Saturday, June 16, 2018

Can we trust politicians?

Someone said:
Dr.M is still the same old politician. And I usually don't place too much trust on politicians.They like to say different things at different events.

My reply.
I also say different things on different occasions. I am not being dishonest. I have to convey the message in a manner that is relevent to the audience.

But the basic message is the same. There are different perspectives to that message.

For example, the key message coming from the Malaysia side is that they cannot afford the cost of the HSR at this time. They don't have the money.

The different perspectives are - to cancel the project, or to delay it to a future date when they have the money. Both perspectives are honest and acceptible.

Life is not just black and white. We have to accept that there are many "rights".

Do I trust Dr. Mahathir? Yes, I do.

Do I trust Lee HL? Yes, I do . I disagree with him on many of his policies, but I do trust that he is doing what he thinks is right for Singapore.

Tan Kin Lian

Adopt a "give and take" approach

Someone said:
MY has always been quick to play to their own advantage whenever dealing with us. In Dr M's case, he was even willing to give up obvious advantages in order to put obstacles in SG's path. S'poreans should always expect a govt that looks after S'pore 1st and always!

My reply:
During Dr. M's first term as PM (and that stretches many years), I assessed him to be pro-Malaysia and not anti-Singapore).

Although there were big diffierences in view, e.g. water agreement, sale of sand, use of air space), I felt that both sides were trying to outdo each other. If a more "give and take" approach had been adopted, it would have been better.

We now have the chance to take a new approach, and I hope that our current leaders in Singapore can act differntly.

WOTC - Top schools

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Should we have "top schools"?

Here are the responses:

48% - All schools should be treated equally and given adequate financial and other resources.
33% - Each school should develop its own strengths in arts, sports,art, academic and other areas.
9% - It encourages students to study hard and get a place in a top school.
9% - It allows the school to bring out the best in top students.

Yes - 18%. No - 82%

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - CPF statement of deceased member

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Should CPF give a statement of account to the beneficiaries of a deceased CPF member?

Here are the responses:

58% - The statement should be given to all beneficiaries
30% - The statement should be given to the executor of the will or the administrator of the estate.
9% - No. It could lead to all kinds of disputes
3% - It should be kept confidential

Yes - 92%. No - 12%

See the breakdown of the votes in

Who can you trust?

Someone asked me.

Mr. Tan. Do you trust people whom you do not know? How long does it take for you to trust them. What are the tests that you do before you trust them.

Here is my answer.

I trust people based on their sincerity and honesty. If they make statements on what they intend to do, I will trust them to carry them out.

But my trust is not absoute. I do not trust them with money, except maybe a small amount that I can afford to give away.

I do not trust them with secrets. Anyway, I have few secrets as I intend to be quite open with my beliefs and views.

For example, I have stated quite openly that I do not like the policies that are put out by PM Lee. This is not a secret.

If someone tells me secrets about other people, I do not believe them absolutely. I do not distrust them either. I just accept is as "maybe it is true, but it may not be true".

I do not gossip about other people.

If someone approaches me and tells me that he or she will help work with me towards the common goal, for example, to break the PAP stranglehold on power, I will accept him on his words. I do not worry or prejudge that he might be a mole.

From my observation, my attitude is quite different from most other people in Singapore. They tend to be judgmental. They tend to be distrustful. They tend to classify people into compartments - can be trusted, cannot be trusted.

What are your views?

Tan Kin Lian

Friday, June 15, 2018

WOTC - Expenses for North Korea delegation

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Should Singapore pay for the cost of the North Korean delegation at the Summit?

Here are the responses:

68% - We are already paying for the security and hospitality and should not pay this additional expense.
18% - It is a modest sum and is good for our image
11% - America should pay
3% - South Korea should pay

Yes - 18%, No 82%

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Security for heads of states at Summit

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Who should provide security to look after the head of states at the Summit?

Here are the responses:
38% - Our Gurkha mercenaries
31% - Our SAF commandoes
31% - Our regular soldiers.
0% - Our NS men

See the breakdown of the votes in

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Show respect to other people

I often give this advice to other people - do not judge a person.

It is all right to give a view, but we must avoid judging that person.

For example, if someone said "The sky is red", you can say "I think the sky is blue". That is giving a different opinion.

What is judging? For example, "You must be stupid to say the sky is red". "How can you, as a public figure have this kind of opionion?"

