Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. PM Lee said that workers will not be left to fend for themselves during transition
2. Is the NTUC effective in looking after the welfare of the workers.
Vote in

How I lost 10 kg in 4 months

This is the cover to my PDF book.

To get a copy, you can participate here.

However, you have to wait until end October to receive the PDF book.

Partial trade deal between US and China

On Friday 11 November, President Trump was jubilant about the partial trade deal with China.

He tweeted - (it is) as a major achievement and the best deal US farmers have ever secured. WOW, the Farmers really hit pay dirt,"

The following day, China said - not yet, we need more talks to clarify the terms of the deal before we sign the agreement.

Why did China take this stand?

I see two reasons.

First, China knows that Trump is desperate to have a trade agreement to present to the American voters.

Second, China is wary about Trump's erratic and unpredictable behavior. What is to stop him from implementing new demands at any time?

I believe that China wants to make sure that the partial trade deal will mean - no new demands.

What do you think?

WOTC - Ban on face mask in HK

Wisdom of the Crowd: 59% of the participants in this survey said that it is proper for the HK government to call for a ban on the use of the face mask during the current unrest. The remaining 41% disagreed.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - HK Police action in dealing with riots

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84%of the participants in this survey had a positive view of the HK Police in dealing with the rioters The remaining 16% said that the police had used excessive force.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, October 14, 2019

Complicated situation in Syria

Wow. The situation in Syria is very complicated. There are so many parties - Syria, ISIS, Kurdish militia, Turkey.

It is a fertile ground for DT erratic policy.

New York Times: Turkish attack enables a gain for ISIS

On Sunday, hundreds of relatives of Islamic State fighters fled a detention camp run by Kurds in northern Syria after Turkish airstrikes hit the surrounding area.

And our reporters learned that the Kurdish militia, angered by the U.S. military withdrawal before the assault, blocked the Americans from extracting about five dozen “high value” Islamic State detainees from the prisons the militia runs. Here’s an explainer on the prisons, which hold about 11,000 men.

ISIS has already claimed responsibility for at least two attacks since the start of the invasion.

Further U.S. withdrawal: The U.S. said it would withdraw about 1,000 of its remaining troops from northeastern Syria, effectively ceding control to the Syrian government and Russia. Green Berets described feeling “ashamed” at orders to abandon their Kurdish allies.

Russia’s Syria role: Our video investigation proves that the Russian Air Force repeatedly bombed hospitals in rebel-held areas of Syria to crush remaining resistance to the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

Analysis: President Trump’s abrupt shift in Syria and acquiescence to the Turkish invasion have alarmed America’s allies in the Middle East.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will the seniors vote PAP because of the free fitness band?
2. Is Singapore a good place to retire in?
3. Footballer Ben Davis does not have any intent to return to Singapore

Vote in

A more efficient way to handle job interview

My friend migrated to Canada. He applied for a job as a software developer. There is a big demand for this skill in Canada.

He told me that their process is different from Singapore. They take the following steps.

Quora: Why doesn't Donald Trump just appoint a special counsel to investigate the Bidens?

Bruce Spielbauer answered.

Because, Trump would have to state the reason (some tiny bit of evidence) — and there is none.
It is the same reason Trump did not just call up the Department of Justice, and ask them to investigate. Either would have been legal. (If Trump had a tiny bit of evidence.)

Asking a foreign power to do it, (both the Ukraine, and now China) was a crime. A felony, in fact.
Because, the subject was a political opponent.

Poor customer service

This is another example of the poor quality of customer service in Singapore. It is shockingly bad.


WOTC - Waiting time at pedestrian crossing

Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of the participants in this survey said that the green man at the pedestrian crossing should appear within 1 minute. The other 50% accept a longer waiting time, depending on traffic condition.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Protester shot by HK Police

Wisdom of the Crowd: 78% of the participants in this survey said that the protester who was shot by the HK police should be charged for rioting. Another 10% said he should be charged but given a lighter punishment. The remaining 12% said that he should not be charged.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wine and cheese party

I attend the wine and cheese party organized by the neighborhood committee.

I asked the committee - who pays for the expenses of the party?

I know that the neighborhood committee does not collect any fee from the attendees nor any subscription from the residents.

