Saturday, July 02, 2011

Impact of National Service on male citizens

During the past 25 years, I have written many letters to the mainstream newspapers about the disadvantage faced by male citizens in competing for jobs while having to carry out their national service obligations. I spoke about this matter in a meeting yesterday. Someone sent this message to me:

Dear Mr. Tan
I have friends who are working for companies that will try not to take in male Singaporeans because of Reservists. I think this is something we need to emphasize to try to gain support for the younger generation of Singaporeans male. Also for those who uses their parents CPF to pay their school fees during poly days, due to the 2 years of having to serve NS, they are unable to pay off the compound interest to the CPF board that are requested and it is a disadvantage to the guys who have to serve the 2 years of army as the compounded interest will keep increasing and it might become a financial burden to some. As you can see, it creates a chain reaction and a part of the factors of people not getting married due to all the additional burdens coming into their life. Also Singaporeans male are always being look down upon due to the financial disadvantages that they have.

SIA website

I wanted to book an air ticket to Kuala Lumpur. I went to SIA website. The website hang during the booking. I tried a few times but could not get it to work. I searched the website for a hotline number. I could not find it. I spent half an hour trying to make a booking. Finally, I gave up and move to another airline.

Statements for Election

Here is a list of statements issued by me for the Presidential election
Some of the statements have been translated into Chinese and Malay.

Facebook Page - Tan Kin Lian

I have set up a Facebook page ( I like my blog visitors to link (i.e. "like) my facebook to their own facebook account. This will help me to reach out to the people that are also connected to their facebook. 

Safeguard the CPF money

I have received several e-mails from the people about their CPF savings - how safe are they? They like the President to play an active role here. They feel that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock may not have the financial knowledge and Dr. Tony Tan might have a conflict of interest - as he was involved in managing the funds in GIC.

What to look for in an investment-linked policy

There is an article in the Today paper on what to look for in an investment linked policy. It is written by the training manager of an international insurance company.

The article advised consumers to consider the financial objectives, to look for the suitable funds and consider the charges. There are motherhood statements, but avoid the essential facts.

Over 100,000 consumers (my guess) buy an investment linked policy each year and do not realize that they are making a bad investment. Many of these regular premium policies give a reduction of yield of up to 4%.  If the underlying funds earn an average yield of 6%, the consumer gets a net yield of only 2% per annum. This is hardly enough to cover inflation.

If the consumer buys  a term insurance policy and invest the rest of the savings in a low cost fund, the reduction in yield is likely to be only 1%.This will allow the consumer to enjoy a net yield of 5% p.a. The difference in yield between 2% and 5%, over a period of 35 years is a lot of money. It can amount to several hundred thousand dollars!

This is explained in my book, Practical Guide on Financial Planning.  You can also attend the educational talk organised by FISCA (

Friday, July 01, 2011

President S R Nathan

President S R Nathan has served Singapore with distinction for the past 12 years. He is  highly respected, friendly, approachable and portrays a fatherly figure. I wish him a happy retirement.

A favor returned

Hi Kinlian, 
I hope you do remember me? You helped me immensely in my appeal to SMRT for grossly overcharging me for their taxi repair.

Thank you for running in this presidential election. I pledge to send this message to at least 300 friends through email and at least 100 or more by word of mouth.

I wish you the very best.

Three corner contest

I have decided to go for a three contest contests after reading in the mainstream media that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock is not open to discuss this matter and has said categorically that he will not withdraw from the contest.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

No need for lies, online bashing

Some take his statements and "give it the most negative twist", some have posted lies and defamed him online since he announced his Presidential bid, said former NTUC Income chief executive Tan Kin Lian.

Contest the Presidential Election

If I get the certificate of eligibility, I will contest the Presidential election. I have already started to send out my message by e-mail to my supporters and asking them to send out the message to their friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances. Many of them are responding positively.

