Saturday, November 17, 2018

Revised swing factors for GE simulation

The swing against the PAP under this simulation website has been scaled down.

Here are the results based on the revised swing factors. It shows the PAP still hold a majority in Parliament, but it is a reduced majority.

You can select your own swing factors and view your simulation here.

WOTC - Entertaining at karaoke bars

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is it corrupt to entertain a town council GM to karaoke bars?

Here are the responses: (66 Votes)
68 % - It is corruption, as it was intended to gain favors.
12 % - Our political leaders are also entertained - what is the difference?
11 % - It is building relationship. Most people do it often.
9 % - The GM still have to pass the quotes for approval by the town council.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Goh CT's book

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Will Goh Chok Tong's book sell well?

Here are the responses: (59 Votes)
58 % - Few people will be interested.
31 % - Most people will boycott his book.
10 % - Many people are interested to learn about his insights during his years as prime minister.
2 % - It will be a best seller.

See the pie chart at:

Friday, November 16, 2018

A confusing approach towards increasing wages

I am confused with the approach of the govt. On one hand, they do not want to be involved in the market to set a minimum wage.

On the other hand, they micro-manage the terms of employment of certain occupations, such as cleaners, to the extend of setting down the quantum of bonus.

This approach will not help to deal with the underlying problem. It will take many years to implement, and the result will be discouraging.

We have already wasted a lot of time, in fact more than ten years.

Quote from Today paper:
Cleaners to get bonus on top of wage increases from 2020

Come 2020, it will be mandatory for cleaning companies to provide annual bonuses of at least two weeks’ pay to their employees, as well as an annual wage increase of three per cent.To qualify, employees must be either Singaporeans or PRs, and have worked in the company for at least a year.

Click here for article.

Performance of agencies and ministers

You will now receive a new prize for voting on the performance of the agencies and ministers at this website. Do it now.

Legal system in different countries

The legal systems in different countries are different. Here is a joke. It is not the entire truth, but it does point out the differences.

In UK, you can do anything that is not prohibited by law.

In Germany, you can do only those things that are allowed by law.

In Italy, you can do anything, including those that are not prohibited by law (i.e. nobody will enforce the law).

In Switzerland, if you are allowed to do anything, it is compulsory.

How do you describe the legal system in Singapore?

WOTC - Coverage article about PM Lee

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should PM Lee sue the Coverage in Malaysia for defamation?

Here are the responses: (61 Votes)
56 % - He should sue the Coverage in a Malaysian court.
31 % - His official has already sent a protest about this defamatory article. It is sufficient.
8 % - He should sue the Coverage in a Singapore court.
5 % - He should sue State Times Review in Singapore for a similar coverage.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - US midterm elections

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What are your views about the US midterm election results.

Here are the responses: (51 Votes)
45 % - The control of the House by the Democrats will stop President Trump from taking extreme actions.
39 % - America will continue to be unable to address its underlying problems.
12 % - It is a good outcome to have a hung Congress.
4 % - A hung Congress will hamper the program of President Trump.

See the pie chart at:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Feeder service

Many people associate a feeder service with the kind that was implemented in Singapore previously, and still operating for some services now.

These feeder service goes round the town and can take more than 30 minutes to reach the MRT station or bus interchange. They also travel at intervals of up to 10 minutes.

This is not the operation for the feeder service that I propose.

My proposed feeder service works like this:

a) There will be up to five feeder service in each town, e.g. Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Bedok.

b) Each feeder service covers a section of the town.

c) The frequency should be 3 minutes.

d) The entire journey for a feeder service should be less than 20 minutes.

Normally, a passenger will take a feeder service to the MRT or the express bus stops. They change to an express bus or train.

At the destination, they can take another feeder service or walk to the final destination.

To travel from one part of the town to another, the passenger may have to take a feeder service and change to another feeder service.

There will be more changes of bus under my proposed system, but the waiting time is short and the overall travel time is reduced.

The bus operations are also simplified for the bus operator and for the passenger.

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - Increase trading in SGX

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

How can SGX increase its trading volume?

