Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for you to vote:

a) Is it wise for Li Shengwu to leave Singapore to prevent being detained for the court hearing?
b) What should Desmond Kuek, CEO of SMRT do, following the frequent breakdowns?

Vote in

You can win the following prizes by voting:

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Why do the experts plan a curved bridge for the RTS between Singapore and Johor Bahru? (48 Votes )

You can view the answer in:

b) Is it proper for the Johor Sultan to object to the design of the bridge? (46 Votes )

Three quarters of the respondents respect him for taking interest. It will force the planners to explain their reason for this decision.

Friday, August 18, 2017

More efficient to pay directly into a bank account

Due to an oversight, I did not bank in a cheque within six months. It has expired.

I requested the payer to send me a replacement cheque. They wanted me to mail back the original cheque to them.

What for? The mail will take a few days to reach them. In some cases, it got lost.

This is an example of the wastefulness and inefficiency that is quite common in Singapore. In other countries, it is common for payment to be made by internet transfer to the payee account, instead of writing cheques.

I know of an insurance company in Indonesia that make claim payments directly into the bank account of the claimant.

Australian Senate

Instead of an Elected President which has now become very messy, we should consider the Australian system of a Senate that has significant powers to review major decisions taken by the government.

Here is a description of how the Australian Senate works.

The Australian Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I, Part II of the Australian Constitution. There are a total of 76 senators: 12 senators are elected from each of the six states (regardless of population) and two from each of the two autonomous internal territories (the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory). Senators are popularly elected under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.

Unlike upper houses in most Westminster parliamentary systems, the Senate is vested with significant power, including the capacity to block all legislation, including Budget and Appropriation Bills, initiated by the government in the House of Representatives, making it a distinctive hybrid of British Westminster bicameralism and US-style bicameralism. As a result of proportional representation, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power. The governing party or coalition, which has to maintain the confidence of the lower house, has not held a majority in the Senate since 2005-2008 (and before that since 1981) and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.[4]

Senators normally serve fixed six-year terms (from 1 July to 30 June), unless the Senate is dissolved earlier in a double dissolution. Following a double dissolution half the state senators serve terms ending on the third 30 June following the election (i.e. slightly less than three years) with the rest serving three years longer. The term of the territory senators expires at the same time as there is an election for the House of Representatives. There is no constitutional requirement for the election of senators to take place at the same time as those for members of the House of Representatives, though the government usually synchronises election dates.


Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for your vote.

a) Will you avoid attending high profile, crowded events?
b) Who is the smartest and most capable minister in Singapore?

Vote in

Wisdom of the Crowd - result

Here are the results of the voting on these issues.

a) Why does the experts plan a curved bridge for the RTS between Singapore and Johor Bahru? (48 Votes )

The answer is found here:

b) Is it proper for the Johor Sultan to object to the design of the bridge? (46 Votes )

A large majority of the Crowd support the action taken by the Johor Sultan.

Vote on the current issues, and win a prize, at

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why I invest in Forest City

Mr. Tan,
I read that you bought a unit in Forest City. What are the advantages of Forest City compared to other developments in Johor?

First, I must warn you that the price of Forest City is 20% higher than the top end developments in Puteri Habor. So, Forest City is expensive.

The key advantages of Forest City are set out in this marketing email:

My choice for Forest City are based on:
1. Within 1 hour drive from Second Link.
2. Located in a separate island away from the rest of Johor.
3. A futuristic city.
4. Suitable as a holiday home for my children and grand children.

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for you to vote:

a) Will you be watching the National Day Rally on television?
b) Are you excited about the Smart Nation initiative?

You can vote in

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Will the construction of the Kra Canal pose a big threat to Singapore's economy (43 Votes )

The results are quite worrying for Singapore. The Crowd thinks it will happen in the forseeable future.

b) Should new citizens and permanent residents be required to serve National Service? (43 Votes )

The Crowd sends a very strong message to the government. 95% said that new citizens and permanent residents should be required to do National Service, like our local born.

You can vote on other issues at:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A smart way to introduce innovation

Here is a smart way to introduce innovation. I hope that the people responsible for Lee HL's Smart Nation project will consider these simple suggestions.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Make Singapore into a Smart City - the practical way

Here are some simple suggestions to make Singapore into a Smart City quickly and make an immediate and useful impact on the lives of the people.

