Thursday, January 23, 2020

Provide direction signs to main entrance

I attended a presentation at Pixel building in One North. I checked Singapore map and found the building. It is a JTC building.

There was no indication on the map where the entrance is. There was also no sign on the site. It was a strange building.

I walked round the building. I could not find the entrance. I walked again. I finally saw it near the car park.

If someone drives into the car park, they can see the entrance. But if the visitor does not drive, it is quite confusing.

I had a similar problem when I visited another JTC building in Woodlands one month ago. The building is called Wave 9. It is a large building. There is no indication where the main entrance lobby is. I have to walked around this huge building.

Why are signs in Singapore so bad? Why can't they indicate where is the main entrance to the building?

WOTC - Withholding of education certificate

Wisdom of the Crowd: 10% of the respondents viewed favorably the minister's decision to review the withholding of education certificates. The other 90% are unhappy with the further delay.

WOTC - Fair consideration framework

Wisdom of the Crowd: Only 3% of the respondents agree with MOM' strategy to strengthen the Fair Consideration Framework. The others prefer MOM to adopt other strategies.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

How to get local born citizens to accept new citizens

I like to suggest how to get our local born citizens to accept new citizens.

We should expect the new citizens to have the same obligations as local born citizens, especially in the field of national service.

But new citizens may be too old to serve national service, or they may not want to be new citizens if they have to suffer this obligation.

What can be done?

The solution is "out of the box".

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will global stock markets advance further in 2020?
2. Will the property market in Singapore recover in 2020?
3. Are many PMETs losing their jobs in Singapore?
4. Will Heng SK deliver a financial plan for the future?

Keep apps simple and focused

Many of the apps are difficult to use. They contain too many options. They distract from the key functions that users need in the app.

E-payment in mall in Thailand

When I visited a food court in a mall in Thailand, I cannot pay cash. I have to pay by a card.

I was directed to the customer service counter. I gave cash to the staff who issue me with a payment card with the amount entered into the card.

I had to pay for my purchases with the card. The stall enter the amount into a device and I tap my card. That's it. It is quite easy.

QR Code takes more time

I went to Yummy Noodles in Sembawang Hills Food Center and ordered $4 laksa. I opted to pay by QR code. It is the only stall in the food center that accepts this option.

I had to take many steps to make this QR payment. I explain below:

How Boeing’s role in a deadly crash ‘got buried’

New York Times reported.

How Boeing’s role in a deadly crash ‘got buried’

When a Boeing 737 crashed near Amsterdam in 2009, killing nine people, the accident was blamed on Dutch pilots. But Boeing’s mistakes also contributed, including its design choices and faulty safety assessments.
A review by The New York Times of evidence from the 2009 accident, some of it previously confidential, reveals striking parallels with recent Boeing crashes that killed hundreds — and resistance by a team of Americans, including Boeing and federal officials, to a full airing of findings that later proved relevant to Boeing’s Max plane.
An expert commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board to analyze the 2009 crash said it “represents such a sentinel event that was never taken seriously.” His study was never made public.
Comparisons: In the 2009 and Max accidents, the failure of a single sensor caused systems to misfire, with catastrophic results, and Boeing did not provide pilots with information that could have helped them react to the malfunction.
Quotable: The Turkish Airlines crash “should have woken everybody up,” said one aviation safety expert.

Viral ailment spreads in Asia, feeding fears of pandemic

New York Times reported.

Viral ailment spreads in Asia, feeding fears of pandemic

The coronavirus causing a new respiratory illness is now capable of spreading from person to person, a prominent Chinese scientist said on Monday, as the authorities reported a third death and doubled the number of cases from a day earlier, including in Beijing and southern China for the first time.
Cases have also been reported in Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

With hundreds of millions of people in China expected to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins Friday, public health officials are working to forestall a major outbreak. Some experts have suggested that there are probably far more cases of the illness than China’s authorities have disclosed.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will global stock markets advance further in 2020?
2. Will the property market in Singapore recover in 2020?
Vote in

WOTC - Priority of education policy

Wisdom of the Crowd: 86% of the respondents voted to change the focus to produce educated students rather than top students. 11% voted to abolish the scholarship system. 3% voted to reduce the syllabus.

WOTC - Govt policy on National Service

Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the respondents prefer PR and new citizens to serve national service. 29% prefer to abolish NS and depend on a professional army. 17% prefer to reduce the time spend in NS and reservist by half. Nobody opted to continue NS it is current form.

Articles on insurance and investments

These articles on insurance and investments are written for members of FISCA.

For the time being, they are also available to non-members, but after the email address is provided.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Difference of 34% in drug prices at public hospitals

The ministry of health has given this explanation. I find it unacceptable. Frankly, it is a load of rubbish.

