Saturday, November 30, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Does the Chinese communist party produce a good government?
2. PM Lee wants to introduce a good package to deal with the economy.
3. What is the best outcome for the future of Hong Kong?
4. Is there corruption at the highest echelon of our government?
5. Is it proper for a person to allege that there is corruption at the highest level?

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A disappointing behavior

I publicized a talk on "How I lost 10 kg in 4 months". 14 people expressed an interest to attend the talk. It is free to attendees.

I set the date and sent an email to them. Only 3 people confirmed their attendance.

I publicized the talk in Facebook. Two people asked if I provide a buffet to encourage their attendance. I find their suggestion to be deplorable.

I know that the People's Association give attractive incentives, into food, to attract people to attend their free talks. They have a budget of $1 billion of taxpayer's money to spend. I do not have.

I took the trouble to come to the office today (which is a Saturday) to give the talk, even though only three people confirmed their attendance. Two of them sent in their apologies, giving some reason why they cannot attend.

I give my talk to one person only.

I have seen this kind of inconsiderate behavior on many past occasions. It is quite representative of the Singapore character.

Look at the interest of all parties, and not personal interest only

Someone accused me of supporting the use of PMD because I and my family member do not use the footpaths.

Why should this person make an unfounded accusation or be personal in giving his views?

I use the footpaths every day. So does two of my grandchildren who walk to school.

Anyway, I do not give my views based on personal interests. I am able to see the perspective of other people, and not only my own, in coming to my decision.

I have seen many PMD riders use their gadgets responsibly. Why should they be penalized?

I am sure that some riders are irresponsible. I prefer that they be dealt with severely, and maybe sent to jail. I also like to see them banned.

Someone asked - how can these irresponsible riders be stopped? The answer is - more enforcement officers. We need these officers to implement the ban, right? We can use the same officers to monitor the speeding. It is not difficult.

Why not create jobs for locals to be enforcement officers?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Does the Chinese communist party produce a good government?
2. PM Lee wants to introduce a good package to deal with the economy.

Vote in

WOTC - Is American democracy a good model for the world?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the participants said that the American system of democracy is a good model for the world. 46% said that it is flawed.
See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Will America and China sign a trade agreement in 2019?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the participants do not expect America and China to sign a trade agreement in 2019. 46% expect an agreement to be signed.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Friday, November 29, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How will China respond to the success of the democrats in HK local election?
2. Is the Singapore economy in trouble?

Vote in

Why M1 data passport does not work for me

I have been quite unhappy with Starhub data travel package. I do not mind paying their package rate of $5 (1GB) or $15 (2 GB) but I do not like to pay them a "robbery rate" of $19 for 1 MB of data, when the package is consumed.

Starhub said that after paying $19, I can continue to use data for the rest of the day without extra charge. I question this statement. I think their service stopped. I recalled getting a SMS message from Starhub that I would be charged extra if I continue to use the data. At this "robbery rate", I did not want to try.

I have considered moving to M1. They have a data passport plan where I pay $10 a month per country and the data that I used overseas is deducted from my local data.

I usually do not spend more than 3 days in a country, so the $10 a month is not suitable for me. I also do not like to turn the passport on and off each time that I travel.

The best solution for me is AirSIM. Their SIM card can work in any country. I buy a data package for the period that I am in the country. I pay a rate of $2 a day for most countries and have unlimited data. Actually, I have fast speed up to 500 MB a day and the speed is restricted to 256 kps after that. I find this acceptable.

Why I use AirSIM for data outside Singapore

My mobile operator, Starhub, used to charge a high rate for roaming data. In my regular travel to Jakarta and Johore, I bought a local SIM card in each country and buy a data package separately when I am in that country.

It was somewhat troublesome to buy the package, as I had to buy it when I am in the country. Their process was also quite troublesome. Still, I tolerated the trouble, as the cost is much lower than roaming data from Starhub.