I will pay for the election deposit on my own. I have already collected sufficient pledges to cover the basic expenses (but on a modest budget). If there are more donations, I can increase the outreach activities after the campaign starts.

I have now decided to proceed with a three corner contest. (I read in the mainstream media that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock is not open to discuss this matter and has said categorically that he will not withdraw from the contest.).

Tan Kin Lian

President's power of clemency

A journalist asked me to comment on the changes that I like to see in the constitution on the power of the President. (She said that Dr. Tony Tan had given some comments in his interview on this matter).

I replied that I like to see the constitution changed to give the full power of clemency to the President. He can seek the advice of his Presidential Council  or the Cabinet, but should not be compelled to follow the decision of the Cabinet.

This does not mean that he will act against the advice of the Cabinet. The Cabinet or Home Affairs Minister can give its recommendation for the President to make the final decision. Unless the President has strong reasons, the President is likely to take this advice. This is a more proper approach.

It is also better for the Government to allow the President to exercise clemency, and help the Government get out of a difficult situation, for borderline cases - where there is an element of doubt. In other cases, the President has to reject the appeal and take the burden of this difficult situation.

Safeguard the reserves - investment policy

Dear Mr. Tan,
I am disappointed that you accepted the statement by the Law Minister that the President have no say on the investment strategy. How can you safeguard the reserves when it can be invested recklessly? 

I accept the statement that the President must work within the powers allowed under the Constitution and should not interfere with the decisions of the Government. I also agree that it is necessary for the President to have a say on the investment policy as a logical extension of his duty to safeguard the reserves. I agree with the Law Minister that this involvement does not go into the day to day execution of the investment policy - which should be left to the full time professionals. I do not wish to debate this issue now, and will be happy to let the matter be resolved by the next elected President. It can be discussed behind closed doors.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Foreign students policy


Due to Dr Tony Tan’s pro-foreigner education policies, many Singaporeans missed out on places in local universities and had to further their tertiary education overseas, a fact not lost on a NTU graduate who said:
“Tony Tan is responsible for one of the greatest policy errors that will cause great, untold harm to Singapore. His foreign students policies have caused an entire generation of Singaporeans to lose loyalty for Singapore.
Which citizens would not lose their feelings for the country if they are discriminated in the very country whom they have sacrificed 2.5 years of their lives under a humiliating military conscription service."

Voices of the People

Endorsements for Tan Kin Lian for President.

All endorsements

Wait until after the election

Many people are writing to me for assistance on their insurance and other personal problems, more so than previously. I am not able to find the time to assist them now, as I have many things to attend to for the Presidential Election. I hope that they can approach me after the election, when I can find more time.

Endorse Tan Kin Lian

I have decided to vote for Tan Kin Lian as President of Singapore for the following reasons:

1. He really cares for the welfare and well-being of ordinary people by expressing his concerns and making suggestions on the following issues:
· the affordability of HDB flats
· unemployment insurance for the workers
· the widening income gap between the elites and ordinary workers
· the transportation woes of ordinary people
· the high public medical fee
· the need of minimum wage
· the selling of complex credit-link notes to ordinary people
· the selling of high cost and low yield insurance products to ordinary people

2. When he was the CEO of NTUC Income, he implemented many low cost insurance policies (with low commission costs) which benefited many ordinary Singaporeans.

3. He also expressed his concerns on the high ministerial salaries and the record high salaries/bonuses of the elites.

4. He spoke up for the ordinary people who lost money to toxic products sold by banks

5. He prefers to adopt a conservative approach in the investment of our national reserves

6. He has indicated he would donate at least 50% of the President’s annual salary to a charity set up to promote causes which he believes in.


Fund raising for the campaign

I have mentioned a fund raising target of $100,000 to $200,000 for my campaign to cover several items, including the deposit. I expect to bear any balance of the campaign expenses that are not covered by the donations.

