Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Make your voice heard

WOTC - Heng SK wants to consult the people

8% of the respondents to this Wisdom of the Crowd survey are positive towards the statement by Heng SK to consult the people more.

The other 92% are sceptical.

See the detailed result in
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1405

WOTC - Suspend the extradition bill in HK

The respondents to this Wisdom of the Crowd survey are equally divided on their opinion about the decision of the HK leader to suspend the extradition bill.

See the result here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1404

Monday, June 24, 2019

18 questions for candidates for the Democratic primary election in US

There are 21 candidates for the Democratic primary election in the US.

They are asked to state their stand on 18 questions.

It is difficult for the voters to choose their candidate based on their answers to these questions.

1. In an ideal world, would anyone own handguns?
2. Would your focus be improving the Affordable Care Act or replacing it with single payer?
3. Do you think it’s possible for the next president to stop climate change?
4. Do you think Israel meets international standards of human rights?
5. Who is your hero, and why?
6. Would there be American troops in Afghanistan at the end of your first term?
7. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
8. Do you think illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States?
9. Where would you go on your first international trip as president?
10. Describe the last time you were embarrassed. Why?
11. Do you think President Trump has committed crimes in office?
12. Do you support or oppose the death penalty?
13. Should tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google be broken up?
14. Are you open to expanding the size of the Supreme Court?
15. When did your family first arrive in the United States, and how?
16. What is your comfort food on the campaign trail?
17. What do you do to relax?
18. Does anyone deserve to have a billion dollars?

Results of Wisdom of the Crowd

You can view the results of the issues that have been voted and closed in the Wisdom of the Crowd.

You can also give your comments on these results.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/result.aspx

Learn from New York Times on getting subscriptions

I just subscribed to New York Times for $1 USD a week for 1 year. After 1 year, it increases to $3 a week. I am allowed to cancel the subscription at any time.
I find the weekly fee to be fair and attractive. That is why I signed.
I may continue after the first year at $3 a week, as I find it to be acceptable. However, I will decide later. It depends on how often I access the website.
The registration procedure is simple. I am allowed to sign in with Facebook, which I did. I pay using Paypal.
The entire process was completed within 1 minute.
I like to give this suggestion to Singapore Press Holdings. Follow the New York Times. You are likely to get more subscribers to your newspapers.
As a feedback. A week ago, I tried to sign up with Business Times. I gave up as I find the pricing (after the promotion period) to be too high. The registration process was complicated.

More credible results

I invite you to contribute by voting in the Wisdom of the Crowd website so that the results can be more credible and reflect a bigger sample.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx

WOTC - Attack on oil tankers

The respondents in this survey have mixed views on the party that was responsible for the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1402

WOTC - 5G infrastructure

81% of the respondents to this survey prefer the state to build the infrastructure for 5G while the remaining prefer to leave it to the operators.

See their reasons here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1402

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd

Vote on these issues and help to get a more reading reading of the Wisdom of the Crowd.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx

A better network of buses

Here is my suggestion on creating a better network of buses to complement the MRT system. 
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1684

Employ contract inspectors to check for mosquito breeding

I suspect that we have a mosquito problem due to the large numbers of construction sites.

Households can also be contributing to this problem.

NEA is probably overwhelmed and cannot cope with the inspection work.

I make this suggestion to deal with this problem
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1683

Allow members to take out CPF savings at 55

I suggested that CPF members be allowed to take out all of their savings at 55.

This suggestion has the support of about 86% of respondents to a poll. The other 16% were worried that some of the members will spend away all of their savings and have to rely on welfare from the state. Roughly, one in six has misgivings about this idea.

This is how the risk can be managed, so that the members do not waste their savings in bad investments.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1682

Create jobs as mentors

As the economy changes in the future, many existing jobs will be replaced by automation and higher productivity.

We need to create new jobs to allow people to be usefully employed and to improve the quality of life for the population at large.

What are these new jobs?
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1681

Wisdom of the Crowd - survey results

You can see the results of the Wisdom of the Crowd surveys and also the comments made by the visitors. You can also share your comments.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/result.aspx

ASEAN pact to reduce marine waste

Well done, Thailand, for getting ASEAN to agree to this pact to reduce marine waste and protect the environment.

Asean has committed itself to reduce marine waste at both the nation and regional level.

