Friday, February 05, 2016

Unbelievable January


It has been an unbelievable January for me as although my work has not been smooth flowing due to colleagues potlicking and a muted pay increase this year due to the economic slowdown. Although all these happenings made me have thoughts that are my efforts in helping the company in the times of need unappreciated and set me thinking about moving on to greener pastures. My family and close friends have advised me to stay and solider on.

At the same time, the IRAS volunteer e-filing exercise could be undergoing some major changes in 2016 and 2017. I am glad to say I am part of the committee. I am sorry that I cannot reveal too much as I have a gag order slapped on me. I am glad that IRAS, as a Government statutory board adopts a “gathering of ideas” approach before implementing out. I certainly hope the taxpayers and fellow volunteers will get to see the benefits when it is progressively implemented.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, May it be a Prosperous Year for You.

Monday, January 11, 2016

First Post For The New Year

Hi to the readers of my blog. It has been a while since I last blogged. Let me take the opportunity to wish you guys & gals a belated happy new year. Hope that all has been smooth flowing for all of you so far.


I managed to find a new app that allows me to blog freely, although it is not as user-friendly as the Windows Live Writer, I guess we just have to make do with this for the time being.


Finally, the year 2015 had ended. The time had come for me to clear my leave. You might have thought that my boss would be okay with me clearing a few days since it is my lull period and I still have a fair bit to clear for my 2015's entitlement, despite clearing some for my grandma's wake & 49th day.


I did not expect her to say things like why should I use my leave to go back to my school's open house. My leave is my entitlement, therefore I am allowed to do what I like. That's the reason why I hate to put the reasons for my application sometimes.


Granted that you may be pretty well off, but I feel that sometimes when we do volunteering, the help is more direct, rather than you give them money, they do not know how to manage it and spend it as they like, and they will be back to square one, asking for help again.


It was a good trip back to school, catching up with my lecturers, especially those who taught me in Year 2 & 3. At the same time, it was good to dish out advice to prospective students who are confused by the numerous offerings at the 5 polytechnics.


Besides this, I took the opportunity to attend the Grassroots Appreciation Night on Friday night.

A drawing of me at the event


Photos from the event

Caricature Art at the event

At the same time, I went to learn Malay for the next two days. I must say that learning a language is never easy but it was fun!!! 











Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 In Review

I am still trying my best to adapt to use the old Blogger Template to publish my blog. It seems like my Windows Live Writer is really walking out on me, causing me to blog by using the Microsoft Word Template. Frequent readers of my blog would know that I would usually do a yearly review of my year as it draws to a close.

2015 has been a taxing and tiring year for Paul, and not as smooth as I would have liked it to be.

Work

The year started off on a new note as my company welcomed a new associate company to be one of our new auditors. There had been problems with the previous audit associate. Due to a gag order by my bosses, I am not allowed to reveal too much in here. Working with new people means starting new working relationships all over again. I must say it is not easy but I am glad to say that I have been doing my best to achieve it, since taking over from my colleague, who threw out the task of coordinating work with the auditors to me in late June. This means more work for me, not that I am complaining, but it means I need to have more hands to look after my tasks sometimes.
My manager was on long leave in the early part of the year due to illness. As it happened unexpectedly, all of us were taken by surprise. This incident also made me realized that
1.       One should always go for your regular health checks, no matter how busy you are.
2.       Never recommend a friend to work at your office, even if he/she needs a job desperately as you would never know when she would take the opportunity to stab you in the back or always take advantage of your presence in the company and be late for work, always on MC, push aside work when requested by superior or fellow colleague.

It is unfortunate that the friendship turned bad after the incident and the person left on her own accord sometime after the incident.

Volunteer Work

RC Activities

It has been a busy year on the volunteer front as well as our country celebrated its 50th birthday. This meant that many RC activities were themed based on that, and required our active participation. It also marked the start of my 2nd term as the treasurer of the RC. I have a new assistant to assist me. I must say she has been of a great help to me.


The IRAS Volunteer e-filing exercise

There was a drastic drop in the number of e-filing centres from 21 to 7 this year. It was fortunate that I have managed to gather some of the old-timers to form a team at my liaison officer’s request as he felt that the new volunteers are coming in with many requests for letters of PR application, request for ECA points & nomination for awards. Volunteering should be from the heart, and not because of the benefits. I would like to congratulate my team as each of them played a part and won an award for their contribution. I feel proud to have led this team to success this year and look forward to replicating the success next year.

