Saturday, January 18, 2020

To build an inclusive society

Whenever I hear PM Lee say that he wants to build an inclusive society, I wonder what he means.

He may have a different understanding of an "inclusive society" from what I have. Let me say what I understand this condition to be.

Alternative to POFMA

The govt has to pass a ridiculous law called POFMA. It is now being used to deal with alleged false statements issued by opposition parties. In some cases, these are just alternative opinions, but the minister invoked POFMA in an unfair way.

What is the alternative to a law on POFMA?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is the US implementing economic sanctions correctly?
2. Is the US promoting democracy and freedom?

Vote in

WOTC - Hostility between US and Iran

Wisdom of the Crowd: 84% of the respondents said that the hostility between US and Iran will not lead to an all out war.

WOTC - POFMA has been implemented badly

Wisdom of the Crowd: 97% of the respondents said that POFMA has been badly implemented for the first four cases.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Queuing for popular items

People can queue for many hours, sometimes days, for popular products, for example:

a) new product releases
b) admission to primary schools
c) booking of hot properties

Sometimes, the long hours of queuing could lead to disputes among the people in the queue. Sometimes, proxies are used to stand in the queue in payment for a fee by the intended buyer.

Surely, there is a better way to handle the allocation of priority?

Here is my suggestion.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why does MOM not provide data on PMET employment?
2. Should the POFMA hearing be held in open court?
Vote in

WOTC - Minister give order to AHTC

Wisdom of the Crowd: 97% of the respondents said that it is not proper for the minister for national development to give an order to Aljunied Hougang Town Council.

WOTC - POFMA order against SDP

Wisdom of the Crowd: 92% of the respondents said that the minister for manpower should withdraw the POFMA order against the SDP.

How insurers cheat their way out of bad products

Some insurance companies offer investment policies that guaranteed a high rate of return. When the investment return drops, due to economic situations, they suffer a large financial loss.

This has happened many times during the past decades. Some of the insurers found a way to "cheat" their customers and get out of the loss.

This is what they do.

My Tesla story - episode 1

I will continue my Tesla story for those who are interested to follow me. This story is not for people who are cleverer than me, and who post remarks "I told you so".

When Tesla was on the way "to the moon", I sold 100 shares at $517 and another 100 shares at $524. I still kept 100 shares.

The shares went up to $540 in the pre-market. During the subsequent two nights, it dropped at the worse point to $500 (drop of 7.4%), due to two negative forecast from Tesla bears. It closed at $513. I watched the price moved up from $500 but was not brave enough to buy (I am not HC, OK?)

Hello, a drop of $40 on 100 shares is USD 4,000, ok? Don't play play.

I now have to decide. Should I sell my 100 shares or buy another 100 shares? I will consider carefully and make my decision later.

I can show you how to be "clever". At one place, I will post "sell" and give the reasons. At another place, I will post "buy" and give another set of reasons.

After the price has moved, I will refer to the "correct" post and say "I told you so". Clever or not?

It is easy to be "clever" with the benefit of hindsight, but it is difficult when the speculator has to decide with real money. A middle step is to open a "demo account" with Plus 500 and invest with "fake money". It is still difficult.

What say you?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. PM Lee said that govt online transactions are convenient.
2. What is the best way to make small payments?

Vote in

WOTC - Ensure locals are employed

Wisdom of the Crowd: Only 11% of the respondents agreed with the govt's approach to strengthen the Fair Consideration Framework to ensure that locals are employed. the other 89% prefer other approaches.

WOTC - Cash and credit card payment

Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of the respondents prefer cash and credit card payment because it is convenient and free. They are not aware about the hidden cost that is reflected in the prices that they pay.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Use of e-payment cards

Many banks in Indonesia issue e-payment cards. They call it e-money.

The e-money cards are anonymous. They are topped up by transferring cash into the e-money cards at convenience stores, supermarkets and at banks.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. MOM will strengthen the Fair Employment Framework
2. The education minister will review the need to hold back PSLE/GCE certificates
Vote in

Wisdom of the crowd

Vote on these issues and win a prize

WOTC - Cope with loss of jobs

Wisdom of the Crowd: The respondents prefer the following measures to help people to cope with the loss of jobs during a recession - allow CPF savings to be withdrawn (38%), govt to create public sector jobs (35%), give unemployment benefit (15%), give govt loans at modest interest rate (9%)

WOTC - general election in Singapore

Wisdom of the Crowd: 73% of the respondents expect the general election to be held in March/April 2020. The others expect it to be held later.

