Blogger-stalking: Who Is Sherry Ho?

When I won the Luxury City contest last month, someone named ‘Sherry Ho’ left an idiotic comment on the advertiser’s facebook page (which you can read about here), and this month she is back. This time, she has left me three blog comments in a row.

Sherry Ho

Apparently she is both confused and upset.

Confused because she tells me to “stop buying votes” in one comment then in about 18 minutes’ time, tells me to “buy more votes”. I suspect she needs psychiatric help.

I don’t know who gave her the right to be upset about this voting campaign anyway. She’s likely not a blogger. SO it is stupid for her to be commenting.

But I will explain.

(1) It is not new

Bloggers conduct giveaways from time to time to boost the number of page likes, increase the number of followers, help promote an advertiser’s page or product, and also to garner votes for contests.

If “Sherry” is being upset about this, she is obviously not a blogger, or a real newbie.

(2) There is nothing wrong with doing giveaways to get votes

I am a HUGE believer of following ‘WIIFM’ when it comes to dealings with anyone. I don’t ask for a favor from you unless I tell you what’s in it for YOU. Fair?

How can I ask people to vote for my students (it’s a long signup process) without telling them what’s in it for them? And they have to vote every single day till end July!!!

I see absolutely NOTHING WRONG with offering people prizes that my students and I paid for. Please don’t demonstrate your stupidity with such comments.

(3) If it is anyone’s fault, it is the organizer’s fault

The fact that this voting component is involved means the organizer wants as many eyeballs and voters as possible. Coupled with a long voting period, it is OBVIOUS that the organizer wants us to get as many people to vote as possible.

Bloggers can (A) try to mobilize their fan base, (B) set up fake accounts to vote for themselves or (C) get other people to vote for them by offering prizes. Also, they can form an alliance with other bloggers BUT results are not guaranteed.

If Sherry is adamant that votes should not be bought (in which case, I respectfully ask that she donates all pre-election goodies she receives to charity), she should speak with the organizers.

If Luxury City wanted to stop people from buying votes, they should have told contestants to just send in a paragraph or two about how much they love Luxury City. And the best entry wins the prize; no votes needed.

If the Singapore Blog Awards organizers wanted to stop bloggers from garnering votes from fans and yet-to-be-fans, then they should not attribute 30% of the final score to the voting segment!

Who Is Sherry Ho?

I suspect her facebook profile is fake. So I shall not post her pictures here. But check her out if you will: https://www.facebook.com/sherryling2

Thanks to her blogpost comments, I now know her IP address:

218.186.8.12

[Recording all correspondence for submission to the police as evidence of cyber-stalking]

Barbie Cafe: Menu (Part Two)

[Check out Part One here]barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

We ordered the chicken breast and baked potato appetizers this time. Will likely be back again for the other two! :)

Barbie Cafe menu 3

Then he had the cuttlefish risotto while I went for the scallops shrimp pasta. Both tasted pretty good.

He did not think very highly of this cafe at the start, and who can blame him? It’s pink and frilly all over. But he did agree in the end that this cafe is worth a second visit!

Barbie Cafe menu 4 Barbie Cafe menu 5

It was definitely tough trying to pick a dessert. All of them looked so cute and picture-worthy! But as for the drinks, I simply asked which came with the Barbie design on top. :D

barbie cafe taiwan

*The cafe requires you to spend a minimum of NT300 per person.

Free Pap Smear Screening for Singaporean & PR Females Aged 25 & Above

Pap Smear Screening

[ Photo source: Zurina Bryant Photography / Singapore Cancer Society website ]

*The Pap Smear Screening is offered free from 1 Jul to 30 Sep 2014

*For female Singaporeans and PRs aged 25 and above

*Wear a two-piece outfit when you go for your Pap smear screening

*Participants must meet the following criteria to undergo free Pap smear screening
Female participants must:
 Either be Singaporeans or Permanent Residents who are 25 years and above and
who have had sexual intercourse before.
 Be non-menstruating or have not had menses over the past 7 days.
 Not have engaged in sexual intercourse 48 hours before the screening test.
 Not have used spermicides, vaginal medications, vaginal creams, lubricant jellies, or
tampons 48 hours before the screening test.

Find the list of participating GP clinics here.