The transboundary nature of environmental challenges, from marine debris to haze pollution, makes it impossible for any single country to solve the issue alone.


The first of its kind, the Bangkok Declaration that was adopted yesterday stressed Asean's concern over the rising level of marine debris, in particular marine plastic litter, on marine life, fishing, fisheries, and tourism. It said there is also an urgent need to understand the impact of microplastics on people.

Among the ways Asean aims to tackle the problem is to adopt a more holistic land-to-sea approach, strengthen research capabilities, enhance regional and international cooperation, and increase public awareness.

Thailand, which is Asean chair this year, chose sustainability as its theme for this summit, with delegates getting recycled paper notebooks and tote bags.

TKL posts in Twitter

Here are my postings in Twitter. You can follow me there.
https://twitter.com/kinlian

Suggestion to deal with youth unemployment

Youth unemployment is a serious problem in many countries and also in Singapore.

I have some suggestions on how to deal with this challenge.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1680

Young people are concerned about the environment

The young people around the world are worried about the environment.

I first observed this in the campaign by Bernie Sanders in 2016. He was able to attract many young people to support his campaign as he talked about the environment and climate change.

The young people in Singapore are also passionate about this issue.

Recently, I posted a simple message about not using plastic straw. It reached out to over 98,000 people. Many young people shared this message which went viral.

https://www.facebook.com/…/a.6901471077246…/2791347647604536

Most of the comments were positive. The young people appreciated this simple effort to pass the message

While we talk about the cost of living and jobs, we should also remember to talk about the environment, which is of great concern to young people.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1679

Quora - can China effectively retaliate against Trump's tariffs?

George Tait Edwards
George Tait Edwards, Student of Asian Economic Miracles
1 Answer These Chinese leaders are not wrong.
Trump is turning the USA into a low-speed internet society. The 5G nationalised system Trump wanted is not going to happen. Instead, a fragmented US 5G system will be built by various enterprise and perhaps completed about a decade behind that of China.
2 Speed of the Hongmeng Ark OS
And have you noticed the Hongmeng Ark OS appears to be 60% faster than Android? See
The upgraded Huawei 5G and 6G is the way to a faster internet future of things and services, but that can no longer happen in the USA. But it will happen in China.
If China bans the use of Chinese software and hardware in the USA, and produces its own world-reaching high-tech components and systems, then America loses the only manufacturing advantage it now has in high-end computer devices.
3 Discussion: The Only Power Trump Possesses Is To Decrease the US Economy, and he’s doing that.

Working in the gig economy

Many people have the opinion that driving a private hire car or deliver food is a job of last resort. Older people who lost their jobs or young people who cannot find a job are forced to take up these jobs because they have to make a living.

We need to change this mindset.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1678

WOTC - Infrastructure spending

7% of the participants in this Wisdom of the Crowd survey said that Singapore should continue our current high rate of spending to build the best infrastructure in the world. The other participants said that voted against this idea and gave other reasons, as stated here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1400

WOTC - US China trade war

70% of the participants in this survey in the Wisdom of the Crowd said that President Trump will not end the trade war unless China agrees to his demands, while the remainder said that he is keen to strike a deal.

See their reasons here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1400

AI and self driving cars

If you are interested to know about artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and self driving cars, you can follow this development

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1665

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Make our voice heard

We should be more active in making our voice heard on public issues. We cannot leave it to other people.

Read this article
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1673

Wisdom of the Crowd

Vote on these issues. You are helping to increase the sample size and get more reliable results.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspx

Passwords to access websites

Do you agree that many websites make it difficult for users to create a password that they can easily remember, without writing it down.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1672

WOTC - Police permit for public assembly

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - does the police make it difficult to get a permit for a public assembly?

12% said that the police issue a permit quickly for an assembly that is supportive of the government. The remaining 88% said that the permit is slow in being granted.

See the result here
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1399

WOTC - Should a large scale protest be allowed in Singapore?

I asked the question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - should a protest similar to Hong Kong be allowed in Singapore.

5% of the respondents said that the protest could lead to rioting, but the remaining 95% are in favor of allowing such a protest.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1398

Friday, June 21, 2019

Difficult to register for Business Times Online

I received an email asking me to subscribe to Business Times online for $0.99 per month.

I clicked on the link and proceed to register.

