Sunday, January 15, 2017

好心作怪

I always thought that home is the safest place till something happened in my home. Coupled with the office politics that I was facing at work everyday, and a plan to help people in the time to come keep hitting the brick wall,  I had not been in the best of my moods and get easily irritated. It made me wanting to cancel my CNY gathering plans at my place as there is an uninvited guest at my place.

My dad had known this crazy friend of his, who is of the same age as me through his singing group. She had asked for help to purchase a MacBook for her and she would pay my dad by instalments on a monthly basis. My dad obliged. But I was shocked to find that my study room was occupied by her, after she was discharged from IMH about 2 weeks ago.

I am okay with my family members helping people when they are in need, but not to extent of helping a depressed person who has odd behaviour. I certainly do not want to be accused of invading her privacy or accused of doing unfavourable actions to her. After all, I am a guy and she is a lady with depression, I certainly need to take precautions.

I really could not stand her habits, which include,

  • Turning on the heater despite being a hot day
  • Turning on the aircon at 18 degrees
  • Leaving the electricity on despite being not around
  • Using and taking my things without asking for permission

I am not trying to be racist here, but it is not a surprise that some of you may have guessed that she is from China.

I think I need to organise some happy gatherings to chase away the bad luck soon.

Leaving you with this song that best describes my feelings now.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Back To Live Writer

I am glad to say that I have managed to put my blog back on a new Live Writer. It is always easier and better to use a Live Writer software as I find it easier to input photos and videos. Hopefully this writer can last long enough.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

A Brand New Year & An Interesting Start

I decided to have a rest today as I had 2 full day of activities for the past two days. I would like to thank these friends for keeping me company as my family members are either not in Singapore or busy with their activities at the moment.

30 Dec 2016 - A Post Birthday, Post Christmas & Pre New Year Celebration

I met up with my volunteer friends Angela, Jia Jie & Xiuling for this.This day had been planned since my boss announced that she would be giving us a half day off in lieu of the New Year Eve. We had Itacho Sushi for lunch, before heading for our KTV session at Teo Heng for our KTV session, ending off with dinner at TCC Bugis Junction (utilising my 30% birthday discount in the process). I hope they enjoyed the day as much as I did. I am glad that they liked the Christmas gift that I have chosen for them. This year, it was tough to choose a suitable present for them as my mind was preoccupied by the office politics that is unfolding in my office. I would like to thank Xiuling for baking those delicious brownies for us to try.





31 Dec 2016 - Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017 Countdown

I was invited to this event happening at my KTV friends', Gonnie & Chloe's house yesterday. It was a fun and homely gathering as we got to taste Raymond's cooking and countdown to 2017 at the same time. We also learnt that mixing Japanese choya with green tea brings out the sweet taste of the Choya. I must say that the spaghetti was not bad.




On the 1st day of the new year, I was surprised to be approached by someone, who gave me money, saying that it was for my dinner. I was a little stunned to react. My neighbour, who was walking in the opposite direction, told the stranger that I was working. She said that, it is tough for me, so the money is for me for a meal. This is not the 1st time that this happened. Last week, I took cab after a gathering with friends. The taxi driver charged me $10 instead of the full fare of $17 when I reached my destination.

It is fortunate that I always do volunteer work since my school days till now to pay it forward. As one of my friends put it, "If you think that you are stuck in a rut, there are people who are worse off than you. The important thing is to keep a positive mindset."

This means that I still have to pay it forward with my services where I can. =)


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year 2016 In Review

It has been a while since I last blogged as I have been busy these few months with work, volunteer work and plans for a new initiative.  As the details of the new initiative are still in a discussion stage, therefore I cannot reveal the details here for the time being.

Work has not been smooth flowing as I would have liked. There are instances in the past few months that I thought of throwing in the towel, as the office politics are getting out of hand. I am being held back by the fact that the current economic situation is not well, and my bosses and my superiors are working well with me and appreciates what I am doing, so I have no choice but to close both eyes and pretend not to see what is happening.

