The case for a SG General Election during the COVID-19 situation

“If the opposition parties don’t want our vote in our worst, they don’t deserve our vote when we are at our best.”

Someone remarked the above to me recently and it actually got me thinking. Ever since the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) released its report, there have been a flurry of comments from the opposition parties and many netizens complaining about the possibility of a snap election even while Singapore and many countries worldwide are still battling the COVID-19 virus.

An anonymous Rice Media staff writer has authored an article A Covid-19 Election Is Not An Election At All which served as an inspiration. Nevertheless, I shall play the devil’s advocate in an intellectual exercise and argue against the conventional wisdom online to support the notion that the incumbent PAP should actually hold the election as soon as possible.


How much it costs to fly General Aviation (GA) in Singapore?

The costs of flying General Aviation (GA) is a question I get asked a lot ever since I started taking up my family and friends.

I had this question too as I needed to plan my frequency of flights for personal budgetary reasons. It may seem to be a simple question but the answer can be quite complex owing to the myriad of regulations and cost structures. While tabulating the numbers, I thought to make my calculations public due to the limited information online on this topic and the general lack of GA awareness in Singapore.

Flying costs vary greatly depending but not limited to the following high-level factors:

  • Legal maintenance requirements
  • The club you join
  • Hourly rental rates (solo/dual) and landing fees
  • Amount of flying one wants to do

I’m a member of Seletar Flying Club (SFC) which offers the lowest flying rates locally. Rates are cheaper across the causeway at Senai airport in Johor but I avoid going there due to the hassle of traveling and the fact my local friends are unlikely to follow me across.

So with this, let’s do an in-depth analysis of the costs of flying GA in Singapore.


Singapore quiz in iOSConfSG 2020

During iOSConfSG 2020, I was asked by the organising team to give a Singapore quiz as part of my emcee role.

I was given sufficient notice period to come up with these 16 questions but I felt I could do better if I didn’t wait till the last minute. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll will enjoy them. Quite a few people told me they liked it so I think it went okay but there were some controversies. So hence this blog post with the sources provided as well as my thoughts behind the possible answers behind each question.

So let’s start with the questions and possible answers first! Once you are done, scroll further down for the solutions.


Building a new Win 3.1 app in 2019 Part 1: Slack client

In October 2019, my company SP Digital held an internal hackathon. My colleague Subhransu and I worked on a whacky idea of writing a brand-new Windows 3.1 app which was an OS released almost 30 years ago. The idea we chose was a Slack client. After all, Slack clients exist for most platforms but I’m certain one does not exist for Windows 3.1.

A few months later in Dec 2019, I would join the Super Silly Hackathon for the second time with fellow retrocomputing enthusiast Hui Jing. We would develop a small game for Win 3.1 with great help from the knowledge gained from this first project.

For Part 1, I shall detail the learnings and process for how a new old app can be created with the aid of modern tools and hindsight of old technologies. And perhaps what lessons can it offer us today. This blog post is a few months late as I needed time to clean up the code and write the documentation.

Don’t forget to checkout out Part 2 of the game app with Hui Jing too!

The App

Of course let’s take a look at the app.



Review and partial teardown of Fairphone 3

I was in the market recently for a new phone as I had to give my previous Google Pixel 2 away to a family member in need of one. With the emphasis these days on sustainability and environmentally-conscious purchasing, the Fairphone 3 came up at the very top of my research.

From the marketing words of this social enterprise, “Recycled and fair materials”, “Modular and repairable design”, “A commitment to fairness” and 10/10 score on iFixit’s Repairability Rating, I was sold!

Notice that contents of the box is just the phone, instruction manual and a screwdriver! I’m totally cool with this, don’t ship the cable and charger unless you need it.

I went ahead to purchase and it arrived a few days ago. So after a few days of usage and some itchy hands with the screwdriver, I’ll sum things up with this blog post!

Many reviews have already been posted online so much so that Fairphone has a curated list of reviews. Nevertheless, I shall share my thoughts on those aspects that I felt are important to me.


Trivia Questions asked during GeekcampSG 2019

I was the emcee in GeekcampSG 2019. I asked a total of 66 trivia questions in the effort and excuse to give out leftover plushies from the previous Geekcamp 2018+.

These questions spanned topics from Singapore, Science, Fiction, Computing, Retro-tech and miscellaneous general knowledge. Topics I feel would appeal to a stereotypical geek audience and someone like myself. Try to see how many you can answer.

Trust me, the collating of these questions and researching their answers took over a period of several years to prepare for such a day. It was fun to finally see the fruits of my labour. Coming up with questions that can’t be too easy that everyone knows the answer or too hard that no one knows is difficult. Fortunately for me, at least 3/4 of the questions could be answered correctly by at least one person.

The answers are rendered invisible in white font so you can highlight them to reveal the correct answer.


Considerations on picking a Flight school for PPL – A Singaporean perspective

A private pilot once told me “when you write about your private pilot experience online, be prepared to be deluged by plenty of people asking you about your experience and picking flight schools”. I initially didn’t believe him, but after writing many blog posts on this topic, I’m forced to eat my words after receiving many direct messages.

After interacting with more than a dozen people, I realised most of the questions generally revolve around the following which I shall collate here to avoid repeating myself again and again. There are many much more qualified and more experienced people who can write on these topics but I can’t find such topics discussed in the way that would have suited my needs. Hence this post.

FAQ I get

  1. Should I learn in Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Australia or X?
  2. How much does did it cost for your PPL so I can budget?
  3. Why did you take so many hours to solo and pass your checkride? I thought one usually solos in 10-20 hours and checkride in 35/40 hours? Why should I listen to you? I don’t want to be like you take so long and spend 2.5 months in the US.
  4. So what is a Part 61 or Part 141 school?
  5. Can I do a Part 61 program under a Part 141 school?
  6. Can you recommend me a flight school to go to? What do you think of this X/Y/Z flight school? Do you think I should go there?
  7. This school (in some rural place) quotes a lower price and faster time compared to these other schools. Should I take that option?
  8. Should I follow your Flightschool.SG/SDFTI route?
  9. I’m stuck at this FAA/TSA website. Please help me!
  10. Is the theory difficult?
  11. Is flying really that hard? I’ve been playing Microsoft Flight Simulator all my life. I have flown simulated Cessnas, Boeing 747s and even engaged in dogfights with F-16s.
  12. Can I learn a bit locally say at Seletar Flying Club then go to the US to continue so I don’t have to spend a long time there?
  13. Can I convert an FAA (or any other) PPL to CAAS PPL?


Stock take for my last birthday in my 20s

Today marks the last year of my 20s. My true age has always surprised people whom I just met. Yeah, I’m actually not that young already. So stock take for what was an amazing year for me!