Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should a separate lane be built for cyclists and PMD riders?
2. Should the road be renamed in Sengkang and Punggol?
3. Which HDB town has the best system to name the roads?

Vote in

We didn’t know what we were doing’

New York Times.

Thousands of pages of documents detailing the war in Afghanistan released by The Washington Post paint a stark picture of missteps and failures — as well as misleading public statements about how the war was going.
After a short-term victory over the Taliban and Al Qaeda in early 2002, the U.S. military’s efforts in the country grew hazy. Even as the Taliban grew and troops voiced concerns about the U.S. strategy’s shortcomings, senior officials almost always said progress was being made. But the documents show they knew otherwise.
Details: The Post said the documents come from 2,000 pages of Pentagon interviews conducted between 2014 and 2018 to write a series of unclassified “Lessons Learned” reports. They were released after a long legal battle with the government’s watchdog for the war.
Quotable: “We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking,” said one retired general who helped oversee the war in Bush and Obama administrations.
Cost breakdown: The Times found there was little to show for the $2 trillion spent on the 18-year war. More than 38,000 Afghan civilians and 2,400 American soldiers have died.

Quora: Is President Trump being honest when he says "China would like to make a deal but I'm not ready"?

Ivan Kraljevic, lives in Florida Answered

He is contradicting himself. But, anyway, what he is saying uncovers a lot.

First let’s lay out how he is contradicting himself:

Indeed, on Aug 9, 2019 he said: “we are not ready to make a deal, but we’ll see what happens ... China wants to do something, but I’m not doing anything yet. Twenty-five years of abuse. I’m not ready so fast”

Less than a month before that (Jul 26, 2019), though, he stated pretty much that it was China the one delaying a deal (“Trump said China may be delaying a deal in a bid to wait him out in the hope a Democrat wins in November 2020”). In his colorful and tendentious words: “I think that China will probably say ‘let’s wait,’” he said. “‘Let’s see if one of these people who gives the United States away, let’s see if one of them could get elected.’”

But a bit over a month earlier (Jun 12, 2019), it was the other way around, with President Trump insisting that “It is me right now that is holding up the deal. And we're going to either do a great deal with China or we're not going to do a deal.”

Not two months before, though (May 7, 2019), it was China the one dragging their collective feet: "The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!"

And if we keep looking further back, we will surely find more zigzagging.

Things like this are cause for his critics to see him as a liar and a fool.

But while he is certainly the former, the way to interpret President Trump is that although he will say whatever he wants to regardless of how false it is, he never utters a word (or writes a tweet, for that matter) but to achieve something. He is an absolutely utilitarian liar.

From that, one obvious probable reason for his zigzagging is that he is trying to position himself so that whatever happens he comes out as the one calling the shots: If there is a deal, it will be in spite of China trying to delay it; if there is no deal, it will be because he said no.

But, a lot more important, is the fact that both statements (he holding the deal, the Chinese holding the deal) have one thing in common: Both seek to preemptively justify the deal being delayed.

And it is in that light that we can start to make sense of what is going on: When the argument that the Chinese are holding the deal becomes plausible, he uses it to stir his base. But when that argument does not hold -when it becomes pretty evident that the Chinese are willing to make a deal- he uses the other argument, because he is really working to delay the deal and needs to explain why.

And why is that? Because every delay is an opportunity to apply more tariffs on more Chinese products.

If this seems too flimsy an indication of President Trump’s intent, we can actually reach the same conclusion from many other developments that have occurred since the Trade War started.

For example, when on May 6th, 2019 the negotiations -which had looked promising until then- broke down after President Trump accused the Chinese of “backtracking”, it became public, through the Chinese, that the big hurdle had been that the Trump Administration wanted to keep the tariffs even if a deal was reached. The Trump Administration did not dispute that account.

I.e., the tariffs are an end by themselves.

Why is that?

Because that was the plan from the beginning.

Indeed, the famous (infamous?) Tax Reform of 2017 had -very publicly- as a key element, a tariff-like tax, called the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that was designed to compensate for the tax cuts that were going to be given to the higher tax brackets (the wealthy) and the corporations.