Here are the responses: (63 Votes)
41 % - Protect small investors by regulating against malpractices.
22 % - Lower listing and trading cost. 
19 % - Allow only well managed companies to list on SGX.
17 % - Introduce a simple screen to show prices on mobile phones, similar to teletext.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Fake News

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What is a good way to deal with fake news?

Here are the responses: (68 Votes)
65 % - Be transparent and present the real facts early.
18 % - Do nothing. Let the reader decide what is fake and what is real.
12 % - Act against specific cases which are deliberate and outrageous.
6 % - Pass a law to make it illegal to share fake news.

See the pie chart at:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Security screening at MRT stations

Singapore is introduced security screening at MRT stations.

What is the practice in other countries? Here is a view posted in Wikipedia.

It has been proposed that extra security screening of passengers and their bags would be the best option of preventing weapons or bombs on public transport.

However, this would also have a number of negative side effects, which could outweigh the benefits, among them:

• increased (and prohibitive) costs
• reduced public transport convenience, leading to more car travel (and thus road deaths)
• making the queues of people waiting for screening vulnerable to attacks
• creating a sense of fear and a call for further measures and reduced civil liberties

Therefore, most experts recommend against such methods. Like random or profile-based searches of public transport users, they are often considered security theater, because random searches will be unlikely to catch the particular terrorist, and profile-based searching allows the terrorist to reverse engineer the search system, using attackers which are unsuspicious.

Passengers are often instructed to be extra-vigilant, including looking out for persons behaving oddly while on or in the vicinity of mass transit vehicles or stations, being dressed out of character for the weather, or leaving behind bags or packages.

However, this has also been criticised as scaremongering, as the likelihood of terror attacks on public transport is, for the individual, very low.

Individual attacks are also likely to kill fewer people than an attack on an airplane, and are thus of less attractiveness for terrorists.

Opponents of security theater therefore argue that even very good security around public transport is relatively useless, as it only moves the threat from transport to other targets - such as movie theaters.

They instead advocate spending more money on investigative (police and secret service) ways of apprehending terrorists before they can carry out an attack.

Similar arguments have been raised about the United States Federal Air Marshal Service, which provides plainclothes marshals aboard airline flights.

According to Congressman John J. Duncan, the air marshalls had led to only 4.2 arrests a year, at an average cost of $200 million per arrest. He argued that this represents a win of the perceived dangers of terror, supported by a profit center-type approach, over realistic spending priorities.

Dispute over the voting in Florida

There is a dispute over the election of the senator for Florida. This puts a black mark on the democratic process in America.

This is not the first time. In the presidential election in 2000 between George Bush and Al Gore, there was a similar dispute.

To solve this dispute, the candidates have to take their case to court. Many litigation lawyers are engaged at high cost to argue the case for both parties.

What are the candidates disputing over?

There are three problems with the voting system:

a) Is the counting of the ballots accurate?
b) Are the people who actually voted eligible to vote, i.e. are they citizens?
c) Are the people voting fraudulently by taking the identity of the real voters?

The problem in America is the lack of a register of citizens and the difficulty of identity the person, in the absence of a nationally controlled identity card. There is also a problem of identifying the actual residents of the eligible voter, as they move from one city to another.

America should put its house in order. If they do not, it will be a shame to the voting process of a country that claim to be the champion of democracy.

America should set up a national register of citizens. This register should be updated with people who became citizens by birth or naturalization. Those who died should be removed from the register.

There should also be a means of identifying a person using photographs, fingerprint or facial recognition. An identity card should be issued. There should also be a system to register the latest address of a citizen, to identity the state and local government that they are eligible to vote.

The voting should be done electronically, with the means of preventing fraudulent changes to the actual votes.

Surely, with the technology available in America, these challenges can be overcome? Maybe the USA government should engage Google or Facebook to handle this work?

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - Security checks in MRT stations

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should we introduce airport like checks in MRT stations?