If there is any balance in the campaign funds, especially after the refund of the deposit (assuming that it is not forfeited), I will donate the balance to a charity or other worthy causes. It will not be practical to refund the balance to any of the donors. Quite likely, I will have to bear the deposit on my own.

Tan Kin Lian

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Visuals for my campaign

Here are some possible visuals for my campaign.
Please give your rating to each visual (1 to 6) in this survey

Example for the young

Hi Mr. Tan Kin Lian,
First salute you for standing up and be counted. This alone is worthy of your endeavor to set an excellent example for younger generations of Singaporeans to emulate and inspire them to participate in the political process.
Secondly, I wish your nomination is successful with a Certificate of Eligibility.
Thirdly, may I suggest that when you campaign, focus on the following aspirations of Singaporeans, especially the younger generations and the more educated:
1) A more just and equal society (fairness is what they are yearning). Be it rich or poor, government scholars or ITE dropouts, 

managers or taxi-drivers, they must be equal partners in nation-building, progress and prosperity. Nobody should be left behind and there must always be a level-playing field for all citizens. They must be equal partners in nation-building, progress and prosperity. Nobody should be left behind and there must always be a level-playing field for all citizens.
2) Separation of the State and political parties, religion, language and race. Regardless of your political views, your religion, language or race, every Singaporean has the same right to participate in the political process, to aspire to be MPs, to aspire to be Prime Minister, President. So such talk as "an Indian is not ready for PM", "I do not apologize to say PAP is Singapore" must be rectified. Patriotism is not the domain of the PAP, it is not the sole-proprietorship of the MIWs. A Singaporean who argues on policies and holds differing political views may be more patriotic, if not equal, to any MIW. As such, I hope the EP can look into the abuse of nation's assets funded by taxpayers (also part of the nation's reserve) for partisan political gain, such as PA, CDCs, HDB upgrading, MRT stations selectively closed in opposition wards, etc.
3) A voice for the people, a change in relationship between the rulers and the citizenry. It must not be a 'father-son', ' Ruler-subject' Confucius paternalistic style, but ' brothers-sisters' helping each other and respecting each other in a same family. Go back on what Mr. Ngiam Tong Dow has said before :
"Sparta was a militaristic city where the leadership was largely self-selected from the best and the fittest through meritocracy. Athens was a civic-minded city where there was diversity of views from the various Philosophers. In the end, Athens survived far longer and better than Sparta. Sparta ended up with dictatorship and elitism."
Singaporeans by and large hate ruthless meritocracy, elitism, although they are competitive and striving in nature.
My best wishes and I will help mobilize support for you in my own way.
TS (Teck Suan) Low

Message from Tan Kin Lian for President

My name is Tan Kin Lian. I am standing for election as President of Singapore.

Many people have told me that they want a President who can:
  • Be a voice of the people
  • Be independent of the PAP Government
  • Safeguard their CPF money and the national reserves

If you give me your support and I get elected, I promise you that I will carry out these tasks diligently.

I come from a humble family background. When I was a child, I lived in a rented room and had to move residence a few times. Later, I lived in a HDB flat for 7 years. Today, I live in a ordinary house and like many Singaporeans, I have a car but often travel by bus and MRT. 

I understand the struggle of many people who find it difficult to earn enough to meet the cost of living, have to travel in crowded public transport daily and have to face the competition for jobs. I am close to the ordinary people in Singapore and can be your voice to carry your views to the Government.

I have never been a MP or minister in the PAP Government. As President, I will be able to think and act independently of the Government and take a different perspective in looking after the interest of the people of Singapore. I will work in cooperation with the Government to find solutions that are best for the people. 

In my decisions, I will be guided by my personal values of honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service and by the views of the people (which I will actively seek).

I am qualified and have the financial knowledge to safeguard your CPF money and the national reserves. I had nurtured an insurance company for 30 years, looking after the savings of over 1 million people and managing assets of $17 billion. 

I understand the need to be prudent in our investments, to avoid speculation and to invest for the long term. I can bring this knowledge to the duty of the President in safeguarding the reserves.

