Saturday, April 23, 2011

Family Life Game

It is quite fun to play the family life game. The game at 8 pm and 9 pm takes only 40 minutes to complete. It is quite fast. You can practice the game now, and get ready for the Family Life Competition to be launched in May. Prizes will be given to winners. Go to and click on Family Life. Watch the video.

HDB loan and Gen Y

A gen Y citizen talks about the burden of HDB loan on her parents and siblings. Click here.

Learn the national language

Why I join the SDP

Read the reasons given by Vincent Wijeysingha in SGEP or click here.

Dr. Susan Lim on TED

Nicole Seah stands against GCT

Email sent to me.

Wow, she is pretty good. Also standing up against GCT
At age 24, I dismissed her candidacy until I saw her interview. Mature and passionate for her age.
She will win some votes.

Should DPM Wong resign over Mas Selamat?

Sent to TKL blog


Is the present parliamentary debate on issues fruitful? Watch the Mas Selamat debate in Parliament, a national security case and you be the judge; remember when you cast your vote.
PM Lee threw the question to Low Thia Kiang and stared at him for 3 seconds and announced that the matter is settled.
What a brilliant way to settle an important issue.

Impartial civil service

Dear Mr. Tan
Please post in your blog:

As Head of Singapore Civil Service, shouldn't Mr. Peter Ong Boon Kwee pledge to Singaporeans that the Civil Service will continue to carry out it's duty to serve Singapore regardless of the party that wins the General Elections?

Affordable HDB flats

Is it possible to peg the HDB flat prices to the median income of Singaporeans without causing too much harm to those who bought the flats previously at the higher prices? You can read my suggestion at TKL website or click here.

I support the suggestion by the Workers Party in the manifesto and disagree with the replies given by the PAP minister.

Tan Kin Lian

SGEP is getting many visitors

SGEP (Singapore General Election Portal) is getting popular, with more than 1,500 unique visitors each day. It will soon be more popular than TKL blog.

SGEP contains a summary of the views on politics and social issues that are expressed in other blogs and in the mainstream media. It allows you to get a good feel of what is happening and the opinion in the internet.

Visit to see the home page and click on Latest to see the latest postings.

Message to undergraduates

I wish to encourage you to create your own financial plan using the tool in the website link You can try a few financial plans to generate the plan that is most suitable for your needs. You can also help your parents to prepare their financial plans.

You can also pass this link to your family and friends and encourge them to do their own financial plan (DIY) also.

Remember. When you start work, many insurance agents (or financial advisers) will ask you to buy their long term products. By that time, it is too late for you to learn what is best for your future. You will sign on a bad product, including a life insurance policy, and be locked into a losing investment for the next 30 years.  

Act now to educate yourself and be savvy enough to protect your own financial future!

Tan Kin Lian

Friday, April 22, 2011

Singapore Democratic Party has rebuilt a positive image

Watch this video and judge for yourself.

Candidates speak on Razor TV

Message from Wong Wee Nam

Dear All,
The state TV has only been giving glimpses of my comrades contesting this GE. Watch more of them here as they speak with the media.
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have enough. It is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945)
United States, 32nd president
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK

Shape Quiz

Watch this video on the shape quiz.
It is interesting, challenging and fun - suitable for children, adults and seniors.
It trains the player on logic and problem solving.
The book, which comes with the nice plastic pieces, can be ordered here.

Logic Quiz

Try this logic quiz.
If you enjoy it, you can buy the Intelligence Quiz Vol 3 at a discount here.

Financial planning tool and handbook

You can use this financial planning tool and download the handbooks. See Ask Mr. Tan or click here.

HDB flat prices and median income

Nicole Seah and Tin Pei Ling

Financial Planning book - English and Chinese versions

Dear Mr. Tan,
Congrats to your new book launched recently.
I went to bookstore, but unfortunately, I can't roughly read through the content as the book is wrapped. 
How is the book contents? Do you have any English version?
Any special discount if I would like to buy online instead of retail?

You enjoy a discount on my books when you buy online at
Click here to order:

SDP team for the General Election 2011

Message from Dr. Wong Wee Nam

Dear All,

These are my comrades who will be standing in the coming GE. If you are in Yuhua, Bt Panjang, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Sembawang GRC, please keep them in mind.