On the friendship front, I am happy to note that everything is ok except that someone spoiled my birthday week by giving me a nasty surprise. I had wanted to terminate my friendship with this person but two of our common friends interceded for us. For me, it will be difficult to get the friendship to where it used to be.
















During these few months, I have hoped to move into a new stage in my life, to be in a relationship. Unfortunately, it could not work out. I am slowly moving on and knowing new people. Hopefully, my friends and family members who are very concerned about this will hear the good news from me soon.

I am glad to share that the singing ktv group has been doing well after the initial hiccups. I am glad that the group is attracting new members well after being moved to meetup. I am also glad that to share that the location, Voice Art has been well received.


I hereby wish all of you a fruitful Year 2017 ahead.



Sunday, August 07, 2016

Busy Busy Busy

It has been a while since I last blogged as I was busy with work and was tasked to work on my RC’s National Day Event, planning a BBQ for my friends, planning for my group KTV events.

Work has always been an issue since I took on a task which my colleague threw out a year ago, and I was assigned by my bosses to handle this since then. It has not been smooth sailing as some of my colleagues have been seeing red that I am handling the task so well, with the help of my assistant, which my boss took in last year to help me to handle these mundane tasks so I could concentrate on my taxation work. Some friends have been asking me why I have not thought about moving on as all these have left me with limited time to do what I like best, taxation work.

There are several reasons that are holding me back.

  • 1.       The current economic climate
  • 2.       The fear of another long job hunt as employers seem to have not embraced the fact that people with disabilities can work as well, if not better than their normal peers and I may suffer a pay cut.

3.       My bosses have treated me very well and encouraged me to upgrade myself always. I am doing so by attending CPE courses. I always learn a lot from these courses.

The RC National Day Event, which I was tasked to plan and organize has been hit by poor ticket sales. We have been trying to keep costs low, but to date, we have only achieved about 40% of our targeted number. I guess it’s a sign that the times are bad, which is also affecting the take up rate for my KTV events. I have actually chosen some of the low cost venues to hold the KTV events, like Voice Art & Teo Heng KTV. These places are quite smart too. They want you to pay in advance when you book the venue as they will not lose if in the event there is a no show. Being an event organizer is never easy and friends will know that I do not earn anything from this.


Leaving you with my favourite NDP song in the spirit of celebrating our Nation’s 51st birthday on 9th August.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

A Well Deserved Break for Paul

It has been about 1.5 years since Paul last had a real break from work and it has been a while since I last blogged as well.


During my absence in this blog space of mine, I had been busy with:-
  1. My work - My assistant, who is a foreigner had went back to his home country for a home visit in mid June for about 2 weeks.
  2. My RC National Day Celebration - I have been tasked to plan for my RC's national day celebration on 9th Aug 2016. The fact that it is going to be the RC's last event before it closes for renovation makes it a point that the event has to be a success.
  3. Sourcing a new KTV venue - The group KTV has been seeing dwindling attendances. A few of the regulars has asked me to do some freshening up of ideas. A new meetup group has been created by me and new event venue has been created. Do look out for the details soon. =)
  4. National Day BBQ - A yearly affair with my KTV friends since 2013. I am tasked to co-ordinate and plan this event. I am looking forward to this event as there has been many happy couples in my friends getting engaged recently. =)
Despite my busy schedule, I found time to :-

  • IRAS VES Group Gathering - 4th Jun 2016 
This was the 1st gathering after the VES had officially ceased this year. Hopefully, the group can stay active despite the fact there is no VES. =)
  • Xiuling's Belated Birthday & Angela's Advance Birthday Celebration - 19th Jun 2016


Visit to "I Am" Café at Bugis & Hello Kitty Café at Changi Airport. The places were selected by Xiuling & Jia Jie respectively. Hope the birthday gals enjoyed the celebration. =)

  • Kluang Trip - 5th & 6th Jul 2016
 
 


A trip that I looked forward to, since Tianjin did not materialize. Did some research on Trip Advisor and found that I have covered 2 out of the 3 places covered. The Kluang Rail Coffee & Goat Farm despite the short time I had.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Be On The Ball, Be It At Work Or Play

