HSR officially postponed till 2031!

Wow! It’s official now that the HSR will be delayed by 2years & the official commencement year will be deferred from 2026 to 2031! By then i would be 50 years old! 😂🙊 No updates were given thou with regards to the more pressing RTS.

Actually for SG, KL & Iskandar, without the HSR will not have a large impact to its exisiting economies . The ones that will feel most re of the impacts are the more rural districts that are scheduled to have a stop on the HSR line ie: Muar, Batu Pahat, Ayer Keroh & perhaps Seremban. These areas will definitely do better when there’s a HSR stopping at their doorsteps with Tourists & investors money coming in.

Anyway Msia will need to compensate SG S$15 million ($45m myr) for the delay till May 2020 & shall they decide to cancel the project, a larger sum of compensation will need to be paid (amount not revealed) but rumoured to be around $500m myr. I hope 🤞🏻 the HSR won’t be cancelled as more connectivity between SG & Msia will be good for both country’s biz & trade.

Perhaps in my lifetime i might even be able to see some kind of a union for SG & Msia just like old days (1960s). As the world gets more & more competitive & more trade protectionism sets in, it will benefit SG & Msia to join hands & combined their 2 economies. By then (decades later) i expect our 2 combined economies to have a GDP that exceeds $1trillion dollars giving us better leverage when trading with other nations.

Happy dreaming!

🤣

Took delivery of my new Car!

Took delivery of my new Honda Fit Hybrid 1.5 yesterday morning. There was a quick shower while i was taking delivery but nothing to dampen the spirits. Everything went smoothly & i drove off in my new car within 30mins. 😊

I bought my car from SG Car Choice p/l located at AMK link thru salesman Kent Ang. The buying experience was smooth & good. Kent was very professional & enthusiastic throughout the buying process responding to any queries i had promptly. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone whom needs a good PI referral.

After taking delivery i proceeded straight to Vicom to paste my PHC decal (Private Hire Decal). The uncle whom pasted the decal commented that it is a pity to use a Brand new car for GRAB & asked me won’t i feel heart pain? 😂 I was stunned for a moment did not know how to react to his comment.

Thereafter i drove straight to Grab office at Sin Ming & registered my new ride for Grabbing. Surprisingly it was not crowded & i got everything settled within 15mins! Now my car is in the Audio Shop (JB) under going some Audio upgrades & additional sound proofing. Look forward to collecting my ride in couple hours time after dinner.

Tomorrow will be my 1st day grabbing with my Xiao Hong (Little Red ). Look forward to seeing More smiling faces on my riders. 😊 Hopefully don’t encounter any incidents to spoil my day. Fingers crossed no Jumping Children 🤞🏻. 😅

My National Day wish for SPORE!

Happy 53rd birthday SG. Feels abit weird to be spending my 2nd national day in JB. Anyway today a friend of mine send me this picture which stirred my emotions enough for me to pen down this blog. 👇🏻

Thou this picture was taken many years ago, this scene is actually more relevant today than before. My guess is going forward the struggle for our Aging population in SG (poorer old folks especially) will get worse. Already this year Elderly suicides in SG is at an all time high. SG please dun end up like another Japan. 🙏🏻 😰

Thou today is my country’s 53rd birthday, the sadness i felt from this picture greatly overwhelmed whatever little pride & joy I initially had. I hope & pray that my Govt will reconsider against raising out GST and come out with a social security net (Special FUND) for these vulnerable old folks. We had built sufficient wealth over 53yrs. Let’s do more to take care of our old.

Currently the amount of red tape to go thru for an elderly before qualifying for social assistance from Govt is not easy & the paperwork & procedures can be quite challenging & tedious. My National day wish is that such barriers could be removed & all old folks over the age of 65 receives automated social assistance & rebates (those whom requires more assistance ie: tiered gets higher payouts & those whom do not need can opt out so as not to deplete the Fund excessively)

Public could also donate to this Fund to make it more sustainable (it could be a govt & private initiative with govt stumping up an initial amount ie: $5billion dollars & injecting surpluses on good years or topping up as required when funds are low). I will definitely subscribe via GIRO to do my part (donation). The Fund will be actively managed by capable people (Temasek or GIC) to seek good returns for the unused Capital aka our CPF. We have both the 💰 & the 🧠 to make this happen. Let’s make it a reality!

