Saturday, December 30, 2017

Why does the Indonesian couple need to fight AIA for 10 years over a fake policy?

Struggle with inadequate income

We are now able to buy many quality products from China using the online websites at prices that are a small fraction of the price that were sold a few years ago.

This means that our earnings can buy many quality products, leading to a better quality of life.

Sadly, this is not the case..

A large part of the earnings goes to pay for housing mortgage and the high cost of living, e.g. medical expenses, food, etc. It leaves so little to buy the quality products.

It is a bad vicious cycle. Instead of getting a better quality of life, we continue to struggle with inadequate income.

Suggestions to improve productivity

Singapore has been struggling to achieve productivity growth for the last 40 years. It is described in this article.…/singapore-is-in-t…/

I wish to describe the steps that I would take to improve productivity in Singapore:

a) Eliminate unnecessary work
b) Simply processes
c) Introduce automation and innovation
d) Set the right strategy and policies

This is explained further here:

The government must take the lead in achieving national goals

Beijing has achieved achieve much progress in reducing pollution. Well done to the government of China.…/beijing-may-be-starting-t…

This shows the fallacy of LHL's government. He believes that many things can be left to the free market. He is mistaken.

The government must take the lead in achieving national goals. They cannot be left to the "free market".

It is necesary for the government pay attention to the national goals and to take the necessary and effective actions to achieve the goals.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A more secure and efficient voting system for elections

This is only one step towards a more efficient voting system.…/voters-be-electronically-regi…

The second step is to allow electronic voting, with safeguard against manipulation of the votes. It is explained here

Some surprise findings from Google.

In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.

Those traits sound more like what one gains as an English or theater major than as a programmer. Could it be that top Google employees were succeeding despite their technical training, not because of it? After bringing in anthropologists and ethnographers to dive even deeper into the data, the company enlarged its previous hiring practices to include humanities majors, artists, and even the MBAs that, initially, Brin and Page viewed with disdain.

95% disagree with the law minister

Do you agree with the law minister that the public should not influence the sentencing made by judges?

Here are the results of the votes in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

55% said that it is good for the judge to know how the public feels, in the absence of a jury system.
40% said that the judge should be able to make their judgment without being influenced by the public opinion.
5% said that the judge may be unduly influenced by public opinion.

Only 5% agreed with the law minister. The other 95% disagree with him.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

How can pop idols manage their stress?

Recently a popular popular Korean pop idol, Kim Jong-hyun committed suicide as he was not able to manage the stress and depression.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - How can pop idols manage their stress?

56% said that they should get professional help as this is part of their lifestyle.
29% said that they should accept that their popularity may be short term and allow other people to take over.
Another 15% chose two other options.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Avoid spending too much money on private hospital

A mother suffered from some pain in the lower body. There was a waiting time for investigation in a public hospital. The children decided to send the mother to a private hospital.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Was the expensive investigation necessary?

60% said that the mother should visit a general practitioner or a polyclinic and get the advice of a doctor.
62% said that the government should find ways to stop the wasteful use of Medisave.
Another 13% chose two other options.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Will President Trump impose trade restrictions on China in 2018?

Give your vote in

Thursday, December 28, 2017

How did PM Lee perform in 2017?

Give your vote in

How did President Trump perform in 2017?

Give your vote in

Loss of $40 million in Skills Future scam

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - How was it possible for a syndicate to cheat Skills Future of $40 million in fake claims?

54% of the people who voted said that the administrator is grossly negligent to allow this situation to happen. 32% said that an internal staff must be involved in the syndicate. 14% are positive towards the administrator.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How can we give a better deal to hawkers?

How can we give a better deal to hawkers, so that they can provide food at affordable rates and still can earn enough for their effort?

Give your vote in

Jakarta Airlport train started operation

The airport train in Jakarta has started operation. It will reduce the travel time from the city to the airport and avoid the horrendous congestion.

I don't think that they need to spend $100 million for a signal system!


An opportunity to earn consulting or referral fee

SPRING and IE Singapore are promoting the concept of the Smart Factory Industry 4.0 which includes using data analytics to improve efficiency and reduce manufacturing cost.