He told me that the expenses are paid by the People's Association. They set aside an annual budget for the neighborhood committee to spend.

The PAP member of parliament is invited to the party.

Okay, that is fine. The residents should remember that the money come from our taxes and GST. It does not come from the PAP or the MP.

Enjoy the wine, cheese and other food. Remember to vote according to what is best for the people, how to bring down the cost of living, how to ensure that jobs are secure and that the government leaders do not take care of their self interest. OK?

Encourage renting of houses

I wish to suggest that the government should encourage the renting of houses and flats. This will allow working people to live near their workplace and retired people to live near their children.

I quote the example of Mr. K.

The ground is sour for PAP

After the judgment for the AHTC case was announced, a few people have expressed their anger in their conversation to me.

They asked for my view, but I told them that I did not follow the judgment closely.

They expressed the following statements:

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Which candidate has the best chance to beat Donald Trump in 2020?
2. Do you agree with the judgment on the AHTC case?
3. Will you continue to support the Worker's Party?
4. How much will the WP MPs have to pay in damages for the AHTC case?

Vote in

Singaporeans have to think critically

Singaporeans have to think critically before expressing their opinion.

WOTC - Performance of President Trump

Wisdom of the Crowd: 75% of the participants in this survey have negative opinion of the performance of President Trump. 25% have a positive opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Network of bus services

Wisdom of the Crowd: 53% of the participants in this survey preferred to continue with the current wide network of bus services. So they don't mind paying higher public transport fares. The other 47% disagree.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is President Trump a smart negotiator?
2. Should we set PSLE examination questions at a difficult level?
Vote in

How I lost 10 kg in 4 months

My PDF book entitled "How I lost 10 kg in 4 months" is now ready.

I will be sending it to 914 participants in this GE Poll next week.

If you are interested in the book and have not yet voted, you can do it immediately using this link.

Remember to click on the link at the top of the page and follow through the steps. You have to provide your correct email to receive the link to vote.

Top leaders must pay attention to problems and direct the people in charge to solve them

Someone sent me a message about my post on the way that the Public Utilities Board handled the water leakage in my home. He asked - do you seriously think that your prime minister should attend to this problem? Does he not have other more important things to do?

Here is my reply.

WOTC - Quality of 4G leaders

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the participants in this survey described the 4G leaders as incompetent or arrogant. The remaining 17% have a positive view of these leaders.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Bad behavior of the people

Wisdom of the Crowd: 68% of the participants said that the bad behavior of the people is caused by the government. The other 32% had different views.

See the breakdown of the votes in

We need to change the way that Singapore is governed

We have a dysfunctional system under the leadership of Lee HL. We need to change the way that Singapore is governed.

I add another example of my experience.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Singaporeans should be more socially minded

In a panel discussion, Prof Tommy Koh said that many Singaporeans behave like citizens of third world countries.

This remark attracted criticism from several sources. Some people said that he was being unfairly critical of Singaporeans.

A letter published in the Straits Times criticized him for being unfair to third world countries, which include many ASEAN countries.

I wish to give my views on this issue.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why did Dyson decide to stop its electric car operations in Singapore?
2. Prof Koh said that many Singaporeans behave like citizens of third world countries
3. PM Lee said that we need to increase the birth rate in Singapore

Vote in

Top management must take responsibility

My friend complained that Sing Post is now quite unreliable. Many of his mails were not delivered. He asked his bank to keep his statement and he would collect it personally at the branch.

I considered that the top management of Sing Post should be blamed. Another person disagreed with me. He said that it was the individual postman who was at fault, and not the top management.

Should top managers be blamed?

WOTC - Is United Nations still useful?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the participants int his survey said that the United Nations has lost its significance and is now useless. The other 17% are still optimistic that it has a useful role.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Shooting of HK protester

Wisdom of the Crowd: 88% of the participants in this survey said that the Hong Kong police was not to be blamed in the incident when a young protester was shot. 12% said the police acted improperly.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Address the root cause of the low birth rate

I was disgusted when I read this news.

Who wants to have babies in Singapore when the boys have to serve national service which puts them at a big disadvantage compared to foreigners.