Dear Govt, on our 53rd birthday, i humbly & sincerely implore u to do more for our senior citizens (especially those currently stuggling) so that more of them could age with grace & dignity & be less burdened with our ever rising cost of living. I believe this can be done if the political will is there.

🙏🏻

 

Applying for MM2H

Finally we made contact with Joystay (mm2h) agent to register our interest in applying for mm2h thru them. I have done abit of research on Joystay & they seems to be legit & professional. The fees are also transparent with no hidden costs. ✌🏻

Past week we have corresponded couple of emails & they have responded timely with all the answers to my questions. The next step forward would be for me to download some forms & signed on them & forward back to them along with our passports to initiate the process of our MM2H journey.

The entire process from initiation to submission (3-4mths) & waiting for approval (6-8mths) can take up to 1year or more. Hopefully i can satisfy all the mm2h requirements (alot to be done) & ready my submission latest by end of this year & have my mm2h approved by this time next year. 🙏🏻

The first thing i would do after obtaining my mm2h would be to get a good & reliable maid from a reputable Maid Agency. It’s time my mom gets a helper to assist her with the house chores, gardening & the 🐶 x 3. Having a maid will also allow my mom to go to SG more often (go to monastry for prayers & visit her siblings) + holidays for the Family! This is Long Overdue!

Obtaining the mm2h will give us Complete peace of mind (10yrs renewable  visa) to stay in msia. It is as good as it’s name suggest, My Malaysia 2nd Home. For us rather, it is My Malaysia 1st Home instead 🙊. 🙏🏻 that step by step our dream to retire in Malaysia will materialise by 2022. 🤞🏻

Bought a new 2018 Honda fit hybrid!

Finally after much deliberation i decided to get a new honda fit hybrid to replace my current honda fit which will expires come 5th sep (coe finishes). It was a close call between my head (new fit hybrid) & my heart (used lexus ct200). 😅

The used ct200 i went to view was extremely well kept by 1 lady owner with full lexus service history. Mileage was only 69k & it’s a premium model (lot’s of features) & extremely comfortable. However, the depreciation was high at $12.5k per annum & the interior cabin space was tight especially the rear passenger seats. I also have some doubts on the condition of the hybrid battery as the car is already nearly 7yrs old.   Anyway this morning i went to relook at the ad & found that it was sold. I am not surprised thou. 😊

The new 2018 Honda Fit hybrid that i booked has yet to arrive in SG. According to agent the car has already been shipped out from japan & is on the way. Below are some pictures of the car taken by the japan dealer prior to it’s shipping. I chose red specifically for Fengshui (i lack fire element) reason. Cute little car. 😅

Why did i choose 👆🏻 New fit hybrid? The most important reason is the excellent Fuel consumption ratings. On paper this car is tested to be able to achieve 35km per litre & i watched a few independent videos & all reviewers say they averaged btw 28-31km per litre while testing the car. This reason alone is good enough to convince me as fuel consumption is my biggest cost when driving Grab.

Currently i need to pump daily $30 to $40 of petrol in SG before i can return back to JB (due to 3/4 fuel ruling & checks at SG customs). With this new hybrid i can do away with this cost & save on average S$35 x 20 days = S$700 per mth. Per year this is appx $8000! This savings is higher than my new Fit’s annual depreciation! Technically the Fuel savings alone will pay for the car’s depreciation! ☺

Now i just need to patiently wait for my new Girlfriend 🙊 to arrive in SG from 🇯🇵 & i can enjoy both the better ride quality & improved fuel economy. I am sure my passengers will also enjoy sitting in my new ride. Looking forward to it. Will post some pics come car collection day. Cheers!

😁

Replacing my Honda Fit… 🤔

My current Fit’s coe will expire on 5th Sep 2018. There is only approximate 2.5 months coe left for me to make a living out of it driving for Grab. It’s time i start pondering about my next move (replace car). There are a few options i am currently weighing.

