Saturday, January 06, 2018

Will President Trump impose trade restrictions on China in 2018?

At the end of 2017, President Trump made some statements about imposing serious trade sanctions on China.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Will President Trump impose trade restrictions on China in 2018?

Only 2% said that it would lead to a serious trade war between the two super economies. 98% said that it will not be serious.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Friday, January 05, 2018

Should Singapore celebrate its bicentennial of its founding by Stamford Raffles in 2019?

Give your vote in

A bad idea to force doctors to contribute to National Electronic Health Record database

The government plans to pass a law to make it compulsory for doctors to upload the medical records of their patients for each occasion that the patient sees the doctor. The data is to be upload to the National Electronic Health Record database.

I think that this is a bad idea. The doctors would be wasting a lot of time to upload information of minor ailments of patients.
Most of the records would be not useful and would clutter up the database.

As a first step. I suggest that only hospital stays and medical checkups be uploaded into the NEHR database.

The government can encourage patients to go for a medical checkup at regular intervals by subsidising all or a large part of the
cost. In return for the subsidy, the patients have to agree that the report would be uploaded into NEHR.

At a later date, the doctors should be required to report certain types of major medical conditions.

I believe that this approach would achieve the goal of getting just-in-time medical data of patients without inposing a heavy
burden on doctors.

How did PM Lee perform in 2017

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - How did PM Lee perform in 2017

The results of the votes are terrible for PM Lee. 94% gave him an unfavorable rating.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

How did President Trump performed in 2017?

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - How did President Trump performed in 2017?

The results of the voting are somewhat favorable towards President Trump

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Thursday, January 04, 2018

How can we give a better deal for hawkers?

Hawkers are facing a difficult time, with high rentals and cost of labor.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - How can we give a better deal for hawkers?

45% of those who voted said that we should build more hawker centers and rent them out at lower rentals.

28% said that the government should give a subsidy to each hawker to cover part of the rental and the cost of labor.

15% said that each stall should be allowed to employ one assistant free of levy.

11% said the customers should accept that food prices will have to increase in the near future.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Why does it take longer to clear immigration at Singapore end, compared to JB end?

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Why does it take longer to clear immigration at Singapore end, compared to JB end?

35% of the people who voted said that Singapore wants to impose stricter control for security.

33% said that Singapore has now become quite inefficient in processing the immigration checks.

18% said that the Malaysian side is taking a lax approach towards immigration control.

14% said the government wants to discourage Singaporeans from visiting Malaysia.

You can see the breakdown of the votes in

Should China continue its restriction on burning coal for heating?

China has introduced restrictions on burning of coal for heating. This has caused many poor families to go without heating during winter, as they cannot afford the higher price of gas for heating.

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

47% of the people replied that China should continue its restriction to reduce pollution.

32% saId that the government should subsidise the price of gas for low income family.

The remaining 21% said that China should relax its ban until a cheaper alternative becomes available or during winter.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Paying a consulting fee to an intermediary

Mr. Tan, do you support giving of bribes through an intermediary?

I do not support the giving of bribes through an intermediary.

I would prefer to do business in those countries where there is no need to give bribes.

If I can get sufficient business to keep my workers employed and to show a healthy profit, there is no need for me to engage in questionable activities.

However, if I do not have sufficient business and face the risk of laying off my workers, who have their livelihood with my company, I will find ways to get sufficient business to sustain their livelihood.

This may involve giving a consulting fee to an intermediary.  If this is the practice in that country, and if the other competitors are engaged in this practice, I would find it necessary to be involved. This will be a last resort.

I would make certain that the legal document forbid the intermediary from giving bribes and carrying out illegal activities.

The Keppel saga is getting more messy

The Keppel saga is getting more messy.…/at-keppel-it-wasnt-a-rogue-employ…

My view:
I do not agree with the step taken by the current board and management of Keppel Corp.

It is cowardice for the current management to admit that the previous management were involved in giving bribes to the Brazil government officials.

It is true that the previous management did pay consulting fees to the intermediary to take care of the local arrangements. It is understood, and perhaps stated in writing, that the local arrangements had to be made without breaking any law.

If bribes were given, it is the intermediary who had commited the crime and broken the law.

