That’s right. You’d be able to whip out your good ol’ EZ-link card when you take the transport system in any of the ASEAN + 3 cities (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam + China, Japan and South Korea).

This may be made feasible when the Japan study on the integration of all the transport system completes. Targeted to complete by 2011, Japan – backed by industry partners, hope to make this a reality. There are however issues of currency conversion and remuneration from the local banks when this is indeed realised.

For now, I probably still have to keep all my Octopus, T-money and EZ-Link cards in my “universal travel wallet” when I go overseas. Oh wait, why am I still having my cashcard, EZ-link card and ATM (one for the POSB/DBS network, one for the rest of the banks) cards? I thought we planned for total integration some time back? Hmm…

NO MORE scrambling for loose change while performing mental gymnastics, as you try to buy a bus ticket in an unfamiliar city.

In three years or so from now, you could be whipping out your good old ez-link card to catch a train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, or to transfer between a bus and a subway train in downtown Tokyo.

That — on paper, at least — is the plan of Japanese electronics giants such as Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi. Backed by the Japan transport ministry, they are spearheading research to integrate card standards and introduce seamless travel on railways and domestic transport between Asian cities by 2011.

Under the “Asean Plus Three” regional framework, South-east Asian countries have agreed with China, Japan and South Korea to study such a system. A Land Transport Authority spokesperson confirmed with Today that it is involved in the “technical study” with Japan.

But even as Singapore yesterday rolled out a new national standard for smart card identification — which could eventually reduce the number of cards one has to carry in a wallet — plans for single-card travel within Asia remains a pipedream, says one leading expert on integrated chip technology.

Mr Lin Yih heads a technical group at the Singapore IT Standards Committee and was one of the brains behind the city’s automated immigration clearance system — a world first.

He told Today that a pan-Asian commuter card system “won’t work”.

“The basic demand for inter-Asian city travel is not there. How often would you want to use a Singapore ez-link card in, let’s say, Japan?” said Mr Lin, director of Digital Applied Research and Technology.

A Financial Times report in September quoted a spokesman for Octopus Cards, which operates Hong Kong’s smart card system, as saying the company was open to regional integration, given the similarities of the “contactless” systems in Japan and Hong Kong.

According to Sony, its smart cards are already in use in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Delhi, Bangkok and Shenzhen, and integration would be “a matter of unifying underlying data systems”.

But Mr Lin pointed out the plethora of issues involved, including exchange rate conversion and business buy-in. “Engineering-wise, it’s doable. Financial clearinghouse-wise, it’s not easy. You use your card there, they must somehow get your money from the banks here.”

While major international banks have come together to provide ATM service across borders, Mr Lin doubted the same feasibility could apply to the transport sector.

But Associate Professor K Raguraman, a transport specialist, felt that technology, driven by the potential “significant commercial returns”, would be able to overcome such challenges. Said the National University of Singapore don: “There are different seamless solution providers who are keen to explore the potential.”

There is also the critical matter of “politics” — allowing countries “to take ownership and control in such a joint project”.

Concurring, RadianTrust’s general manager Tang Weng Sing said: “A unified system like this may be easier in the European Union where there is already a unified currency, but even that is not without its complications.

“South Korea alone has 11 card issuers for its subways and they have highlighted issues pertaining to getting the operators to issue one standard subway card, even though they all use the same currency.”

He added: “What if a passenger buys cards from Operator A but uses most of the card’s value on systems run by Operator B? This example takes on a different magnitude when you involve cross-border travel.”

Meanwhile, Spring Singapore has introduced a standard for smart card ID which it hopes will bring about “significant savings” for the industry, said Spring’s group director Teo Nam Kuan.

With more than 26 types of ID cards in use and about 40,000 card readers deployed in the public and private sector, the new standard “allows one smart card reader application to read personal identification smart cards by different issuers”, said Mr Teo.

So far, the PSA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore have adopted the national standard for its employee ID cards.

A one-time migration of all card readers would cost $12 million. Without a national standard, business costs could pile up each time a new non-standard compliant ID is introduced, said Mr Teo.

This national standard could find its way into the ez-link card. Mr Silvester Prakasam, LTA’s deputy director of fare systems, said the card has the capacity to store personal information.