When someone passes a judgment, he (or she) presumes that they are qualified to judge. That is quite arrogant.

Some people have bad manners. They pass judgment and insult other people without realizing it. It becomes a habit for them.

I consider these people to be badly brought up by their parents and teachers. It reflects badly on them and their parents and teachers.

The best way to avoid this character flaw is to be respectful of other people and their views. It is all right to give a different view but be respectful of other people's views.

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - Higher salaries for local nurses

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Should we pay higher salaries to encourage locals to be nurses?

Here are the responses:

51% - It will create more employment opportunities for locals.
44% - local nurses can provide better care because they know local languages and customs
2% - It will be too costly
2% - Locals don't want to be nurses.

Yes - 95%, No - 5%

See the breakdown of the votes and pie chart in

WOTC - Higher salaries for bus drivers

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Should we pay higher salaries to encourage locals to be bus drivers?

Here are the responses:

50% - This will create more employment opportunities for locals
47% - Locals can be better bus drivers as they know the local languages, customs and local places.
3% - I am not prepared to pay higher transport fares

See the breakdown of the votes and pie chart in

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Duty of the government on creating job opportunities

I consider it to be the duty of a government to make sure that all its citizens are able to get a job that pay adequate wages to meet the cost of living in that country.

Here are the steps that the government can take to meet this duty:

a) Give priority for its citizens to get jobs, before allowing the entry of foreign workers.
b) Ensure that the jobs pay adequate wages so that the citizens are able to take these jobs.
c) Use the public sector to pay adequate wages and let these wages be the benchmark for the private sector.
d) If necessary, provide a subsidy to the private sector employers so that their business can be viable.
e) Provide a short period of relief, say six months, for workers who lose their jobs due to retrenchment or redundancy.

A better strategy is to reduce the cost of living and the cost of doing business, so that the private sector businesses can be viable, without subsidy.

If the government takes on this responsibility, they will be able to find the solution. They cannot have the excuse to say that the creation of jobs depend on the market. The government has a duty to create the suitable economic environment to ensure that this goal can be achieved.

Do you agree?

Tan Kin Lian

Feedback on government policies

Do you have feedback to give to the government on any policy that is not working well? Education? Job? Health care?

Give your feedback here.

Rejected insurance claim

Are you angry that your insurance claim has been rejected? Or the insurance company is taking a long time to approve the claim? Or you have bought a policy that is not what you were told that it would do?

Give your feedback here:

Poor call center

Are you fed up with the long time taken by a call center to answer your call? Have you been kept waiting a long time?

Give your feedback to the organization in

When more people complain, maybe the organization will wake up.

WOTC - Cap on use of Medisave

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd. - Should there be a cap on the use of Medisave?

Here are the responses:

41% - It is better for the government to control the charges from approved hospitals and doctors.
32% - Let the patient use his own savings for all necessary medical expenses.
16% - It is necessary to prevent overcharging by doctors and hospitals.
11% - Medisave should be used to pay all charges from approved facilities without limit.

Yes - 16%, no 84%

See the breakdown of the votes and pie chart in

Social training for ministers

Dear Mr Tan

A lot of FB post on our Ministers general courtesy behavour eg sit before VIP sit, mobile on table, sitting posture etc

This together with their leadership style shows they lack skills eg a good leader is one who understand and feel the ground.

They stressed a lot for singaporeans to go for retraining.

Should our Ministers themselves go for retraining in social and leadership skills?

Wait. I go for retraining first. I also need it. OK?

I sent this feedback to PM Office.

WOTC - How to spend $2 billion a year

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Which is a better way to spend $2 billion a year

Here are the responses.

89% - Give to families to raise children
8% - Build more MRT and highway
3% - Put up more buildings
0% - Buy more military hardware.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

WOTC - Allowance for raising children

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Will a monthly allowance of $500 for each child until age 16, attract families to have children?

Here are the responses:

44% - It will attract young mothers who are not interested in a career.
29% - It will not be attractive enough.
24% - Most families don't want to have children.
2% - The current baby bonus is better.

Yes - 44%, no 56%.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, June 11, 2018

Be an active citizen

You can post your views and feedback on these platforms:

#HearMeOut - - to give feedback on any organization

Sg Conversation - - to give feedback on any government policy.