Instead of addressing the root of the problem, this PM still thinks of increasing the population with permanent residents who become citizens (may I add, with no national service obligations).

He will destroy the country that Lee Kuan Yew spent his life to build a strong foundation.

Additional charge for disposable cups and takeaway boxes

Dear Mr. Tan,

My daughter came back from school today and I was informed that drinks in paper disposable cups would cost $0.10 more in school due to an environmentally friendly initiative.

I am very surprised why Ngee Ann Polytechnic is taking such measures to mark up the cost of food and drinks to students.

Why are drinks not being sold in reusable plastic cups? Why should the students be penalised if the canteens want to save time and manpower by not washing cups? Don’t reusable cups fall into the same category as the plates and cutlery which are reused in the canteen after washing? I remember during my days in schools, there were proper cups that were washed after every use.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic should look into the root cause of the problem. I was told that there is a lack of canteen seating space during the term study time. Students often have no place to sit at all in the canteen and they often have to resort to takeaway their food in environmentally friendly boxes will further cost 20-50 cents from the stores.

Isn’t it absurd that students have to pay for such “save the environment” ware, when it is obvious that there is not enough canteen seating and dining capacity for the students? There is not enough seating space and yet still close down a canteen? Ngee Ann Polytechnic should look into the main reason of the demand for takeaways!

Next the fee of 10 cents for environmentally friendly cups is not a fair move, since drinks in plastic bottles are not similarly “taxed”. Are drinks in plastic bottles therefore deemed to be “environmentally friendly”?

Such thinking and mentality of Ngee Ann Polytechnic as an educational institute only grooms students to grow up to think along a line of “ban PMDs because they cause accidents”.

Should Ngee Ann Polytechnic wish to be environmentally friendly and conscious, a very low-lying fruit would be to stop the smoking students from your school from littering. The pavement of the unofficial smoking point is located just next to a waterway, when student litter their cigarette butt onto the pavement, it only eventually ends up into our waterways, polluting our water source. Or is Ngee Ann Polytechnic not concerned since the place is not within their campus?

Instead of making students pay for your so called “green initiative”, please do something for the damage to the environment by your students on the land out of your campus!

Also, why not save energy by getting your staff to car pool? Principals and their deputies should and can set an example to car pool or take public transport to save the environment, instead of putting up a false front on environment friendliness.

Let’s all not be so fixated over the false front of how a 10 cent paper cup can save the environment when there are obviously bigger issues that Ngee Ann Polytechnic have overlooked or is closing a blind eye to!

I suggest that the student should bring along a water bottle for to contain the drink and a plastic lunch box to pack their food, rather than to use disposable cup and takeaway box?
I wonder if this suggestion is practical. What do you think?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rejected claims due to non-disclosure

A lawyer approached me for help. His client had a $70,000 medical bill rejected by the integrated plan insurer on the grounds of non disclosure. The agent did a bad job and did not fill up the medical history properly. The agent had since resigned.

The client was previously insured under another insurer, also under an integrated plan. There was no need for him to change insurer to get "better coverage".

He ended up with a rejected claim and suffered a large financial loss.

Another insured person approached me directly on a similar case. His medical coverage was also rejected for a similar reason, non disclosure.

I have been approached several times on this kind of problem. I always advised consumers to stay with their current plan or move to Medishield Life.

Tan Kin Lian

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Has your voting preference change from the last general election?
2. What will happen to the move to impeach President Trump?

Vote in

How I lost 10 kg in 4 months

I sent a draft of my book - How 1 Lost 10 kg in 4 months to a few people for review. Here is one.
Dear Mr Tan,
I took a quick read of our book.

It was very easy to read.
The information were very pertinent, straight to be the point, and not so technical. In this way, I absorb a lot more than when I read the 'usual' kind of self help books, whereby authors tend to try to fortify their credibility with lots of technical details, and unnecessary elaborations.
Thank you for your sharing. I appreciate it.

To  get a copy of this book, take part in this poll. The book will be sent to all participants when it is ready.


