Sunday, May 26, 2019

Serious laws in POFMA law

Do you agree that the POFMA law has the following flaws?

a) The Act allows the government to exempt certain people from the law. The government has already taken the decision to exempt ministers. Our law should apply to everybody and nobody, including the ministers, should be exempted.

b) Under the Act, any appeal against the decision of the minister has to be made to the minister in the first place, before it can be sent to the court. There is no time limit required by the minister to reply. The minister can sit on the matter forever, and prevent the appeal from going to court.


c) In other countries, a similar law is passed to address specific problems, such as terrorism and hate news against a racial or religious group. In Singapore, this law is targeted against "falsehoods". We fear that it can be used to restrict criticism of government policies and actions and create obstacles against people who hold different political views.

d) Under this law, any ministers (and there are 20 ministers in Singapore) can make a determination that a news is false and require the news item to be corrected or taken down. We suggest that this determination should be made by the court, rather than a minister. This will ensure that there is consistency in making the determination.

Appoint ministers from outside of Parliament

If we change the constitution to require the prime minister and ministers to be appointed outside of Parliament, it will achieve a significant impact.

Here are the benefits:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1534

A bad approach to create a retail electricity market

An elderly woman who lived near me met me at the bus stop.

She said - Mr. Tan, I agree with what you wrote about the retail electricity supply. As an elderly person, I do not know what to do choose my electricity supplier. Why don't the government just get Singapore Power to reduce the electricity price, instead of asking us to look for our supplier. I find life to be very complicated.

I assumed that she referred to my letter published in the Straits Times. I agreed with her.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1533

Abuse of power

Someone sent to me a list of happenings that he described as abuse of power in Singapore. He said that the abuse is as bad as what happened during the Najib government in Malaysia.

Do not overreach to data privacy issue

Someone said that many people are paranoid about data privacy and over-react to data breaches.
He is not suggested that the data should be freely exposed.
However, if there are hackers who took the trouble and risk to hack into a database and can get access to email address, contact number or NRIC, so what?

Wisdom of the Crowd

How to improve the democratic process

I wish to give my views about how to improve the democratic process around the world. I carried out several polls on different questions regarding this process, and wish to give my comments on the results of these polls.

I also like to make special reference to how my suggestions should be implemented in Singapore.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1530

WOTC - Is HDB flat a good investment?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is a HDB flat a good investment?

Here are the responses: (61 Votes)
52 % - It should be treated as paying rental in advance, and not an investment.
44 % - It is a bad investment for the long term, as it will eventually have no value.
2 % - It is a good investment for the long term. 
2 % - It is a good investment for the first 30 years only.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1349

WOTC - President Halimah's visit to China

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What are your views about President's Halimah's visit to China?

Here are the responses: (64 Votes)
77 % - It is a wasteful visit as she does not hold any decision making power. 
11 % - It is nice that she has received a good reception from President Xi.
8 % - She should be accompanied by senior ministers of the cabinet. 
5 % - She plays an important role in rebuilding relations with China.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1348

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Time to consider a replacement for democracy

The democratic process is supposed to be a good way of electing the best people to lead a country according to the wishes of the people.

In practice, it has produced unsatisfactory results.

Here are my observations.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1527

Wisdom of the crowd

WOTC - Financial control over infrastructure

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should the finance minister exercise control over infrastructure expenditure?

Here are the responses: (62 Votes)
60 % - he has been rather wasteful in approving costly spending and overrun.
34 % - He should reject spending that are too costly and wasteful.
6 % - We can rely on the tender system to get the best prices.
0 % - He is already exercise control with the existing system. 

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1347

WOTC - Failure of US China trade negotiations

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Which party caused the failure of the negotiation on the US China trade dispute?

Here are the responses: (59 Votes)
51 % - US is making unreasonable demands. 
27 % - China trade practices need to change considerably.
22 % - China has tried to accommodate the US demands as best as they could.
0 % - China kept rolling back on their promises.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1346

Friday, May 24, 2019

Forest City - impressive development and exciting future

When I first visited Forest City 2 years ago, I was impressed with the Sales Gallery and the hotel. There were no other developments.

After buying my apartment, I visited Forest City many times, with other people who are interested to consider a purchase.

I have the experience of seeing Forest City develop in stages and from scratch.

I observed the development one "park" at a time. Each "park" comprise of a few apartment blocks, and is similar to our condo project.