What is the solution?

Singapore is a deeply divided society.

Six decades ago, we were divided by race and religion. Efforts were made in the early days to promote racial harmony. It was largely successful.

Later, we became a deeply divided society, due mainly by government actions. It has caused disastrous results.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Favorable experience with AirSIM

I have used AirSIM for Taipei, Indonesia and Malaysia. It worked well.

AirSIM provide a separate SIM card. It can be used as the local SIM card for many countries. I can buy a local data plan at a price that is only slightly higher than the local data plan rate.

Here is an example. If I go into country X, I can buy a local SIM card for that country and purchase a local data plan. I have to pay for the SIM card at the airport and also register as the owner of that card. I need to queue up at the booth to make the purchase.

With AirSIM, I avoid the need to buy a local SIM card. I can use the SIM card that is provided by AirSIM and buy a data plan for that country.

Better still, I can buy the data plan in advance and set the effective date.

Early this week, I bought the data plan for Malaysia for Thurs and for Indonesia for Sun and Mon. I bought them in advance and set the starting date.

I travelled to Johore today and the data plan came on when I arrived in Johore. I had tried it for an earlier trip to Taipei and Jakarta, and it worked as expected.

The AirSIM app is easy to use. It is much better designed that the Starhub app. I had a lot of trouble with the Starhub app which was quite confusing to me. I did not have any trouble with the AirSIM app.

The AirSIM service is much better than Starhub from another angle. It gives unlimited data usage and does not charge extra when the data package is fully used. However, if I used more than 500 MB for a day, it automatically reduces the speed, but do not levy an exorbitant charge for the excess data.

In the case of Starhub, I had to pay for the excess data at a "robbery rate", which could be a few thousand times of the normal data rate. I could not find out what this "robbery rate" is.

For my travel outside of Singapore, I will be using AirSIM from now.

If you are interested to use AirSIM, you can register an account at They will send you a SIM card and give instruction on how to use it.

It is worth the trouble of activating the AirSIM account. AirSIM is a Hong Kong company.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should PMDs be allowed on foot paths?
2. Should compulsory education be entirely free?

Vote in

WOTC - Ban on PMD using foot paths

Wisdom of the Crowd: 68% of the participants in this survey said that the ban on the use of PMDs in the footpaths will cause a loss of votes to the PAP. The other 32% said that the PAP will not lose votes.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Ruling of Hong Kong judges on ban on face masks

Wisdom of the Crowd: 65% of the participants in this survey disagreed with the ruling on the Hong Kong judges that the ban on the use of face mask was unconstitutional. 35% agreed with the judges.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Death from a lick of a dog

A post went viral in social media about a German who died from bacteria passed to him by the lick of his dog. People were discussing about the precaution that they should take with their dogs.

Hello, let me share some statistical "facts". The chance of dying from a lick from your pet dog is probably less than 1 in 100 million. Yes, one person did die from it. But every day 3 million people died from other causes, other than from the lick of their dog.

Some people will say - one death is one too many. Can they apply their wisdom to the 3 million people that die every day?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should SAF officers fly business class for military exercises?
2. Should PM Lee avoid making remarks on the Hong Kong situation?
3. Should the school hold back the PSLE result slip when parents owe money to the school?

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Holding back PSLE result slip due to non payment of school fees

I shared a post by Gilbert Goh about a poor student who was not able to get the original PSLE result slip because her parents owed some money to the school.

I described this practice as "very bad". Here is my post.

The Ministry of Education gave their reply, as reported here.

Here are my views about the reply from MOE

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should SAF officers fly business class for military exercises?
2. Should PM Lee avoid making remarks on the Hong Kong situation?Vote in

WOTC - Should the govt adopt a "Singaporean first" policy?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of the participants in this survey prefered the govt to adopt a "Singaporean first" policy and ensure that Singaporeans have jobs that pay an adequate salary to meet the cost of living. 9% said that this goal is not possible due to the global economic environment.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - How should the HK govt deal with the student unrest?

