Saturday, January 26, 2019

WOTC - Rental HDB flats

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should the govt provide more HDB flats for rental?

Here are the responses: (37 Votes)
54 % - The rental flats are necessary for low income families.
41 % - The rental flats are useful for young families who find it difficult to own a flat.
3 % - It is better to encourage the citizens to own their homes. 
3 % - The rental flats are useful for Malaysian workers.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Unwanted calls to mobile phone

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Do you get unwanted calls on your phone registered under DNC?

Here are the responses: (29 Votes)
45 % - I get calls some of the time.
34 % - I find the calls very disturbing.
10 % - I hardly get any calls
10 % - I get calls quite often.

See the pie chart at:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Question to Mr. Tan

If you have a question on financial matters to ask me, you can use this online form:

If you had a rejected insurance claim, you can use this online form:

I will give you an answer as soon as possible.

Support the people who like to see change

I pass this message for people who don't like the PAP and wish to see change.

You have the following choice:

a) Support the people who take the risk to speak out.

b) Continue to have your own view, instead of giving your support.

I find quite a large number of people in category (b). They have different views and like to express their difference.

This is my message to people who like to see change.

Should we abolish National Service?

Following the recent death of NS men, some people have called for abolishing national service. They asked - do we still need national service?

My reply is - we do not need to make a drastic change. We should not swing from one end to another.

Here is what we can do:

Finding the solution to a complex problem

Edward Sky You have asked an important question - what is the right approach to deal with a complicated situation.

I will give some thought to this question and write a separate post. Here are some preliminary thoughts:

a) Like Dr. M, I do not expect things to be right all the time. Even angels make mistakes
b) Like Dr. M, I like to face acknowledge the mistakes and find the right way.

I do not like the approach of our Sg leaders - think that they are right and only they can correct themselves (and they do a bad job about it). I will suggest how to change this approach.

Some small minded people will attack me for being a fan of Dr. M. I am not. I can see his good points, when it happens.

I am still pro-Singapore. But I understand common interest and being big minded. So, I think differently from our Sg leaders.

Tan Kin Lian

Abuse of Court Process, Hong Lim Park 26 jan 2019

I was very disappointed to see the registration for this event to be so little (only 11 people). Most of them occur very late.

For people who urge me to stand for the next general election, why are you not willing to be counted by registering and attending this event?

Maybe you think that you have other important things to do. What about me? You think that I do not have important things to do, right?

I like to see the 100 places taken up today. If not, you should not expect me to come forward at the next general election.

In the future, come forward immediately to show your support. If you cannot come, you can withdraw later. It is important to give the right support for people whom you like to speak out for you.

Please share this post.

Tan Kin Lian

When I post a serious topic in my Facebook page, I get the comments from the following types of people:

a) Thinking people who use their brains and experience. They may or may not agree with my views. But they give their reasons and are sensible.

b) People who think in the extreme, one end of the spectrum or the other. They have poor judgment and common sense, but they are not malicious. In some cases, the allow their attitudes (anti-govt, anti-foreigner, anti-Malaysia) to cloud their judgement.

c) People who are here to create trouble and make personal attacks. They are probably paid by the Internet Brigade to carry out these malicious activities. To avoid shaming their parents, they often use a fake identity.

I hope that we have more of type (a) and that the type (b) will move to type (a).

For type (c), help me to shame them and their parents.

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - By-election in Marsiling Yew Tee constituency

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should the govt call a by-election in Marsiling-Yew Tee Constituency?

Here are the responses: (40 Votes)
90 % - They should call a by-election to fill the vacancy created when Halimah Yacob vacated the job of MP.
5 % - What is there for the PAP to fear?
3 % - There is no need to call a by-election as her work is filled by the remaining MPs.
3 % - Wait for the decision of the Supreme Court on this constitutional issue.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Shop in Johore

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is it good for Singapore to have many people shop in Johore?

Here are the responses: (32 Votes)
38 % - It will help to reduce our cost of living.
38 % - It provides an opportunity for Singaporeans to enjoy the shops, food and space of Johore.
13 % - It will reduce business for the shops and eateries in Singapore. 
13 % - More travel will build friendship and understanding between peoples of both countries.

See the pie chart at:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Change our approach towards National Service

Following the recent death of NS men, some people have called for abolishing national service. They asked - do we still need national service?

My reply is - we do not need to make a drastic change. We should not swing from one end to another.

Here is what we can do:

a) Full time NS to be one year
b) Reservist duty to be 3 years.

This follows the practice of most countries.

It is not the worst case, but we do not need to be the worst case.

We can have a credible defence without spending too much money and harming the future of our young men.

Tan Kin Lian

Davinder Singh leaves Drew & Napier

I saw an announcement that Davinder Singh is leaving the firm of Drew & Napier and is setting up his own firm.

