Friday, August 19, 2011

A Really Useful Apple App

Mr Philip Yeo was guest speaker at the Fullerton-St Joseph’s Institution leadership lecture in May 2010 when he said those who bought games and other programs Apple’s iPad were wasting their money on "all sorts of useless applications". His personal advice for his own flesh and blood: "I always tell my daughter, make products and services to sell to the dummies." After the inevitable furor erupted, he claimed he used "dummies" to mean "laymen, which is the major market".

Laymen who aren't dumb were quick to appreciate the usefulness of a free iPhone app called "Summon Auntie". In essence, a motorist would log his position with the aid of the built-in A-GPS function in the Apple device after parking his vehicle without displaying a valid parking coupon as required by law, and count on a similarly minded citizen to send out a warning upon spotting the traffic warden within a 200 m proximity. From then on, it's a mad sprint to the vehicle before the warden - typically a white-uniformed middle aged female - records the licence plate number.

Interestingly, a Land Transport Authority spokesman has said the enforcement of parking offences is meant to safeguard road space for safe and smooth traffic flow, explaining "We are not in the position to comment on applications that alert the public to the presence of parking enforcement officers." What a cop out! If a vehicle is safely parked and does not impede smooth traffic flow, why is the owner then slapped with a hefty fine?

The other interesting point to note is that the people behind the free app received a $50,000 grant from Spring Singapore to develop a tool to evade parking fines. Obviously, they must have some other revenue generating ideas to repay the free money handled out by Spring, a government agency that "develops and promotes an internationally-recognised standards (sic) and quality assurance infrastructure that builds trust in Singapore enterprises". With a minor tweak, and we have just the thing for the pimps at Geylang to forewarn the proximity of cops on prowl. Drug traffickers from Russia to Columbia will be able to foil arrest. For that, surely they have Spring Singapore to thank.

BTW, auntie has been unfairly maligned for being a heartless creature. After she scans your vehicle with her own electronic gizmo, you have a 10 minute grace to cough up a valid parking coupon. Apparently she has a quota to meet, scan a certain number of vehicles a day or her kids will go hungry. Save your venom for her employer.


  1. I guess car owners are already paying through their noses for a COE. An untimely fine could really ruin their finances for the month.

  2. The fact that they even privatise the issuance of a carparking summons already says so much of this blood sucking PAP govt ? How does one not expect LTA or the summons issuing company to make a profit for themselves ? They can't be sending out their officers on the prowl, for free or at a loss, right ?

    Sunday free parking, the baby of TCB, are now slowly and surely replaced with per minute parking. TCB can rant for all they care. Our PAP govt is not known to be spiteful for nothing.

    They give you a penny in our GE angpow, but they then they also take back a pound in so many other ways. Otherwise why do you think even 2 cents, they want to increase the public transport fares ?


    This writer did his homework. It pretty much says it all..
    Remember the bus apps that was working well but they banned it..becos they want to monetize it all lah. What else is new under this island when you have majority 2/3 PAPpies that suck your blood. It's no coincidence that we have a high density of dengue mosquitoes here you know..the universe has a way of telling signs.

  4. anon@3:23 PM,
    Wow, that's quite a link there, thanks!
    "The statutory tax is very low so if you make a typical income, say $60,000, you will pay less than $2,000 in income tax, less than 3 percent, but then you buy a car that you can keep for maybe 10 years and you pay $70,000 to the government and now your real tax over the 10 years is $9,000 each year, which is 15 percent of your income."
    So the next time you hear Capitol Hill regulars telling you that Singapore is the way to go, ask yourself if you like the idea of government as omnipresent investor.

  5. Guess who owns that summons issuing company? You can bet your last dollar the owners/directors are linked to MIWs. I dobut a tender was even held.