Health apps

I downloaded two apps from Ministry of Health.

a) Health 365 encourages users to exercise daily
b) Health Hub allows users to book appointments and keep their health records.

Both apps are useful, but they are over-designed. They have too many functions and information. It confuses the users. Often, I get stuck on a screen that I do not want and have to find many ways to get out of it.

What is the point of segregating the data by citizen type?

Minister Chan Chun Sing asked - what is the point of segregating the data between citizen and permanent resident?

The answer is obvious - there is a perception that local born citizens have a higher risk of losing their jobs through retrenchment and are forced to take a job as a driver or delivery crew, just to make a living.

The perception is that a large number of the new jobs go to permanent residents and foreigners, which could have gone to these locally born citizens.

Difficult to make an appointment at polyclinic

I faced the following problem in making an appointment to visit the polyclinic. Here is my feedback.

Prerequisites for new citizens

I wish to give my views about prerequisites for new citizens.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. What is the best outcome for the general election?
2. Do you believe in ghosts?

Vote in

WOTC - Singapore spends $3.5 billion on fighter jets

Wisdom of the Crowd: 90% of the respondents said that it was not wise for Singapore to spend $3.5 billion on the fighter jets.

WOTC - Shooting down of Ukrainian plane

Wisdom of the Crowd: 55% of the respondents said that Iran should take responsibility for the shooting down of the Ukrainian airline. 32% blame the US.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Another ponzi scheme, involving blockchain

Someone said.

I have a friend who invest in a digital bitcoin website blockchain advertising business, they promised him a payout of 2% per months , meaning he will get 24% per year ! This looks perfectly a good investment.

But he did not really know how this business really can delivers the returns as these returns are projections based on the company leaders self claim they can do it easily without showing how they can consistently deliver the results in a safe and sustainable way in long term.

Not long after he invested in his high hopes investment, he saw his investment value has achieved a 200% over a period of time . Later , he was encouraged by the company leaders to recruits members like him to join in and earn the rewards to invest in this scheme. The new recruits was also able to see their returns every month, but they cannot withdraw the money for the first two years but can see the value in digital figures. He also earns their joining fee.

He was so happy and wanted to cashout the investment for his children education in a local university. Little did he realize in digital sums in the Statement showing his 200% increase value that states he can withdraw the money after a promise minimum lock in period. He tries to withdraw the money, the system denied his request, mentioned the server is down and the company leaders mentioned that they are trying to rectify the issues. Months has passed , he still couldn’t withdraw the money inside .

The D - Days comes But was too late. He tried to call the office about the investment in the digital bitcoins on how he can get all the digital money out but only discovered that the telephone number is not in used and the office is closed. The company leaders which he keep in touch also went missing eventually!

Moral of the story, there is no such things of safe investment when comes to unqualified valuation and investment returns that are too good to believe in! In short, if you are promise a Mandate, and the mandates are part of the always changing mandates according to the company policy as part of the investment mandates, you should always beware the Risk? How True ?

MY COMMENT - Hello, this is a ponzi scheme. The promoter take the money from the later investors to pay the attractive return of the earlier investors. The ponzi grows in geometrical proportion. When the promoter has made enough money, he disappear with all the investments. The investors lost all of their money.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. What will happen to Taiwan after the landslide win of President Tsai
2. Does Singapore still have a high level of non-corruptibility?

Vote in

WOTC - Conflict between US and Iran

Wisdom of the Crowd: 81% of the respondents expect the conflict between US and Iran to continue and will not be resolved soon.

WOTC - Use of e-payment for small transactions

Wisdom of the Crowd: 66% of the respondents said that Singapore should move towards e-payment for small payments.

Is crony capitalism a form of corruption?

The Online Citizen has a report that Singapore has a high rating for being "non-corrupt" but ranks 4th on the crony capitalism index. Is crony capitalism a form of corruption?

Let me give my view.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

To build an inclusive society

Whenever I hear PM Lee say that he wants to build an inclusive society, I wonder what he means.

He may have a different understanding of an "inclusive society" from what I have. Let me say what I understand this condition to be.

Alternative to POFMA

The govt has to pass a ridiculous law called POFMA. It is now being used to deal with alleged false statements issued by opposition parties. In some cases, these are just alternative opinions, but the minister invoked POFMA in an unfair way.

What is the alternative to a law on POFMA?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is the US implementing economic sanctions correctly?
2. Is the US promoting democracy and freedom?

Vote in

WOTC - Hostility between US and Iran

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84% of the respondents said that the hostility between US and Iran will not lead to an all out war.

