Saturday, September 07, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd

Should CPF members be required to set aside a minimum sum for healthcare?
Give your vote in

Elect kampong chiefs into Parliament?

Democracy is based on "one man one vote". At each general election, the voters vote for a person to represent their constituency in parliament. The candidate with the most votes is elected.

However, this system of electing the representative of the voters does not appear to work well in many countries.


WOTC - Should scholarship be stopped?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 86% of the participants in this survey preferred that Singapore stop the system of giving scholarship to the top students. 14% like to continue the current system.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Increase the birth rate

Wisdom of the Crowd: 49% of the participant suggested that child care should be made virtually free to increase the birth rate. 30% suggested that a monthly allowance be given to the family for each child.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Friday, September 06, 2019

Provide direct exits for MRT stations

I took the MRT to One North station and wanted to go to Pixel building. I got lost, in spite of having Google Map to guide me.

What is the problem?

Wisdom of the Crowd

1. Will you support The Online Citizen in fighting the defamation suit by PM Lee?
2. Do you accept the composition of the election boundary committee?

WOTC - Economic stimulus measure

Wisdom of the Crowd: 59% of the participants in this survey preferred the government to abolish GST as a economic stimulus measure. 37% preferred the government to reduce health care cost.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Rental of duty free stores at airport

Wisdom of the Crowd: 41% of the respondents to this survey expect the new operator who takes over the DFS outlets in Changi Airport to pay a higher rental. The other 59% expect them to pay the same or a lower rental.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd:

1. PM Lee's threat for defamation on The Online Citizen
2. Refusal by The Online Citizen to comply with the legal demand.

Give your vote in

WOTC - Closing down of DFS stores in Changi Airport

Wisdom of the Crowd: 76% of the participants in this survey express concern about the closing down of the DFS outlet in Changi Airport.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - CPF contribution rate for older workers

Wisdom of the Crowd: 82% of the participants in this survey do not support the increase in CPF contribution rate for older workers.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Set price guidelines for many services

I am in favor of setting price guidelines for many services, e.g. health, repair work, tuition, transport, etc.

I also like these price benchmarks to be placed in a website for easy reference.

Pay suppliers promptly to save cost

I heard that government agencies take a long time to pay their suppliers. This is a "stupid" way to do business.

Let me tell you why.

In memory of the departed relatives and friends

I meet up with my old school mates quite regularly on Saturday at Aperia Mall. They are around my age, as we were school mates in Raffles Institution.

During the past year, three mates have departed. One was due to a sudden heart attack and two were due to cancer.

They looked quite okay when we met at our regular gathering and suddenly, we heard news that they had departed.

When will be my turn?

It will certainly be a matter of time, maybe sooner, maybe later. And it might come suddenly and unexpectedly.

One thing for sure, when I have departed, you will not see my postings here in Facebook.

So, each time you see a new post, you can say a prayer - I am glad that TKL is still around. OK?

But if you do not see a posting for a few days - do not assume that I have departed. I could be on a cruise, OK?

Or maybe I have been detained by the ISD. After all, I have been scolding the "stupid ministers" quite often.

Let me take this chance to remember my parents, relatives and friends who have departed. I will join you one day, maybe sooner, maybe later.

Caning for first time drug abusers

A former drug addict suggested that caning should be imposed on first time drug abusers to discourage them from taking this experiment. Young people are frightened about being caned, so it will be an effective deterrent.

I carried out a survey. Only 23% voted in favor of this strategy. 45% voted in favor of increasing public awareness through various communication channels.

This survey result showed the difficulty of solving this social problem. Most people prefer the easy way out.

Why do I say this?

