Saturday, March 12, 2011

Excellent customer service

My friend sent this e-mail to me, showing how a magazine treats its customer well. Our Singapore companies should emulate such good examples.

Dear chee, 
On March 2, Zinio experienced a technical outage that resulted in limited access to our online shopping and reading services. We would like to make it up to you. 

The interruption to our web services resulted in a number of magazine deliveries to be delayed to readers from March 2-10. We noticed that you are subscribed to one of those titles. To see if your issues have been delivered yet, please click here. For questions on a specific title, please

We know your subscriptions are important to you. We know that you've come to expect a high level of service from Zinio. We would like to make it up to you. We have extended your impacted magazine subscription(s) for one additional month. This has been done automatically in our records. There is no action that you need to take. 
Additionally, because you have been such a trusted and valued customer, we will be sending you a Zinio Gift Card under separate cover within the next week. 

Over the past ten years, our customers, like yourself, have come to enjoy and expect the high quality online experiences Zinio has delivered. We thank you for your patience, understanding and continued loyalty. 

Jeanniey Mullen 
Chief Marketing Officer, Zinio
 | @empg 

Easy Ads - design a good ad

If you wish to rent out your property or sell your car, and you need a detailed ad to be created (in PDF), you can get the assistance of an Agent. Go to and click on Agent. There is a sample ad for you to view.
click here for the sample ad.

Finding a lawyer

Many people are afraid of using a lawyer because of the high and uncertain legal fees. Here is a way to keep the fees within a manageable sum. Go to Ask Mr. Tan (search for "lawyer")  or click here.

Top salaries to be paid back

Dear Mr. Tan,

Read this article about Warren Buffett. “You need a person at the top who has all the downside that somebody has that loses their job working at an auto factory,” he said in an interview released by the panel in February. If a company fails, management should “give back five times the highest compensation they received in the previous five years.”

 Should our President and Ministers pay back their salaries when Singapore is in recessions? Should some Ministers get sacked when the Ministries they in-charge of fail to deliver acceptable services to citizens?

Dare to Ask

Lending the poor a helping hand

"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK

Wong Wee Nam

TODAYonline: 70 customers demanding S$249,000 from True Spa

SINGAPORE - Three months after they were deemed not to be creditors of Subtle Senses - and hence not entitled to any proceeds from its ongoing liquidation - 70 True Spa clients are demanding about S$249,000 from True Spa.
They issued three letters of statutory demand, under the name of two members, to True Spa on Thursday and Friday, said their lawyer Salem Ibrahim. The 70 customers want the spa to honour the judgment sums they had...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wealth Warfare: US grabs Gaddafi assets, Libya to kiss cash goodbye?

Oil refinery ablaze after devastating Japan earthquake, tsunami

Japan earthquake: CCTV video of tsunami wave hitting airport

Heartlands Book Club to discuss “Wisdom on How to Live Life”

Date/Time: 18 March 2011 at 5.00pm

Venue: The Activity Room, Bukit Batok Public Library
Wisdom on How to Live Life” by Tommy Wong
More information about the meeting can be found here.

Tommy Wong’s book is available at Tan Kin Lian’s office.

Easy for agents to cheat

Does your life insurance company make it easy for their agents to cheat their customers? Here is a way to find out. See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Are we on the same planet?

Read this letter posted in SGEP

Booking of cinema tickets

There is strong interest in a movie club to enjoy discounts on tickets from the cinemas. I will try to get someone interested to organize this movie club. I need the following information. When you book tickets online, what are the charges that you have to bear? Do you have to collect the tickets from the ticket office in advance, failing which the tickets are released to the public? Do you incur any penalty?

Movie club

If you go to the movies more than 3 times a year, please participate in this survey.

Review of your life insurance policy

If you wish to have an independent review of your life insurance policy, you can contact an expert listed here.
See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Tips on buying insurance

Here are some tips on how to find the right insurance policy and pay a fair premium (i.e. do not be ripped off). See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Easy Ads

This is an advertisement portal. It is free for use by advertisers. You can use the use this portal for the following:
  • Advertise rooms for rental
  • Advertise tuition services
  • Advertise handy man and repair services
  • Looking for jobs
Most people wish to search for a room, or tutor or handyman near their home or place  of work. This portal has a special feature to allow you to search for ads based on locality, price range, type of service and other useful features.

Look at guide for instructions on how to use this portal.

Investigation into Profitable Plots

Rent a room?

Do you want to rent a room to foreigners and supplement your monthly income? Post your ads in Easy Ads for free. You can include your postal code, so that the prospective tenant can search for a room near their place of work.

This portal is also good for tenants to search for an available room near their workplace. By conducting the owner directly, you save on the fee payable to the agent. Try it.


Are you interested to provide tuition near your home? Post your particulars in Easy Ads for free. Some parents may search for you and contact you.