But the Trump Administration and Congress had to scrape it -or rather postpone it- after it was opposed by major Republican donors, being as it was a tax on consumers that would hurt their bottomline.

But the Tax Reform cannot survive without some means of compensating for the lost revenue. The deficit is exploding.

So, if the BAT could not be sold to the American public when it became obvious it was an additional tax on the middle class and the poorer segments, some other mechanism needed to be devised.

And, especially, a new packaging for that mechanism was required, one that the patriotic American public could buy…

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should a separate lane be built for cyclists and PMD riders?

2. Should the road be renamed in Sengkang and Punggol?

Vote in

Separate lane for cyclists and PMD riders

We call the path that pedestrians walk as a footpath. The Americans call it a sidewalk. The British call it a pavement.

Roads are for motorised vehicles. Pedestrians use the footpaths. Where should the cyclists and PMDs riders use?

In many countries, they have a separate lane for cyclists. I saw the cycling lanes in the center of Kuala Lumpur as well.

Why can't we build a separate lane for cyclists and PMD riders?

WOTC - Should education be entirely free

Wisdom of the Crowd: 79% of the respondents said that compulsory education should be entirely free. 21% said that parents should be required to pay a small contribution towards the cost of education.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Share the use of footpaths

Wisdom of the Crowd: 57% said that the footpaths should be shared with PMDs provided that the safety measures can be observed. 43% said that PMDs should be banned from footpaths.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, December 09, 2019

Rename the roads in Punggol

Here is my suggestion to rename the roads in Punggol estate. The roads running from west to east are renamed as Punggol Way 1, 2, 3, and 4. Those running from north to south are renamed as Punggol Drive 1, 2, 3 to 9.


Rename the roads in Sengkang

I find the current naming of the roads in Sengkang to be like "rojak".

I prefer the roads to be renamed as Sengkang Road 1, 2, 3, etc for the roads running from west to east and Sengkang Drive 1,2, 3 etc for the roads running from north to south.

Stupid XXX - got ears or not?


Divert savings to local conservation efforts

I do not agree with that the savings from the construction of the Cross Island line should be used for conservation. I do not like the concept of tying up the savings to be used in this manner.

We should spend money on local conservation, but it should not be tied to savings in the above manner.

If this is the approach, then there would be no money spend on conservation, if there were no savings from infrastructure construction.

Similarly, some people argued that the revenue from COE should be used for public transport. I also do not agree on this concept.

We should not restrict decisions in this manner.

Police call Gilbert Goh for questioning

The Police called Gilbert Goh for questioning concerning the rally that he held in Hong Lim Park. I was a speaker at the rally, so I have an interest in knowing if any offense had been committed.

I learned later that the Police called Gilbert Goh in response to a police report made by somebody (identity not disclosed) that a foreigner had participated at the rally.

Later, I learned that an Isreali national had attended the rally and asked a question at the rally. Does this amounts to "participation"?


Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is it good for parents to send their children for tuition?
2. Should the school syllabus be lightened?

Vote in

WOTC - Schools hold back PSLE result slip

Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the respondents said that it is bad for the schools to hold back the PSLE result slip because the parents did not pay the school fees.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - PM Lee's remark on the Hong Kong situation

Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of the respondents said that PM Lee should have avoided making a remark on the Hong Kong situation.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, December 08, 2019

A better way to name our roads

We have a confusing way of naming the roads in Sengkang.

Is there a better way. I give my suggestion here.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Was it fair for the police to call up Gilbert Goh for investigating the Hong Lim rally?
2. The AHTC refused to recuse the 2 MPs from being involved in financial matters.
3. The govt question AHTC on their decision to ignore the motion passed in Parliament.

Vote in

Spend time in jail

My friend told me. A few years ago, he went to jail for a few weeks because he refused to pay a traffic fine of a few thousand dollars.

Why did he incur such a large fine? He bought an old car. The IV unit spoiled. He refused to pay $300 to install a new unit. He argued that the IV unit is the property of LTA and should be replaced at LTA's expenses. After all, it is used by LTA to collect his ERP fees!

