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  1. #21
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    Smile Re: Where is Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
    Thanks Ikani for your informative postings and personal sharing! Thumbs up!
    A Big Thank You for being kind.

    I hope with more sharing, we can achieve a greater debate, instead of just a monologue. This is indeed my new year wish ...

    Each and everyone of us are strong in our own ways, I hope by sharing we can become stronger and more learned in the process.

    in metta ...

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Where is Home?

    Good and frank sharing bro ! Keep it up !

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Where is Home?

    Welcome to JB my friend. I myself have also accumulated 2 years since I moved into JB. Till now, I see sparkles of amazement from my peers and relatives when they initially thought I will not survive my first 6 months. Even the biggest skeptic of all, my wife, started to fall in love with the state and proclaimed she will never want to return to Singapore now. What an irony when she mocked at my decision to try out life in JB 2.5 years ago.

    Living in JB has its appeal and it is so mysteriously magical that only the special bunch of us will appreciate. It is never about cheap food or groceries (in fact I spent more on food and groceries in JB than in Singapore)

    The living space and breathable air is intangible pulling factors. I always tell people I love the view of mountains lining in a distance when I look ahead when driving on highway, this is not available in Singapore definitely.

    I am contemplating of looking for a house in Kulai as well, especially when the southern part is really getting crowded.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Where is Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by kslresidence View Post
    Welcome to JB my friend. I myself have also accumulated 2 years since I moved into JB. Till now, I see sparkles of amazement from my peers and relatives when they initially thought I will not survive my first 6 months. Even the biggest skeptic of all, my wife, started to fall in love with the state and proclaimed she will never want to return to Singapore now. What an irony when she mocked at my decision to try out life in JB 2.5 years ago.

    Living in JB has its appeal and it is so mysteriously magical that only the special bunch of us will appreciate. It is never about cheap food or groceries (in fact I spent more on food and groceries in JB than in Singapore)

    The living space and breathable air is intangible pulling factors. I always tell people I love the view of mountains lining in a distance when I look ahead when driving on highway, this is not available in Singapore definitely.

    I am contemplating of looking for a house in Kulai as well, especially when the southern part is really getting crowded.
    LOL! Speaking of your skeptic wife, I had a hostile wife who was fiercely against the idea of moving to JB when it was first mooted. Now she is an evangelist for JB. And I can share your point about spending "more" in JB, now we eat more and watch movies more because of the relatively cheaper cost after currency conversion. Just drove back from Malacca over the new year weekend and also thoroughly enjoyed the mountainous views. Houses in kulai should be cheaper but too far for me personally. Would that not add more time to your travel for work? Have you considered the Eastern side like Permas Jaya or Seri Alam?

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Where is Home?

    Well, after 2 years in bukit Indah I realized I love quiet surreal surrounding. Starting some businesses in JB so need not be near to customs soon. At least I hope

  6. #26
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    Smile Currency vs Property Prices

    This question has plagued me for a long, long time: Why does the property price keeps going up, while the wages of people remain stagnant?

    Japan

    Once upon a time, Japan was the loser in the world war II. But, America, the victor, has decided to be magnanimous to Japan’s surrender, provided access to America’s market for her exports, the biggest market of all time.

    Japan became the cheaperest, betterest and fasterest copycat manufacturer for the affluent American market. She leaped and bounced to great heights, to become the number 2 economy of the world, even richer than the industrial giant, West Germany.

    At the peak of the real estate bubble in the late 1980s, real estate prices experienced similar manic action, with prices in Tokyo’s prime neighbourhoods rising to levels that made them 350 times more expensive than comparable land in Manhattan, New York. The 1.32 square-mile land underneath the Tokyo Imperial Palace was rumoured to have been worth as much as the entire state of California in the same year. OR The Imperial Palace was reported to be worth more than France. A ¥10,000 note dropped in Tokyo’s Ginza district was worth less than the tiny amount of ground it covered.

    A square meter of land in Tokyo’s opulent Ginza shopping district is worth more than us$236,000 (or us$22,000 psf). Land in some parts of Tokyo goes for the equivalent of $145 a square inch.

    The frugality and austerity that defined the country during the postwar era gave way to extravagance and conspicuous consumption. Stories of housewives in Nara sipping us$500 cups of coffee sprinkled with gold dust or businessmen spending tens of thousands of dollars in Tokyo’s flashy restaurants and nightclubs were legion.


    Even we in sg entertained the thoughts of learning Japanese in order to speak to our tourists. Japanese tourists were the biggest spenders. Interestingly, the joke was that Japan bought nothing from the rest of the world. Her imports were negligible. Exactly like China today. China is just another Japan.

    Fortunately, by the time she reached late 1980s, she has nothing better to copy from the Americans and that’s when she went downhill and never recovers even after 3 decades.

    Hong Kong

    For the sixth straight year, Hong Kong was crowned as the most unaffordable housing market in the world. The median home in Hong Kong costs 19 times the median annual pre-tax household income, up from 17 times in 2014.

    Usually, we classify any region with a median multiple of more than 5.1 as “severely unaffordable”.

    The average price for a flat of 430 square feet in Kowloon was HK$4.34 million, or HK$10,113 (us$1,300) per square foot.

    However, it is said that Shanghai and Beijing home prices have soared to levels putting out of reach of the general public. If included, they may have replaced Hong Kong as the most unaffordable housing area soon.


    I have quite a number of friends who returned to HK from the US in the 2000s (post-1997?), after getting their PRs, as they couldn’t make a decent living in California. Instead, they became CEOs or Chief Accountants in some US country offices in HK, drawing fabulous pays. But, recently, all have again returned to the US to squat (i.e., still no jobs for the yellows in the US). They rather go without jobs in US than to make unending treadmill race in HK.

    Hong Kong is unlikely to recover from the high cost of living. HK must follow the way of Japan. Hence, they conduct everlasting riots on cost and rights to make economic decisions against China. But, what else can they try to achieve now apart from protesting?

    Engineers’ Pay

    The above examples highlighted one very important point: The Engineer’s Pay. The work-horses of every country must be their engineers. They are not the most clever, but definitely not the most stupid. They normally obey orders from the top and keep most things from falling apart. These engineers are normally treated like dogs and fed minimally. When sg first started life, a fresh engineer’s pay was marked at $800, while the rest of the world was marked at $3,500, whatever the currency. As sg became more affluent, these engineers received higher pay. Soon, these fresh engineers demanded about $3,500 (only quite recently). But, meantime, houses have increased 20 folds within the same period. Now, due to inflation, these engineers demand to start their pay grade at $4,500 - $6,000. Now comes the dilemma, no decent profit-driven organizations would employ a fresh engineering graduate at $6,000 a pop. First, these graduates are fresh off the block and second, these companies are no school to them. These companies pay employees to have professional services and profit-seeking and not operate a school with no intent on being profitable. No matter how brilliant the fresh graduate, he can’t turn a profit immediately. At $3,500 a pop, the company might still try to recruit freshies, but at $6,000 a pop, the company must charge their customers 3 times ($18,000 per man-month), before the company can stay afloat.