1. Get a used car (honda fit) with balance COE of approximately 3yrs with a budget of S$40k tops.

2. Get a new car (honda fit hybrid) costing approximately S$80k (10yrs brand new COE).

3. Renew the COE (5 or 10yrs) for my existing Fit (still in gd condition) but subject to Grab’s acceptance (they normally don’t accept COE extension cars).

Option 3 will be most economical (lowest depreciation) but car is old & might have alot of wear & tear. Option 2 will take away the wear & tear worries at least for a few good years & will give me excellent fuel economy (lowest running cost as fuel is my largest overhead driving Grab) but down side is Huge capital outlay required. Option 1 will be somewhere in between.

My wife is asking me to bite the bullet & go for the New Hybrid Fit. I am also quite keen but shelling out S$80k in one go is no walk in the park. I can opt for car financing but there will be complications on Grab’s side (there are certain requirements if car on loan). Dilemma…

😴

I am a Grab 🌟? 🙊

It’s been 2 months of Grabbing & past month was without incentives. Jobs had also reduced since the acquisition of Uber (more drivers but not all uber riders migrated over) resulting in a Double Whammy (20-30% reduction in income). Many drivers had left or are planning to do so especially come 1/7 when the new PDVL ruling takes effect. Things (fares & jobs) might pick up from then. 🙏🏻

However, because there was no more incentives for me, i started to pick & choose (cherry picking? 🙊) my jobs. After 2-3 weeks of monitoring, i realised my income was actually slightly better than before (with incentives). Especially jobs like Grabshare (very low fares) which many times do not get a match & waste my precious time & petrol i no longer takes up.

As for cherry picking Jobs, it cannot be done at all times. It is only mainly used on weekday (peak hours) & weekends. I tends to favour longer distance drives (better fares & better fuel efficiency). I also look at the end destination of that job & if that area is low heat demand i try not to take the job unless fares are High.

Because of this new way of driving (i call it smart driving), i actually drove less trips per day but still made more 💰 . Nowadays i am happier & less stressed due to driving less trips yet earning more. I also finish my day less tired. It shows on my Rider’s ratings & feedbacks. My ratings improved from 4.83 (1 month ago) to the current 4.93. I also have some very decent reviews from riders last mth. 😊

1 rider even mentioned that i was his or her best driver ever. 😂🙊. Thou these might not mean much to others but to me i take heart that while i am making my honest living (driving grab), my riders enjoys their rides & appreciates my services. After 4 months of driving (uber then grab) i think i have matured in this new career & found my sweet spot. Loving it more & more. It might not earn me Big Bucks but i am happy to work & to me this is Priceless.

😎

 

RTS alive but HSR no more?

As the dust settles, it is getting more & more clear (at msia side) that the HSR will be terminated however as of today SG is yet to be officially notified of the confirmation to terminate the project by their msian counterparts. So, a glimmer of hope perhaps? 😅

The RTS on the other hand will proceed as announced by the new Transport Minister of msia & they will also be exploring the feasibility of expaditing the timeline as the jams at both CIQs are getting from bad to worst. Especially this month’s School holidays + Ramadan jams are really bad… 😖

In my humble opinion the RTS is way more important to Iskandar then the HSR. Solving the huge bottlenecks & massive traffic jams at both the CIQs on a daily basis are the key factor to Iskandar’s long term success (Singapore is crucial key partner). I am glad that this project will carry on & msia is keen to expadite the construction.

So far SG is very quiet on the HSR. It could be that they are busy with the preparation of hosting Mr Trump & Mr Kim on the historic meetup in SG & at the same time waiting for Msia’s next move (official termination written request in black & white). It’s been more than a week since both Dr Mahathir & his cabinet both announced their intentions to scrap the HSR project.

My 2 cents thou would be the HSR even if scrapped will be back on the table when Mr Anwar returns to the Cabinet as PM of malaysia. With China’s OBOR initiative being warmly embraced by all our asean neighbours it would not be wise for both msia & sg to be left out of it. Who knows if SG & the tendering partners (especially China & Japan) can give msia a better deal the project will be back on? In msia, nothing is impossible.

