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  1. i dont pity the stall owner or customer. simple willing buyer, willing seller. no one force anyone to rent or buy food. it a free market.
  2. SINGAPORE – Almost two weeks after the Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar restarted in full force for the first time since 2019, a litany of complaints from stallholders worried about high rents, low visitorship and steep competition has emerged. Rents have skyrocketed to $24,000 for some kebab stalls, while other stall owners have tussled with the organisers, with one making a police report after the cable providing electricity for the stall was cut. Mr Mohamad Haikel Suhaimi, 35, runs Ramly burger stall Original Taste From Malaysia in a tent behind Tanjong Katong Complex. While he paid $16,000 to rent one stall, another Ramly burger seller in the tent paid $20,000 each for four stalls. “For the past four days, (the organisers) have been coming to the shop to tell us to change the signage (to not show Ramly burgers) and they even threatened to close my shop by bringing down the management from Wisma Geylang Serai with two security guards,” said Mr Haikel, speaking to The Straits Times on the first day of Ramadan last Thursday. Wisma Geylang Serai is the social and cultural heritage hub in Geylang Serai, led by the People’s Association. The bazaar is managed and operated by a consortium made up of S-Lite Event Support, TLK Trade Fair and Events and Enniche Global Trading. “My agreement didn’t state that I cannot sell Ramly burgers so I’ve just continued to sell,” he added. In the signed agreement between the stall and the organisers seen by ST, there is no clause stating what kind of food vendors are supposed to sell. His girlfriend, who runs the stall with him, made a police report after they lost power in the stall and realised that the cable had been severed on March 19. After alerting the Wisma Geylang Serai office, power was restored within a few hours. In 2023, there are some 700 stall spaces available. Mr Mohamad Haikel Suhaimi runs Ramly burger stall Original Taste From Malaysia and paid $16,000 to rent one stall. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH In a media release last Friday, Wisma Geylang Serai said more than 200,000 people visited the bazaar in its first week of operations. Wisma Geylang Serai did not address the issues in its reply dated Monday, saying only: “With the rental price ranging from $2,000 to $19,000 as announced earlier by the winning bazaar operator, the bazaar received a healthy response... with the take-up rates now standing at 95 per cent for F&B booths and 80 per cent in retail. “Traditionally... more stalls will be taken up within the next few weeks into Ramadan. Also, several vendors would open their stalls only (in the) later part of the fasting month due to the relevancy of their products.” The 2023 bazaar – the longest-running, at 36 days – began on March 17 to coincide with the Hari Raya light-up in Geylang Serai, and will continue until April 21. Hari Raya Puasa, which marks the end of the fasting month, falls on April 22. Other stallholders said they have had to face high rents and had received promises from the organisers to be the exclusive sellers of a certain food type in a tent. Wisma Geylang Serai had earlier said that the maximum charge for food and beverage stalls would be $19,000. However, on Wednesday, a spokesman from the consortium said that “selling booth rates for ‘Food & Beverage’ are priced from $15,000 to $25,000”. And while “base rentals” for booths were priced from $2,000 to $19,000, this did not include “exclusivity on ‘Kebab’ and ‘Burger’ food sellers”. There are about 20 exclusive F&B booths out of a total of 150 F&B booths. Pasha Turkish Kebab owner Amr Elgoharoi said he was promised exclusivity to run a stall in the tent next to Onan Road if he paid $24,000. This year’s bazaar began on March 17 to coincide with the Hari Raya light-up in Geylang Serai, and will run until April 21. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH He added that it was the only reason he was willing to pay a premium. However, another kebab shop has popped up less than 50m from his stall. Prices for kebabs at both stalls start from $5. “They (organisers) told me I would be the only kebab vendor here but... another operator has shown up,” said Mr Amr, who has had a stall at the bazaar for the last 10 years. “I’m worried that I can’t make back (the money I put in now), I regret it.” More On This Topic Complaints made against operator of pony rides at Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar 7 best eats at the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar The other kebab seller in the tent, The Botak BBQ & Grill, was also quoted a rental of $24,000 and told verbally that there would be no other competitor there. Stall owner Mahmoud Wagih, 45, who has been running a kebab stall at the bazaar since 2007, said: “This bazaar is for all Singaporeans to do business, not to kill each other (with competition)... pray for us.” Other stallholders are concerned that they will not be able to recoup their investment. Besides rental, they also have to pay for power points, sinks, lights and tables from the organisers. “With the manpower and additional costs for electrical points and lights rental, this year I’m spending around $100,000 altogether,” said Nenda’s Fritters operations manager Muhd Ridzuan Senin. The Botak BBQ & Grill at the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar on March 24, 2023. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH The vendor, who mainly sells Ramly burgers, has been part of the bazaar for the past 15 years. His Ramly burgers cost around $5. He added that business in 2023 has been mixed so far. “Usually the queues for Ramly burger and kebabs are so long but this year is quite quiet... maybe because a lot of people are breaking fast at home,” he said. “Hopefully the crowd will pick up.” Others like Satay Ummi owner Lydia Izzati, 31, said she is not too worried about recouping her investment of $15,000. Her satay goreng ranges in price from $10 to $13 a box, depending on the type of meat. This is her first time renting the space for a whole month. In previous years, she ran a stall for seven to 10 days. “Many stallholders are worried about whether we can break even, but as long as the brand is good, the product is good, people will definitely come... There is spending power in the community, people are willing to pay,” said Ms Lydia. This is Ms Lydia Izzati’s first time renting the space for a whole month. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH Home-based businesses have also been brought in this time via a flea market concept behind Tanjong Katong Complex, offering vendors far more affordable rental of $2,000 for 36 days, or $55 a day. Consumers ST spoke to said they are feeling the pinch of higher prices at the 2023 bazaar. “So far, the increase has been around $2 or $3... I used to pay $3.50 or $4 for a Ramly burger,” said Ms Nurul Asyiqin, 24, who is pregnant. “But I still wanted to come out because I had a craving for vadai and satay... I’m going into labour soon,” added Ms Nurul, who was with her 15-month-old child and husband at the stalls near Engku Aman Road. Mr Sufiyan Samsul, 34, a freelance outdoor instructor, also noted that prices have gone up by $2 to $3. “Prices of the food have been increasing over the years but I just wanted to come... and soak in the atmosphere with my family,” said Mr Sufiyan, who was with his wife and four children picking up takoyaki and otak otak to take home to feast on.