The development is impressive. I give full marks to the professionalism of the developer.

I am confident that the developer will keep Forest City in top shape for several decades. Let me explain why.

Forest City is a project that spans 30 to 40 years. The developer needs to maintain a high quality of maintenance for their earlier parks in order to sell the later parks.

If they allow the maintenance to drop in standard, it will affect the confidence of the future buyers and the sale of the later development parks.

Will the buyer be able to sell the apartments and make a capital gain? I advise against it.

The investor will be competing with the developer who will be selling tens of thousand of the same units. There will be a modest capital gain, based on inflation, but not the speculative gains (and losses) that you see in Singapore.

I like Forest City because it is a new city. It has a multi-layer concept for their roads. It brings a new lifestyle.

If it succeeds and becomes a buzzing city with many job opportunities, it can be very exciting. My grand children will find out, because I made my investment for them.

Tan Kin Lian






Wisdom of the crowd

Be fair and factual in giving comments

I have seen many people giving their views and comments based on wrong facts. They said that the delay in crossing the causeway and 2nd link is mainly caused by the Malaysian side.

I have traveled to Johor and back on may occasions by car and by bus. Let me share my experience of the travel over the past two years.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1523

WOTC - US China trade war

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What will happen next in the US China trade war.

Here are the responses: (59 Votes)
61 % - There will be another truce and a protracted negotiation.
20 % - It will get worse.
15 % - Trump will agree to a deal.
3 % - China will back down and meet Trump's demand.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1345

WOTC - Are people poor because of laziness?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Are people poor because of laziness?

Here are the responses: (60 Votes)
58 % - They do not have the opportunity and are exploited to earn low salary.
30 % - They are disadvantaged because they come from a poor family.
7 % - They do not study hard to be well educated to get a good job.
5 % - This is the main cause of poverty.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1344

Rot and decay in our society

We have to stop the rot and decay that has been eroding our society for the past one or two decades.

This rot is manifested in some incidents that happens every day. It has become the accepted norm.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

An useful visit to Forest City

I brought an European who is in his fifties to visit Forest City.

Earlier he had applied for residency in Singapore under the investor scheme. The govt cancelled the scheme after 5 years, so he cannot stay in Singapore any more.

He had to find another place to stay, as he had sold off his house in Europe 5 years earlier and the house prices there have since doubled.

I suggested that he should consider staying in Forest City under the MM2H (Malaysia my second home scheme).

Initially, he was hesitant. Having been rejected after 5 years by Singapore, he does not want to take the same risk.

After the visit, he became convinced. He asked in detail about the cost and design of the available apartments and also the view. This shows his serious interest.

There are many positive points for him to stay take up residency in Malaysia. He has the financial means to quality for MM2H.

The additional advantage is that the MM2H scheme gives him 10 years of residency and is renewable. He and his Asian wife are allowed to work or start a business in Malaysia as local residents. They treat the MM2H as residents and not foreigners.

He finds the freehold apartments in Forest City to cost one fourth of leasehold condos in Singapore  and the cost of living to be less than half of Singapore.

One visit makes a lot of difference, gives him a positive impression and helps him to decide to consider this new lifestyle.



Visit to Forest City by public transport

This is the first time that I took public transport to visit Forest City.

I find the trip to be very pleasant.

I took CW7 from Tuas Point to cross to the Johor CIQ. The whole journey, including passing two checkpoints and crossing the link took 10 mins.

I was expecting a journey time of at least half hour.

I did travel at 11 am, which is off peak, so it helped. There was no crowd and no congestion.

It took 35 mins for the journey from Jurong East to Tuas Link and the transfer by EW7 to the Tuas CIQ.

In future, I would take CW3/CW4 from Jurong East to Tuas CIQ. The journey time would only be 20 mins during the off peak period.

The return journey was also pleasant. I cleared the two checkpoints, including the journey along the link, in 10 mins. It was 5 pm, so the crowd was bigger. But the clearance time was fast.

After this pleasant experience, I plan to visit Johore through the 2nd link by bus for shopping or food on a regular basis. And visit Forest City as well.

The bus fare from Singapore to Johore was $4 (flat) and the return fare was (surprising) RM 2.60 ($0.80).

The marketing executive from Forest City drove to pick me from the CIQ to Forest City. An alternative is to call Grab. The fare is RM 12.