WOTC - POFMA has been implemented badly

Wisdom of the Crowd: 97% of the respondents said that POFMA has been badly implemented for the first four cases.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Queuing for popular items

People can queue for many hours, sometimes days, for popular products, for example:

a) new product releases
b) admission to primary schools
c) booking of hot properties

Sometimes, the long hours of queuing could lead to disputes among the people in the queue. Sometimes, proxies are used to stand in the queue in payment for a fee by the intended buyer.

Surely, there is a better way to handle the allocation of priority?

Here is my suggestion.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why does MOM not provide data on PMET employment?
2. Should the POFMA hearing be held in open court?
Vote in

WOTC - Minister give order to AHTC

Wisdom of the Crowd: 97% of the respondents said that it is not proper for the minister for national development to give an order to Aljunied Hougang Town Council.

WOTC - POFMA order against SDP

Wisdom of the Crowd: 92% of the respondents said that the minister for manpower should withdraw the POFMA order against the SDP.

How insurers cheat their way out of bad products

Some insurance companies offer investment policies that guaranteed a high rate of return. When the investment return drops, due to economic situations, they suffer a large financial loss.

This has happened many times during the past decades. Some of the insurers found a way to "cheat" their customers and get out of the loss.

This is what they do.

My Tesla story - episode 1

I will continue my Tesla story for those who are interested to follow me. This story is not for people who are cleverer than me, and who post remarks "I told you so".

When Tesla was on the way "to the moon", I sold 100 shares at $517 and another 100 shares at $524. I still kept 100 shares.

The shares went up to $540 in the pre-market. During the subsequent two nights, it dropped at the worse point to $500 (drop of 7.4%), due to two negative forecast from Tesla bears. It closed at $513. I watched the price moved up from $500 but was not brave enough to buy (I am not HC, OK?)

Hello, a drop of $40 on 100 shares is USD 4,000, ok? Don't play play.

I now have to decide. Should I sell my 100 shares or buy another 100 shares? I will consider carefully and make my decision later.

I can show you how to be "clever". At one place, I will post "sell" and give the reasons. At another place, I will post "buy" and give another set of reasons.

After the price has moved, I will refer to the "correct" post and say "I told you so". Clever or not?

It is easy to be "clever" with the benefit of hindsight, but it is difficult when the speculator has to decide with real money. A middle step is to open a "demo account" with Plus 500 and invest with "fake money". It is still difficult.

What say you?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. PM Lee said that govt online transactions are convenient.
2. What is the best way to make small payments?

Vote in

WOTC - Ensure locals are employed

Wisdom of the Crowd: Only 11% of the respondents agreed with the govt's approach to strengthen the Fair Consideration Framework to ensure that locals are employed. the other 89% prefer other approaches.

WOTC - Cash and credit card payment

Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of the respondents prefer cash and credit card payment because it is convenient and free. They are not aware about the hidden cost that is reflected in the prices that they pay.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Use of e-payment cards

Many banks in Indonesia issue e-payment cards. They call it e-money.

The e-money cards are anonymous. They are topped up by transferring cash into the e-money cards at convenience stores, supermarkets and at banks.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. MOM will strengthen the Fair Employment Framework
2. The education minister will review the need to hold back PSLE/GCE certificates
Vote in

Wisdom of the crowd

Vote on these issues and win a prize

WOTC - Cope with loss of jobs

Wisdom of the Crowd: The respondents prefer the following measures to help people to cope with the loss of jobs during a recession - allow CPF savings to be withdrawn (38%), govt to create public sector jobs (35%), give unemployment benefit (15%), give govt loans at modest interest rate (9%)

WOTC - general election in Singapore

Wisdom of the Crowd: 73% of the respondents expect the general election to be held in March/April 2020. The others expect it to be held later.

E-payment in Jakarta

My friend in Jakarta have 3 children, aged 9 to 16 years.

Their mother gave them a mobile phone each, and top up their e-wallet every day. The children use the mobile phone to make payment using QR code.

I was surprised. It seems that many people in Jakarta use e-payment. It seemed to be more common than in Singapore.

I hear so many excuses in Singapore. In spite of the encouragement by PM Lee to move to e-payment over 2 years ago, nothing much has happened.

Is this what is happening in Singapore? Are we slower than Jakarta? It is very sad.

Help people to cope with a recession

I read an article that China is taking steps to make sure that their people have jobs during the global slowdown.

My friend in Jakarta told me that Indonesia is also implementing similar measures. They create jobs to keep people employed.

What about Singapore? We have a govt that does nothing but just talk, and they talk theory and nonsense.

OK - what do I expect them to do? They can try some of my ideas here.

Monday, January 13, 2020


Click on this link to read the popular feedback posted by TKL and writers to the newspapers on issues affected life in Singapore.