  3. i dont pity the stall owner or customer. simple willing buyer, willing seller. no one force anyone to rent or buy food. it a free market.
  4. It is common knowledge that the rent at the Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar has skyrocketed. Not only that, but the prices of food sold there have increased significantly. Now being able to go there is almost like a luxury. Stallholders at the bazaar have expressed their concerns about the exorbitant rent and being able to break even. Image: Pete Burana / Shutterstock.com Organisers Threatening to Close Shops According to Original Taste from Malaysia stall owner Mr Mohamed Haikel Suhaimi, 35, the organisers had come over to his stall over four days telling him to change its signage not to show that his booth was selling Ramly burgers. “They even threatened to close my shop by bringing down the management from Wisma Geylang Serai with two security guards,” Mr Haikel told Straits Times last Thursday (23 March). This particular stall, located in a tent behind Tanjong Katong Complex, cost Mr Haikel $16,000 to rent. Another Ramly burger seller had to pay a whopping $20,000 to rent each of his four stalls. The signed agreement between vendors and organisers did not have a clause stating what vendors could and could not sell. Therefore, Mr Haikel has continued selling Ramly burgers as the agreement did not tell him otherwise. Mr Haikel and his girlfriend, who both run the stall, made a police report after power had been lost and the cables at his booth were severed on 19 March. Upon notifying the Wisma Geylang Serai office, power at his stall was restored within several hours. Just Optimism From the Organisers Without addressing the complaints made by stallholders about the high cost of rent, lack of customers and stiff competition, Wisma Geylang Serai mentioned on Monday (27 March) that the bazaar has received a “healthy response,” with the take-up rates being “95 per cent for F&B booths and 80 per cent for retail.” A media release by Wisma Geylang Serai last Friday (24 March) stated that the bazaar had over 200,000 visitors in its first week of operations. Although Wisma Geylang Serai had mentioned that booth rentals cost between $2,000 and $19,000, there are some exceptions. A spokesman from the consortium running the bazaar comprising S-Lite Event Support, TLK Trade Fair and Events and Enniche Global Trading has said that “selling booth rates for ‘Food & Beverage’ are priced from $15,000 to $25,000.” The “base rentals” of $2,000 to $19,000 did not include “exclusivity on ‘Kebab’ and ‘Burger’ sellers.” Quietened Sales The cost doesn’t just stop at rent. Vendors have to pay for power points, sinks, lights and tables provided by the organisers, and some are worried about being unable to recoup this cost. They also have to fork out extra costs for human resources. Nenda’s Fritters manager, Mr Muhd Ridzuan Senin, said he was spending “around $100,000 altogether” with such costs. Despite queues for Ramly burger stalls usually being long, this year it has been “quite quiet,” possibly since “a lot of people are breaking fast at home.” Ramly burgers are sold at his stall for $15, which has been present at the bazaar for 15 years. Empty Promises Mr Amr Elgoharoi, the owner of Pasha Turkish Kebab, was allegedly promised exclusivity if he rented a stall in the tent next to Onan Road for $24,000. Although he was told he would be the only kebab operator there, another one with similar prices has since shown up less than 50m from his stall. He only agreed to pay a premium due to the exclusivity. He had been running a stall at the bazaar for ten years. However, he is now worried that he can’t earn that money back and stated that he regrets his decision. Strangely enough, the other kebab vendor in that tent, Mr Mahmoud Wagih, 45, who runs The Botak BBQ and Grill, was promised the exact same thing as Mr Amr. “This bazaar is for all Singaporeans to do business, not to kill each other (with competition),” Mr Mahmoud said. “Pray for us.” Image: Pete Burana / Shutterstock.com Not a Completely Dire Situation Ms Lydia Izzati, 31, owner of Satay Ummi, said that she was not too concerned with getting back her $15,000 investment. “As long as the brand is good, the product is good, people will definitely come,” said Ms Izzati. Previously, she rented out the stall for seven to 10 days. This year will mark her first time renting out the stall for an entire month. Her stall’s speciality, satay goreng, ranges from $10 to $13, depending on the type of meat used. A flea market concept comprising home-based businesses behind Tanjong Katong Complex has been introduced, with a rental of $2,000 for 36 days, a much more affordable option. Visitors’ Take Although customers have noted the price increase, such as Ms Nurul Asyiqin, 24, who told Straits Times that the “increase has been around $2 or $3,” they are still heading to the bazaar for various reasons. Ms Asyiqin came to the bazaar with her husband and 15-month-old child to satisfy her cravings. She is currently pregnant and going into labour soon. Another visitor, Mr Sufiyan Shamsul, 34, came with his wife and four children to “soak in the atmosphere.” Yes, the prices may be ridiculous, but you can still find good food and great vibes at the bazaar, which makes it irresistible.