WOTC - Will Boris Johnson stay as PM of UK?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of the participants expect Boris Johnson to resign or be voted out as PM of the UK. The other 50% expect him to lead UK out of EU with or without a deal.
See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - PM Lee gets World Statesman Award

Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the participants in this survey said that the United Nations General Assembly was poorly attended when PM Lee spoke because most countries felt that he did not deserve the World Statesman Award. The other participants had other observations.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Is the govt justified to increase the public transport fares?

The government has announced an increase in public transport fares, citing the recent increase in operating costs. Many people complained about this further increase in the cost of living.

The decision makers and their supporters pointed out that the public transport fares in Singapore are lower than the fares in the major cities in other developed countries.

I wish to give my views on this matter.

President Trump defies House investigation

New York Times:

The White House declared war on the House impeachment inquiry, announcing that it would not cooperate with what it called an unconstitutional and partisan effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election” of President Trump.

Mr. Trump called the inquiry into his efforts to pressure Ukraine to find dirt on his political rivals “a totally compromised kangaroo court,” and the White House intervened for the first time to block the testimony of a key witness.

Related: The whistle-blower at the center of the investigation wrote in a memo that a White House official who listened in on President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s leader called it “crazy,” “frightening” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security.”

The evidence: House investigators have been issuing near-daily requests or subpoenas. Here’s a look at what they’ve collected so far.

Quora: What would happen if the Republicans voted to impeach Trump?

Virginia Hall, Top Writer 2018
Answered Sep 25

I am old enough that as an adult I watched Watergate go down. At first everyone thought Nixon would skate through with the Republicans in the Senate backing him up.
Then came the hearings and evidence came out and the Republicans began to shift.
Just before what turned out to be the end a delegation of Republicans Senators went to the White House and informed him in the Senate there were enough votes to remove Nixon from office. In short, Nixon would be removed from office.
Rather than go through the humiliation of being removed by a vote of the Senate, Nixon decided to resign.
If there were enough Republicans to remove from office, Trump might throw in the towel.
If the Republicans form a red wall, Trump might survive. If the red wall cracks, and it’s a high bar to remove, Trump might survive to run in 2020.
There would be a terrible problem as the Republicans have scuttled all the primaries. Who would they run? Pence? It would be a disaster.

Rule of the mob

I give my views about the ongoing protest in Hong Kong, which has lasted four months, and whether I support the protesters or the government.


WOTC - Guidelines on online booking

Wisdom of the Crowd: 87% of the participants in this survey held a negative view of the slow action taken by the Competition watchdog in issuing the guidelines on online booking.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Sharing of PMDs

Wisdom of the Crowd: 72% of the participants are not in favor of LTA issuing license for sharing of PMDs.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

WOTC - Meritocracy

Wisdom of the Crowd: 93% of the participants in this survey felt that Singapore does not have a truly meritocratic society. The other 7% are positive.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Racial harmony

Wisdom of the Crowd: 63% of the respondents said that the racial harmony in Singapore is being challenged by the big influx of foreigners. The other 37% had different views on this matter.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is the increase in public transport fares of 9 cents and 4 cents fair?
2. Are the statements of several ministries against The Online Citizen fair?
Vote in

Monday, October 07, 2019

It is wrong to organize a petition against a court judgment

In passing a judgment, the judge has to consider all the relevant factors of the case and also protect the integrity of the court by upholding past decisions. If the judge has to change the principle made in past decisions, the judge has to have good reasons and has to state the reasons.

It is not appropriate for ordinary people, who do not have access to the information available to the judge, to pass any opinion on the judgment. It is disrespectful to the judge and could be considered as contempt of the court.

It will also lead to a chaotic situation, similar to the actions of rioters and terrorists.


Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. What are your views about China?
2. What are your views about America?
Vote in

Quora: Has China been weakened by the trade war as Trump keeps stating?