Wisdom of the Crowd: 42% of the participants preferred the Hong Kong govt to take more drastic action to deal with the student unrest, 39% prefer them to continue with the current approach and 19% to acceded to the demands of the students.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Change CPF to make it flexible

When the Central Provident Fund was created in the 1950s, the aim was to accumulate savings for retirement.

CPF has changed over the years. It is now used for a variety of purposes, such as home purchase, medical expenses and insurance.

The govt still insists that CPF should be primary for retirement and has introduced schemes to defer the payout of a certain portion of the CPF savings to be drawn out throughout a lifetime.

The delay in withdrawal of CPF has caused a lot of problems to certain groups of people. They need to take out their savings earlier, on reaching age 55, for certain emergencies, or to enjoy their lifetime savings on travel while they are still able to.

Should the CPF scheme to be made flexible? I believe that they are sound reasons to make this change.

How to increase the birth rate

Nikkei Asian Review.

Japan's births headed for biggest crash in 30 years
TOKYO -- Japanese births are on pace for the steepest drop in three decades despite earlier hopes that couples would ring in the new Imperial era with an addition to the family.
The number of Japanese babies born in the country is expected to reach 870,000 to 880,000 this year -- about 200,000 less than a decade ago and the lowest on record since 1899.

Find my solution here:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Govt use POFMA to get Brad Bowyer to make a correction to his post

I find it worrisome that the government has used the POFMA law to ask for correction in the post made by Brad Bowyer.…/brad-bowyer-facebook-post…?

The alleged falsehoods are:

1. The Government’s involvement in investment decisions by Temasek and GIC

What Mr Bowyer wrote: Mr Bowyer's Nov 13 post, said the Factually article, implies that the Government controls Temasek’s and GIC’s commercial decisions.

TKL comment - hey, this is just an opinion based on a reasonable interpretation. Surely, there must be some degree of influence or guidance? I would be surprised if there is none from the sole shareholder.

2. Amaravati project

What Mr Bowyer wrote: "We also saw the recent canning of the Amaravati city project part of the S$4 billion already dumped into Andhra Pradesh by GLCs and related parties so India has not been so good an investment choice after all."

TKL comment - the govt objected to the "implication" that the Amaravati project represent a large part of the $4 billion invested. Surely, this is just an opinion that is based on an interpretation of the available facts?

3. Salt Bae

What Mr Bowyer wrote: Mr Bowyer asserted that Temasek invested in the debt-ridden parent company which owns Salt Bae, said the Factually article.

TKL comment - The govt said that the parent company is not in financial distress, but their subsidiary is. A reasonable person would form the opinion that if a subsidiary is in trouble, the parent would probably be in difficulty also, as they will need to provide financial support to the subsidary?

Overall comment
I agree that it is proper for the govt to publish their "facts" in the Factually article, so that the public can form their own opinion based on the additional information.

But it is unfair to state that Brad Bowyer had engaged in deliberate falsehood, when he is just giving an opinion based on the information that is available to him?

Mobile gadgets should give a humming sound

Last night, I was walking on the footpath. A electric operated wheelchair passed me without any warning. It was moving at a slow speed and the user was careful to avoid me. Still, it would be better if it gave a humming sound to warn the pedestrian.

This morning, a bicycle passed me on the footpath from behind. Again, I was not aware about it. The cyclist was riding slowly, so there was no danger. Still, it would be better if there was a humming sound to warn the pedestrian.

I am in favor of sharing the footpath with other users, but I like them to ride slowly (less than 10 kph) and their device to give a humming sound to warn the pedestrians.

I do not mind PMDs sharing the footpaths, if they move at less than 10 kph and give a humming sound, also.