  5. SINGAPORE — The tension between Mr Lim and Mr Yap, co-tenants of a flat under a scheme for singles, was apparent during their interview with TODAY. Mr Yap kept interrupting Mr Lim, sometimes making sarcastic remarks, making the latter hesitant to continue talking. The interview had to be moved from their flat in Bedok to the void deck, and conducted separately to make it more conducive for the two men — who declined to give their full names — to speak more freely. Their taut relationship is part of the dynamics of living under one roof with strangers, in their case as co-tenants under the Joint Singles Scheme Operator Run Pilot (JSS-OR). Another co-tenant under the scheme, Mr Sankili Poothatthan Kalimuthu, had to put up with his flatmate’s disruptive behaviour. Read also Man charged with murdering his co-tenant in Redhill “He was always getting drunk and rowdy late at night," said the 50-year-old. "One night, he invited two of his friends over for drinks and they were really noisy. I told him to control the volume since I had just come back from a day’s work and needed the rest, but he scolded me instead.” Tensions between them came to a head when Mr Kalimuthu’s flatmate threatened to hurt him, and he eventually requested to be moved out to a different flat. On a brighter note, a co-tenant under the JSS-OR scheme could be that much-needed helping hand for their single flatmate in times of trouble. That was the experience of a 50-year-old tenant who wanted to be known only as Mr Vincent. Once, he was so ill with diarrhea that he could not move or go about his daily activities as usual. His flatmate — who could be inconsiderate at times — was the one who helped him with his daily needs, including preparing his meals, and calling the ambulance when he saw Mr Vincent becoming weaker and could not move. Read also Gendered floors, CCTV cameras among suggestions from welfare groups for HDB pilot letting low-income singles rent rooms “I told them I was okay, so I didn’t have to go to the hospital. But it was very nice of him to take care of me while I was sick,” said Mr Vincent. Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY Mr Vincent, a 50-year-old co-tenant under the Joint Singles Scheme Operator-Run Pilot, received help from his flatmate with his daily needs once when he was so ill with diarrhea that he could not move or go about his daily activities as usual. TODAY’s interviews with 10 JSS-OR tenants found that while there are indeed instances where the flatmates do not see eye to eye, the majority said they can co-exist and get along. To achieve this, the tenants said they have had to “‘give and take” often and “close one eye” or tolerate their flatmates’ quirks and different lifestyles. The issue of singles as co-tenants in a flat has come under the spotlight recently, amid the launch of a new scheme and reports of squabbling flatmates. Two weeks ago, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced a new pilot, the Single Room Shared Facilities scheme. Under the pilot, which offers singles another option apart from the JSS-OTR, tenants will have their own bedrooms but share facilities with about 20 others. These facilities include toilets, kitchens and laundry and activity rooms. Read also HDB to pilot new scheme in converted student hostel allowing low-income singles to rent rooms on their own As lower-income singles ponder which scheme holds better promise for them, one recent incident offers a sobering reminder of the perils that co-tenancy may bring. Last week, a 59-year-old man was charged with the murder of his co-tenant in a rental flat at Redhill Close. Members of Parliament such as Mr Louis Ng of Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency and Mr Lim Biow Chuan of Mountbatten Single Member Constituency had also spoken up in March 2021 on strangers who had to share a "small space" as co-tenants in public rental flats "not getting along" with one another and thus having "frequent quarrels". They urged HDB to make exceptions to allow singles to rent a flat alone in some cases. In response, Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim told the House that flat-sharing allows the Government to help as many who need a public rental flat as possible "within our limited resources". To provide more privacy, HDB has been building new one-room rental flats with partitions, including some that have internal doors to separate the sleeping areas. Read also Less than 20% of vacant rental flats available for new tenants; supply however sufficient to meet demand: Faishal For older one-room rental flats, HDB will install partitions at the tenants’ request. He also announced that the Government will launch the JSS-OR scheme later that year. JSS-OR SCHEME TARGETS SINGLES WHO CANNOT FIND FLATMATES Launched on Dec 17, 2021, the JSS-OR scheme houses two or more lower-income singles in a one or two-room public rental flat, depending on flat size. Under this scheme, singles can apply for a rental flat without having to find a co-tenant as they will be paired up with other applicants who are strangers. Pairing up strangers in rental flats is not new. Though singles who apply under the long-running Joint Single Scheme (JSS) launched in 1990 are encouraged to find co-tenants to rent with, HDB will provide them with viable single co-tenant applicants if they cannot find any. Read also HDB pilot scheme to allow singles to apply for rental flats without having to look for a flatmate first The JSS-OR scheme differs from JSS in that it is run by in-site social service operators who regularly organise activities for tenants and mediate between them should issues arise. There are two social service operators managing the flats under JSS-OR scheme: New Hope Community Services, which manages a block at Bukit Batok West, and Good News Community Services, which runs the two blocks of flats at Buangkok Crescent and Bedok North Road. Both the JSS and JSS-OR schemes require tenants to be Singapore citizens and at least 35 years of age. While the 10 tenants whom TODAY spoke to come from diverse backgrounds, age, gender, and ethnic groups, the majority of them are either lower-income earners or retired. The tenants were interviewed at their flats in either Bedok North or Bukit Batok West. Despite the challenging experience with his previous co-tenant, Mr Kalimuthu described the JSS-OR scheme as a “good opportunity” which provides him with a proper shelter so that he could focus on improving his finances. Mr Kalimuthu, who has a wife, a son and a daughter, all of whom live in India, had rented two subsidised public rental flats before moving into a unit under the JSS-OR scheme six months ago. During the pandemic, he had been laid off as a software engineer, resulting in a loss of steady income. To make matters worse, the monthly rent for his rental flat at that time went up from S$100 to S$200, which was more than what he could afford. It left him with no choice but to give up the flat and be homeless. Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY Despite the challenging experience with his previous co-tenant, Mr Sankili Poothatthan Kalimuthu described the JSS-OR scheme as a “good opportunity” which provides him with a proper shelter so that he could focus on improving his finances. Referring to his homeless experience, Mr Kalimuthu said: “One night I was sleeping outside the Fullerton Bay Hotel, the second outside the Marina Bay Sands hotel and the third near the casino at Marina Bay.” On the third night of rough sleeping, four policemen approached him and woke him up to ask about his housing arrangements, and subsequently helped him in finding affordable housing options. “If anything had happened to me when I was sleeping outside in public, nobody would know. But now in this house, I feel very safe sleeping and it gives me a peace of mind,” said Mr Kalimuthu. Aside from homelessness, other tenants interviewed cited poor financial circumstances and a lack of housing options for joining the scheme. Mr Vincent, the 50-year-old tenant, said that he had been staying at his parents’ flat until they decided to downgrade to a smaller unit. He applied for the JSS-OR scheme late last year and received approval within two weeks. He cited cost as the main reason, since he is currently unemployed, after quitting his job as a freelance caregiver due to a back injury. He pays S$90 per month for the flat rental, including utilities. For Ms Doreen Chan, her fraught ties with her family led her to apply for the scheme. The 76-year-old telemarketer moved into her JSS-OR unit at Bukit Batok West in September last year. “My son kept chasing me out of the house. My family problems were really bad …(it was classified as) a ‘critical family case’. So my social worker fought hard for me to get a place under this scheme, even though my income exceeds the cap for rental flats for lower-income singles,” said Ms Chan. Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY For Ms Doreen Chan, her fraught ties with her family led her to apply for the scheme. The 76-year-old telemarketer moved into her JSS-OR unit at Bukit Batok West in September last year. Though most of the tenants under the JSS and JSS-OR schemes earn less than S$1,500 per month, the applicants are not assessed solely based on their incomes, said HDB on its website. For the aforementioned Mr Lim, and two other tenants — who wanted to be known only as Mr Nizam and Ms Rodiah — the JSS-OR scheme is an affordable alternative to the previous flats that they had rented in the open market. Mr Nizam, a 38-year-old technician and the youngest among the tenants interviewed, said that he had moved out of his parents’ place when he was 20. Since then, he had been renting in the open market before securing a subsidised rental flat under the JSS-OR scheme in February last year. His aunt had introduced him to the scheme, which attracted him due to its low rents. “I pay a monthly rental of S$105.50 now. Last time, I rented a room and it cost me about S$700 to S$800 per month,” said Mr Nizam. His flat comes equipped with some furniture and appliances, including a mini-freezer, washing machine, induction cooker, one foldable table and two plastic chairs, and a wardrobe for each tenant. Mr Lim had also rented from the open market before his social worker applied the scheme for him, due to his inability to keep up with the monthly S$600 rent after he retired from working as a product designer. The 65-year-old moved into his current JSS-OR apartment in January this year, and lives with two other flatmates, Mr Yap, the one who is not on the best of terms with Mr Lim, and Mr Wong. Mr Yap told TODAY that he used to live with his parents until their death. “I applied for the scheme after my parents passed away. My siblings and I had sold my parents’ house and split the money among ourselves.’ The 63-year-old taxi driver said that he applied for the scheme since he considers himself to be a friendly and kind person in general, and would not have problems living with people whom he did not know. Aside from the more affordable rent, the fact that a tenant does not have to first find a flatmate is another reason people such as Ms Rodiah opted for the JSS-OR scheme. After her divorce, her husband received custody rights of their two children, who are now in their 20s, and continued to live in their matrimonial home. She then rented a room at her friend’s place for several years at a monthly rental of S$600, until the woman decided to sell her home last year. “I couldn’t find a stranger or someone to share a rental flat with, so my social worker introduced me to this scheme. I pay S$146.50 rent every month now,” said the 63-year-old who works as a cook. She currently lives in a unit with two other women co-tenants, one in her 70s and the other in her 90s, and are both not working. Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY 63-year-old Mr Yap shares his current JSS-OR apartment with two other flatmates. THE BAD AND THE UGLY The majority of the tenants who spoke to TODAY said that small arguments and disagreements are part and parcel of living with strangers, but some have had it worse than others. Mr Kalimuthu said that his sour relationship with his ex-flatmate reached a point of no return when the latter insulted his mother and threatened his life. “He had gangster connections and when he was drunk, he threatened to gang up against me and beat me up. I was so scared but I didn’t want to fight him,” said the 50-year-old. Fearing for his safety, Mr Kalimuthu called the social service operator at his block, who helped him file a police report. He was then placed in an interim flat before moving out to a new apartment with a new flatmate. Another tenant, Mr Hadi, recalled that his ex-flatmate had problems controlling his bladder, and would wet his bed almost every day. He said that the smell of urine was so strong that it would irritate his eyes and cause them to water. The pungent stench of urine was still lingering in his small unit for two when Mr Hadi spoke to TODAY, despite the fact that his co-tenant had moved out about two weeks earlier. To make matters worse, the co-tenant was dirty, untidy and refused to be considerate, said Mr Hadi. “He dirtied the kitchen and the toilet but didn't clean, so I cleaned them. I am a clean person by nature so I cannot stand a dirty living environment,” said the 62-year-old delivery driver. He added: “One day, he (flatmate) just snapped at me. He said, ‘why do you keep bringing up about me peeing all the time?’ So I … didn’t bring up the matter anymore.” Mr Hadi said that when he brought the matter up to the social workers operating the rental flats, they tried to advise the co-tenant, but it fell on deaf ears. “The social workers even supplied diapers for my ex-co-tenant but he refused to wear them,” he said. While some tenants request direct intervention from the social service operators and law enforcement, others opt for a softer approach. Mr Vincent said that he had complained to the operator about his flatmate’s refusal to be more considerate and make less noise when he returns home late at night, but requested them to advise the man without mentioning his complaint. “My flatmate would slam the door of the flat when he’s angry at me. The social workers helped me to talk to him but it didn't really help much in changing his behaviour. But it’s good to have them around to talk to him,” he said. All of the tenants said that the response time of the operators is always prompt. In response to TODAY’s queries, HDB said that this is possible since the operators are stationed on-site. “Although disagreements may still occur from time to time among the tenants due to differences in living habits, most of these disputes were resolved amicably. “In particular, early intervention by the operator helps to prevent the disputes from escalating. If necessary, the operator can also make changes to the flat sharing arrangements,” said HDB, which had responded on behalf of the operators. Speaking to TODAY, Good News Community Services — which runs the JSS-OR pilot at the Bedok North and Buangkok sites — said that tenants are informed prior to moving in that