I had the trouble with the following:

a) They require my password to be at least 8 characters with capital and lower case.

b) I have to give my address with level and unit number.

After creating the password that match their requirement, I have to write it down somewhere - as it is not my usual password format.

Why do they need to have such a format? This is not something that hackers are interested in.

I could not pass through the address check. My address does not have a level and unit number.

They provided a telephone number and email address for me to seek help.

Before I could call their telephone number and hope that it does not get me to a "terrible call center", I saw that the subscription is $0.99 for 3 months and it will automatically revert to $34 a month (or thereabout) after that. This was too costly to me.

I abandon the registration process.

I wish our business organizations are more transparent in their operations.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1666

Tesla may be ahead in self driving cars

I heard an interesting view expressed by an analyst that is bullish on Tesla. (The majority of analysts are still negative on Tesla).

This analyst said that Tesla has leased many cars to drivers. At the end of the lease, the cars are returned to Tesla.

Tesla will be able to use the data that is recorded in the cars to do machine learning and improve their self driving algorithm.

This will put Tesla a few years ahead of competitors in the self driving market.

The market for self driving cars will be a very large one, perhaps in the trillion of dollars.

Although he did not mention it, I think it is also possible for Tesla to ask their customers to share their data, maybe for a modest payment.

In developing the intelligent algorithms for self driving, the access to data is critical. Tesla appears to be ahead of all of their competitors in this field.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1665

Express a view respectfully, objectively and without being persona

It is possible to express a view respectfully, objectively and without being personal. I do it all the time.

You can just state your views and give your reasons. You do not need to criticize another person's view, even if you disagree with it. You should not pass personal remarks about the other person that you disagree with.

Over the past decades, I observed that many people tend to be judgmental, i.e. they judge the view of another person and pass personal remarks. Often, their judgment is wrong because they do not check their facts or they misinterpret the view that is being stated.

There is a saying - give a dog a bad name and hang him. This best describes the behavior that I see quite often.

Their judgment and criticism reflect an arrogant attitude. They think that they are right and other people are wrong. They may be the ignorant person.

It is better to avoid being judgmental and to state your view respectfully, objectively and without being personal. This is being constructive and useful.

Tan Kin Lian

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1664

Hong Kong dilemma

Hong Kong is in a dilemma. The people want to have democracy and free market.

But the economy is under the control of a few large tycoons who owned most of the private land.

Under the free market, the land price escalates to a level that is unaffordable to the local people, especially the young ones.

If they want lower housing cost and lower cost of living, they have to accept a government that is more in control and more socialist in their approach.

The people have to decide what they want. They cannot expect the free market to produce a lower cost of living and lower cost of housing.

Tan Kin Lian

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1663

Wisdom of the Crowd

Vote on these issues in the Wisdom of the Crowd.
You will help to provide a better sense of what the people are thinking.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/active_issue.aspxC

WOTC - Key features of democracy

I posed this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - what are the most important features of democracy.

One man one vote and rule of law together account for only 13% of the replies.

What other features are more important?

Find out the answer here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1396

WOTC - Protest against extradition law in HK

It was reported that one million people in Hong Kong came out in protest against the extradition law. The police however said the actual number is 250,000.

Why do so many people came out to protest?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd. Here are the responses.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1397

Attitude towards work

There are many reports that many local PMETs are being retrenched and in some cases, replaced by foreigners. Is the work attitude of the locals a factor that cause employers to prefer foreigners?

I like to bring up this case for discussion.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1662

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Myths about China

Here are five myths about China that needs to be debunked. The article is written for anyone who has the misconceptions about China - Americans and people around the world, including some people in Singapore.

https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/five-myths-about-china-must-be-debunked-trade-war-us-can-end



Funding of political parties in Thailand

There is an ISEAS report on the funding of political parties in Thailand. It is quite interesting to learn how they deal with the problem of funding the political parties.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Thailand introduced the Political Party Development Fund in 1998 as a means of providing state subsidies for political parties.

Law makers hoped that such financing would be an effective means of curbing illicit fundraising and vote buying. More importantly, subsidization would support small and new parties and promote their organizational development.

The Political Party Development Fund proved a double-edged sword, however. While it provided resources for the development of parties, it also encouraged small parties to set up numerous branches and to increase their membership for the purpose of maximizing their shares of subsidies.