“We have allowed for other applications … on the same card which should prove useful to organisations that wish to implement electronic identification,” he said.

Loh Chee Kong

Article obtained from on 28th November 2007

I’d be down from surgery later today (depending on what time your read this), which may see delayed updates in my blog. Still the first thing that comes to my mind when I learn that I have to go for surgery is, “Can I still blog?”.

Haha… welcome to the life of an addict blogger. I’d probably be non-active for a grand total of 4 hours, following which, I’d still update relatively regularly. =P And oh, it’s nothing major, just a dental surgery, and it’s not the wise ones.

This is with regards to the recent Dragon Boat tragedy, where 5 paddlers were drowned in a freak accident.

The contention behind this debate is on whether the use of life jackets is appropriate to prevent an accident like this. From a short conversation with an ex-dragon boat paddler, 2 points were highlighted:

  • life jackets impede rowing
  • life jackets may not be appropriate at all times

With regards to the first point, a life jacket does impede rowing, which probably explains why it had not been made compulsory for such a long time. If you have not worn a life jacket before, you should try it – I’m not sure where, but you should try it.

After you have put it on:

  1. Try moving your arms in whatever circular motion you can thing of. How does it feel? Find a comfortable position where you can move in a circular motion without being obstructed.
  2. Now, imagine (or just use a mop) you are holding a paddle in a boat. Try paddling. If you have found a comfortable position paddling with the life jacket on, please drop me a comment so that this position may be proposed to the appropriate sports club.

The reason for this challenge is that… I suddenly remembered that I did try paddling a canoe in the past – not quite like a dragon boat, but it was hard to do it fast with the life jacket on. The alternative, of course, is to have a speciality built life jacket.

When I first blogged about the possible use of a life jacket, Tian Hong objected to my views in that it does impede rowing and is not suitable. Besides the comfort issue, there is another issue on buoyancy.

Looking back at the design of the pontoon (I saw an illustration on myPaper; but does anyone have the actual digital version?), which was a floating platform block with 2 concave sections at the bottom of the block such that it looked like an “M”, it may actually not help if the paddlers had worn life jackets – and this may have likely increased the casualty count to 10 (5 were carried by the under currents and swooped up to surface).

If you have worn a life jacket in the water before (wearing it on land doesn’t count), you’d know that the life jacket has high buoyancy in that it brings you upwards no matter how heavy you are (almost). So, if the paddlers had indeed worn life jackets, what could happen is that they could be buoyant under the platform, where the concaved areas are. If this is the case, then:

  1. It may be difficult for them to swim downwards to overcome the concaved section
  2. It may not be possible for the undercurrents to have swooped them out of the concaved section

On the contrary, if the platform was not designed with 2 concaved areas, then it might have been more useful.

So, if life jackets are no good, then what is? Well, rope, perhaps? No, seriously, I am not kidding. If there is a way such that each paddler is traceable from a rope, then there is more hope in finding them when they go under milky water. In an ideal scenario, you can just pull them out of the water – although the actual implementation of it is still a little iffy.

After much consideration, debate, confrontation and consolidation, I’m now working on the possibility of it now. If you are interested to contribute your ideas, do drop me a message at the contact page. =) While safety is of utmost importance in this sport and for that matter, anything that we do, I don’t see how we can compete effectively if all our dragon boat paddlers are wearing life jackets while the other teams are not.

Then again, I may have underestimated our national team.

In the previous part (of a now, 3-part series), I highlighted a general procedure of obtaining research grant awards. In this part, I’ll write a little about hiring research staff. Research staff usually encompasses project or research officers, research associates or research fellows. Sometimes, a post-doctoral fellowship may also be available. However, I am not familiar with the actual criteria that is being spelt out in deciding this.

In a proposal, the estimated man-days is given, along with the estimated cost of hiring the staff. Primarily, the Principal Investigators/co-PIs/collaborators do not get paid from the grant. Rather, the awarded grant is used to pay for equipment, staff and all other miscellaneous cost involved in the project.

The proposal may suggest the number of staff to be involved in the project and usually, this is not contested – in the event that the grant is given. However, the actual amount awarded may be reduced because of various reasons, which may result in having insufficient funds to hire the full team that is proposed.

