Saturday, September 01, 2018

How to contribute CPF under the Corp Pass regime

Our civil servants love to send a complicated FAQ to the public to do simple things. Here is an example of the steps that I have to do to contribute CPF for my employees from 1 Sept 2018, after Corp Pass becomes compulsory:
Dear Mr Tan,
Thank you for contacting CorpPass support.
Please refer to the steps below for assigning of an eservice.
Setup e-Service
• Login to CorpPass Admin account on CorpPass Portal.
• Under the e-Service Access tab, click the Select Entity e-Services box.
• At the search box, key in CPF.
• Tick the box for CPF E-SUBMISSION and click Next.
• Key in your entity’s CPF Submission Number (CSN eg:123456789A(UEN)-PTE-01/02) in the CSN field and click Next.
• Check if the CSN has been entered correctly and click Submit.
Assign e-Service
• Under the e-Service Access tab, click the Assign selected e-Services box.
• Select the user from the list and click Next.
• Select CPF E-SUBMISSION from the list of e-Services and click Next.
• Select the Role (Admin) and CSN for the user and click Next.
• Put in date for authorization effective date (today date) and leave blank for expiry date then click Next.
• Review the details of the assignment and click Submit.
CorpPass Support

Corp Pass is quite troublesome

I sent this question to Corp Pass support:
  • Feedback: I wish to give access to all services under my Admin account. Do I have to select each service individually? Do you have an option to select "All Services".

I received this reply 4 days later:
  • For Admin account it’s default with full access, however you will need to assign the eservice with additional details require (eg: CPF, SSG & GPL etc).
  • You may refer to the list for more eservices with addition details.
I saw the list. It is very complicated.

Welcome to Singapore. They really know how to make people waste time. Corp Pass is one of the measures to make people waste time.

WOTC - Which policy caused the most harm?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Which PAP policy caused the most harm to Singapore?

Here are the responses: (48 Votes)
29 % - Higher cost of living due to GST
27 % - Increase in minister's salary
19 % - Change in political structure with GRC
10 % - Asset enhancement in late 1980s
10 % - Elitism through graduate mother policy
4 % - Over expenditure on defense

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Workers Party

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What are your views about the Workers Party.

Here are the responses: (48 Votes)
38 % - They are a credible and strong party
29 % - They do not challenge the policies of the PAP actively.
15 % - They failed to play an active part in Parliament.
10 % - They are well organized with loyal supporters
8 % - I am disappointed with them.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Best person to lead the coalition

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Who is the best person to lead the coalition against PAP?

Here are the responses: (51 Votes)
65 % - Tan Cheng Bock
20 % - Tharman 
10 % - George Yeo
4 % - Lee Wei Ling
2 % - Goh Chok Tong

See the pie chart at:

Friday, August 31, 2018

Operation of new generation hawker centers

The LHL administration made a mistake in their approach towards the new generation hawker center that were supposed to be operated differently from the food courts run by private operators.

They tendered out the hawker center to "social enterprises" to run on a non-profit basis.

What is the mistake? It is the use of "tender" system.

What is the alternative? The government should set the rental rate for each stall, e.g. $1,500 per stall.

The operator is allowed to tender for a fee to manage the operations of the hawker center, e.g. $200 per stall. The other expenses, e.g. centralized cleaning and utilities, should be based on a fair distribution of the actual cost.

Who should get the stall? It should be a hawker who has a licence. The license should be issued separately, based on family need and on skill. For example, a retrenched older worker or widowed mother.  If there are many applicants for a stall, the allocation can be decided by a draw.

Guidelines can be made for the price of the common items of food and drinks. It is not difficult to find out the prices charged in other hawker centers to work out the general guidelines. If a stall charges a high price compared to the market, the customers are likely to boycott the stall and patronize the other stalls.

What are your views?

Learn Bahasa

During the past year, I have paid attention to learn the Malay language.

When I am in Malaysia or Jakarta and I come across a Malay word that I do not understand, e.g. poster, notice or newspaper article, I will check for the meaning using Google translate.

If I wish to talk to somebody in Malay and I am not sure about the correct word to use, I will check Google translate.

Gradually, word by word, my vocabulary improved. I am now able to understand about 70% of the news that is reported in the Malay newspaper.