    Now, back to housing, some of 5-room hdb flats were sold at $1m a pop. Instalment starts at $6,000 or the engineer owner must earn $18,000 (3 times) before he can live in a 5-room flat, which hardly is a luxury. With that pay expectation, which company is willing to employ him? Retrenching him and employing a sweet young thing in place might be a better option.

    Japan and HK faces the same issue. Their engineers, work-horses of the country, can no longer be able to work and be happy. The end result is these engineers no longer produce and sooner or later, the infrastructure of the country starts to fall apart (sounds familiar). There would be no solution possible as the inflation has killed all economic activities. A giant reset must be made. In 1930s’ term, it means world war.

    Malaysia

    Johor is slowly facing pressure in escalating property prices. Their non-engineers start life at rm1,500. After about 3 years, they can expect their pay to hit rm2,500. Engineers who are few and far apart, starts their pay at around rm3,000 and after about 3 years, achieves a decent $5,000. But, banks here restrict their loans. They can only borrow up to 30% of their pay ($5,000), i.e., rm1,700 or a max house purchase of rm380,000, which is harder a great budget.

    Therefore, if one is playing in the rm500k range for condo, please don’t expect any local play, i.e., there might be a hot primary market, but zero secondary, further i.e., one can buy easy, but one can never hope to sell after that.

    Conclusion

    Johor will remain the primary starting point for most sgians. But, if the property prices become out of reach, don’t worry, in time, we should move much north and enjoy the scenic and cooler country. After all, we still have the same cars, same house types, same banks, same Aeon Jusco, same TGV, same EconSave, same Mr DIY, same bak kut teh, same chee cheong fun, same river fish, same kampong chicken, same Pontian wild-caught fish and same people mix greeting us. Just by not playing in the property enhancement scheme (I can't remember who's that sick bastard. I was really fooled by the once-upon-a-time I-will-enhance-your-asset-value [eeeew … swallow saliva …]), we have already profited immensely.

    in metta …

  7. #27
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    Smile Re: Where is Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by cybermad View Post
    Good and frank sharing bro ! Keep it up !
    Thank You for the encouragement.

    But, I am sure my personal knowledge is limited, the collective wisdom would be deadly.

    in metta ...

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Currency vs Property Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by ikani View Post
    Engineers’ Pay

    The above examples highlighted one very important point: The Engineer’s Pay. The work-horses of every country must be their engineers. They are not the most clever, but definitely not the most stupid. They normally obey orders from the top and keep most things from falling apart. These engineers are normally treated like dogs and fed minimally. When sg first started life, a fresh engineer’s pay was marked at $800, while the rest of the world was marked at $3,500, whatever the currency. As sg became more affluent, these engineers received higher pay. Soon, these fresh engineers demanded about $3,500 (only quite recently). But, meantime, houses have increased 20 folds within the same period. Now, due to inflation, these engineers demand to start their pay grade at $4,500 - $6,000. Now comes the dilemma, no decent profit-driven organizations would employ a fresh engineering graduate at $6,000 a pop. First, these graduates are fresh off the block and second, these companies are no school to them. These companies pay employees to have professional services and profit-seeking and not operate a school with no intent on being profitable. No matter how brilliant the fresh graduate, he can’t turn a profit immediately. At $3,500 a pop, the company might still try to recruit freshies, but at $6,000 a pop, the company must charge their customers 3 times ($18,000 per man-month), before the company can stay afloat.

    Now, back to housing, some of 5-room hdb flats were sold at $1m a pop. Instalment starts at $6,000 or the engineer owner must earn $18,000 (3 times) before he can live in a 5-room flat, which hardly is a luxury. With that pay expectation, which company is willing to employ him? Retrenching him and employing a sweet young thing in place might be a better option.

    Japan and HK faces the same issue. Their engineers, work-horses of the country, can no longer be able to work and be happy. The end result is these engineers no longer produce and sooner or later, the infrastructure of the country starts to fall apart (sounds familiar). There would be no solution possible as the inflation has killed all economic activities. A giant reset must be made. In 1930s’ term, it means world war.

    Malaysia

    Johor is slowly facing pressure in escalating property prices. Their non-engineers start life at rm1,500. After about 3 years, they can expect their pay to hit rm2,500. Engineers who are few and far apart, starts their pay at around rm3,000 and after about 3 years, achieves a decent $5,000. But, banks here restrict their loans. They can only borrow up to 30% of their pay ($5,000), i.e., rm1,700 or a max house purchase of rm380,000, which is harder a great budget.

    Therefore, if one is playing in the rm500k range for condo, please don’t expect any local play, i.e., there might be a hot primary market, but zero secondary, further i.e., one can buy easy, but one can never hope to sell after that.
    Actually, engineers are brilliant people. Of course as with all professions, there is a wide spectrum of skill competency. But those engineers who do well are actually smart. I rank them as high as medical doctors, if not higher. The problem is, our society has a warped view on who to respect.

    Just because a medical doctor saves lives, he or she is deemed as important and should be paid a lot. An engineer, on the other hand, deals with electronics, machinery, etc so they are given less respect. But without their innovation, can we get to enjoy the modern technology of today? Even the machines that doctors use in the operating theatres and in their work are designed by engineers! Without them, the doctors are nothing.

    Similarly, just because lawyers argue their way in court or sign documents to get things going, they seem to be important. But if all lawyers were to disappear from the face of the Earth, life will still go on! Without engineers, that's a different story! Without the cleaners for a day clearing literally shit in the toilets and in the streets, we are doomed! Yet they are paid pittance. Life is ironic huh?

    As to why HDB flats are so expensive, this mess has been caused by Lee Hsien Loong and his PAP gang. Public housing was not properly regulated. They tried to profit from it when they should have planned hard on how to allow the commoners to buy affordable homes. They also brought in a lot more immigrants and gave them citizenship. This created more demand and supply of new flats. The housing infrastructure could not cope well. Prices went up further.