At this juncture, the PI may begin to recruit team members for the project, concentrating on the suitability of the candidate and leaving most pay matters under the care of the Human Resource department (I heard that HR is not a politically correct term to use).

Once a candidate is deemed suitable, the HR department will make an offer to the job candidate. The pay that is available to the candidate has various components deducted from the actual grant amount that is made available:

  • deduction of an administrative fee (of about 10%) by the university or research institute – this is thought to be equivalent to the "management fee" of the grant
  • deduction of employer CPF contribution – the grant supposedly incorporates the employer CPF contribution component such that the university or research institute do not contribute technically
  • deduction of medical benefits – some universities or research institutes may provide a minimal heath insurance coverage – the premium that is used to pay for that is deducted here
  • deduction of annual wage supplement (or 13th month "bonus" – technically, the AWS is not really a bonus, I heard; can someone elaborate?)
  • deduction of any bonus that may be award in due time (e.g. performance bonus, 1/4-yearly bonus, 1/2-yearly bonus, yearly bonus, etc.)

After all these had been deducted, the final sum is divided by the maximum number of months that the contract is made available to the candidate – this amount is then made to the candidate and is usually non-negotiable. In addition, because the total sum available is fixed, any increment arising during the contract prior to contract renewal may result in an overall shorter contract duration.

Depending on the number of grants a PI has, he may be able to offer a job based on joint of grants, i.e. a research position that is paid for by 2 or more grants. Since the grant amount is variable, this results in a wide pay range for any research position. A guide (based on a survey) on this (+/- S$200) would be:

  • S$1500-S$2300 for a research assistant (usually an non graduate or a current part time undergraduate)
  • S$2200-S$2800 for a research officer / project officer (usually a graduate)
  • S$2500-S$3400 for a research associate (usually a postgraduate with a Masters)
  • S$3100-S$3900 for a research fellow (usually a Ph.D graduate)
  • S$3400-S$4500 for a post-doctoral fellow (usually a Ph.D graduate)

However, this is a rough estimate and the actual pay is a reflection of various factors including but not limited to:

  • complexity of project
  • type and level of expertise/speciality required
  • working hours per day
  • regularity of work (weekends required?)
  • impact factor of project
  • commercial viability of project
  • amount of grant available

When you are considering for a research position, you may wish to consider the following factors:

  • career path – once a project is completed/grant has depleted, there will not be continuity of work for the staff
  • remuneration – there is very little bonuses in terms of the monetary aspect; however, if you are working on a project with high impact factor, this may help in future job seeking
  • project team – you may work with researchers from all over the world, including but not limited to India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, France, Korea, Vietnam, UK, USA; this basically gives a rough coverage of the nationality of researchers in a particular lab in Singapore, and there may be cultural differences; thus if you are adverse to cultural changes, this may not be an option for you
  • exposure – there may not be much exposure besides the confines of your lab, unless you are actively publishing papers and have been selected to present it at a conference
  • fringe benefits – there may not be full reimbursement for conference paper submission, conference registration, travel, expenditure – all of which, you would have to foot out of your own pocket; however, in some cases, travel is optional, but you may lose out on exposure
  • opportunities for graduate studies – if you are not already a post-graduate, working as a research staff may provide you the opportunity to witness for yourself how postgraduate studies (usually) in the sciences is like; if you choose to do your (part-time) postgraduate studies while working on your research work, you may be given an opportunity to do your studies in a related field that supplements your research work

At the end of the day, it’s all about the entire package. It may be difficult to find a research job that satisfies all aspects of what you are looking for, and there’s usually a fair bit of give-and-take involved.

Ideally, a research staff should be passionate about the job because, at the end of the day, when there job’s done and the contract is finished, the now ex-staff is left to fend on his own; although if he is really good, there will be other offers awaiting.

One last word from a PI that I know – in research, they don’t pay to prosper you, they pay so that you’d have just enough to survive.

Looking at this reports makes me realised why very few Singaporeans wanted to be researchers. I’m now sure how much Singaporeans know about a research staff’s pay package, but there are many factors that contribute to it.

First, to hire a researcher (from a university’s stand point, to what I know), there has to be (i) quite obviously, a project and (ii) funding. The funding may be from (i) a school/college (e.g. school of biological sciences, one of the schools of engineering, college of sciences, etc.) (ii) a research funding awarded from an external source (e.g. National Research Fund, EDB-POC, etc.) or (iii) collaborators (e.g. NCCS, GSK, SGH, etc.).