NDP 2014 Tickets: WIN 4 tickets in a Fun #IYFSG Photo Caption Contest

In celebration of the International Year of the Family (IYF), NDP 2014 organizers have collaborated with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) for a fun yet simple caption #IYFSG contest. Lucky winners will get a set of 4 NDP 2014 tickets EACH!

NDP 2014

Don’t bother with balloting, try winning the NDP 2014 tickets with your own efforts! :D

From 4 to 24 July, a different NDP Family Photo will be posted up each week for 3 weeks on MSF’s FamilyMatters Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/FamilyMatters.sg). You just have to put on your thinking cap and come up with creative captions for the photos.

Each week, the top 3 winners will take home a set of 4 NDP actual day tickets each, while 2 lucky participants will be picked from a random draw to win a set of 4 preview tickets each. WOW! :D

I have already submitted my entry!

NDP 2014["Marmeeeeee, I want an upsized gun for my birthday! Prissss!" :D #IYFSG]

*Remember to include the #IYFSG hashtag in your entry, otherwise it doesn’t count! ;)

Submit your entry now! And tell your family members to submit theirs too! The more entries, the more chances to win! :D https://www.facebook.com/FamilyMatters.sg

IYF logo

ABOUT IYF 2014
Singapore will be celebrating families in 2014 in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF). Singaporeans can look forward to numerous engaging family-oriented events, activities and special deals, as the Ministry of Social and Family Development works with like-minded partners to celebrate and promote family bonding in joyful and heart-warming ways.

IYF was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to celebrate the importance of the family. IYF is officially celebrated once in ten years and 2014 is its twentieth anniversary. The core values underpinning IYF 2014 are love and respect, commitment and big-heartedness. These values help strengthen the foundation for a strong and closely knit family.

National Council on Problem Gambling ad – Memefied!

NCPG

NCPG

[pic source: SGAG's facebook page]

I got knocked out cold by, well, cold medication last night and did not catch what must have been a really painful match for Brazil’s fans to watch. 7-1? Really?!

I hope the National Council on Problem Gambling doesn’t run similar World Cup ads again as it is, according to one netizen, “more accurate than all the animals add together [sic]“

Netizens are clearly having a field day trying to memefy the NCPG’s ad. Ironically, instead of getting the message that we should “stop problem gambling”, punters seem to be turning to the NCPG for future predictions of match winners. Hmm.

Perhaps, before the next World Cup, the NCPG can say “Waiting for our prediction on winner again? Don’t bet on it!” :D

~

I don’t engage in soccer betting as the ball really could go either way. A friend also shared that recently, he was actually winning some money at the start of the World Cup, then he got greedy, and his wins became losses – I didn’t ask him how much.

Yet another friend’s wife says she doesn’t buy 4D at all, though my friend does, and so, she “wins” money every week that she doesn’t bet. A penny saved is a penny gained, as they say.

Well, there is admittedly a thrill, or ‘gambler’s high’ that some people enjoy. I think there is nothing wrong with buying the occasional lottery ticket. By occasional, I mean I buy a lottery ticket once every few months, and don’t spend more than S$10 each time. It is money I can live without and I will not lose sleep over it even if I lose every cent.

Problem gambling can ruin lives and, memes aside, we need to ensure that the people close to us don’t fall into that trap.

To seek help from the National Council on Problem Gambling, head to their website or call 1800-6-668-668. Just don’t ask for any “gambling prediction”, ok? :P

Luxury City: Premium Brands At More Affordable Prices

I buy branded bags only at the airport, or when I am overseas. Because, let’s face it, our strong currency means the same bag could cost more in boutiques here than overseas. So when Luxury City invited me to verify its claim that it is selling the same (current season) bags that are sold in boutiques, but at lower prices due to parallel importing, I was impressed. Current season? Really? Challenge accepted!

That was how I found myself at Marina Bay Sands, at the Saint Laurent store, to check out the pricing of the Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour.

Saint Laurent MBS

Saint Laurent MBS

Saint Laurent MBS

Then I was off to Luxury City at Chinatown Point (B1-11) to look for the exact same bag (in red, to match my heels).

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

And find it I did! :D

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

And I was blown away by the price difference!

In the Saint Laurent store, the same bag was priced at S$3790. In Luxury City, it’s only S$3248. That is a price difference of S$542 for a current season bag! Gosh! With that kind of savings, I can buy another wallet.

Also, Luxury City stocks the bag in more colors too, such as a vibrant orange!