Later, he stopped using the car. He gave the car key to a car sales person to sell the car. The sales person parked the car somewhere and incurred a large parking fee and fines. He disappeared and could not be traced.

Later, LTA compounded the car and asked the owner to pay for the parking charges and fines. He refused. He preferred to go to jail.

How does he spend his time in jail?

He read books. The jail has many books about Singapore. He read books on Lee KY, Goh KS, E Barker and others. He became quite aware about Singapore's history. He formed a good opinion about Goh KS and E Barker and a bad opinion about Lee KY.

My friend said that going to fail for traffic offenses is not a criminal offence. He does not have a criminal record.

True or not? My friend said. I don't know if he made it up.

Why an elderly lady is scared of a harmless dog

I let Elliot off the leash in Cactus Park. He is an "atas" dog and wants to look for a honorable place to poo. He said that the LHL commemoration stone is not honorable enough.

He walked passed an elderly lady who told me - Mr. Tan, please don't allow you dog out of the leash. I am afraid of dogs.

TKL - But this is a harmless dog. He does not bother anyone.

Lady - But I am scared of dogs.

TKL - Why?

Lady - I have been a teacher for many years. I was scared of the inspector, the principal, MOE and the govt. Now that I have retired, I need something else to be scared of. Otherwise, I am not a Singaporean. So, I am now scared of dogs.


WOTC - Use of footpaths

Wisdom of the Crowd: 82% of the respondents said that the footpaths can be shared with PMD riders, provided that some safety measures are observed. 18% preferred the footpaths to be reserved exclusively for pedestrians.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - SAF officers fly business class for military exercises

Wisdom of the Crowd: 82% of the respondents said that SAF officers should fly with their troops in military aircraft for military exercises. 9% said that they should fly economy class. Ony 9% said that they should fly business class, according to their rank.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tale from a long term prisoner

My friend told me. A few years ago, he went to jail for a few weeks because he refused to pay a traffic fine of a few thousand dollars. He said that being jailed for a traffic offense is NOT a criminal offense, so there is no criminal record.

In the jail, he met another prisoner who had been in jail off and on for several years.

The long term prisoner related his personal circumstance. He come from a large family. He has been jobless. He committed an offence and spent some time in jail.

After he was released, he went back home but still could not find a job. His siblings complained that he was not contributing to the family income. When he fell sick, his mother complained about the medical bill. When he washed his clothes, his siblings complained that he used too much water, and water is expensive. During dinner, his siblings complained that he took the ayam, as there was not enough to share.

He found that it is better to be in jail. He got free laundry and free meals with curry and ayam. When he fell sick, he got free medical expenses. He did not need to work or to worry.

How does he get back in jail? Easy! He just stole some goods from the Fairprice supermarket. Sure get caught and sent back to jail!


Thursday, December 05, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the Cross Island MRT Line go under the nature reserve?
Vote in

SIA Youth Scholarship

Someone sent an email to me pointing out this SIA Youth Scholarship. It is for GCE A level and is open only to Nationals of India.

I wonder why SIA needs to offer this scholarship?


WOTC - Landslide win for Democrats in local election in HK

Wisdom of the Crowd: 61% of the participants see the landslide win of the democrats in the local election as indicating that the people of Hong Kong want to be independent of China.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Central planning

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the participants are in favor of central planning for the economy today, although it has failed in the past.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Migrating to Canada

My sister's classmate migrated to Canada 25 years ago. She obtained her citizenship after two years. She is now a pensioner and receive $1,600 a month from the state. She supplemented the income by taking international students as tenants and provide food for the students.


Working in Canada

My friend migrated to Canada after working for ten years as a permanent resident in Singapore. I asked him to share his experience about working in the new environment

Hi Mr Tan

After working here for like two weeks plus, maybe I will say that things tend to move not as fast as Singapore. I can leave office at 5pm (and most do) - nobody bats an eye. People very rarely have to work at home (as in OT). And, if you have appointments or so, you can choose to work from home that day (we just have to make sure that we work 8 hours that day.)

