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      Date:   06 April, 2011  

Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs & rabbits

Toa Payoh Vets Clinical Research
Making veterinary surgery alive
to a veterinary student studying in Australia
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What is a "failed attempt"?
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
06 April, 2011
toapayohvets.com 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
3 SITUATIONS - Real estate, Veterinary Medicine and Personal relationship

1. REAL ESTATE
"What is the definition of 'failed attempt'"? I interrupted the lecturer of the real estate course I was attending on April 2, 2011. For 2 months, I must attend this course Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 1 pm. It is a very intensive course with lots to remember for the test in late May.

The lecturer said: "Failed attempt means that the sales committee had not been able to find a buyer for the enbloc sale of the property."

I asked: "What if the sales committee cannot get the 80% or 90% of the owners to agree to the enbloc sale? Is it considered a failed attempt?"

The students started to talk amongst themselves and the lecturer insisted on his definition. He had to speak louder and said: "Don't ask 'what if' scenarios unless you are in a position to know." He is a very good lecturer and concerned about the students ability to pass exam. Most students are in their late 20s and much older. He must have got up from the wrong side of the bed that day.

I said: "I am familiar with the Ridgewood enbloc sale as I had one to sell. As there was no 80%, the sales committee wrote to the owners that they would have to wait 2 years before another enbloc sale will be attempted."

It is tough to be a lecturer actually as there are so many rules and regulations merrily made by the Singapore bureaucrats in response to complaints and feedback.

According to his notes, the Rules for Disposal By Collective Sale stated some rules as follows:

SEP 2008 RULES

1. The Collective Sales Agreement (CSA) will LAPSE AFTER ONE YEAR if NO BUYER is forthcoming.
2. The Sales Committee CEASES to exist."

JUN 2010 RULES
1. A failed attempt "RESTRICTION PERIOD OF 2 YEARS" shall be imposed, STARTING from the date of failed attempt.
2. Within this "restriction period",
2.1 FIRST RE-TRY EGM, RE-APPOINT a sales committee.
2.2 With MORE THAN 50% by share value OR total number of owners.

3. After 2 years
3.1 EGM to appoint a sales committee.
3.2 Need 20% by share value OR 25% total number of owners.

CONCLUSION
Readers can appreciate how difficult it is to pass this exam as many rules and regulations must be memorised for the exam. 20%? 25%? Why did the regulators not just state one figure - 25% or 20%?

I asked the lecturer to look into the rules and regulations of the STB (Strata Titles Board, not Singapore Tourism Board). I sense that he was sticking to his own interpretation. "Well, you just need 50% to pass the exam," I told my lady classmate in her 40s and curly haired, sitting behind me as she said she was so confused about this definition of "failed attempt".

So, does "failed attempt" include the failure to get 80% (for properties more than 10 years old) or 90% (for properties less than 10 years old) to agree to the enbloc sale? The answer is important because if the question of failed attempt is 5 marks. Each of the 2 answers is worth 2.5 marks. If only one answer is given, the student gets 2.5 marks only, due to the "failure of the lecturer to provide 2 answers"!

P.S
I am writing this article to educate myself for the exam. It is hard to remember every fact but the exam requires such facts and figures.

Another rule for "Private Properties - Disposal by Collective Sale"
SEP 2008 RULES
1. The majority CONSENT.
80% of the building's GFA (gross floor area) + 80% of the SHARE VALUE for projects >10 years old and 90% if less than 10 years old.
(I made a mistake in saying it was 80% or 90% of the owners!)

4-weekly UPDATES certified by a lawyer must be provided.
2. A LAWYER must be present whenever an owner signs a CSA and to explain the terms of the agreement. He assists in VETTING the minutes of the sales committee meeting and DRAFTS motions for the general meeting.
3. A 5-day COOL OFF PERIOD for owners who have signed the CSA.
4. Upon legal completion, the fund and sinking fund must be RETURNED to the enbloc sellers according to THEIR share value allotments.

This is only 1% of the facts and figures I must remember. 5 out of 8 questions to be answered. 15 questions for 3 days of examinations. Must pass at one sitting. Or no licence. The May 2011 exam will be the first for the RES exam. It will be a killing field as the students are mature students and many are not even in real estate.

2. VETERINARY MEDICINE & SURGERY
The vet has to make a correct judgment when operating on high anaesthetic risk cases in a hamster. In the case at  I operated, I gave the Syrian hamster the lowest sedation dose as the owner had said she was lethargic for the past 2 weeks. So, I did not give the full calculated dose. The hamster walked around for the next 5-10 minutes as normal as can be. So, I had a "failed attempt" at sedation and anaesthesia. What should I do? Any rules and regulations from the Singapore bureaucrats? None. 

