Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- The Year In Review

It has come to the time of the year where I do a review of the year that is coming to an end.

This year, has been quite a turbulent year, but I am glad that I managed to get past it pretty unscathed.

Study

This was the 2nd year since I have given up on my ACCA studies, and started my 1st year as a full fledged Accredited Tax Practitioner. The 1st year passed quite uneventfully. However from next year, I will be required to undergo 30 hours of Continuing Education Programme each year, totalling 90 hours for 3 years, before I am allowed to renew my membership. I am still very interested in my line of work, therefore, I will try to keep this accreditation, which will be useful for my work. I credit this to my manager and my bosses who are willing to impart their valuable tax knowledge to me. Till today, I feel that I am still very enthusiastic about learning new things.

Work

It has not been a smooth flowing year at work, thanks to many changes in the audit arm of the firm. In fact, for quite a number of times, I got really frustrated, as colleagues were not very co-operative, getting into the game of office politics. But I guessed its all in the course of a day’s work. Overall, I am glad that my boss recognises the hard work that I put in with a reasonable pay package that is pretty competitive in today’s employment market.

Friends

It was a year, where some friendships were lost over petty matters, but I am glad to have made quite a number of new ones through my volunteer work in IRAS Volunteer e-filing exercise and grassroots events.

These friends, whether old, new or discarded have taught me a number of things in order to make myself a better person. Without them, I may not know I have these faults or hidden talents.

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I have made no progress on this front this year. I guess these things cannot be rushed, although I know that my mum is a little worried about this. I have told myself that if I cannot get married, so be it. Maybe, Heaven has something better in store for me, or my Ms Right has not appeared yet. I certainly do not wish to fall in love with the wrong person and suffer the pain of a divorce later.

Volunteer Work

This was the year which I extended my commitment to volunteer my time to grassroots events as well. I joined the Jalan Kayu Zone 4 RC as an observer in January this year. I feel that as a resident of my neighbourhood, I should give some input as to how my estate should be like. The 2nd reason was to thank my ex-MP, Mr Wee Siew Kim for helping me with my cheating case that I was involved in last year. Although, I didn’t get my money back in the end, I am thankful for his help.

My first event was the National Day Children’s Art Competition, which went on successfully after several nights of preparation. For the 1st time, I volunteered to test myself in hosting an event. The children in my area surprised me with their knowledge about Singapore. Not only that, I never knew that hosting can be so fun.

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On the IRAS Volunteer e-filing exercise, which I volunteered for the 7th year, the Facebook page that I created for the volunteers to mingle and share their experiences was made official by IRAS. I would like to thank Clara, Stacey & Rena of IRAS for their faith in me.

My efforts for volunteering for these 7 years were rewarded with a Outstanding Volunteer Award & Long Service Volunteer Award this year. Smile

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I would like to thank Ms Angie Lim, Liasion Officer for The Serangoon CC & the taxpayers who came by to the CC to e-file their taxes. I certainly look forward to do for you guys next year.

Singing @ K Group

The KTV group on that I have been an organiser celebrated its 3rd Anniversary this year. This year was a mixed year. We are happy for Yanling, one of our pioneer members, who found her true love and got married. The bad part was because of the decline in service standards at the group’s flagship branch, Partyworld International Building, the branch was switched to Partyworld Liang Court.

This switch was only possible after several rounds of complaints cum negotiations with the Partyworld management. I am glad that for the sake to keep the group together, I was able to negotiate with the management for a resolution to the problems faced.. I certainly did not expect to have such negotiation skills when I went to discuss with the Management.

On this note, I would like to wish my blog readers and friends a Happy New Year. May what you hope for in the Year 2012 be fulfilled. =)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Countdown

I had decided to go ahead with my plans this year for a Christmas Eve Countdown as I decided not to let last year’s new year countdown unhappiness bother me too much as I feel that as organiser of an event, I am allowed to ask along who I wished to ask along in the first place.

I am glad that, despite the short two week notice I have given, I managed to ask along Chloe, Gonnie, Sharon, Jennifer. Lance & Kian How decided to join us at the last minute. It was fortunate that I managed to negotiate with the people at Music Dreamer Live Café to let us have another 2 seats, as the people at the café have remembered me and the group of friends that I asked along during the Christmas Countdown & New Year Countdown last year. Let’s just say something happened at these two events which made them remember me & my friends that I asked along the last round.

Dinner was at Xin Wang HK Café at Marina Square, as a few of my friends did not wish to have dinner at the food court. I thought I made a good choice as I could use my birthday voucher which was expiring soon, and at the same time, I could avoid the 2 people I disliked at the Marina Square foodcourt as I received an sms from Raymond that they were heading to the foodcourt before going to the same place I was heading. It was fortunate that they did not dare to create a scene at the café. I guessed some of the KTV group members had already gave them a stern warning after suffering in their hands as well.

I thought my table was the “highest” in the Countdown, as Kianhow was requested to sing by one of the singers to sing a song on stage as a warm up, which he obliged with the theme song of the movie that is on everyone’s lips at the moment, “那些年”by 胡夏. I actually wanted to go up to the stage and sing one song as well, but after Kianhow’s performance, the event kicked off.

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Some of the prizes that we won from the games segments. KianHow, Gonnie, Sharon & I were the game masters, winning the most prizes for our table.

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Personal photo with one of our KTV group friends, now resident singer at the Music Dreamer Live Cafe , Carolyn

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Group photo with Carolyn with Gonnie, Chloe & Lance

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Personal photo with Erick, aka. Jianli, part-time 933 DJ

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Group photo for the memories with Jennifer, Kianhiw, Gonnie, Chloe, Lance, Sharon

I would like to thank my friends for their support and encouraging words for this successful event. =)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

1st Visit To City Square Mall

I was telling my mum that I have not been to City Square Mall since it opened a few years back and was quite keen to pay a visit now as I am on leave.