    On Johor properties, although prices are going up, I believe there is still a strong supply coming up? I think there should be enough homes to go around for the locals. The problem now seems to be the many new apartments built for foreigners. These cost too much for the locals to afford.

  9. #29
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    Smile Re: Where is Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by kslresidence View Post
    Welcome to JB my friend. I myself have also accumulated 2 years since I moved into JB. Till now, I see sparkles of amazement from my peers and relatives when they initially thought I will not survive my first 6 months. Even the biggest skeptic of all, my wife, started to fall in love with the state and proclaimed she will never want to return to Singapore now. What an irony when she mocked at my decision to try out life in JB 2.5 years ago.
    Thanks for the warm welcome.

    I have spent the better of 6 years in white country. I didn’t feel at home. But, when I spent 1 year only in Johor, I already felt quite at home. I guess the key to this is the social circle. If there is a positive social circle, things would be much better and faster in our integration. You are way more senior in the integration than I am now. Congratulations !!!

    Woman folks are the hardest to convince. I didn’t manage to convince my better half to move together with me to white country, I lost her in the process. Because of that, I don’t have a social shield to depend on, I too became lost and unable to integrate into the white society.

    Here I am, returned, an old battered cock in Johor, starting anew as a rubber tapper.

    Quote Originally Posted by kslresidence View Post
    I am contemplating of looking for a house in Kulai as well, especially when the southern part is really getting crowded.
    Kulai is still a largely undeveloped place. The feel is very much sg in her 50s-60s, before independence, where there are still trees around. The property prices are only a quarter that of Johor central. It is quite a good way to start off. I now have 3 dogs, going 4 soon, and not a single thief or monkey nears my toys and fruits. The best part is that I spent zero money on the dogs. No matter how hungry these dogs become, they never left the house. My neighbours would feed them. They are fatter than my budgeted household. Amazing !!!

    I reiterate; Kulai is a good start-up for any sgians interested in moving over. For those who like to zoomed in to our freehold bungalows, Kulai is still comparatively cheap. In Johor central, bungalow places, like the Straits View and Stulang, are non-freehold properties. So do be warned about their seemingly low selling prices.

  10. #30
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    Smile Re: Where is Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by kslresidence View Post
    Well, after 2 years in bukit Indah I realized I love quiet surreal surrounding. Starting some businesses in JB so need not be near to customs soon. At least I hope
    Congratulations once again on your powerful start. To be truly independent of that place of birth, one has to conduct business as soon as practicable. My heartiest congratulations indeed !!!

    I have a friend who bakes buns for the last 35 years. He is so good that he often appear in newspaper reviews and TV shows. He used to have a nice restaurant to boot and moved on to main courses. But, his landlord was always green with envy. That bastard raised his rental to 3 times the original over a short 6 years. He sold his apartment just to maintain the store. A big mistake! He was utterly sponged dry by his birth place.

    I have advised him to restart in Johor instead. This case is still ongoing.

    Sons of Swee Kee founder in tussle over $16m home

    In another example, you may not know the significance of the name “Swee Kee”. From 1949 to 1997, Swee Kee pioneered Hainanese chicken rice from a shop along Middle Road. That’s the type of chicken rice most commonly found in food courts, the difference being that people running Swee Kee could actually cook. Sadly, the other legacy of Swee Kee’s founder is now a multi-million-dollar legal battle.

    Mr. Moh Lee Twee, the founder of Swee Kee chicken rice, bought a bungalow in Tanjong Katong in 1957. It sits on a massive 13,844 square feet of freehold land, and is a sign that you really should have gone to culinary school instead.

    In September 2015, the property was auctioned for $16.3 million (the record high of the year.) At the time, the registered owners of the property were Mr. Moh’s two sons, Mr. Moh Tai Tong and Mr. Moh Tai Suan, and the wife and child of his eldest son, Mr. Moh Tai Sing, who passed away in 1987.

    In November of the same year however, one of Mr. Lee Twee’s four sons, Mr. Moh Tai Siang, filed a suit in the high court. He claims that he should receive a portion of the sale, as one quarter of the property was being held in trust for him by his brothers.

    However, Tai Tong and Tai Suan claim that Tai Siang had already sold his one quarter share of the property. They have documents to show that, in 1985, Tai Siang had sold it to them for a sum of $200,000.

    Tai Tong and Tai Suan also alleged that Tai Siang had waited until the death of their mother in April, before taking legal action. This is to prevent the possibility of their mother refuting Tai Siang’s claim.

    The case is still ongoing.

    Luckily for one of the siblings, he restarted his franchise in Senai with 2 shophouse front. He’s doing quite alright. The treat unfortunately is not as nice as the original fare. Nonetheless, it is only in Johor that one can restart something and still have a chance to succeed.

    in metta ...

  11. #31
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    Smile Re: Currency vs Property Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    Actually, engineers are brilliant people ... I rank them as high as medical doctors, if not higher … has a warped view on who to respect ... a medical doctor saves lives … lawyers in court … Without engineers … Without the cleaners … Yet they are paid pittance. Life is ironic huh?
    I apologise to you and all engineers at large. I don’t mean to derogate anybody here through my writings. In truth, I, myself, am an extremely qualified engineer.

    Just watch the clip, The Chinese Economic Bubble, introduced by bro winnipegjets. Even a taxi driver can quote or write poems. So really there are no fools on earth.

    What I am trying to say is engineers, being the work horses of the society, cannot be derogated. If the country tries to bully their engineers by not caring about their living conditions, sooner not later, these engineers will stop working and look for greener pastures. When that happens, the entire society will go the way of the dinosaurs’ extinction. Woman folks won’t help you, lawyers won’t help you, doctors won’t help you, and neither will bankers or politicians.

    So the standard rate of paying a starting engineer is always $3,500, the numerical equivalent in any currency (how about 3,500 rupees?). Lol … Once the rate goes higher than that, that place is no longer worth investing, it’s time to run away fast, fast …

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    As to why HDB flats are so expensive …
    I no longer have any interest in helping any government bullshitters to run their store. So I won’t write anything to relief their pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    On Johor properties, although prices are going up, I believe there is still a strong supply coming up? … These cost too much for the locals to afford.
    You have a very keen eye and you are absolutely right. Johor on the whole still have a long way to go. Choose wisely and all is well.

    Actually there is no such thing as expensive or cheap property. If one’s cash flow is strong and foreseeable, then even expensive property is considered cheap. On the other hand, even if the property is deemed extremely cheap by market standard, if one cannot even get a simple bank loan to support the purchase, then that so-called cheap property is not cheap at all (courtesy of bro winnipegjets’ clip). Of course, if pay by cash, everything is cheap.

