29 October 2006

Karmic Biscuits

I've just come back from a weekend getaway. I was somewhat surprised to see the large number of comments on my previous post, Mr Wang's Personal Trivia.

It may be apt to reiterate my basic point. Mr Wang is not specifically telling you whether you should or should not buy a car; employ a maid; live in a condo; get married; or have children.

Mr Wang is merely pointing out that there are many different possibilities in organising your life. And that the mainstream approach (whatever "mainstream" means to you) may not be optimal for you. That is all.

While there are many possible "good" ways to organise your life, there are also many "bad" ways. Then there are certain highly subjective aspects, dependent on your unique personality. Do respect yourself.

Also bear in mind that your circumstances - whatever they currently are - will change, and that the future is never completely certain. And therefore never completely predictable.

Uncertainty, in itself, is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It is simply the way life is. While uncertainty means that you may get a bad outcome in the future, it also means that you may get a good outcome, one that is better than you had expected or hoped for.

Thus you can see the game of life as one of managing risks and probabilities. For each potential course of action, you consider the potential outcomes, gains, losses, costs and trade-offs, and the probabilities of each of these actually occurring. Then you make your decisions, and you play.

You'll win some and you'll lose some. But if you consistently play well, chances are high that over time, you win a lot more than you lose. And the world has plenty of room for winners. It's not a zero-sum game.

The problem with many Singaporeans, as I see it, is that they don't even know what their game is about. They don't know what they're playing for. They just blindly follow what everyone else around them seems to be doing. They blindly aspire to what everyone else around them seems to be aspiring to.

You were born an original. Don't die a copy. Find your own path.

(And that applies to everything, not just maids, cars and houses).

9 comments:

Robert HO said...

I came, I saw, I solved it.

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30 October 2006
WHY WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REFUSE OUR ORGANS TO PAP, MINISTERS

WHY WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REFUSE OUR ORGANS TO MINISTERS, PAP MPs, ETC

1. This is not a blog or essay because I have stopped writing for some time and cannot seem to write with such facility any more. So, this is a discussion suggestion topic that I hope other, better bloggers will pick up and illuminate and elucidate for all of us.

2. The topic is, I think, a timely one. Every day, people die and their organs are harvested. Especially those who die young, especially in accidents, a large number of them, motorcycle accidents [because riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, even fatal].

3. WE HAVE NO CONTROL OR SAY OVER HOW OUR ORGANS SHOULD BE USED OR FOR WHOM.

4. This is not surprising because in many countries, Ethics demands that organs should not be sold and if an organ owner is allowed to decide who his organ/s should go to, this will allow organs to be SOLD, which is probably Morally bad.

5. In Singapore, the PAP govt has decreed, I believe, that IF YOU DO NOT OPT OUT OF GIVING YOUR ORGANS, YOUR ORGANS CAN AND WILL BE HARVESTED AND THEIR USE DECIDED BY THE PAP GOVT.

6. Once the term "DECIDED BY THE PAP GOVT" is understood, we peasants all know what that means. IT MEANS THAT IF LEE KUAN YEW NEEDS A NEW HEART OR KIDNEY OR LIVER, HE WILL GET IT, OVER AND ABOVE ALL THOSE WHO MAY HAVE BEEN IN THE WAITING LIST LONGER.

7. Why do I say that? Proof? Well, Lee Kuan Yew and his entire PAP govt have never stated whether some [meaning THEY] do get priority over others in the waiting lists. AND WE ALL KNOW THE RECENT CASE WHEN LEE KUAN YEW's WIFE WAS STRICKEN WITH A STROKE IN LONDON AND LEE KUAN YEW COMMANDEERED AN SIA JUMBO JET TO BE FITTED OUT AS A MEDICAL FLYING AMBULANCE TO FLY HER BACK, WITH ATTENDANT DOCTORS, NURSES, CONSULTANTS, TECHNICIANS, ETC, BACK TO SINGAPORE FOR IMMEDIATE TREATMENT -- NO WAITING, INSTANT ATTENTION, WHICH NO ONE ELSE IN THE WAITING LISTS HAD THIS KIND OF PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT. Why didn't Lee Kuan Yew, like other billionaires, simply use the services of normal, conventional Flying Ambulance Services, that are so much cheaper? Thus, I consider my proof of statement proven. We all know the Truth, don't we? Lee Kuan Yew is Emperor and he and his famiLee never have to wait for anything. Including organs.

8. Thus, if we are not allowed to have a say to WHICH GROUP of people we would REFUSE our organs to be given to, we could end up all prolonging the lives of the very people we hate, and many in Singapore hate Lee Kuan Yew and his Ministers and even all the PAP bigwigs. We should therefore, have an option that says that we can refuse our organs to be given to A CERTAIN CATEGORY OF PEOPLE. This could include the PAP Ministers of every ministerial rank or PAP MPS [excepting of course, the two and a half Opposition MPs].

9. Otherwise, abuses will abound and these are probably already being the practice. For example, if both Lee Kuan Yew and Tan Jee Suan need a new heart or kidney, etc, and there is only one organ available, then it is obvious that Lee Kuan Yew will get the new organ immediately even if Mr Tan had waited years longer.