The 2017 Organic Law on Political Parties introduced a new method of allocating Political Party Development Fund subsidies to political parties, with the goal of solving corruption problems associated with the existence of many small parties.

My speculative portfolio

The loss on my speculative portfolio has reduced to $12,000. At the worst point, the loss was $22,000.

Not to worry. I had realised a profit of $22,000 from earlier trades. So, at the worst point, I broke even.

My biggest loss was on Sinopec. That position was caused by a mistake. I had intended to clear the position at a profit but instead submitted a BUY instead of a SELL order. The stock had been going down for several weeks. It may turn around now.

The dividend yield on this stock is 10%. So, I can afford to hold it until it recovers and enjoy the dividend.

Wisdom of the Crowd

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

WOTC - Ban on export of rare earth

What will be the impact of a ban by China in the export of rare earth to US?

Here are the results of the votes in the Wisdom of the Crowd.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?id=1394

WOTC - Protest against HK extradition law

How should the HK govt deal with the large protest against the extradition law?

Here are the votes of the participants in this survey.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1395

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Work of teachers

I am surprised to read that our teachers work 46 hours a week of which only 18 hours are spent on teaching and the other 28 hours on administrative and school activities.

Teachers in the other countries participating in the OECD survey worked an average of 39 hours of which 21 hours are spent on teaching and 18 hours on other work.

Why do our teachers have to spend so much time on non-teaching work, i.e. 10 hours more than teachers elsewhere?

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/singapore-teachers-working-fewer-hours-still-more-international-peers-oecd-survey



Driving licence of elderly drivers

Should drivers above 65 be required to take their driving test again, as suggested by this writer?

At present, they are required to pass a medical examination to get renewal of their licence after age 65

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1651

Wisdom of the crowd

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

WOT - PM Lee's remarks on Vietnam invasion of Cambodia in 1978

None of the respondents to this Wisdom of the Crowd survey is willing to come forward to side PM Lee over his comments about the invasion of Cambodia by Vietnam in 1978.

However 9% felt that the criticisms by the netizens of these two countries are unwarranted.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1393

WOTC - Electric cars

Over two thirds of the respondents to the Wisdom of the Crowd expect electric cars to be used in the near future. See their votes here:

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1392

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Learn by experiments

Some truths can only be discovered by experiments. It cannot be found from Google or from what other people say.

I share two examples.

Example One
I have a $8 smart which that is sync to my mobile phone. I was not sure whether the measurement of the steps is made by the watch or the phone.

I checked Google and got confusing answers.

I carried out an experiment and found that my watch measured the steps. This applied to my situation.

In another situation, it is possible for a mobile phone to measure the steps, but you have to carry the mobile phone and activate an appropriate app that uses the pedometer sensor in the phone.

Example Two
I put my mobile phone (with a temperature app) into the fridge to test if the app could measures the temperature. It did not work.

I download another app and found that there is no ambient temperature sensor in my phone.

I will be looking for another mobile phone that has this sensor. I want to test the accuracy of the temperature measurement. 

Lesson
A few years ago, I put my iPhone into the fridge to see if it could measure the temperature. I found that it did not work and shared the result.

Some young people laughed at my experiment and declared that I was stupid not to know how the app works. Even the SGAG website suggested that I was stupid. More than 10,000 followers of SGAG, mostly young people, joined the band wagon to laugh at me.



These people thought they were smart because they declare that it was not possible for a mobile phone to measure the temperature.

How do they know? The believe from what their friends say or what the experts say. They do not know how to find out for themselves and to use their common sense and judgment.

Well, the truth is - a mobile phone can measure the temperature if it is an ambient temperature sensor.

These people who think that they are smart should learn to be more humble. They should not laugh at people who learn by carrying out an experiment.

Tan Kin Lian

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1649




Message from Bernie Sanders

Here is a message from Bernie Sanders, who is competing in the primary election for the Democratic Party in USA. What he said about America also applies to Singapore.

Dear Kin Lian

During the last 45 years there have been a lot of campaign promises made by candidates, a lot of political party platforms, a lot of great speeches and a lot of important pieces of legislation passed.

But, at the end of all of that, we have to ask ourselves some very simple questions that are too rarely asked.

Why, despite huge increases in technology and worker productivity, is the average American worker today – in real, inflation-accounted-for dollars – earning no more than he or she did in 1974?