Click on Latest - to see the latest feedback given by other people.
Click on Summary - to view the feedback given for each organization or topic.
Be an active citizen. Give our feedback and voice to improve life in Singapore.

WOTC - World Cup 2018

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Who will win World Cup 2018?

Here are the responses:

Another country - 35%
Brazil - 32%
Germany - 21%
Italy - 6%
Russia - 6%

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Employ nurses from India

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Should we employ more nurses from India for our hospitals?

Here are the responses:

70% - No. We should increase the salaries and employ local nurses.
22% - No. We are opening the flood gates for more foreigners to work in Singapore.
5% - Yes. We need more nurse.
3 % - Yes. It will keep down the cost of health care.

Yes - 8%, no - 92%.

See the breakdown of the votes and pie chart in

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Do not discriminate ex-offenders

Ex-offenders, who have served their sentence, should be allowed to work in the public sector without discrimination.

The government should set a good example for the private sector.

If the government continues to discriminate against the ex-offenders, the private sector will certainly follow.

There is the belief that the ex-offender has a character flaw and is likely to repeat the offense. This belief is not justified.

The ex-offender is likely to learn the lesson. Furthermore, the employer is put on notice about the previous offense, and is likely to pay more attention to avoid a repeat of the past incident.

It is a risk work taking, to give a second chance to ex-offenders who have served their sentence.

What is the point of organizing "Yellow Ribbon" projects, when the government does not intend to set a good example?

Tan Kin Lian

Change the law to allow the Will to cover CPF and cooperative society

CPF has a separate nomination procedure. The money in cooperative societies are also subject to nomination.

CPF and cooperative society moneys are not covered under the will.

This was the practice in the old days where most people do not write a will.

Times have changed. Most people now have properties and other assets and write a will to cover them.

But they often overlook the fact that CPF and cooperative society money are excluded under the Will.

They might have submitted a nomination to CPF or the cooperative society many years ago, and have overlooked the need to change the nomination when they get married or have children, or are divorced.

I suggest that the law be changed in the following aspects:

Allow the grantor to state in his Will that the Will will cover the CPF savings and the cooperative society money. If the grantor specifically make this request, it will take over precedence from the nomination that is submitted prior to the writing of the Will.

This will require a change to the law on estate administration and the consequential change to the law on CPF and cooperative society.

This change will simplify the process for most families and will protect them from oversight in updating the nomination.

Tan Kin Lian

Expenses for the Trump Kim summit

Singapore will be spending a lot of money to provide the security and facilities for the Trump Kim Summit.

However, most of the expenses will be "sunk cost", i.e. they are already incurred even if there is no summit. For example, the salaries of the police, soldiers and securities.

These resources are just diverted from their normal duties for the purpose of the summit.

The actual cost (i.e. additional cost) that will be incurred are for the dinners, meeting rooms and hotel bills that are hosted by Singapore. And, don't forget, the air flight and hotel bills of the foreign minister to Pyongyang.

Post your feedback on these platforms

Post our feedback on


Singapore Conversation

You can also read the feedback posted by other users.

These platforms can also be viewed on your mobile phone (no need to download any app) Just click on the above link to launch the browser.

WOTC - Competition in food delivery

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - What are your views about the strong competition in the food delivery business?

Here are the responses:

57% - Competition is good for the market
18% - The government should set the framework for healthy competition.
16% - The public will be taken for a ride
9% - It will be costly and wasteful

Positive - 57%, negative 43%

See the breakdown of the votes and pie chart in

WOTC - Business sector view of Lee HL's government

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Is the business sector confident about Lee HL's government

Here re the responses:

46% - Many business leaders find his ministers to be incompetent and inexperienced.
27% - Many business leaders hold a negative view of Lee HL's government.
17% - They are having doubts now, due to many setbacks.
10% - They are confident, as he is business friendly.

Positive - 10%, negative - 90%

See the breakdown of the votes in pie chart in

Johore sttate government wants to cut down the wasted time

The Johor state government is concerned about the time taken by travellers to move from Johore to Singapore and back.…/causeway-johor-bahru-comm…

I hope that the Singapore side is equally concerned.

On my frequent travels, I find that it took longer to clear the Singapore checkpoint, compared to the Malaysian checkpoint. This applies to travel on both directions.

I hope that both governments can work out an arrangement to have clearance at one end only, instead of both ends.

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