    My personal opinion is as long as the property is marked at rm500k and below, the property dream is still intact. Anything beyond, the market would be far and too high for locals to participate. Just look at the general hdb market in sg, at 500k per pop, even with con-job cpf, one would still be hard pressed not to work hard for the next 35 years, with no illnesses allowed.

    In Johor, some of the low-cost houses are still going at rm25k landed freehold 800-1000sf per pop. Yes. The property dream is still intact for the time being. Just go for the more common local folks’ properties. If only allowed minimum rm1m purchase, you are only left with the bungalows. So indeed, Johor is a lovely place to dwell.

    in metta …

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Currency vs Property Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by ikani View Post
    My personal opinion is as long as the property is marked at rm500k and below, the property dream is still intact. Anything beyond, the market would be far and too high for locals to participate. Just look at the general hdb market in sg, at 500k per pop, even with con-job cpf, one would still be hard pressed not to work hard for the next 35 years, with no illnesses allowed.
    By RM500k and below, are you referring to landed properties in Johor? Many 1 to 2 bedroom condos in the newer areas of Iskandar are already going for more than that! I think locals will avoid those.

    Haha... I like how you mentioned CPF as a "con-job". But these days, the economy and future is uncertain. 10-20 years ago, anyone who bought some kind of property would have made good money. It is so much harder to invest in properties today unless you have sufficient cash. Even so, there is much less guarantee one can necessarily make money from them due to the oversupply (referring to SG and Johor).

    So some are now using their CPF for retirement planning by "investing" in it.

  13. #33
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    Smile Store of Value

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    Haha... I like how you mentioned CPF as a "con-job".
    When I read your line, my blood starts to boil and I wanted to write all kinds of expletives about the sick bastards. Telling what had gone real wrong and what should have been. Then, I stopped short …

    Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Kommunist.

    Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

    Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
    habe ich nicht protestiert;
    ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

    Als sie die Juden holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Jude.

    Als sie mich holten,
    gab es keinen mehr,
    der protestieren konnte.

    by Martin Niemöller

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.


    Fortunately, I am no fool. Why should I be a school master teaching these sick bastards how to skin further the poor cats. The bastards and the cats deserved each other anyway.

    Let’s stay focus on our own mission …

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    By RM500k and below, are you referring to landed properties in Johor? Many 1 to 2 bedroom condos in the newer areas of Iskandar are already going for more than that! I think locals will avoid those.

    … 10-20 years ago, anyone who bought some kind of property would have made good money ... It is so much harder to invest in properties today unless you have sufficient cash ... Even so, there is much less guarantee one can necessarily make money from them due to the oversupply (referring to SG and Johor).
    Let put some assumptions out of our way first. But, I am no guru, just honest sharing.

    The Printing Press (The Crash Course, important lesson to be learnt)

    Government’s spending must ONLY be balanced by taxes, but, that’s not always possible. Every year, their choir boys, i.e., their mandarins, their army boys, their police kids, and what else have you, love to threaten to change their allegiance and claim their pound of flesh, as they were the current victors in the political game. The government (namely, the clan) has no choice but to agree. The choir would then be rewarded every year with bumper crop and performance bonuses. Where does the money come from? Definitely not from the clan, so the clan created the country’s printing press holdings and starts to print money from nowhere to “pay” them.

    The choir, with the newly minted money, will start to bully the poor populace by grabbing their properties, assets, companies, businesses and what else have you, simply because they have the “money” to do it. Just look at Japan, their clan already owned almost 60% of all the largest listed companies in Japan. This clan and his choir boys are no different.

    These additional printed moneys will add great inflationary pressure to all the asset classes. The net result is pure inflation with no additional benefits. The populace did not gain anything useful, but lose some more of their assets to the scumbags.

    The printing press will not stop and inflation is here to stay till they break the economic system, just like Japan and Hong Kong, soon my place of birth and whatever.

    Fortunately, this phenomenon is not present in Johor. The populace is still alright, i.e., as long one works hard, the rainbow is still waiting for him at the end of the road.

    Store of Value

    A 3-room flat yesterday is a 3-room flat today and is a 3-room flat tomorrow. Its utility is the same throughout. Even if its amenities improve, it does not substantially change the usage of the flat.

    The reason why it is worth more is essentially inflationary, i.e., the money now is smaller in value and the tenant is willing to give up more in exchange for the right to stay in the flat.

    Investment in property is nothing more than maintaining its value throughout the period, i.e., if a property is worth 100 plates of char kway teow today, one would still be able to buy 100 plates of char kway teow tomorrow, even if a plate of char kway teow is then selling at $50.

    Location

    Johor, if not the rest of Malaysia, is a very interesting place. Most of its developers are cowboys, i.e., they are free to abandon their projects, it happened to me previously, it is still happening now. So no worries, Johor is still very much Johor of the old. Nothing derogatory is planned, just an observation. Every now and then, when new shopping malls come on line, the older shopping malls will die and so will its surrounding properties. After about 20 years or so, these properties would be inhibited by foreigners and its state really deteriorates.

    Because of this, one can see plenty of properties in various states of dilapidation everywhere in Johor and others. These properties frequently changed hands and yet nothing much is done to them. They are well located and fun to game with. Location remains the single most important factor when deciding purchases.

    One Possible Approach

    Yes. I do mean buying only landed properties. Many of my friends, me included, did not make a single cent in the condo arena. Whenever I mentioned the word “condo” to them, they always extract a drink or two from me and chided me for bad taste. But, when I mentioned the word “landed”, they gave me a drink instead. So yes, I have stopped talking “condo”.

    If one were to buy a freehold landed terrace (1920sf) in Skudai at rm200k 10 years ago, one can get rid of it easy today at rm600k plus to any locals. But, with renovation, some are asking for rm800k. no one even bothers to view. It implies that those Johorians working in sg knew the current price and won’t be stupid to get a burden of rm800k. I knew a gal who works in sg for s$5k a pop (meaning rm15.5k a month), her budget die die also cannot exceed rm700k (instalment = rm2.8k or 18% of pay, she don’t dare to increase, pure fear). That’s the way of Johorians.

    Interestingly, none of the Johorians I spoke to express interest in Bukit Indah or Iskandar or Horizon Hill, they said they were out of their convenience and range. Of recent news too, 3 of the horizon hills were auctioned off for rm880k - rm1.2m each for land sized around 3.5k sf. Sad stories, I guess.

    There are many dilapidated properties in Johor, they are our inspiration and source of strength.