The intermediary might have testified, under pressure, that he was authorised by the Keppel management to give bribes. This should be a matter between the intermediary and the previous management of Keppel.

The current management of Keppel has no right to admit that the previous management had committed any wrong doing. It is for the previous management to testify if they did or did not authorize the giving of bribes. I am certain that they would deny this allegation.

I understand that the corporate lawyer of Keppel also expressed some regret for his involvement in preparing the legal documents. This is still not conclusive that the previous management was engaged in bribery.

I worry about the quality of our corporate and government leaders today.

Tan Kin Lian

My views about Forest City

An online news website, Free Malaysia Today, invited me to give my views about Forest City.

I sent the following answers to their questions:

1. Forest City has been successful so far. I am impressed with the fast pace of its development. You can see many apartment blocks being constructed. Most of the units have been sold. I have bought an apartment unit and get to learn how the developer carried out its marketing. I wanted to buy a unit in a block that has started construction but was told that all the units were fully sold. I have to book a unit in a new block that has not started. The developer would start the construction only after most or all the units were sold.

2. I invited an Indonesian family to stay in Forest City for the Christmas holiday. They booked a unit as they wanted to send their son to attend the international school. They also liked the Malaysia My Second Home program and wanted to enjoy permanent residency under this program. I believe that there would be many families in a similar situation.

3. I have no comment on how the massive development would help Johor in the long run. I believe that the Johor government must have felt that this project would be beneficial to the state before they approved its development. I also understand that the state government and the sultan's family had a stake in Forest City.

4. There is the risk that the many development projects in Iskandar will contribute to an over-supply of property. In my case, I am looking at my purchase as a long term investment. I do not intend to rent it out or to sell it over the short term. The property is freehold, so I would be able to keep it for many years, and pass it to my children and grand children. I like the concept of Forest City, which is being developed as a future city with a separation of people from vehicles and is ecologically friendly. I hope that Forest City will become successful and that many people will choose to live there, so that it does not become a white elephant.

Which factor will cause the biggest swing away from PAP at the next general election?

Give your vote in

Grace Fu ask Leon Pereira to apologize

Why does Grace Fu insist that Leon Pereira apologise to the House of Parliament for making a wrong statement about the reporting by Mediacorp?

Give your vote in

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Will Nicole Seah do well at the next general election under the Workers' Party?

Give your vote in

How will journalists make a living?

I met an old friend who was the leader of the journalist union. He has now retired.

I asked him about the career prospects for journalists. We agreed that the future is bleak.

The mainstream newspapers are downsizing and reducing their staff, including journalists. The online news website cannot survive also. How are they going to employ journalists?

The bloggers report news on a voluntary basis. They are not able to verify the accuracy of the news. This has contributed to the dissemination of unreliable or fake news.

I suspect that online advertisements, which is the mainstay of the revenue stream of Google and other websites, will also see diminishing revenue streams. People are now tired of the online, intrusive advertisements.

How will journalists make a living?

Will Singaporeans be prepared to pay for reliable news on the Internet?

Give your vote in

Did Keppel Offshore and Marine acted wrongly in the Brazil situation?

Recently, Keppel Offshore and Marine paid a big penalty to settle a suit involved alleged bribery of officials in Brazail.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Should a company gives bribes when tendering for big jobs in a country where bribery is prevalent?

46% of the people who voted said that the company should not be involved in giving bribes even if they will not get the contract.

31% said that the company should adopt the business practice of the country awarding the contract.

13% said that the matter should be left to the country awarding the contract and America should not be involved.

11% said that it is all right to give a consulting fee to an intermediary to faciltitate getting the contract.

A total of 54% disagree with the penalty that had to be paid.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

How to promote hawker culture

Mr. Tan

The government is trying hard to promote the hawker culture. I think that the only thing that they could do is to look at how the culture begins to understand the real issue.

Hawker centres in Singapore begins as streets stall. It was usually starts up that did not have a huge capital. To survive the hawkers improvise the recipe to charter to the local taste.

hence much if not all the hawker food emphasis on affordable ingredients and outstanding skills.