they will have to raise an issue with the operator if they need help in settling disputes with their co-tenants. Social workers will then attend to the tenant’s feedback by engaging those involved in the dispute, which are commonly about hygiene and cleanliness, usage of common areas or items, and noise. The operator said that the time needed for resolution of the disputes depends on the nature of the disputes. "Most disputes can be resolved quickly because the social workers are on-site and able to respond quickly to disputes.” THE SILVER LINING Despite the dark clouds hovering over some co-tenants’ flats, others alluded to the silver lining in the JSS-OR scheme. A tenant, Mr Tan Feng Ann, told TODAY in Mandarin that the best part about living in a unit under the scheme is having access to an on-site operator. In case of fights and disagreements, office staff are able to head over quickly to offer assistance, he said, contrasting it with the experience of living in other models of rental housing, where “even if you get beaten to death, nobody knows”. “Now, they know everything,” he added. Residents like Mr Tan, who spoke positively about the scheme, emphasised the need for mutual respect and to “live and let live”. “You should know we’re staying in rental housing. This is a shared home, not your own house,” he said. Ili Nadhirah Mansor/TODAY A tenant, Mr Tan Feng Ann, said that the best part about living in a unit under the JSS-OR scheme is having access to an on-site operator. Retiree Mr Teo, 73, lives in a unit under the JSS-OR pilot with two other housemates. He had been watching videos on his mobile phone, with his earpiece plugged in, when TODAY visited his unit on March 24. This, in spite of the brand new television sitting in the living room, which was provided by the operator when the tenants moved in. He tries to use his earpiece while watching videos, when his housemate is also home. “Wherever there are human interactions, it’s about mutually giving in to each other,” he told TODAY in Mandarin. If one does so, the experience of living together becomes more pleasant, he said. “Don’t be so picky and calculative over small things,” he added, referring to doing household chores and mopping the floor. Mr Teo had moved in in September last year, a few days apart from his second housemate. Their third housemate moved in two months after. He could not recall encountering much conflict or disagreements with his housemates since they started living together. Other residents of the JSS-OR scheme also spoke fondly of instances where they were shown kindness and received help from their housemates. Apart from Mr Vincent, whose housemate took care of him when he was very ill, Mr Yap and Mr Lim had good things to say about their third co-tenant, Mr Wong. Mr Lim recalled how Mr Wong would often check in with him before leaving the house, to see if the former needed help with buying any items, calling his housemate “very helpful”. Mr Yap also referred to Mr Wong as “very good”, sharing how he takes good care of his belongings and space, and does not take or touch Mr Yap’s items. Ultimately, having a shared understanding and consideration for each other is crucial, the tenants said. “Instead of thinking what their shortcomings are — first ask yourself where your own faults lie,” Mr Teo said. If one practises mutual respect and knows how to be content, one will be happy, he added. When asked if he would consider the new HDB scheme where tenants have their own bedrooms had it been an option available to him last year, he told TODAY that he would still opt for the JSS-OR pilot. “Even if I had a choice, (I would still choose) the two-person option,” he said. “Why live alone? If you faint, nobody will know. When there are two of you, you can take care of and look out for each other.” NEW HOUSING SOLUTIONS FOR LOW-INCOME ELDERLY SINGLES As Singapore ages rapidly, more than 900,000 — or roughly one in four Singapore citizens — will be aged 65 and above by 2030, with an estimated 83,000 seniors expected to be living alone, according to data released by the Ministry of Health in January. This means that even more lower-income elderly singles will need support with their accommodation needs. While experts interviewed by TODAY said that the JSS-OR pilot is a move in the right direction, more could still be done to improve the existing scheme. “Based on what is currently on offer for the JSS-OR pilot, it is a good starting point,” said Associate Professor Kang Soon-Hock, vice-dean and head of Behavioural Science Core at the Singapore University of Social Sciences’ (SUSS) School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences. “One future direction could examine the option of providing some form of limited home care services to elderly beneficiaries who may have minor difficulty with some activities of daily living, as I do not believe this is being offered currently for the pilot.” Doing so would allow these elderly beneficiaries to continue living within the community, he added. Experts also highlighted the advantages of integrating housing for low-income elderly singles into the wider community. Dr Kelvin Tan, who is head of the Minor in Applied Ageing Studies programme at SUSS' S R Nathan School of Human Development, alluded to the benefits of an integrated and intergenerational assisted living housing model. Citing the upcoming Harmony [email protected] Batok and Queensway Canopy Build-to-Order HDB projects — which will feature Singapore’s first community care apartments for seniors — he added that it would be interesting to see such assisted living housing models integrated into mature estates, and to observe how singles in Singapore can be better supported through the introduction of these units. Associate Professor Laavanya Kathiravelu at the Nanyang Technology University School of Social Sciences referenced overseas models of rent-subsidised or rent-controlled apartments as a way to enable low-income individuals to live in neighbourhoods that have high rentals on the open market, or that are otherwise typically only affordable to high-income working professionals. “This also ensures a more diverse neighbourhood, and could prevent the formation of clusters around socio-economic or generational divides,” she added. Furthermore, while the system of matching provided by the operator in the current JSS-OR pilot would help reduce the need for singles to find co-tenants, Assoc Prof Kathiravelu said that a trial period — allowing housemates to live together for a few months — could also be considered. “If the arrangement is not working for any party, they should be provided an avenue to leave or (be assigned to) a new housemate without penalty.” This could encourage higher take-up rates for the scheme, while also assuring tenants that they would have some choice on who they live with, said Assoc Prof Kathiravelu. Dr Tan Ern Ser, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Sociology, also suggested that it would be ideal if applicants to the scheme are first matched with one another, prior to being housed together. Beyond ensuring a good match, Dr Tan pointed to the importance of having programmes, as well as public areas and amenities, that encourage social interaction and the forging of stronger friendship ties and mutual support among residents. “In short, to facilitate good relationships, rather than having to deal with the symptoms of bad relationships,” said Dr Tan. “I think when people form social ties, and build a community, they tend to be more reasonable with one another and observe community norms.”