My standard of Malay or Indonesian, also referred to as Bahasa, has improved with this effort.

I encourage Singaporeans to learn Bahasa.

Ask a question clearly

Some people ask a question without really understanding the question. How will they be able to understand the answer?

For example, someone asked me - are owners of executive condos treated as lessees?

It is not clear what is meant by "treated as lessees".

The correct question is - are these owners subject to the same restrictions as owners of HDB flats?

The answer is - No. The key difference is that after a minimum occupation period of 5 years, the executive condominium can be sold in the open market. A HDB flat can only be sold to a buyer who qualifies under the HDB conditions.

WOTC - Is HDB a good scheme

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is HDB a good scheme?

Here are the responses: (55 Votes)
55 % - It should be offered at a lower price as it is public housing.
29 % - It is too expensive for a 99 year leasehold with many restrictions.
7 % - I am proud of my ownership of a HDB flat.
5 % - I find it affordable, after government grant.
4 % - The high cost is a big burden for me and my family.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Is CPF a good scheme

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is CPF a good scheme?

Here are the responses: (52 Votes)
50 % - The members should be allowed to take out their savings at 55.
21 % - The interest rate is too low.
10 % - It is a good scheme to take care of many needs
10 % - There should be no compulsory scheme using CPF.
10 % - It causes locals to lose jobs to foreigners.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - PM's National Day Rally

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

How do you find PM Lee's National Day Rally speech?

Here are the responses: (59 Votes)
37 % - I was quite disappointed.
36 % - He did not address the key concerns.
19 % - He talk but will not deliver on his promises.
7 % - I like the new initiatives that he has announced.
2 % - He was able to address the key concerns.

See the pie chart at:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Topping up lease by 20 years

Someone said that in the UK, you can top up 20 years of the lease by paying a small premium. This is the example quoted:

"a lease extension of a £250,000 flat in London, with 81 years remaining on the lease, is likely to have a premium between £3,000 and £6,000". This is between 1.2% to 2.4% of the capital value.

The lease has 81 years left. After topping up, it becomes 101 years of lease.

I will calculate how much it will cost to top up a lease from 79 to 99 years in Singapore.

Innovative Online Charity Platform

I would like to ask you to help these two young entrepreneurs and also indirectly make a donation to charity.

Charles Tan and his wife Xinxin are co-founders of a startup which has developed a platform which allows you to buy an attractive t-shirt for $20, nominate a charity to receive all the profits from your purchase, and also have a chance to win a Mercedes-Benz.

These two young people are taking a big financial risk. Under the regulations, they are not to profit from the conduct of this lucky draw and are expected to donate c.70% of the sales to their partner charities, after accounting for costs.

They will give an attractive prize (brand new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé) to a winner and other prizes. The draw will be witnessed by an independent audit firm.

If they cannot sell $1 million worth of tickets, i.e. 50,000 X $20, they may not be able to cover the prizes and other expenses and have to bear the financial loss.

If they achieve their goal of $1 million in sales, they will donate all of the net proceeds to the charities. They will not keep anything for themselves.

They are putting in a lot of effort to develop this platform. If it is successful, they'd like to bring it to other countries. You can help them by buying the t-shirts and sharing this news with your friends.

This charity initiative is covered in this report in Today paper. Click here.

Here is the link for you to make your purchase.

Tan Kin Lian

Hit the car in front

Mr. X allowed his car to move forward at a traffic stop and hit the car in front. The two drivers agreed not to make any claim as the damage was small.

A few months later, Mr. X received a letter asking for payment to the damage. The other car was a rented car and the rental company decided to file a claim.

Mr. X approached his own insurer and was shocked to learn that they deny liability due to failure by Mr. X to report the accident.

Mr. X approached me for advice.

Find the answer here:

Sensible views

I welcome sensible views contributed by followers of my Facebook page or blog. They may agree or disagree with my views. Both types are welcomed.

I do not welcome the following types of views:

a) Posted by people for the purpose of attacking or insuling me. Some of these people are paid to do so.

b) Posted by critics who pass a judgment that my views are wrong. Why are they so arrogant in thinking that their views are right?

I delete these views. I do not care if they post their views elsewhere, but if they wish to express their views in my Facebook page, they have to be respectful.

I welcome the many helpful comments that are posted here, including those views that give me a different perspective.