Mr. Singh was a former PAP MP and has acted for the PAP on many high profile cases. He was the face of Drew & Napier.

Why did Mr. Singh suddenly decide to leave Drew & Napier? He was handling two high profile cases - against Aljunied Town Council and PM Lee's suit against Leong Sze Hian.

I wish to make a speculation. I think his sudden departure is connected with Leong Sze Hian's suit.

I will be speaking on this legal suit in Hong Lim Park on Saturday 26 January at 6 pm. The event is from 4 to 7 pm.

If you are coming, please register here - for my own record only.

Dealing with unwarranted calls

My mobile phone rang. It showed a Finland number. I cut off. It rang again and again. On the third call, I accepted the call. It was a foreigner voice. He said, "Hello, are you Kin". I refused to answer. "Can you hear me". I refused to answer. It went on for a while and he hang up.

This is my standard response to unwanted marketing calls to my phone (which is registered under Do Not Call).

If it is a local mobile number, I will lodge a report in this website. The website will send a SMS to notify the caller that he is infringing the DNR regulation.

Here is the website.

Allow young people to use CPF to buy old HDB flats

Allow young people to use CPF to buy old HDB flats

At present, young people cannot use CPF to buy old HDB flats with a remaining lease of less than 60 years.

This has caused the prices of these old flats to fall sharply. Even so, the owners cannot find a buyer at a fair price. They have to take a very big cut. If they bought the flat on resale and paid a high price, they would suffer a large loss.

What can be done about this problem?

Casualty of military training

Aloysius Pang is the latest casualty of military training. During the past 20 years, there were 19 deaths during military training, an average of 1 death a year.

Each accident cause a lot of media highlight and concern. The authority will promise stronger enforcement of safety regulations. The public becomes more skeptical over the years.

What can we do about this issue?

I suggest the following measures:

WOTC - Strengthen access to online systems

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should access to online systems be strengthened to prevent cyber attacks?

Here are the responses: (32 Votes)
38 % - It is necessary to protect the privacy of data.
34 % - I already find many online systems to be quite troublesome to use.
22 % - It will be more troublesome to use online systems, if the login process is too stringent.
6 % - The current measures are already adequate.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Stolen data in Singhealth cyber-attack

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Are you concerned that your data is stolen in the Singhealth cyber-attack?

Here are the responses: (30 Votes)
37 % - I am very concerned about the lack of privacy and security of my personal data.
33 % - The data stolen is not critical or sensitive.
20 % - The agencies should strengthen their cyber-security?
7 % - My data is among 1.5 million records; it does not bother me.
3 % - This kind of event is quite common; no need to over-react

See the pie chart at:

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cost of making a payment

Someone said - I don't need e-wallet because I can pay using Pay Now. She does not realize that Pay Now can become very costly.

Here is an explanation

Reduce active reservist training to 3 years.

My friend is an airline pilot. He went to New Zealand for reservist training. SAF has to reimburse his employee for his high salary.

It is very expensive for SAF to reimburse highly paid people to do ordinary work as a soldier.

What is a better arrangement? My view - reduced reservist active duty to 3 years. We will have 60,000 operationally ready reservists who are below 25 years at any time. These young people are more suitable and they cost much less.

In the event of hostility, we can all all reservists below 40 years for refresher training. They may not be operationally ready, but we already have 60,000 who are ready. We can take time to get the remaining 300,000 older reservists in shape.

The need has not arisen to activate the older reservists for six decades. I hope that it continues this way for many more decades.

Read my view here and vote (agree, disagree).

Standard e-wallet under Association of Banks

One and a half years has passed since PM Lee announced the goal to use digital payment in his National Day Rally in 2017.

A lot of work and money has been put in by many parties to introduce digital payment. The actual usage remain low, except for payment for ride hailing apps.

There are too many platforms for digital payment. They do not talk to each other. Most of the wallet apps are too complicated.

To be a truly smart nation, we need to make digital payment a way of life. I like to suggest how this goal can be achieved.

WOTC - Delay in completion of RTS Link

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What should we do about the delay in the completion of the RTS Link?

Here are the responses: (33 Votes)
42 % - Introduce joint clearance for bus travellers - so that they go through both checkpoints at the departure station.
42 % - Increase manpower and improve the checkpoint procedures.
12 % - Increase the number of trips on the KTM Trebau service between Woodlands and Johore Bahru.
3 % - Stop all joint projects with Malaysia.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Top priority of PM Lee

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What should be the top priority of PM Lee?