    Rubber Tapping

    This Chinese New Year is good to the rubber tappers. The rubber trees are healthy and the cups are currently being sold for rm5 per cup compared to rm2.50 per cup 6 months ago. Indeed, life is good for the rubber tappers.

    The above is my opinion. If moderator(s) feels that the essay is problematic and bad taste, by all means delete it. But, I hope it could be published still, as the benefit outweighs the destruction, it might cause.

    in metta …

  14. #34
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    Smile The Mistaken Education

    We often hear people saying, “Education is the passport out of poverty.

    Preamble

    In the 60s, sg was a busy enough place, already quite affluent. The shophouses are the normal 2-storey types like in all of Malaysia. If allowed to grow naturally, it should be like Johor Sentral today. Not too fast and not too slow.

    The island was full of rubber tappers like me. Then, someone suggested that our most important resource is the human capital. We must develop it to the fullest. He started building schools and educating his populace. Suddenly we have tons of lawyers, engineers, doctors, accountants, managers and later “bankers”. These so-called professionals don’t like to dirty their hands. They lorded over everyone else to get the job done. Sooner, rather than later, everyone saw the goodness that getting a professional degree delivers. Every Tom, Dick and of course, Harry, wants to be that profession guy.

    Suddenly, the little place was full of Indian chiefs, with no Indians to lord over. The smart clan immediately re-suggested that getting a degree is not important in life. These sick bastards then armed themselves to the hilt with doctorates and declared that they are the only smart cookies left that are capable of governing.

    Comparative Advantage

    In the kingdom of the blind, one-eye jack is king. It is only in this context that education is valuable. Education is super valuable in places where education doesn’t exist. Comparatively, education is not as valuable in places where access to education is a small step. That’s why in the white countries, the blue-collars are paid better than many of the white collars, simply because those jobs they do are dirtier in nature. Being a MacDonald kid in the mature white countries only draws the minimum wage of $10 per hour. Even the manager that lords over them draws only marginally better at $12-14 per hour. But, a grain cargo loader onto trains is paid $27-$35 per hour. For comparison purposes, both of these jobs require almost zero education. Even accountants, engineers or lawyers are not that highly paid, unless they venture into their own business. The only exception is health care field, where nurses and doctors enjoy quite a good life.

    Therefore, in places like Malaysia, doing good education is important as compared to doing education in sg or Hong Kong or Japan.

    Poverty is definitely associated with poor education and health care. So when the smart clan head decided that they should never provide comprehensive health care to the populace, he has effectively removed from him the single most important threat to his power, the populace. Together with Stalin-like controls, the smart clan is definitely in control. The clan insists on impoverishing the populace in perpetuity. With no money, everybody is worried about hands-to-mouth, there would be no revolt.

    Robert Kiyosaki

    Whenever education is mentioned, the name, Robert Kiyosaki, comes to mind.

    Rich Dad Poor Dad is a 1997 book written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It advocates the importance of financial independence and building wealth through investing, real estate investing, starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing one's financial intelligence to improve one's business and financial aptitude. Rich Dad Poor Dad is written in the style of a set of parables, ostensibly based on Kiyosaki's life.

    Robert bullshitted his way into telling his fictitious autobiography about how his rich dad educated him into great financial wealth. Indeed, the lesson to learn from him is that education is a relativity tool. When everyone is educated in plain vanilla skill-based knowledge and if one is armed instead with financial knowledge, one could leap-frog himself into greater wealth. Just like in the 80s, where every graduate dreamed to a banker, simply because the fad bank job pays best.

    The Engineer’s Pay

    Back to the poor and terribly bullied engineer, the engineer is paid initially to solve problems. So the stupid engineer went ahead to design a system that is unique and useful to the society. Thereafter, the knowledgeable engineer was relegated into just maintaining that system he designed, simply because he knows. Soon after, the poor engineer is again told by the boss to put in place fail-safe mechanisms to ensure that the system he designed don’t fail so easy. The instruction was to allow even an idiot to be able to operate the machine at ease or was it a monkey who can conduct an orchestra; I can’t remember which is which.

    The engineer pay went from designer engineer’s pay to expert system engineer’s pay to maintenance engineer’s pay to no pay. He was made redundant by the very system he designed.

    Such is the misery of the poor engineer. Everybody thinks that he’s an idiot at best.

    Previously only IBM engineers can code in machine language for their mainframe computers and drew humongous pay, now even a school kid can code in the latest android studio and deliver a nice mobile app that sells millions. The IBM engineers are now the old men that lined the street for food coupons.

    The society is always against the engineer’s pay.

    Japan

    After the World War II, Japan had plenty to copy. They copied the cars, calculators, cameras, home electronics and even invented a miniature radio called the “walk-man”. Came the peak at 1980s, Japan has nothing else to copy, Japan went downhill all the way, because research & development (r&d) is expensive and might be unrewarding at many a time.

    Like Microsoft, they totally missed the mobile app market.

    Hong Kong

    Hong Kong mirrored Japan greatly. They rammed up the real estate prices and they refused to be a nation of inventors. The net result is one of stagnation and regression.

    How much does one need to pay in rental if their home is worth hk$10m each?

    There is nothing they can do or invent, simply because the cost of innovative venture is too high for any start-up. Soon, it will be the same for USA or Europe.

    Good soil

    A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

    If one lacks the general ability to invent, then be a migrant. Go where the soil is still manageably fresh. Everyone knows that planting ginger is lucrative, but no one knows that after planting the gingers, that piece of land cannot never be used again. That’s why the tasty Bentong Ginger commands rm25 per kilo. It is only in Bentong (foot of Genting mountains) that the farmers can be cowboys, i.e., they move from place to place to plant their gingers, without being caught by the police.

    Therefore, in Kulai, you can declare all you like, Bentong Gingers or otherwise, it is at most charging at rm10 per kilo, because the locals knew that they would be taken for a ride if they had paid more, because the Bentong Gingers are usually stolen from Bentong and replanted in Kulai repeatedly.

    Frankly, it has nothing to do with the ginger genre, it is the fresh soil, the cool weather and the mountainous mineral water that maketh the Bentong Gingers.

    Some sgians once-upon-a-time also suggested going deep into Africa or South America for food is the best option. I don’t disagree, but, the hardship may be too unbearable and the leap too great. So, good luck to one’s search for fresh soil in the generation game.

    Marrying into the land …

    When there is a will, there is a way, so says the wise man.