The recent happenings around the football world and in Singapore and at work makes me realise that our eyes must be on the ball no matter what we do.
  • LVG leaves Manchester United
    • The FA Cup win on last Saturday was not able to save his job at my favourite team. As much as I liked the fact that he gives the youngsters playing at the club a chance to play in the 1st team, he was not able to deliver the Champions League spot or the EPL title. I must say in some matches that I caught on Singtel TV, I actually fell asleep watching them.
  • Jose Mourinho appointed at Manchester United
    • As much as I have doubts about if he is going to use the youngsters at my favourite team, and the uncertainity surrounding Ryan Giggs' future, I feel that he could be the man to bring back the swagger to the team.
  • Finance Minister collapses at Cabinet meeting
    • This has something to do with the stress levels of working in Singapore. Being a Minister is not easy as the nation's well being is at your hands, therefore policies need to be well thought out. However, as the saying goes, work always cannot finish in Chinese, therefore one has to learn to pace oneself.
  • Whether the company survives requires everyone in the company to pool their efforts together
    • One should not be too selective about the tasks assigned by the boss, If the company does not pull through this economic slowdown, everyone in the company, including the families of employees will be affected.
  • The need to upgrade
    • Whether the company gives you study leave to study or not, it is always good to upgrade oneself so that we will not be outdated and perform our jobs better
This week, I overcame my phobia and decided to chat via the OKCupid app again, 2 years after a depressed gal had stalked me after I have known her on the app. However, I could be wrong, or maybe I may be too sensitive. The chat had started well, but when it came to the topic about my educational qualifications, she started to misunderstand me, and feel that I am boastful. The fortunate thing is that I have not met her yet, and what she said, have put me off a little. To think that she holds a job that I feel that I respect. It left me wondering if single child families are a little more self-centered, as this is not the 1st one I encountered like this. I agree with 2 of my friends who said that Singapore or Malaysian gals are more suitable for me, and I must be forthcoming about my physical disability. What she said was a little hurting, it prompted me to post this on my Facebook
Imagine if you are a new product, how would you market yourself, you will sell your good points, I believe. For me, I will do both, say the good and bad. Someone whom I met in the virtual world, who has not seen me in person, feels that I oversell on the good. Maybe so, but I think my life is a unique, difficult but positive and happy journey, despite the failures I had, what I went through. The same applies to everyone.
My friends who know me, will know that I have been through a lot to be where I am today. My own brother said that some of the things that I do surprised him and he is proud to have me as his brother.


I had the opportunity to catch up with Grace, my long time ICQ friend who has migrated to Perth and happily married with a child. It was good to catch up with her again after a 2 year hiatus.Hopefully the next meetup will not take so long to materialise.

Monday, May 02, 2016

What Do I Hope To Achieve In Life

The title of this blog entry is a question that has been asked by my parents, myself & my peers for quite a while now, as they felt that I have been devoting a lot of my time to my work & community work, but less time for myself and my family. The question of settling down and starting a family did cross my mind, but with myself being physically challenged, it is tough to find someone who accepts me for who I am, although I am still positive & confident that I will find that special someone someday. I prefer to take a step at a time.


Someone asked me why I devote myself to community work, despite getting not so positive response on certain activities that we try to implement sometimes. I had always received assistance when I was young due to my disability. In fact, to date, I still do as bus captains who know me through my commutes to work and school always keep a lookout for me when they see me walking towards their bus or boarding the bus. I am thankful for all these, especially the care & concern that my teachers & lecturers showered towards me during my school days.


I had tried my hand to obtain the ACCA qualification. This was a natural progression for me after I completed my diploma studies. In fact, I was forced to start late as my army officer had not granted my request for time off on some days for this. The nasty treatment that I had received during my NS days and my first job have changed my outlook in life. It made me not to trust people so easily. This includes my own family members. Till this day, there are still some relatives who still looks down on me and my family members, just because we had lower qualifications than them & my physical disability. Not that I am bothered by it, as some of them do not enjoy the strong family bonds that I have, or went to relationships where they are not supposed to.