Such funding is usually obtained from submission of a proposal by a Principal Investigator (or PI) to either a body or the school, dependent on the level of control that the school/university/research institute (RI) wants. Sometimes, the university wants to control the standard of proposal that is being submitted, and this is usually the first barrier.

Once the proposal had been approved by the school/university/RI, it will then be submitted to the awarding body. Depending on the type of award that the PI is applying for, one of more PIs/collaborators may be needed. This usually corresponds to the size of the award – the bigger the award, the larger the group. It is also in this proposal that states the amount that is allocated to research staff.

If the proposal wins the award, the money that is given will then be allocated to all the parties involved and research work begins. This is when the actual hiring and work starts.

In the next part of this 2 3-part series, we will look at the exceptions and situations that can arise from winning an award – which will then touch on a researcher’s actual pay package.

Disclaimer: This is based on what the author knew from prior experience and may not correlate with individual experiences or actual procedures from other grant awarding bodies.

AFTER graduating from the National University of Singapore last year, Ms Ann Koh drifted from one advertising job to another and made between $1,500 and $2,000.

In May, the Arts graduate seized the chance to join a media company and scored a pay rise of nearly 80 per cent.

Ms Koh’s experience is typical of many others in a bumper year for jobseekers, where a booming economy and a labour crunch has pushed the median salary for full-timers up to $2,330.

The numbers dwarf the pay increases of recent years.

The median salary rose only about 1.6 per cent annually between 2004 and 2006. Between 1998 and 2004, the increase was about 1.2 per cent per year.

This latest set of robust numbers comes from a report released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which focuses on Singaporeans and permanent residents in the workforce.

The rosy picture that emerged from the report was largely expected by economists and human resource experts.

In fact, Mr Paul Heng of NeXt Career Consulting was expecting it to be even higher.

‘Even if you told me it was 9 per cent, I wouldn’t be surprised,’ he said. ‘I think everyone knows it’s been a good year for the economy.’

Article obtained from on 27th November 2007

… I asked myself as I read the article, horrified. How could the owner (or the maid, as the owner pushed the blame) be so careless as to release the rottweilers without first checking if the gates were indeed locked? What happened was that while another owner was walking his Jack Russell terrier, 5 – not 1, not 2, not just 3, but 5!, rottweiler dashed out of their compound and started attached the poor terrier. Needless to say, any caring pet owner will protect their pets from harm and resulted in him being treated at Changi Hospital. His terrier, unfortunately, was badly hurt and in pain, and sent to Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital.

So, I decided to find out more about the rottweiler and stumbled upon this from Wikipedia:

In the hands of a responsible owner, a well-trained and socialized Rottweiler can be a reliable, alert dog and a loving companion. However, any poorly trained dog can become a danger in the wrong circumstances. In general Rottweilers are fond of children, very devoted, quick to learn, and eager to please. They are typically very bright dogs. Rottweilers are playful animals who may frequently demand attention from their owners. However, if they are not receiving the mental stimulation they desire, they will find creative and sometimes destructive ways to elicit it. Such behavioral problems as chewing, barking for attention and eating less can be a result of lack of human interaction. The Rottweiler is a good working dog that is also good for protection of children, as well as guard duties.

The Rottweiler is a steady dog with a self-assured nature, but early socialization and exposure to as many new people, animals, and situations as possible are very important in developing these qualities. The Rottweiler also has a natural tendency to assert dominance if not properly trained. Rottweilers’ large size and strength make this an important point to consider: an untrained, poorly trained, or abused Rottweiler can learn to be extremely aggressive and destructive and, if allowed to run at large, may pose a significant physical threat to humans or other animals. They can be strong-willed (bull-headed) and should be trained in a firm, fair, and consistent manner – the owner must be perceived as the leader. If the owner fails to achieve this status the Rottweiler will readily take on the role. However, Rottweilers respond readily to a clear and benevolent leader. Aggression in Rottweilers is associated with poor breeding, poor handling, lack of socialization, natural guarding tendencies, and abuse.