There are other interesting places to visit, such as the shopping malls in Bukit Indah, Legoland or the mall in Medini.






Make full use of the KTM line between Singapore and Johor Bahru

The Malaysian govt has decided to delay the construction of the
Rapid Transit System (RTS) due to cost. Even if it goes ahead as planned, it will take 5 years to be ready.

I cannot understand why both governments refuse to consider increasing the number of trips on the KTM train between Singapore and Johore Bahru.

Currently, it operates 31 trips a day - 17 trips from JB to Singapore and 14 trips back.

The journey time is 5 minutes.

If the line is used fully, it should be possible to pack 6 trips every hour or 108 trips over 18 hours from 6 a to midnight.

This will be more than 3 times the current capacity.

By using a side rail on both sides, it should be possible to further double the capacity, i.e. 6 times of the current capacity.

If each train can take 250 passengers, the KTM train service can handle 54,000 passengers a day. This will take away 15% of the total travellers.

I hope that both governments give priority to make full use of the KTM line to increase the capacity by 3 or 6 times.

I cannot understand why this idea is not being explored.

I get the sad feeling that the government only wants to spend large sums of money on infrastructure, rather than find an efficient and low cost solution.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1521

Cancer Patient (Age 32) - Bone Marrow Donor Required

Dear Mr. Tan,
I have friend who was my classmate in Secondary 1 and 2.
He contracted cancer and is going for regular treatment at moment.
He currently needs a bone marrow donor in order for his life to be saved.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157082957417988&id=596127987
Please share this post?




Waive GST on essential items

Nearly 100% of the people who voted in my poll do not want GST on utilities and water, and on small purchases.

I did not ask about medical bills and medicines, but I am sure that they want GST to be waived for these items as well.

But 25% still want to keep GST at 7%. I cannot understand why. It seems to be a contradiction.

Maybe they want GST on luxury goods. What are these luxury goods?

If so, why don't abolish GST (which is intended to cover everything) and just levy a tax on luxury goods?

We already levy this tax on motor vehicles (i.e. COE, ERP) and on property (land sale, development charge, stamp duty, property tax).

What else needs to be taxed? Luxury handbags and watches? OK, just levy a tax on these items - and abolish GST, together with the wasteful cost of its collection and administration.


Read here:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1518

Prices charged by small businesses also reflect GST costs

The govt exempts small businesses from collecting GST. But the customers do not save 7% on the GST.
Why?
The small business has to pay GST on the goods and services that they buy from other parties. So, their input cost has already increased by the GST component.
They have to pay GST on their rentals and utilities as well.
The prices to their end consumers will have to include the GST cost that they incur.
It may be no different from the prices charged by bigger companies that collect GST.
Confusing? sure it is!
And very costly to administer as well. The cost incurred by small and big businesses to cope with GST collection and accounting also add to the prices that consumers have to pay. GST is a wasteful and costly burden.








How to abolish GST

GST brings in $11 billion of revenue to the govt. It also adds a heavy cost to business to collect and account for the GST. This increases the cost of living by up to 10% (based on my estimate).

I prefer the govt to abolish GST and find some other ways to replace it, if necessary. This will bring down the cost of living.

Here are some ways for GST to be abolished:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1517

Wisdom of the crowd

Vote on these issues and win a prize.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx

WOTC - Are PAP leaders competent?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Are the PAP leaders competent?

Here are the responses: (60 Votes)
77 % - They talk only, but cannot solve real problems. 
23 % - They are not competent in doing the jobs assigned to them. 
0 % - They are competent and the best available in Singapore. 
0 % - They are top scholars and can solve problems. 

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1343

WOTC - Are PAP leaders responsible

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Are the PAP leaders are responsible and accountable?

Here are the responses: (61 Votes)
77 % - They like to avoid responsibility and push the problem to another agency.
23 % - They are afraid of making a mistake and losing their performance bonus. 
0 % - They take responsibility to solve the problems.
0 % - They work well with other agencies to solve problems. 

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1342

General election in Indonesia 2019

Six people were killed and over 200 were injured in riots in Jakarta. This occurred after a peaceful demonstration resulted in violence. The demonstration was organized to protest against the results of the Presidential Election.

What are the lessons that can be learned?
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1516

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Interfering in domestic politics

I cannot understand the law or the concept that foreigners cannot interfere with domestic politics.

We need to understand what is interfering and what is domestic politics.

