Due to an oversight, I did not bank in a cheque within six months. It has expired.
I requested the payer to send me a replacement cheque. They wanted me to mail back the original cheque to them.
What for? The mail will take a few days to reach them. In some cases, it got lost.
This is an example of the wastefulness and inefficiency that is quite common in Singapore. In other countries, it is common for payment to be made by internet transfer to the payee account, instead of writing cheques.
I know of an insurance company in Indonesia that make claim payments directly into the bank account of the claimant.
Instead of an Elected President which has now become very messy, we should consider the Australian system of a Senate that has significant powers to review major decisions taken by the government.
Here is a description of how the Australian Senate works.
Quote: The Australian Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I, Part II of the Australian Constitution. There are a total of 76 senators: 12 senators are elected from each of the six states (regardless of population) and two from each of the two autonomous internal territories (the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory). Senators are popularly elected under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.
Unlike upper houses in most Westminster parliamentary systems, the Senate is vested with significant power, including the capacity to block all legislation, including Budget and Appropriation Bills, initiated by the government in the House of Representatives, making it a distinctive hybrid of British Westminster bicameralism and US-style bicameralism. As a result of proportional representation, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power. The governing party or coalition, which has to maintain the confidence of the lower house, has not held a majority in the Senate since 2005-2008 (and before that since 1981) and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.
Senators normally serve fixed six-year terms (from 1 July to 30 June), unless the Senate is dissolved earlier in a double dissolution. Following a double dissolution half the state senators serve terms ending on the third 30 June following the election (i.e. slightly less than three years) with the rest serving three years longer. The term of the territory senators expires at the same time as there is an election for the House of Representatives. There is no constitutional requirement for the election of senators to take place at the same time as those for members of the House of Representatives, though the government usually synchronises election dates.
I read that you bought a unit in Forest City. What are the advantages of Forest City compared to other developments in Johor?
First, I must warn you that the price of Forest City is 20% higher than the top end developments in Puteri Habor. So, Forest City is expensive.
The key advantages of Forest City are set out in this marketing email:
My choice for Forest City are based on:
1. Within 1 hour drive from Second Link.
2. Located in a separate island away from the rest of Johor.
3. A futuristic city. 4. Suitable as a holiday home for my children and grand children.
I am Nurul from Forest City and I am wishing you and family are doing great where ever you are.
Here I would like to share with you the details and payment method as you are required to by pdf, not all the information i can have it because some of them will be write in S&P agreement that customer sign
*Advantage of Forest City* 1) Free Hold Property 2) No Inheritances Tax 3) New CIQ by land and sea to Singapore 4) City with a lot 5 stars and renowned facilities and amenities 5) Green and Smart City with no vehicle on its surface 6) 15 Mins away to future High Speed Rail (Station at Nusajaya) 7) Surrounded by world second biggest mangrove forest reserve 8) Duty Free Zone area 9) golf course resort will be design by Jack Nicklaus and opened at the end of this year 10) smart community ( smart home + smart security) 11) World-class medical services (MJ Group) 12) international school : Shattuck St. Marry's School (opened in August 2018)
Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.
a) Will there be a contest for the Presidential Election? (49 Votes ) Two thirds say that it will be a walkover. Sorry, no public hoilday. There is a small chance that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock will win his appeal. http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=213
b) Should a by-election be called for Marsiling Yew Tee GRC after Halimah Yacob steps down? (46 Votes )
I have recently purchased an unit in Forest City. It is 1,200 sq and cost about SGD 450,000 or about $400 psf. This is 20% more expensive than high end apartments in Puteri Harbor but is about one third of the price in Singapore.
I know that it is difficult to find a tenant or to sell my unit in the future, because there is massive over supply of apartments in Iskandar.
I was surprised that the apartments are selling quite well. I was earlier offered two apartments of 1,800 sf. I did not confirm it within 1 week and they were booked by other buyers.
I did not mind. My wife said that 1,800 sf is too big. So, we opted for the smaller size apartment.
An experience property agent who markets apartments in Puteri Harbor told me that Forest City has developed much better than most people expected. The sales reported by Forest City came from real buyers.
There is restriction on transfer of currency from China to Malaysia, but the buyers from China found a way to get round the restrictions. So, the sales have resumed.
I also read a report from Hong Kong that China had relaxed some of the restriction, but the details are not clear.
One advantage of Forest City is that it is half hour drive from the Second Link. There will be a separate CIQ which will reduce the clearance time. This makes Forest City a good choice for a second home or a holiday home.
The developer planned to bring an international school, a hospital and other business activities to Forest City. If they materialize, it will be good for Forest City. But they do not, Forest City is still an attractive concept.
If you have some spare money lying uninvested and wish to visit Forest City, you can contact me at email@example.com.
