Tag Archives: singapore

indefinite leave to remain

28 Feb

entrlondon 4.51pm

when i read this woman, who is singaporean being deported from uk because she had let her permanent residence lapse, i was surprised because i thought i read some time ago that she got a reprieve.

but it seems not.

she got ‘indefinite leave to enter’ (the official words stamped on your passport that says u got permanent residence in uk) when she first married her husband in 1990, but  she went back to singapore for more than 2yrs to look after her dying parents, and so lost it. that was a mistake, she should have come back before the two years, just to re establish another 2yrs just to keep that permanent residence alive. but i guess in those days u dont really think of it. i have a feeling she was absent from the uk for a long time. 

what is interesting is that she was given a ‘indefinite leave to enter’ in 2008. which suggests that she came back to uk that year. and what is strange is that it needs to be renewed. so it might be she again left the uk to live in singapore and overstayed the 2yrs.  i dont recall that a ‘indefinite leave to enter’ needs to be renewed…so that seems to me the only reason why it has to be so.  if that is the case, then she must have tried their patience, leaving the country twice for more than 2yrs after being given permanent residence twice.

if away from the UK for more than 2 years you may still qualify to return to live in the UK under your previous conditions if, for example, you have strong family ties in the UK or have lived here most of your life. However, as this would be a matter for the Immigration authorities, you would be required to address any further queries to them.

and now there is a new rule for spouses of british citizens, the husband (usually it is the husband, though i suppose it applies to the wife too if she is the british citizen) must earn more than £18,600 a year. this was recently upheld by the judges. the husband unfortunately has recently undergone heart surgery, and so out of work and so do not fulfil that requirement. 

what is interesting is that the ruling went all the way to the european court and the euro judges upheld the british court judgement. when those same judges overturned british judgement and ruled that european criminals cannot be deported after their sentence  because it breached their human rights to be with their local families… and then they agree with the british judgement in this case of having to earn that kind of money before their spouse can stay… it is quite laughable really. i can see it is something that the british have to do, to prevent a huge influx of wives coming in from europe, and their kids too… but i must say their agreeing with the british judges really surprised me. usually they could not care less about british judgements and rule against . but i think after our vote for brexit they must have thought we better be more resilient and allow them some autonomy. haha. or they might be thinking it might open the floodgates in germany and france too, if they overrule it. 

nowadays things have changed a lot, it is a long way from the old rules, where just being married to a british citizen is enough to allow u right to live in this country. but too many people have abused it and so they changed the rules. and now she is caught in it. 


its quite cool here in london

19 Apr

london 8.38pm sunday 2015

Even though the official online weather websites say it is 11C, it is still quite cold as i felt this morning when i went to the library at paddington.

it is the library that opens on sunday morning, (the others open in the afternoon only, if they open at all) and it felt distinctly nippy as i walked out. i had to wear a bobble hat and gloves, it was that nippy. haha.

if u read the newspapers u would still find headlines saying we are having the warmest april etc etc. dont believe them. haha. but of course if u read the news about the weather u would long ago realise not to believe what they say.

i got a comment from garfieldhugs saying it is 35C and high humidity in singapore now. and it made me realise how easy i forget how dreadful it can be at those temperatures. its been ages since i visited s.e.asia. and i have forgotten how uncomfortable those high temperatures and humidity can make it for those who have to live there without air conditioning. 

i like the cool temperatures that i am getting now in london;  but for those who dont like it and yearn for heat;  just remember what 35C and high humidity is like and then u will be glad to get these cool days. we humans forget that extremes of temperature is no good so that anything below 0C and over 30C are bad. period. haha.

not much is going on in london now at least where i am concerned. it is a dull day, too and i am just glad that my routine of going to the library to read the sunday papers takes me out of the flat, and outdoors. otherwise with the grey weather i would stay at home.

even the newspapers were a bit dull, the headline is the one about the capsized boat carrying those refugees from libya. 400 died it seems. (some say 700, i wonder how they know. did someone count them? more likely they look at the ship, guessed its tonnage and estimated how many it can take, and add a bit more  if it is overloaded. it is said they all ran to one side of the boat when they saw a passing merchant ship  and it tipped over as the people smugglers have so overloaded it. that is also a guess, though a good guess but who knows, really.

 for any sensitive souls it would be anguished reading. but remember all you sensitive souls… if u make yourself saddened and depressed and despairing at this news, it wont help those who have died, your being saddened and depressed would not be of any use to anyone least of all to yourself. so dont be. the world is what it is.

i think the people smugglers have got europe by the balls, nothing we do will make us look good.

where did these refugees get the money to pay the people smugglers? it is not cheap, the amount they ask.