  6. Imagine a stranger invading your privacy-- taking pictures of your room and sending an email to your school to check on your student status. Unfortunately for one woman in Singapore, that is exactly what her landlord subjected her to. Landlord was nice in the first few weeks Telling her story on TikTok, the student said that she was in a rush to find a place and had no choice but to settle on this particular unit in Yishun. The landlord was nice in the initial weeks, even buying her dinner on the first day of moving in. However, things took a turn in January this year, when he started to nag her on the "little things." He also cut down her air-con usage to 10 hours daily as he reportedly could not afford the bill. The TikTok user said that she agreed because she wanted to "improve as a responsible tenant". Invaded privacy, evicted, refused to return deposit In February, matters got worse when the landlord started to "stalk" her by allegedly emailing her school to check on her student validity. He reportedly even attached her student pass in the email. The reason behind his behaviour was not mentioned, and neither did the tenant state her school. Things escalated from there and the landlord eventually decided to evict the student, according to her. However, he refused to return her the deposit, claiming that he needed two weeks to watch a "hidden CCTV recording". Sure that there was no CCTV in the house, the student played along as she wanted to "see how far he [was] going to attack [her]". Later on, the landlord accused her of losing a plate. Attempting to defend herself, the former tenant said that she had left the house two days earlier. She also accused the landlord of intrusion and causing her mental damage and trauma, as well as pointed out that he had earlier on invaded her privacy by taking a photo of her room. The landlord then threatened the tenant not to "challenge" him or continue "arguing" if she wanted her deposit back. Property agent did not respond The tenant reported this incident to her property agent but he apparently did not reply. Looking back, the student is thankful about the eviction as her current accommodation is "way better" and "located near [her] school," but she asked her followers for advice on how she should deal with this if she could turn back time. Online responses Other users online were largely supportive of her. Many commenters suggested that she make a police report or turn to the Small Claims Tribunals. Meanwhile, others pointed out that of course, this had to happen in Yishun. T
  7. SINGAPORE - The taxman has launched an audit of private property purchases involving a “99-to-1” sales contract that could be used to dodge paying the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD). The Straits Times has learnt that letters are being sent to some first-time buyers of private real estate asking them to explain why they sold just 1 per cent of the same property to a relative barely a week after exercising the purchase option. to read more pay money. this is SG nothing is free https://www.straitstimes.com/business/invest/iras-probes-home-buyers-who-used-99-to-1-loophole-to-avoid-paying-absd
  8. WTF is that. the peanut so dark color
  9. "I don't want to live anymore," cried out an elderly woman after her right foot was run over by an oncoming tour bus. The incident occured at about 9pm on Thursday (March 30) at Beach Road when the 69-year-old woman was crossing the road, reported Shin Min Daily News. Eyewitness Wen Fu told the Chinese daily that he was about to cross the road in front of The Concourse when he heard screams coming from the other side. Hurrying over to the distressed voice, Wen Fu said he saw the woman sitting on the ground in immense pain. The skin on her right foot had been brutally ripped off and she was bleeding profusely. "She sat on the ground and wailed, while other passers-by tried to comfort her," recounted the photographer. He also helped to contact the woman's husband, who rushed to the scene. "She was in so much pain that she couldn't speak, I had to speak to her husband on her behalf," he added. When a reporter from Shin Min visited the accident site, the elderly woman had already been taken to the hospital. There was a pool of blood left on the road, an umbrella and a carton of soft drinks — likely left behind by the victim. A tour bus was also parked at the scene. A second witness surnamed Hu, who works in the vicinity told Shin Min that he saw two people banging on the bus door and yelling, while the elderly woman was sitting on the ground. "I called the ambulance as soon as I saw what happened, but I think several others also did the same." He recalled that the bus driver came down to check on the elderly lady, and promptly moved his vehicle so that the elderly woman could move her foot away. "Looking at her injury, it looks like her foot is broken," Hu said. Didn't see any pedestrians: Bus driver The bus driver, who declined to be named, told the Chinese daily: "I didn't see any pedestrians, I only realised someone was injured after some passers-by were banging the door." Describing the incident from his point-of-view, the driver said it had been drizzling, and he waited for the traffic light to turn green before turning right. He was on his way to pick up tourists from a hotel, and wasn't familiar with the area. The police told AsiaOne that they were alerted to an accident involving a bus and a pedestrian on Thursday night. A 69-year-old female pedestrian was taken to the hospital, and a 41-year-old male bus driver was arrested for careless driving causing grievous hurt. Police investigations are ongoing. Responding to AsiaOne's queries, the Singapore Civil Defense Force said they were alerted to a road traffic accident at the junction of Beach Road and Jalan Sultan. They confirmed that one person was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
  10. alk-up apartments are a niche type of property that isn't for everyone. While you do often have more interior space (and more freedom to renovate as you wish), the downsides are very obvious too. Alternately praised and derided for their size and (usually) advanced age, investors can't seem to come to an agreement on these, and walking up and down the stairs daily can get tiresome (no pun intended) very quickly. For those considering this unique type of property, this week, we present the alternative view of someone who regrets his walk-up unit: Looking for an affordable, low-density option When J decided to find his own home, he had a clear idea of what was needed. J had suffered from noise-triggered migraines since childhood and works in a high-stress creative field: "At the end of my day, I just want a quiet place to zone out, I don't care even if there's no MRT or restaurants or anything. I need the right vibe for my work to flow. So when I found a place near my parents at Siglap, I thought it was perfect." The property J found was a walk-up apartment, located just off East Coast