And, right into my third week, I have got a certificate training (today and tomorrow). Company is also paying for the certificate exam. It’s a foundation certificate but still I will say that they really invest in people. I heard that some companies have tuition allowance if you decide to take up a course (of course, manager’s approval is required.) I guess that’s pretty good. Not only education allowance, there are some baseline benefits that most companies would include in our offer package such as extended health care for me and my family, basic dental care for me and family, and eye care (we can make glasses!). Some companies would include chiropractic/physiotherapy/massage allowance for their employees, too. So, in short, so long as you’re working, you don’t have to worry much about your well-being as well as your family’s. If we have kids, all benefits apply to our kids, too.

Regarding citizenship, we have to stay here for 1095 days (during the five years before the date of the application) to become eligible to apply for citizenship. Social welfare is pretty good. We pay quite a high tax for our income compared to Singapore, too, plus Employment Insurance etc. (Employment Insurance covers us from lay-offs or so.) We also pay like 12% tax (GST + PST) for our transactions (online and off-line). On the other hand, we don’t have to worry much about our health. Education is very very affordable, too. So, yeah, there are some trade-offs here and there, I suppose.

On the other hand, Singapore will be unbeatable in certain aspects as well - convenience of doing everything - commute, banking, mobile communication etc. Weather and food are some of the things people who moved here from Singapore would dearly miss. And, yes, Singapore's public safety (or rule of law) is top-notch! (probably only second to Japan, I suppose?)

Expiry of NETS Flash card

Someone complained to me that his money in the NETS flash card was confiscated on the expiry of the card.

Why I drink kombucha

I drank my second bottle of kombucha today, served by my Japanese gf (actually, it is a Sakura bottle).

I made my own kombucha by following the videos on Youtube.

What are the benefits of kombucha? Read this

I have problems with metabolism and constipation. I hope that kombucha will help to overcome them.

Tips on speculative investing

A reader was impressed with the profit that I achieved on my speculative portfolio. He asked if I can give a talk on investing. He will be interested to attend. He had invested before, and lost money on stocks.

I wish to share some tips.

Quora: What's the best Donald Trump joke you have heard?

Marsha Browne, Writer, Thinker, Woman, Human Being answered.

How to make private insurance good for the people

Private insurance can be good and can be bad for the people.

This is how to tell the difference.

Eldershield Life is costly and ineffective

It is a waste of time and money to run a scheme like Eldershield Life that is so costly to administer and yet does not address the real needs of the people. Here is a better alternative.


WOTC - Is democracy a good form of government?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 61% of the participants find democracy to be a good form of government. 39% have a different view.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Opinion of President Xi Jinping

Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the participants have a favorable opinion of President Xi Jinping. 36% have a negative opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Are you happy with the system of democracy in Singapore.
2. Is it a good idea for Singapore to change the musical composition of the anthem?

Vote in

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Eldershield Life is a bad idea

The govt requires all CPF members to buy Eldershield Life to provide payment of $300 or $400 when they are severely disabled and need to have nursing care.

Even Singaporeans who work overseas are required to buy this compulsory insurance on the assumption that they will return to live in Singapore during their old age.

This is a bad approach.


Will the ban on PMD using footpath cause loss of vote to PAP?

I believe that it will cause a net loss of vote to PAP. Here are my reasons.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. When was the last time you visited Batam?
2. What is your opinion of Batam?
Vote in

WOTC - Opinion of President Trump

Wisdom of the Crowd: 32% of the respondents have a favorable opinion of President Trump. 68% have a negative opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - System of electing MPs into Parliament

Wisdom of the Crowd: 5% of the participants prefer the Singapore system of electing MPs into Parliament through GRCs. 95% prefer other systems.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, December 02, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Do you agree with the criticism of international media on govt's recent use of POFMA?
2. What will happen to the dispute within the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR?)

