Saturday, September 25, 2010


Eat the right food to fight cancer.

Wisdom on how to live life

Dr. Tommy Wong is offering his book 1 and 2 at a discount. Details here.

Torchlight with locator lamp - for travel

I took a torchlight with locator lamp for my travel. It was useful. I was able to locate the torchlight at night.I prefer to use the torchlight, instead of the switches in the hotel room - which was quite unfamiliar to me.

The locator lamp consumes low energy and allows the torchlight to be seen in the dark of night. The torchlight is rechargeable, so there is no need to change battery. The torchlight is available here. A discount is given for a bundle of 4 torchlights. You can pass them as a gift to a friend.

Understand your blood test report

I have just taken a blood test with my GP. This cost about $50 and is much cheaper than a full health screening. My doctor will be explaining the findings of the blood test to point out any adverse features. However, I shall also be checking against this useful guide.

Collapse of the US Housing Market

What are ninja loans? Find out how they help to cause the collapse of the US housing market. Go to

Business simulation training

If you are interested to gain experience and skill in pricing, marketing and setting capacity for your product line, read BEST simulation training in

Universal Life [2]

I have extracted a few articles from the Internet about universal life and compiled them into a document. It shows  the key features of universal life. This type of policy is now quite popular in a few countries and may be introduced in Singapore. It is good to learn about the features of this policy, but consumers should be aware about the charges as shown in the benefit illustration (i.e.effect of deduction and distribution cost). If the charges are low, this type of policy can be suitable, as it has flexibility and pays an interest rate that is higher than bank deposits. Read

Singapore Democracy

Several letters were published in response to the letter from Gerald Giam asking for more active democracy in Singapore. Read the letters in

Immigrants into Singapore

Which countries provide the largest number of immigrants into Singapore? Read

Customer service from Singapore Airlines

I booked for an air ticket for Bali. Later my wife decided to join me. All the flights were full, so she is placed on wait list.

I send an request to the SIA call center to ask them to assist me to get a ticket for my wife to join me. They arranged the ticket and sent a confirmation to me. I sent them my appreciation for this helpful and  good service.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Speaker Corner - Talk on Minimum Wage

I have accepted an invitation to give a talk on Minimum Wage as follows:

Date: Saturdy 25 September 2010
Time: 6.30 pm
Venue: Speakers Corner, Hong Lim Park.

There will be other speakers who will talk on other topics. You can be there at 5 pm or later, to hear the speeches. Turn up and make it a big gathering. This event is organised by the Singapore Democratic Party.

“Better” focus for the world

If you are interested to find out what is the “better” focus for the world, you are invited to read the chapters “Conversation with Guru Harry” in Tommy Wong’s book “Wisdom on How to Live Life”.
The book can be ordered here.

Election system

The public wants some changes in the election system. Read the results of a survey in

Are GLCs employing foreigners first?

Read the article in

Tangram and Shape Quiz on OS3

The free versions of tangram and shape quiz on OS3 are now available on the Apple Store.

Search for
Easy Tangram Lite
Bright Tangram Lite
Easy Shape Quiz Lite
Bright Shape Quiz Lite

You can also search for
Tan Kin Lian & Associates.

View here.

Inequality of Wealth Distribution

America has a big inequality in the distribution of wealth. The author of this paper carried out a survey of 5,000 around 5,000 people that has a demographic distribution and political inclination that represents the the population. The key findings of this report are that the ordinary people grossly under-estimated the actual inequality in the distribution of wealth and preferred a distribution that more closely reflect Sweden (which has high welfare and taxation).

The findings of this survey is relevant to Singapore, where the inequality of wealth distribution is worse than America, as reflected by the Gini coefficient. Read (Building a Better America).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Importance of meditation

If you are interested to find out why meditation is important, you are invited to read the chapters “Second Conversation with Guru Harry” in Tommy Wong’s book “Wisdom on How to Live Life (Book 2)”.
The book can be ordered here.

Survey: contingency fees

Read this paper on Contingency Fee for Professionals.

Should Singapore adopt a system of contingency fees for laywers and doctors? Give your views in this short survey.

Affordability of housing

This article suggests that a person can spend up to 40% of the monthly income for the monthly mortgage payment for a home. This is too high.

My benchmark is 25% of the monthly income on a loan not exceeding 25 years. Based on my benchmark, which is explained in Practical Guide on Financial Planning, the price to pay for a propery should not exceed 5 years of the combined income. If the couple are both working, the cost of employing a maid should be deducted from the combined income. The negative consequence of putting too much earnings into a home are also explained in my book. There is a need to accumulate savings to meet unemployment, which is now a high risk in Singapore.

My book is available at There is a 40% discount under a 5 book bundle.