If a foreigner said that it is morally wrong to have the prime minister's wife appointed to hold the top position in the sovereign wealth fund, is this interfering in domestic politics?

If another foreigner said that this practice is perfectly all right, is it interfering?

Does it matter if the interference is for or against the practice of the government?

If a foreigner said that Singapore is a repressive society, is he interfering in domestic politics?

If another foreigner (e.g. Nas Daily) said that Singapore is a free and democratic society, is he interfering in domestic politics?

It is very difficult to draw the line - and the line seemed to be drawn quite arbitrarily and unfairly by the people in power.

The "interference in domestic politics" should be confined to specific examples of actual abuse and interference in the election process, and should not be use for expressing opinions about what is good or bad in the society.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1512

Purpose of signing a petition

Should we organize a petition to ask President Halimah to stop the POFMA law, by refusing to give assent?

Many people said - there is no point. She will sign her assent to the law. She will ignore the petition.

The objectors miss the point. We know that she will give her assent. She probably has no power to refuse.

But the purpose of the petition is to register the strength of the opposition to the law.

We need everyone to come forward and sign the petition.

If we get 100,000 signatures, it will pass a message to the government.

If we get less than 10,000 signatures, the government can rightly say that the petition does not have the support of the people.

So, it is better to be positive and support the petition.

Provide benefits to all residents

Many people think that a benefit or free service should only be provided to locals and not foreigners.

I disagree with this approach. I prefer any benefit to be provided to all residents.

If we want the foreigners to pay some tax to enjoy the benefit, we can introduce the tax.

Actually, the employer already pay a levy for a foreign worker - and it justifies that they can enjoy subsidized health care, public transport, etc.

The exception are the E-Pass holders where the employer does not have to pay a levy. This is an anomaly that should be addressed.

I get very disappointed when people want to charge more for foreigners or to deny public services and benefits to them. This is a short sighted view.

If we charge higher prices to foreign workers for health care, guess who pays? It is the local employer.

WOTC - Abuse of free services

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

If the govt provide free services, will it be abused?

Here are the responses: (62 Votes)
52 % - It is possible to introduce measures to prevent abuse of free services and benefits. 
26 % - There will be some abuse, but it will not be a serious problem.
19 % - People should make a co-payment so that they do not abuse these free services and benefits.
3 % - Most people will abuse services and benefits that are provided free.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1341

WOTC - Poor people

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Are poor people lazy?

Here are the responses: (61 Votes)
66 % - Being poor, they are disadvantaged from having a good education.
20 % - Their poverty is largely due to their parents who have bad social habits. 
11 % - Their poverty is mostly due to their poor character and their association with other bad characters. 
3 % - They are generally lazy and do not work hard to improve themselves

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1340

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A single payer system for health care

The Singapore Democratic Party advocate a single payer system for health care. What are the features of this system and how is it different from the current 3M system adopted in Singapore?

I describe the differences in the two systems in this post. Can you read and vote whether to move to a single payer system?

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1509

Surge pricing should be regulated

Surge pricing was introduced by ride hailing companies, such as Uber and Grab. The largest regular taxi company, Comfort, is planning to implement it. Now a food delivery company, Deliveroo, is planning to introduce surge pricing.

How far should surge pricing be allowed? Can any business be allowed to introduce surge pricing, as it "reflects the market"? Should pricing continue to be regulated by the government?

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=15

Strategy for non PAP parties

Do you agree with this strategy for the non PAP parties to contest the next general election?

If you do, vote Agree and share this post.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1507

Vote on these issues

WOTC - Tariff and protectionism

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is tariff and protectionism good for a country?

Here are the responses: (59 Votes)
44 % - It will make the country more costly and less efficient.
31 % - It allows the country to protect jobs 
15 % - It can replace VAT/ GST
10 % - It allows the government to collect revenue to reduce its budget deficit.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1339

WOTC - US China trade dispute

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What do you expect on the US China trade dispute?

Here are the responses: (64 Votes)
38 % - It will escalate into a bigger trade war.
34 % - They will reach an agreement but the tariffs will stay.
25 % - They will reach an agreement and the tariffs will be removed.
3 % - It will lead to a military dispute.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1338

Monday, May 20, 2019

Global co-operation on cyber security is long overdue


https://www.ft.com/content/54d55d42-7724-11e9-b0ec-7dff87b9a4a2

Hackers can cause potentially massive disruption to governments and militaries MICHAEL CHERTOFF highlighted an under-appreciated cyber security vulnerability in the global domain name system 

 Security researchers recently revealed that a previously unknown hacker group carried out a series of attacks on government agencies in 13 countries by redirecting agency computers to hacker-controlled servers.

