Thursday, December 12, 2013

Issues with Internet Print Protocol on Windows

Missing Connect Link

If the 'Connect' link is missing when you select an IPP printer from the list in the server, then you will need to enable the 'Compatibility View' of the Internet Explorer.

Unable to install printer

If you face issues installing the printer driver after you click the 'Connect' link, then you will need to add the printer to the local Intranet list 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Windows 8.1 - Skip Microsoft account sign in during installation

To skip this portion of the installation, there are two ways to do it.

Without Internet connection

It will ask you to create a local account instead and will not ask you to sign in to your Microsoft account. In other words,  it will be easier if you disable your internet connection first to skip this totally.

With Internet connection

1. Choose 'Create a new account'

2. Choose 'Sign in without a Microsoft Account'

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paypal phishing scam

You may received another one of these emails. Usually they will warn about a problem with your account and asked that it be reverified when all it does is to trick you into keying in your username and password and then using that info to make illegal transactions.

This time however you may be informed of a 'purchase' that you have recently 'made'.

Of course, knowing that you have not made any such purchase, it alarms you and the first instinct is to click on that link to cancel the transaction.

When you click that link it will bring you to a phishing site that looks familiar to you. It looks the same as the real PayPal site that you visited all these while. You login and by then your account have been compromised.

There are some things you can do to protect yourself. Reading my earlier post will arm you will the knowledge required to protect yourself.

If all that is too technical, then the easiest thing you can do is

1. DO NOT CLICK on such links.
2. Go to WWW.PAYPAL.COM directly and verify if you have indeed made such purchases.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stage 2 - Scout for new place (part 1)

After having put up my current home up for sale, it was time to scout for the new place.

I was torn between the space the older generation of 5 rooms offers and the full height glass window and underground carpark plus concealed wiring/piping the newer generation offers. In the end I decided to go with the space instead, for the kids' sake.

I am picky. I only prefer 5 room designs that offers the following

  1. All the rooms are tucked on side and there is a passage way leading to them. I hate having room doors that opens to the living or dining area.
  2. Common bathroom must be near the common rooms, which usually means along the passage way. Reason being, it will be easier for kids and aged parents to get to them instead to go the long way through the kitchen or service yard. Another reason is that, with the common bathroom in the kitchen or the service yard, you will tend to see things that should not exists in bathrooms, like mop etc.
  3. Balcony, or at least it was there previously (a lot of owners prefer to level it up to make it part of the living room). I like the feeling of being outdoors without having to leave the house. This is also why I am against window grilles, unless it was for safety reason. Security reason are just an excuse to me
  4. A service yard. I have kids and we wash a lot and I do not like hanging my clothes outside. You will never know what the neighbour above throws down (or spit). I also prefer to go the economy way which is to hang the clothes when possible rather than dry them using a dryer and having a separate area from the kitchen for that makes sense as I do not want to them to smell of the things we cook.
  5. A study area. I plan to turn it into a entertainment room instead. Living room is strictly for conversations.

After considering so many, I decided on this particular design, or something similar which is about 123sqm, 1/3 bigger than my current unit.

Stage 1 - Sell the current place

I currently own a 4 room HDB flat (newer generation 90 sqm unit) that comes with its internal wiring and piping concealed. While some may hate it as it is harder to renovate, I love it and the extra inconvenience is small price to pay compared to the overall look of the flat.

There is no point having a nice bathroom but with huge ugly PVC piping sticking out like a store thumb.

The wire casing running all over the place and the switches and electrical points not flushing with the walls is an eye sore.

Furthermore, my 10 years old unit do not look that small compared to the 4 room units that HDB offers under BTO nowadays.

It also comes with unblock views. The MRT/Bus interchange is 400m away and there is a wet market, 24hr NTUC supermarket, a coffee shop, 7-11 and hardware stores just 150m away.

The only bad thing about the unit is that the living room faces north west.