PDPA is a badly written law

The Privacy and Data Protection Act is a badly written law. It has caused a lot of unnecessary trouble and cost in administration. It does not achieve its primary goal of stopping the real intrusion of privacy.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Which option do you prefer for our national defense.
2. How should our education policy be changed?

Vote in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How would you describe President Trump's approach in the recent Iranian conflict
2. How would you describe minister Chan Chun Sing?
Vote in

WOTC - President Trump threaten to attack 52 Iranian sites

Wisdom of the Crowd: 52% of the respondents said that President Trump wanted to give a warning to Iran not to attack US assets and citizens. The other respondents have other views.

WOTC - Killing the military head of Iran

Wisdom of the Crowd: 70% of the respondents said that it is not proper and not wise for America to kill the military head of Iran.

Low fee for old folks home in Malaysia

Mr X came from Malaysia and worked in Singapore for many years. He might have converted to citizenship now.

He used to work in a MNC but lost his job as the MNC left Singapore.

He could not get another job, so he became a cook at a stall.

He has a mother, in the mid 70s, living in Butterworth, Penang. As the mother was living alone, he sent her to live in an old folks home.

What is the fee? He said RM 800 a month. It is a privately run home, and not a charity.

A similar old folks home in Singapore would cost $3,000 or RM 9,000. That is 10 times of what he paid in Butterworth.

If any minister ask me - what is the point of this post?

Well, I tell the stupid minister. This is to show that it is better to keep the cost of living low, so that people can afford the cost, rather than to jack up the cost to sky high levels and create all kinds of convoluted subsidy and funding schemes.

PM Lee - I hope you are reading.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Protect consumers against rejected claims caused by alleged non disclosures

I have seen many cases of consumers being denied legitimate claims due to alleged non disclosures. I ask the regulator to study this matter and get insurers to adopt a code of practice that is fair to consumers.

Why are electricity prices increased when the prices of gas has fallen?

a reader asked this question in the Straits Times Forum. The director of the Energy Market Authority gave this reply. Is he giving the correct picture?

WOTC - Ban on use of PMD on footpath

Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of the respondents said that the food delivery riders will observe the ban on the use of PMDs on footpaths.

WOTC - Description that best fits Heng SK

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the respondents describe Heng SK as not suitable to be PM. 17% describe him as competent and a pleasant personality.

Living in fairyland

The big tech stocks in America have an average PE ratio of 50 and a dividend yield of 1%.

This means that the current price is 2 times of a fair value for a growth stock, say PE ratio of 25 and dividend yield of 2%.

This high valuation is due to the historical low interest rate, which is negative in some countries. Investors are paying 2 times of the price to get the same dividend.

Half of the wealth in the world is ephemeral.

This will not continue for long. Look for the global stock markets to drop by 50% when the economic conditions become more "sensible".

But this may take many years to happen. In the meantime, we live in fairyland.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Who should take the blame for the shooting down of the Ukrainian plane in Iran?
2. Was it a wise decision for Singapore to spend $3.5 billion on new fighter plans?
Vote in

Wisdom of the Crowd:

Vote on these issues and win a prize at the end of the month.

WOTC - Opinion of Dr. Mahathir as a leader

Wisdom of the Crowd: 59% of the respondents have a positive opinion of Dr. Mahathir as a leader. 41% has a negative opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Opinion of Lee HL as a leader

Wisdom of the Crowd: 100% of the respondents have a negative opinion of Lee HL as a leader.

See the details in

Friday, January 10, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should Singapore move towards e-payment, instead of paying cash?
2. Do you expect Iran to launch more attacks against American interest?
Vote in

WOTC - State education center in Xinjiang

Wisdom of the Crowd: 56% of the participants said that it is all right for the state to mandate compulsory education for children, provided that the parents have the right to see what is being taught.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Treat accident victims in nearby hospital

Wisdom of the Crowd: 82% of the participants said that the victims of a traffic accident should be sent to a nearby hospital, even if it is a private hospital.
See the breakdown of the votes in

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Review the policy on home ownership

The Singapore govt encouraged home ownership during the past decades. It is time to review this policy.

Option to rent HDB flat

We should give an option for people to rent HDB flats, instead of forcing every one to buy a flat.

It will help to improve the birth rate and also reduce the financial burden for young people.

See here.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Has POFMA been implemented properly on the first four actions?
2. Will the hostility between US and Iran escalate into a war?

Vote in

WOTC - CPF release actual name of complainant

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84% of the respondents said that it is not proper for CPF to release the actual name of the respondents.

See the breakdown of their votes in

WOTC - LTA stop car pooling service to JB

Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of the respondents disagreed with the action taken by Land Transport Authority to stop the car pooling service between Singapore and Johore Bahru.

See the breakdown of their votes in

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