Please also go to for the latest in election news.

Wee Nam

Travel insurance

There is a comparison of the premium rates for travel insurance between two popular insurance companies. The table can also be used as a benchmark to compare the premium rates charged by other insurance companies.

Go to and login as a member to view this comparison. It is stored in "evaluation of financial products".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ballooning land cost

Party political broadcast - 5 years back

Refreshing yoiur memory.

Perhaps it will be useful to go back 5 years ago to hear what was said in the battle 
to win the hearts and minds of Singaporeans before the elections by leaders of 4 
political parties, viz SDP, WP, SDA, & PAP. 

What will be the issues that will be brought up this time round?

Singapore Election 2006: Party Political Broadcast part 1 (Chee Siok Chin/ Sylvia Lim)

Singapore Election 2006: Party Political Broadcast Part 2 (Chiam See Tong)

Singapore Election 2006: Party Political Broadcast Part 3 (Lee Hsien Loong)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Comparing credentials

SGEP has an article that compares the credentials of Lee Hsien Loong and Chen Show Mao.

Dolmabache palace, Istanbul

Mike Hansford contributed this fascinating power point of a beautiful palace in Istanbul, Turkey. See TKL website or click here.

Yeo Toon Joo's open letter to the government

An ex-journalist writes this open letter to the government, published in SGEP.

The black surgeon

An amazing story of a talented black surgeon who endured racial discrimination and continued to give his best.

Funding unemployment insurance

I like to write a few words about funding unemployment insurance. The premium is paid by workers and are used to pay benefits to the unemployed.
Assume that the unemployment rate is 6%. If the unemployment benefit is 100% of wages, the premium rate has to be 6% of their wages. It is not advisable for the benefit to be 100% of wages, as it will create a moral hazard, i.e. some workers may voluntarily become unemployed. If the benefit is 50% of the wages, the premium rate can be reduced to 3%. 

Additional measures may be introduced, as follows:
a) The benefit is payable only for retrenchment after at least two years in the job.
b) The benefit is paid only for a certain period, say 12 or 24 months. 
c) The unemployed person must actively seek work and cannot reject a suitable job that has been offered.

With these rules, it may be possible to bring down the insurance premium to a lower level. Another factor is the share of the contribution from tax revenue. This contribution will bring down the insurance premium rate proportionately. It is possible for the insurance premium to vary according to industry. A higher rate may be charged for industries with higher unemployment rate, i.e. the rate is based on actual claim experience. 

A final point - the unemployment insurance scheme has to be compulsory by law. If it is voluntary, only those who suffer a higher risk of unemployment will buy the insurance. This will not give a sufficiently large pool to spread the risk. 
Tan Kin Lian

Contest in Tampines GRC -HSK and GMS

Dear Mr Tan
We truly envy the Hong Kong people and what Hong Kong Monetary Authority have done for them. I have watched Channel 8 news 630pm (about 1 week ago) of Mr Heng Swee Kiat in response to Minibond saga that MAS have a vigourous system and most of the investors have their money back,. This is not the answer but a comparison of how a caring authority would do to protect their people when they were being victimised.

I am glad that Mr. Goh Meng Seng, who spoke for the investors at Hong Lim, is now contesting against Mr. Heng Swee Keat, former MD of MAS. I wish to give my support to Mr. Goh of the NSP.

Personal attacks on Worker Party Chen will backfire

Mr. Tan, please highlight in your blog

We need more candidates with Chen Show Mao's "calibre" to help face the threats of globalisation from the external environment. At least, PMETs should endorse him for their own "future".....

DPM Teo Chee Hean said Singaporeans have to consider whether opposition parties can deliver on the "laundry list of things"they have laid out in their manifestoes. 

Two past PAP manifestoes had failed to address and solve the common Singaporeans' future for the last 10 years in the face of globalisation, do you expect to see any "difference" to come from new PAP candidates, in the like of Ms Tin Pei Ling to even MG Chan Chun Sing, who are groomed within the "closed" warm PAP "cocoon" and political culture; to initiate a change while under the tutelage of SM Goh and MM Lee?