I wish to run for President as a public duty. I do not wish to receive a large salary as President and will be willing to donate at least 50% of the salary to charity and other worthy causes.

I hope that you will give me your support and will encourage your friends, colleagues, neighbors to support me. Please help me in spreading this message to them.

Tan Kin Lian
Candidate for President of Singapore

Presidential Election - fund raising

Reply to Straits Times journalist.

I am setting aside a modest target of $100,00 to $200,000 for the campaign. (I understand that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock is targetting $500,000).

The funds will be used for:

a) Deposit of $48,000 to take part in the election
b) Printing of campaign materials
c) Distribution of campaign materials
d) Out reach activities, e.g. meeting people in markets, train stations, etc
e) Rallies
f) Rental of premises, logistics, contractors, sound system, manpower expenses
g) production of videos to appear in the internet

So far, the donations have been slow. I approached a few companies and wealthy people that could make a significant donation, but they declined - explaining that they prefer to be "neutral". I understand, as they are afraid that their donation will be frowned on by the people in power. The support from the ordinary citizens have also been slow - which is typical of Singaporeans - to wait for the last minute. It is hard for me to plan my activities when the funding is not clear.

I am working on a modest, shoe string budget and will carry out some of the outreach activities and rallies - only when the funds are available. 

I intend to have campaign materials to be distributed to all households (and will need the help of supporters or paid manpower to handle the distribution).

I can meet the expenses on my own, but I want the people to have the chance to contribute financially to the campaign as well. I do not wish to shoulder this arduous task and journey on my own, with the help of a few supporters. I hope that more Singaporeans will come forward to make my campaign into their own campaign as well.

They can read my statements in

Presidential Election - contest of 2 or 3 candidates

Several journalists have asked me about the possibility of dicussing with Dr. Tan Cheng Bock on one of us withdrawing from the campaign.Here is my answer:
Some people have asked me to consider talking to Dr. Tan Cheng Bock and discuss if one of us should drop out of the campaign to give the other candidate a better chance to contest against Dr. Tony Tan. But other people felt strongly that I should continue to contest the election as I am most independent of the PAP. 
I will keep the options open and will decide after the certificates of eligibilty are issued. I have mentioned this point to Dr. Tan Cheng Bock previously. I believe that he is also waiting to see what happens before he decides.
I am now quite clear that I will offer a choice to the people to vote for a person who can:
a) He will be think independently of the PAP in looking after the interest of the people.
b) He will actively seen and communicate the aspirations of the people to the government
c) He is capable in safeguarding our CPF money and the national reserves 
I will also donate at least 50% of the President's salary to charity, if I am elected. I wish to help the children from poor families to pay their school fees and elderly poor to pay their hospital bills. I also hope to get the support of other Singaporeans in contributing to this worthy cause.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nuclear energy

Hi Mr Tan, Thank you for your courage to step forth to be counted as one of the Presidential hopefuls. I wish you all the best in this fight to be the President of Singapore.

I have a pertinent question.

What is your stand on nuclear energy? The PM has said that we have to "study nuclear option". We know that in Singapore, that is a euphemism for "we will do it". Nuclear energy implementation take time to research and build. This matter will definitely be tabled within the next term of the new President.

Would you care to share your thoughts on your blog regarding this matter? What role do you think the President's role will be to support or veto this initiative? 

Chris Chan

Dear Chris Chan,
I think that the President does not have any authority to veto this initiative.

Personally, I do not know the seriousness of the danger of using nuclear energy in a small and densely populated place like Singapore. If I were to be in charge, e.g. as the prime minister, I would ask for the views and recommendations of the experts and weigh the pros and cons carefully.

False and malicious smears

There is a person who has posted several malicious statements about me in several websites under a pen name. He had accused me of many inappropriate behavior, including mishandling a case of a long serving employee who was traumatized by a "TKL favored manager". Several of his statements were false and I had rebutted them in the website.