Cartoons by Wing Lee Cheong

Wing Lee Cheong draws cartoons about the political situation in Singapore.  You can see his cartoons in   Hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Selecting the right insurance

You have to select the right insurance company and the right policy. You can also consider "self insurance" which may be more suitable under some situations. See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Top 10 jobs in the US

The pay of the top 10 jobs in the US is a faction of the pay of the top government jobs in Singapore.
See SGEP or click here.

High price of property

Message from Kevin Lim, Correspondent of Reuters:

Hi folks,
I’m basically looking to speak to people who are looking to buy property (either HDB or private) but who find prices too high or are worried about a sharp correction in the market.
Need people who are willing to be named.

Kevin Lim
Reuters News

Elderly person - not insured

Hi Mr Tan,
My mother is a housewife and she is 61 year old. She has no contribution to her cpf thus she does not have any medishield or medisave. Two years ago I try to get a medical insurance from NTUC for her but was rejected due to her high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. I having problems to get a suitable medical insurance for her as it either too expensive or they would normally reject for her case.

You can try to apply for basic Medishield with CPF and see if she can be accepted. If not, it is all right. I know of many elderly people who are not insured. If they are hospitalised, go to a subsidised ward (B2 or Cclass) as the bill is kept affordable.
Read this FAQ

SGEP editorial - digital warfare

The SGEP published a new Editorial captioned "The Digital Warfare in Electoral Battle", in respond to TODAY's commentary "“Deep fissures behind Opposition bravado” [7 Mar 2011- Local Media] by Mr. Eugene Tan, an SMU Assistant Professor of Law. Link :
There was also an article in the Kent Ridge Common, "Enough of political opinions from Eugene Tan?". [8 Mar 2011 - Blogs].
We note TODAY Forum also carried a letter "Three-way fights good for voters" [9 Mar 2011 - Letters] by Aloysius Foo today.

New books at the book stores

Get Value From Your Life Insurance will be out at the following places on 14 Mar:
- 7-Eleven convenience stores
- Popular bookstores
- Harris Bookstores
- Prologue
- Kinokuniya
- Page One
- Major newsstands

Guide To Financial Planning (Chinese) will be ready after 14 Mar at the following places:
- Popular bookstores
- Harris bookstores
- Prologue
- Page One
- Kinokuniya Ngee Ann City outlet
- MPH bookstores
- Major newsstands

Low cost investment funds

Read these tips on investing in low cost investment funds.
See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Spams and fraud in e-mail

E-mail is free - and because it is free, it has been abused in the following ways:

  • Spam emails on advertising products
  • Fraud, e.g. MLM, ponzi scheme or taking money and disappear
The spams and fraud are getting rampant and more sophisticated. There are three ways to deal with this problem:

  • Declare these activities to be illegal and take action against the spam or frauds. Although it is difficult to enforce, at least it will deter some people.
  • Require the sender of each e-mail to donate (say) 2 cents to a charity. The paid mail will be marked and recipients can opt to receive only paid mail, i.e. reject free mail. This requires the email community to adopt a standard for paid mail.
  • Continue the current situation and ignore the spam.
Which approach do your prefer? Give your vote in this survey.

SAF insurance pays out the full sum insured on death

Hello Sir,
I have been searching internet for an answer, but no vail. Therefore, I would like to see your advice. I am considering SAF Group Term insurance. Is there is ceiling/cap payout per year?
I heard group insurance has a maximum payout per year on group level (since this is group insurance), so if the pool of $$$ is left (example) 300K for the remaining of this year, and if I were to claim 1million, the maximum payout is only 300K (since the rest of the money in the pool have been compensated to other beneficiaries). Is the above context correct?

SAF allows you to buy insurance for up to $600,000. See
You are covered for the amount that you are insured for, and it is not subject to any "pooling" or "cap".
This statement about the cap could have been told by a dishonest insurance agent who has a vested interested to get the consumer to buy a life insurance policy - instead of the SAF group insurance.

Profile of a Ponzi or MLM scheme?

I receive this email. It fits into the profile of a ponzi or a MLM scheme. I delete all of them. 

Hi, my name is Brad Flowers I have a franchise that is on the cutting edge of digital marketing services.
I am looking for brokers who would like to earn $2000 on the first 7 sales they make and $3000 on each additional sale.
For more information go to
Phone 970-213-1741
P.S. If you are not broker contact me if you have an interest.

Scams are getting more personal

I receive scams regularly, They are getting to be more personal. I believe that this fit into the profile of a scam. This is a nuisance as it is now quite difficult to distinguish between the genuine inquiry and the scams.

I am Mr. Vincent Cheng Chairman of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. I have a sensitive, confidential brief from Hong Kong and I am asking for your partnership in re- profiling funds.
What I require from you is your honest co-operation and all confirmable documents to back up this fund shall be made available to you prior to your acceptance and as soon as I receive your return mail I will let you know what is required of you.

Vincent Cheng.

Is MM Lee facing pressure within the PAP?

Read SGEP-Latest or click here

Give firm enlistment date

Ministry of Defence urged to give firm enlistment date in advance to Singaporeans who are required to serve National Service.
Read SGEP-Latest or click here.