Vote in

WOTC - Review ban on use of PMD on footpaths

Wisdom of the Crowd: 70% of the participants want the govt to look for other solutions for PMD to use the footpaths. 30% want the ban to be imposed.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - When will the general election be held?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84% of the participants expect the general election to be held during the first half of 2020. 16% expect it to be held in 2019 or after mid of 2020.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Require PMD riders to pass a test

Many people want the govt to impose the ban on PMD using the footpaths because they cause accidents and injuries to pedestrians.

However, the actual statistics from the hospitals show that a high proportion of the injuries are caused to the PMD riders, rather than the pedestrians. They are injured when they fall off the PMDs or crashed into the walls and other obstructions.

It may be necessary to require the PMD riders to pass a practical test before getting a license to use it.

This test should include the practical aspects of handling the PMD and also the safety regulations (including the speed limit) on using the footpaths and crossing the road.

Perhaps this could be the solution to remove the ban. Allow the PMD rider to use the pavement after they have passed a test. If they are found to have contravened the regulation, the license can be removed.


Flexible pricing for taxis lead to unsatisfactory outcome

I waited for a taxi at Harborfront Center at 6 pm. There was a long queue. I finally managed to get a taxi at 6.50 pm. It was a long wait.

It was peak hours. There was a slight drizzle. This could have accounted for the long wait.

When I was in Taipei earlier this month, I was able to get a taxi from the hotel during peak hours. I did not have to wait. There were plenty of taxis waiting for customers.

What is the special phenomena that caused this lack of taxis during certain busy hours?

Sunday, December 01, 2019

WOTC - Should the two servicemen be penalized for the death of Aloysius Pang?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of the participants said that the two servicemen should not be penalized for the death of Aloysius Pang. 9% said that they were negligent and should be penalized.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Should the PMD retailers be compensated for unsold inventory?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of the participants said that the govt should review the ban on the use of PMDs and allow them to be used on pavements under safe conditions, 19% said that the govt should take over the inventory of the PMD retailers at cost, 23% said that the retailers should take the loss as a business risk.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Does the Chinese communist party produce a good government?
2. PM Lee wants to introduce a good package to deal with the economy.
3. What is the best outcome for the future of Hong Kong?
4. Is there corruption at the highest echelon of our government?
5. Is it proper for a person to allege that there is corruption at the highest level?

Vote in

A disappointing behavior

I publicized a talk on "How I lost 10 kg in 4 months". 14 people expressed an interest to attend the talk. It is free to attendees.

I set the date and sent an email to them. Only 3 people confirmed their attendance.

I publicized the talk in Facebook. Two people asked if I provide a buffet to encourage their attendance. I find their suggestion to be deplorable.

I know that the People's Association give attractive incentives, into food, to attract people to attend their free talks. They have a budget of $1 billion of taxpayer's money to spend. I do not have.

I took the trouble to come to the office today (which is a Saturday) to give the talk, even though only three people confirmed their attendance. Two of them sent in their apologies, giving some reason why they cannot attend.

I give my talk to one person only.

I have seen this kind of inconsiderate behavior on many past occasions. It is quite representative of the Singapore character.


Look at the interest of all parties, and not personal interest only

Someone accused me of supporting the use of PMD because I and my family member do not use the footpaths.

Why should this person make an unfounded accusation or be personal in giving his views?

I use the footpaths every day. So does two of my grandchildren who walk to school.

Anyway, I do not give my views based on personal interests. I am able to see the perspective of other people, and not only my own, in coming to my decision.

I have seen many PMD riders use their gadgets responsibly. Why should they be penalized?

I am sure that some riders are irresponsible. I prefer that they be dealt with severely, and maybe sent to jail. I also like to see them banned.

Someone asked - how can these irresponsible riders be stopped? The answer is - more enforcement officers. We need these officers to implement the ban, right? We can use the same officers to monitor the speeding. It is not difficult.

Why not create jobs for locals to be enforcement officers?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Does the Chinese communist party produce a good government?
2. PM Lee wants to introduce a good package to deal with the economy.