Road. This is close to the Esso station at Frankel, where Jalan Buloh Perindu turns into a landed area with mainly older homes. PHOTO: Stackedhomes J says the price of the unit was considered high at the time, at just over $900,000 for around 594 square feet. However, he appreciated that there were only five other units besides his own. In addition, it was near his parents, and there were few other properties in the high-priced Siglap enclave that would have been within budget. J says: "I did have an alternative in mind, which was a resale condo in Paya Lebar; but I was told by the agent that Siglap-area homes have a better track record and that the Paya Lebar alternative was not so good in the long term, because it was leasehold." The freehold status of the walk-up also convinced J that its advanced age — dating back to 1965 — would not be a significant drawback. As J was in a rush, and there seemed to be no better options, he agreed to the sale with minimal checks. "In hindsight, I should have been more thorough, and I would have spotted many of the problems. But I was eager to get out on my own because my family is quite big with four other siblings; I need the quiet to work from home." Problems from the first month Unfortunately for J, problems started as soon as the first month. J noticed that the glass on one of his light fixtures had darkened considerably; and eventually, he noticed water appearing around it. There were also sagging "lumps" in some parts of the ceiling, which hadn't been there when he bought the unit. PHOTO: Stackedhomes J called in a contractor, who identified the problem as a leak from the unit upstairs. "But the person living upstairs was a tenant, who told me it was her landlord's problem. And her landlord was almost impossible to talk to because he was currently working and staying abroad in Hong Kong. It took more than two weeks just to touch base with the landlord; and in the meantime, my living room floor had three buckets to catch the leaks; and I was emptying them twice or three times a day." It took around two months before the neighbour upstairs took action to seal the leaks. It would not, however, be the first time. Since 2018, the neighbour's leak has come back three times; and on one occasion it damaged a $3,500 futon that J had shipped in from Australia. However, J is not the only victim of this. "I have another neighbour with the exact same problem", J says, "This is an old place, so the unit above from hers also leaks. She had it worse than me because her last leak happened during the Circuit Breaker." J says the fear of leaks has affected his furnishing choices too, as he no longer dares to use pricey carpets or buy vintage furniture. Dirty and run-down common areas J says that, while individual units are often beautiful from the inside, the common areas are embarrassing: "I once saw dirty tampons thrown in the corner of the stairwell," J says, "And the small garden area is poorly maintained. I would sometimes quietly turn over old pots to get the water out, because I worry about dengue mosquitoes." J says the impression is of six owners who care only about their own unit, and a reluctance to bear higher costs for anything else. The lack of 24/7 security, which J would get in a condo, is also something he feels nightly: "There are sometimes characters sitting on the stairwell and talking and smoking, as late as three or four in the morning. Two or three times, they were laughing so loud I was woken up by them. I'm pretty sure they don't live here, but without security guards, it's so easy for anyone to just come in." Weak water pressure in the bathroom Likely due to its age, J says there are constant problems with water pressure in the bathroom. "Sometimes the water is a slow and small amount even when I turn the tap all the way. Even the toilet doesn't flush very well, so I need to pour water down the toilet bowl to fully flush. It's been fixed a few times, but over time it seems to come back." Another problem, J says, is the smell that sometimes comes from the old pipes. Due to build-up over time, there is sometimes a strong urine-like smell from some of the pipes; but this is beyond his control. "I can't just redo all the piping for the whole building, right? So this is something that needs collective action. We (the owners - ed.) have discussed it before, but it makes me wish I hadn't bought such an old place." The stairs will be a problem over time J says he considered the stairs to be trivial at first, but an accident last year has forewarned him of how inconvenient it can get. PHOTO: Stackedhomes "I sprained my ankle playing football, and that's when I realised how difficult stairs can be if you have mobility problems. I ended up wasting money by ordering meals and groceries all the time because I couldn't bear to go up and down the stairs all day. One time I actually tripped while going down the stairs, and I was lucky I didn't end up with another sprain or worse." This led to the realisation that, at some point, J's home would become impractical: "I think when I'm older, I will have to move. The stairs will eventually become too troublesome; then I have to find buyers who are younger or don't mind the stairs." This leads to further complications, such as resale value. Worries over resale potential J regrets buying into the "freehold" argument of the seller's agent; and in hindsight, he realises he picked a difficult unit to sell. "It's not just about freehold or leasehold. Single-bed, single-bath units are already hard to sell; it's even harder when there's no MRT station or other amenities nearby. And this is a luxury area, so the buyers here are not the sort to buy small and very old units." As with many walk-up apartments, price volatility is also an issue. With few transactions over the years, future buyers have no guidelines. This problem is compounded when surrounding properties are all landed homes, which constitute a totally different type of housing. J says his preference is frankly to sell and move right away, but circumstances prevent this. "My industry right now is quite shaky, and home prices are high. Even if I sell, I'm not confident I can afford a new property; and I wouldn't be able to buy a resale flat*. In hindsight, I should have been more patient, and rented until I found a better place." J says that, while he doesn't mean to cast all walk-up apartments in the same light, he would advise buyers not to over-romanticise them either. "It can seem unique and different to get an old place, and do it up in style. I feel the appeal of something different from both HDB and a condo. But make sure you're prepared to deal with the problems of older properties." For more homeowner experiences, on-the-ground opinions and insights into the Singapore property market, follow us on Stacked. We'll keep you up to date with in-depth reviews of new and resale properties alike. *As of 2023, you need to wait 15 months after selling a private property, to buy a resale flat.
