Saturday, October 12, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is President Trump a smart negotiator?
2. Should we set PSLE examination questions at a difficult level?
Vote in

How I lost 10 kg in 4 months

My PDF book entitled "How I lost 10 kg in 4 months" is now ready.

I will be sending it to 914 participants in this GE Poll next week.

If you are interested in the book and have not yet voted, you can do it immediately using this link.

Remember to click on the link at the top of the page and follow through the steps. You have to provide your correct email to receive the link to vote.

Top leaders must pay attention to problems and direct the people in charge to solve them

Someone sent me a message about my post on the way that the Public Utilities Board handled the water leakage in my home. He asked - do you seriously think that your prime minister should attend to this problem? Does he not have other more important things to do?

Here is my reply.

WOTC - Quality of 4G leaders

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the participants in this survey described the 4G leaders as incompetent or arrogant. The remaining 17% have a positive view of these leaders.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Bad behavior of the people

Wisdom of the Crowd: 68% of the participants said that the bad behavior of the people is caused by the government. The other 32% had different views.

See the breakdown of the votes in

We need to change the way that Singapore is governed

We have a dysfunctional system under the leadership of Lee HL. We need to change the way that Singapore is governed.

I add another example of my experience.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Singaporeans should be more socially minded

In a panel discussion, Prof Tommy Koh said that many Singaporeans behave like citizens of third world countries.

This remark attracted criticism from several sources. Some people said that he was being unfairly critical of Singaporeans.

A letter published in the Straits Times criticized him for being unfair to third world countries, which include many ASEAN countries.

I wish to give my views on this issue.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why did Dyson decide to stop its electric car operations in Singapore?
2. Prof Koh said that many Singaporeans behave like citizens of third world countries
3. PM Lee said that we need to increase the birth rate in Singapore

Vote in

Top management must take responsibility

My friend complained that Sing Post is now quite unreliable. Many of his mails were not delivered. He asked his bank to keep his statement and he would collect it personally at the branch.

I considered that the top management of Sing Post should be blamed. Another person disagreed with me. He said that it was the individual postman who was at fault, and not the top management.

Should top managers be blamed?

WOTC - Is United Nations still useful?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the participants int his survey said that the United Nations has lost its significance and is now useless. The other 17% are still optimistic that it has a useful role.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Shooting of HK protester

Wisdom of the Crowd: 88% of the participants in this survey said that the Hong Kong police was not to be blamed in the incident when a young protester was shot. 12% said the police acted improperly.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Address the root cause of the low birth rate

I was disgusted when I read this news.

Who wants to have babies in Singapore when the boys have to serve national service which puts them at a big disadvantage compared to foreigners.

Instead of addressing the root of the problem, this PM still thinks of increasing the population with permanent residents who become citizens (may I add, with no national service obligations).

He will destroy the country that Lee Kuan Yew spent his life to build a strong foundation.…/new-towns-industries-are-bein…?

Additional charge for disposable cups and takeaway boxes

Dear Mr. Tan,

My daughter came back from school today and I was informed that drinks in paper disposable cups would cost $0.10 more in school due to an environmentally friendly initiative.

I am very surprised why Ngee Ann Polytechnic is taking such measures to mark up the cost of food and drinks to students.

Why are drinks not being sold in reusable plastic cups? Why should the students be penalised if the canteens want to save time and manpower by not washing cups? Don’t reusable cups fall into the same category as the plates and cutlery which are reused in the canteen after washing? I remember during my days in schools, there were proper cups that were washed after every use.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic should look into the root cause of the problem. I was told that there is a lack of canteen seating space during the term study time. Students often have no place to sit at all in the canteen and they often have to resort to takeaway their food in environmentally friendly boxes will further cost 20-50 cents from the stores.

Isn’t it absurd that students have to pay for such “save the environment” ware, when it is obvious that there is not enough canteen seating and dining capacity for the students? There is not enough seating space and yet still close down a canteen? Ngee Ann Polytechnic should look into the main reason of the demand for takeaways!

Next the fee of 10 cents for environmentally friendly cups is not a fair move, since drinks in plastic bottles are not similarly “taxed”. Are drinks in plastic bottles therefore deemed to be “environmentally friendly”?

Such thinking and mentality of Ngee Ann Polytechnic as an educational institute only grooms students to grow up to think along a line of “ban PMDs because they cause accidents”.

Should Ngee Ann Polytechnic wish to be environmentally friendly and conscious, a very low-lying fruit would be to stop the smoking students from your school from littering. The pavement of the unofficial smoking point is located just next to a waterway, when student litter their cigarette butt onto the pavement, it only eventually ends up into our waterways, polluting our water source. Or is Ngee Ann Polytechnic not concerned since the place is not within their campus?