I have been lucky. My current bosses have helped me to obtain my SIATP qualification in 2010. I was disillusioned by my failures at the ACCA Level 3 that prompted me to stop. I had never thought of opening an audit firm or be an auditor in the first place as my physical disability would be an obstacle to this. It seems that I made the right decision as the FRS & auditing standards have been changing day in day out, making it hard to follow. Not that the tax industry did not undergo changes, it changes every year too, but the changes are easier to swallow.


My 1st volunteering experience came about when I was on my 2nd job in 2005. I had started to volunteer as I did not wish to lose my practical experience in personal tax. Till today, although I still do personal tax, but my boss still prefers me to work on corporate tax, which I believe stems from the fact that corporate tax generates more revenue.


Grassroots came about later, after I was asked by some of my fellow volunteer friends to join to contribute more to the community. I was also attracted by the fact that there are interesting courses that I could attend for self-improvement purposes.


So if you were to ask me what I would do if I do not have volunteer work to do, I would say


  • More time for family & friends
  • More time for travelling
  • More time for CPE courses



Busy Mar to Apr

It has been a while since I last blogged. I had busy with the community tax filing initiative that I have started in place of the Volunteer e-filing Service by IRAS. As the cancellation was done at the last minute, it had made us the volunteers and the taxpayers who used the service pretty unhappy as taxpayers do not know where to seek for help, and have to take leave just to file their taxes?


I am sure that some of you may have read through the major newspapers before the filing deadline that there were long queues at IRAS as people had been queuing up for hours to e-file their taxes. It is fortunate that my grassroots adviser had given her support to me & my friends to start this program for our fellow people. I am happy to say that I have exceeded my expectations and helped these people e-file their taxes.


It gives us a sense of satisfaction that we have managed to help these people, despite the limitations placed on us.


I personally feel that community service is what we should cultivate in our young and not “the not in my backyard” syndrome. We all grow old one day. Does this mean that when we are old, we deserve to be written off by technological advances?


This makes me feel that we still have some way to go when it comes to community bonding and how to help these people when they need help?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Busy Period For Paul



Hi all, sorry for not posting any entries recently as I had been busy recently with my work and a new community project that I have been tasked to lead, which had been forced by unfortunate developments. It has been stressful for me to lead and co-ordinate for this project that I have fell sick. My doctor issued me with an enforced medical leave for 2 days.


The project that I am leading is named Community Volunteer E-Filing Project. The reason for this project is because the joint project by IRAS & People’s Association has been ceased at the last minute and I have received feedback from my fellow volunteers and taxpayers that taxpayers may find going to IRAS is a hassle to some of them, especially to the senior citizens and illiterate. Not forgetting that some people do not enjoy visiting government agencies at all.


It has not been easy dealing with all the relevant agencies involved to get this project going and given the short time frame that I had when I knew that the program had been ceased. I am thankful to my MP, my RC members and the fellow volunteers who have supported me for this, with them assisting in little details for the project, while I did the negotiations for this, which I must say was tough.


My feelings about the cessation of the VES is a mixed one. I have expected the program to cease after last year due to the drastic cuts in the number of CCs involved in the exercise and unlike what it is claimed, although tax filing has been made simpler, the seniors and illiterate are always forgotten as these are the people who have problems embracing new technology. I am doing the tax filing for all my family members as I happened to be tax trained. Most of the young adults are not, therefore they have problems helping their family members to e-file. The good thing that I have picked up when I was volunteering in the VES is the friendships that were created and strengthened as the years went by. Also, the trust and faith that the taxpayers have in you, when they come to look for you to help them. I have met by a few of the taxpayers that I served over the years recently, they were unhappy that the VES had been ceased and find that going to IRAS is a hassle for them.


Nonetheless, it has been a fulfilling 11 years journey for me, having won 10 outstanding volunteer awards, 2 long service awards. I guessed without the strong support of fellow volunteers and the wonderful taxpayers that we served, winning these awards will not be possible. But the best reward is still seeing the smiles on the taxpayers’ faces after we e-filed for them.


Looking forward to the start of the community project from this Saturday till 17 April.