I love my home now but my 2 kids need a bigger space to run about and it is time to upgrade.

Have put up the unit for sale, and hopefully the new owner will be happy with it as I currently am.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

HDB Nov 2013 BTO preview

Upcoming Nov BTO will includes units offered in the towns of Bukit Batok, Hougang, Sembawang, Jurong West and Woodlands

Bukit Batok

Practically in the middle of nowhere as you can see from the dotted line which represents future roads. Currently the location is where the foreign workers dormitories are or maybe just beside it.

The only good thing I can think of is that the PIE is just nearby.

From URA Master Plan 2008, this whole area will be developed. This plot of land will be flanked by a school (plot marked E), a commercial development (plot coloured blue) and another HDB development to the north east.


The plot of land includes where the previous Singapore Institute of Commerce was and a bigger plot behind an existing HDB block 363 Hougang. Not too far from Hougang MRT station and it is near the central area. A pretty good location if you ask me.

Jurong West

There are two plots of land for this BTO

One plot of land was where the previous block 216-220 Boon Lay Avenue was, opposite Jurong JC. Not bad a location, if you like the West. There are nearby amenities and this area will be redeveloped if you look at the plans they have for this area.

This is the next development to include 3Gen type of units, which is basically a bigger 4 room unit with additional room and a bathroom. If you feel 5 room of internal space of 110sqm is too small, then you can opt for this which comes with an internal space of 115sqm. Hack one bedroom away and you have yourself a bigger living room but not too sure what to do with the extra bathroom!

PIE is nearby and the nearest MRT is Boon Lay, which is a few bus stops away. Quite a number of buses ply this area.

The other plot of land is there where many would call Taman Jurong. Again this is another SERS. It is quite a nice place actually. Not that busy if you like pretty quite place. There are a few feeders to Lakeside MRT.


This plot of land is flank by the previous BTO at Sembawang, namely EastBank, EastWave and EastBrooks. It is a totally new area but expected to be self sufficient with its own central area and even an MRT station, the NS12.


This is a big plot of land, near where the commercial area is. The pull factor would be close promixity to Admiralty MRT station and the amenities found in the central area, Admiralty Place. Good location if you ask me as some units may face the park opposite, which means unblock views.

Monday, October 14, 2013

How to remove Antivirus Security Pro malware

Antivirus Security Pro is a bad bad malware that duped you into subscribing to their non-existent subscription with fake messages that your system is badly infected (strange isn't that only after installing this 'fix', your system is suddenly full of viruses?)

It is not actually dangerous but just totally irritating. Before you can clean it, you have to kill it first and this is by far the easiest way to recover back the control to your system.

No registration key, no registry edit, no rebooting to safe mode etc needed!

1. Right click on Antivirus Security Pro icon on desktop and choose Properties

2. Take note of the name of the EXE file

3. Go to Start>All Programs>Accessories and right click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator

Note: If you unable to get to the command prompt, then get to safe mode (by pressing F8 after BIOS boot) and delete the file you noted in Step 2. You can proceed to Step 6.

4. Type the following command

taskkill /IM xxxxx.exe /F

Note: xxxx.exe is the name you noted in STEP 2

5. Type 'tasklist' and check if the application is no longer listed to know that it is really terminated.

6. Use any of the solutions below
Note: I strongly recommend installing Microsoft Security Essential.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wireplay on Ubuntu 12.04

Credit to those who found out how to solve the errors first. All I am doing here is to list out the steps for a successful installation.

1. Install all the required dependencies on an Ubuntu 12.04

sudo apt-get install ruby1.8 ruby1.8-dev libruby1.8 libpcap0.8 libpcap0.8-dev libnet1 libnet1-dev

2. Check your Ruby version and take note of it

ls /usr/lib/ruby/1.8/ | grep linux

3. Download the Wireplay source file from the following URL


4. Go to the location where you save the zip file and unzip it


5. Go to the libnids-123 folder

cd wireplay-master/libnids-123

6. Edit the killtcp.c file in libnids-1.23/src folder

vi src/killtcp.c

7. Change the last




8. Run 'configure' and then 'make'

./configure --enable-shared --disable-libglib

9. Go to wireplay-master folder

cd ..