Pavel Fekula, Active in Russian-American relations Answered 

Trump has temporarily weakened the Chinese economy through his tariffs, but this move is not sensible in the long term. The Chinese economy is highly linked to the US economy, as China is the #1 trade partner with the US. Trade is admittedly relatively one-sided as China exports far more to the US than they import from the US. However, China makes up for this to some extent by making US treasuries the instrument of choice for the nation’s savings, financing the US government and helping to ensure the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency. China is currently neck and neck with Japan for the title of “top holder of US treasuries.”
Sooner or later, this relationship between China and the US is going to break down. When it happens, both nations are going to enter into a severe recession, but China will emerge on top. China will be forced redirect its manufacturing to focus on the domestic market. This will result in temporary pressure on their manufacturing sector as it is forced to retool and adjust to Chinese demands. They will also sooner or later be forced to sell off US treasuries as US deficits continue to rise. This will likely be part of a greater dollar currency crisis, resulting in a loss of China’s investment.
By contrast, the US will be hit with hyperinflation as the dollar declines dramatically in value against the backdrop of a global sell-off. As this happens, Chinese and other foreign goods will become increasingly expensive for American consumers, resulting in goods shortages in the US. As the highly-leveraged economy descends into a crisis, it will ensnare the financial sector, triggering collapse of the banking sector. In the short term, Trump has put some pressure on the Chinese economy, but he is playing chicken with a Mack Truck. In the event that the Sino-American economic relationship breaks down, the US will be the main loser.

WOTC - Will Chen Show Mao contest in the general election

Wisdom of the Crowd: 41% of the participants expect Chen Show Mao to drop out of contesting the next general election. 59% expect him to contest under the Worker's Party, another party or as an independent candidate.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Petition against a judgment

Wisdom of the Crowd: 75% of the respondents felt that it was proper for the public to sign a petition against the decision of the judge. 75% felt that this issue should be left to the courts.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Make it easy for former employers to give references

Many employment agencies in Singapore make it difficult for former employers to give references on candidates seeking a new job.

They adopt a troublesome approach which is not friendly to the referees. They should simplify their approach to get better results.

Do you agree with the observation set out in this post?

Speed up settlement of divorce cases

I agree with this writer that the handling of divorce cases can be improved and made less costly.

Some bad lawyers take advantage of the situation to increase the cost for both litigants, to the detriment of the family.

I hope that the government acts to improve the situation. What do you think?


Listen to the views of the people

How can a government listen to the views of the people when the people themselves have different and conflicting views?

Here is a way to overcome it.

Possible to be take leadership in an unfamiliar industry

My friend criticized industry minister Chan for trying to teach businessmen how to expand their business overseas, when he did not have any experience in running a company.

He also criticized the appointment of two army generals to run the SMRT and NOL without any industry experience. They did a poor job.

I told him that Louis Gertsner took over IBM in 1993 without any prior experience in the computer industry. He did a good job in transforming IBM successfully.

So, it is not a matter of prior experience but in the leadership style.

I wish to share my personal experience.

WOTC - Lenient penalty for NUS molest case

Wisdom of the Crowd: 29% of the participants said that the law minister should not interfere with the decision of the judge to give a lenient penalty on the NUS molest case. 71% said that it is proper for him to give his opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

A dim future for Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 72% of the participants have a dim view of prospects for Hong Kong in the future. 28% think that the region will remain dynamic.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Saturday, October 05, 2019

"Affordable" is a dirty word

A friend told me at the cricket club - the government leaders should not say that public transport fares are affordable or that medical care is affordable.

"Affordable" is a dirty word. It should not be used.

Why? It may be affordable to people who earn a high salary, but for people who earn a low wage, it is not affordable.

When a govt leader says that it is "affordable" they should think of the people who earn low wages, and understand that every dollar of increase is painful to them.

I agree with this point of view. I prefer a strategy where the cost of living is kept low, so that most people, including those at low wages, can afford to get by with what they earn. They can work harder to earn more, but they should not have to work hard just to "afford" the high cost of living.

I respect the first generation of PAP leaders, who kept the cost of living low. Remember the cost of HDB flats in the old days, and the rental of HDB shops?

When the cost of living increases due to property prices, GST and wasteful spending, it hits the ordinary wage earners very hard.

Bad PAP.

Why do locals have to earn a living as a taxi driver?

At the cricket club, I had a conversation with an old friend. He expressed concern about what is happening in Singapore.

He made an interesting remark - in other countries, such as Australia, UK and America, the immigrants have to make a living as a taxi driver because they are not able to get other more suitable jobs.

In Singapore, it is the locals who are not able to get other suitable jobs and have to make a living as a taxi driver. Why is this the case?

