Sometime ago I wanted to open an account with a Singapore stock broker. If you want to trade SGX shares then it is better to open a trading account in Singapore compared with trading through a Malaysian stock broker. It will be slightly to much cheaper trading this way.

I then proceeded to get the forms from a Singapore stock broker which happened to be Kim Eng Securities Pte Ltd. When you call the Kim Eng helpline they will probably get your local address and offer to send you the forms by mail. To open the account faster you can ask them to email you the forms.

Filling out the forms is the easy part. After that you will have to confirm your identity and the fact that it is you who signed the application form(s) to their satisfaction. To this end in their instructions to you, they will suggest that you get the forms attested and witnessed by either one of the following.
A Lawyer, Commissioner of Oaths, A Notary Public or the Singapore Embassy. Well, in Malaysia, only one of the four parties mentioned by Kim Eng Securities will be able to attest and witness your forms and that is the Notary Public. I personally tried all the other three and found out that both the lawyer and the commissioner of oaths do not have the authority to attest signatures on forms which are used by entities located outside Malaysia. A lawyer can certify a document as a true copy but not attest to signatures on foreign forms. A Commissioner of Oaths on the other hand is not allowed to even sign off documents as certified true copies much less attest to signatures. The Singapore Embassy wiil not attest signatures on forms other than those relating to statutory bodies in Singapore. Singapore private organizations will not have their documents attested by the Singapore Embassy in Malaysia. So that leaves us with only the Notary Public.

Now, another tip is, When you give documents to a Notary public to be notarized, avoid giving documents other than the specific form which is designated to be signed by the Notary Public, that is, give him only the one with the word Notary Public below the space where he/she has to sign to notarize the document. If you provide any other related signed forms then your charges will increase exponentially. A simple small round paper seal stuck on your form will be charged even for pages with mere explanatory notes related to the application. In my case my total cost came up to $235/- which left me flabbergasted. So much to pay just to open a trading account which by the way is f.o.c. in Malaysia. It appears that personally going to Singapore by bus or train would have been slightly cheaper and it can also double as a holiday trip.
So this is how a common lawyer recoups the time, effort and cost of getting the right to notarize documents.

I stay at the end unit of a row of terrace houses. The layout of the two long row of houses have each row facing a road and their backs facing one another. Consequently there is a common long walkway at the back in between the two rows. Apparently some of the residents have had instances when burglars broke into their units possibly because of the dark and secluded walkway. One of the owners ( I shall call him ‘R’ ) residing at a corner unit then decided to have gates installed at both ends of the two rows. I became aware of this issue when a circular requiring owners to indicate their agreement to have such a gated area was given to me about a year earlier. I indicated on the form that I agreed with the idea provided that the proposed gate is the same as the one already fitted to our neighbors in another separate row of terrace houses which was made out of steel bars. Being the owner of one end unit, one side of the two gates would have to be bolted to my kitchen back wall and the other end bolted to my back neighbor’s kitchen wall. ( kitchens are normally located at the back of the houses.)

Sunday 27th Mar 2016 around 9.30am, ‘R’ called me and told me that he was ready to have the gate installed at my end. I then inquired ‘inter alia’ on the issue of ‘ how were the local council workers going to clear the drains once the back walkway was effectively gated’. He said that it would be easier to talk (explain I presume) in person. As we were neighbors although not next to one another I agreed to go to his corner house to ‘talk’.

He showed me the big stack of long metal hollow bars commonly used to fabricate window grills and two contract workers fabricating the gate. I then proceeded to enlighten him that my preference was for the same type of gate as mentioned earlier above. i.e. the type using steel bars already installed by our neighbors. He started telling me about his deeds in helping some of our neighbors in the past. I also pointed out ,what to me are weaknesses in the type of gate selected by him which was already installed at the back of his house. He then responded by saying that I should have mentioned my preference earlier. To which I pointed out that I was not consulted. He then told me that the type of gate I preferred was in fact cheaper than his own type. Of course I then asked why it was not chosen instead. Without answering my question, he then told me that he paid cash to the one of the contract workers when the worker’s wife was sick. Not knowing how that was related to the gate issue, I just smiled and kept quiet. I proceeded to mention other weaknesses in the current design of the gate.

Then suddenly he raised his voice, started berating me and clearly in anger insinuated that I was merely giving all kinds of excuses and was not willing to pay my share. He then further alleged that I was not co-operative because he was an Indian. He also said that he was a psychologist and I guess it meant that he knew what I was up to, whatever that was.  He then turned away and in a hurried manner moved to re enter his back door all the while spouting loudly .Seeing his anger which seemed to be getting out of control, I turned around and began walking away at the same time dryly saying ‘ok in that case I am not going to pay’. Before I could walk far he turned around came back and confronted me again. I then told him that it is better to talk some other time because he was clearly very angry. He then seemed to cool down a bit. I finally said I will think about it, that is whether to pay or not since clearly I was not in favor of his type of gate. He then called the contract worker to talk to me whilst he went back into his house.

The worker then suggested to look at the type of gate I was interested in which was located next to my house some distance away. For some reason a young boy, most probably his son was sent by ‘R’ to accompany me and the worker to keep tabs on what we discussed. The worker then expounded on the features of both types of gates. I tried to explain why I preferred the steel bar type and he did his best to refute my opinions. Finally getting nowhere I told the worker that I would think about the issue and he left with the young man.

There was no explanation on the issue of local council workers clearing the drain and no reason why the cheaper type of gate was not adopted. Further more the worker and R himself agreed that the type of gate I preferred was in fact cheaper than the current type. Why did he decide on the current type I am not sure. I have some ideas but it is only my opinion, no concrete evidence. However what I am sure of is that talking with him is quite unnerving. I am not entirely certain that no bodily harm will come to me if I persist with my questions and line of reasoning. For the time being I am going to ignore his actions and let him carry on as he wishes. At least I learn t something new. Just because a person is supposed to be a psychologist, do not expect them to be well controlled temperamentally. Never judge a person by his profession!