10. Edit the Makefile

vi Makefile

and check if the Ruby version is the same as in Step 2. If it is not the same, edit it.

11. Run 'make'


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clearing Squid cache

I ran into some problems and found out that the cache was the culprit. After reading a few documentation which differs from one another on which is the right way to clear the cache, and after performing them myself, I found that the following is the best way

1. Find out where your Squid is storing the cache. Different distro saves in a different location. To do this, look in the /etc/squid/squid.conf file and search for 'cache' line.

2. Stop squid

3. Remove Squid cache content from the folder eg rm -rf /var/spool/squid/*

4. Recreate the cache internal folders with the Squid script - squid -z

5. Restart Squid.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Renovation: Laminate flooring

If you just got the keys to your house and considering installing laminate flooring, I say go for it!

With improvements in technology, so does the quality of laminate flooring. Gone are the days when horror stories of owners beleaguered by their laminate flooring send chills down the spine.

My current flat was installed with Kronotex laminate flooring and I am very satisfied with it. After 9 years, the quality is still there although with signs of wear and tear which are mostly not the fault of the flooring itself.

If I ever move to a new place, I would definitely go for laminate flooring because of the following reasons:

1. Cost effective

In fact, you already save on the cost for a permit needed for wet works even before we compare the cost of the laminate vs tiles.

2. Fast installation

Take at most 2 days to complete for the whole house. Some can even be completed within a day.

3. Durability

Laminate do last if it is properly installed and taken care of. All the care laminate flooring requires is that you do not let any puddle of water sit for too long. Don't worry about spills as long as you wipe it off just as you would with any other form of flooring. The important thing is they are installed properly by a trained installer.

4. Comfort

Laminate is also not as cold as tiles and it will be suitable if you have small kids or old folks.

5. Easily replaceable.

If you are bored with the laminate you have down the road, you can have it changed without the hassle of hacking works and the costs involved.

6. Safety

It is not slippery like tiles and it also absorbs some impact, it being wood, therefore again suitable for small kids to cushion their falls etc.

7. Easy to maintain

There is nothing much you need to do other than wipe it with a dam cloth/mop. The surface is hard enough to withstand stains which can be easily removed.

8. Choice

Huge choice to choose from. It is practically impossible to not like at least one of the design/type.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Our stroller history

Our 1st stroller was a used Capella Harmony with an infant car seat. It was a pretty good travel system back when we only had Armand.

We then bought was another used Harmony while we still have the 1st one because the 1st one was not working so well, or so we thought. In the end, it was just how it works and we sold that off soon after.

Our 3rd stroller was a new Hauck Turbo. We bought it as a spare as the Capella was becoming a hassle to fold, if I am not wrong. I seriously cannot remember why actually.

Our 4th stroller was a new Mothercare Mino that we bought while we were in London (as we did not bring our stroller along, which was a BIG mistake!). It was cheap there anyway. We sold the Capella off when we got back home as Armand outgrew the infant car seat.

I really love the Mino. Super light, super compact. Apparently I did not love it enough that we 'lost' it when I forgot to put it into the trunk of the car and drove off without it. Needless to say, it was no longer there when I returned back to the car park. Luckily we still have the Hauck Turbo or we would have been stroller-less.

Our 5th stroller was a used Hauck Shopper Shop 'n Drive travel system that we bought about a month before Arissa was due as we needed the infant car seat and the travel system will come in handy. We sold the Hauck Turbo after that. The Hauck Shopper Shop 'n Drive was a good stroller. Not compact when fold but a good stroller nevertheless.