The Rottweiler is not usually a barker. Male dogs are silent watchers who notice everything and are often quite stoic. Females may become problem barkers in order to protect their den. An attentive owner is usually able to recognize when a Rottweiler perceives a threat. Barking is usually a sign of annoyance with external factors (car alarms or other disturbances) rather than a response to actual threats.

So, it does seem like the behavoir of the breed is partly dependent on how well the owner had tamed or trained the dog. In fact, there were fears that the 5 Rottweilers would one day be a threat to the neighbourhood, and while a complaint was made, no further actions had been taken since there was no prior history of the dogs being hostile.

However, one resident did complain that the Rottweilers are aggressive in nature and should not have been allowed to be kept at all. While I am an animal lover myself, and while I do hope that no harm will come to the Rottweilers eventually, I do hope that the owner would be more responsible. Ultimately, the fate of the dogs lie in how well the owner trained them, although there may sometimes be exceptions.

I hope that the Jack Russell is doing well too. I can’t imagine the fear that the poor dog had went through. For an animal lover like myself, it’s always a dilemma to take sides because (i) the Jack Russell, in this case, was traumatised and quite badly wounded – so I can’t help it but feel that the assaulters should be taught or “punished”, and (ii) the Rottweilers may be put down if they are aggressive in nature and have a history of attacking people or their pets.

Sigh. Makes me miss my cats… they would have been 4+ months old by now.

Smoot (or HairyDonut) loves comfort cabs because they (or the drivers) bring out the emotions in her. Hatred, that is. You know what she should do? She should just call LTA and give them the driver’s numbers, since the Comfort operator doesn’t know what to do.

Frankly, I don’t know what’s wrong with these drivers. If it is really so hard for them to make a living from driving cabs, then perhaps they should consider other jobs? I may not fully understand their predicament, but to resort to such methods… is not right. Again.

And of course, the cab companies don’t really care, do they?

Ever since last Monday, I have been really really looking forward to being able to get taxis with greater ease. Or at least being able to call taxi with greater ease.
Unfortunately, I believe the regulations have simply pushed taxi drivers into a higher level of innovation. I understand the basic concept of creativity within our respective fields of expertise, but this is getting ridiculous.

Last Saturday at noon, a group of various assorted strangers stood at the side of Bayshore Road trying to flag taxis. They stood, they flagged, they watched as SH8201U (? I was so angry my memory may have blanked out) sped past with nary a passenger within and the ‘available’ light beaming brightly.

The same group stared blankly at SHA6557X which was parked barely 10 metres away with its red ‘Hired’ sign on. It was parked. It was empty. But it was ‘Hired’. There it sat for 10 minutes whilst we stood and perspired and tried our best to get a goddamn taxi.

Finally, I called 6552 1111. Just as I got an automated message that taxi no. SHA6557X. would be coming to pick me up in 5 minutes, that same taxi that I had been sitting empty in front of me for the past 10 minutes whilst I carried my son flashed the on-call sign, drove up and picked me up.

I called 6552 1111 through a red haze of rage to tell them about this. “What would you like me to do” said the operator, sounding perplexed. “I would like you to take down the numbers” said me in red rage. “Ok. I will do that.” she said, calmly, vaguely, like this actually mattered at all.

Article obtained from on 27th November 2007

Hmm… I didn’t realise that Korea is the most expensive asian place to stay for expatriates at No. 7 in the global comparison, while Singapore is in the 9th place in asia – from a ranking of No. 132 to No. 122. Apparently, Japan’s cost of living for expatriats is ranked lower than Korea – at No. 13, down 3 places from 10th. This is partly due to the recent decline in Yen. Hong Kong

While I am at this, I would like to comment that the news report… is a little confusion, especially when they didn’t mention if Japan dropped from No. 10 to No. 13, or is it the 13th most expensive place now. Report is attached as follows:

SINGAPORE has risen 10 places in a new global survey of the most expensive places for expatriates to live.

The Republic is closing the gap on higher-priced Hong Kong, which stayed at No. 79 in the survey, conducted by human resources firm ECA International.

Despite the jump, Singapore, at No. 122, is still significantly cheaper for expats than Hong Kong and other key global centres, such as London at No. 10 and New York at No. 48.

Singapore’s rise up the table from No. 132 was the result of rising expat costs such as higher rents, coupled with a stronger Singapore dollar.