Vote in

WOTC - Is American democracy a good model for the world?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the participants said that the American system of democracy is a good model for the world. 46% said that it is flawed.
See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Will America and China sign a trade agreement in 2019?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the participants do not expect America and China to sign a trade agreement in 2019. 46% expect an agreement to be signed.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Friday, November 29, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How will China respond to the success of the democrats in HK local election?
2. Is the Singapore economy in trouble?

Vote in

Why M1 data passport does not work for me

I have been quite unhappy with Starhub data travel package. I do not mind paying their package rate of $5 (1GB) or $15 (2 GB) but I do not like to pay them a "robbery rate" of $19 for 1 MB of data, when the package is consumed.

Starhub said that after paying $19, I can continue to use data for the rest of the day without extra charge. I question this statement. I think their service stopped. I recalled getting a SMS message from Starhub that I would be charged extra if I continue to use the data. At this "robbery rate", I did not want to try.

I have considered moving to M1. They have a data passport plan where I pay $10 a month per country and the data that I used overseas is deducted from my local data.

I usually do not spend more than 3 days in a country, so the $10 a month is not suitable for me. I also do not like to turn the passport on and off each time that I travel.

The best solution for me is AirSIM. Their SIM card can work in any country. I buy a data package for the period that I am in the country. I pay a rate of $2 a day for most countries and have unlimited data. Actually, I have fast speed up to 500 MB a day and the speed is restricted to 256 kps after that. I find this acceptable.

Why I use AirSIM for data outside Singapore

My mobile operator, Starhub, used to charge a high rate for roaming data. In my regular travel to Jakarta and Johore, I bought a local SIM card in each country and buy a data package separately when I am in that country.

It was somewhat troublesome to buy the package, as I had to buy it when I am in the country. Their process was also quite troublesome. Still, I tolerated the trouble, as the cost is much lower than roaming data from Starhub.

What is the solution?

Singapore is a deeply divided society.

Six decades ago, we were divided by race and religion. Efforts were made in the early days to promote racial harmony. It was largely successful.

Later, we became a deeply divided society, due mainly by government actions. It has caused disastrous results.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Favorable experience with AirSIM

I have used AirSIM for Taipei, Indonesia and Malaysia. It worked well.

AirSIM provide a separate SIM card. It can be used as the local SIM card for many countries. I can buy a local data plan at a price that is only slightly higher than the local data plan rate.

Here is an example. If I go into country X, I can buy a local SIM card for that country and purchase a local data plan. I have to pay for the SIM card at the airport and also register as the owner of that card. I need to queue up at the booth to make the purchase.

With AirSIM, I avoid the need to buy a local SIM card. I can use the SIM card that is provided by AirSIM and buy a data plan for that country.

Better still, I can buy the data plan in advance and set the effective date.

Early this week, I bought the data plan for Malaysia for Thurs and for Indonesia for Sun and Mon. I bought them in advance and set the starting date.

I travelled to Johore today and the data plan came on when I arrived in Johore. I had tried it for an earlier trip to Taipei and Jakarta, and it worked as expected.

The AirSIM app is easy to use. It is much better designed that the Starhub app. I had a lot of trouble with the Starhub app which was quite confusing to me. I did not have any trouble with the AirSIM app.

The AirSIM service is much better than Starhub from another angle. It gives unlimited data usage and does not charge extra when the data package is fully used. However, if I used more than 500 MB for a day, it automatically reduces the speed, but do not levy an exorbitant charge for the excess data.

In the case of Starhub, I had to pay for the excess data at a "robbery rate", which could be a few thousand times of the normal data rate. I could not find out what this "robbery rate" is.

For my travel outside of Singapore, I will be using AirSIM from now.

If you are interested to use AirSIM, you can register an account at airsim.com.sg. They will send you a SIM card and give instruction on how to use it.


It is worth the trouble of activating the AirSIM account. AirSIM is a Hong Kong company.


Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should PMDs be allowed on foot paths?
2. Should compulsory education be entirely free?