Instead of making students pay for your so called “green initiative”, please do something for the damage to the environment by your students on the land out of your campus!

Also, why not save energy by getting your staff to car pool? Principals and their deputies should and can set an example to car pool or take public transport to save the environment, instead of putting up a false front on environment friendliness.

Let’s all not be so fixated over the false front of how a 10 cent paper cup can save the environment when there are obviously bigger issues that Ngee Ann Polytechnic have overlooked or is closing a blind eye to!

I suggest that the student should bring along a water bottle for to contain the drink and a plastic lunch box to pack their food, rather than to use disposable cup and takeaway box?
I wonder if this suggestion is practical. What do you think?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rejected claims due to non-disclosure

A lawyer approached me for help. His client had a $70,000 medical bill rejected by the integrated plan insurer on the grounds of non disclosure. The agent did a bad job and did not fill up the medical history properly. The agent had since resigned.

The client was previously insured under another insurer, also under an integrated plan. There was no need for him to change insurer to get "better coverage".

He ended up with a rejected claim and suffered a large financial loss.

Another insured person approached me directly on a similar case. His medical coverage was also rejected for a similar reason, non disclosure.

I have been approached several times on this kind of problem. I always advised consumers to stay with their current plan or move to Medishield Life.

Tan Kin Lian

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Has your voting preference change from the last general election?
2. What will happen to the move to impeach President Trump?

Vote in

How I lost 10 kg in 4 months

I sent a draft of my book - How 1 Lost 10 kg in 4 months to a few people for review. Here is one.
Dear Mr Tan,
I took a quick read of our book.

It was very easy to read.
The information were very pertinent, straight to be the point, and not so technical. In this way, I absorb a lot more than when I read the 'usual' kind of self help books, whereby authors tend to try to fortify their credibility with lots of technical details, and unnecessary elaborations.
Thank you for your sharing. I appreciate it.

To  get a copy of this book, take part in this poll. The book will be sent to all participants when it is ready.

WOTC - Will Boris Johnson stay as PM of UK?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of the participants expect Boris Johnson to resign or be voted out as PM of the UK. The other 50% expect him to lead UK out of EU with or without a deal.
See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - PM Lee gets World Statesman Award

Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the participants in this survey said that the United Nations General Assembly was poorly attended when PM Lee spoke because most countries felt that he did not deserve the World Statesman Award. The other participants had other observations.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Is the govt justified to increase the public transport fares?

The government has announced an increase in public transport fares, citing the recent increase in operating costs. Many people complained about this further increase in the cost of living.

The decision makers and their supporters pointed out that the public transport fares in Singapore are lower than the fares in the major cities in other developed countries.

I wish to give my views on this matter.

President Trump defies House investigation

New York Times:

The White House declared war on the House impeachment inquiry, announcing that it would not cooperate with what it called an unconstitutional and partisan effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election” of President Trump.

Mr. Trump called the inquiry into his efforts to pressure Ukraine to find dirt on his political rivals “a totally compromised kangaroo court,” and the White House intervened for the first time to block the testimony of a key witness.

Related: The whistle-blower at the center of the investigation wrote in a memo that a White House official who listened in on President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s leader called it “crazy,” “frightening” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security.”

The evidence: House investigators have been issuing near-daily requests or subpoenas. Here’s a look at what they’ve collected so far.

Quora: What would happen if the Republicans voted to impeach Trump?

Virginia Hall, Top Writer 2018
Answered Sep 25

I am old enough that as an adult I watched Watergate go down. At first everyone thought Nixon would skate through with the Republicans in the Senate backing him up.
Then came the hearings and evidence came out and the Republicans began to shift.
Just before what turned out to be the end a delegation of Republicans Senators went to the White House and informed him in the Senate there were enough votes to remove Nixon from office. In short, Nixon would be removed from office.
Rather than go through the humiliation of being removed by a vote of the Senate, Nixon decided to resign.
If there were enough Republicans to remove from office, Trump might throw in the towel.
If the Republicans form a red wall, Trump might survive. If the red wall cracks, and it’s a high bar to remove, Trump might survive to run in 2020.
There would be a terrible problem as the Republicans have scuttled all the primaries. Who would they run? Pence? It would be a disaster.

Rule of the mob

I give my views about the ongoing protest in Hong Kong, which has lasted four months, and whether I support the protesters or the government.