Here are the responses: (39 Votes)
87 % - Focus on other key concerns of the citizens on cost of living and security of jobs.
10 % - Focus on solving the bilateral dispute with Malaysia.
3 % - Focus on his defamation suit against Leong Sze Hian
0 % - Send a clear message that sharing of unverified news can be risky.

See the pie chart at:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How to turn negative into positive publicity

I saw this news report sent to me in an email from AsiaOne. I was surprised that the article was in dated 1 June 2015. Why did AsiaOne send it to me now, in 2019?

It is probably due to a programming error, or may I say a technical issue with Asia One.

Whenever there is a long delay, the airline will get a bad reputation and a bad name. But Scoot can convert it into a positive event. Instead a bad name, they can get a good name.

What can Scoot do?

Review our approach towards reservist duty

The cost of the injury to Aloysius Pang seems to be quite high. He is likely to be recuperating for six months.

Mediacorp has to find a replacement actor and rewrite the script for an existing serial.

We want to be fair to all reservists and make sure that they all have to do their share of reservist duty.

This concept can be costly, as it has happened in this high profile case.

What can we do to avoid this high cost.

Read my suggestion here:

Pay an adequate allowance for full time conscripts

I know of a mother, who works as a hawker, to earn income for her family. Her husband passed away. She has 4 children, 3 of whom are still in school.

She depended on her son to help her to manage the hawker stall. The son was called up for full time national service. She has to employ a hawker assistant at a cost of more than $2,000. She is not able to earn enough, after paying the additional cost, to take care of the family.

I believe that this is not the only case. There must be many other families who are in similar situations. They need their adult sons to help to run the family business. They faced financial and other difficulties when their adult sons are conscripted to serve two years in full time national service.

Read my suggestion here. Vote (agree, disagree) after you have read it.

Be aware of the cost of handling cash

Many people are reluctant to move to cashless payments. They prefer to use cash. They find paying by cash to be convenient and free.

They do not realize the cost of handling cash:

a) Time spent to take cash from ATM machine
b) Cost to banks of providing the ATM service, which is now offered free to customers.
c) Cost of merchant to handle cash and give change
d) Cost to merchant to deposit the cash into the bank

Read more details here:

CPF Life payouts are not guaranteed

Dear Mr. Tan,

I have read articles in the newspaper and was quite convinced that I could get a "higher" monthly payout if I continue to ensure I have a big sum of money in my Retirement Account.

However, my CPF friends recently told me that the monthly CPF Life payouts are based on estimates/ projections, just like what you see in a Benefit Illustration for an Endowment insurance policy.

These monthly payout values as illustrated in your articles and on CPF website are not guaranteed. I found the following fine print when I use the CPF Life Payout Estimator tool on the CPF website:

The monthly payouts shown are based on the Retirement Account balance provided. The payout ranges are based on interest rates of between 3.75% and 4.25% and do not represent the lower and upper limits of the payout. The monthly payout may be adjusted every year to take into account factors such as CPF interest rate and mortality experience.

According to my understanding, if CPF were to tell me now that when I reach age 65 in 10 years' time, my monthly Payout will range from a lower limit of $1,200 to a higher limit of $1,400, it simply means that the figures are only projections into the future. That lower limit of $1,200 can actually be much lower in a bad-case scenario of prolonged poor stock market conditions!

What are your views?

My answer is given here:

How much more should you pay for a freehold property?

Many people think that a leasehold property will have no value when the lease runs out and a freehold property will have a value forever. They are willing to pay much more (i.e. 20% or more) for a freehold property, compared to a leasehold property.

Are they making the right decision?

The answer is given here:

WOTC - Call off bilateral meeting

 I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Was it wise for Singapore to call off the bilateral meeting with Malaysia?

Here are the responses: (32 Votes)
56 % - No, it is not advisable to throw a tantrum over this issue.
22 % - Yes, we have to show Malaysia that we cannot be bullied.
16 % - Yes, the Johore Mentri Besar was on a boat in Singapore waters.
6 % - No, it was disputed waters. We can close an eye.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Which country should we follow?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

If we have to follow the model of another country, which do you prefer?

Here are the responses: (33 Votes)
45 % - Follow Switzerland
21 % - Follow Australia
15 % - Keep the Singapore system.
12 % - Follow China
6 % - Follow America 

See the pie chart at:

Monday, January 21, 2019

The overlooked risk of integrated plan

Many people love the integrated plan. They like the idea that it will pay more of their treatment in a private hospital.

They did not take into account the high cost in premium. It can be very expensive at the older ages, when they need the insurance most. Many will find the premium to be too expensive and unaffordable.

Worse, if they do not make any claim, they are actually paying for the claim of other people, and also paying for the hospitals and doctors to charge high fees.

Watch this video for an explanation.