E-payment in Jakarta

My friend in Jakarta have 3 children, aged 9 to 16 years.

Their mother gave them a mobile phone each, and top up their e-wallet every day. The children use the mobile phone to make payment using QR code.

I was surprised. It seems that many people in Jakarta use e-payment. It seemed to be more common than in Singapore.

I hear so many excuses in Singapore. In spite of the encouragement by PM Lee to move to e-payment over 2 years ago, nothing much has happened.

Is this what is happening in Singapore? Are we slower than Jakarta? It is very sad.

Help people to cope with a recession

I read an article that China is taking steps to make sure that their people have jobs during the global slowdown.

My friend in Jakarta told me that Indonesia is also implementing similar measures. They create jobs to keep people employed.

What about Singapore? We have a govt that does nothing but just talk, and they talk theory and nonsense.

OK - what do I expect them to do? They can try some of my ideas here.

Monday, January 13, 2020


Click on this link to read the popular feedback posted by TKL and writers to the newspapers on issues affected life in Singapore.

PDPA is a badly written law

The Privacy and Data Protection Act is a badly written law. It has caused a lot of unnecessary trouble and cost in administration. It does not achieve its primary goal of stopping the real intrusion of privacy.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Which option do you prefer for our national defense.
2. How should our education policy be changed?

Vote in

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How would you describe President Trump's approach in the recent Iranian conflict
2. How would you describe minister Chan Chun Sing?
Vote in

WOTC - President Trump threaten to attack 52 Iranian sites

Wisdom of the Crowd: 52% of the respondents said that President Trump wanted to give a warning to Iran not to attack US assets and citizens. The other respondents have other views.

WOTC - Killing the military head of Iran

Wisdom of the Crowd: 70% of the respondents said that it is not proper and not wise for America to kill the military head of Iran.

Low fee for old folks home in Malaysia

Mr X came from Malaysia and worked in Singapore for many years. He might have converted to citizenship now.

He used to work in a MNC but lost his job as the MNC left Singapore.

He could not get another job, so he became a cook at a stall.

He has a mother, in the mid 70s, living in Butterworth, Penang. As the mother was living alone, he sent her to live in an old folks home.

What is the fee? He said RM 800 a month. It is a privately run home, and not a charity.

A similar old folks home in Singapore would cost $3,000 or RM 9,000. That is 10 times of what he paid in Butterworth.

If any minister ask me - what is the point of this post?

Well, I tell the stupid minister. This is to show that it is better to keep the cost of living low, so that people can afford the cost, rather than to jack up the cost to sky high levels and create all kinds of convoluted subsidy and funding schemes.

PM Lee - I hope you are reading.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Protect consumers against rejected claims caused by alleged non disclosures

I have seen many cases of consumers being denied legitimate claims due to alleged non disclosures. I ask the regulator to study this matter and get insurers to adopt a code of practice that is fair to consumers.

Why are electricity prices increased when the prices of gas has fallen?

a reader asked this question in the Straits Times Forum. The director of the Energy Market Authority gave this reply. Is he giving the correct picture?

WOTC - Ban on use of PMD on footpath

Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of the respondents said that the food delivery riders will observe the ban on the use of PMDs on footpaths.

WOTC - Description that best fits Heng SK

Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the respondents describe Heng SK as not suitable to be PM. 17% describe him as competent and a pleasant personality.

Living in fairyland

The big tech stocks in America have an average PE ratio of 50 and a dividend yield of 1%.

This means that the current price is 2 times of a fair value for a growth stock, say PE ratio of 25 and dividend yield of 2%.

This high valuation is due to the historical low interest rate, which is negative in some countries. Investors are paying 2 times of the price to get the same dividend.

Half of the wealth in the world is ephemeral.

This will not continue for long. Look for the global stock markets to drop by 50% when the economic conditions become more "sensible".

But this may take many years to happen. In the meantime, we live in fairyland.

Blog Archive