SDP has a sensible alternative to the HDB issue

HDB owners are shocked to learn that the value of their flat, which they have paid a enormous price, will fall rapidly after a certain age and will eventually be nil on expiry of their lease.

PM Lee has announced the voluntary enbloc redevelopment scheme (VERS) and a 2nd round of upgrading (HIP) during its tenure. It does not address the underlying problem. The flat will have no value on expiry of the lease. The problem is that the owner paid a high price of the flat.

SDP (Singapore Democratic Party) has proposed a solution to this problem a few years ago. It is a sensible solution.

SDP proposed that a new class of flat, called the NOM (non open market value) flat be sold based on cost. Existing owners who have bought their flat at a high price can opt to convert their flat to NOM and get a refund of the difference.

It is a good approach. It shows that there are intelligent people outside of the establishment who can provide better alternatives.

You can read more detail here:

WOTC - Future of Singapore

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What is best for the future of Singapore?

Here are the responses: (59 Votes)
41 % - A non-PAP government to change the future direction.
32 % - A non-PAP government to transform the concentration of power.
24 % - A PAP government with more opposition in Parliament to debate policies.
3 % - A continuing PAP government to provide stability and growth.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Pricing of HDB flats

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What should be the pricing policy for HDB flats?

Here are the responses: (61 Votes)
49 % - A new class of flats should be offered at lower prices with restriction on resale.
33 % - New flats should be priced lower.
13 % - New flats should be priced at current levels to protect the value of old flats.
5 % - New flats should continue to increase with inflation.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Preserve value of HDB flat

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

How can the value of HDB flats be preserved?

Here are the responses: (58 Votes)
67 % - Allow expiry lease to be renewed at a nominal fee.
14 % - Allow CPF to be used for flats over 30 years old.
10 % - HDB to contribute to upgrading.
9 % - Allow foreigners to buy old HDB flats.

See the pie chart at:

Wonderful customer service experience

I just had a wonderful experience of the customer service provided by a website called Free Logo Service.

I used this website to create a logo. They provided a domain free for one year. I did not use the domain as the project was abandoned.

They auto-renewed the domain and charged me for its fee. I submitted an online form to cancel the domain.

I received an email reply asking for a few essential information to identify the domain and the last four digit of my credit card for verification.

They cancelled the renewal and refunded the fee to me.

This exchange was completed within one hour and is done entirely by email.

Singapore Experience
I now share my experience with government agencies and big companies in Singapore.

a) Difficult to locate their website and online feedback form.
b) Difficult to submit their online form as they ask for non-essential information that are not available and have a troublesome captcha process.
c) They promise to reply within four working days. Often I do not get the reply.
d) Some agencies do not reply by email by expect me to get my reply by logging into their website.

I have still not received any acknowledgement or reply to my two feedback to the Corp Pass website after a few days.

We need our Singapore organizations to simplify their process for their customers.

Tan Kin Lian

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Buy a property to stay

There are two reasons for foreigners to buy a property in Malaysia:

1) As an investment - to make a capital gain and get a good return.

2) As a place to stay for retirement or for children to study.

Most Singaporeans look at the purchase as an investment. It will be a disappointment. The property will yield a poor return, maybe negative. It will also be difficult to get a capital gain.

There is a big over supply of property in the major cities all over Malaysia.

But some people buy it as a place to stay. Many investors from China buy Forest City for this reason.

They want a home in a warm climate to stay during their holidays or for retirement or for their children to stay for their studies.

Some retirees from Singapore have moved to stay in Malaysia, especially Iskandar, for the long cost of living.

Rely on a professional army

Singapore has 25,000 full time soldiers and 45,000 active conscripts.

If we move to a professional army, we probably need 40,000 full time soldiers to man the weapons and systems and to train the conscripts.

This is just my guess - I do not have any information to give a reliable figure.

We can still have compulsory military service, but the conscripts need only to serve 4 months to receive basic military training.

In the event of hostility, we can get the conscripts below 35 years to return for intensive refresher training. We can mobilize 350,000 people and re-train them over a period of a few months.

I believe that this structure will better achieve the goal of having an adequate defense for the nation and reduce the heavy burden of time and opportunity placed on our local born male citizens.

WOTC - Choose your MP

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:
Which person will you vote for as your Member of Parliament?