For all my above efforts and past efforts, I was awarded Outstanding Volunteer Award, Long Service Award (10 years) and Slient Heroes Award.






Family

My grandma passed away on 31st October 2015. I personally feel that it is a relief for her as she had been struggling for quite a while with her illness. My mum, as usual has been hoping for me to settle down with a mate. In recent times, she has even asked me to plan for a roof over my head. We shall see how it goes when the time comes.

Friends

I am happy that my friends, Chloe & Gonnie & Jonathan & Serene got hitched this year. Also, Raymond welcomed a 2nd addition to his family.

KTV Group

The KTV group had a change in its venue for its KTV events after the members felt that the service standards at Partyworld Liang Court had been dropping. The new location is Voice Art at Bishan. It is opened by local singer, JJ Lin’s mum. I am heartened by the support for the new venue and hope that 2016 will be better.




Special Events

I attended the SG50 NDP at the Float this year, followed by JJ Lin’s concert.



Wishes for 2016

I look forward to a smooth flowing 2016 with an advancement to my life. =)




Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Birthday 2015

My apologies for not being able to post for quite a while as I had been busy with my work as the corporate tax deadline was 15 Dec 2015 and I have not been blogging that much as Microsoft Live Writer has decided to walk out on me since my 2 posts ago. I am currently using the default typing screen from Blogger to type this blog, which is a challenge to me as I have been used to using Windows Live Writer.

My birthday this year was unique as it happened to be the 49th day of my grandma's death. It gave me an opportunity to take leave on my birthday for the 1st time in 4 years. This marked the 1st time that my relatives had celebrated my birthday for me, which was a surprise to me. I enjoyed the celebration as my birthday cake was selected by my cousin's daughter, who is only 6 years of age and was able to open the box of cake with much ease.

Dinner was with my family at a Chinese restaurant at Nex, My brother was only able to join us at home for the celebration with a cake as he had been on reservist training.

Before these actual day celebrations, I had been invited to try out the new KTV outlet of Teo Heng at Ci Yuan CC by Grace, Jasmine & Zhong Wei, a usual birthday gathering with my KTV group buddies at Paris Baguette, a dinner with Connie, a dinner with my KTV buddy Yi Feng & a birthday cum Christmas celebration with Xiuling, Angela & Jia Jie. The VES group had also made my birthday a memorable one in a birthday & Christmas celebration held a while ago at Voice Art.


I guess it is a good time to learn this song by JJ Lin as I was tested to sing this song but I could not as I was not familiar with it.

Volunteer e-filing Group Gathering on 19th Dec

Celebration with my uncle's family on 18 Dec



Group photo with JJ Lin's bro, Lin Junfeng
Celebration on 13 Dec with Angela, Jiajie & Xiuling
The Passionfruit cake for my colleagues that I bought to office on 17 Dec

Birthday Celebration with Jasmine, Grace & Zhong Wei 4th Dec





As I reach the 36th year of my life, I hope for my life to be more smooth flowing after a hectic and not so smooth year in 2015.May what I wish for come true.

Please do not ask me what I wished for as it is always shared that if your wish is revealed, it is unlikely to come true.



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Busy Nov & Dec

I had been rather busy, which is good, in a sense, as you may have read from the papers that Singapore is experiencing an economic slowdown, but recently I do not feel appreciated in my work, although I still have a burning interest in my job. This could be due to too much work and office politics playing a part. Maybe it is a sign that I should move on after this economic slowdown, but my mum & myself had some reservations about this.

I took a week off from attending social gatherings in November, in the week after my grandma’s passing as my way of respecting her and to thank her for treating me well as her beloved grandson. After all, Nov & Dec had always been my busy months.

It did not help that my mum was still harping on the issue of me owning a flat under the Singles Scheme. To stop her from going on this issue further, I told her I will be doing so but I needed her support. She has agreed to do so.

I attended my manager’s grandson first birthday and my KTV buddy’s wedding. I am happy for them.


As for myself, I feel that there is no point rushing over things that do not happen now as if it happens, it will happen.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Grandma’s Passing

The colour of my blog serves as a good background colour to break this news. My beloved grandmother had passed away on 31 October 2015. She was 91.