    The simplest way is to marry into the land. I was surprised how easy it is to marry into the land. For decades, Indonesians have been coming to Malaysia for work, mostly illegally but some are legals. Soon they will find either a mei mei to marry or they get another Indonesian. Soon they will “poop” a kid and the kid is now a pink birth certificate holder. As a pink birth cert holder, he is entitled to be a PR in Malaysia. Whether the kid will be a citizen or not is not critical, his kids will definitely be citizens. Soon or later, the father and mother of the original kid will also be PRs. In the meantime, they can fake a work permit and they only need to pay rm300 insurance per year to cover their health needs, i.e., they don’t pay a single cent for hospitalization and treatment while staying in Malaysia, i.e., even better than the locals.

    Banding together

    Well, since we are now all here in the foreign land, do consider banding together into a clan association. That way, we hope we can reduce our pain in the assimilation. If there is dishonesty or dishonourability, let the clan chief (bro wuqi256 or bro AsusGuy) deals with it.

    Dato' Tan Hiok Nee (Chinese; 1827 – 21 May 1902) was the leader of the Ngee Heng Kongsi of Johor, succeeding Tan Kee Soon in circa 1864, he transformed the Ngee Heng Kongsi of Johor from a quasi-military revolutionary brotherhood, based in the rural settlement of Kangkar Tebrau, into an organisation of kapitans, kangchus, and revenue farmers, based in the state capital of Johor Bahru. His grandson Tan Chin Hian, was the chairman of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Teochew Poit It Huay Kuan and Ngee Ann Kongsi Singapore for many years.

    Let’s copy Tan Hiok Nee, he heads the most power clan association in Johor and had died rather rich.

    in metta …

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Store of Value

    Quote Originally Posted by ikani View Post

    Yes. I do mean buying only landed properties. Many of my friends, me included, did not make a single cent in the condo arena. Whenever I mentioned the word “condo” to them, they always extract a drink or two from me and chided me for bad taste. But, when I mentioned the word “landed”, they gave me a drink instead. So yes, I have stopped talking “condo”.

    Interestingly, none of the Johorians I spoke to express interest in Bukit Indah or Iskandar or Horizon Hill, they said they were out of their convenience and range. Of recent news too, 3 of the horizon hills were auctioned off for rm880k - rm1.2m each for land sized around 3.5k sf. Sad stories, I guess.

    There are many dilapidated properties in Johor, they are our inspiration and source of strength.
    Haha... Hey thanks for the reply. I really enjoy reading your posts! You're honest, hilarious and not afraid to share. I like that!

    Yes, "condo" seems like a dirty word. My Malaysian friends, especially those from Johor, also look suspiciously at me when I asked them about buying condos, even in the newer Iskandar regions. To them, there is so much land in Johor. And many were brought up to live in a landed house. Condo sounds alien to them, even for investment purposes.

    It's probably mainly Singaporeans who are interested to live in a condo because that's the dream in SG. Some get scared because a landed house feels too big for them.

    I suppose maybe in a more expensive city like KL will Malaysians appreciate condos. Johoreans still prefer landed houses, be it for own stay or investment. I am amazed when I know a Malaysian bus driver in SG has a landed house in Johor! Yet, a university educated Singaporean can only afford to live in a much smaller 4 or 5-room HDB flat.

    For the 3 Horizon Hills auctioned off, were they sold at a loss by the owners? I thought RM880k to RM1.2 mil is a decent price. If the owners bought them in 2010 or before, they would be making good profits now.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Store of Value

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    Haha... Hey thanks for the reply. I really enjoy reading your posts! You're honest, hilarious and not afraid to share. I like that!

    Yes, "condo" seems like a dirty word. My Malaysian friends, especially those from Johor, also look suspiciously at me when I asked them about buying condos, even in the newer Iskandar regions. To them, there is so much land in Johor. And many were brought up to live in a landed house. Condo sounds alien to them, even for investment purposes.

    It's probably mainly Singaporeans who are interested to live in a condo because that's the dream in SG. Some get scared because a landed house feels too big for them.

    I suppose maybe in a more expensive city like KL will Malaysians appreciate condos. Johoreans still prefer landed houses, be it for own stay or investment. I am amazed when I know a Malaysian bus driver in SG has a landed house in Johor! Yet, a university educated Singaporean can only afford to live in a much smaller 4 or 5-room HDB flat.

    For the 3 Horizon Hills auctioned off, were they sold at a loss by the owners? I thought RM880k to RM1.2 mil is a decent price. If the owners bought them in 2010 or before, they would be making good profits now.
    Condo sounds like a dirty word maybe because it sounds so close to condom that some wise chap might have thought it more decent to chop the shortform word at condo..lol! I think most Singaporeans go for condo because of the perception that it is safer compared to landed and also as you said most may not be used to landed living.

  17. #37
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    Smile Re: Store of Value

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    Haha... Hey thanks for the reply. I really enjoy reading your posts! You're honest, hilarious and not afraid to share. I like that!
    I am glad you did. Debate, if we must, to better plan our assault. The reason why the senate of the ancient Rome was born was precisely for debate. It is only through debate that we will gain great insights to the issue at hand. Through collective wisdom, our decision-making would be more balanced.

    I always enjoy long rides with friends. When we were travelling, no cell phones and no wifeys to disturb our peace, we will talk about anything under the sun: wine, woman and song. After all while, after we were happy about our methods in dealing with our gals, our topics would turn serious and we will debate about our next assault plan. We always have differences and we always shout at each other, but, we always come out with a great battle plan that works.

    A simple ride up-and-down the north-south highway will do the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    Yes, "condo" seems like a dirty word. My Malaysian friends, especially those from Johor, also look suspiciously at me when I asked them about buying condos, even in the newer Iskandar regions. To them, there is so much land in Johor. And many were brought up to live in a landed house. Condo sounds alien to them, even for investment purposes.

    It's probably mainly Singaporeans who are interested to live in a condo because that's the dream in SG. Some get scared because a landed house feels too big for them.
    Yes. Johorians are sons of the soil. They have sunken their roots into the system long ago by their forebears. They are just enjoying the rewards that came with it. Luckily for us, they have yet to learn the finer art of war. So, they brave the daily traffic into sg trying to earn that 3-times. Unknowing to them, their lungs are slowly accumulating stress and dioxins, they are indeed paying these moneys with their lives. By not spending time in their home turf to strengthen their roots and tree system, they have given us a chance to have a beach-head worthy of an armada landing. We must always be thankful. in metta …

    Due to the lack of land, sgians have always dreamt about having their swimming pool, club-house for functions, tennis courts like their ang mos (not knowing that most ang mos don’t even have a fucking house in their own name in their own land; if they do, their house is nothing more than a shack in a god-forsaken place. Why I know? It’s simply because I have been there, dude!), restaurants for fine dining, private, sheltered and designated car parks for their expensive cars and playground for their kids. So the sgians dreamt.