I found out later the real name of a person who was making similar accusations against me in Tan Cheng Bock's facebook.

From the statements, I guessed the identity of the "TKL favored manager". I asked him if he knew about the case and gave him the name of the accuser. He recognized the name immediately as the boy friend of an employee who had worked under him, and who had accused him of mistreating his girl friend, who was transferred to his department and had performed badly. He could not remember what had happened to that case, but confirmed that the complaint was handled by the general manager of the division.

This was a case that I did not deal with personally - as there are people in the line of authority who were responsible to deal with the matter. The accuser must have felt very angry over this matter and is now spreading malicious smears against my character in several websites and circulating the smears widely by e-mail. He was not even an employee of NTUC Income, but he made many detailed statements that appeared to the public to be the grievances of a former employee.

A few people told me that their friends had received the e-mail and had a bad impression of me through the accusations. One person said, "there is no smoke without fire". This is the damage that can be caused by malicious lies.

When Tang Lian Hong said that some people were "liars", he was sued so extensively that he had to flee Singapore. I do not object if someone called me a liar (which is just an opinion), but the smears against me by this person (and I know his identity now) is many times more serious and malicious. I have to consider taking legal action against him when I find the time later on to gather the appropriate evidence.

Tan Kin Lian

Spread the message

Dr. Tony Tan will be getting the support of the mainstream media.

I need my supporters to spread the word through word of mouth and through the internet. Here is your chance to be involved. My statements are in my blog and website ( You can send any of the following messages to your friends, and ask them to send to their friends.

I support Tan Kin Lian for President for the following reasons:
a) He will think independently of the PAP in looking after the interest of the people.
b) He will actively seek and communicate the aspirations of the people to the government
c) He is capable of safeguarding our CPF money and the national reserves 
Please go to to read about his statements and also enrol as a supporter or donate to the campaign.


By now, many Singaporeans are used to seeing PAP Ministers using “funny” numbers to try and defend the indefensible. For example when Mr Mah Bow Tan was still Minister Mah Bow Tan, he used to deluge us with all sorts of strange statistics to show that HDB flats were “affordable”. 

Similarly when Mr Raymond Lim was Minister Raymond Lim, he used to show us surveys of  how happy all of us were with public transport.

If you wind back the clock to 2003, we can see that Dr Tony Tan also used “funny” numbers to try and fool Singaporeans. Back then, the PAP had wanted to cut the Employer CPF contribution. To justify this, Dr Tony Tan quoted a PERC study which showed that wages in Singapore were supposedly higher than the US and Australia !

Justice, democracy and nepotism

Dear Mr. Tan
Some quotes you can use to complement your values of honesty, fairness, positive attitude, courage and public service.  The first two are famous quotes and I coined the next 3.

1) Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done. Justice delayed is justice denied.
2) Not only must democracy be done; it must also be seen to be done. Democracy perverted is democracy denied
3) Not only must nepotism/cronyism not be done; it must also be seen not to be done."

Ho Kah Fong

Local transport - urgent step for an integrated transport system

I have written to the Minister for Transport, Lui Tuck Yew, to consider developing local transport (to bring people from their home to MRT stations, bus interchanges and town centers) in an efficient and inexpensive manner. Details are set out in this paper.

These measures will encourage more car owners to use public transport and reduce the congestion on the roads. It will also provide employment opportunities for Singaporeans to operate local taxis and mini-buses.

The paper is reproduced below:

Conversion of Facebook account to a Page

I have now converted my Facebook account into a Facebook Page. My friends have now been transferred as fans in this page. This allows future fans to be registered automatically, without the need for my approval. With this change, my friends cannot send messages to me through Facebook. You can send messages (by e-mails) directly to me at kinlian(at)

Correction of Property Prices

Minister Khaw Boon Wan is taking bold steps to increase the supply of HDB flats (for sale and rental). I believe that the measures have the endorsement of PM Lee. I support this strategy.

