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"We do not deserve to be disadvantaged this way." (FKA "Take the good with the bad if we retire to Malaysia.")

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

This is taken from a letter sent to The Forum Online in The Straits Times:

"My wife and I recently retired to Malaysia due to the property rules as well as the high cost of living in Singapore.

"We come back to Singapore to visit relatives and friends and attend medical appointments every two to three months.

"However, the LTA has informed me that as I am not an employee in Malaysia, my wife and I - a Singaporean and Singapore PR - are not allowed to drive our Malaysia-registered car into Singapore.

"I understand that this ruling is to close the loophole in the control of the vehicle population in Singapore, but I hope that the LTA can allow me to drive our Malaysia-registered car in based on the following..."

The writer went on to list 5 reasons, all of which I do not find convincing, ending the letter saying "We do not deserve to be disadvantaged this way."

I feel that since the writer understands that the rule exists for a good reason, then, he should not expect Singapore to make an exception for him.

I know people who moved to stay in Johor Bahru and rent out their HDB flats in Singapore for passive income. Not all are retired. In fact, a good number commute daily to Singapore for work.

I have always wondered why this is allowed since I believe that HDB flats are subsidised public housing and if these people are not staying in their flats, they should sell them to Singaporeans who need them more. It could possibly help to bring down the prices of resale flats too.

For Singaporeans who have chosen to make Johor Bahru their new home, I understand all their reasons for doing so with the lower cost of living in Malaysia usually at the top of the list.

However, understand that every choice made in life comes with consequences and we have to live with those consequences. 

We should not think that exceptions have to be made for us so that we can have our cake and eat it too, especially not when the exceptions will exact a cost on fellow Singaporeans.


LoveLocks said...

Hi AK71,

Much as I agree with your point of view, it's only human nature to want the best of both worlds.

The writer is just human, who ain't afraid of being ridiculed for his self convince right.

That being say, he who calculate such a move to earn SGD and spend ringgit had already made a good deal for himself , if LTA were to accede to his request, the best of both worlds is his.

The FOOL will be me, who dun have the courage to ask.

Don_Jerome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AK71 said...

Hi Jimmy,

If we don't ask, we won't know. Hahaha.. ;)

However, I also feel that there are certain things that we should not ask.

The concept of "shame" simply eludes some people...

AK71 said...

Hi Jeremy,

In any society that is used to things not running smoothly, a small improvement makes the people happy as it is unexpected.

Conversely, in a society which is used to seeing things running smoothly all the time, a breakdown would cause unhappiness.

So, I read that people were happier when things ran less smoothly. Is this a uniquely Singaporean reality? I wonder sometimes.

Certainly, this does not explain the feeling that people are less caring and more selfish. I like to think that the feeling is wrong. :)

Don_Jerome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AK71 said...

Hi Jeremy,

Indeed, without any expectations, we cannot be disappointed. ;)

"Fortune favours the brave." I think this phrase is used in contexts different from this one.

If this person gets what he wants from the LTA, we would need to coin a new phrase.

"Fortune favours the ***** *******"? I wonder which words would fit? ;p

EY said...

Hi AK,

Two thumbs up for your comments on the concept of 'shame' that had eluded some people!

Honestly, I do get very irked by folks like this. Fairness means every situation to their advantage? So is it a case of failure in education or had their parents not teach them well enough?

I used to ask my class to reflect when somebody complained - What had they done to deserve the life they have as opposed to those who are starving, wearing mineral water bottles as shoes, and sleep in the streets? If they feel they deserve much more, then wish for it and pray very hard. And I hope somewhere else on the globe, the disadvantaged who pray harder than them shall swop places with them since life has treated these folks so unfairly!

Yes, I'm really wicked and so you can imagine their expressions. I didn't get much of such nonsense from them again.

Well, wish I could say the same to this man! Can somebody please ask him to wake up his idea?


AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

I didn't bother to list his 5 reasons why LTA should allow him to drive his Malaysia-registered car into Singapore but one of it is that taking the bus is too inconvenient...

Unfortunately, there will always be such people around. I meet some in my work and I remember telling one person off. He threatened to tell all his friends how I scolded him and that would affect me negatively.

I said: "You have friends? Go ahead and tell them. They are probably just like you. I don't want to see them. Good riddance."

So, don't fret. You are not the only evil archer around. ;)

Now, we just have to wait for SMOL to chip in. ;p

LoveLocks said...

Lol AK71 , I been reading all your past blog and I guess this " forture favours the lucky bas****" (If my guess is correct) is one of the few times you feel strongly on his view.

Yes , though I wish I could have the best of every thing. There's some thing that just does not convince me though it's in my benefit, guess I'm not a good salesman or is it the morale education which school instilled in me.

Have a good day ahead :)

AK71 said...

Hi Jimmy,

Your teachers in school did a good job. Haha.. ;)

Oh my goodness, you think I would use bad words? I am shocked, stunned, dumbfounded and some other related adjectives. ;p

Now, let me take on my old role as a school teacher. The answer for the exercise is "thick skinned". Haha.. A lot milder than what some might have in mind. :)

Johnny Tan said...

Is always depends on which things you have priority in life.

To someone, they may feel money is more important, but to me I feel security is much more important to me and my family.

If one can fully think through and look into all the factors, taking away the security is never a cheap choice at all.
One might even need to cough out more to cover the damages if encounter. Thanksmoney

AK71 said...

Hi Johnny,

You have made a very strong point. Indeed, there is a price to pay for good security as well as the lack of it. :)

You have reminded me of an old blog post: Cheap shopping and makan in Johor Bahru?


mark said...

I think the writer thought he was smart and beat the government policies. Only to find actually, the government was smarter than him. Not happy. Whine and bitch.