An intelligent Electorate should be looking at "a new shopping list for a better detergent" and Chen Show Mao could be just that "detergent" Singaporeans are looking for. "

Link :-

Family Life - 3 games daily

I have created 3 games daily for Family Life

Game start at 10 am (20 minute for each virtual year)
Game start at 8 pm (1 minute for each virtual year)
Game start at 9 pm (1 minute for each virtual year)

The 8 pm and 9 pm game can be completed in 40 minutes. The 10 am game can be completed in 13 hours (before midnight). When you play the 10 am game, you can have a bell to alert you on the close of each virtual year.

The game can be played here:
Login with your email address and password and view the games that are available within the next 24 hours.

Critical illness coverage

Dear Mr. Tan,
I am a 45 year old housewife. I'm covered by Eldershield and Incomeshield Plus Advantage. I am thinking of taking up some insurance plans for critical illness. I do not ahve any pre-existing illness. What do you recommend?

Read this FAQ
You can also consult vincent sear here

Singapore Election Portal

Hi Mr Tan,
 I am currently overseas, and wanted to confirm my name in the register of electors and also which polling district I am assigned to.However, since yesterday the service does not seem to be available. Can you also check on your side and see if any of your readers face the same problem?

I just logged in and got the message, 

Our eServices have been suspended temporarily. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Is the government representative?

Dear Kin Lian,

I've gone through most of the comments on the General Election. I believe ONE very important point has been overlooked: For a Government to be truly representative of the people, the power it exercises and the mandate it earns has to be PROPORTIONAL to the percentage of total votes polled during the general election. The reference is to the French proportional electoral system. 

Thus if a party wins 66% of the total votes polled it wins ONLY 66% of the total seats in parliament. 34% of the votes being won by the Opposition parties. The Oppositon as a whole get 34% of the seats. The seats won by each opposition party is proportional to the percentage of votes won. 

By this measure, omitting other factors, in the last parliament, the Opposition as a group was entitled to 34% of seats, that works out to 34% of 81 seats, that is, to round off, -  28 seats! 

 The INCUMBENT party has, morally earned only 53 seats, since it won only 66% of a total votes and therefore 66% of 81 seats. It has a mandate only to that extent and no more. 

If the incumbent party wants to dominate 90% of the parliamentary seats, it has to go out there and poll 90% of the total votes. If the same said party wants to control 100% of the seats, SIMPLE -  all it has to do is to go out there and win 100% of the total votes, that is, every single vote polled, not  one vote less!
PS. please post this piece on your website.

Survey - LKY to contest in the general election 2011

96 people participated in the survey during the past 12 hours. It is a popular survey.
By age group - 12% below 30, 50% between 30 to 50, 38% above 50.

Do you support LKY's decision to participate in the general election?
Yes - 15%  No - 85%
If you live in Tanjong Pagar GRC, will you vote for LKY and the PAP?
Yes - 15%, No - 85%

Which of these  points do you agree?
He should give way to younger leaders - 76 votes
He should not collect his million dollar salary - 69 votes
The cost of living will be heavy - 53 votes
Inequity will continue to wider - 52 votes
More foreigners will come to compete with Singaporeans - 52 votes
Life will be bad for the low income - 49 votes
Singaporeans will find it difficult to get good jobs - 32 votes
Singaporeans will have a bleak future - 31 votes
He has great stature outside Singapore - 29 votes

Investment Alerts

Join this website and read about the scams to avoid (available only to members after login). If you have your personal experience to share, send an email to

A Government Gone Wild

Problem with the US Government

A New Earth and Wisdom on How to Live Life

If you are interested to find out how to end conflict and suffering in the world and how to find personal inner peace, read Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth” and Tommy Wong’s books “Wisdom on How to Live Life”.

Tommy Wong’s books can be ordered here.

Unemployment insurance

I met a German lady who married a Singaporean and lived in Singapore for the past 30 years. She is active in grassroots work.

She told me that the unemployment insurance scheme in Germany is a good scheme and explained the following:

a) In the town where she grew up, many people became unemployed due to relocation of their factories to other countries. The loss of jobs is beyond their control.
b) Many Germans prefer to work, rather than to live off the unemployment benefit system
c) If the unemployed refused to take up suitable jobs, the unemployment benefits would cease - as it is closely monitored by the government insurance department.

She explained that the unemployment insurance helped the unemployed people to tide over a period of financial difficulty caused by the loss of job. While some people may take advantage of the system, the majority are honest workers. While any system is not perfect, it has to be evaluated based on its good and bad points. The unemployment insurance scheme is, on the whole, doing more good than harm.