Many people have expressed the view that these measures will result in a correction of property prices and that existing property owners (especially those who have bought the properties at the high prices) will be unhappy.

I wish to give the following views on why a correction in property prices will be for the long term benefit of Singaporeans.

a) Existing property owners can upgrade their homes at a lower cost
b) First time buyers (especially the young) will pay lower prices for their HDB flats
c) The correction does not affect existing property owners who have bought a single property for long term occupation
d) The property prices will eventually increase due to inflation and demand, but at a moderate rate (excluding the speculative factor)

The only negative factor is that a property owner may be unable to meet the mortgage payment (e.g. on loss of employment), resulting in a force sale of the property. In that situation, the property owner can switch to a new mortgage where the bank takes higher priority over the CPF savings. This will allow the bank to allow a temporary suspension of the mortgage payments, instead of making a false sale.

I have seen the price of my property fell by more than 30% during economic recessions or financial crisis. It did not last long. After a few years, the property prices recovered.

I believe that a correction of the property prices will be in the interest of Singaporeans in the long run. I want to encourage property owners to look at the prospect in a positive way. I also want to advise young Singaporeans not to pay high prices for your HDB flats or private properties now, as the prices are likely to  be lower in a few years time.

Tan Kin Lian

Report Abuses

Some blogs or websites have a feature to "Report Abuse". If you find any defamatory or insulting remarks against any candidate, you can use the "Report Abuse" to alert the blog owner. If more people take this action, it will make the blogs a cleaner place and a more respectable alternative media.

Promotion of TKL books - last 3 days

Enjoy attractive discounts and waiver of handling charge. Only 3 days left.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Track record of Dr. Tony Tan

Now that Dr Tony Tan has formally announced his intention to contest in the Presidential Elections, it is timely to have a look at his track record when he was a political office holder. As he has had a long career as a PAP politician, it is not possible to fit all of the issues into a single blog posting. I will therefore be splitting up the discussion into several blog postings.

Shape Quiz - new layout

Here is a new layout for the shape quiz. It is easier for the public to practice their skills in forming the challenging shapes from the four pieces. Good for children, adults and seniors. This video explains how the puzzle can be solved. I am giving the puzzles for the events that I will be attending over the next few weeks.

Independence from political parties

Dear Mr. Tan
I am surprised at the statements from the government and Dr. Tony Tan - which seemed to be targeting you. I have known you to be a person who is pro-Singapore and also, at one time, pro-PAP. Although you are not pro-PAP now, you are also quite fair in your approach. Although you are willing to support the opposition parties, you cannot be considered to be anti-PAP. 

There is no need for the PAP should not target you or be afraid that you will be elected. The only reason I can think of their attitude is that they may have something to hide. Perhaps there are big losses in GIC or Temasek that they do not want you to find out. Is this the reason why they do not like you to be elected?

I think that the GIC and Temasek have been quite transparent in reporting their losses during the global financial crisis and that the losses would probably have recovered by now I don't think that they are big losses to be hidden away.

I will try to be honest, fair and positive in my approach. I want to be independent and will support any policy (from any political party) that is good for the people of Singapore.

Smear in blog

Here is a smear against me by someone who is promoting another candidate.
If you disagree with the remarks, can you post your views in the blog?

Endorsement by Goh Meng Seng

Having said all these, Kin Lian is definitely not a Saint. He will have some shortcomings just like anybody else. But most importantly, in my opinion, after all the contacts I have made with him, I feel that he has the necessary qualities to be a good and effective President in performing the role of safeguarding our reserves. Someone who is fair minded but yet has the moral courage to stand up against all odds to ask the necessary and difficult questions. Up to the point of risking his own personal friendship with his ex-PAP colleagues, in safeguarding the interests of the People and the Nation.

Thus, my personal support of Mr. Tan Kin Lian in this Presidential Election.

Goh Meng Seng

Blog Archive