  11. I give 100% permission for the parent to fly there to do whatever they want If they want me to do then I send them a quotation
  12. If u come, I let u tale bus and no red carpet for u
  13. Using "work" as a way to trick 3 girls into getting home, then sexually assaulted with props. The married male ex-wife wrote two pages of paper to plead for him. The judge sentenced him to 12 1/2 years in jail and 13 lashes. 47-year-old defendant Xu Jiajin faces 10 charges, including attempted rape of underage girls and sexual assault of underage girls. According to the facts, the accused committed the crime between 2020 and March 2021. He used social media Instagram to contact a number of young girls he didn't know, baiting them to offer jobs and rewards, tricking them into coming to the door with all kinds of rhetoric, and then using props Four girls aged 13 to 17 were tricked into his home, including a 13-year-old girl who was living in a shelter at the time. The accused pleaded guilty a few days ago. Before the sentence was handed down yesterday afternoon, the accused's ex-wife also pleaded She painted in a two-page plea letter, the two met in 1994 and married in 2001, the accused was gentle and kind, smart and hardworking, filial piety to her mother, and good to her two nephews As an engineering trainer, she said, the accused was diligent and welcomed by the students. The ex-wife admitted that the accused lived a life like hell after his arrest, and blamed himself for causing so much pain and sadness to the loved one. Although the two argued repeatedly and were shocked by the crime of the accused, the ex-wife still believed that the essence of the other had not changed, and that he would still contribute to society after (Text: Lai Lingshan) (Photo: Graphic) 以“工作”为饵骗3少女到家后,再用性道具性侵,已婚男前妻书写两页纸为他求情,法官判他坐牢12年半和鞭打13下。   47岁的被告许家进(译音)面对10项罪名,包括强奸未成年少女未遂、性侵未成年少女等。   根据案情,被告在2020年至2021年3月之间犯案。他利用社交媒体Instagram联络多名陌生年轻女生,以能够提供工作和酬劳为诱饵,再用各种花言巧语骗她们上门,然后用性道具一逞兽欲。   4名13岁至17岁的少女被骗到了他的家,其中年仅13岁的少女身世坎坷,当时住在收容所。   被告日前已认罪,昨午下判前,被告前妻也为他求情。   她在两页的求情书中绘述,两人1994年认识,2001年结婚,被告温柔善良,聪明努力,对母亲孝顺,对两个外甥也很好。她说,身为工程培训员,被告勤奋,也深受学生的欢迎。   前妻坦言,被告被捕后过着犹如地狱般的生活,对于造成所爱之人这么多的痛苦和难过而自责不已,虽然两人多次争吵,并震惊于被告的罪行,前妻还是深信对方的本质未变,也相信他出狱后,还是会为社会做出贡献。(文:赖凌杉)(图:示意图) https://www.facebook.com/shinmindailynewsxinmingribao/photos/a.358346434223942/6126253037433224/
  14. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has just released its annual Job Vacancies report for 2022 and it, of course, makes an interesting reading for all job seekers. What struck me about it, however, is not the obvious dominance of the IT sector among the most newly-created jobs or the burning need for construction workers, as the city-state’s economy is rebounding from the pandemic. Instead, the most interesting trend in the country commonly seen as conservative and risk-averse, is the rapid shift away from the conventional hiring practices — and the slow death of the university degree as the prerequisite to a good career. Just look at this chart: Image Credit: Ministry of Manpower Not only are academic qualifications not a concern for employers in nearly two out of every three PMET vacancies on the market, but the pace of the shift is quite remarkable too — from a little over 40 per cent in 2017, to nearly 65 per cent in just five years. It’s very nearly a reversal of proportions — from close to two-thirds in favour of candidates with strong degrees to nearly two-thirds who don’t really care. Mind you, this has happened at the same time that the greater shift in labour force happened, seeing rising demand for qualified professionals over non-PMET workers: Image Credit: Ministry of Manpower. Five to 10 years ago, Singapore was still thirsty mainly for lower-end labour — people who could perform menial tasks, which did not require advanced skills. Since 2018, however, annual demand for qualified professionals has increased in comparison to simple workers, leaving more of these positions unfilled. In fact, around one out of five PMET vacancies were left empty after more than six months on the market, suggesting either a shortage of talent or pickiness among the local workforce (or both, perhaps). Image Credit: Ministry of Manpower And all of this is happening despite the fact that academic qualifications are no longer a major concern among most employers. Top PMET vacancies in 2022 In its report, the ministry compiled a list of top 10 vacancies among PMET professions last year. As you will notice, four out of the top five academic qualifications are marked as not being a main consideration for the company. Image Credit: Ministry of Manpower It’s not only in the hippie, laid-back world of modern IT companies that papers matter far less than your skills, but in good old corporate world as well. Management, sales or administration executives are sought mainly for their real life skills, not the paper or a title obtained at some recognisable university (be it at home or abroad). There are, of course, professions where a degree might be a legal prerequisite to starting a job, particularly if it involves responsibility over things that may affect human lives. But I think even in these professions, they are merely a bureaucratic stepping stone, a necessary hurdle that candidates must cross, and not necessarily a major competitive advantage versus other applicants. How much is your degree worth these days? It’s not worthless, but it sure is worth less. There are a few reasons for that specific to Singapore, besides the global decline in respect for academia and the skills it equips people with for the very dynamic world we live in. Singaporean universities used to trail the world as the country tried to catch up, but today, they rank among the global top. This means that the relative value of travelling out to study abroad before returning to the local workforce bearing an American or British degree has greatly diminished. In other words, the pool of people with top tier education has increased to the point it covers virtually all Singaporean graduates, regardless of whether they studied in the country or outside of it. It means that other factors have had to come into play for recruiters to make their hiring decisions. A candidate with any working experience will be better than a candidate with no experience, even if he comes from one of the world’s best schools. Besides previous jobs, any awards, internships, references, project portfolios contribute to a much more unique and harder to replicate profile of an employee than paper qualification that essentially needs just a monetary outlay and surviving the studies for their duration — what millions of people do each year all over the world. That said, I don’t think we’re at a point where you can completely disregard tertiary education and simply try to learn things on the job as a young 20-year old — although I’m sure it can (and does) work for many people. A decent degree is still good to have, if only as a bullet-point in your CV. It also remains useful as a networking experience of meeting like-minded peers and building relationships that may become valuable later in life. At the same time, however, it makes sense not to obsess over papers and, even as you’re still studying, to look for opportunities to prove yourself in something outside of the curriculum, before you enter the labour market full time. That impressive crest of a well-known university may no longer be enough to convince recruiters of your value to the company — and a corresponding salary. https://vulcanpost.com/821839/mom-job-vacancies-report-2022-is-degree-worthless-singapore/
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