Here are the responses: (82 Votes)
45 % - It will cause inconvenience and delays for the daily travelers.
27 % - It will not be effective. 
18 % - It is better to be prepared for emergencies.
10 % - Some countries already introduced this kind of checks, e.g. China.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Interfering in Singapore politics

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Was Dr. Mahathir interfering in Singapore politics?

Here are the responses: (71 Votes)
72 % - He is making a fair point about the governance of any country.
23 % - Singapore should change our practice to be more transparent to the people.
4 % - He is interfering with Singapore politics.
1 % - The news is fake.

See the pie chart at:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pay more for water from Malaysia

Malaysia wants to increase the water 16 times from 3 sens to 50 sens per 1,000 gallons.

The cost of water increases from less than $1 million to $15 million a year.


$15 million is a small amount. It is half the cost of a F16 fighter jet.

Singapore has 60 F16 jets and probably need to replace 3 every year. Maybe, we can replace 2 1/2 each year to pay for the water?

If Lee HL agrees to this increase, Dr. M can go back to his country as a hero. Singapore will be seen as being "fair". The goodwill will be tremendous.

If we continue to drag on the negotiation, it will leave a bad taste. The enmity will be costly.

Lee HL is worried that it might "set a precedent". I am sure that Dr. M will understand and will agree that this is a once off matter. It should not be taken as a precedent to bring up other issues.

Maybe he will return the generosity and sell us some sand. They have plenty of sand to spare.

Tan Kin Lian

Learn language through songs

I have posted videos of the songs that I know in Japanese, Indonesian, Tagalog (Philippines), Russian, Spanish, French, Chinese and English. Total 8 languages.

I may be adding two more languages - Thai and Korean.

I like to learn a little about each language from its popular songs.

Someone said that I sing better than him. OK, but I know of many people who sing better than me. it does not matter who is better or worse - more important is to enjoy the company through songs and not be shy.

I was a boy scout and learn to sing many popular campfire songs.

Someone gave me two tips about singing. First, you take a deep breath and you sing from the tummy, not the throat. Second, you pronounce the words clearly.

I followed these tips and, somehow, the songs come out better.

Recently, I found a "secret". When I drink alkaline water, the voice comes out clearer. I must negotiate a contract with Panasonic to promote their alkaline water maker.

Tan Kin Lian


Lack of internet access hamper doctor's work

I am surprised to learn about the problem faced by the doctors that is caused by removing the internet access. The doctors need to retrieve the records of patients for their treatment.

By removing the internet access, the staff has to spend a lot of time to get the information. This caused delay and stress.

This episode exposes the weakness of the culture that is prevalent in Singapore.

Leaders just refused to take the lead, to take responsibility and to exercise their common sense.

I know that there was a breach of security that led to 1.5 million patient records being stolen.

This large number is shocking and should not be allowed to happen.

But a small number that is stolen is not serious. The data that is stolen is not critical. It is just the name, address, date of birth and NRIC number of the patient, and maybe a few more fields.

What is the problem?

If my data is stolen, I would not be worried. My name and address can be found from the telephone directory (not sure if they still print it).

My date of birth is 9 March 1948. Please take note and send me birthday greetings.

If you want to know my NRIC No, you can work as a security guard at any building. They scan my NRIC and also asked for my mobile No.

There is no need to be paranoid that this type of data can be stolen by hackers.

I do not condone the large scale loss of data. However, I do not agree on the extreme reaction.

It is all right to restrict certain types of access to the local area network, i.e. not accessible through the internet. This applies to the web pages that contain the details of many patients, e.g. those who visited the various hospitals in a day.

I suspect that this was how 1.5 million records were hacked.

But it is all right for the doctor to get access to 1 patient record at a time.

I have recommended the every access should be logged, so that the system administrator know the doctor, the patient and the timestamp of each access.

The log will be able to tell if a particular doctor had accessed many patient records in a day. This is likely to be unauthorised access.

I now come back to the issue of taking responsibility.

Our health minister should come forward and authorise the restoration of the internet access to doctors who need the patient records to treat the patient.