I had to decide whether to give a second dose which might kill the hamster or wait till another day. I had to make a correct judgment as it was a matter of life and death for the sick hamster. Further delay by even one day may cause her to be more lethargic. It is very difficult to screen the hamster's health via blood test as it is very difficult and traumatic to collect blood.  So, the vet's judgment must be spot on. In this case, I gave a 2nd injection and all ended well.

3. PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
The following is a real story from a hair-dresser I had met on Sunday April 1, 2011.  The background story is reproduced from my blog and is shown below:

390. An Australian veterinary student from Singapore in the top 5%

On Sunday, April 1, 2011, I took time off from working in Toa Payoh Vets in the afternoon to bring Julia to her old hair-dresser in a shopping mall. She did not visit this hair-dresser for many years owing to the loss of personal attention as the hair-dresser expanded her business and asked her staff to attend to her. However, Julia asked about this hair-dresser and I took her to her shop. I knew this hair-dresser and her husband for over 15 years and I did go for some hair cuts in the past.

Hair-dressing and veterinary practice appears to be very personal. There are clients who will specify that they want Dr Vanessa only and there are some of my clients disappointed with me for not being available when they have to consult Dr Vanessa.

It was great to see her again. No health problems at the age of 60. No high cholesterol level unlike many Singaporeans. "You look lean and mean," I said. "As if you don't have enough to eat."

"I eat only 2 meals a day," she told us her secret of being healthy as most older Singaporeans of over 40 years are on anti-cholesterol and high blood pressure medication. Here she was as fit as a fiddle.

"I don't eat meat." She does eat some fish occasionally.

Her business was booming as the economy has recovered and she had said: "During SARS, I had to ask my staff to take some days off not to work. Now, I wish they work every day!" So, business must be very good.

"How's your son doing in his veterinary studies in Australia?" I had seen him as a pre-teen in Canberra some 15 years ago. He is an Australian citizen and so his veterinary fees of $300,000 for 5 years will not be paid by his parents.

"He's got free education as a citizen," the mum said. "He gets $1,500 scholarship for the next 4 years. So I don't have to pay anything till the 5th year."

"How did he get this scholarship for 4 years from the Australian Government? What is the name of this scholarship?" I asked.

"He was the top 5% in his first year in economics. Then he switched to veterinary medicine. I don't know the name. All I know is that he asks me to pay after the 4 years in vet course."

Academic excellence still counts in any part of the world. Scholarship for the top 5% to motivate the student.

I saw her hand worn out through years of treating clients and washing their hair. "Veins are very big in the hands if you are a hair-dresser," she showed me her big veins above her hand and then another male hair-dresser.

She did share with me her business management and success. I always ask to improve my own practice. In her practice, no hair-dresser is allowed to write name and address of clients so that they don't poach clients. In veterinary practice, vets who leave the practice can download the customer data base and inform clients when they go elsewhere if such vets want to be unethical.

She gave me the hair-dresser appointment book which is excellent and told me what she used it for in certain product and service recording. I will use it and improve my management.

Where's the "failed attempt" in personal relationship? Well, to continue the story, the hair-dresser has a daughter who has a boyfriend for more than 6 years starting from her first year in the University. The hair-dresser had her $1,000 picture framed in her shop and the "failed attempt" story is as follows:

The hair-dresser said: "My daughter waited 6 years for the ex-boyfriend to propose but he did not want to commit. That means he did not love her. She had wasted 6 years of her youth. If she had to find another one, it would take another 3 years to know each other and she would be too old if she ever got a proposal."

I asked: "Did she marry another man?"

"Not at first. But this boyfriend started to send her to the airport and wait for her when she comes back from business trips. This is not good as the other man had started courting her."

I asked again: "Why didn't this boyfriend propose marriage by going down on his knees?"

"My daughter was already into another relationship. The man proposed and now he is a big boss in Hongkong."

So, the ex-boyfriend was ditched. He failed to propose even after graduation and getting a good steady job. "He is still going out with his girlfriend who is 33 years old now. I am a grandmother now," the hair-dresser showed me a photo of a beautiful chubby baby who looks very handsome as he gets his best genes from a Chinese and a Caucasian parent. "The husband is very good," the hair-dresser with not one strand of grey hair at the age of 60 years (hereditary she told me) while her husband 5 years younger had bountiful white hairs, said. "He asks my daughter wife to sleep in another room so that she can be alert in her work while he takes care of the crying baby overnight. As for my useless husband, I was kept awake by my two children all night long and needed to work the next day as a hair-dresser. He never lifted a finger to help out!" Times have changed. In the old days, Chinese husbands are not supposed to wash nappies and panties.   

So, is the above story a tale of a failed attempt by a man in romancing his first love? We felt sorry for the ex-boyfriend's 2nd girlfriend who is 33 years old. Time is also running out for ladies who don't get married by the age of 30 years if one is traditional in thinking. Maybe, this 2nd girlfriend should leave him before it is too late for babyhood. But not all modern ladies want babies! Only grandmas do.    

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Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
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