I suggest that the government should provide dedicated parking zones for shared bikes as part of the public infrastructure. They should be located next to bus stops, MRT stations and shopping malls.
The users should be required by regulation to leave the shared bikes at the docking stations. This will allow the shared bikes to be docked in an orderly manner and also help other users to locate them.
It will help to promote the use of shared bikes and encourage the users to exercise as a healthy lifestyle habit.
The Privacy and Data Protection Act (PDPA) was passed in 2012.
Over the past five years, I have been asked to give my consent for my personal data to be collected by the organization whenever I call their call center. If I have to submit a form, I am also asked to read several praragraphs explaining that I have to give my consent for the personal data to be collected.
I have encountered the request for consent a few hundred times.
Surely, this consent is not necessary and could be dispensed with?
If I call a call center or submit a form, I know that my personal data will be used for that transaction. Do I have any choice at all? If I do not give my consernt, how can I get the service that is needed?
This request for consent was caused by the requirement of the PDPA. It states that "Organisations may collect, use or disclose personal data only with the individual's knowledge and consent (with some exceptions)".
I suggest that th requirement for the customer consent be removed.
It can be quite tiresome for the customer to spend a minute to hear this message, when they have to worry about getting the request or transaction to be accepted.
b) What will America do about North Korea? (47 Votes Nearly half of the Crowd thinks that America will continue to ask China to deal with the problem. The next choice is a limited military strike. http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=203
Look how easy it is for me to make investment switches for my own superannuation investment and how much control I have over how my money is invested.
Look also at how much returns I'm enjoying. Depending on the fund I choose returns can be anything from 3.4% p.a. for Bonds up to 16.99% p.a. for Global Environmental Opportunities (e.g. renewal energy and its related areas).
CPF is a ponzi fund by comparison. With CPF you get no choice I believe. And a terrible ROI of 2.5% right? I don't see ANY benefit at all with CPF. They make it complicated to access information and it's rigid rules mean that you essentially have no power to decide how your money is invested.
Superannuation in Australia is fantastic by comparison.
Also the website of my super fund shows me the returns over time for the one dozen or so options I get to choose from. I am able to vary the time period and see the graphs adjust immediately. I take note of the peaks and troughs and decide on which investment option based on my own stomach for risk and return.
Most of the investment options are very well managed and therefore I choose the one with the highest returns. When that fund falls, the other funds also fall with it but the fall is mostly similar in magnitude. The gains however can be double for the same period. So over time, I actually gain more by investing in a "higher growth" option.
This particular super fund I'm with has been voted Australia's "best super fund" for a number of years. The competition among super funds also results in better investment products and scrutiny from consumers and super fund consumer groups.
The Singapore Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS) will be operational by 31 Dec 2024, i.e. 7 years time. It has already been discussed for 7 years since 2010. I wonder if it will really be completed by the deadline or will be further delayed by more discussions.
When it is operational, I expect that it will take the people who now travel by buses and train. There will be a joint clearance (I hope) so the time spent at the checkpoints will be reduced considerably.
In 7 years time, I will be 76 years old. I wonder if I can still travel to Johor Bahru? I also wonder if I will still be around?
The performance trend of ministers and agencies are now starting to show reliable results. The trend has stopped falling and is now moving slightly upwards for a few ministers and agencies. We now have sufficient number of votes (average of 200) to give a reliable indication.
b) Will a joint immigration clearance help to reduce the jam at the causeway and second link (57 Votes )
Over 90% said that this is a good idea. It is a wonder why our highly paid civil servants and ministers are unable to see it and to work with the Malaysian side to implement it. We have incompetent leaders. http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=201
Many young people opt to get a degree because the pay of a graduate is much higher than a non-graduate. We now have a situation that there are too many graduates and not enough good paying jobs. Many graduates are unemployed or have accepted part time or low paying jobs. The supply and demand has gone out of balance.
Germany has a better way to deal with this challenge. They encourage young people to become apprentices and get the skills and work experience of their vocations. The apprentices earn an allowance through their work and spend half the time attending schools specific to their vocations. After completing a 4 years apprentice, they earn a salary that is slighly lower than a graduate. The difference is about 10 percent.
Germany has a strong economy because its workers have skills and experience and are able to command high pay.
There is a strong likelihood that the presidential election will be a walkover. This is how the Crowd will respond to the walkover. 20% will accept the outcome. 80% will be unhappy and will show their displeasure in one of three ways. http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=181
If there is a contest between Halimah Yacob and Salleh Marican, this is how the Crowd would vote. 71% will spoil their votes and the remainder will be split between the two candidates. Halimah will get more votes than Salleh. http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=139
If there is a contest between Halimah Yacob and Abdullah Tarmugi (a former minister), the spoilt vote will reduce to 60%, but Abdullah will get 7 times the votes given to Halimah. Perhaps he is perceived as being independent and more suitable than Halimah. http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=186