Why are half of our people living paycheck to paycheck, with no money in the bank and scared to death that their car might break down or that a family member could end up in the hospital?

Why, in the last 30 years, has there been a massive transfer of wealth from the working families of this country to the very rich – with the top 1% seeing its wealth increase by $21 trillion – while the bottom half saw a $900 billion decline in its wealth?

Why, for the first time in the modern history of our country, is the younger generation experiencing a lower standard of living than their parents with more debt, lower wages and less home ownership?

Why, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, do we have more people incarcerated than any other nation?

Why are we the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all, while we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs?

Why will 500,000 Americans sleep out on the streets tonight while millions of others are paying 40 or 50 percent of their limited incomes for housing?

Why is there a gap in life expectancy of 15 years between the wealthiest Americans and the poorest, with life expectancy in our country actually in decline?

Why do we have more wealth and income inequality than any other major nation with the disparity between the rich and poor growing wider? Three individuals now own more wealth than the bottom half of America, the top one percent owns more wealth than the bottom 92 percent and 49 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent.

And here is the reason why.

Unfettered capitalism works extraordinarily well for the very rich and powerful special interests, while it is a disaster for ordinary Americans. While the billionaire class becomes richer, tens of millions of Americans are unable to afford the basic necessities of life – decent food, shelter, housing and education – and many are going deeper and deeper into debt.

What differentiates our campaign from all others is the understanding that real change in this country will not occur unless we have the courage to build a political revolution – unless millions of people stand up and take on the greed of the powerful special interests that control so much of our economic and political life.

We must not only win this election. We must build the kind of powerful grassroots movement that can bring transformative change to the country.

Together, we must finally confront the power structure of this country whose greed has done so much harm to the economic and moral fabric of America.

Our job is to take on Wall Street and break up the major financial institutions that have so much power over our economy. Our job is to take on the insurance industry and move this country to a Medicare for all single payer program. Our job is to take on the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drugs by half. Our job is to take on the fossil fuel industry and save the planet by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Our job is to take on the military industrial complex, cut military spending and end endless wars. Our job is to take on the prison industrial complex, end private prisons and mass incarceration. Our job, finally, is to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.

It goes without saying that what we are trying to do is enormously difficult. We are taking on the entire economic and political establishment. In that regard, I am reminded of the remarks that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made during his campaign in 1936 when he talked about the corporate elite of his time.

“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”

We are not going to run away from the power of corporate America. We will confront it and we will win.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Can Hong Kong thrive as an independent country?

64% of the participants in my Facebook poll said that Hong Kong will do well, if it is independent of China.

I belong to the 36%. I think it will be a disaster for Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's role is to be a port or hub to serve China. That role can be easily taken by Shanghai or other cities.

If Hong Kong breaks away from China, and China does not support the economy of Hong Kong, the damage will be severe.

What can Hong Kong do, if it is not connected to the China economy?

Someone said that Hong Kong depends on power and water from China. It will be very costly for Hong Kong to become self sufficient in these utilities.

It may be possible to look at Singapore as a model for an independent Hong Kong. But it takes a few decades for the Singapore economic model to be created. Relationships and trust have to be build.

Even so, the Singapore model will become challenged in the midst of changes in the world.

So, it is better for the people of Hong Kong to consider the implications of a split in economic relations with China, even though it may not lead to full independence.




Links to TKL Posts

Here are the links that you can save in your browser to get immediate access to my posts

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/kinlian

#HearMeOut
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/most_view.aspx


Wisdom of the Crowd
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/result.aspx




Massive protests in Hong Kong against the extradition bill

What are the reasons for the massive protest in Hong Kong against the extradition bill?

There are several underlying reasons:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1648



WOTC - Smart Nation project

What are the reasons for Singapore to embark on the Smart Nation project? Here are the answers given by some participants.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1391

WOTC - Air conditioning of subsidised wards

86% of the participants in this survey said that the subsidised wards in the hospitals should be air conditioned. They do not agree with the current practice of making the subsidised wards non air conditioned to push the patients to the non-subsidised wards.

More details here:
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1390

Monday, June 17, 2019

WOTC - Vietnam invasion of Cambodia

How should LHL deal with the uproar over this remark about the Vietnam invasion of Cambodia?

None of the respondents agree with this approach of just keeping quiet.