If he is not sure about the risk, he can consult me. He does not need to pay me for my consultation. He only need to be humble to ask me.

He can continue to stay in the background and let the patients and the staff continue to work under difficult conditions, without the information that is needed for their work.

He can also delay taking any action on the excuse that this is being considered by the commission of inquiry. It is quite common to "pass the buck". It is our prevailing culture.

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - Vote for Lee Hsien Yang

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

If Lee Hsien Yang stands for election in your constituency, will you vote for him?

Here are the responses: (71 Votes)
38 % - Yes. He has different values from his brother.
28 % - Yes. He is a credible alternative to his elder brother.
21 % - No. I do not trust him either. 
13 % - No. He comes from the same family.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Deaths of NSF during training

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should the defense minister resign for the deaths of NSF during training.

Here are the responses: (77 Votes)
52 % - Yes. The number of deaths are too many, too often.
27 % - Yes. He should resign to take responsibility for the deaths.
17 % - No. But the military commanders should be sacked.
4 % - No. Accidents and deaths cannot be avoided.

See the pie chart at:

Monday, November 12, 2018

WOTC - Rising sea level

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

The govt is looking for long term solutions against rising sea level.

Here are the responses: (58 Votes)
45 % - This will be another of LHL's initiative that will lead nowhere.
28 % - It is a serious problem that requires a lot of thought.
24 % - We can follow Holland in dealing with this problem. It is no big deal.
3 % - The problem will occur in 100 years time, and is not imminent.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Implementation of Corp Pass

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Was CorpPass implemented smoothly since 1 Sept 2018?

Here are the responses: (52 Votes)
44 % - The implementation was a disaster.
27 % - Many users had trouble but they were able to get help to make the change.
23 % - Many users had been locked out and could not submit their returns to govt agencies.
6 % - Yes. Most users did not have any trouble with its implementation.

See the pie chart at:

Corp Pass has become a nightmare

Corp Pass is now a nightmare for me.

In the past, I could log in to the Registrar of Society website to submit the annual return for a society that I am responsible for.

Last year, they asked me to register a Corp Pass for this society. As several office bears are involved, each person has to register a separate Corp Pass just for this purpose.

I went through the difficult process of registering my Corp Pass identity. I had to copy down the UEN, user ID and password, as it was difficult for me to remember it.

Yesterday, I logged into the ROS website to approve the annual return. I used my Corp Pass identity. I had to refer to my record to get the UEN, user ID and password.

It failed. I tried many more times. It failed. I do not know what went wrong. But I did waste quite a few minutes of my time.

I tried SingPass. It went through.

However, there was a message that it would not be allowed after 1 September 2018. So, it seemed that the change was not implemented.

Clearly, Corp Pass is a mess. It is not necessary. Govt Tech should recognize that this is a failure and revert back to Sing Pass.

Tan Kin Lian

Sunday, November 11, 2018

High cost is chasing away tourists

My friend went with his family on a cruise in the Mediterranean. They visited Milan.

He was surprised to see the shopping situation. The shops were full with tourists. Many of them were from China.

He said - it is not true that the retail scene is dead, caused by the online websites. In Milan, there were many shoppers. The prices are much lower than Singapore and they offer the more up-to-date products.

What happened to our Orchard Road? Where are the tourists?

I hope that our tourist board is aware about what is happening. It is obvious that our high prices are chasing away the tourists.

WOTC - Different systems for MRT lines

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Why did the govt allow different systems for different MRT lines?

Here are the responses: (65 Votes)
66 % - The development of the MRT system is poorly managed by the govt.
15 % - It is wasteful and inefficient.
14 % - This is unavoidable as each line is developed separately under the tender system.
5 % - They seek the best solution for each new MRT line.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Shared bike price hike

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Will customers continue to use shared bikes after the price hikes?

Here are the responses: (66 Votes)
52 % - Many customers will give up using shared bikes.
33 % - Some customers need to use shared bikes to go to MRT stations or bus stops
9 % - They will continue to pay the higher fares.
6 % - They will opt for the season ticket.

See the pie chart at:

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