Here are the responses: (84 Votes)
48 % - An older candidate who is retired and does not need the income and wish to serve you.
35 % - A young candidate who promise to serve you as a full time MP
14 % - The candidate from Worker Party
4 % - The candidate from PAP

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Choose your MP

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:
Which is most important when you choose your MP?

Here are the responses: (76 Votes)
51 % - A non PAP candidate, to effect change.
36 % - The personal quality and background of the candidate.
8 % - The platform of the party.
4 % - The party that fields the candidate.
1 % - A PAP candidate to ensure continuity.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Taking the bus

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:
Do you take buses?

Here are the responses: (86 Votes)
37 % - Often, mainly to MRT stations
28 % - Daily, direct to my destination and home
24 % - I hardly take the bus.
10 % - I prefer to drive or take taxi

See the pie chart at:

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Recent developments in Forest City

A few people have asked for my views on the latest development in Forest City.

I agree with the views expressed by Dr. Mahathir - Forest City should benefit Malaysia and Malaysians.

He wants to see more of the construction work and professional services provided by Malaysian companies. He wants the development to create more jobs for Malaysians. He also wants more of the apartments to be affordable to Malaysians.

I agree with these goals.

I believe that the developer of Forest City also agrees with these goals. They are already creating more work and jobs for Malaysians.

However, the approach taken by Dr. Mahathir may cause a loss of investor confidence in Malaysia. This is a real risk that he has to deal with.

It would be bad not only for Forest City but also for other Malaysian properties and industrial and commercial developments.

I do not think that Dr. Mahathir will want to see Forest City fail or to see a loss of investor confidence in Malaysia.

Someone told me that the Johor sultan and the state government had a 30% stake in Forest City. I do not know if it is as high as 30%.

The people who have bought properties in Forest City may be worried about the value of their investment.

As an investor
I have bought an apartment in Forest City but I am not worried. Here are my reasons:

a) Forest City builds the apartments based on completed sales. They pre-sell the apartments and when it has been fully or substantially sold, they start construction. They will not have many unsold blocks of apartments or landed properties.

b) The original plan was to construct 4 islands to house 700,000 people. If there is insufficient demand, they can scale down their development or take a longer time to complete it.

The developer has already announced that this would be their plan. If they stop work with the first island, it will still be a substantial development.

c) Would the first island be a ghost town, i.e. the apartments have been sold but are not occupied? It might be the case.

But with the proximity to Singapore, and the possibility of ease of travel through the checkpoints, I see more people living in Forest City or in Iskandar and working in Singapore.

d) I am investing in my Forest City apartment for the long term, using my spare cash.

In 20 years time, Dr. Mahathir would be 113 years old (if he is still around). I would be 90 years old (if I am still around). My grandchildren will probably inherit the apartment - and it is freehold in tenure.

e) The recent annual report from Country Garden showed a healthy profit. They are financially sound.

Global Financial Crisis
Let me share this story. In 2009, a friend told me that she had taken my advice earlier and had invested in the STI exchange traded fund. She had lost 30% of her investment due to the global financial crisis.

I told her to see me in 20 years time to discuss her investment. A year later, she told me that she had recovered her 30% loss and the investment was showing a 30% profit.

This is called "investing for the long term". One should not be worried about short term issues. They will be sorted out.

I will tell the same story to investors in Forest City. Let us discuss it in 20 years time.

Tan Kin Lian

The fallacy of low income tax rates

The government reduced income tax and introduced GST two decades ago with the aim of attracting high income earners to come to Singapore.

The aim was to tax revenue from these super rich immigrants, although at a low rate of tax. It is better than getting nothing from them.

It did not happen. Why?

Most of the income of these super rich immigrants were overseas income and were exempted from income tax.

So, we are the winners and losers in this tax regime?

The winners are the high income earners - lawyers, doctors, bankers, property developers, corporate executives, politicians - who earn several million in income from local sources, and pay a low rate of income tax.

There is virtually no risk that high income rates will get these high earners to leave Singapore. They cannot run away because their income are from local sources. They cannot earn these income in other countries.

The losers are clearly the ordinary people who have to shoulder a large burden of the tax through GST.

A high income tax rate will allow GST to be removed and will reduce the cost of living. It will help to reduce the high level of inequality in Singapore.