This happened through the manipulation of domain name system (DNS) infrastructure. And it followed a US Department of Homeland Security alert disclosing a global campaign, subsequently linked to Iran, to redirect internet traffic and steal sensitive information also by compromising DNS infrastructure.

The DNS is an attractive target because it serves as a global address book, translating internet names we know into IP addresses that computers can recognise. The infrastructure supporting DNS is maintained by a number of core companies that administer internet domains, register new domain names, and host DNS “lookup” services which convert those domain names into IP addresses.

For years, hackers have abused the registration process to obtain new domain names which they then use to orchestrate cyber intrusions. Today, if attackers can hijack an existing customer domain at any of these companies, they can also reroute email and web-based communications, obtain confidential information and disrupt communications. And if they are able to compromise administrative infrastructure for DNS service providers themselves, they can cause potentially massive chaos, including for entire government and military domains.

Likewise, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which flood the system with traffic, can degrade large volumes of internet activity. Ecuador experienced a wave of DDoS attacks after the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that reportedly took a number of government, banking, and related sites offline.

These recent alerts and attacks highlight an under-appreciated cyber security vulnerability in the global domain name system.

Two years ago, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, which I co-chair, called on both state and non-state actors not to threaten the integrity of the public core of the internet. We now need concerted international action to address the risk to essential DNS infrastructure and reduce the opportunity for bad actors to disrupt services critical to the way we communicate and trade today. 

How do we move towards a more resilient DNS ecosystem? An effective model must contain three elements. 
First, a risk-based cyber security approach that successfully defends core DNS infrastructure despite attempted attacks. 
Second, a proactive strategy to mitigate unauthorised DNS account takeovers and new illicit domain registrations. 
And third, a trusted relationship between DNS providers and law enforcement agencies, which would allow police to carry out investigations and curb misuse of the system. 

Thankfully, good work is already under way internationally to advance greater collaboration between governments and industry in managing cyber risk. 
The Organization of American States recently unveiled a set of best practices for protecting critical infrastructure in Latin America. Governments and industry need to build on such efforts by working together to advance a secure-DNS agenda. 
The dialogue could include consideration of differing mechanisms — regulation, self-regulation, procurement processes, and liability limitations, for example — as incentives for meaningful investment. For instance, countries might agree that the process for awarding contracts to DNS providers, particularly for administration of sensitive top-level domains, such as .gov addresses, should include the application of meaningful security standards. 
Likewise, to offer further incentives to invest, governments should consider limiting liability for providers whose security effectiveness can be validated independently. What is most important, however, is we take action now before it is too late. 

The writer, a former US secretary of homeland security, is executive chairman of The Chertoff Group

Why the current govt will fall

Rachel Ash said.
Mr Tan
Why do we keep assuming that the ruling party would continue to be the next government? Though I suspect, they would be, but a "lie repeated long enough may become truth".

It is still very early to conclude either with plenty of wild cards at hand:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1503



Build a sense of unity

DPM Heng Swee Keat said that a key challenge in Singapore is to build "a sense of unity amidst challenges". Click here.

I agree.

When he takes over as prime minister, assuming that this happens early, I suggest that he implements the following measures:

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1502

Wisdom of the crowd

Vote on these issues and win a prize
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx

WOTC - Malaysia under the Pakatan govt

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What will happen to Malaysia under the Pakatan govt?

Here are the responses: (52 Votes)
58 % - They need more time to sort out the big problems inherited from the previous govt. 
23 % - They will be able to solve the current problems and improve the lives of the people.
13 % - Things will get better under the new prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.
6 % - Malaysia will go into a bigger mess with the economy and racial tensions.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1336

WOTC - Complaint over LKY's will

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is it wise for LHL to allow the AGC to lodge a complaint over LKY's will?

Here are the responses: (54 Votes)
57 % - He should have settled this matter privately within his family.
39 % - He has no grounds to complain over the will.
4 % - It was necessary for LHL to ask the AGC to lodge the complaint over the alleged involvement of his sister in law in the completion of the will.
0 % - LHL was not involved. it was a decision taken by the AGC on his own.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1337

Sunday, May 19, 2019

WOTC - Implement fake news law

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Will the govt implement the fake news law actively?