WOTC - Guidelines on online booking

Wisdom of the Crowd: 87% of the participants in this survey held a negative view of the slow action taken by the Competition watchdog in issuing the guidelines on online booking.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Sharing of PMDs

Wisdom of the Crowd: 72% of the participants are not in favor of LTA issuing license for sharing of PMDs.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

WOTC - Meritocracy

Wisdom of the Crowd: 93% of the participants in this survey felt that Singapore does not have a truly meritocratic society. The other 7% are positive.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Racial harmony

Wisdom of the Crowd: 63% of the respondents said that the racial harmony in Singapore is being challenged by the big influx of foreigners. The other 37% had different views on this matter.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is the increase in public transport fares of 9 cents and 4 cents fair?
2. Are the statements of several ministries against The Online Citizen fair?
Vote in

Monday, October 07, 2019

It is wrong to organize a petition against a court judgment

In passing a judgment, the judge has to consider all the relevant factors of the case and also protect the integrity of the court by upholding past decisions. If the judge has to change the principle made in past decisions, the judge has to have good reasons and has to state the reasons.

It is not appropriate for ordinary people, who do not have access to the information available to the judge, to pass any opinion on the judgment. It is disrespectful to the judge and could be considered as contempt of the court.

It will also lead to a chaotic situation, similar to the actions of rioters and terrorists.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. What are your views about China?
2. What are your views about America?
Vote in

Quora: Has China been weakened by the trade war as Trump keeps stating?

Pavel Fekula, Active in Russian-American relations Answered 

Trump has temporarily weakened the Chinese economy through his tariffs, but this move is not sensible in the long term. The Chinese economy is highly linked to the US economy, as China is the #1 trade partner with the US. Trade is admittedly relatively one-sided as China exports far more to the US than they import from the US. However, China makes up for this to some extent by making US treasuries the instrument of choice for the nation’s savings, financing the US government and helping to ensure the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency. China is currently neck and neck with Japan for the title of “top holder of US treasuries.”
Sooner or later, this relationship between China and the US is going to break down. When it happens, both nations are going to enter into a severe recession, but China will emerge on top. China will be forced redirect its manufacturing to focus on the domestic market. This will result in temporary pressure on their manufacturing sector as it is forced to retool and adjust to Chinese demands. They will also sooner or later be forced to sell off US treasuries as US deficits continue to rise. This will likely be part of a greater dollar currency crisis, resulting in a loss of China’s investment.
By contrast, the US will be hit with hyperinflation as the dollar declines dramatically in value against the backdrop of a global sell-off. As this happens, Chinese and other foreign goods will become increasingly expensive for American consumers, resulting in goods shortages in the US. As the highly-leveraged economy descends into a crisis, it will ensnare the financial sector, triggering collapse of the banking sector. In the short term, Trump has put some pressure on the Chinese economy, but he is playing chicken with a Mack Truck. In the event that the Sino-American economic relationship breaks down, the US will be the main loser.

WOTC - Will Chen Show Mao contest in the general election

Wisdom of the Crowd: 41% of the participants expect Chen Show Mao to drop out of contesting the next general election. 59% expect him to contest under the Worker's Party, another party or as an independent candidate.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Petition against a judgment

Wisdom of the Crowd: 75% of the respondents felt that it was proper for the public to sign a petition against the decision of the judge. 75% felt that this issue should be left to the courts.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Make it easy for former employers to give references

Many employment agencies in Singapore make it difficult for former employers to give references on candidates seeking a new job.

They adopt a troublesome approach which is not friendly to the referees. They should simplify their approach to get better results.

Do you agree with the observation set out in this post?

Speed up settlement of divorce cases

I agree with this writer that the handling of divorce cases can be improved and made less costly.

Some bad lawyers take advantage of the situation to increase the cost for both litigants, to the detriment of the family.

I hope that the government acts to improve the situation. What do you think?

Listen to the views of the people

How can a government listen to the views of the people when the people themselves have different and conflicting views?

Here is a way to overcome it.

Possible to be take leadership in an unfamiliar industry

My friend criticized industry minister Chan for trying to teach businessmen how to expand their business overseas, when he did not have any experience in running a company.

He also criticized the appointment of two army generals to run the SMRT and NOL without any industry experience. They did a poor job.

I told him that Louis Gertsner took over IBM in 1993 without any prior experience in the computer industry. He did a good job in transforming IBM successfully.

So, it is not a matter of prior experience but in the leadership style.

I wish to share my personal experience.

WOTC - Lenient penalty for NUS molest case

Wisdom of the Crowd: 29% of the participants said that the law minister should not interfere with the decision of the judge to give a lenient penalty on the NUS molest case. 71% said that it is proper for him to give his opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

A dim future for Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 72% of the participants have a dim view of prospects for Hong Kong in the future. 28% think that the region will remain dynamic.

See the breakdown of the votes in

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