If he can move to malaysia (logistics and planning) what is so hard in looking for a job or running a business, whether it's just a front or not.

He whines about being disadvantaged. What he is really whinning about is that he was beaten when he assumed he had won both battles and wars.

Population of cars aside - the more foreign vehicles there are here, the greater the probability of an accident with one. How are cross border insurance coverage going to be tweaked?

This 1 guy whines about his malaysian registered vehicle. Wait till the whole of Singapore whines about collisions and insurance coverage. If this guy hits my car and the insurer gives me a bitch of a time, who should whine more?

mark said...

And I think the word is 'rich', not 'lucky' b a s t a r d. hah

EY said...

Hi AK,

Wahhhh...thought you are quite mild mannered and good natured? Maybe if that same fellow had crossed my path, he would have ended up with a few broken teeth and ribs?!? LOL~

One of the things I appreciate about growing older is not giving a damn about offending people. They can call me whatever names they choose but they know if I get to hear it, I have no qualms about ripping their mouth apart! Oh yes, that's how fierce I am. And I know some people are quite frightened of me, especially those who had tried pulling a fast one with me before. But I must qualify that I'm no bully hor! Just an educated Ah Lian, that's all. Haha.

Some people just need to learn a good lesson so that they would treat others decently. As an educator at heart, I'm always happy to teach them one! And for scolding that chap, I would like to applaud you for living up to the good name of a teacher! :P


goldmansion said...

I also feel that if you want to stay in M'sia due to the lower cost of living, you should not take further advantage or loop-hole to satisfy your convenience.
I condemn this selfish act. Spare a thought for S'pore roads which are already heavily congested.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


You got class! (Pun intended)

Eh? You an educator? Good good.

Someone has to "unpoison" the values some parents are imparting to our young:

Things don't go your way? Complain to principal, complain to MOE, complain to press...

Hope MOE can return "the balance of power" to principals and teachers. To parent: "If you don't like the way we are educating our students, please take your child out of the school."

I am a believer of choice. Don't like Singapore's public school system? There's home schooling, private schools, international schools, and of course sending your child overseas.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I feel sorry more for the writer.

He didn't have the cow sense to know that to ask for an exception that benefits him only, he has to keep it low profile. How can anyone give an exception to him in public? Geez!

How would those drivers who paid $80,000 plus for a COE react?

Having worked in China and Greece, I am glad in Singapore, exceptions are a pain in the ass to get.

In Greee, to get anything done, you need to give "little envelops" called Fakelaki.

There are only 2 kinds of exceptions: the "cannot let others know" kind and the well deserved kind.

This CNY eve, a few of us agreed to give a well deserved exception to a 80 plus old lady to cut our long queue at the supermarket.

Glad no one objected as it's technically against the hokkien saying "law by law".

Most Singaporeans know what's right and wrong.

I'll faint if we need a sign to say we should encourage others to give way to our elders or pregnant women at the check-out lines.

Values are leaned at home. Parents are role-models.

(Easy for me to say since I single and no children. LOL! OK, ok. I am full of it!)

AK71 said...

Hi Mark,

Tell me about it. I had to claim against my own insurance and ended up >$600 poorer when a Malaysia registered motorcycle crashed into the back of my car.

See: Traffic accident with a Malaysian vehicle.

Sigh... Extremely unpleasant experience. :(

Aiyoh, "rich" is missing one letter. Cannot. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Yes, as I grow older, I have become less bothered with what people think about me. Why must I be Mr. Nice Guy and be stepped on? Some people just need to be told.

Having said that, I am generally very nice to everyone. I believe in being civil. Courtesy doesn't cost us anything but it could brighten someone's day. :)

I have mellowed a lot with age. I used to be more fiery. However, I can still pack a punch if the situation calls for it. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi goldmansion,

I share your sentiments on the issue. To think that this guy actually had the cheek to even write an open letter to the LTA. Incredible!

AK71 said...


Good to hear from you again. We miss you. ;)

Oh, there are always exceptions which we can accept. Letting an 80 year old lady cut queue during CNY? Why not?

We have to weigh the exceptions which are being asked for. In this case, it is just unconscionable. Any reasonable person would not even ask for such an exception to be made.

EY said...


I used to be a school teacher and then a poly lecturer by official appointment. But me now no class anymore wor.

I would like to think that someone like me who loves to 'teach' people a lesson, I qualify as an eternal teacher by birth right. No?!? LOL~

Good to hear from you again. Hope you'll have a greater year ahead and your pot of silver will turn into gold!

For AK, hope your silver coins will turn into gold coins too!


AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

I think it will take a big leap of faith and maybe a Degree in Alchemy to do that but kamsiah you for the kind thoughts. Silver transformed into gold... Wah... ;p

AK71 said...

While cars are cheaper in Malaysia, Singaporeans are not allowed to use or keep any foreign-registered vehicle in Singapore. This is a measure by the Land Transport Authority to control the car population in Singapore.

It also plugs the loophole for anyone attempting to bypass Singapore's COE and other vehicular taxes by buying and registering a car in Malaysia and using it in Singapore.

For those who live in Johor Baru and need to return to Singapore frequently, this is a big consideration.

But Mrs Tan says a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer told her over the telephone that Singaporeans living or working in Johor Baru can apply for a limited exemption to this rule. This means they can drive Malaysian-registered vehicles to Singapore for an unspecified number of days a year. The LTA would not comment on this when asked.

Whether it is with a Malaysian or a Singapore-registered car, commuting between the two cities may well be the most challenging aspect of living in Johor Baru.

Mrs Tan and her husband used to shuttle between the two cities a few times a week, but started cutting back on unnecessary trips after the vehicle entry permit rates were raised in August 2014.

Asia One
5,000 Singaporean families set up home in Johor.

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