Our 6th stroller was a Hauck Freerider that I shipped in from Germany. We needed a double now and we can use the same infant car seat from the Shop 'n Drive for Arissa. The idea was, if we were out with one, we can just use the Shop 'n Drive and if we were out with both, we'll use the Freerider.

Our 7th stroller was a Sweet Cherry LC100 Tulsa that we bought while we were in Penang. I know that I should have learnt my lesson from the London trip and bring along either one of our strollers but I did not want them damaged during flight, like what happened to our Mothercare Mino during the London trip back.  Anyway, we sold it off when we got back home as we did not need it anymore. It was not a bad stroller actually and it was super cheap.

Our 8th stroller was used Phil&Teds Sport because the Hauck Freerider started to piss me off. The Phil&Teds was better as a double stroller although it is not totally piss-me free either. We sold the Hauck Freerider after that as well as the Shopper Shop 'n Drive travel system as it was Arissa's turn to outgrew the infant car seat.

Our 9th stroller was a used Phil&Teds Explorer because the brakes and the seat recline on the Sport is ridiculously irritating. So we sold the Sport off after getting the Explorer.

Now we are down to only one stroller - the Explorer. So far this should be the best and last and the only stroller for us. Or is it?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

HDB May 2013 BTO - Woodlands - Pasture I & II

The BTO sits on the 2nd last piece of empty plot of land along Gambas Ave, flanked by Northoaks to the south-east and Woodlands Meadow BTO to the north-west.

The nearest MRT, Admiralty, is about 650m away and that is if you cut through the existing public housing

If you noticed, both MSCP are where they are to act as a buffer between the blocks and the new north-south expressway viaduct which in my opinion is the best place for both the MSCP.

However, when the MSCP is tucked to one side, it just mean that there will be blocks that requires some pretty good walking between them, so drivers do take note.

This BTO also comes with a commercial block that houses a supermarket, shops, a child care centre and even a restaurant. Pretty convenient.

Among its midst are also a nursing home and rental blocks.

Also, the drainage reserve on Pasture I runs underground resulting in an open space above ground. It remains to be seen what can that area be use for.

Layout is very much sardined up. Many units face each other and they are very close.

Choosing the best units is tough because there is not many but they have got to be those facing school and/or park, namely - 19, 03, 01, 15, 13, 16, 14, 28, 26. Although most will get the afternoon sun, it is the price to pay for unblock view.

For those facing internally, only 23 can make it. The rest is just too damn close.

If you do not mind the road noise and dust, then those higher units ( 7 floor and above) facing the MSCP or the commercial block will be great as it is quite a distance between the units and the future viaduct.

Source - HDB

Sunday, June 2, 2013

HDB May 2013 BTO - Sembawang - EastWave@Canberra

Another BTO in Sembawang with only 4 and 5 rooms, just like EastBank@Canberra.

Layout is also pretty similar, although each block curves outwards which means some units facing internal compound may be closer to the opposite unit than the rest.

Unlike EastBank@Canberra, EastWave@Canberra comes with a 7 storey MSCP. It also comes with a 3 storey centre that houses a eating house, a supermarket, some shops and a childcare center for convenience.

Some units facing the car park will have about 35m of buffer so if you only have the lower units to choose from, it is not so bad. However, stay away from the lower units of 301, 303, 305, 317 and 319 as the heavy vehicular traffic it faces will only mean noise. To play it safe, units higher than the MSCP would be better.

Best unit would definitely be 329 as it faces a future park. That means unblock view. Unit 401 and 403 faces the park too but will receive the scorching afternoon sun.

High floor units facing the future school will have unblock views too but as a trade off, it will get the afternoon sun plus the noise from the school.

Units facing the future Canberra Way are facing the morning sun so these are not so bad either, except for lower floor units of 353 as it is very close to the MSCP even though it does not face it directly.

As for units facing the internal compound, units in blocks 120C and 120D are preferred as they face the morning sun as compared to those in blocks 120A and 120B which faces the afternoon sun.