But that’s not all. Luxury City’s store at Chinatown Point is HUGE, and they are expanding too! Renovation works should be done by month’s end, and you will get EVEN MORE shopping space and great deals.

I love how they stock classic handbags that I can no longer find in the boutiques. And at equally enticing discounts too! :)

Ferragamo, anyone?

Ferragamo

{ Was: S$2860, Now: S$1998, VIP: S$1898 }

Ferragamo

{ Was: S$1690, Now: S$1398, VIP: S$1298 }

Ferragamo

In Luxury City, with classic handbags from past seasons too, there is definitely something for everyone.

But what I love most has to be the friendly and comfortable shopping environment they provide. Customers are allowed to touch and feel the products, do a little mix and match (Add a scarf? Pick a matching wallet), and pick only the most suitable products for purchase without being pestered by salespeople. You get to take as much time as you’d like to browse and you never have to queue outside a boutique again.

Luxury City Chinatown Point

Kate Spade

Luxury City Chinatown Point

Luxury City is truly a hidden gem in Chinatown. If you like pretty wallets, clutches, purses and handbags like I do, then you have to pop by Luxury City! :) Luxury City Chinatown Point

Also, participate in their Luxe Snap Contest (http://l.inkto.it/439s8) and stand to win a Burberry Haymarket Small Salisbury Tote! Just ‘Like’ their facebook page, upload a photo of you carrying a branded bag, and share the photo and get your friends to ‘like’ it! :)

Luxury City

I’ve uploaded my photo – remember to ‘like’ it, ok? :D

Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

Visit Luxury City:

Chinatown Point, B1-11

http://www.luxurycity.com.sg/shop/

Second Letter from Rodyk & Davidson

Second Letter

My Reponse:

Dear Derek / Lynette,

1. I refer to your letter dated 19th June 2014.

2. You state, in point 2, that it is “inappropriate to engage in correspondence” with me as investigations are underway, but you go on to “engage in correspondence” with me from points 3 to 7. I take it to mean that your statements are contradictory.

3. In the meantime, I wholly deny and refute your plain accusatory statements that whatever I have written in my emails and on my blog (not a website!) are “plainly defamatory in nature”. Please prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that my statements are defamatory. I maintain that they are not.

4. Please note that in my emails, I have made reference to other parties not to justify my actions, but to point out that you have not done your due diligence in checking that certain terms used, such as “fake entity”, did not originate from me, but is from The Straits Times article published on 19 Nov 2013. PLEASE read it here: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/acra-warns-fake-entity-asking-companies-verify-their-details-20131119

5. If as you say, that “Whatever other parties may have done is not relevant to the issue of culpability for (my) own actions”, I maintain that I have every right to quote from an article published in 2013, and which is accessible to all. If you and your client did not take issue with the term “fake entity” used in 2013, accessible till today on a vastly more visible platform than my blog, it means it is firstly, non-defamatory, and secondly, permitted for public consumption on virtual platforms.

6. In my emails, I have not “denied that the statements in (my) website are defamatory” because my instruction to you was to do your due diligence and not to wrongfully accuse me of coming up with the term “fake entity”. It has not been alleged as being “defamatory” in its original source, by you or your client, so I did not feel the need to insult your intelligence by stating the obvious. Was I wrong?

7. I further note that you have blatantly disregarded certain crucial portions of my email dated 17 June 2014, in which I clearly state that your law firm has “caused me unnecessary distress, loss of income and sleep in awaiting your response on 16 June 2014″ with regard to your issuance of the statement “We are presently taking our client’s instructions on the contents of your various emails and we will respond to you in due course later today” in an email sent to me on 16 June 2014, 12:35pm. I note that you would be willing to plead guilty to this charge, without even the decency of sending me an apology.

8. Separately, you allege that I have made “various written threats” in my email of 17 June 2014. Those do not constitute threats and your allegation that these constitute threats has no basis in fact or in law.

9. I have no defamatory statements to make about your client here. It is, simply, unfortunate that:

(i) The company is now “facing a total of 104 charges in court” brought against it by ACRA (https://www.facebook.com/Official938LIVE/posts/731321466924467)

(ii) The Commercial Affairs Department has “seized the monies from the company’s bank account” (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/police-confirm-data/1175052.html)

(iii) ACRA has seen the need to issue a total of 4 public alerts about Data Register (http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/singapore/acra-issues-4th-public-alert-data-register-20140619)

10. I have never intended to defame your client, because there was never any need to.

11. All my rights are expressly reserved, including my right to not receive letters of harassment from legal firms. I advise you to cease and desist.