I certainly saw this coming, as my family had visited her the last weekend before her passing. She was in pain, therefore she was not able to talk much. Her passing was actually a relief to her, as there would be no more suffering for her. As her eldest grandson, I have been doted upon by both of my grandparents since young. It is all the more so when I am born with cerebral palsy. Therefore I would certainly miss her.

Her funeral wake which lasted from Sunday to Wednesday, saw all our relatives and friends gathering to pay respects to my grandmother.

The happenings at the wake made me realized several things as I went through the course of the wake.

1.       You should not withhold the news of one’s passing from a fellow family member, regardless of any bad blood between family members.

2.       Compassion, understanding and respect for one another’s religion, physical challenges faced and work exigencies must be shown.  It does not mean that since you are doing this, you demand everyone to follow what is to be done.

3.       Filial piety should be shown when the person is alive, and not in death, as the dead person is not able to see and feel it.

4.       It is easy to spend money when you are not the one paying for it.

5.       The wearing of “xiao” can be within the wake period nowadays. It is up to each individual to decide how long they wish to carry on after the wake period.

I pray that my grandma is enjoying her time at the better place, but at the same time keeping watch over us.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Energy Sapping October

It has been an energy sapping October for me as I had to deal with the office politics at my work place and some family matters, as my mum had continually advised me to get a house, get a girlfriend and get married.

This was definitely not something that I want and can wish for it to happen soon as I always believe that it is better to get a house when you have a partner, as the cost of the house can be shared with your partner, therefore the burden is not that heavy, as having 2 people to pay for a big purchase is always better than one. I still stand by my belief that a single needs a remuneration package of at least $6,000 to own a flat in Singapore. I also had the feeling that they wanted to move in with me if I had a singles flat, so that they can rent out on the one that we are living in. Personally, I prefer not to be saddled with too much debts as my insurance commitments are already a lot due to my physical disability.

About getting married or getting a girlfriend, it is something that I hope to achieve, but it is not so easy, especially with my disability, people have other viewpoints about you, which is something that you cannot change. Also, by forcing the issue, the relationship will usually turn out bad. I have tried before myself and seen real life examples of people around me suffering from the impact of bad marriages or bad BGRs. This can happen to anyone, including the guys.

After a family friend’s intervention, both my mother and myself understood where we are coming from and I am thankful for my mum’s plan for me, although I still feel apprehensive about this as my mum is getting closer to her retirement, yet she wants to have me started on a good footing.

My friends have sensed that I have been moody recently. Talking to some of them made me feel better. My grandma’s health has not been good for some time, but I have not been able to see her, due to some elders showing my family  their black faces when we are there to visit.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Stressful October

I had thought that I was able to relax a bit, after my boss had assigned me an assistant to assist me in the admin matters that she had tasked me to do. As my assistant hails from a foreign country, I had to guide him along the way. I think in this way, this newbie will be able to pick up his ropes and be on his own if I am not around.

Little did I expect another colleague of mine, who is also under my care as my boss had asked me to take charge of this young colleague, to push the mistakes that she made before she went on leave, to me and my assistant. I wonder what is with the young nowadays. Are they easily bored by mundane tasks and thus they show attitude? I was thinking that she had been inadvertently brainwashed by her predecessor, who had been in contact with her on a regular basis, which I got to know when this young lass blurted out in a casual conversation. As the predecessor had left the company on unhappy terms, it would not be a surprise that she may have taught this young gal all the wrong things and say bad things about the company. Fortunately, the nightmare is over and the new staff will be coming in later this week.

The 2nd thing that I did not expect was when the other admin task was handled me as someone in office was tired of all the liaison work, and decided to just give up on the task without proper handover. Upon the takeover, this person still decided to liaise with the auditor and even accuse me and my assistant for not returning the documents to client in full. How do I know, when the boxes of documents are not taken in by me. The good thing is since I had taken over, my assistant and I have taken the habit to label the bags with the names of the company. As the boxes were not labelled, they are definitely not taken in by us. It is a joke sometimes as you guys know that I have a physical disability, therefore I am not suited for these tasks. It is good that I have an assistant to assist me with the carrying.

I thought home was the place to free my mind from all the work stress. Little did I expect it to be same at work. My parents had been pestering me to get a flat since I hit 35 years young. I have told them due to my physical disability, I have quite a number of commitments in insurance & family and do not have the ability to spend. My friend, who is a financial planner, recently did a review for me and was wondering how I managed to survive on deficits for so long.