A fishing vessel of the type that sank at the weekend might cost $10,000 (£6,700). But 600 passengers squashed into space for perhaps 200, each of them paying a minimum of $1,000 provides a handsome earnings multiple – a return on investment of almost 6,000%. link

so are these so called refugees economic migrants  composed of richer- than- normal inhabitants of libya who can afford to pay to get out? whatever the case, europe has been presented with an impossible situation. thanks goodness i dont have to solve it. 

i am just glad i have such a mundane life and be happy in my life without feeling i have to solve the world’s problems. i am right glad i dont have to carry the burdens of the world on my shoulders.

added. 21.4.15.actually one country have been through it, australia. and here their pm has suggested that europe follows australia in dealing with it. 

how do the rich live?

23 Jan

I am reading this book which I borrowed from the library yesterday. It is ‘crazy rich Asians’ by Kevin kwan.
I was curious to see how he depicts the wealth and lifestyle of these rich Asians.
When u think about it, really rich people don’t really flash their cash about. Their houses are furnished in quite conservative ways. You just have to look at pictures of the queen receiving foreign dignitaries in Buckingham palace and see how ordinary (almost old fashioned) are the sofas and lampshades. There was even a 2bar electric heater in the fireplace. And that got quite a lot of comments. Haha.

So how would the author put the wealth of these rich people in Singapore on display?
Singapore is a small country so land is a premium, so the author put the hero growing up in a huge house in a huge estate in the middle of Singapore, in prime land. It is a description of a country estate in England, but plonked down in Singapore and hidden away so that even those who live there and deal in real estate were not aware of its existence. It is a fairy tale allright, but rather appropriate in the context of the novel.

Now I come to think of it, it really is difficult to show by sight, how wealthy a family is. Short of covering them in diamonds and precious stones the size of hen’s eggs, or drape them head to toe in designer apparel, name dropping like crazy all the well known as well as not so well known designers (unknown except to the elite of course); and even do a reverse snobbery by disowning Gucci and burberry as too common, haha. What else can one do to show how rich people live?

You can throw in the names of all the expensive car marques ,which is all very vulgar really. No wonder the really rich just don’t bother to put on this kind of show and dress very unobtrusively, in custom made clothes rather than branded ones.

It is the nouveau riche who put gold and gilt everywhere. And the author gave a good example of such a family, the Gohs. I think it stretches credibility a bit on the part of the reader to pretend these are really old rich families with pedigree. Singapore is such a young country, (about 50yrs old I think)even the old rich families are not that old rich really. I mean all of them stretches as far back as the great grandfather of these so called old families who would be from poor backgrounds who made their fortunes in the last 30-40yrs.
This context of old family might play better in Hongkong, which has a longer history and has the allure of the big kongsi houses as the origin of the great wealth amassed by the old families. Hongkong has a longer history. 

It is a good read, with the usual mix of unfaithful husbands, and one upmanships and status conscious mentality.

It made me suspect that really the rich dont live any more richer lives than ordinary people. granted there will be more expensive stuff around them, but really like the queen they will still eat their breakfast cereals just like any one of the poorer families. Nobody goes round eating caviar everyday, or drinking champagne like tea. haha. I suppose they can jet off at a whim, to any part of the world for a day or two, but i should imagine it loses its novelty after a bit. 




Singapore shocked by worst riots in decades, as migrant workers vent anger | World news | theguardian.com

9 Dec

Singapore shocked by worst riots in decades, as migrant workers vent anger | World news | theguardian.com.

quite a landmark event, because riots are unheard of in singapore. this one involves guest workers of indian origin. and it might be worth noting that the bus driver might be a guest worker of mainland chinese origin. two lot of guest workers working for low pay and harbouring their own prejudices and venting their resentment that they are paid less than others.

we allready can see in other parts of the world, the guest workers are rebelling against their low pay and working conditions.( I m thinking of saudi arabia and the arab countries) though i expect the authorities  in every nation affected not just in singapore will be clamping down hard on the unfortunates who are involved in the riots.  they can jail and deport them and forever mark them down. what is the solution? i am afraid i dont have any to offer. this is modern slavery or call it  by its other name, free market forces/capitalism. haha.

even here in uk there are objections by locals to migrant labour from mainly east europeans; though bosses of pizza chains like domino etc say they need these low paid workers to work in jobs that british workers dont want because with the dole, it would not be worth it to work for such low wages.

added.10.12.13 it has occurred to me that these people are just like my ancestors, who came to malaysia from china to work. the only difference nowadays is that countries are now aware of the consequences of allowing unfettered migration and granting of citizenships to these migrant workers. so there is no question of them settling and breeding there. in the past, there were less people. 

