How many are Singaporeans?

There might come a time soon when Singaporean citizens, some of whom are responsible for voting in the elections, will be outnumbered in Singapore by people who are not Singaporeans.

CNA says that the population of the country rose by 200,000 between 2006 and 2007, of which only 39,490 were born here, which means 160,510 of these newcomers (welcome, y’all! And yay! my calculator works!) are definitely non-Singaporeans, who, at the moment, tally more than 1 million, and probably around the 2 million mark, because the stats CNA gives don’t tell me how many are Singaporeans and how many are Permanent Residents.

That’s more than one in four people living here. If it’s not your mother, your father, your brother, then the foreigner in your family is you. And the maid.

And don’t cast suspicious eyes at the Olympic Ping Pong team, they’re Singaporeans, every single Chinese Speaking One Of Them, and they won’t be very happy if you tell them you expect medals from them because they’ll have home ground advantage in Beijing, because China very big you know?

Don’t think too much about this though… Happy National Day Saturday!

Customer care

Billy Bombers @ Central

There were two incidences of good customer service that we experienced recently that we have to talk about here because sekali people say we only know how to complain.

First up, last night, because the queue at Ramen Santuoka was so long, and because we were so hungry, we went and dined at Billy Bonkers Bombers at The Central Not To Be Confused With Central Mall instead.

Two waiters served us. Jeffrey from Philippines and Tika from Nepal, and it has to be said that the two of them serve with big smiles on their dials and were prompt and attentive as they took our orders, served our drinks and asked if we needed anything else.

The test of the restaurant’s service came when our burgers were served. We had asked for them to be done medium, but on slicing the buggers (yes, we fork and knife any burger not gotten from a fast food joint), discovered the meat patty to be raw on the inside.

June, one of the managers there, took our complaint and asked if we needed our meal replaced, or whether she could offer us any dessert or tea, on the house, for our troubles. She also asked us to complete a feedback form so that she could pass it up to management, because, as she explained, sometimes when you just tell a chef something, nothing gets done about it, and so it has to go to the top or something, I can’t really remember because by this time I was so full from the breaded mushroom, chips and malted shake that my ears were sorta ringing.

When we asked for the bill, we were told that she’d given us a 50% discount on the offending burger. Nice.

And on to the other incident of good customer service. Now, good customer service means good service whether or not the customer actually buys anything off you, right?

Well the nice people at Nespresso got that part right. We were shopping for pods for their corporate coffee machine (which is not for sale by the way), and was told at their Takashimaya kiosk that the pods are also not for sale. And that the only things for sale were the home consumer machines and the capsules for which to use with them.

I chucked a mini-fit, and the salesman at the kiosk, a Peter Kwong, helped out in a way which I will not elaborate further because I don’t have faith in the decency of other Singaporean shoppers who I think will take advantage of his generosity and rort the whole effort.

You just need to know that Peter Kwong is a darn good salesman, and I’d buy a coffee machine off him the next time our Krups goes on the blink.

Error error bee

I was doing some research into external law courses and called up the agents representing one of the external LLB programmes.

A heavily PRC accented voice answered and the person behind the voice tried very hard to comprehend my enquiry, which was, “where can I get more information about admission criteria for the LLB course?”

“Which course?”, said the heavily accented voice.

“LLB”, said I.

“Er, sorry, which course?” asked the voice again.

“LLB”, again I said.

“Error, error B? Uh, I dunno that course”, said the voice.

“Law”, I said.

“Orh. Law. OK”.

“Yes”

“Uh, the persng in charge eeser notte eeng, maybe you give me your telephong number I gette the persng to call you back”.

“Uh… OK”.

Don’t laugh. 1.3 billion people can’t be all wrong, and they have different methods of teaching English.

(via Jiahao Chen (thanks dude))