    In Malaysia, things are done differently. They actually have a real golf and country club with 36 holes. In the golf club, they have everything, including proper spas and exercising areas. Built around the golf club are little detached houses that give a very countryside feel to it. Just visit the horizon hill golf and country club to get a feel of their idea. In fact, there are much more neater places than that, if you bother to find. Those are my current targets, so do excuse me for not disclosing them here in a public forum. A rubber tapper, unlike the already rich ones, needs time to accumulate his initial down-payment to get to one of these man-toys.

    Unknown to the frightened sgians, landed property has one good thing: it does not age, i.e., the place will stay as is until you improve it. Doesn’t matter what other jones do, if the landed property is in your name, it doesn’t matter if you have a broken window pane, an unlockable door or otherwise, it truly doesn’t matter. It’s only your own ego that is at play.

    That’s also the reason why my rich friend in KL was envious of me, a humble rubber tapper, getting all the cute gals in play. He doesn’t understand since a gal’s need is luxury and he delivers that luxury, why then the gals still shun him. Instead, the gals would try to romance me, a poor rubber tapper. I always confess my poverty and I said I cannot deliver love alone, but also the greatest pain a gal can endure. A gal needs the full range of emotions to be happy; one simply can’t deliver just love. As in all things, there are always aspects to be learnt or unlearnt.

    In truth, a well-educated sgian has been mind-fucked by his old man that a 4-room flat is good enough for his existence. Sgians must learn to brave the unknowns, the world is so big. How can an old man know them all? He too was only living in a smallish 20k landed house. He will never know about 20 acres, what more 2,000 acres.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    I suppose maybe in a more expensive city like KL will Malaysians appreciate condos. Johoreans still prefer landed houses, be it for own stay or investment. I am amazed when I know a Malaysian bus driver in SG has a landed house in Johor! Yet, a university educated Singaporean can only afford to live in a much smaller 4 or 5-room HDB flat.
    Yes. Never underestimate any one. They exist because their forebears managed to go against all odds and were strong enough for their genes to be propagated till date. Your bus driver friend is merely playing out his generation game, in time, his kids would be fearsome to behold.

    If you talk to any MY gals working at $2k-2.5k a pop in sg, they are all living in landed properties in Johor. They have their own little cars to zip around. They eat at high-end Korean and Japanese restaurants in JB, but won’t spend a cent in sg. They go on holidays in east MY and Thailand annually.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcount View Post
    For the 3 Horizon Hills auctioned off, were they sold at a loss by the owners? I thought RM880k to RM1.2 mil is a decent price. If the owners bought them in 2010 or before, they would be making good profits now.
    These were bank-led auctions. Sad stories because the banks would let them go at 30-40% discount from the market, so that they can get these non-performing property loans off their back quickly.

    Nobody makes money from property investment; it is just a simple store of value. (I will write another essay on how to profit from property investment. Sigh … There is much to be learnt.)

    Apart from being too far away from civilization, HH remained an interesting place to retire.

    in metta ...

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Store of Value

    Interesting read from ikani...

    To be honest, my mum just sold away her landed terrace-linked house for RM 328,000....
    Now is just waiting for the process to be over..

    When she bought it perhaps 25 years back, it was around SGD 90,000 (i.e. 1 SGD = RM 1.4 then)
    Now is 1 SGD = RM 3.12

    Is it a store of value?
    Is it a good buy??

    Well, to each his/her own...

    For me, I bought a condo near CIQ instead..
    Not really for investment, but for various other reasons such as exit strategy, retirement, options...

    Looking to read more postings from ikani..

  19. #39
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    Smile Thailand Trip – The Holy Awakening

    I have lost quite a few paragraphs in my property investment essay, so ended up not able to publish it yet. Therefore, peeps, I apologised for the current brief inability.

    There are also replies I wish to do. I am sorry too …

    Since the ends didn’t meet these days, have to therefore go to Thailand to pray lor …

    Preamble

    I was once a Christian. I considered it a big con job. I am not going to debate what is and what’s not. It is personal. There is little point to talk about the past with no lessons to be learned.

    My friend asked me since I am now without a religion for so many years; let’s go to Thailand for a change. I obliged.

    He’s a killer. He booked a local guide who specialises in temple-hopping. For two solid days, we hop one million temples. Not the usual touristy temples where there are many ra-ra shows going on, like putting Kāṣāya for a huge Buddha, but the small tiny temples that house 100yo abbots.

    100yo Abbots

    The first one we visited was a monk who turned 110yo this 15 Jan. I smiled. As we approached the small temple, there was this old monk sweeping the floor. I of course did a praying hands lor. Praying hands symbolize obedience, submission, sincerity, repentance, veneration and respect in regard to one's higher power. He ignored me. Later, when we were in audience, sitting around like little boys and gals. He then touched the super-expensive rice and imported fruits we offered (Thailand is no longer cheap and has become more expensive than even Malaysia; time has changed in favour of the Thais, really happy for them; or is it really a blessing?). That’s when I realized he is the 110yo abbot. He offered prayers and blessings with lots of holy water, I was totally drenched. ^%^%(*&*() … He also insisted that I buy his silver amulet (I was the only one he insisted). !@#!#$@$%#^%$^&%*& … another con job coming. Anyway, I bought one. He then offered even more prayers to the silver amulet before we left. %$^&%*&^( … After so many incidences of being conned in my life, I was in no mood to be conned again.

    After that, we visited many more 100yo abbots. $^%$^&%%*& … Every single abbots gave me that &^&*^*@#$% look. When asked for blessings, they just wacked my head hard with a bit of holy water just only once, and nothing more. Sometimes not even a prayer.

    That’s when my friend told me I was fated to know “110”, he is currently the eldest holy monk (probably the most powerful) in the whole of Bangkok. His attitude is one of the worst in town. He doesn’t care if you are king or commoner. He just doesn’t care. He doesn’t talk to people. He doesn’t sell his amulets and he doesn’t bother to go for alms. He’s way too popular. A simple alms morning round would have easily netted him a million Baht; he must have felt that that’s not the Buddha way. He, like every very high and holy monk, doesn’t bother to socialise. When a king come visiting, it doesn’t imply these abbots will even bother to meet or entertain.

