Saturday, November 23, 2019

Stop the robbery rate on data plans

I sent this message to the head of Starhub data plan.

I suggest that you should not provide connection to any telco that does not give a fair deal to Starhub customers. You should not allow your customers to be ripped off by "robbery rates" for the use of data.
My Indonesian friend told me that the Indonesia telco (Telkomsel) allows him to buy a data plan outside of Indonesia. When the data is fully consumed, the service stopped. He is not charged a robbery rate for the excess data. To continue to use data, be can buy another plan.
I consider Starhub's practice of applying a "robbery rate" for the excess data to be deplorable. I have raised this complaint for several years, and Starhub ignored my protests.

Tan Kin Lian

Flaws of a communist system

Over the past decades, the communist system had produced several flaws. But they have learnt and adapted. So, the communist system today can produce a better outcome for the people compared to a democratic system.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the govt compensate the PMD retailers for the unsold inventory due to the ban?
2. Should the 2 servicemen take the blame for the death of aloysius Pang?
Vote in

WOTC - Modify the ban on PMDs using the walkways

Wisdom of the Crowd: 61% of the participants said that the government should modify the ban on the use of PMDs on walkways. The other 39% said that the ban should be maintained.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Singapore has a bleak future

Wisdom of the Crowd: 87% of the participants in this survey said that Singapore has a bleak future due to three reasons. The other 13% are optimistic about the future.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Unproductive for PMD riders to meet the MPs

Wisdom of the Crowd: 66% of the respondents said that the Land Transport Authority should organize a dialogue session with the PMD riders who are affected by the ban, rather than making the riders meet their MPs at the Meet the People session.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Friday, November 22, 2019

Which system produce a better government

Many people think that democracy is the right system and that other systems, such as monarchy or communism, are wrong.

This is a flawed approach. Instead of blindly advocating democracy, we should examine if democracy produces a government that work in the best interest of the country and the people.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will US and China sign phase on of the trade deal in 2019?
2. Is the American system of democracy a good model for the world?
Vote in

WOTC - Should the govt reduce the level of defense spening

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84% of the participants said that the government should reduce the current level of defense spending. 16% said that the current level should be maintained.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Was the govt correct in allowing the use of PMD?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 96% of the respondents said that the government should not have allowed the use of PMDs in the first place in the current form. 4% said that it is all right to try this approach.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

US is asking for an excessive sum for their troops in South Korea

The US has 24,500 troops in South Korea. SK now pay US$ 1 billion to the US for the protection offered by these troops. Donald Trump want to ask a few times more.

What is a fair sum? I think it should be $100,000 for each troop. So SK should pay $2.5 billion - if they have to pay the full cost.

But the troops also serve US interest. So, perhaps, it should be shared equally, say $1.25 billion for each side. The current sum of $1 billion that SK pays is reasonable. The sum asked by Donald Trump is excessive.

What a mercenary!

Stop these "rubbish promotions"

I was outside the Fairprice supermarket in Toa Payoh. A customer was talking to the OCBC staff who was registering new customers for the OCBC Plus credit card. This card allows the customers to enjoy rebates for purchases at Fairprice.

Customer - I want to ask about the 300 Link points that I am entitled when I join as a member. Where is the 300 points?
OCBC - You have to ask Fairprice.
Customer - are you from Fairprice?
OCBC - No, I am from OCBC.
Customer - I have been receiving SMS from Fairprice about this promotion. I asked the staff in the supermarket, and they asked me to ask you about it. Now, you asked me to ask them. I have been experiencing this problem several times on my purchases.
OCBC - But there are terms and conditions. You have to make a purchase of $40 to qualify for the bonus.
Customer - I have receipt to show that I quality.
OCBC - From my laptop, I see that there is no such promotion.
Customer - Here is the SMS message on my mobile phone about this promotion. I keep receiving it.

The customer was obviously angry about this matter. He asked his wife to come and show the receipt.

Here is my take. We waste a lot of time on these "nonsense promotions". It creates a lot of problem for the front line staff. The "terms and conditions" do not help. They are usually quite confusing. They describe what can and cannot be counted to qualify. It is not worth while for the customer to waste this time. How much is 300 Link points worth? I don't know if it is 3 cents or 30 cents or $3.

I get all of these "rubbish promotions". I ignore the points given by the Telcos, and by the credit cards. When I enquire about what they are worth, they are usually useless, just a few cents of dollar. I will not describe them as "peanuts" which are actually worth $600,000.

Over the past 40 years, I hardly use the points from my airline travel or credit card. I have redeem them a few times, but found that they are really not worth the time.

I hope that our businesses stop these "rubbish promotions" and offer a 1% or 2% cash discount. They should save the money in engaging the promotion manager and having staff to manage an expense "rewards program".

Speed up the processing at immigration counter

Dear Mr. Tan

Last year, I went paris. As we hold a biometric passport, the immigration officer only need to swipe the passport over the reader to get all information. It went well. They do not need to scan the image of the passport.

The immigration officer Singapore scan the passport for outgoing and incoming citizens. I believe that my passport is issued by ICA. They do not need to keep scanning the passport. They could have just swipe the passport to get the data from the magnetic strip. It will take less time compared to the scanning process.

in an event of deface of passport, I believe that the officer would have seen it.

I do not understand why our immigration officer need to waste time in scanning the passport when swiping it to get the magnetic data would be sufficient.


I agree with your view. I have observed that our Immigration counter takes a long time to process each traveler, compared to overseas. Once, I had to go through the immigration counter, instead of the automated games, and I observed that it was quite slow.