How to reduce the share capital of a company

With a paid up capital of $500,000, I am required to join the Singapore Business Federation and pay an annual fee of $300. I do not have any benefit, so it is like a tax.

I can reduce the paid up capital by $100,000 to $400,000 and avoid this additional expense.

Here is how it can be done.

a) Pass a special resolution.
b) Lodge with ACRA via BizFile+, within 8 days beginning with the resolution date:

A notice containing the text of the special resolution for reducing share capital;
The resolution date; and
The reduction information

It is not difficult. So, I may just do it.

Singapore Business Federation

As a small business operating in Singapore with a paid up capital of $500,000, my company is required to be a member of the Singapore Business Federation.

The annual membership fee is $300. I have not received any benefit from membership of the SBF. This has been the situation for several years.

The fee is like another tax that I have to pay.

Perhaps the government should remove this cost for small businesses. Let membership of SBF be voluntary. Do not impose a burden on small businesses.

Tan Kin Lian

Adopt a positive attitude

Some people are so cynical that they see the worse in every thing that the govt does. They see every change as an opportunity for the govt to raise prices.

This is not healthy. We cannot have a useful discussion about how things can be improved, if these people continue to give cynical remarks.

In the interest of healthy discussion, I like to ask these people to be open minded and positive. You may not like the govt, but do not let that attitude affect the discussion here.

I hope that these people will understand and respond to my request.

Review the structure of reservist training

A well known Mediacorp actor, Aloysius Pang, has been seriously injured while on reservist training in New Zealand.

Over the next few days, there will be active discussion about the safety measures that should be taken to avoid accidents of this nature.

I agree that we should take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our soldiers. I believe that this has received the high level attention of the Singapore Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense.

We also have to accept that accidents will happen and that injury and death is part of the risk of being a soldier or reservist.

I like to focus on another aspect of this issue.

WOTC - Restructure the economy

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What is the best way to restructure our economy?

Here are the responses: (35 Votes)
83 % - Reduce the cost of doing business.
11 % - Introduce technology, e.g. Smart Nation
6 % - Encourage local companies to move overseas.
0 % - Lower tax to bring in more foreign companies, and increase GST for the shortfall.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Can Apple Computers continue to show higher profits?

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Can Apple Computers continue to show higher profits?

Here are the responses: (38 Votes)
63 % - They will gradually lose their market to competitors.
18 % - They are no longer innovative, and cannot bring out highly successful products.
11 % - Yes. They are innovative and will bring out new products to boost sales and profits.
8 % - They will continue to do well and be supported by their loyal customers.

See the pie chart at:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Make a bold move towards online voting

The election department plans to introduce mechanical counting of votes in the next general election.

While this is one small improvement, it does not save much time. The ballot papers still have to be sorted into different stacks before they are counted.

I suggest that online voting be introduced. There are concerns about the integrity of the voting process, as the database could be hacked and the votes altered. This risk can be addressed. It is explained in this website.

Size of flats impact family size

In the early years, the size of HDB flats were bigger. In the early years, 5 room flat had a built in area of 123 sm. Since 1997, the size reduced by 11% to 110 sm. Similarly, a 4 room HDB flat became slightly smaller.
See this page for the facts.

The price of HDB flats had also increased sharply over the years. Many ordinary workers find the price for a bigger flat to be too high and had to accept a smaller flat.

What is the consequence of this reduction in size of flats?

Tan Cheng Bock's new party

How will Tan Cheng Bock's new party impact the next general election?

Look at the simulations here, or create your own simulation.

Reduce travel time with express bus services

The bus journey can take up to two hours for a long journey from home to work. The long traveling time discourages people from traveling by bus. If they travel by MRT, the traveling time may be shortened, but there is overload in our trains, especially during the peak hours.

When the MRT trains break down, it can be chaotic.

I suggest that express buses be introduced to connect our towns. This new structure will work as follows:

Send scanned examination scripts for marking

There were a few cases in recent years of examination scripts being lost in transit to the marking centers.

I suggest that the scrips should be scanned and the soft copy send for marking.

This will speed up the delivery of the examination scripts and avoid the risk of being lost in transit.

Review Medisave limit for chemotheraphy treatment

Currently the limit set is $1,200 per month and this has not be increased for past 10 years or more.

If a patient needs 2 chemo a month the bill may cost at least $5,000 or more if they have no insurance or not subsidized.

Maybe MOH should have a process to do regular reviews maybe yearly in view of escalating medical costs and the Medisave withdrawal required for such treatment need to be increased

WOTC - Second Trump Kim Summit

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Which is likely to be the venue for the second Trump Kim summit?

Here are the responses: (34 Votes)
53 % - Vietnam 
38 % - Panmunjom - border between North and South Korea.
6 % - Singapore
3 % - Hawaii

See the pie chart at:

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