The unemployment insurance is funded by the contribution from the workers who have jobs. It is a fair system - those who have jobs and salary contribute towards those who lose their jobs involuntarily (and are not out to cheat the system). This is the purpose of insurance!

Tan Kin Lian

No campaigning on 6 May 2011

Dear Mr. Tan
I hope everyone in the oppositions to exercise extreme care on May 6.  Please exercise extreme care not to do anymore campaigning.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sombre mood in Aljunid GRC

E-mail scam

Here is another scam.

I need your cooperation and assistant in transferring my financial portfolio in excess of three million, Seven Hundredn Thousand United State Dollars which is my allocation from my inheritance.
I am Lilian Lambert, the daughter to Late sefi Lambert the Software developer here in Britian. I am 24 years of age and single. I need a new start and a different environment.
Contact me via Email:
Yours Truely,
Lilian Lambert

Catherine Lim presents a little tale

A scam - asking money to pay hotel bills

I received this e-mail purportedly to be from someone that I know. But this e-mail is a scam. The scammer probably hacked into the e-mail account and used the account to send out. This type of scam can be caught, if the authority are interested.

I'm sorry I didn't inform you about my traveling... We are presently in London, United Kingdom on short vacation and as i write to you now.. its unbelievable me and my family are stuck here,got mugged at gun point on our way to the hotel and our money,credit cards,phone and other valuable things were taken off me at gun point, thanking Almighty God for save keeping our passport., i really need your urgent assistance quickly ? WE JUST NEED £1,650 GBP TO SORT OUT OUR HOTEL BILLS AND we promise to refund it back to you once we get home cause i still have some cash in my account but i cant access any here right now ,already canceled all our cards immediately after the muggers took our things off me!!! still at the public internet library where we making use of the free internet access, i will forever be grateful if you can help me,Waiting to hear from you quickly cos our flight leaves in few hrs but need to sort the hotel bills and please save us from been embarrassed.

Famous quotes from our leaders

This article in SGEP contains a list of famous quotes from our leaders.

Mapletree Commercial Trust

FISCA's evaluation of this REIT is available to members after login (

Security - a scam?

Some companies make a business by providing security - airport security, building security, computer security, internet banking security and other types of security. They exaggerate the risks that can arise from lack of security and provide expensive solutions to solve these risks. They make a lot of profit from these solutions.

Apart from the high cost and burden to the businesses, which are passed to consumers, these security measures add to the hassle of life. Life is already so stressful and the excessive security measures make life more complicated.

If airport security is loosen, what will happen? Maybe a plane might fall to terrorists every few years. The number of people that is killed would still be quite small, compared to deaths by road accidents. I am not suggesting that the airport security be removed entirely. I am suggesting more sensible ways to implement security that is less costly, less troublesome and still quite effective.

I have the same observation for internet banking security. We have gone overboard in giving so many layers of security for small payments through bank transfer or credit cards. In the real world, the cash in my pocket can be easily stolen. Someone can take my check book and forge my signature. The real world carries more  real risks than hacking through the internet. Why do we need to over-emphasize the security risks of computer systems?

The biggest scam is the y2k. Many consultants and accounting firms exaggerate the risks to computer systems that could occur when the date passes through midnight of 31 December 1999,. They pocketed hundred of millions of consultancy and security fees. Nothing happened when the world enters into the 1st second of 2000. The companies that paid the millions were conned, and they were too ashamed to admit it. The key people  responsible for this waste were the regulators, who fell for the con  and imposed strong requirements on the banks, insurance companies and other businesses to implement the y2k security measures.

I ask for the people responsible to use their common sense and evaluate the costs of prevention against the benefits of avoiding loss - i.e. to exercise risk management in a sensible way. If the cost is excessive, it is better to take the risk (i.e risk retention). If preventive measures have to be taken, choose the appropriate measures that are cost effective.

Tan Kin Lian

Monday, April 18, 2011

Political parties in Finnland

9 political parties in Finland get at least one seat in the recent GE.  Of total 200 seats, the top four parties got 44, 42, 39, and 35 seats.  Finland has 5.4 million people, a small country by number of inhabitants.