🙊

Minor accident with a Comfort Taxi.

Had a comfort taxi rear ended me yesterday afternoon. First minor accident in my driving career. 😅. Was stationary at a T junction waiting for lights to turn green (turning right) when this kuku taxi uncle failed to stop in time. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Anyone wants to buy 4D? 😂

His taxi looked ok with no visible damages whereas my boot had a slight dent. It was drizzling & we both had passengers on board thus i did not want to waste too much time at the scene & left after exchanging particulars. Taxi uncle told me he will not be reporting on his side & also disputed that the dent on my boot was caused by him. 🤦🏻‍♂️  Uncle bo steady. 👎🏻

Today i went to Ubi one (NTUC’s accident reporting center) to file a report as required. Partly also because the rider i was carrying when the accident happened was a young girl & she cried when she called her father to relate about the accident. She said she was ok (looked ok too) but u never know. Kiasu parents = potential liabilities.

The officer on hand was very professional & gave me alot of advices. Due to my car only left with 3.5months of COE & only minor damage i decided not to proceed with 3rd party claim (huge hassle & time consuming). The taxi uncle (asshole) was lucky i must say. If my car is any newer i will make his life difficult. Claim him to the max! 😤

Driving for a living is really not easy. Especially with Grab nowadays (no incentives for me 2nd week in a row). Looks like incentives is a foregone conclusion for me going forward. Fares are also poor. Even at rush hours there are not much Surge pricing. We get stuck in traffic with low fares & Grab still gets 20% cut from us… 🤬

But then because my car is owned & petrol (mostly) is from JB, the money i bring back is still satisfactory. Can’t say the same for others whom rents their vehicles & pump petrol in SG. One word, SHIONG! My cousin last week just given up driving (after 2yrs) & gotten a full time Office job (with cpf & benefits). Happy for him. I still need to slog another 4yrs. 🙊

No more incentives from Grab for me. 😰

Today i logged onto my Grab app to look at the incentives for this week & found none. It had been diminishing so i can’t say i did not see it coming. Thus, i decided not to drive today & going forward i will only drive 4 days week on tues, wed, sat & sun. Work life bal ya. 🙊

Last week i also only drove 4 days due to being in KL for 3 ( wed to fri). I managed to clock in nearly $1.2k fares. After Grab’s 20% & petrol $200 i am left with appx $750 nett. Decent $ for 4 days work. Multiply by 4 weeks that’s $3k. Might not seem much but when u convert it into Myr $ it is nearly $9k myr. Very decent $. Can help me pay my mortgages. 🙊

For those that are renting their vehicles at $400-500 per week, i can’t imagine how much they actually left with to put food on the table. In order to survive they at least need to drive 6 days (min 10-12hrs shift). And we still need to pay taxes & medisave (no deductibles allowed by Iras 🤬) not to mention no cpf no leave nothing.

If this is going to be the norm from Grab going forward (low fares, min to no incentives & still taking a 20% cut from us), i expect many to leave this industry & throw their keys back to LCR (Lion City Rental). It just ain’t worth it. Might as well just get a desk job paying $2k per mth (5 days work week) to answer phone calls & it comes with Cpf & benefits & no risks.

Talking about risks, yesterday i received a booking from a family of 4 ( mother, young son & daughter & an infant) rushing to Tan Tock Seng Emergency Dept at 9pm+. From their worried & frantic conversation i realised that the lady’s husband was also a Private hire driver & had gotten into a very serious accident & his car had turtled & flipped couple of times. I felt very sad for them & prayed for her husband & the passengers. 🙏🏻

After dropping them off at TTSH i decided to end my day. No mood to continue driving. On average daily i covers around 400km in order to make some decent $ & i can tell u it is not easy & the risks are very real. So i hope any motorists out there whom are driving please do not speed & rest when tired. Make sure to have enough sleep daily. Do not put yourself, your passengers & the public at risks. 🙏🏻