Source - HDB

Thursday, May 30, 2013

HDB May 2013 BTO - Sembawang - EastBank@Canberra

Another development in Sembawang which consists of only 4 and 5 rooms but with a single story car park, if that matters to you.

Even if you do not drive, developments without MSCP only means more common space hence the reason why practically any unit you choose will guarantee you some privacy. Unit facing the internal compound, for example, will have at least 60 meters from the next unit. That is very generous and a rare thing compared to many BTOs before this.

Also, if you notice, there are no ugly covered linkways because the whole of the internal compound is the covered linkway between the blocks.

For those who drive, you can park your car, walk to the lift that will bring you straight to your floor unlike traditional MSCP where you are more likely to take the stairs/lift down, walk to your block then take another lift to your floor. If it rains, an 'underground' carpark is not effected at all while for an MSCP, it all depends on how the linkways are built as for some, you may need to walk a distance even though your block is just beside the MSCP.

If you like to be near the waters, then those facing the drainage reserve will suit you, although it is just a drain. That should give you a good buffer of about 40 meters from the next development, Eastbrooks@Canberra. However, all the units will receive the afternoon sun. Units 713, 701, 729 and 717 will receive the afternoon sun on the master bedroom walls.

The best unit among these would definitely be 719 as it will have an unblocked view of almost the whole strech of Sungei Simpang Kiri as it is not blocked by the development in EastBrook@Canberra at all. In fact, this is the best unit to choose from for a 5 room.

For the units facing the internal compound, those facing south-east will be a better choice as compared to those facing north-west as the former will get the morning sun while the latter will get the afternoon sun like units 711 and 747 which will bear the brunt of the afternoon sun on the master bedroom walls.

Units facing the future Canberra Way road will experience noise but it does have quite a buffer from the next development plus it will only get the morning sun except unit 745 which will get the afternoon sun on the master bedroom walls. However, but just like unit 743, it is quite a distance from the next development thanks to it facing the future Canberra Street.

The best unit for a 4 room would definitely be unit 721. It will have a good view, facing the Sungei Simpang Kiri and is a huge distance from the future development - about 100m! Although it receives the morning sun, that is not so bad actually.

Unit 737 has almost the same benefits of unit 721 with practically no morning sun. However the afternoon sun will hit it hard on the master bedroom walls. The plus to that is that your clothes will dry faster, with the service yard getting the sunlight required.

Unit 739 and 741 is not so bad either. It has good buffer and it gets only the morning sun.

As for location wise, hopefully the new NS12 MRT station that will be build will be ready at the same time.

Pros - Near future NS12 MRT Station. Single storey car park.
Cons - No eatery or supermarkets within development.

Source - HDB

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Windows Server 2012 and Wireshark

The latest Wireshark still include Winpcap v4.1.2 which is not supported in Windows Server 2012.

You will need to download and install the latest Winpcap v4.1.3 separately.

Dnsmasq and DHCP Option 60 Vendor Class Identifier

To make Dnsmasq assigned different range of IP addresses to different set of clients based on DHCP option 60 (Vendor Class Identifier), you will need to add/modify a few lines to the configuration file

1. The first thing you need to do is to add a line that will define the vendor class identifier that will be assigned to a specific name.

dhcp-vendorclass=[name],"[vendor class identifier]"

The vendor class identifier can be entered in full or partial. The example shown below will assigned any clients with vendor class that contains MSFT to vendor class name WINDOWS


2. The next thing to do is the add the following line that will assign a range of IP addressed based on the vendor class identifier

dhcp-range=net:[name],net:[interface],[start of range],[end of range],[lease period in hours]h

This example below will assign clients with vendor class identifier as defined in vendor class name WINDOWS on interface ETH0 with IP addresses starting from - for a lease period of 24 hours


To do a reverse, that is to assign a range of IP addresses to clients that do not contain the vendor class identifier in vendor class name WINDOWS, you use the '#' sign, which is the same as 'NOT EQUALS TO', as shown below


You can repeat the same lines for other clients with other vendor class identifiers. However, you will need to have a fall back range for those clients that do not fit to any of your specified range.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HDB May 2013 BTO preview - Sembawang

Following my previous article on Simpang New Town which touched on development of the said area, it now seems that the area is considered as Canberra part of Sembawang Town with the release of this new BTO information.