LKY will contest the general election

LKY has announced that he will contest the general election. Do you support this decision? Give your views in this survey.

Gas at $4 a gallon

The CNBC media commentators talk about gas (petrol) at $4 a gallon to be a psychological barrier.  Beyond that price, the consumers will reduce the consumption of gas. What is the petrol price in Singapore now, and how much is it converted to US$ per gallon? I believe that our petrol prices must have exceeded the US prices by a lot!

I did my research. Petrol price is $2.12 p litre (95 UL). 1 US gallon = 3.785 litre. USD = 1.247 SGD. So, the petrol price in Singapore is USD 6.43 per gallon - over 50% higher than the "critical price" in US. Singaporeans do pay high price!

Is the President's Salary reasonable?

A reader wrote to Today paper on the President's salary. The letter was not published. The letter is now published in SGEP.

Real medical cost in Singapore

Read this article in SGEP. The real medical cost is higher than stated by the Minister for Health.

Buy motor insurance directly

It is easy to buy motor insurance directly from Direct Asia, if you come prepared. You enjoy a lower premium and also avoid the trouble of visiting the office of the insurance company. Read this article.

Don't cry over split milk?

Who cried recently on TV? Read this article by Wong Wee Nam.

Survey - Voting in general election 2011 - interim results

57 people participated in the survey during the past 12 hours. The breakdown of the participants are:
Below 30 -   10%
30 to 50 -     51%
Above 50 -   39%

1. How will you vote in the general election
For the PAP -  4%
Against PAP -  96%

2. If you are in living in Tanjong Pagar, will you vote for PAP and LKY?
For PAP - 6%
Against PAP - 94%

3, If you are living in Marine Parade GRC, will you vote for PAP and GCT?
For PAP -  8%
Against PAP - 92%

The dislike of the PAP is strong among the readers of my blog. The respect for LKY and GCT does not make any difference to the voting choices.

Tan Kin Lian

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chee Soon Juan speaks in Hokkien

Your vote at the general election 2011

How will you vote at the general election 2011? If you live in Tanjong Pagar or Marine Parade GRC, how will your vote? Give your answer in this survey.

FISCA website

There are several new items of information available in the FISCA website ( Some can be seen in the public section (without login) and others are available only to members (after login). Click on the Information tab and on the Events tab (for educational talks).

Probate and letter of administration

My friend faced this problem three years ago. His father passed away without a will and left a HDB flat, some money in the bank account and some investments. He was not able to withdraw the money. He approached a few lawyers for advice. They all quoted a fee of more than $5,000 to get a letter of administration. As he had no choice, he paid this fee. Even so, the process took a long time.

Recently, I found that the subordinate court had written clear instructions in their website on how to get a letter of administration (where there is no will) or a probate (where there is a will). The legal fees of $5,000 seemed to be excessive for the paperwork of getting a court order.

I wonder if the lawyer had overcharged my friend? Do you know of other lawyers who are willing to apply for the probate or letter of administration for a more modest fee?

Tan Kin Lian

Grow and Share package - difficult to figure out

Dear Mr. Tan,
I have just received in the mail, details of the Grow & Share package. Frankly, it should be called the "buy votes for the PAP" package, as it is timed for the coming general election. I received a letter that tells me what I can get as a dividend and the rebate of income tax - which I can understand. The accompanying brochure shows the benefits to the household. This is the part that I do not understand. In total, there are 10 items, but I do not know which items apply to me and how much. 

There are two glowing examples of the benefit for a family of 4 people living in a 3 room HDB flat and a family of 5 living in a 5-room HDB flat  I do not fall under any of these categories. How can I find out what is the benefit that my family will get? Why does the government make it so complicated for the Singaporeans? Why can't they reduce the GST or remove some of the taxes and levies?
(name withheld)

I also find it difficult to figure out what the benefits are and will usually ignore these complicated packages. If the money comes into my bank account, it is all right. If not, it does not really matter to me. The government said that the benefits are targeted. Some people say that it is a convoluted approach - typical of Singapore. (Meaning of convoluted - extremely complex).

Film - Inside Job

Dear Mr. Tan,
I just finished watching an award winning documentary called Inside Job by Charles Ferguson. It shows how Wall Street cheated the ordinary investors. I highly recommend it to you and your readers. You can find the trailer at

Blog Archive