In contrast, the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar, is weakening – offsetting a rise in expat costs.

Singapore is the ninth most expensive Asian city, the survey found. Seoul is the most expensive, at No. 7 in the world. Tokyo dropped from 10th to 13th place, partly due to a decline in the yen.

Top spot went to the African city of Luanda in Angola. Places like this, which are off the beaten track, are more expensive because some expat consumer items are hard to get, and those who want them have to pay top dollar.

The survey compares a basket of 128 consumer goods and services such as groceries, drinks and tobacco, clothing and electrical goods that are commonly purchased by expatriates in more than 300 locations worldwide.

Multinational firms use the survey’s results to help determine how much to pay their staff working overseas.

Living costs for expats are affected by factors such as inflation, availability of goods and exchange rates.

Singapore has seen higher inflation, partly due to a 2 percentage point hike in the goods and services tax to 7 per cent.

Mr Sebastien Barnard, 32, at the British Chamber of Commerce, said living expenses, especially food, have risen. ‘A year ago, lunch for two adults and two children cost about $70, including drinks. But now it’s over $95.’

But the surge in property rents is still the biggest bugbear of expats here.

Mr Mark Brider, 43, head of international personal banking for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Singapore, said: ‘There is a growing number of international people living in Singapore, so the demand drives up rental. My landlord just told me my rent will be raised 80 per cent in March next year.’

Nonetheless, he added, Singapore’s cost of living is still ‘competitive’ and ‘has still not reached the level of Hong Kong’.

The rising Singapore dollar has also pushed up expat living costs, said Mr Lee Quane, general manager of ECA International Hong Kong.

He said Singapore’s rising cost of living is ‘bad news’ for global companies, which have to adjust their expat employees’ pay and allowances to help them maintain their spending power here.

Article obtained from on 27th November 2007

Apparently, and quite evidently, Ren Ci had flouted the guidelines on 3 aspects:

  • lack of approval from board of directors on loan applications
  • conflict of interests for vested interest in business
  • record discrepancies

One of the main guidelines is that a board member should not be involved in discussions regarding the external business that the party has interest in; and what had been done thus far is not in the best interest of the charity.

REN CI Hospital and Medicare Centre, now under probe for financial irregularities, had contravened certain guidelines on how charities should be run when it gave out interest-free loans.

For example, under the new Code of Governance for charities and Institutions of a Public Character (IPC), it was required to obtain board approval for any loans made by the charity, said Mrs Fang Ai Lian, chairman of the Charity Council, on Monday.

Mrs Fang told the media at the launch of the Code: ‘What was done was not something in the best interest of the charity.’

Besides, there was a conflict of interest in Ren Ci’s case as its honorary chief executive, Venerable Ming Yi, is one of the owners of a business that Ren Ci lent money to, she pointed out.

The Health Ministry is now probing Ren Ci, one of Singapore’s largest charities, after it discovered that it has given out millions of dollars in interest-free loans to various companies. Some of these loans were made, apparently, without board approval.

Also, there were discrepancies between what the charity recorded it had lent and what the companies involved recorded it had borrowed.

Under the new Code, there should be procedures to handle conflict of interest situations, for example, when a board member has vested interest in businesses the charity deals with.

One guideline is that the board member should not vote on the matter or take part in discussions regarding the business.

Article obtained from on 26th November 2007

Hmm… at first, it seemed like the owner removed the entries and comments. Now, it seemed like he removed all the comments and reinstated the “Why the anger?” entry. Perhaps he was advised not to pull down the entry because it would seem to be an admission of guilt.

leuchtturm comments missing

Actually, I have not received any emails from him. Why should I? You might ask. The reason is simple. By now, he’d have found out that most of his traffic came from my blog, the straits times, or the malaysian blogs (amongst other places). However, someone already pointed out my blog to him in his comments, so the owner should know that all the big brouhaha originated from this blog.

Now, if I were him and if I were really wronged, guess what I’d do? I’d email the originated and threaten to sue him till his pants drop! That is, of course, if I am wronged. Then again, the blog owner may not want to get into a lot of legal problems – but how about emailing the originator and clarifying the matter?

Nope. No such emails either. Sigh. Hey, it’s not that I am not being open. I’m still waiting for his email to tell me that I’ve wronged him.