One day I was using my Black & Decker drill to unscrew a hinge from a wooden door which I was thinking of reusing. Nowadays wooden doors are becoming pretty expensive depending on the type of wood and size. So, I was going to keep the door as it would definitely be useful one day.


Coming back to the drill, I needed to screw back some of the screws into the door minus the hinge for storage. When I tried to reverse the drills direction of rotation for screwing in instead of unscrewing, the switch failed. Well, after almost seven years of faithful service something was finally breaking down.

Later when I had the time I opened up the drill and scrutinised the circuit. The toggle switch had worn out and would need to be replaced. Unfortunately my drill was such an old model that the part was no longer available. Since the motor itself was still in good operating condition I decided to fabricate an external toggle switch.


Following the internal circuitry of the drill it was clear that the drill reversed it’s rotation when the live and neutral (single phase) were reversed. It was then a simple matter of buying a double pole, double throw toggle switch, housing it in a small plastic box and appropriately connecting it to four wires joined to the original contact points of the faulty toggle switch. Cross connecting the top two poles of the switch with the bottom two poles and with the center being common ensured that throwing the switch from end to end would effectively reverse the circuit.


Some time ago I decided to format and reinstall Windows XP on to my EEE pc 901 notebook which had an unremovable virus. My notebook does not have a CD rom drive and instead of buying a USB CD rom drive I decided to save some money and just use my 1 gb USB thumb drive / stick to do the job.

The following will be required : –

  1.   A USB thumb drive with at least 1 gb of capacity. Windows XP home will occupy about 670 megabytes on the drive.
  2.   The following two zipped folders with the correct files within (a) USB_prep8 and (b) bootsect (download them here )
  3.   A personal computer or laptop running Windows XP or Vista with a CD-ROM drive.
  4.   A genuine copy of Windows XP or Vista.

There are 2 main procedures to be followed.
A) The first is to prepare a USB stick with windows installation files loaded which can boot up a notebook computer.
B) The second is to install the windows operating system onto the notebook.

PROCEDURE A , will be preparing the USB stick.

  1. Insert the Windows CD into the CD rom drive and insert the USB stick into the same computer. Wait a while to close any auto opened   windows. Take note of the drive letters assigned to your CD rom and USB by your computer.
  2. Unzip the USB_prep8 and bootsect files.
  3. In the unzipped USB_prep8 folder, double click the USB_prep8.cmd file. It will run and a command prompt will open. Ignore it and press any key to continue. A PeToUSB window will now open.
  4. Don’t change anything in the PeToUSB window, just click “Start”. Formatting of your USB will then start. It will only take a few seconds.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT…DO NOT close the two windows (PetoUSB and USB_prep8). Now open a new command prompt by typing “cmd” in the Start –> Run box ( WinXP, Windows 7 users need to type “cmd” in the “Search and run programs” box ) . In this new command prompt, go to the directory where bootsect.exe is saved. Now type “bootsect.exe /nt52 R:“. Change “R” to the drive letter directory of your USB drive. Before pressing enter to run the bootsect.exe command make sure there are no windows opened which are displaying the contents of your USB stick. If all goes well you should see this message “Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.” Now you can safely close this command prompt and the PeToUSB windows only. Make sure the “USB_prep8” window is NOT closed.
  6. Once you close the PeToUSB window the USB_prep8 window will automatically display a list of options.
  7.  The options 1-3 will now need to be updated with the correct information.
  8. Press “1” on your keyboard followed by “enter”. A folder browse window will open for you to browse to the location of you window setup files ( your CDrom drive with the windows CD inserted in step 1.) Select the correct drive and enter.
  9. Now press 2 and enter a letter NOT currently assigned to a drive on your PC. Since your pc is unlikely to be using more than 3 or 4 drives the letter “K” or higher can be safely used.
  10. Press 3 and enter the drive letter of your USB stick
  11. Finally press 4 to start the process of preparing your USB stick.
  12. The script will then ask you if its ok to format drive K:. This is just a temporary drive the program creates to store the windows installation files. Press Y and enter.
  13. Once it is done formatting, press enter to continue. You will now see the script copying Windows installation files from your CD to the temp drive it created. This will take a short while. Once done press enter to continue again.
  14. Next you will see a pop up box asking for permission to copy the files from drive K to the USB. Click “Yes”. This will take a longer time, depending on the speed of your computer system.
  15. Once the program has completed this step a window will popup asking if you would like the USB drive to be the preferred boot drive. Select “Yes” again.
  16. Finally you will need to select “Yes” one last time to unmount the virtual drive. This ends Procedure A.

PROCEDURE B, will be installing XP into your PC using the USB thumb drive and configuring it to install the operating system into the notebook

  1.  Insert your USB then start your PC, then go to BIOS set-up. Set USB as your primary boot device.
  2.  On the startup menu you have two options, select the text mode setup option.
  3.  From this point on, it is just like any other windows XP installation. When prompted, delete all the partition(s). Recreate the primary partition on your EEE pc and quick format it using NTFS.
  4.  Once the text mode portion of setup is complete, the computer will reboot. This time, boot into the GUI mode.
  5.  Once the GUI portion of setup is complete you will again have to boot into GUI mode to complete the XP installation until you end up at your XP desktop. It is very important that you DO NOT REMOVE THE USB STICK before you finally end up at your XP desktop. Only when you see your start menu is it safe to remove the USB stick and reboot your pc to make sure everything is working perfectly.

I did experience a few hiccups along the way which you may or may not experience. If you do have a problem, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you out.