Here are the responses: (47 Votes)
70 % - They will use the fake news law actively to stifle criticism of its policies.
15 % - They will find the law to be quite messy to handle.
13 % - They will use the fake news law mainly on the social media platforms.
2 % - They will only use the fake news law as a last resort.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1334

Relief to companies affected by the tariffs

It is interesting to watch China's response to the US tariffs. They provided assistance to the affected companies, so that these companies can continue to operate and keep the jobs for the workers.

They do not let these companies shoulder the brunt of the tariffs and go bankrupt.

I hope to see the assistance being implemented in an effective way. This would reflect the quality of the people in the govt.

I have seen other countries, which shall remain unnamed, implement their relief measures in a convoluted and costly manner, and does not achieve the goal. It reflects an incompetent and ineffective govt.

I have also seen other countries, that shall remain unnamed, that allows a large home grown company to go bankrupt. They do not know how to provide the relief measures.

The leaders in these unnamed countries should also watch how China deal with a bigger problem, and see if there are lessons that can be learned.

Wisdom of the Crowd


Vote on these issues and win a prize.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx


Looking for a non-fussy girl

I have a discussion with a young man in his early 30s who works as a project engineer.

He is a local, still single and does not have a girl friend.

He tried dating in the past, but he found that the girls were "fussy" and complained about his habits. After a few attempts, he gave up.

I suggested to him that he should find a matchmaker.

Many young people now use the services of a headhunter to find a suitable job for them.

They can also use use a match making or dating service to find a suitable potential partner.

I also gave him another suggestion.

He can ask his parents or elders to help him to find a suitable partner.

The first step is to ask for help, and to tell other people to help to look around. This first step is important. If it does not happen, the second step will not appear.

If any girl who is now in the late twenties and are alone wish to meet this young man, who is by the way quite a nice person and good looking, send an email to me.



Do not worry that the girl is not a raving beauty. The young man is not fussy. I will pass the contact to the young man.

But there is only one criterion. The girl should not be "fussy". The girl should be willing to look at the positive aspects of this young man.

Reduce youth unemployment

The best way to reduce youth unemployment is to create more jobs.

More jobs can be created by reducing the working hours. If the working hours is reduced by 10%, there will be a need for 10% more workers.

Do you agree with the following measures to find good jobs for young people?
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1500

WOTC - Solve youth unemployment

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What is the best way to solve youth unemployment?

Here are the responses: (36 Votes)
53 % - Reduce the working hours, so that more jobs can be created.
39 % - Let them find their jobs from the free market economy.
8 % - Allow companies to retrench older workers so that the jobs can be given to young workers.
0 % - Let them work as gig workers and engage in hired cars and food delivery.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1335

WOTC - Will the US tariffs affect the China economy?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Will higher tariffs imposed by US affect the China economy?

Here are the responses: (47 Votes)
36 % - The problems will be temporary and China will be able to adjust.
28 % - America will face a bigger negative impact from the tariffs.
23 % - The China economy is resilient and can make the necessary adjustment well.
13 % - It will cause serious problems to China.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1332

A Korea movie - National Bankruptcy Day"

My friend sent me his description of a movie that he saw on a flight. It is entitled "Default" or in Korean "National Bankruptcy Day". It tells a dramatization of the events leading up to the 1997 financial crisis in Korea which lead to the country calling in the IMF for loans to avoid bankruptcy of the entire country.

Several terrifying themes came out of that movie.

One, the level of ignorance, arrogance, incompetence, and vested interests among the high level government officials which allowed for poor banking practices to happen which laid the groundwork for the crisis is shocking. What is also shocking is the incompetence and outright lying that occurred in an attempt to conceal the matter which in turn led to even greater damage. They so far as to front the press and say that they are not going to the IMF and that there is no financial crisis.

Two, the IMF was actually taking orders from the US government as a very high level US Treasury official was actually controlling the negotiations behind the scenes. This was against the IMF's own charter. The aim among the terrible conditions imposed in order to get the IMF bail out, was that the IMF (US) imposed rights for hostile takeovers and other draconian measures such as severely weakening worker rights. Also the exchange rate was to be raised thus putting thousands of locally businesses out of business and favouring foreigners. The short of the matter was, the US (through the IMF) would get to control Korea and allow foreign (mainly US firms) to come in and raid the country of its wealth. The US went so far as to get signed guarantees from the 3 leading presidential candidates (it was coming election time in Korea) that they would not oppose the said conditions or reverse the agreement. It shows the level of involvement at the highest levels of government and the US betting on all three candidates. If this isn't election meddling I don't know what is.