WOTC - Combat drug abuse

Wisdom of the Crowd: 45% of participants in this survey prefer to increase public awareness as the strategy to combat drug abuse, 29% prefer to give jobs to young people and 23% prefer to impose caning for first time offense.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Economic stimulus

Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the participants prefer to suspend GST as an economic stimulus measure to address the current downturn; 23% prefer the govt to create public sector jobs and 19% prefer to allow members to withdraw from the CPF savings to meet living expenses.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd

1. What is your opinion of Heng Swee Keat?
2. Which 4G leader do you prefer?

Give your vote in

Marketing gimmicks that lead to wasteful practices

I dislike marketing gimmicks that lead to wasteful practices.

Here are some examples:

There are more urgent things to worry about

It is ridiculous to ask a 30 year old to worry about Careshield Life, i.e. long term disability that usually occurs after 75 years.

There are many more urgent things that a young person should worry about, such as

  • getting married
  • buying a house
  • ensure that the job is secure
  • raising children

Not everybody earns a million a year and have the luxury to worry about things 40 years down the road.

Stupid ministers!

Respond promptly to enquiries

When I make an enquiry with Alibaba, I get a sales rep replying to me within a few hours.

I do not have to wait 4 days for a reply - which by the way is the standard operating procedure in Singapore.

I hope that you now know why Singapore is going down the drain. It follows bad practices and do not care about the customer or the citizens.

This bad practice comes from the very top in government. It is combined with inefficiency and wastefulness.

Ministers, are you listening? Wake up!

WOTC - Electric cars and climate change

Wisdom of the Crowd: 27% of the participants agreed with the environment minister that electric cars are not the solution to climate change and that the focus should be on public transport. The other 73% have different views.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - US and China added more tariffs

Wisdom of the Crowd: 60% of the respondents expect things to get worse, after US and China added more tariffs. 5% expect a military conflict. The remaining 35% expect the dispute to be solved.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Monday, September 02, 2019

Quora: Every country and people make mistakes sometimes, China made it once by stealing jobs from Americans. Still why is President Trump not showing mercy to China? What if, China implodes due to Trump's trade war?

Robert Walker, studied at Student of History answered.

China didn’t steal American jobs, Ronald Reagan did. For all those Republicans that keep whining and crying about the loss of American manufacturing jobs to China, Mexico and other countries, it was your great hero Ronald Reagan who created the policies and treaties that encouraged American corporations to offshore manufacturing thus creating the rust belt.

Reagan signed trade agreements giving away high paying American jobs for the sole purpose of busting unions. And Reagan got rid of the laws made during the depression to protect banks causing the savings and loan crisis and setting the stage for the sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2007 that led to Bush 2's Great Recession.

The current batch of Republicans have left Reagan's policies in place, so even now American companies still get tax benefits and subsidies for moving American jobs offshore.

And the NAFTA treaty that moved so very many good paying American and Canadian jobs to Mexico was Reagan's brainchild. Trump's replacement for NAFTA will continue to move even more good paying American and Canadian jobs to Mexico.

Republican policies starting with Reagan have been geared to making the rich much richer, and all other Americans to be f*cked over and damned. Reagan was a great talker and con man, and he pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. He gave Bush 1, Bush 2 and his buddy Cheney, Trump and all the lesser Republicans like Moscow Mitch, Paul Ryan and Newt Gingrinch the blueprint for turning the Republican Party over to the Dark Side.

There is absolutely, positively no possible way that China will implode from the trade war.

All of Trump's tariffs so far have done very little to slow down the flow of Chinese goods to the US, it just means American consumers are going to pay more for the things they buy. The tariffs were expected to cost the average American family about $1,000. By doubling down Trump has just raised their costs even more. The current reality is that China is the only supplier of many goods to the US. For any Chinese goods that can be replaced by others it will take a long time to re-jigger all the supply lines.

Even if Trump’s tariffs caused all of the demand for Chinese goods to disappear, it wouldn’t hurt China all that much. Trade with the US accounts for about 10% of China’s exports, which sounds like a lot of business to lose, but in the big picture China’s business with the US accounts for less than 3% of China’s GDP, which is an amount China can live without if it had to hunker down for a while.