Difficult to get a refund from GOMO

Mr X signed up for the GOMO service, which runs on the SingTel platform. He learned that it does not have auto-roaming. He cancelled the service and wanted a refund of the $20. GOMO process for cancellation was difficult. Mr. X was angry about it.

I asked Mr. X - why do you want auto-roaming? Surely, it is dangerous? I have been charged an exorbitant rate for roaming data which was activated by mistake or after the data package had expired.

I am waiting for his reply.

Yes - I agree with Mr. X that our business provider should behave fairly to their customers and not give unfair hurdles.

WOTC - PLA deployed to clean up the debris in Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 94% of the participants in this survey are in favor of the use of the People Liberation Army in cleaning up the debris left by the protesters in Hong Kong. The other 6% are worried that it might lead to violent suppression.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How do you read the landslide victory for the democrats in Hong Kong?
2. Should the footpaths be shared with PMD riders?

Vote in

Monday, November 25, 2019

How to solve the unemployment problem

Many countries have high unemployment. This problem is worse for youths. Many countries face the challenge of a high level of youth unemployment.

A higher level of education does not solve the problem. Indeed, many graduates are not able to get jobs.

What is the solution to provide adequate jobs for all citizens, including the first time job seekers who have completed their education?

Be prepared for a surprise. The solution is - central planning.

Do not penalize the majority who are responsible PMD riders

I walk on the footpath daily to get to the office by bus. I also walk on the footpath from the grassroots club to my home.

I have met food delivery people once in a while. All the time, they were riding at a safe speed and quite responsibly.

I believe that some riders were speeding and irresponsible, but they represent the minority. These riders can be dealt with. They can be penalized and banned.

But do not impose the ban that affects everybody. Apart from the food delivery riders, there are people who use PMDs to get to the bus stops, train station and place of work.

75,000 of them bought the LU2272 complaint PMDs. Many of them paid for these devices by installments. It is not fair to tell them now that they cannot use the PMDs.

Interest rate on HDB flats

HDB charges an interest rate of 2.6% on mortgages. The banks charge a lower interest rate.

Why is this the case? Is it better to take a loan from the bank or from the HDB?

PMD riders need to deliver food to make a living

I saw a small thin girl riding a PMD on a pavement in Kallang Road. She was wearing a light raincoat as it was drizzling. She entered into a food court.

Later, I saw her at the traffic junction waiting to cross the road. I asked her if she was doing food delivery.

She replied with a little fear - "Why you ask? Is there anything wrong?"

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will democracy provide a good government for a country.
2. Is central planning good for a country?
Vote in

WOTC - Opinion of President Trump

Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of the participants in this survey have a negative opinion of President Trump. 29% have a positive opinion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Future for Hong Kong

Wisdom of the Crowd: 63% of the participants in this survey said that the future for Hong Kong is bleak. The other 37% is optimistic.

See the breakdown of the votes in

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. When is the general election likely to be held?
2. Should the govt review the ban on PMD using the footpaths?
3. Which system of election do you prefer?
4. What is your opinion of President Trump
5. What is your opinion of President Xi Jinping?

Vote in

Hong Lim Park, 23 November 2019, Speech by Tan KL on PMD Ban

I am not a PMD rider. But today, I like to stand united with PMD
riders and speak against the ban on the use of PMD on our
footpaths. OK or not?

The ban was hasty. It was not the right decision. It was a bad
decision. Agree or not?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. When is the general election likely to be held?
2. Should the govt review the ban on PMD using the footpaths?

Vote in

WOTC - Motion in Parliament on financial affairs of AHTC

Wisdom of the Crowd: 94% of the participants in this survey said that the MPs of AHTC should ignore the motion in Parliament to recuse themselves from the financial affairs of the town council. 6% said that they should obey the motion.

See the breakdown of the votes in

WOTC - Future of Singapore

Wisdom of the Crowd: 80% of the participants are pessimistic about the future of Singapore. 11% are optimistic.

See the breakdown of the votes in

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