I also observed that it took a longer time to clear the immigration at Woodlands compared to Johor Bahru for people travelling by car. I think that it is due to the time taken to scan the passport.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How will the ban on PMD using walkways affect the votes for PAP?
2. Will you support a relaxation of ban on PMD using walkways
Vote in

WOTC - Use of taxpayer's money to compensate PMD riders

Wisdom of the Crowd: 92% of the participants disagree with the use of $7 million in tax payer money to compensate the PMD riders who are affected by the ban.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Why people vote PAP in spite of bad policies

Wisdom of the Crowd: The participants gave the following reasons why people vote for PAP in spite of the bad policies - afraid of change (37%), not personally affected (31%), opposition candidates are worse (20%), they do not think of the future for their children (12%).

See the breakdown of the votes in

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How should the Hong Kong govt deal with the latest student unrest?
2. Do you agree with a Singaporean First policy?
Vote in

Why a Singaporean First policy is beneficial

I read a statement from a PAP minister reported in the Straits Times five years back. The minister stated that a "Singaporean First" policy is bad for the economy.

I disagree.

WOTC - Vote against PAP

Wisdom of the Crowd: 85% of the respondents said that the PAP will still retain power, although with a loss of seats, even if every thinking person vote against the PAP. The other 15% said that the PAP will fall.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Respond to LHL's call

Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the respondents said that the voters will not heed the call by LHL to give a strong mandate to the PAP to meet the challenges posed by the global environment. 36% said that the voters will.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Unable to retrieve my past filings

I went to the IRAS website to retrieve my past income tax filings. It was not available.

I did not keep a copy as the submission was done online.

I wonder why IRAS refused to let a tax payer access his own past filings. It was most inconsiderate of them.

IRAS asked for feedback about their website. I gave them a poor score on all of the categories. They have to be more friendly to the taxpayer. They should not create unnecessary stress and trouble to the taxpayer.

A badly designed and confusing website

ACRA has a badly designed and confusing website.

They have hundreds of forms which are organized in a hierarchy. To get the right form, the user needs to know the hierarchy and to navigate through many layers of the form.

ACRA probably thinks that this is a good method of organization. They are mistaken.

Monday, November 18, 2019

WOTC - Ban on PMD

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84% of the participants in this survey preferred the govt to adopt measures to lessen the impact of PMD ban on the livelihood of the food delivery workers. 16% preferred the govt to continue the ban.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Singapore brand hotels operating overseas

Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of the participants in this survey liked Singapore brand hotels to employ Singaporeans for their hotels overseas. 42% disagreed.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. What is your opinion of Donald Trump?
2. Should the People Liberation Army be used to clean up the debris in Hong Kong?
Vote in

Quora: Will China collapse if the US completely decouples all trade from them?

Paul Clifford answered.

Last I heard, the USA currently makes up less than 11% of China’s global exports. Over time, it can make that up simply by expanding its domestic economy. And there lies the problem! China has been growing its domestic economy (establishing an affluent middle class) in leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades, and it has done so by expanding its foreign markets, which provides the revenue for China’s rapid internal growth. As is to be expected when an economy approaches maturity, that growth is slowing, but economically China is growing far more rapidly than most economies (especially the USA which is contracting).

A 11% reduction in trade would slow China’s plans for redevelopment, but it won’t crash its economy.

The USA is in dire straits! As President Jimmy Carter recently articulated: Because the USA has been spending trillions of US$ pursuing the instigation of regional conflict around the world, to make the rich richer, essential trade infrastructure in the USA is falling apart, ditto the USA education system which is biased against the talented kids among the growing poor of the USA. As President Jimmy Carter declared: China has done the opposite, and that is why China is succeeding!

Quora: What is Donald Trump trying to hide?

Judy Rofe, Controversial Aussie. answered.

The intelligence official who documented the whistleblower complaint has experienced trump's conduct before. This time, however, the official figured it was way clear of pale that the time had come to make a move.

Exceptionally rare is the whistleblower process but the informant passed a formal complaint to Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson on August 12. Atkinson, designated by trump, audited the grievance and found it met the legal threshold to consider it an "urgent concern," an even more significantly uncommon event.

By law, that can mean, in addition to other things, "a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters." The "urgent concern" is not about bad policy or legislative issues; it's potentially about a violation of the law.

trump accomplished something that was regarded so shameful, so disturbing, that an intelligence official felt he needed to act. An "urgent concern" by the intelligence community inspector general is entirely another matter.

Americans have experienced just one more mystery in an administration that has been characterised by chaos and deceptions. They don’t need another of trump's litany of anger fuelled shocks.

The fact that trump won't follow the lead of other candidates and presidents by discharging his tax returns forms, is unmistakably loud. He has something to cover up. Perhaps it’s that he's not as affluent, or isn’t as philanthropic as he boasts himself to be, or didn't pay his share of taxes. Whatever it is, it's not good news for him, which is the main motivation behind why trump needs to stay quiet about it.

The now-standard reaction: As much as he’d like to, he can’t release his tax returns because he’s under audit; and this is all a political trick to embarrass the president. Neither holds water. trump's profits are under review, so he says. There is no proof of it, other than trump's word which, as we've learned, isn't worth a lot.

The law couldn't be clearer. Section 6103(f) of the IRS Code says that the Treasury secretary, through the IRS chief, “shall furnish” not “may” furnish, but “shall” furnish any individual’s tax return to the chairs of three congressional committees “upon written request.” There is no special case considered for any chosen authority, not even the president, nor for anyone under audit.

WOTC - A better way to handle public procurement

WOTC - 81% of the respondents in this survey prefer the govt to look for a better way to handle public procurement. 19% prefer the govt to keep the present system of getting three quotations.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Review the ban on PMDs using walkways

WOTC - 84% of the respondents in this survey prefer the govt to look for another solution to ensure safety of pedestrians on the walkway, without affecting the livelihood of the food delivery people. 16% prefer the govt to proceed with the ban.

See the breakdown of the votes in

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