Vote in

WOTC - Ban on PMD using foot paths

Wisdom of the Crowd: 68% of the participants in this survey said that the ban on the use of PMDs in the footpaths will cause a loss of votes to the PAP. The other 32% said that the PAP will not lose votes.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Ruling of Hong Kong judges on ban on face masks

Wisdom of the Crowd: 65% of the participants in this survey disagreed with the ruling on the Hong Kong judges that the ban on the use of face mask was unconstitutional. 35% agreed with the judges.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Death from a lick of a dog

A post went viral in social media about a German who died from bacteria passed to him by the lick of his dog. People were discussing about the precaution that they should take with their dogs.

Hello, let me share some statistical "facts". The chance of dying from a lick from your pet dog is probably less than 1 in 100 million. Yes, one person did die from it. But every day 3 million people died from other causes, other than from the lick of their dog.

Some people will say - one death is one too many. Can they apply their wisdom to the 3 million people that die every day?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should SAF officers fly business class for military exercises?
2. Should PM Lee avoid making remarks on the Hong Kong situation?
3. Should the school hold back the PSLE result slip when parents owe money to the school?

Vote in

Holding back PSLE result slip due to non payment of school fees

I shared a post by Gilbert Goh about a poor student who was not able to get the original PSLE result slip because her parents owed some money to the school.

I described this practice as "very bad". Here is my post.

The Ministry of Education gave their reply, as reported here.

Here are my views about the reply from MOE

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should SAF officers fly business class for military exercises?
2. Should PM Lee avoid making remarks on the Hong Kong situation?Vote in

WOTC - Should the govt adopt a "Singaporean first" policy?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of the participants in this survey prefered the govt to adopt a "Singaporean first" policy and ensure that Singaporeans have jobs that pay an adequate salary to meet the cost of living. 9% said that this goal is not possible due to the global economic environment.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - How should the HK govt deal with the student unrest?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 42% of the participants preferred the Hong Kong govt to take more drastic action to deal with the student unrest, 39% prefer them to continue with the current approach and 19% to acceded to the demands of the students.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Change CPF to make it flexible

When the Central Provident Fund was created in the 1950s, the aim was to accumulate savings for retirement.

CPF has changed over the years. It is now used for a variety of purposes, such as home purchase, medical expenses and insurance.

The govt still insists that CPF should be primary for retirement and has introduced schemes to defer the payout of a certain portion of the CPF savings to be drawn out throughout a lifetime.

The delay in withdrawal of CPF has caused a lot of problems to certain groups of people. They need to take out their savings earlier, on reaching age 55, for certain emergencies, or to enjoy their lifetime savings on travel while they are still able to.

Should the CPF scheme to be made flexible? I believe that they are sound reasons to make this change.

How to increase the birth rate

Nikkei Asian Review.

Japan's births headed for biggest crash in 30 years
TOKYO -- Japanese births are on pace for the steepest drop in three decades despite earlier hopes that couples would ring in the new Imperial era with an addition to the family.
The number of Japanese babies born in the country is expected to reach 870,000 to 880,000 this year -- about 200,000 less than a decade ago and the lowest on record since 1899.

Find my solution here:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Govt use POFMA to get Brad Bowyer to make a correction to his post

I find it worrisome that the government has used the POFMA law to ask for correction in the post made by Brad Bowyer.


The alleged falsehoods are:

1. The Government’s involvement in investment decisions by Temasek and GIC

What Mr Bowyer wrote: Mr Bowyer's Nov 13 post, said the Factually article, implies that the Government controls Temasek’s and GIC’s commercial decisions.

TKL comment - hey, this is just an opinion based on a reasonable interpretation. Surely, there must be some degree of influence or guidance? I would be surprised if there is none from the sole shareholder.

2. Amaravati project

What Mr Bowyer wrote: "We also saw the recent canning of the Amaravati city project part of the S$4 billion already dumped into Andhra Pradesh by GLCs and related parties so India has not been so good an investment choice after all."

TKL comment - the govt objected to the "implication" that the Amaravati project represent a large part of the $4 billion invested. Surely, this is just an opinion that is based on an interpretation of the available facts?

3. Salt Bae

What Mr Bowyer wrote: Mr Bowyer asserted that Temasek invested in the debt-ridden parent company which owns Salt Bae, said the Factually article.