[To read the blogpost that somehow got me the first legal letter, click here]

“Slap Extra Taxes On Smokers” Says ST Forum Commenter

slap extra taxes on smokers

Why did The Straits Times publish this letter? To provoke promote a discussion?

Mrs Vivien Tan must be out of her mind, despite her good intentions. “An amount of $500 a year could be added to a smoker’s income tax if he is working” – really? How did she derive that figure? And to suggest that smokers should “buy a monthly licence at the post office” otherwise is just ridiculous! The queue at my neighborhood post office is long enough as it is. I sure do not want to see smokers join the queue! Or maybe, Mrs Tan would propose a dedicated queue and counter for smokers? Perhaps she would like to man that counter herself?

She seems to have it all thought out – “Smokers caught without a licence should be fined $20, payable at any ATM”. So they should hang the licence on a chain around their necks? Or do we have NEA officers go up to each person they see smoking and ask for their licence? These officers will also have to inhale second-hand smoke unless they wear masks. :P

Cigarettes are already ridiculously expensive in Singapore. I am not a smoker, but I have seen cigarettes sold in Malaysia and other countries for a fraction of what they cost here. Do we still want to slap on more taxes and be known for having the most expensive  cigarettes in the world?

Besides, I do think that the forbidden fruit is usually the most tempting. The more we try to take cigarettes away from people, the more they want them.

We should just ensure smokers know which places they are allowed to smoke in, and which they should not light up in, such as lifts!

Either we have a complete ban on cigarettes (like we did with chewing gum) or ensure that smokers respect the rights of non-smokers to have clean air. Fines might be necessary but additional taxes are not.

Mark Chang, founder of Jobstreet.com at ‘Kopi Chat’ today

I attended a ‘Kopi Chat’ session with Mark Chang, Founder and CEO of jobstreet.com, this afternoon. And here are 8 things I learnt from him:

1) Learn to go with the flow. “I was an engineer and very raw as an entrepreneur. I never really planned what I wanted to do next. I decided to just go, see what happens, give it a try.”

2) Make your staff your friends. “I do not know how to make friends when I have money. My staff are my best friends. I like to see them, talk to them. I have breakfast with them, I have lunch with them, I have dinner with them.”

3) There are no supermen. Behind every success story is hard work. “When you see people who are successful and they tell you some incredible story, you think the person is Superman. I am not Superman. I bum around. You have your own story. With persistence and patience, you will also make it.”

4) Entrepreneurs may need to “unwind” mistakes. “When the company is small, with hardly any revenue, I can give the salesperson 15% commissions. After 5 years, 15% is a huge amount of money. Can I redo commissions to 3%? There are things that we have to unwind. If I hire an IT manager then realize he doesn’t have certain skills, can I hire someone else to be his manager?…

It boils down to leadership. If you treat them well, at times when you have to make tough decisions, they will still stay with you and not break the team apart. Build relationships and build a lot of goodwill from the start! Do not look at staff as labor and just to solve a problem! Look at them as your extended family! Value them a lot. Every year, we give out awards. There are some people who have worked in our company for more than 15 yrs.”

5) Learn to balance work with family. “As an entrepreneur, you must have a lot of interest and passion in your company. The family part tends to get neglected. My first marriage didn’t survive. Just some of the things entrepreneurs have to go through. Have the tenacity to get things done, and so on, while other things are being neglected. My wife says I don’t have a balanced life. Haven’t learnt ‘balance’ yet.”

6) Good companies solve problems. “Good companies are built because they solve a real issue in the society. E.g: instant noodles – ‘Cos we cannot keep food. Just boil it to eat. In your business, what kind of problem are you solving? Society will reward you if you solve it well. Don’t try to solve things that are too small or unimportant.”

7) Hard work + Luck = Success. “Create your product. Differentiate. Serve the market. What problem are you solving? If you are solving a problem, you will surely have customers. Success is hard work and luck! If I had started the company a bit earlier or later, things will be different. You can pray and hope Bill Gates invests in a company similar to yours, so your space becomes hot.”

8) Never turn down free food. :D “As an entrepreneur, you always have to reduce costs. So any time there is free breakfast, lunch or dinner, just eat! :)” (in response to the announcement that free kaya toast is being served outside)