What do they suggest? See the result here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1389

WOTC - 5G network

Who should build the 5G network in Singapore. The views are quite divided. See the result here.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?id=1388

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Realities about democratic systems

This is a translation of an article in Chinese. I am not able to locate the source of the article.

Democracy must face 5 cruel realities:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1644

Vote - do you agree with this observation about the flaws in democratic system? It does not say that democracy is worse than other systems.

BBC Interview - America does not represent the world

Watch this 2.5 minute clip of the interview given by the founder of Huawei to BBC.

More importantly, read the 6,200 comments. They come from many countries - and most express support for Huawei. They are not fake comments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju1epxXUPkQ

Protest against the HK extradition bill

I do not wish to join the bandwagon and criticize the Hong Kong government for presenting the extradition bill to their legislature.

I also do not join the bandwagon in supporting the large numbers of people who have come out in protests against the bill.

I watched several videos explaining the issues on both side. I put the links below.

Here are my conclusions:

a) The HK govt has a valid reason to update the extradition law.
b) The protestors are worried that the law can be used to send HK residents for unfair trial in China.
c) There is still a deep distrust of the justice system in China.
d) I believe that the fear and distrust is exaggerated and not justified. It is probably fanned by people who have vested interests or bad intent towards China.
e) I commend the decision of the HK Chief Executive to suspend the bill. The govt now has the opportunity to make changes that will address the fear and distrust of the protesters.

I wish the HK govt and the protesters all the best in finding a better solution.

Here are the links:
Honorary Professor of Law at HK University
https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/186/73/64/1560307116859.html

Nathan Rich
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCokRDKR89c

Dr. Margaret Ng
https://www.facebook.com/kinlian/videos/424346051485054/

Political systems

In a communist country, the communist party is the highest authority. The country may have a legislature but it is ultimately under the control of the communist party.

In a monarchy, the sovereign (king or queen) it the highest authority.

In a democracy, the legislature is the highest authority (but sometimes they are not able to control the President who is elected separately).

Within the communist party, the leaders are elected democratically by the party members.

In a democratic country, the legislature is elected by majority vote of the people. However, in many countries, the democratic process is flawed and is controlled by big money or corrupt practice.

There are also hybrid systems. For example, the system in China is socialism (i.e. communism) with market characteristics. They have socialist principles at national level and allow the free market at the enterprise level. However, their political control is under the communist party.

Each system has its strengths, weaknesses and flaws.

Many people have the impression that the communist system is bad, but their view is colored by the western media over the past decades. They do not realize that the media is also controlled by big money and has not been truthful.

We should not just blindly believe that democracy is good and communism (or socialism) is bad.

The best test is - which system actually produces the leaders that work in in the interest of the country and the people and make the most economic and social progress.

Wisdom of the Crowd

WOTC - Managing escrow account

In the past, there were several instances where lawyers asconded with the money entrusted to them by their clients and paid into escrow accounts.

Is there a better way to manage this risk? Should a specialised third party be appointed to offer this escrow account service?

See the result of this survey here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1387

WOTC - Bicentennial of Singapore

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - which is a better way to celebrate the bicentennial of Singapore?

Should we create a $200 commemorate note or $20 note or a coin?

You can find the answer here:
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1386

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Protest against the extradition bill in Hong Kong

I read that the bill is to allow extradition of fugitives to Mainland China and elsewhere in the world.

The extradition law follow international norms.

This seemed to be a reasonable law. Why is there a strong protest.

Here are my views.
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1637

Wisdom of the Crowd

WOTC - Good nature person

What are the important qualities of a good natured person? The findings in this survey may surprise you.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1384

WOTC - Bad nature person

What makes a bad nature person? See the results here. I observe that many Singaporeans fall into this category.

https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=1385

Be objective and keep an open mind

I like discussions in my Facebook page to be objective and non-personal.

There were some views that the Jewel is Changi is costly and wasteful and that it will soon be dead.

I visited the Jewel twice and was impressed with the waterfall. Business seemed to be quite good at the shops and eateries. The place is busy.

I do not write off the Jewel as a failure at this stage. However, I did see media reports that some of the shops are struggling.

I think that this observation is correct, but I am not ready to form any conclusion. I prefer to keep an open mind. I do not form rigid opinion based on unreliable facts.

I do not want to criticise the establishment for the sake of doing so.