TKL comment - The govt said that the parent company is not in financial distress, but their subsidiary is. A reasonable person would form the opinion that if a subsidiary is in trouble, the parent would probably be in difficulty also, as they will need to provide financial support to the subsidary?

Overall comment
I agree that it is proper for the govt to publish their "facts" in the Factually article, so that the public can form their own opinion based on the additional information.

But it is unfair to state that Brad Bowyer had engaged in deliberate falsehood, when he is just giving an opinion based on the information that is available to him?

Mobile gadgets should give a humming sound

Last night, I was walking on the footpath. A electric operated wheelchair passed me without any warning. It was moving at a slow speed and the user was careful to avoid me. Still, it would be better if it gave a humming sound to warn the pedestrian.

This morning, a bicycle passed me on the footpath from behind. Again, I was not aware about it. The cyclist was riding slowly, so there was no danger. Still, it would be better if there was a humming sound to warn the pedestrian.

I am in favor of sharing the footpath with other users, but I like them to ride slowly (less than 10 kph) and their device to give a humming sound to warn the pedestrians.

I do not mind PMDs sharing the footpaths, if they move at less than 10 kph and give a humming sound, also.


Difficult to get a refund from GOMO

Mr X signed up for the GOMO service, which runs on the SingTel platform. He learned that it does not have auto-roaming. He cancelled the service and wanted a refund of the $20. GOMO process for cancellation was difficult. Mr. X was angry about it.

I asked Mr. X - why do you want auto-roaming? Surely, it is dangerous? I have been charged an exorbitant rate for roaming data which was activated by mistake or after the data package had expired.

I am waiting for his reply.

Yes - I agree with Mr. X that our business provider should behave fairly to their customers and not give unfair hurdles.

WOTC - PLA deployed to clean up the debris in Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 94% of the participants in this survey are in favor of the use of the People Liberation Army in cleaning up the debris left by the protesters in Hong Kong. The other 6% are worried that it might lead to violent suppression.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How do you read the landslide victory for the democrats in Hong Kong?
2. Should the footpaths be shared with PMD riders?

Vote in

Monday, November 25, 2019

How to solve the unemployment problem

Many countries have high unemployment. This problem is worse for youths. Many countries face the challenge of a high level of youth unemployment.

A higher level of education does not solve the problem. Indeed, many graduates are not able to get jobs.

What is the solution to provide adequate jobs for all citizens, including the first time job seekers who have completed their education?

Be prepared for a surprise. The solution is - central planning.

Do not penalize the majority who are responsible PMD riders

I walk on the footpath daily to get to the office by bus. I also walk on the footpath from the grassroots club to my home.

I have met food delivery people once in a while. All the time, they were riding at a safe speed and quite responsibly.

I believe that some riders were speeding and irresponsible, but they represent the minority. These riders can be dealt with. They can be penalized and banned.

But do not impose the ban that affects everybody. Apart from the food delivery riders, there are people who use PMDs to get to the bus stops, train station and place of work.

75,000 of them bought the LU2272 complaint PMDs. Many of them paid for these devices by installments. It is not fair to tell them now that they cannot use the PMDs.

Interest rate on HDB flats

HDB charges an interest rate of 2.6% on mortgages. The banks charge a lower interest rate.

Why is this the case? Is it better to take a loan from the bank or from the HDB?


PMD riders need to deliver food to make a living

I saw a small thin girl riding a PMD on a pavement in Kallang Road. She was wearing a light raincoat as it was drizzling. She entered into a food court.

Later, I saw her at the traffic junction waiting to cross the road. I asked her if she was doing food delivery.

She replied with a little fear - "Why you ask? Is there anything wrong?"


Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will democracy provide a good government for a country.
2. Is central planning good for a country?
Vote in

WOTC - Opinion of President Trump

Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of the participants in this survey have a negative opinion of President Trump. 29% have a positive opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Future for Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 63% of the participants in this survey said that the future for Hong Kong is bleak. The other 37% is optimistic.

See the breakdown of the votes in

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