Edited letter published in St Times Online Forum.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

No claim discount for motor insurance

Should you make a claim for a minor accident and lose the no-claim discount on your motor car? See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

Remove uncertain component of means testing in MediShield use

Printed in Straits Times Forum Page, 8 March 2011

MANY elderly people opt to be insured under basic MediShield to cover their medical expenses at an affordable premium ('Stumped by low MediShield payout' by Ms Goh Poh Kheng; yesterday). They accept treatment in a subsidised ward and must pay the deductible and co-insurance of 20 per cent from their Medisave accounts.

They should not be subject to the further uncertainty caused by the pro-ration of the bill due to means testing.

The Ministry of Health should allow patients to pay a slightly higher premium to be excluded from this pro-ration formula. This will allow for greater transparency and give them more certainty on the coverage under basic MediShield.

Many people are now advised to transfer to a private Shield plan to obtain higher coverage. However, the premium for such a plan can be much costlier and the co-payments, in the event of a claim, can also be higher.

This will be outside the financial means of many elderly patients, who need to conserve their Medisave for their old-age needs. Private Shield plans should be only for those who are well-off.

I hope the ministry will consider making basic MediShield the default plan for the large number of seniors who cannot afford to use their Medisave for higher insurance premiums and co-payments.

Tan Kin Lian

TKL Blog posting to Facebook

I need help from an expert in Facebook. In my blog, I add a "Like" feature. A user who click on the the "Like" button will have an automatic posting into his or her Facebook with the information shown on here. At present, the posting shows the message from my blog introduction, i.e. "I retired from NTUC Income .....". How do I change this posting to show the actual content of the blog, rather than the introduction? Send your answer to or post here in this comment..

Monday, March 07, 2011

Letters to SGEP

SGEP receives a few letters from the public. You can view some of these letters here  (Letters to SGEP).

SGEP also invites readers to send your letters and views to We hope that more citizens will use this new channel to give your views and suggestions on how to improve the political and social environment in Singapore.


Letter to SGEP - vote against the PAP

There is a letter published in the SGEP that citizens do not have to vote for the opposition candidates, but they should vote against the PAP for their bad policies. Read SGEP or click here.

Low payout on Medishield plan

There is a letter in the Straits Times on the low payout on Medishield plan. This appears to be caused by the pro-ration formula that is applied due to means testing.

I have written a letter to the St Times to urge the Minister for Health to review basic Medishield to remove the proration formula, and if necessary to raise the premium slightly for this situation. I urge the elderly people to stay on basic Medishield and avoid going to private Shield, as the premium and co-payment will be much higher under Private Shield.

Wait for my letter to be published. Meanwhile, you can read my FAQs on "Shield" or "Medishield" in Ask Mr. Tan

Tan Kin Lian

Fixed enlistment date

Several letters were published in the St Times about the delay faced by private school students in getting enlisted into National Service. This delay adds to the time before they can enter the workforce or continue their university education.

I have written a letter to the Straits Times to urge the Ministry of Defence to give a fixed enlistment date for call up for National Service, several months in advance. This will allow the male citizens to plan their personal schedule around a known enlistment date and minimize the disruption to their personal lives.

If the Ministry finds it difficult to plan the training of the enlisted men, they can find interim arrangements, but it should not be at the expense of the citizens.

Tan Kin Lian

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Shares in CDP

Hi Mr Tan,
I have just started investing in stocks. I read that our shares and other form of securities are held under the custody of CDP. I am curious about how safe are our shares in the custody of CDP. I read from the CDP website that they are not liable for any loss, destruction or mis-delivery of any Securities, any fraud or forgery in connection with the Depositor’s signature, instructions or requests etc.

Does this means that they are not responsible should any fraud, forgery or other forms of damages that happened? If that's the case how do retail investor prevent this from happening and does it help to have a securities account operated with a thumb print? I feel that other investors would be interested to have some knowledge on this issue as well. I sincerely hope that Mr tan you can shed some lights on this issue.

I have kept all my shares in CDp for 20 years and have no worry about this matter. I have also not heard of any problem with the security of the shares of other investors. Most transfers are now done electronically and are backed by an actual sale made through a broker.

Intelligence Quiz

Try this Intelligence Quiz

Greed and dishonesty

In the past, banks built their reputation by winning the trust of their customers. In recent years, the banks were willing to betray the trust in their pursuit of greed and profit. Singapore should follow the example of America and Hong Kong in holding the banks to be accountable for their greed and dishonesty.
Read TKL Website - Latest or click here.

Opera Mini Browser

I had trouble with the default browser that came with my Android mobile phone. It could not download the large images and PDF documents.

I installed the Opera Mini browser to replace the default browser. The Opera Mini worked well. It could download the images and PDFs. It had many other useful functions as well. For those with Android mobile phones, I recommend that you try the Opera Mini browser. You will find the browsing experience to be good.

Tan Kin Lian

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