Friday, April 30, 2021

Cabinet ministers must work as a team

 It is important for the cabinet ministers to work as a team. They should discuss the challenges facing the country and use the resources of their ministries and civil servants to deal with these challenges. 

It will be very bad if the ministers work in silos and each minister looks after his own KPIs (key performance indicators) to achieve a good score and earn a better bonus given by the prime minister. 

This silo approach will be bad for teamwork and bad for the country. It will produce wasteful and inefficient outcomes. 

There was a recent challenge arising from the decision of Heng Swee Kiat to step down as finance minister and prime minister designate. 

How does the prime minister address this challenge? If he works with his ministers as a team, he will get all of together in a cabinet meeting and ask the questions:

a) What are our key challenges arising from this event?
b) What is the strategy to address these challenges?
c) Who are the people best suited to manage these strategies?

This does not seem to be the way that the challenge was addressed. 

Instead, we now learn, from the interview given by minister Ong Ye Kung, that he received a telephone call from the prime minister and was told that he has to move to be the health minister. They spent 45 minutes to discuss what was expected to be achieved in that ministry. In other words, the minister was told by the prime minister about his KPIs.

This is a bad way to manage a team and a bad way to manage the tremendous challenges facing the country.

This is the way that I read the situation. I may be wrong and may have interpreted it wrongly.

Anyway, I am concerned for the future of Singapore and for our future generations.

Food security for Singapore

With trade tensions around the world, there is a risk that the disruption of the supply chain can affect the supply of food.
Singapore depends on imports for most of our food requirements. We are especially vulnerable to a disruption in the supply chain for food.
We need to produce our own food for our food security.
While rice, wheat and other staple food may be a challenge, we can produce our own eggs, poultry, vegetables and plants. With modern farming technology, we can increase the productivity of the farms to make it viable.
We only need to provide land at agricultural prices (and not commercial and industrial prices). By using technology to achieve high productivity, we can increase the productivity and get a high throughput for our limited land.
We can invite businesses with the experience in high tech farming to set up operations in Singapore by providing suitable land at agricultural prices and a guaranteed market for our local needs. With time, the local workers can learn the technology of high tech farming to ensure that we can rely on our local expertise.
I hope that our government leaders can pay attention to this challenge of food security and adopt the strategy that I have proposed (or any other better strategy that they can work out).

Singapore has to faced three key challenges in 2021 and beyond

The first and most immediate challenge is to deal with the covid pandemic. The severity of the second wave in India is worrisome. Some other countries have also been seen large increase in infection and deaths.

Will Singapore be caught in a crisis of the same scale as India. Will we see a large increase in infection that will get out of control, overwhelm our health system and bring large number of deaths?

This is not the only challenge.

We still have the challenge of taking care of large numbers of people who have lost their jobs during the lockdown and border closures. They were given financial assistance in 2020, but this assistance will be scaled down significantly or entirely in 2021.

Looking ahead, we also need to worry about our food security. With trade tensions, disruption to the supply chains, and the crisis faced in many countries, there is a big risk that this will apply to the food supply. As Singapore is almost totally dependent on the import of food, we will be severely stressed if the supply of food is disrupted.

Our government leaders have to be aware and addressed all the three key challenges.

It they focus only on the first challenge, namely to deal with the covid pandemic, they may neglect the other two challenges. Worse, the severe actions taken to deal with the first challenge may create a bigger problem with the recovery of the economy and providing jobs for our people in the new economic environment of the future.

This will be a real test of the quality of our leaders.

WOTC: Who should vote?

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 55% of the respondents said that only local born citizens and new citizens who have been in the country for at least five years should be allowed to vote.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

WOTC - Constitution of a country

 Wisdom of the crowd: The top choices of the principle to be embedded in the constitution of a country are - justice and fairness (38%) and livelihood and welfare of the people (33%).

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Second wave of covid pandemic in India

 China has a population of 1.4 billion. India has a population only slightly smaller.

Covid attacked China in December 2019. It was a new virus. Very little was known about it.

The virus caused severe havoc in China. 4,630 people has since died.

During the first wave of the pandemic, India was not affected severely. The death rate was quite low.

It is unexpected to see the severe impact of the second wave of the pandemic in India. It has already caused 201,000 deaths. This is 50 times of the deaths in China.

Some people say that the actual deaths from covid is under-reported. The actual death is many times higher.

The scale is unimaginable.

Polarized political system in the US

The political system in the US is in deep crisis.

The two parties, Democrats and Republicans, are deeply divided. They disagree on many political issues based on ideology, rather than on common sense or logic.

They do not address the real issues facing the ordinary people and do not seek to find the soltuions that are for the good of the people.

WOTC - Grab platform

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of the respondents have a negative opinion about Grab services.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Did ASEAN play a useful role towards resolving the political problem in Myanmar?
2. Is it appropriate for ASEAN to invite General Min to the meeting in Jakarta?
3. Will India accept China's help to fight the covid pandemic?

Vote in

WOTC - Remove two term limit for President XJP

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 69% of the respondents give a positive reason for the CCP leadership to remove the term limit for the President XJP.

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