Two of the three parcels of land to be developed for the upcoming BTO is along the Sungei Simpang Kiri, which is actually just a big drain but with a park connector running along it, the 'longkang' feel is partially masked.

Source: HDB

The good thing about this new development is that there will be a new Canberra Station (NS12) of the North-South line somewhere along Canberra Link so it is expected to be quite popular.

Source: LTA

Connectivity in terms of road network for the area will also be vastly improved with the new "Proposed Road" to be linked to Yishun Ave 1 via Yishun Ave 6 to the south, allowing quicker access to the Seletar Aerospace Park in Seletar West Link and the future SLE/TPE/CTE interchange as per LTA plan to improve connectivity in the North.

To the north, the "Proposed Road" will be linked to Admiralty Road East which will end up right to the Causeway.

Source: LTA

The new North South Expressway will also be along Gambas Avenue which can be accessed by Sembawang Avenue. The SLE towards BKE is also accessible by using Woodlands Ave 12.

Source: LTA

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hauck Freerider

The Hauck Freerider is a 3 wheeler tandem stroller with the second seat at the back and lower than the main seat, similar to the likes of Phil & Teds.

It comes with the second seat, instead of it being an option. You can opt for the Shop 'n Drive model which is essentially a package of same stroller bundled with an infant car seat.

As with any Hauck user manual, it comes with pictures only. However, fixing up the stroller is not an uphill task. You are only required to fix the 3 wheels and sun shade. The 2nd seat can just be easily slipped on and off with a catch.


The front seat reclines by pulling a metal lever at the back of the seat and it can recline till it's fully flat. To lift it up, you simply push the seat up until it locks to any of the 4 positions available. This is a pretty good mechanism if your ask me as you can operate it with one hand.

When fully up, the main seat is almost 90° so it is good for kids who likes to sit up straight. However, when straight up, the space between the backrest and the bar strap is pretty small, so if you have a big baby, it might be uncomfortable for your kid.

The main seat can accommodate an infant car seat without having to remove it although you will have to raise the incline by one step from flat to allow enough space for the child in the rear seat. The main seat can also be removed totally if you plan to use the infant car seat exclusively, as shown below, though it is not advisable to sit a infant in the car seat for more than an hour at any one time.

The rear seat can on the other hand can only recline further by one step by means of a zip. This limitation is expected.

The calf support and handle is adjustable to a few heights.

The front wheel is lockable while the the rear wheel lock is pretty smooth


The Good

The thickly padded seats are very comfortable and of good quality.

The Bad

The handle construction disappoints me as it has too much play, making it feels like the stroller is a few years old. This however do not affect the function of the stroller that much except when you place a bigger child in the main seat and the back seat unoccupied. Due to the weight being concentrated at the front, it can be a a challenge when you need to lift the stroller up a kerb.

The wheels are made of plastic. Although most will say that inflatable wheels are much better, not having to pump air can be a plus at times, especially if you keep the stroller in your car most of the time.

The calf support is pretty much hollow with nothing much in between.

The stroller folds up not too bad but the front wheel is not able to be aligned flat and it is the main part that is causing problems when loading up to the boot trunk of the car.

The Ugly

As the sun shade attaches by simply slotting it into a groove on the chassis but without any form of locking mechanism, it always detaches itself each time the stroller is folded.

The extendable sun shade for the rear seat looks good as it covers the rear seat sufficiently but it has no where to be stored. You either use it or remove it as shown below

A similar poor design applies to the main seat backrest mounting. As it do not have a locking mechanism, it always detaches itself on either/both sides each time you fold your stroller.