Added.14.12.13 this link, bertha harian, gives a good idea of what happened. It seems the guy who died was drunk , he was an indian migrant worker, many of whom,(40,000 of them) were bussed in by private buses from their dorm to weekend in little india. they drink beer and socialise and send money back. there was a suggestion that the riots were beer fueled and involved these migrant workers. so now there is a ban on alcohol in little india. the govt is sensitive about popular opinion and have caused to close down a website breakfastnetwork that publishes contributions from individuals. the govt wants the website to register and hence be subject to controlls by the govt and to prosecution if any of its contributors say things that the govt dont like. so the breakfast network decides to close it down. the govt is afraid of unregulated comments by its citizens. maybe it has a good reason to be worried about unfettered comments. after all, we do know that people making incendiary comments can spark things off. i think most people would recognise that the riots are not a criticism of the govt, but is due to the tensions associated with a large migrant labour force that is paid minimally, if at all, and subjected to a lot of punitive practices to keep costs low. it is a world wide problem.

it seems the breakfast network is a very responsible one, it gives a fair view and here it gives an idea of the working and living (this is the facebook link to the breakfast network, which the govt is also trying to shut down;)conditions of the migrant workers, and it seems most of them like the conditions in singapore. of course it might be a PR exercise , but i doubt it, it sounds authentic. this is not saudi arabia. The govt should let breakfast network continue to publish. it seems to be a responsible network.

the govt’s viewpoint

MDA reiterated that the content of “Breakfast Network” is not the issue. Rather, it is the mode of operation, which could mean a greater possibility for foreign influence.

It said the registration requirement seeks to uphold the principle that politics must remain a matter for Singapore and Singaporeans alone.

The principle is a long-standing one, and there is no departure from its Internet regulatory framework, said MDA. 

added. singaporeans might be resentful of the foreign workers. not so much these labourers, but the skilled foreigners encouraged to come to work. there is no requirement that firms hire singaporeans of similar skills, in fact the opposite in fact, as firms who hire singaporeans have to pay 16%  contribution to the local’s  CPF (Central Provident Fund, a kind of pension for the singaporean worker) not required if they hire a foreigner. this link is about the makeup of workers in employment and unemployed.

even though it said over a million over 15yrs old are neither employed or unemployed, (termed economically inactive)almost all is in training, retired, or ill health, or carers. 2.3% are discouraged or ‘other’ for not working. even if u include those who are ‘resting’, it comes to 5.2%.

Singapore has no social security, so there is no way of finding out who are unemployed except from their own descriptions. some might not want to say they are unemployed because they cannot find work, (they dont want to lose face). those listed as too old, may be those who have been made redundant , though not yet old enough for retirement. it seems a lot of 40yr olds have been made redundant, for being too expensive to hire, or suffering ill health. Even though the article warned that there might be many who may not want to say they are unable to find work, and give other reasons, there may be many wives who chose not to work , as their husbands earn enough and they want to look after their own children rather than work and use up their salary hiring someone else. I know a singapore friend of mine who both his wife and him  trained as dentists, with the wife stop work to look after the kids. 


What is uk’s unemployment rate for 2013? according to google it is 7.6% 2.47million. 

london is 6th for infrastructure, 37th for quality of life

5 Dec


I was just talking about how people’s perception of how expensive a city is may be due to reading of business surveys like this one done to assess the quality of life and infrastructure in cities to rank them for the purposes of companies deciding how much to compensate their people who are sent to work there. It is done by mercer.com

dubai ranked top 
The title is a misnomer, as it turned out Dubai is only ranked top for its region, the middle east. It fares badly when compared with the world.


London is ranked 6th for infrastructure , because of “its high level of public services offered, with its extensive public transportation system including airports, the London underground buses and railroad services.“
It is obvious these expats do not commute haha. Outside the rush hour, the public transport is first rate, and I say so from personal experience. And it is the mark of a good transport system that is as good outside the rush hour as within it. So many will place all their buses and trains to cope with the rush hour and neglect the off peak times but not in London.

London is 37th for quality of life.

Vienna in Austria is 1st for quality of life, 16th for infrastructure.

Singapore is 1st for infrastructure, 25th for quality of life.

New york which is used as the bench mark is 44th for quality of life, 30th for infrastructure.

Added. i was browsing wordpress and saw this post by a singaporean poster. not sure if he is a citizen or one of the guest workers that singapore imports to run its services. it is a post about a strike by the bus company . which is unheard of. a strike in singapore! so looking between the lines, all that good infrastructure is at the cost of cheap imported labour and making slaves of those poor saps who come in to work. 

The workers were protesting because they were paid less than malaysian workers. who most probably are paid less than singapore workers or more likely there are no singaporeans willing to work for those wages. aha. those striking  workers are from china.