Licence fee demand by SPH

SPH has demanded a licence and investigation fee from a local website for posting its article in their website. It seems to be quite unreasonable. There is a new for a law to be passed to determine if such action by a media company is acceptable or undesirable. Read

Make CPF Life more attractive

Many member are not taking up CPF Life because they find it difficult to decide between the four options. They are also suspicious that it offers low value to the consumer. CPF Life will be made compulsory for those who turn 55 in a few years time. It is likely to be unpopular. I have written this article to suggest how to make CPF Life more attractive to the public. Read

Minimum Wage in Singapore [2]

Read for letters and articles about the reasons for and against implementing a minimum wage in Singapore.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FISCA talk - invest for the long term [2]

In my book on financial planning, I advised consumers to invest for the long term in a low cost investment fund. many consumers asked me, "Mr. Tan, I like your idea, but how do I implement this plan? What type of investment fund should I choose? How do I make the investment?"

The FISCA talk "Invest for the Long Term" is designed to cover these questions. The speaker will tell you about the ETFs and other funds that have low charges that are suitable for long term investors. They will also cover a few blue chip shares that can be invested as a proxy for the investment fund.

Go to and register for the talk on Saturday 25 September, 3 to 6 pm at SMU. Spend 3 hours and $30 ($20 for members) and be educated about your own financial well being.

What makes democracy work?

Read Gerald Giam's views in

Remove means testing

Is there a way to remove means testing and make life simple for people in Singapore? It will reduce the cost of living and help people from spending money unnecessarily as they are not aware about how the system works. Read

Bloggers views on Minimum Wage

Minister Lim Boon Heng gave a speech on why there should not be a minimum wage in Singapore. A few bloggers have given their response to the arguments put forward by the minister. Read their interesting perspective in

I will be speaking on this topic in Speaker's Corner on Saturday at 6.45 pm.

Escalation of Medical Bills

Some patients were shocked to find that their medical bills had escalated to a few times of what was originally indicated. They were caught by the consent form that they had signed, and were not aware of the clause that allowed additional billings to be added.

Read (Excalation of Medical Bills).

Corporate bonds in SGX

Retain investors can invest in corporate bonds in SGX from 1 October 2010. They have a yield that is better than government bonds and bank deposits. The trading on SGX will give liquidity and transparent pricing to the investors.

Access to subsidised wards

I have written a letter to the Straits Times to ask the Ministry of Health to clarify if citizens have the right of access to subsidised wards or if they are restricted by some rules that restrict downgrading to subsidised wards, and what are these rules. I hope that my letter gets published and that the Ministry will give a reply to clarify this matter.

Living with peace and equianimity

If you are interested to find out what how to live with peace and equanimity, you are invited to read the chapters “Conversation with Guru Harry” in Tommy Wong’s book “Wisdom on How to Live Life”.
The book can be ordered here.

Talk on Minimum Wage

I have accepted an invitation by the Singapore Democratic Party to give a talk on minimum wage at Speaker's Corner, Hong Lim Park on Saturday 25 September at 6.45 pm. There will be other speakers earlier in the evening from 5 pm. Do turn up to hear these speakers.

More details here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Means testing in public hospitals

A consumer asked if it was possible for a person above the means test level to be treated in subsidised wards B2 and C) in public hospitals. He was under the impression that this was not allowed.

I checked the Internet and found this document. Patients at higher income can be treated in subsidised wards, but they enjoy a lower level of subsidy. There was so much publicity about means testing that gave the wrong impression to many people, including me. The final decision was not well publicised - so many people still had the wrong impression.

I spoke to a senior doctor in a public hospital. He was also not aware about how means testing had been implemented. He thought that it was still under consideration. When I told him about the actual situation, his reply was "because I was not pesonally involved in this matter, I am not aware about its actual implementation".

I lamented. Why do we have practices that are so complicated that even those who are supposed to be implementing these decisions are confused? Can we simplify matters for the citizens?

Tan Kin Lian

Minimum wage in Singapore

In this article, I have given my reasons in support of a minimum wage to be implemented in Singapore. I have also explained why the negative aspects of the minimum wage are likely to be less serious than feared. Apart from helping the lower income workers, a minimum wage will lead to a more sustainable economy.


I want to talk to someone who has experience in contributing and updating contents in Wikipedia. If you have experience, please send e-mail to

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Singapore Girls and Pregnancies

Read a collection of letters and views of the public on the employment terms of air stewardesses by Singapore Airlines.

Minimum Wage Policy

What do Singaporeans think about a minimum wage policy? What do they think about the Workfare Income Supplement that is implemented in Singapore, in the absence of a minimum wage policy? 49 people responded to a survey. Read their views in

Contingency fee for professionals

We should encourage lawyers and doctors to practice on a contingency fee basis. They should charge their fees only for a successful outcome. If they outcome fails, they should only be allowed to cover their expenses.

This system will help to reduce the escalation in the cost of health care. It will also help consumers to seek redress where they have incurred a large financial loss due to the negligence of a business corporation.

Read my views in

Case study - revised policy charges

Read this case study of a case where the insurance company revised the policy charge fro an ILP policy.

Blog Archive