Again, another poor design is the rear seat rod end cover. It always slips off when you remove the seat. You have to slot it back in place each time you want to attach the rear seat. A velcro should solve this problem so I don't understand why it was not thought off by Hauck designers.


Overall the stroller is alright except for a few annoying setback. For the price you pay, it is forgivable though if you can fork out more, do it.

Good quality seats
5 point harness on both seats
Main seat suitable for infant from birth onward
Adjustable handle height
Can adapt an infant car seat
Comes with a rain cover

Poor design for certain parts
Too much play in handle
Sun shade is flimsy. Easily detached itself especially when you fold the stroller.
Main seat backrest mount dislodge each time you fold the stroller
Extendable shade has no place to store into. Either you cover the rear seat or you remove it.
Rear seat rod end cover always slips off when you remove the seat. You have to slot it back in place each time you want to attach the rear seat.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bridge connecting the main island with Ubin and Tekong planned

Article first appeared in Malay at Cyberita

Imagine being able to drive in Pulau Ubin while enjoying nature, and no longer having to take a boat and the diesel fumes that come with it.

Or enjoy the beauty of the sunset on a bridge after dining at Changi Village, and then continue the drive on the same bridge to return home on the main island.

Such an experience will one day be possible when the government's plan to build a road network between main island and Pulau Ubin is implemented, beyond 2030.

Plans to develop Pulau Ubin, however, received different reactions from experts and nature lovers.

There are those who want the island - which is popular among nature enthusiasts and those who love cycling and fishing – to be left as it is now.

While others are excited about the prospect of a possible unique waterfront housing development.

The road network plan was first made public in the Land Use Plan report released recently.

In the published map, the route is shown to start from Changi to Pulau Tekong, then Pulau Ubin and back to the main island near Lorong Halus

However, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of National Development (MND), the road network between the main island to Pulau Ubin, which will also be connected to Pulau Tekong, is a long term plan.

It is to provide continuity in the event that the two islands were developed later, the spokesman added.

In the Land Use Plan, Pulau Tekong will be categorised as an integrated military training zone.

However, no further information on the island was presented, which currently has a number of kampung houses and natural areas which are popular among anglers and those who love cycling.

According to a researcher at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of National University of Singapore (NUS) specialising in transportation, Associate Professor Lee Der Horng, the link is justified since the total population is expected to increase.

Asked in what form would the link be expected, he said "an above water bridge is more appropriate than an underwater tunnel as it is cheaper and faster to build."

A bridge would not block small vessels from passing through the Straits of Johor between Singapore and the two islands in the northeast of the country, he added.

Large vessels are expected to no longer sail through the straits as Sembawang shipyard operations will be stopped and a water coastal area has already been planned for the site.

The area is expected to offer a wide range of business activities and will form part of the North Coast Innovation Corridor, planned between Woodlands and Punggol.

But Associate Professor Lee feel that it is better to let Pulau Ubin be left as it is "so that Singaporeans can go there to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life".

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PropNex, Mr Ismail Gafoor, said while he agree that the plan is still far in the future, Pulau Ubin has the potential to be a "dream waterfront residential address, like Sentosa".

"Waterfront towns with unblocked coastal water view, not crowded and windy are often able to command premium prices of 20 per cent higher.

"Housing on the island is able to attract the same premium," he said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Heng Clinic for Women

We were recommended the services of Dr Heng Tung Lan by a close friend of ours as my wife is no longer comfortable with a male gynae, unlike our first pregnancy.

There is nothing much to say actually because if your pregnancy is normal, all they do at every check up is

- take your urine sample
- check your blood pressure
- check your weight
- perform a scan to keep track of the progress of the baby.

Personally, she is very motherly and that is comforting and probably the reason why we might consider her again in the future.