The recent fury about the nation’s MRT system caused me to have 2nd thoughts taking the MRT. It was fortunate that my knowledge about the bus services serving Singapore is able to get me around the country, I got there after my late lunch.

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I was fascinated by taglines located at the shopping centre’s lift lobby. This really fits the shopping centre’s tagline of it being Singapore’s 1st eco-friendly mall.

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It is difficult to spot these recycling bins in Singapore, although I do know of there is one which is near my office. =)

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It is quite common to find that in the new shopping centre having a skypark at the top level of the shopping centre, but interestingly, at this shopping mall, the skypark is not located at the top level of the shopping centre but 3 floors below.

It was a breeze touring the shopping centre, as there was surprisingly not many people, despite the school holidays.

After that, I met up with Winston for dinner. It was supposed to be a group dinner with Jayce, Carol, Candy & Allan but they were either under the weather or had last minute appointments. It was great to meet up my fellow Manchester United fan for dinner at TCC at Centrepoint. =)

Thanks for the dinner treat bro!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Belated Birthday Wishes

Yesterday was a busy day for me, but I still had birthday wishes flooding in on my Facebook wall & messages on my handphone. Thank you to all of you. =)

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I got a happy belated bd whatsapp message from Ben today morning as well. Thanks a lot!!!

Trip to The Singapore Flyer

My mum had asked me what I had wanted to do since I will be on a week’s leave from work. I told her I had lined up some programs for myself, since I had decided not to take any holiday trips in view of the uncertain economic outlook and bad weather that has been affecting the region recently.

I had requested my dad  to bring us to the Singapore Flyer. My dad works in a company, whose staff are allowed to bring up to 4 persons to the Singapore Flyer at a hugely discounted staff’s price for a ride that usually cost about $30 per pax.

I was joined by my parents & my mum’s colleague, together with her colleague’s child. I would say that the ride was rather enjoyable especially with a little kid running around, bringing laughter to all of us.

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I let you guys make a guess as to how much these photos, which has a hard copy and soft copy that needs to be downloaded from a website. Let’s just say, if not the discounted tickets my dad had for the Flyer, I would not have purchased the photos taken by the official photographer.

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After the ride, I went to Nex Shopping Mall. I decided to get a new watch for myself after I damaged the Solvil Et Titus watch in my fall at Bugis on Friday as I felt that the rubber strap watches that I had were not professional enough to match my office wear, given that I work in a mid-tier CPA firm. 

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I got a watch that is quite similar to this design by Solvil Et Titus. Although it is a little expensive, I have faith in the above watch as my previous one, lasted for 6 years, before the fall damaged the strap. I guess I shall treat this as my own birthday cum Christmas present then.

After that, I was at the Serangoon Garden Post Office to collect my birthday present from my Facebook friend, Amy, who sent it via registered post. Thanks Amy for the Famous Amos & the Winnie The Pooh. =)

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I was back at Nex at night to meet up with Wendy & Xiuling. The meet up was to celebrate Wendy’s birthday & my birthday. The dinner place was at Café Cartel. I would like to thank the gals for their gift, which I thought was useful, given that the budget constraints they had.

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The biggest surprise was definitely from Wai Ling, who never fails to surprise me with her wordy birthday card every year, when I got it last night.

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Our friendship, I feel has grown stronger by the year. Sometimes a simple gesture is good enough to let the person know that you care. =) Thanks Wai Ling for the wordy card. I think our friendship has gone beyond what words can describe. =)

The Wedding of Yanling & Vincent

I had received a whatsapp message from the bride herself somewhere last month that I would be invited for her wedding on my birthday. I have known Yanling since the Singing @ K group had first started, so no matter what, I had to be there to share her joy with her.

The wedding, held at Parkroyal at Beach (a.k.a Plaza Parkroyal Hotel) was one of the best weddings that I have attended for this year. The groom, Vincent, actually took the trouble to invite a group of singers from Ai Qing Hai to sing a few songs for Yanling.This gesture shows that her hubby truly loves her a lot. I am happy for her as she has managed to find her lifelong happiness.

It was great to catch up with Candice, Catherine, Karen, Albert, Danny & Jas, as it has been quite a while since I caught up with some of them. I am glad that they remembered my birthday and wished me at the wedding table as well.

May I take the opportunity to wish the couple a happy and blissful marriage!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Wishes From Friends

Today marks the day where I officially turn 32 years of age. I hope it will be a good year ahead for me ahead. =)

Birthday wishes via Facebook

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Updated on 19 Dec 2011 1.02am

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Birthday wishes via SMS/ Whatsapp/ MSN

Xiuling: Happy birthday !! May all your wishes and dreams come true. Stay cheerful and healthy always!!

Linda: Hi Paul happy birthday to u and wishing u all the best for the new year 2012!

Anna: Happy Birthday Paul! All the best to you and dreams come true. Have a nice day!

Chairman (Lawrence): Happy birthday bro

Baoyi: Mr Paul, wish u happy birthday !! all to best to ya in anything u do… Find your Mrs left too. Enjoy your BIG Day followed by your holiday. =)

Mandy: Happy birthday Paul

Serene: Happy birthday!!!

Weng Kiat: Happy birthday Paul, Wish you have a good & enjoyable day.

Melvin: Happy birthday Paul !!! May all ur wish come true.

Alfred: Happy birthday buddy. Have a gd one tonite !!!

I also would to take the opportunity to share with you guys my birthday photos, taken by my official photographers, Gonnie & Chloe. =)

 

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It has been a while since I last blogged. My mood have been affected by my work recently. The fortunate thing was that there was singing, JJ...