I am not earning a net pay of $6000 per month, I am just earning about 35% of that. As a prudent person, I hope to be able to afford a house and not be saddled with debts into my retirement. I believe one should get a house when he is ready to settle down, which both parties must come to an agreement.

I am glad and thankful that some of my friends lent me their ears and heard me out over the past few weeks over this.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Busy Month of September

It has been a busy month for me as my boss decided to assign me with 2 new responsibilities in the past month. Both new responsibilities are something new that I have not undertaken before and it is not related to my regular work. I know that some of you may be wondering why I did not reject my boss.

Personally, I am grateful to my bosses who have helped me to attain my SIATP (The tax professionals association in Singapore) membership 3 years ago as I decided to stop my ACCA, after I have failed too many times despite trying. Although, the maintenance of the membership and the need to maintain the required CPE hours on my own efforts can be tough, I am still thankful for this as not many bosses would want their staff to surpass them nowadays, and currently the accountancy sector has been undergoing some major changes, like the non-audit threshold has been increased to $10 million, subject to various conditions. The PIC Scheme is another area that has made the work of tax professionals more challenging.The tough stance of audit requirement has resulted in some businesses being converted into partnerships or SP. Given my physical disability, it will be hard for me to have such an understanding boss and good department colleagues to work with. Some bosses on seeing my disability, would feel that my current pay package is very high already and would undercut my pay by a lot. Given that with my current pay and the commitments that I have does not allow me to buy a flat, I shudder at the thoughts if I were to leave my job now and get a lower paying job.

For me, I prefer to treat any tasks given with vigour, taking it as it come, rather thank playing taiji like what some of colleagues are doing. After managing to taiji the tasks away, they have more time to chit chat during office hours, rather than working. To me, every task given is a new opportunity to learn. I am sure that Heaven has eyes to see and that I will be rewarded one of these days.

Despite my busy work schedule, I still manage to find time to attend classes organised by NACLI. I am happy to say that I will be completing my Certificate of Community Development in late January. It is likely that I will continue with my Certificate of Community Leadership.

To those who are concerned about my search of my life partner, much as I hope to settle down, but I believe that such things should not be rushed. Having been through the nasty experiences have taught me to be careful about the people that I meet, before I commit.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Busy August

It has been a busy month for me this month that I actually was sick for about 2 weeks. The recovery process was slow. I guess it was due to the hazy weather. Work has not been smooth at recent times, therefore I guessed it played a part in my recent bout of illness.

Besides work, I had kept my sanity by attending the following events in August.

  • National Day Funpack Distribution – 1 Aug 2015

In celebration of SG50, I had led this event to distribute the funpacks to each household. This event made me learnt several things about the residents in my neighbourhood. Not only that, the Singa & the bag designs has been popular topics in this Funpack Distribution Exercise.

  • National Day Observance Ceremony – 9 Aug 2015

This was my first national day observance ceremony. It was a great experience , especially listening to the Proclamation of Independence. It reinforces my belief that why I am proud to be a Singaporean & thankful to be one.

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  • National Day Parade – 9 Aug 2015

This was my 2nd NDP, after last year. I would like to thank my RC Chairman & Constituency Manager for giving me the tickets so that I can experience the 50th birthday bash of Singapore. Although, reaching home was a nightmare, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

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  • Silent Heroes Award – 22 Aug 2015

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I had not expected to be nominated and winning for this award by my fellow volunteer friend, Haris. He felt that I have contributed a lot to the community despite my disability. Personally I prefer to be a little low profile about my contributions, as I feel that I am just doing my bit for the society.

  • SG 50 Concert – 7 Aug 2015

I would like to thank Chloe for inviting me to this concert that showcases Singapore’s music for the past 50 years. This also marks my 1st visit to the refurbished National Stadium after it opened.

  • 1st Group KTV event @ Voice Art – 29 Aug 2015

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It has been a while since I changed location for my singing group events. If not for the bad services & increase in costs, I would prefer to remain it at status quo.

I am glad that most of you enjoyed yesterday’s session. I would like to thank some of the members, who have since became my friends who recommended me this place some time ago and showing their Basupport for me when I organised the event at this place.

I do hope all who attended had fun. I am glad to have received encouraging & positive feedback. I am trying my best to make it better as well.