We wish to share with you a Smart Factory Data Analytics software tool that can help manufacturers to reduce their manufacturing cost. This tool was developed over the past eight years based on the consulting experience of the creator, Mr. Moses Tan.

We invite you to attend a seminar to learn about this software tool. After you become familiar with the tool, you can introduce it to manufacturers and earn consulting or referral fees.

This training course is conducted by Moses Tan, CEO of LeanCost Solutions in collaboration with Tan Kin Lian & Asociates Pte Ltd.

Click here to register

An effective way to deal with corruption

I met a senior person who reported directly to Robert Kuok. I asked him how RK dealt with corruption when he ventured into China in the early days when corruption was rampant.

He shared this story with me.

RK was developing a golf course in a province in South China. The local official, who gives the development permit asked RK - If I approve this plan, how many free golf membership can you give to me?

RK replied - I can give you as many golf membership as you want, but the question is - do you dare to receive them?

The local official went back and consulted his family. The following week, he came back with the signed approval but did not ask for the golf membership.

What made the local official change his mind?

My friend said that the local official was afraid that RK might complain to the top people in Beijing and the local official could be punished severefly for corruption.

I do not know if this is a true story, but this is another way to deal with corruption.

Why does it take a longer time to clear immigration at the Singapore end?

In recent years, it takes a longer time to clear the immigration at the Singapore end, compared to the Johor end.

I asked this question - Why does it take longer to clear immigration at Singapore end, compared to JB end?

Give your vote in

Why China relax its restriction on burning of coal?

China has imposed restriction on burning of coal for heating. This is to reduce air pollution. However, poor households are not able to afford gas for heating.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of The Crowd - Should China continue its restriction on burning coal for heating?

Give your vote in

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Two reasons to buy an apartment in Forest City

I invited my Indonesian friend and his family to spend Christmas eve at Forest City.

On Christmas day, the family decided to buy a small apartment at Forest City. They wanted to send their eldest son to attend the international school in Forest City in two years time.

As an property investor, they also get the right of permanent residency in Malaysia for the family. This would be useful in case there is a recurrence of racial riots which occured twenty years ago.

The cost of the investment was RM 800,000. They could afford it within their family budget, although they were just a middle income family.

I did not expect the family to be so decisive and to make this investment. They told me that they had been considering this matter for some time. They decided to make this important decision when they saw the opportunity.

I expect that many other families in Indonesia will follow their example.

Consulting fee for big contracts

Recently, Keppel Offshore & Marine agreed to pay a penaly of US422.2 million to settle a charge that it offered bribes to the officers of the awarding company to secure several large projects.

In some countries, it is necessary to make these payments to ensure that the company will be awarded the contracts, but the payments were made indirectly as consulting fees to an intermediary.

Was KOM adopting a bad corrupt practice when such a practice appears to be prevalent and necessar to secure the contract?

Give your vote in

Which economic strategy should the government take?

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Which economic strategy should the government take?

Four options were provided for voting. They include keeping the cost of living low, providing heavy subsidy for education, health care and housing, introducing a minimum wage and reduce the price of housing.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Which is your preferred low cost airline?

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Which is your favorite low cost airline?

36% of those who voted preferred Scoot/Tiger. 22% preferred Ais Asia and 22% preferred JetStar. The remaining 20% dislike budget airlines.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Do you like Air Asia?

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - What are your views about Air Asia?

61% of those who voted had a favorable impression of Air Asia. The remainint 39% had an unfavorable impression.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Should banks impose a charge for cash withdrawals from ATMs

One key reason why Singapore prefer to use cash is that it is free to withdraw cash from ATM and to deposit cash in the banks. However, cash payment is inefficient and takes a lot of time of staff.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Should banks impose a charge for cash withdrawals at ATMs?

91% of those who voted prefer to keep the current arrangement and continue to withdraw cash for free. Only 9% are willing to pay a fee for cash withdrawal in return for a higher interest rate on savings or a lowering of the charge for card payment.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

We does HDB want to build 17,000 new flats in 2018?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Why does HDB want to build 17,000 new flats next year?

40% of those who replied said that it is to prepare for an increase in the population - which is an option that most Singaporeans dread. The other 60% gave three other reasons - which are more positive.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

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