Why should Singaporeans Boycott Uber, UberX or Uber Taxi?

With past couple of weeks with Uber company offering free rides under UberX or Uber Taxi, Consumers were delighted that they were able to get two free rides a day. While  the drivers for UberX and Taxis are happily earning to the max.

It brought cheers to consumers and drivers, but there are some angry passengers too. They couldn’t get a free ride after trying to get one after 45 minutes. It’s just a marketing strategy by Uber to market their services to the Singapore consumers.

Let’s get back to reality, here are a list of concern that Singaporeans should think about before using their services again.

1) Credit card information – While the credit card details are stored in the Uber data storage which might be prone by hackers

2) Global Position System (GPS) – Your traveling pattern will be known to unknown as Uber is using GPS to track where your journey starts and ends. Thus disclosing your location to unknown sources.

3) Credit card payment – The payment terminal is not located in Singapore but in United States where you might suffered exchange loss. Right now there isn’t significant different as they are still offering 25% discount on your taxi rides.

4) Unethical ways of doing business

I) Seeking customers to release details of  which taxi drivers and their contact who do not sign up with Uber. While it’s no wrong to share the good things to others, but it’s wrong to share our contact to other people without our permission. It’s the same that as a taxi driver, we do not send out passenger contact details to third parties. It’s the privacy of our rights that the contact must be kept confidential at all times.

II) Which ever taxi drivers that took up their free IPhone and their jobs, received a call from Uber that they are not allowed to use other third parties apps and are told to delete them off. Who are they to mind our business which apps taxi drivers use since they do not have any legal document that say that taxi drivers are not allowed to use other apps. This also create an anti-competition act in Singapore!

5) Most Importantly, Why we Singaporeans should boycott Uber?

While the government are not allowed to ban Uber outright due to the free trade agreement, but What I’m seeking is changing the business model of Uber and UberX which is using metered-charged system (I have previously mention in my blog).

The company comes here to earn money in Singapore without any employment benefit to Singaporeans. Yes they have Singaporean on the ground to run the promotion and signing up drivers. But once they have establish themselves in Singapore, all these job are made redundant. For your information, even their telephone operators are foreigners based overseas, using internet to contact drivers and customers. In other words, their company is nothing but an empty shell in Singapore.

While we welcome foreign companies to set-up their business in Singapore, we need to see economic growth and employment benefit for Singapore. Without any employment benefit to Singaporeans, what the use to welcome this type of company to operate in Singapore? I would rather don’t welcome them at all!

The choice is yours, nobody is stopping you from using Uber! But think again, if any company that comes to Singapore to start business without any employment benefit to Singaporeans, then there will be no job for Singaporeans in the future.


Creative Motor Traders In Singapore


In the Strait Times published today in the Home section, there are two articles written on the Motor traders coming out creative ways to beat the Vehicle Loan Curb.

1) New car dealer using leasing program to lease their car instead of putting large down payment to buy them.

2) Used car traders using overtrade to ease the high down-payment.

Let us look at the first case: Leasing Program!

No doubt this will transfer the ownership to the car dealers with the following benefits:

1) Low deposit

2) No insurance / maintenance worries ( excluding no frill Leasing deals)

3) Keeping of Non Claim Discount (Insurance) for up to 5 years

4) No Vehicle Depreciation Risk

The downside of the leasing program is as follows:

1) Higher monthly payments compare to car ownership

2) Leasing program is for 5 years. Any early termination of contracts might be sued for termination of contracts

3) Maintenance/ accident repair must be done in their workshop, this is a concern for people going for no frill leasing deals. Typically, authorized dealers workshop charges higher fee which I would not go into details. Accident repair must be done in the their workshop as the car ownership is still theirs, more likely that it will cost a bomb if no insurance claim is made.

4) Higher Insurance Premium (for no frill deals), typically insurance for leasing car are higher compare to private car. On top of that no other drivers are allowed to drive that lease car unless included in the insurance policy (again this will cost a bomb in the insurance premium)

5) Mileage – depends on the deals, some deals that only allows a certain mileage to be clock in the lease vehicle, any excess of mileage will be penalised.

6) Can’t do any decoration in the leased vehicle – vehicle not owned by you.

7) At the end of the lease, some deals might need you to return the vehicle in the original conditions, thus extra cash upfront to repair to return the vehicle (check this out before you sign on the dotted line).

Basically, car leasing is not a bad deal after all, just that the leasing period which I felt is a little long, maybe one to two-year leasing period should be ideal for the drivers. Any drivers who want to lease the vehicle from the dealers must read all the fine prints carefully, questions them if in doubts before signing. Get the normal leasing deals (excluding no frill deals), although you are paying a little higher, but you do not need to worry about maintenance/ breakdown of the vehicle.

Next we look at the used car dealers using overtrade to ease the down-payment.

For every $10,000 overtrade, the buyers will come out less $6,000 down-payment. In order to close the deal, the used car dealers will try the higher possible overtrade for buyers to lower down the down-payment. Typically, the banks will inform the dealers what is the maximum loan allowed for the loan and the dealers would work backwards from that (basically all about paperwork).

The bank will not strictly follow the market value of the used car as there is no fixed price on each car (of course not for those ridicules high price), they will close one eye on that so long the paperwork are done properly. The loan will only approved if the buyer meet other MAS requirements.

In short, be it leasing or overtrade, with the expected increase in COE quota in the next coming one to two years, financial prudent is the most important thing to consider before signing on the dotted line. If you had existing car, hold onto it till the COE drops before deciding your next course of actions.

Philippines to stop deploying maid to Singapore from Sept 2013

The Philippines is going to stop deployment of her citizen to Singapore as maid from Sept 2013 due to disagreement to the placement fee.

Over the years, Employers had been spoilt for choices to foreign workers without incurring extra cost to hire them (Be it maid or otherwise). All the placement fee has been borne by the employee in other to get work in Singapore.

Singaporean are complaining that PMET being displaced by the foreigners, but why Employers choose to continue employing foreigners?

Most companies in Singapore do not have the HR overseeing the hiring process but handled by the recruitment agent. Thus searching of good hiring requires money for the recruitment agent, either by the hiring company or the job seekers.

Generally, Singaporean do not pay for placement fee but the companies will foot the bail for the recruitment process.

Thus if you are the employer and wish to recruit a new staff, you would be more interested in hiring the foreign job seekers as you do not need to pay for the placement fee. On top of that, you would be able to change/reject the job seekers if they do not perform up to mark.

Thus I urge the Manpower Ministry to look into this issue. I would suggest that legalisation of all employers to borne the placement fee to the recruitment agent. This will in fact help to create a better playing field for the Singaporean seeking jobs.