A Case for Car-Sharing in Singapore

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I am behind Low’s case for an approach to car-sharing services that benefits consumers and does not over-protect taxi company incumbents (Straits Times). But I share a concern, that often in such debates, the (car-sharing, aka service providers) drivers’ interests to earn a honest living, could easily be side-lined.

Through my frequent car-sharing experiences, I received near unanimous feedback from existing drivers about their eroding earnings because of these intermediaries’ incredible market power to recruit other new drivers and set lower fares. Many of these drivers are full time drivers and they only receive about 80% of the final fares, after paying the intermediaries their cut. The drivers mentioned that they were considering a move back to regular taxi service once their current one-year contract is over, in order to earn a better and stable income.

In midst of these upcoming debates, regulators should never forget to put people interests, the commuters and the drivers, at the heart of their policy considerations.

Happy 90th Birthday, Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Happy 90th Birthday, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

May you continue to enjoy good health and every happiness. Thank you for your dedicated service and enduring contributions to Singapore and all who have the fortune to live in this country.

Related: An unwavering dedication to Singapore (Speech by Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education at “The Big Ideas of Mr Lee Kuan Yew” conference, 16 Sep 2013)

Singapore – 30th Happiness Country in the World (United Nations World Happiness Report 2013)

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Singapore ranks thirty in the 2013 World Happiness Report issued by the United Nations, a ranking of nations’ well-being that includes measures such as GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make life choices.

The report edited by John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs is an effort to provide a scientific basis to incorporate well-being as part of the consideration for countries’ sustainable development policy .

My Ten Favourite Photos from i Light Marina Bay 2012

Over the past few weeks I indulged in several days of photography safari at the 2012 i Light Marina Bay – an outdoor light art festival held at Marina Bay Singapore. During this period, I experimented with different photography techniques, camera settings and not to mention a few tricks on the latest version of Picasa (3.9.7.585 Mac) which came with new photo effects too. Here is a selection of my favourite pictures (in no particular preference order) from this experience.

1. Ghost from the Gate – A translucent lady’s image on the right appeared like a floating ghost emerging from Li Hui’s The Gate

2. The Palm – I love how a passing breeze moved the electro-luminous wires to create this unintended palm leaves leaf-liked effect captured on my camera.

3. The Laser Lights Beams from the Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum – The additional laser beams from the Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum added to the festival’s illuminations.

4. Key Frames – Photography is often an exercise of patience and a sense of timing. This fast-moving installation took me several shots to capture all the lighted figures on the first three rows as I had to anticipate the precise moment when I can get a clear shot. This other similar picture has the entire figures captured.

5. Crystallised– This colours captured in this picture offered a glimpse of the depth of a colour in an otherwise multi-colour installation.

6. Parmendies-I-Solar-System – This image was created by merging several carefully curated photos to form a solar system-liked image in order to capture  different iterations of this changing installation. It is just like how our solar system – the Milky Way is also not stationary but ever-expanding and changing.

7. Woman walking in the white rain – This image reinterpreted Takahiro Matsuo’s White Rain depicting a woman walking in the rain while looking into a dark wet cold forest.

8. The 8 Lamp – By merging two images from Uno Lai’s The Light Dam, I tried to use the two different tones of the installation to form the number 8. After all, we Chinese people like the number 8.

9. Mind the Gap – This installation is made of umbrella shelters used by Thai monks. In urban Singapore, Art has brought direct and indirect economic benefits to the country such as a growing art market and the development of an environment attractive to global capital (Art Stage 2012). In a different perspective, Art, here represented by the monk’s umbrella shelters also plays a therapeutic role to lift the viewer’s spirit up to a world of possibilities or at the bare minimum provides a mental shelter, a moment of respite from a hard crushing concrete urban environment, an opportunity to regain one’s humanity.

10. Bibigloo – Will the fate of the igloo, the Eskimo’s traditional home, also depict the same fate of our own homes as the world warms up with the increased consumption of carbon based fuel?

Bonus – LV Island Maison, Singapore

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