I believe that there is only one thing the government could do to keep the culture alive. That is to provide a platform for new start ups to revive the culture in its own. It could be done by permit of night markets similar to those in the region. Those who prefer to dine in categorise hawker stall could still enjoy their food there but those who are willing to try the streets stalls will have their choices too. After all, growth comes in stages, any attempt take away any part and the growth will stop or even mutate.

even if the government make the new hawkers goes for training, it is always a good platform for them to try it out at street stalls before they make it to a real hawker stall. In some countries, some street stalls are famous in new recipe when the operators trial their recipe while in business much like how our early hawker did. In hawker centres, it is tough to do this.

Above is my personal opinion, there might be other view on the issue, I am happy to hear different views on this.

Contributed by Tan Yee Fong

Monday, January 01, 2018

Simulation for General Election 2020

The simulation for the General Election 2020 is now ready for your viewing.

Click on this link:

Select the swing against PAP, e.g. 20% and watch the results for each constituency being displayed.

To enjoy this simulation, you should record the results on a piece of paper as it is being displayed.

After all the results are displayed, you will see a summary of the seats won by each party.

You can run the simulation again and select another swing.


Ranking of ministers

This is the ranking of the ministers based on the perception of the voters in The Wisdom of the Crowd.
You can see the trend of the voting over the past weeks in

Bad experience with AIA Financial Guardian

Chin Hua Yak posted this comment about AIA Financial Guardian.

It was the first policy I bought immediately after I got my first job after graduation. Although, I studied Financial Maths and was para-legal trained, it was my first "real" lesson on "Misrepresentation" ... lol. I made a thick submission on my own case to AIA's self appointed adjudicator but no point ... Up till now, they are still deducting "money" from my account to pay the premiums ... But I opted not to pay them any more premiums ... although my 3rd party agent, a relative; advised me to continue to pay more premiums which around year 2000 would require me to pay until age 90+ yo to breakeven ... lol.

Just imagine that ... if I put all the premium monies into a saving account and compound it at just 2%, say by year 15; it would have more than doubled twice in 15-30 year by now, or by another X 4 or 5 times by age 90+ ... lol. Don't forget in those days of high interest rates, simply 5-10% returns or yield without any problem ... My estimate above would be compounded by several more folds ... lol.

Simulation of general election 2020

Happy New Year. My simulation site for General Election 2020 will be ready today.

You can see the simulated results for each constituency and a summary of the total seats won by each party - assuming a 0% to 25% swing against the PAP.

This simulation is based on the assumption that all the constituences will be contested by the same parties as in 2015 and their standing remain as before.

What will happen to Bitcoin in 2018?

Give your vote in

Do you expect war in the Korean Peninsula in 2018?

Give your vote in

What was the problem with AIA Financial Guardian?

Many people were caught with the AIA Financial Guardian. It was a big scandal about 15 years ago.

The problem occurred much earlier. About 30 years ago, AIA launched this policy and sold more than a hundred thousand policies (my guess) to parents to save for their children.

What was this problem? Is there a lesson for the younger generation who put their trust and savings in life insurance policies, only to have a big regret a few years down the road.

Read this article

CAR-T as a treatment for cancer

My friend is familiar with the new technique to treat cancer called CAR-T. It has recently been approved for treatment in America.

This technique is especially suitable for the treatment of lymphoma.

My friend is convinced that PM Lee has taken leave to try this technique. He said that lymphoma is never truly cured and has to be treated again every few years.

I think it is highly speculative. Nevertheless, if this is true, I like to send best wishes for PM Lee for a successful treatment.

Is PM Lee largely responsible for the setbacks faced by Singapore during 2017?

Give your vote in

Do you have faith in the fourth generation leadership for Singapore?

Give your vote in

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ali Baba is acting unreasonably against ezbuy

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Is Alibaba acting reasonably in disrupting the service provided by ezbuy?

81% disagreed with the action of Ali Baba based on four reasons. Only 9% supported teh action of Ali Baba.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Customer engagement officer will not help

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Will the chief commuter engagement officer help to improve the performance of SMRT?

43% of the people who voted said that this is an attempt to deflect the public from the real issue. 41% said that SMRT faced an engineering problem which cannot be solved by commuter communication. The total of negative votes is 84%.

The remaining 16% said that this move is helpful.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

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