Be respectful in giving comments

Some people criticise me for deleting comments that are not supportive of my views.

Their comments are not correct. I delete comments that:

a) are rude and disrespectful
b) pass judgment on my views, just because they have a different view
c) make personal attacks.
d) are irrelevant to the topic

Some of these people have the purpose of just criticising my view without any reason. I suspect that they are paid to do so. They work in a gang, or can I say in a brigade.

Some are just trolls, who enjoy making senseless personal attacks and criticism. They think that they are smart. They think that this kind of behavior is the norm in the internet.

Some people do post comments that are different from my view. They do it respectfully.

They share their facts and perspective without passing any judgment of me or my view. They help in contributing to a useful discussion of the topic.

Let me quote an example.

I posted a few observations that some directional signs in our MRT stations are confusing and difficult to follow.

I am not saying that the signs are totally bad. But I did imply that they are generally bad.

A few people shared their comments about being lost when looking for the exits in our MRT stations. These are supportive comments.

I do not mind if some people said that they did not have any difficulty in finding the directional signs or that our signs are generally helpful.

But I get some comments that are disrespectful and personal. These people said that my difficulty is due to old age or that it was my fault for missing the signs. Some even said that it was my post was intended to bring down the establishment.

These comments are deleted. In extreme cases, where their intent to insult is obvious, the writers are banned.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1635


Friday, June 14, 2019

Wisdom of the crowd

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

WOTC - Minimum wage

81% of the respondents to this survey said that the government should set a minimum wage to ensure that workers can earn above the poverty level.

Only 12% said that it should be left to the National Wages Council and 2% said that the minimum wage will cause problems for small businesses.

See the details in
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1383

WOTC - 5G licenses

Should the govt give 5G licenses free to the operators?

33% of the respondents agreed, while 10% advocate the current system of bidding for the licences.

The remaining 55% advocated two other approaches.

See the results here.
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1382

Security of jobs

In the future, jobs will become more uncertain due to globalization, trade disputes, economic recession, uncompetitiveness and other factors.

What can a country do to ensure that its citizens have jobs?

Here are my ideas:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1630

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Unclear situation on CPF contribution

This is a shocking state of affairs. It reflects a low quality of the people in charge, up to the manpower minister.

Read the finding of this court of appeal.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/high-court-rejects-cpf-boards-bid-for-417k-in-alleged-arrears-acquits-country

The instructor worked for the club for many years. He did
not complain about non contribution of CPF. On termination of service, he complained to CPF Board about the non-contribution and the CPF Board asked the employer to contribute $417,000 in arrears of CPF.

Here are some issues:
a) Why is the arrears in CPF contribution so high - $417,000?
b) How can the CPF board take the position that CPF is payable when both the club and gym instructor have accepted that he was not an employee?
c) Who pays for the legal expenses for the case and the appeal?
d) Why is our law on CPF so unclear that the CPF Board does not even know how to apply it?

This is an example of an unsatisfactory state of affairs that has not been rectified for several decades.

How can our businesses be competitiveness if they are subject to this kind of uncertainty and uncontrollable costs?

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1629

Large scale demonstrations could lead to violence

In some countries, large scale demonstrations have led to violence and rioting.

To prevent this, Singapore makes it illegal for any public assembly to be held without a police permit.

This has stifled the constitution right of people to express their objection against bad laws or implementation of the law.

How can this problem be dealt with? I have a suggestion.

https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1624

Wisdom of the Crowd

WOTC - Circle Line

Is it wise for the government to spend $4.85 billion on the final stage to complete the Circle Line.

10% of the respondents in this survey think so. 90% disagree.

See their reasons:
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart3.aspx?id=1381

WOTC - President Trump

Is President Trump acting responsibly in the interest of America?

25% think so, but 75% disagree. See the breakdown at
https://wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?id=1380

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Control over the internet

I am in favor of some control over the internet. This is to prevent the abuse of the internet by malicious people who wish to incite hatred and violence, or to harm other people.

I like to see control carried out in the following manner:
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1620

Unity in diversity

Some political parties insist that their delegates follow the policies that are decided by the parties down to the detailed level. This creates a bland atmosphere with everyone talking in the same way.

I prefer the concept of "unity in diversity". What do I mean?
https://tklcloud.com/Feedback/feedback2.aspx?id=1619

Wisdom of the Crowd


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

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