Saturday, April 20, 2019

Be broad minded and positive

I encourage people to be broad minded and positive. Here are my tips.

Wisdom of the crowd

Better financial control over large expenditures

Singapore is spending too much on infrastructure projects. Dr. Mahathir has shown how to cut down on these lage expenditures.

Maybe, we should study from Dr. Mahathir or appoint him as an adviser to the Singapore govt?

Those who don't like Dr. M can vote Disagree, but those who are more objective and open minded can vote Agree.

WOTC - Last stage of Circle Line

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

The last stage of Circle Line cost $4.85 billion to construct.

Here are the responses: (38 Votes)
71 % - The govt is really wasteful in spending too much on infrastructure with lack of control
16 % - It is too costly and should be avoided.
8 % - It is acceptable, as we need a complete Circle Line
5 % - The budget is reasonable due to inflation and underground construction

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Outcome of next general election

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Which outcome do you prefer after the next general election

Here are the responses: (46 Votes)
57 % - PAP no longer in government.
20 % - PAP has between 50% to 67% of the seats in Parliament
17 % - PAP remain in government with a coalition partner.
7 % - PAP remain in control with more than two third majority.

See the pie chart at:

Show your support and solidarity

Someone told me that his friend X refused to sign this petition because of this para - If the actions of EMA had been unwise and had caused severe losses to Hyflux, should the government compensate Hyflux and its investors for these losses?

X said that he does not want, as a tax payer, to pay a higher tax, if the government has to compensate the investors.

I was angry at the stupidity and selfishness of X. He does not realized that the compensation that the govt needs to pay, at the very most, is $1 billion.

This is not likely to happen, as it depends on the finding of the commission of inquiry and the fair formula to compensate for the damages.

Even if the compensation is $1 billion, it will not dent the coffers of the govt. They are spending $4.85 billion for the last three stations of the Circle Line and the $1.75 billion to build the Jewel in Changi.

If X does not want his tax to be increased, he should complain about the large sums that are being spend on infrastructure, some of which are not necessary.

We need to support and show solidarity with the unsophisticated investors who are caught in the Hyflux debacle and stand to suffer large losses.

If you agree, vote to support this petition.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Financial discipline in capital expenditure

The Public Utilities Board is installing 300,000 smart meters in residential and commercial premises during the initial phase which will be operational in 2023.

These smart meters are likely to replace the manual reading of the meters which is now carried out every two months.

Can the PUB share the estimated cost of this installation and the annual savings from the reduced manpower needed to read the meters? Every major capital expenditure should include a calculation of the payback period to see if the investment should be made.

Wisdom of the crowd

A reminder.
Vote on these issues

WOTC - Fake news law (2)

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is the fake news law in Singapore similar to that in other countries?

Here are the responses: (37 Votes)
46 % - The fake news law in Singapore will be used to suppress criticism of government policies.
27 % - The fake news law in Singapore gives too much power to the ministers to decide what is truth and falsehoods.
24 % - The other countries target mainly the social media giants while Singapore target individuals as well.
3 % - Yes, they are similar.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Leaders's retreat (LHL and MM)

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Was the leaders' retreat between LHL and MM a success?

Here are the responses: (38 Votes)
61 % - There was no substantial discussion or agreement to solve the differences
18 % - It was just a statement to recognize the ongoing discussions.
16 % - It made some progress to break some deadlock.
5 % - It reiterated the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Rental flats

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should the government offer rental flats?

Here are the responses: (40 Votes)
60 % - Rental flats will offer more choices to people in different economic situations.
23 % - Rental flats are suitable for low income families, young families and retirees.
15 % - Rental flats should be subsidised, similar to new flats.
3 % - The govt should not offer rental flats, as it defeats the goal of home ownership.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Charges for child care

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should different charges be levied for child care depend on parent's income?

Here are the responses: (43 Votes)
72 % - It is better to offer the same grant to all citizens, to cover most of the cost of infant and child care.
19 % - Parents with higher incomes already paying higher tax, so they should be eligible to the same grant.
5 % - Chasing parents for documents to show income level and type of housing is unproductive and wasteful work.
5 % - It is good to create wasteful work so that there are jobs for people.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Reaching out to voters

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

What is a good way for a political party to bring its message to its voters?

Here are the responses: (51 Votes)
41 % - Use Youtube videos and social media.
33 % - Hold a rally
14 % - Have many supporters go on WhatsApp and Telegram
12 % - Door to door knocking

See the pie chart at:

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Help older workers to remain employed

The govt leaders say that the solution to keep older people employed is lifelong learning.

Is it?

I heard stories of older people who attend skill upgrading courses but found that they cannot get jobs after the training.

Some said that the knowledge are useful to them - but they are still not able to get jobs.

Can we try this approach? Will it work?

Vote on these issues

Support this petition for the sake of your children

You may not be affected by Lehman bonds in 2009. You may not be affected by Hyflux in 2019.

Do you want this situation to continue? Do you want toxic securities to be sold to retail investors as "safe bonds"?

Remember, if you allow the current practice to continue, you may be caught by the next crisis. If not, what about your children?

Do you want MAS to strengthen its regulatory vetting of securities?

Support this petition. Ask the President to appoint an independent commission of inquiry to study the Hyflux issue.

The findings can point the way to strengthen the vetting process, so that you and your children will not be caught by the next crisis.

Serious economic challenges

Singapore faces serious economic changes. We have reached a stage where it has become very difficult to solve.

The underlying problem is the high cost of living and inadequate wages to meet this cost of living.

What can be done about it?

WOTC - Price of water

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Is it acceptable for PUB to charge 8 times the actual cost of water?

Here are the responses: (49 Votes)
67 % - The rate is far too high.
16 % - A fair rate is three times of the actual cost.
16 % - Each household should have a certain quantity of water based on two times of actual cost.
0 % - This will encourage consumers to cut down on water usage.

See the pie chart at:

WOTC - Home ownership

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd:

Should Singapore continue to promote home ownership?

Here are the responses: (49 Votes)
59 % - Why force people to pay too much for a property that will eventually have zero value?
29 % - We should offer rental flats as an option.
12 % - We should continue to promote home ownership to build loyalty to the country.
0 % - Those who prefer to rent flats should be allowed to cease contribute to CPF.

See the pie chart at:

Be realistic in decision making

Many people are over cautious.

When there is uncertainty, they imagine the worse that could happen and use that scenario as the basis for their decision making.

They were probably over trained in scenario planning or in the playing the "devil's advocate".

What is the problem with this approach?

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