On the other hand, there is very little China buys from the US that they can’t get elsewhere. Look at soy and pork as good examples so far. Therefore Chinese tariffs on incoming American goods could hurt the US a great deal. In any case, Chinese tariffs on incoming American goods are just window dressing anyways. The Chinese government DOES have the power to order Chinese companies to stop buying American goods, and have already used that power very effectively.

Wisdom of the Crowd

1. Which leader has been best for Singapore.
2. Which leader has been worst for Singapore

Give your vote in

WOTC - Future of Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 45% of the respondents said that the best future for Hong Kong is to be integrated immediately into China. 45% said that the "one country two systems" should continue beyond 50 years. 12% said that Hong Kong should be independent.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Skill upgrading

Wisdom of the Crowd: 16% of the respondents said that skill upgrading plays a small or large part in ensuring employability. The other 84% prefer the government to take other measures.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Hypothetical case of a suit for defamation

I was asked - Mr. Tan, if someone published a statement that you were a thief and you did not sue the author and later, another person published another statement using the fact in the first statement, can you sue the second person for defamation?

By not acting on the first statement, do you accept that the statement was true or that it was nonsensical and not worthy of legal action. If that is the case, do you forgo the right to take defamation action on the second statement?

If you were a politician, can the defendant argue that your action was "politically motivated" and that the statement did not really damage your reputation?

Here is my answer.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

The govt should not micro manage but should regulate and set the framework

Most people like to say - the govt should not micro manage. I agree.

But the govt should regulate and set the framework. They cannot leave matters to the market. They should not neglect their responsibility and duty.

What is the difference between regulate and micro manage?

Here is the difference.

Hold handrail when using stairs

Three years ago, I had a fall on a wet road. I fractured 3 ribs. It was a painful experience which lasted a few weeks.

A friend, who was 10 years older than me, fell down the stairs and broke a few bones. He took 6 months to recover. He lost a lot of weight and is now quite thin.

I make it a point to hold on the handrail when I use the stairs and escalator.

Lower frequency for trains during off peak hours

The train operators plan to reduce the frequency of trains during off peak hours.

Here are my views:

Quora: What do you think about China may be willing to accept an economic downturn to hurt Trump and win a better trade deal?

Mas Miwa, former Engineer at Hughes Space and Communications

The results may end up the same, but I have a different view. There are two things holding back an agreement.

First is ‘Made in China 2025’ which is important for China because it is China’s plan to rise in technology and move away from labor-intensive cheap labor exports, it follows Germany’s plan ‘Industry 4.0’. Interesting that Trump wants to stop China’s rise, but not Germany’s rise in technology.

Second, Trump wants China to change its political structure from its socialist architecture to a more capitalist democratic structure. Again China refuses because already 60% of its GDP rise is from the private sector, not the SOE. Their structure has in one generation , brought China from poverty to second in GDP only to the US. It has moved 500 million of its people out of poverty. With such a success, why would it change?

Since China won’t capitulate on those two points, the results will cause an economic downturn because Trump chooses to do so. If it were purely a trade war, China has already conceded that it will buy more American goods, but it should be obvious, this trade war is not about trade. Having said that, in spite of his tariffs, the trade deficit with China has only increased, not gone down. His subsidies to farmers exceed what he has gotten in tariff revenues, so our national debt keeps increasing.

So, no closure is in sight for the trade negotiations and his tariffs are not improving the trade deficit nor our national debt. I would say, on balance, he is losing to China and the US will incur more damage than China. Bottom line, China continues to improve on increasing trade exports and more surplus, the US is in limbo with its trade war and its tariffs have made its deficit greater.

Wisdom of the Crowd

1. How do you evaluate Lee HL's 15 years as prime minister?
2. Should the train operators reduce frequency during off peak hours to reduce cost

Give your vote in

WOTC - Boris Johnson's hair style

Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of participants have a negative view of Boris Johnson's hair style; 42% has a positive view.

See the breakdown of the votes in

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