Saturday, January 20, 2018

Which political-economic system is best for a country?

capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

socialism - a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

anarchism - belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.

facism - a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

communism - a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

democracy - a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Oligarchy - is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people.

Dictatorship - a form of government in which a country or a group of countries is ruled by one person or by a polity and power is exercised through various mechanisms to ensure that the entity's power remains strong.

Will IOT help to locate a missing child?

For the past 30 years, I have been worried about children being abducted.

Imagine that the parent takes a child to a mall or crowded place. The child wonders away and went missing. The child is too young to know how to get back to the parent.

If the child is found by a decent person, the finder will take the child to a police station or the parent can ask the police if the child is found.

If the child is found by a bad person, the child might gone missing permanently.

This problem is compounded when the family is overseas on a holiday.

One possible precaution is to give a message that the child can show to the finder - missing child, call (name), (number) of parent. It can also be pasted as a label to an bag or a piece of clothing for the child. It can also be worn like a watch.

Is there another way for a GPS device to be worn by the child? The parent can track the child with a mobile phone. But this request the device to have a SIM card as well.

The beacon created by Apple can be a way to track the location of the child. But it requires sufficient mobile phones with apps that can read the beacon.

Perhaps the best solution is IOT (internet of things) technology. The child can carry an IOT device. Its location can be sensed by the IOT network. The parent can search the IOT network and know the location of the child.

Will the IOT be the ultimate answer?

It takes time to reverse a bad government policy

This news report paint the job of a policeman to be demanding and risky. It is not true. All jobs have some degree of risk and are demanding anyway.

The job of a policeman is attractive to some people. They will be happy to be a policeman if the pay and prospects are good.

But our government makes it unattractive due to low pay and poor promotion prospects for non-graduates. This is another example of a bad policy. They realized their mistake after 30 years and are now trying to reverse their bad policy. But it takes time. We have an incompetent government.

The government should be more considerate and accountable

Dear Mr. Tan

Why did the government statuary board could not communicate with each other.

The government has survey for every trade. All companies has file information to IRAS and MOM with regards to all the information needed.

why did the government statuary boards just share information? Instead they make the businesses file all different things and prepare multiple sets of information?

by doing this, are they trying to penalise the businesses if they make mistakes in the filing or surveys.

it is not the first time that I have encounter this very bad practise in Singapore wasting time and manpower.

btw why did the government needs BCA to conduct survey when ACRA, MOM and IRAS has all the information. If they are sharp in detection problems IRAS and ACRA would have alert the relevant Statuary department when an orange light has appear in the statistic analysis by information in all filings.

I agree with you. We have a bad government. They do not care about the problems that they cause to the businesses and citizens. That is why our cost of doing business is so high, and the cost of living is so high.

We need a government that is more considerate and more accountable. If they get feedback from the public, they should get a senior person to understand the feedback and see if anything can be done to improve the situation. Instead, the people handing the feedback ignore it, or just find some excuse to avoid doing anything.

This is poor quality of civil service. It has deteriorated badly for the past three decades.

Taking a lift from a stranger

Straits Times report. 

Say "no" to getting a ride from strangers, kids told.
Students shouldn't take any chance even if driver means well, says MPs on recent scares.
A child should never take up a stranger's offer of a lift in their vehicle, even on a a rainy day.
This was the resounding verdict of socialogists, support groups and Members of Parliament, who were commenting on a series of recent incidents here that raised the spectre - albeit briefly - of kidnapping.

Welcome to Singapore. The Singapore mindset is to think of the worst case and take all kinds of precautions. And the problem will disappear.


There are many other ways for kidnappers to kidnap a child. When the child grows up and becomes an adult and have to travel to other countries, they will also be scared to take taxis or other forms of transport, because they can also be kidnapped?

Can you trust taking a private hire car? Are you sure that the driver has been screened by Uber or Grab? Can a third party take over the car and go around to pick up riders for kidnap?

Do we want people to grow up to be scared of all strangers?

There must be a better way to teach students how to accept a ride from strangers and still be safe. How about taking a photo of the car and send it by SMS to the parent or friend? And let the kind driver know that this has been done.

In the old days, taking a lift from strangers if a good way for young people to travel across a large country, like America. Some people do disappear, but the majority gets a useful life experience. They may disappear on the streets, and not only from taking a ride.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Should the RSAF have a celebration for their 50th anniversary?

Give your vote in 

Should civil servants be required to have a cooling off period before entering politics.

Give your vote in

Is the Edusave Award schemes good for students?

Give your vote in

Will UberFlash (tie up between Uber and Comfort Taxis) be successful?

Give your vote in

Get rid of GST refund for tourists

I do not like the GST refund for tourist. I believe that GST should be applied to all, locals and tourists. If there is a need to encourage tourism in Singapore, there should be other ways to achive the goal, rather than to have GST refund.

I remembered that there was a scandal involving GST refund by tourists recently. The locals purchase the expensive goods, but asked the tourists to claim the GST refund. Under this scam, both the locals and the tourist shared the spoil.

We may be able to detect some of the scams, but what about the other scams that are not detected? Why create a scheme that has a loophole that can be exploited?

It is better to focus on improving productivity and reduce the cost of doing business, rather than to create these wasteful schemes.

Do you expect Dr. Lee Boon Yang to step down as chairman of Keppel Corp in 2018?

Give your vote in

What can Singapore do to become a sporting nation?

I asked this question in the wisdom of the crowd - What can Singapore do to become a sporting nation?

72% of those who voted gave three suggestions. The remaining 28% said that this goal should be dropped, as Singapore can never be a sporting nation.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Is it a good strategy for the Pakatan coalition to pick Dr. Mahathir as PM designate?

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Is it a good strategy for the Pakatan coalition to pick Dr. Mahathir as PM designate?

To my surprise, 70% said that it is a good strategy. They gave two reasons. The remaining 30% disagreed.

I wonder if the 70% is indicative of the thinking in Singapore at the last general election? Hahaha.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Video clips on Financial Planning

Hi Kin Lian,

Will you consider recording your presentations and making them available on your own youtube channel? For example your upcoming event on Financial Planning - Doing it right, I'm interested to know more but obviously cannot attend. I'm sure there are others in similar situations.

There is still value in attending live as you can ask questions. But making it available on youtube at a later date I think is something you can consider.


Tough time ahead for taxis and private hire?

I forsee one big problem ahead. Currently, there are many people who do not have a regular job but are able to make a living by being a private hire driver under Grab and Uber. They include PMETs who were retrenched and the graduates who could not find a job.

The earnings from being a private hire driver is quite attractive. But this was largely financed by the promotions offered by Grab and Uber. These promotions must cost massive losses for these companies and are burning up their venture capital. This can continue only for a while.

When Grab and Uber stops their promotions or burn up their venture capital, the demand for taxis and private hire will drop sharply. The private hire drivers will see a big decline in their earnings. The massive over-supply of taxis and private hire cars will be felt.

The taxi drivers and the private hire drivers will be badly affected.

I see this happening during the first half of this year. It will be very painful for many people. I hope that some of the taxi and private hire drivers have other alternative jobs, so that the supply will be moderated.

Maybe, I am wrong and the happy situation can continue for a year or so. What are your views?

Will GST be raised in 2018 and by how much?

Will GST be raised in 2018 and by how much?

This question is not about whether you like it to be raised, but whether the government will go ahead and make life difficult for the people.

Give your vote in

If there is a bad economy in 2020, will PAP get more votes or less votes?

Give your vote in

Which political party will you vote for at the next general election?

Which political party will you vote for at the next general election? Assume that your favorite party will contest in your constitutency.

Give your vote in

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