I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Should hawker centers impose a deposit to encourage customers to return their trays?
50% of those who voted said that it is better to educate the customer, rather than impose a deposit. 23% said that it is better to let the work be done by people who need the job. 14% said that it is costly to set up the machine to handle the refund of the deposit. A total of 87% are against this move.
The remaining 13% said that it helps to improve productivity.
We should make better use of NRIC as a means of identifying a person. It should not be kept private. There is no need to keep a person's name as private. This approach should also apply to the NRIC.
If a person uses the NRIC of another person illegally and without approval, the first person is committing an identity theft. If found, he or she can be sent to jail. The identity theft is similar to theft of property.
Singapore has the advantage of a NRIC system. We can use it toimprove productivity and efficiency in processing our transactions.
We should not lose this advantage due to a misplaced fear of loss or privacy or identity theft.
In his first address as prime minister, PM Lee indicated that leadership renewal is his top priority. Some people observed that he was rather slow in carrying out this promise. But he did bring in many younger ministers into his cabinet and the selection of the prime minister should take a longer time.
Recently, my computer failed. It turned out to be the power supply.
If it was the hard disk that failed, I could lose my personal data on the computer. It does not bother me. Why?
I keep most of my data in the Cloud - Google Drive, GMail, Dropbox. When I change my PC, I do not miss any data. I also use several devices - hope PC, office PC, laptop, iPad.
If any PC or hard disk dies, I am not worried about the loss of the data. I have to take the trouble to install the various software - Microsoft office, Adobe, printer driver, MySQL Workbench, screen capture. This can be time consuming. But it only happens once in a blue moon.
I wish to raise the issue of privacy. What kind of privacy do we really need and how can the right to privacy be protected?
Do we need our medical records to be private? Why?
If we are applying for life insurance, it is better to let the insurance company have access to our medical records. They need this information to access the risk and charge the correct premium.
If they do not have access to the record, they will ask the applicant to declare their medical history. If there is non-disclosure by the applicant, the insurance policy can be voided. Surely this is a bigger financial risk to the applicant?
What about allowing doctors who are treating the patient to have access to the medical record? Surely this is helpful?
There is a risk that other unauthorised person have access to the record to use the information for illegal purpose. This can be declared to be a criminal activity.
Do we need our NRIC to be private? Why?
I am asked to provide my address and contact information many times for my daily activity. I prefer the information to be stored against my NRIC and for the authorised party to have access to this information from a central database.
There is the risk that unauthorised people may get their information for marketing purpose. The unauthorised access can be declared to be a criminal activity.
In practice, my contact information is already widely available. I get marketing messages by email or SMS. I regularly get marketing calls on my mobile and fixed line telephones.
While this is distrubing or intrusive, I have learned how to deal with them. I ignore marketing contacts by SMS, emails and telephone calls.
I do not need the Privacy and Data Protection Act (PDPA) to protect me against the unwanted calls. It is not effective anyway.
In fact, the PDPA is giving me a lot of trouble. Each time that I call an organization, I have to listen to useless messages that are mandated by the PDPA. I must have heard these messages a few thousand times over the past years.
Why impose a burden on ordinary people, without protecting them from the real threats and nuisances?
I do not understand why my NRIC should be kept secret. I will be quite happy to provide my NRIC number to allow authorised parties to retrieve my contact infformation directly. I do not want the hassle of providing the information repeatedly.
Anyway, my contact information is stored in many websites and some of them have been hacked. If the hacker have access to my contact details, it does not bother me.
If the hacker steal my password, what can they do? They can create nuisance by changing the password for my email account. They can read my emails. So what?
Anyway, they are taking the risk of carrying out a criminal activity.
They are not able to transfer money from my bank account as it is protected by a 2FA.
It may be troublesome for me to get back my email account. It is all right. It does not happen often. My email provider is able to allow me to reset my password. If I am really concerned, I can set a 2FA in my email account.
I think that the paranoia about privacy is misplaced. It is added a lot of unnecessary burden to our daily lives.
I wish to share my personal story about Bitcoin. I hope that it will be useful to young people who think that they can learn how to make money in Bitcoin or that they can learn how to trade in Bitcoin.
Dear Mr. Tan Recently my son purchased a GE $5k single premium smart invest plan. He selected 3 funds to invest in. He is also insured for $5100. Do you think he should keep it and hope the funds do well. The annual charges probably amount to 2%.
REPLY Your son had invested in an investment linked policy with Great Eastern Life. The money is invested in the 3 funds that he had selected.
I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - What is the key reason for Singapore to have the lowest birth rate in the world?
47% of the people who voted said that it is due to the bad social and economic policies of the government. 30% said that it is the need to work hard to make a living. 20% said that it is an incompetent government that does not know how to address the problem.
I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - What is the best way to choose our next prime minister?
50% of those who voted like this person to be chosen by Parliament. 30% like him to be chosen by the people, like the US presidential election. 20% like him to be chosen by the cadre of the ruling party.
None like it to be chosen by the 16 younger ministers.
The law minister said that it is "common sense" that senior officers of an organization found to have committed criminal breach of trust should be liable for more severe punishment compared to ordinary employees. He is criticizing the decision of the judges in the court of appeal.
Is the law minister scandalizing the court? Is he saying that the judges do not exercise "common sense" that they are expected to? If this statement is made by an ordinary person, will the Attorney General Chambers charge that person for an offense?
Will the newspaper be charged for publicizing this statement?
A few Asian countries are studying how to tax the online transactions. Singapore is one of them.
The online transactions are eroding the tax that is being collected by these countries through GST and sales tax. As e-commerce grows the tax earned from this source is being eroded.
The online transactions are also threatening the retail stores in these countries. Many retail stores cannot continue in business and have to close down. It has already happened in a large scale. Many malls are empty. It will get worse.
Can these governments and their bureaucrats find a solution to introduce a tax on online transactions? It will be very difficult. it will be challenging.
I am not aware of any country that has introduced this tax successfully. Can you name them?
Even if the governments can introduce a tax on online transactions, there are so many ways that it can be avoided. Furthermore, some of the governments will be lax in implemented the tax to encourage the e-commerce platforms to operate in their country.
I know of a solution to this challenge problem. It requires an out-of-the box approach. In the old days, the civil servants and Dr. Goh Keng Swee would have found a solution. The leaders together, probably cannot see this soution.
Guess what is my solution? It comes from common sense and observation.
At the FISCA talk on 3 Feb, one elderly lady brought three nephews and nieces to attend the talk. One of them has started work, one is servicing full time NS and the third is still studying.
TKL - I want to thank you for encouraging the young people to attend. You will be doing them a great favor for their financial future. Why did you decide to register and pay for them?
Woman - I made a mistake in my own financial planning in the past. I do not want them to make the same mistake. I want them to learn something useful that will benefit them in the future.
What a wonderful woman. I hope that many other older people will follow her example and enrol their children, nephews and nieces.
Their kind gesture will be remembered a long time. When the young person knows how to avoid a mistake through this financial knowledge, they will be grateful to the older person who enrolled them for this talk.
I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Which country will contribute most towards peace and progress for the world?
63% of those who voted chose China. 17% chose the European Union and 14% chose America.
The world has changed a lot. The perception of Singaporeans has changed a lot. We must not forget that China remains a communist country. Its international standing has improved significantly in recent years.
I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - What is your reaction to PM Lee's statement that it needs more time to identify the 4G leadership?
43% of those who voted said that he is trying to stay longer in the prime minister's office. 33% said that it reflects the poor quality of the 4th generation leaders. 20% expressed disappointment at the delay.