10. Second abuse: Mr Tan jumped in front of an MRT train to kill himself, due to there being no help from the PAP govt for his plight of being unable to feed his wife and 2 children. Do you think that Mr Tan, given the choice, will allow his organs to be harvested for Lee Kuan Yew? I think not and everyone will agree with me. Similarly, a Malay Muslim who had been marginalised all his life by the PAP system will not want to donate any organ to the very PAP Ministers who allowed, and probably decreed, this marginalisation. This is only Fair. We cannot change the Lee Kuan Yew decreed harsh laws and rules and his "get out of my elitist, uncaring face" policies, but our organs are something money cannot buy [the PAP will probably change this policy one day if we are allowed to refuse them our organs] and this is all the pitiful little leverage we have to keep those in power reasonable. If we can refuse them our organs, the PAP Ministers may at last, begin to enact better and fairer policies out of fear that if too many of us opt out, they will have no organs when they need one.

11. True, currently, we can opt out of having our organs harvested. But we may want only to prevent some miscreants from enjoying our organs, so we should be able to opt out of a certain category of persons from getting our organs.

12. For example, another Ethical example, suppose a murderer murdered a young woman but is severely wounded in the process. He is taken to the hospital and needs a heart transplant to save his life. The only organ avalable is that of his victim. Should he get her heart? We should have a clause that says that those who harmed us should NOT get our organs. And the PAP has harmed a great many people, including myself, my son and my little niece. I have detailed these in soc.culture.singapore and a search there, using the search term: RH: LKY crimes will throw up some. I certainly don't want my organs to go to Lee Kuan Yew or any of the over 10,000 PAP members. I would like to be able to opt out. Can Mr Wang, the fine lawyer who writes an excellent blog, draft such a clause for us all to discuss?

13. I have run out of points. Can other, better bloggers discuss? Thanks.

Robert HO
30 Oct 06

P.S. I have disabled all my Comments because I don't want to spend time moderating. My email address and contacts are in my "Lee Kuan Yew rigs elections' posts. My blog is at:

http://www.i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that you disabled your comments, Robert. Your comment has no relevancy to Mr Wang's topic, just pure advertisement. I hope Mr Wang delete my comment as well.

Ron

Indi said...

Mr. Wang, may I know how much do you pay your domestic helpers every month?

I hope it is above standard.

Mr Wang Says So said...

I have had several maids in the past. I pay standard for starters but I give significant bonuses, CNY angpow. If they actually stay on beyond initial contract, I would give increment, but so far they don't stay (I've sacked bad performers).

For a good maid I am quite generous. I've also advanced money for that maid (ie give her the salary she hasn't earned yet) so that she is in time to send money for her son to pay for his university fees. When the husband of the last good maid died, I paid for her airfare home plus "pek kim" money.

That maid, ironically, became rich through her husband's death. Their 25-year mortgage on their new house instantly became fully paid-up (insurance scheme like our HDB Home Protection Scheme) plus she had a tidy sum from her hubby's life insurance. So she never came back to work.

She calls once in a while, to talk to my kids. Back in the Philippines, she helped us source for our next replacement maid. Her daughter used to send Xmas cards to me and my wife.

Quite a special maid, that one, very dear to us. Unfortunately maids like that are very hard to find.

Maids in Singapore are not exactly that poorly paid, relative to what they could be earning back home. In fact many Singaporeans earn less than foreign maids, after factoring in accommodation, food and transport costs in Singapore - see here:

http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/2005/06/foreign-maids-poor-singaporeans.html

Separate note - just back from Bintan over the weekend. Stayed at Banyan Tree Resort, spoke to two members of the staff. Banyan Tree is a top payer by Indonesian standards - their staff earn more than staff at many other top hotels even in the capital city Jakarta.

Banyan Tree staff can earn equivalent of SGD500. It doesn't seem that much more than an Indonesian maid in Singapore, considering that Banyan Tree staff are much highly skilled & educated than average Indo maid in SIngapore. Also hours are very long - the restaurant manager I spoke to starts work at 7 am (preparing for breakfast crowd), finishes at 11 pm plus (after the dinner crowd).

Indonesia is a big country - he only goes home once a year. He has to pay for his own airfare. Rest of the year he lives on Bintan Island. There is a dormitory on the island for hotel staff.

Is it that different from Indo maid's life in Singapore?

Bear in mind that Banyan is considered a very good employer. Only the best hotel staff get to work for Banyan.

george said...

Perhaps we can consider a different way to determine what a fair wage is. Adapting from John Rawl's veil of ignorance, how much do you think an employer should pay his maid if there is a 50% chance that your son will one day end up as the maid in a position similar to your current maid, and a 50% chance he'll end up as an employer of maids in a position similar to your current one?

Anonymous said...

YouTube on Mr Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQxU3K-w0bU

1 Country, 2 Systems

Anonymous said...

LATEST MRT DEATH
----------------
Man killed by train at Clementi MRT station By Noor Mohd Aziz, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 30 October 2006 2225 hrs

http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the hijack.

Defendants need help. Lawyer
Ravi's mental condition is not too stable at the moment.

http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleOct25trial5.html

>>> If there are any lawyers who can give any legal input about evidence being admitted halfway through a trial and the Defence not given a copy of the video, please email speakup@singaporedemocrat.org. <<<<

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, the above URL should be
www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleOct25trial5.html