went into the financial industry for a mere few months able to advise on big money matters? Would you trust to leave your money to him when you know that though he might know his products well, how capable is he is to able to recommend you a product that is suitable to your risk profile? Not me though.

 

TGIF!

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In the lift

Had my first fish spa (or doctor fish) at Marina Square today with Bella. I will cut the boring feeling said by many when they first experience it (you know, the usual stuff like "oh initially it felt ticklish but soon you will get used to it bla bla bla").



Cute little fishes

I have 3 blood clot on my feet due to soccer. Well, these doctors managed to bite off a little but not much. Maybe I need more experience doctors to see to it. It cost $28 for a 30min session. Reckon the one at AMK previously will cost cheaper but unfortunately it was not there anymore.



We have the whole place to ourselves on a food Friday afternoon

After the nice session, I was shocked to see that the hairs on my legs are gone! Just kidding, we Bella went to do some window shopping at Sasa and Watson before heading to our Transformer movie. It was nice and definitely worth the money because the movie was more than 2 hours long.



The initial plan after movie was to have a steamboat dinner at home but by the time we prepare everything, it would be close to 9pm. So we decided go New York New York. I ordered my usual Bacon Aglio Olio to see if I could sense any secret ingredient in this dish but I failed miserably; only managed to taste bacon in the noodle lol.


Waited at least 15 to 20min for our food
Hungry and food craze Bella is going mad


Top: Fish Dip with fries (nice!)
Left: Bacon Aglio Olio (nice!)
Right: Half Spring Chicken with Wedges (nice!)

BONUS PICTURE

Bella with her sweet tooth after dinner