I said that it is caused by the dysfunctional policies of the PAP. We have serious problems, and the leaders do not seem to realize it.

We have to vote to change the govt at the next general election.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Did the HK Police use excessive force against the protesters?
2. Is it appropriate for the HK govt to call for a ban on the use of face masks?

Vote in

Friday, October 04, 2019

Be responsive to the wishes of the people

I asked the question - should a govt be responsive to the wishes of the people?

The initial response - 83% certainly, 17% impossible.

Surely 100% should agree with this motherhood statement? Why did 17% said that it is impossible?

Well, the 17% probably realize that it is difficult to determine the wishes of the people. In any issue, there will be some people who are in favor of one option, while others prefer another option.

Here is how we can find out the wishes of the people in a reliable way.

No need for PSLE exams to be so tough

Education minister Ong wanted to change the education system to reduce the stress for students.

I followed his changes and declared that they do not address the root of the problem. I was proved right.

What happened?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Do you prefer to keep the current wide network of bus services?
2. How would you describe the performance of President Trump?
3. Should the protester who was shot be charged for rioting?
4. How long should a pedestrian wait for the green man to appear?

Vote in

Quora: Donald Trump is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges. What effect will this have on the U.S., China, and stock holders?

Robin Daverman, World traveler answered.

It’s a bit strange. Chinese companies listing in the US is a rather recent phenomenon. There was absolutely NO Chinese companies listed in the US until 1994, when a Shangdong power company get a historic first listing on NYSE. Nowadays, most of the Chinese companies listed in the US have a US connection - American VCs made investment in them, or American funds made investment in them, or there is some kind of partnership agreement with major US companies.\\

These companies have their revenue and customer base in China. Listing in the US stock exchanges is to allow their US investors to get their investment back, with profit. So - do US investors not want their money and profit back anymore?

Also, it turned out that it’s MUCH HARDER to get listed in China’s stock market than in the US stock market. China doesn’t allow any company to go IPO unless it has been significantly profitable for 3 years prior. In the US, you just need a banker who likes your story. So in the past decade, the US investment banks have been VERY AGGRESSIVE in trying to get Chinese companies to go IPO in the US. It basically means that US investors are willing to take more risks on earlier-staged companies, in order to get higher returns if their growth strategy pans out.

Which is why this approach is rather bizarre, because the only reason these US investors invested in Chinese companies is to get higher returns, and this measure is going to depress the prices and essentially force these investors to sell at a loss. So not allowing people to make more money is good? This makes no sense - or is there a severe liquidity problem in the market (rumor)? Because if there is, then selling at a loss to gain some liquidity is better than being stuck.

But then, it’s reasonable to ask the follow-up question: with all those QEs and flooding the system with cash, where did all the cash gone, and why are (some) people hoarding cash?

Trump asks China to investigate his opponent

New York Times:

President Trump on Thursday openly called on China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, an extraordinary request that mirrored the one he made privately to the Ukrainian president, which is at the center of his impeachment inquiry.
Critics argue that these requests, which seek foreign assistance in discrediting a potential opponent in the 2020 election, are an abuse of presidential power. By asking so publicly, Mr. Trump seems determined to push back against those charges.
Details: Mr. Trump was specifically referring to a business deal between Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and a fund that involved the state-owned Bank of China. The fund was announced in 2013, days after Hunter Biden had flown to China with his father, who as vice president was in the midst of a diplomatic mission.
A lawyer for Hunter Biden has said that he did not conduct any business related to the investment fund on that trip, and that he was not an equity owner in the fund while his father was vice president.
The inquiry process: House investigators on Thursday interviewed their first witness in the growing impeachment inquiry: Kurt Volker, the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine, who was named in the whistle-blower’s complaint.

Reduce the waiting time at controlled crossings

A law was passed a few decades ago to make it an offense to jaywalk. All pedestrians have to go to a controlled crossing and wait for the green man to appear before crossing the road.

This law was implemented badly.


Letters published in mainstream newspapers

Here are some letters published in the mainstream newspapers over the past three days.

Do you agree with the suggestions? Give each your vote.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Do you prefer to keep the current wide network of bus services?