    Just for interest, we visited a ra-ra show temple, there we witnessed lots of ra-ra shows, including dancing around, holding Buddha robes, praying to 济公. Wtf?

    Overall, the trip was really an eye-opener to me. The teachings these holy monks preached are truly the ones I am seeking. One has to go the temples to experience it. Forget about those fake talks like cannot kneel or go to the temples if one is still a Christian or … lah. Fuck that. The reason is simple because that religion is a fake. If it is real, then why should there be a need to prevent one from going into temples, isn’t one is already protected by that “holy” spirit. This simple test already proves the venerability of Christianity or …; it simple cannot stand up to tests.

    Forget too the 福祿壽 in Bugis, that's also a con job.

    If you need to go, I can give you the contact and your trip would be most fulfilling. Before that, do some research as to where to go. The 100yo abbots are for pure and good blessings for business, health and family. The not-so-old ones are for your sex and 橫財. My friend has almost a hundred gold needles in him for his sexual prowess. Lol ... A sex god, you bet.

    My friend also advised me that I must increase my merits by helping the needy ones or else my amulet is just another stone. Whether to chant or not is a personal choice, one can do without, but requires other ways to increase one’s merits.

    Karma 因果


    If not for this trip, I wouldn’t have learned that karma 因果 cannot be transferred. If one does bad karmic cause 因, the karmic result 果 would not be appropriately delivered to one’s next generations. It would be delivered when one is again reincarnated.

    This is very important. No matter how much we cursed our good friend, we would not be able to deliver his bad karmic result 果 to his kids.

    Karma Returns

    There are enough stories about holy monks unwilling to deliver assistance to the ones seeking help. It is not that they cannot help but helping these people will bring bad karmic results 果 to themselves. We are born full of bad karma, big and small. Some deals have to be repaid by this life, some by the next and so on. Because we have not been enlightened, we cannot be filled only with good karma.

    For a recent famous example, the construction of the express train track into Shanghai was stopped short on the track by a small piece of land. No matter how hard the engineers tried to pile pins into the site, the pins would not stick but break. So they sought help from the abbot of 天龍寺 (a real Buddha temple), the engineers were sent away. He said he needed 7 days to meditate. After 7 days, the abbot replied that he is willing to do the blessing and at the same time, he handed his job to the next guy. He predicted that he will die within 1 year after the pin is piled. True enough; the pin was piled into the ground within 1 try. After the success, exactly 1 year later, the abbot died. To remember him that piled pin was the one and only one decorated with dragons around it. It is quite a sight. The engineers have exhausted the entire good karma of the monk in order to do a bad karma by pinning a pin into the holy ground: the resting place of a dragon.

    For another example, if a 風水 sifu F delivers good fortune to one X seeking help, F himself has to absorb the bad karmic result 果 of X that is seeking his help. X seeking F’s help must have bad karmic cause 因 in the first place and it can never be undone. Hence, X needs to repay with the karmic result 果. To remove this bad karmic result 果, F has to create a blessing to X and remove that bad karmic result 果 from X. To create this blessing, the end result must be that F will have to absorb the bad karmic result 果 from X. Of course, F would demand tons of cash from X to do that job. F would be extremely successful (money-wise) as a result.

    If one will to survey the market, most good 風水 sifus can only last about 3 years; after that, they normally die of very bad karmas and very young. For those who are still practising at old age are normally bullshits. Accumulation of too much bad karmic results 果 kills.

    Special Mention – Sex Monk

    This sex monk we visited is very, very, very famous among the hkongers, Malaysians and sgians. His charges are seriously high. His bookings in HK are usually full. He’s almost 80yo by now or more, I can’t recall. He lived in a very humble bungalow. He dressed very simply. He showed me plenty of power right in front of me. Behind that smile and humble dressing, one would never suspect that he has donated a huge hospital in his name to Bangkok, otherwise he said he wouldn’t be able to live to this age.

    As for the 100yo abbots, none of them travels because they cannot take a cent of alms, otherwise it is karma reducing. There is much to be learned …

    The Journey Forth …

    Whether one believes or not, it doesn’t hurt to find out more. There are enough horse-shit everywhere. In the end, one still can get conned even more, but that’s life. We must enjoy what we are doing and not hurt anyone while doing it.

    We are all born unknowing, i.e., 无名 or 无知. So go and get a genuine religion, I recommend Buddhism …

    in metta …

  20. #40
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    Smile Thailand Trip – Development

    This is the second part of Thailand’s feedback.

    I have not been to Bangkok for a long, long time. What I saw shocked me.

    The New King

    When I managed to talk to the little people, I was careful about not to offend the king. I asked them how’s the new king 10? They replied that he is going to be a very good king.

    I asked why so? I heard in the media that he is a playboy. The little people said that’s never an issue. They said in the past, there was a fifth king, he has a hundred plus wives and had hundreds of kids. This fifth king then sent each and every kid to the west for education. These kids at that juncture brought back their experiences and developed Thailand into a modern society with trains, ships, roads, cars, farming technologies and electrical toys.

    The people were eternally grateful to their fifth king. So if the present king can solve the colour issue with the political parties. He would be the best king ever. Being a playboy is a king’s right.

    Thaksin

    Then the topic floated towards Thaksin. They said every farmer Thai loves him. Even in Bangkok, the support was 50-50 amongst the businessmen. So Thaksin was very popular. In the past, after the first skytrain was built, it took the king’s adviser another 20 years to build the next line. When Thaksin came into power, he signed off 10 lines at one go. The little people were extremely happy with him.

    In the past, the king would carry a bag of maggi mee and gave them to the poor. But, when Thaksin came along, he gave 300,000 Bahts to every poor farmer. That’s a shitload of maggi mee. On top of that, Thaksin offered micro-loans to them for business development.

    What then was Thaksin’s mistake? The little people said, with Thaksin’s own admission, it was that he didn’t get close enough to the king.

    Skytrain

    As the new skytrain lines are being built, the superstructure was really huge. The little people explained that since nothing can be built on top of the train tracks, they might as well raise them as high as possible. Underneath these tracks, they build shopping areas, park-and-ride carparks, storage space and many more purpose-built functions. The Thais are not only not stupid, they are brilliant 80m people.

    It is sad that little Indian chiefs in that small place thought highly of themselves and not truly try to solve human problems. Its demise is only a matter of time.

    Kra Isthmus Canal

    The new king has more or less agreed to the proposal. They have printed a book explaining everything to be distributed to every department in the Thai government. The show is expected to be played.

    There is much to learn …

    in metta …

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