However, she is not really pro natural birth, as she did ask us a few times if we would like to delivery our baby earlier, hinting on an inducement. Nevertheless, she do accommodate if you plan for a natural birth, like we did, when you inform her beforehand. So she was pretty much off hand during delivery until it was time for the baby to pop.

She has a lot of clients so her clinic is always jammed pack all the time, especially on Saturdays. Be prepared to spend sometime there before it is your turn. You can see the contrast with other clinics on the same floor.

We also missed our full scan because the staff there forgot to arrange for us. Maybe because they had too many clients.

Anyway, first visit will cost you about $180. You should sign up for the $700 package which is more cost effective.

Heng Clinic for Women Pte Ltd
Parkway East Medical Centre, 319 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427989 #02-08
Contact No: +65 6377 3737

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What turning 55 might mean to you

As prices of HDB flats are sky rocketting, it is important to do your calculations right.

Buyers over 25 years old who took or plan to take a maximum of 30 years loan will have to take note of what is going to happen when they reach 55 as they will be affected.

When you reach 55, you can choose to withdraw the balance in your OA and SA and excess of $38,500 in your MA.

If you do decide withdraw, you will have to put aside MS of $139,000 (current sum) in your to-be-created RA. If you are not able to meet the MS, you can only withdraw $5,000.

Monthly payouts from your RA will only kick in when you reach 65. In other words, unless you have substantial savings, you will have to continue to be either employed or earning an income after you reach 55 for another 10 years in order to sustain yourself.

So if your housing loan is not fully paid by the time you reach 55 years of age, you have to ensure that you are able to continue servicing your monthly payments after that on top your own monthly financial needs.

If you use the maximum OA contribution to service your loan, you also have to take note of the decreasing percentage of your pay going into your OA as you grow older. The rates as as follows

Age                     %
35 & below      - 23
Above 35-45 - 21
Above 45-50 - 19
Above 50-55 - 13.5
Above 55-60 - 12
Above 60-65 - 3.5
Above 65          - 1

What this means is that by the time you reach 55, you have to be earning almost twice the amount of what you are earning when you are below 35 years of age to be able to have enough contributions in your OA to service your monthly loan payment, especially if you use your OA maximum monthly contribution amount currently to service your loan.

Therefore it is advisable to take up a housing loan that can be fully paid by the time your reach 55 unless you do not plan to withdraw from your CPF when you reach 55 and plan to continue working beyond 55.

OA - Ordinary Account
SA - Special Account
MA - Medisave Account
RA - Retirement Account

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Property: HDB - Keat Hong Colours

This is the worst layout I have seen in terms of the location of the drop-off points. Some blocks are so far away so drivers do take note.

This is also the biggest BTO of all and with supermarkets and shops in the MSC, parking will always be an issue.

Internal layout is nothing to shout about and the 5 room units have small common bedrooms. The common toilet for the 5 room unit is also bigger than the one in the master bedroom. What's up with that?

The good thing about this BTO is that, it is possible that the authorities may build an MRT station (maybe Keat Hong or Bricklands) near the site area.

4/5 rooms

Units 501, 505, 507, 511, 677 and 679 faces the carpark, therefore the furthest away from the next block and with a view of the roof top park. But do get units at 8th floor and above to avoid facing the carpark itself with all the noise etc. Unit 677 and 679 will get the afternoon sun.

Unit 665 and 667 faces the main road and future school with pretty much unblock view while escaping both the afternoon sun, if you do not mind the noise from the roads

Unit 501 and 503 will face the future neighbourhood park with a little of the morning sun. This, in my opinion is the best unit to choose.

Unit 529 might be a good choice too with pretty much unblock view from the neighbouring developments.

Unit 609 is not so bad as the next block is quite a distance away as well. It will get the afternoon sun on the master bedroom walls though,

3 rooms

Not much of choice but I would choose unit 605 or 603 as these units have better views. Both units will get the afternoon sun on the master bedroom walls.