2. How would you describe the performance of President Trump?

Vote in

WOTC - High fare for short distance travel

Wisdom of the Crowd: 86% of the participants disagreed with the current fare structure which gave a higher fare to the first operator for short distance travel.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Proposed increase in public transport fares

Wisdom of the Crowd: 97% of the participants disagreed with the proposed increase in public transport fares citing three reasons. Only 3% agreed that the proposed increase is necessary.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Quora: Will the US regain its dominance over China?

Lance Chambers
Lance Chambers, Been involved in US politics since Kennedy assassination.

It’s no longer about China and the USA. It’s now about an age-old situation where nations grow, become dominant, and then fade. It seems like an inevitable ending of great nations and today it appears that the US is going through exactly the same phase.
It has nothing to do with China it has to do with the American people and how they have evolved over the last century or so.
Nations start off hungry to move beyond what they have been and had in the past. They grow, some become very powerful while others fade. Then progress reaches a point where they seem to believe they are the best, the greatest, the most important, the smartest, the leaders of the free world, etc. You get the idea!
However, all this hubris leads to pride, complacency, feelings of greatness, of being unassailable and this leads to a situation where the nation seems to believe it is invulnerable. Today China is proving the fact that political and national evolution occurs and America is feeling that pain and the horror of the reality of its growing fall into obscurity and derision from nations that used to hold it in high esteem.
China will take over of that there is no doubt, but, even China will be surpassed, in the future by another nation that can offer something better to its people and maybe the world and then the cycle starts again.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Shooting of the young protester in Hong Kong
2. What happened to the United Nations?
3. The behavior of Singaporeans need to improve.
4. How do you describe the 4G leaders?

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WOTC - Boris Johnson and Brexit

Wisdom of the Crowd: 32% of the participants in this survey said that Boris Johnson will lead Britain through Brexit, with or without a deal. The other 68% expect him to resign as prime minister or be voted out before that event.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Re-election of Donald Trump

Wisdom of the Crowd: 30% of the participations in this survey said that Donald Trump will be re-elected for a second term. The other 70% expected a different outcome.

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Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Shooting of the young protester in Hong Kong

2. What happened to the United Nations?

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Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Will there be a decision on the RTS rail link within the one month extension?

I was delighted to read an online summary a few days ago - both countries agreed to an extension of the RTS rail link, without penalty.

Wow! This is a change in attitude. Maybe it will lead to a climate of cooperation and friendship between the Singapore and Malaysia.


Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why was the United Nations General Assembly rather empty when PM Lee spoke?
2. Will Boris Johnson lose his premiership soon?

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WOTC - World Statesman Award

Wisdom of the Crowd: 77% of the participants did not feel proud that PM Lee received the World Statesman Award for two reasons. The other 23% was proud of the award.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Renewal of strategic partnership with USA

Wisdom of the Crowd: 63% of the participants said that it was wise to renew the strategic partnership with USA on the use of our military bases for three reasons. 37% said that it was unwise as it will upset China.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Beware of deliberate falsehood

Someone shared a graphic stating that Singapore had external debt of $2.5 trillion and the CPF savings is insufficient to repay this debt. It quoted the source as a journalist from the Straits Times.


Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should LTA issue license for sharing of PMDs?
2. The competition watchdog has issued guidelines for online travel websites.

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WOTC - Brexit deal?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 41% of the respondents expect Britain to leave the European Union without a deal (i.e. hard Brexit). The other 59% expect other outcomes.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Brexit mess

Wisdom of the Crowd: 42% of the participants said that the British Parliament is responsible for the Brexit mess because they refuse to approve the deals that were negotiated. The other 58% chose other options.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, September 30, 2019

Transparency of online booking prices

At long last, the relevant govt agency, is taking action to improve the transparency of online booking prices.

Although the report of the Competition Commission (CCCS) refers to travel booking, the worst case of abuse is by budget airlines.

The prices that they show are misleading. For example, they do not show the mandatory airport tax and fuel surcharge.

Australia has already mandated, for a long time, that the all-in pricing should be shown. Perhaps now, several years later, Singapore will follow.

I generally do not find any problem with booking of hotel rooms.

What do you think?

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