Struggle to make a living

I made a statement that 10% are doing well and that 90% are struggling. I also said that Singapore should avoid getting into this position.

Someone challenged me to look at the National Statistics to prove that 90% are struggling. He estimated that only 20% are struggling.

It is a matter of definition. Although 70% appear to be getting by, according to his estimation, I would consider that a large proportion of them are struggling for the following reasons:

a) They are not saving enough for their retirement.
b) They are afraid to get married or have children because they find the cost to be too high.
c) They work long hours and on two jobs to meet ends meet.
d) They are afraid of losing their jobs.

Of course, they would not be struggling if they have been more modest in their spending or did not commit to expensive property purchases. To borrow the words of our ministers ... if they had been more frugal and live within their means.

I once asked a Russian woman - was Russia better in the old days under the communists or in the free market economy today?

She preferred the old days. Why? The cost of living was low and, while people had fewer luxuries, they felt secure.

I am not suggesting that we adopt communism, but I quote this story to show that there is another angle that need to be considered.

I leave you to judge - are many people struggling to make a living in Singapore? Do they feel secure?

High property prices

I made a statement that Singapore is exposed to the danger of depending on high property prices. If there is a serious correction, Singapore will be badly affected.

Someone challenged me to look at the National Statistics to look at the proportion that is contributed by property. He said that we have a highly diversified economy and does not have a high reliance on property.

I believe that the National Statistics may not record the correct picture.

Here are my reasons:

a) A large part of the profit of financial institutions can be attributed to high property prices and transactions.

b) A large part of the wealth of Singaporeans are linked to property. They can borrow against their high property prices for spending and for financing businesses. I have seen many small businesses close shop with large losses, but their owners appear to be financially sound, due to wealth in properties.

If property prices were to fall, the domino effect will be quite bad. We have seen it in Japan.

At present, property prices in many countries are being supported by very low interest rate and that has been going on for at least one decade. The situation will be quite different when interest rate goes up to much higher level at some time in the future.  However, the correction does seem to take a long time to happen.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Streaming under the German education system

A German woman, who had lived in Singapore for three decades, told me.

They have streaming under the German education system. The students were streamed to the academic field or the vocational field. The students in the academic stream go to university while the vocational stream go for apprenticeship.

The teachers assess the students and decide which stream they are more suitable for. This assessment is made over several years.

The advantage of the German system is that the earnings between the academic and the vocational fields are quite close to each other. There is no wide salary gap.

I don't know if this description is correct. But I generally respect the Germans for their approach towards the education of their people.

Streaming at upper secondary level

When I was in secondary school, there was streaming. In secondary 3, we were streamed into science or arts stream. We took different subjects.

Some other secondary schools have the technical stream.

The streaming was accepted at upper secondary. There was no controversy.

The streaming adopted by the government in the late 1980s applied to PSLE (primary six). It was a bad idea to stream that so early. Worse - there was a stigma between normal and express streams.

It would be better to get rid of the streaming in PSLE and revert to the old system - where the students are streamed at upper secondary.


An alternative to streaming in education

The government introduced streaming of students in the 1980s. It has continued to today, although the system was adjusted a few times during the following years.

The concept of streaming was to put students in the appropriate system that suits their learning ability.

The students who can learn better are placed in the express stream while those who are slower are placed in the normal stream.

This system produced stress among the students as they and their parents do not want to be stigmatized by being placed in the normal stream.

When I was in school, there was another type of streaming system which seemed to work better.

The students who did badly in the year end examination were held back by one year. They repeat the syllabus. A small number was held back but most of the rest advanced to the following year.

Few people paid any attention to the fact that they were held back.

There was nothing to be ashamed of being held back. In each year, the difference in age among the students could be up to one year, i.e. those born in December could be 11 months younger than those born in January.

If the younger child did poorly because of age, they are hold back by one year. The difference in age with the students in the following year could be just a few months.

There will be instances where the age gap is wider, but it did not really matter. There were in the same class, and followed the same syllabus.

The old system of holding back a student who did poorly in the year end examination was better than the streaming that was introduced in Singapore.

Do you agree?

WOTC - Means testing

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should we have the same means testing criteria for all types of benefits?