Three, also shocking is that both the elected Korean officials and the IMF couldn't care less about the lives of ordinary Korean people. And I also suppose that the same applies to the various countries' peoples that the IMF / US deals with. Many ended up jobless, broke, committed suicide and such.

Four, is that those who within government even Bank of Korea officials who tried to whistleblow were shut down and threatened. They even tried to leak the report to the press by calling a press conference. The next day, not a single newspaper reported on the matter. Talk about control of the press.

And lastly, even as the chaos was about to explode publicly, the corrupt officials would run their own agenda by rushing through the agreement with the IMF. I wonder to whom their loyalty was to. Was it to Korea or to the US?

Also another point that was made clear in the film was that while these corrupt officials would seek to ruin the country through involving the IMF, they would at the same time conduct secret meetings with their "pals" in the private sector and warn them so that they could profit from the impending crash. This is a clear example of the rich and elitist taking care of their own. Many of those government officials would then go on to get highly paid positions within the same or related private sector companies.

Although this is a drama, he said that the key players appear in the movie, their names and positions within the Korean bureaucracy is show at the bottom. E.g. so and so, deputy chief minister or so and so, deputy secretary of the Treasury (US). He believes the key events and the characters mentioned and what they did are true. Or else this movie would have resulted in massive lawsuits from those named and who were in office at the time.


ABOUT HYFLUX
He wonders why would Singapore not want to save Hyflyx. Is it simply poor decision making or incompetence or if there's something more to it. Also would the Singapore government ever tell Sporeans when the CPF money is all gone? The fact that many such things are hidden is very concerning.

Worrisome features about POFMA

I attended a forum organised by Function 8 about POFMA, the fake news law.

The panelists point out the following worrisome features about POFMA:

The law can cause more harm than good. Citizens should be aware about it.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1499

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wisdom of the crowd

Vote on these issues and win a prize.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx


WOTC - Tariffs on China

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should America impose tariffs on China alone?

Here are the responses: (38 Votes)
37 % - The manufacturers will shift production to other countries and it will not help the American economy.
32 % - Tariffs are bad as it will prices for American consumers.
18 % - America should impose tariffs on all imports to bring revenue to the govt and bring jobs back to the country. 
13 % - China is the biggest culprit in unfair trade practices and should be required to pay the tariffs.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1333

WOTC - Reservist duty

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should reservist duty be reduced from 10 years to 5 years?

Here are the responses: (49 Votes)
43 % - We should reduce it to 5 years to reduce the disruption to the career and exposure to dangerous training. 
37 % - We should reduce reservist training to 3 years. 
10 % - We need to keep it at 10 year to maintain a credible defense force.
10 % - We can keep the current training regime but compensate $500,000 to the family on the death of a NS man or reservist while on duty.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1330

How can POFMA be improved?

I wish to suggest what is wrong with the fake news law or POFMA and what can be done to improve it.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Let the court decide on what is fake news

Under the POFMA or fake news law, any of the 20 ministers can make a determination that a news is false and require the news item to be corrected or taken down.
I suggest that this determinaition should be made by the court, rather than a minister. This will ensure that there is consistency in making the determination.
If I am not mistaken, the minister for law has said that this approach would be time consuming.

Wisdom of the crowd

WOTC - Focus on jobs

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Heng SK gives a top focus for jobs for Singaporeans.

Here are the responses: (46 Votes)
46 % - He was a key person who negotiated the CECA agreement that caused jobs to be lost for our locals.
41 % - I am doubtful that he really intends to work on a solution.
7 % - I agree with this goal and will support him to achieve it.
7 % - I am hopeful that he will be able to achieve this goal.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1326

WOTC - Death of Aloysius Pang

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should the minister of defense take responsibility for the death of Aloysius Pang?

Here are the responses: (37 Votes)
38 % - He should resign.
30 % - He should apologise personally to the family and to the nation.
19 % - He should reduce the reservist duty from 10 years to 5 years to reduce this kind of dangerous exposure.
14 % - He should punish the commanders responsible for this training death.

See the pie chart at: 
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1329

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