We should use technology that are already proven and practical. They can be implemented easily and quickly and at very low cost.

Smart Nation - a big disappointment so far

This is proof of the incompetence of Lee HL's government and on the minister in charge of the Smart Nation project, Vivian Balakrishnan.

They make a lot of hot air and grand promises but achieve very little. Most of their fancy projects did not take off the ground.

They need more practical people to run this Smart Nation initiative.

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues for voting

Here are the new issues for voting:

a) What is the best way to help the elderly poor in Singapore?
b) Do you agree with the proposal for public transport to go cashless by 2020?

Vote in

Marketing pitch for Forest City

Mr Tan,

I am Nurul from Forest City and I am wishing you and family are doing great where ever you are.

Here I would like to share with you the details and payment method as you are required to by pdf, not all the information i can have it because some of them will be write in S&P agreement that customer sign

*Advantage of Forest City*
1) Free Hold Property
2) No Inheritances Tax
3) New CIQ by land and sea to Singapore
4) City with a lot 5 stars and renowned facilities and amenities
5) Green and Smart City with no vehicle on its surface
6) 15 Mins away to future High Speed Rail (Station at Nusajaya)
7) Surrounded by world second biggest mangrove forest reserve
8) Duty Free Zone area
9) golf course resort will be design by Jack Nicklaus and opened at the end of this year
10) smart community ( smart home + smart security)
11) World-class medical services (MJ Group)
12) international school : Shattuck St. Marry's School (opened in August 2018)

Thank You and Have a Nice Day.

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Will there be a contest for the Presidential Election? (49 Votes )
Two thirds say that it will be a walkover. Sorry, no public hoilday. There is a small chance that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock will win his appeal.

b) Should a by-election be called for Marsiling Yew Tee GRC after Halimah Yacob steps down? (46 Votes )

Three quarters said that a by-election should be called. They gave two reasons.

Vote for the current issues at

Monday, August 14, 2017

Buying an apartment in Forest City

I have recently purchased an unit in Forest City. It is 1,200 sq and cost about SGD 450,000 or about $400 psf. This is 20% more expensive than high end apartments in Puteri Harbor but is about one third of the price in Singapore.

I know that it is difficult to find a tenant or to sell my unit in the future, because there is massive over supply of apartments in Iskandar.

I was surprised that the apartments are selling quite well. I was earlier offered two apartments of 1,800 sf. I did not confirm it within 1 week and they were booked by other buyers.

I did not mind. My wife said that 1,800 sf is too big. So, we opted for the smaller size apartment.

An experience property agent who markets apartments in Puteri Harbor told me that Forest City has developed much better than most people expected. The sales reported by Forest City came from real buyers.

There is restriction on transfer of currency from China to Malaysia, but the buyers from China found a way to get round the restrictions. So, the sales have resumed.

I also read a report from Hong Kong that China had relaxed some of the restriction, but the details are not clear.

One advantage of Forest City is that it is half hour drive from the Second Link. There will be a separate CIQ which will reduce the clearance time. This makes Forest City a good choice for a second home or a holiday home.

The developer planned to bring an international school, a hospital and other business activities to Forest City. If they materialize, it will be good for Forest City. But they do not, Forest City is still an attractive concept.

If you have some spare money lying uninvested and wish to visit Forest City, you can contact me at

Perfomance of Government Agencies

How does the Crowd rate the performance of these agencies? Apart from MRT, the performance of the other agencies improved in the latest week.

Find our more at

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for you to vote.

a) Will the United States take a first strike against North Korea?
b) Why is the Singapore Sale no longer great?

Vote in

Performance score of senior ministers

Here are the performance scores of the senior ministers.

Wisdom of the Crowd - Results

Here are the results of the voting in the Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Will Li Shengwu be convicted of contempt of court? (51 Votes )
45% said "yes". But 55% said "no" for various reasons.

b) Why don't the two governments introduce joint clearance at the causeway and 2nd link? (44 Votes )

The answer looks bad for both governments.

Vote on the current issues in

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd - result

Here are the results of the voting:

a) Professor Huang Jing is expelled for being an agent of influence for a foreign country. Which country? (51 Votes )

The answer may surprise you!

b) How should Li Shengwu respond to the action taken by the Attorney General on contempt of court? (47 Votes )

The answer is quite divided.

You can vote on the current issues and win a prize.

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