Here are the responses: (78 Votes)
40 % - It is better to provide the same benefit to all citizens without means testing and make the higher income pay more income tax.
27 % - We should adopt different means testing for different benefits.
18 % - Yes, the same criteria should be applied and the eligibility should be assessed yearly.
15 % - Means testing is degrading to the recipients.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Means testing

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should we continue with means testing?

Here are the responses: (77 Votes)
40 % - No, we should provide the same benefit to every person regardless of income. 
26 % - Yes, but it should only be based on personal income and residential housing.
25 % - Yes, it should be based on family income.
9 % - Yes, it should be based on residential housing.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Adequate pension

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

How much is an adequate pension for people above 75 years

Here are the responses: (97 Votes)
35 % - $1,500 a month
31 % - $1200 a month
22 % - $800 a month
11 % - $500 a month 
1 % - $300 a month

See the pie chart at:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

New design for drains and utilities

I suggest that the ministry of national development consider this approach to provide drainage and laying of cables and water pipes.

1) Design a drain that can carry away drain water and have three compartments for running electricity cables, telecom cables and water pipes. The cables and pipes are located above the normal flow of water. The cover for the drains will be solar panels.

2) Use prefab technology to build these drain sections.

3) Replace the side walks of the roads with these covered drains and include the cables and pipes.

4) New buildings and additional supplies will tap into the new cables. No more digging up of roads.

Does this sound like a good idea?

Time to in-source they key operations

We are used to outsourcing that we do not realize its disadvantages. It took a visionary business leader to try the opposite approach.

When Genting Group wanted to build the $1 billion cruise ship Genting Dream, the CEO decided to buy the to buy the German shipyard.

This in-sourcing approach allowed him to have direct control over the design of the ship. He does not have to pay expensive variation charges. He does not have to worry about quality control - he has direct access to the detailed statistics.

He took over all the staff of the shipyard and have direct control over them. He saved the cost of contract management at the top level, although his management still has to handle the management of the sub contractors.

It is quite common among the government agencies to outsource their responsibility and to let the main contractor take over this task. It will end up with a higher bill and questionable quality.

It is time to re-think of what can be outsourced and what has to be in-sourced.

Simulation of general election 2020

Here are five factors that may affect the swing against the PAP at general election 2020.

Coalition under Dr. Tan Cheng Bock
Increase in electricity and water charges
Fall of Barisan Nasional in Malaysia
GST increased to 9%
Govt raise public transport fare

The percentage swing are decided by about 100 people who voted.

How will these factors affect the PAP?

You can find out here:

You can select your own factors and run a separate simulation to see the results.

CPF minimum sum

If we allow CPF to be fully withdrawn at age 55, there is a risk that many people will take out their savings and lose it on bad investments or in setting up a business.

How can we manage this risk?

The government decided three decades ago to require people to set aside a minimum sum for their retirement. But this minimum sum has been raised to an excessive high sum.

Would it be acceptable if the minimum sum is reduced to, say $60,000? I remembered that the minimum sum was $30,000 when it started in the late 1980s.

We also have many complicated rules on the sale of a property. The proceeds have to be returned to CPF and used to set aside the minimum sum before the balance can be withdrawn.

There is no need to have this complicated rule because the CPF savings that went into the special account could not be used to buy a property. It should be sufficient to cover the minimum sum needed for retirement.

Would a reduced CPF minimum sum, to be withdrawn in installments, be a suitable compromise between the need for an income during retirement and the access to the balance of the CPF moneys at age 55?

I wonder!

WOTC - Take care of rental flats

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Will tenants take care of rental HDB flats?

Here are the responses: (82 Votes)
32 % - They have to take care of the rental flats as any repairs will be deducted from their deposits
29 % - They will not take care of the flats, as it does not belong to them.
22 % - They will care of the rental flats, if this is made a condition of the rental contract.
17 % - They will take the same care as owners, as they expect to live in the flats for a few years.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Housing price problem

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

How can the government solve the housing price problem?

Here are the responses: (83 Votes)
35 % - Allow more rental flats for young people to rent, and maintain the prices of new flats.
31 % - Build more HDB and private flats to increase the supply and reduce the prices
23 % - Maintain the prices of new HDB flats, to protect the investment of the old owners.
10 % - Sell new flats at reduced prices and let the old owners suffer the loss
1 % - Allow the HDB flats to continue to increase in price. 

See the pie chart at:

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