Monday, May 29, 2023

How a scammer steals from a bank account

Many people are quite illogical. They are fearful of scams but they do not pay attention to how the scams are carried out. They spread fear and advised people wrongly, due to their ignorance.

The scammer cannot steal your money from the following:

a) knowing your email address
b) when you ordered food with a QR code

To access your bank account and steal your money, the scammer needs to know your account login credentials (i.e. your sign in code and password). Most people have set up a 2FA, so the scammer need to have your physical phone (to generate a 2FA token) or to receive a one time PIN sent by your bank.

This is how a few recent scams worked.

The scammer sent an email to the customer purporting to come from the bank. This email contain a link to a fake website that looked like the bank's website.

The customer (who does not suspect the scam) clicked on the link to enter the login credentials (code and password). The scammer uses the credentials to access the real website of the bank. The bank sends a PIN to the customer.

The customer enters the PIN into the fake website. The scammer now has the PIN which they can access the real website.

I have set up a 2FA using the bank's digital token. My bank does not send a PIN. The scammer needs to have my physical phone to access the digital token. But, my phone is protected by my fingerprint (which the scammer does not have).

The chance of a scammer accessing my bank account is extremely low. It may happen, but most likely it will not.

I encourage people to take the trouble to learn how how a scammer carries out the scam, rather than have a blind fear and spread fear through ignorance.

Tan Kin Lian

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How should the public receive their business mail from organizations?
2. Singapore allows land for religious organizations to be given by ballot
3. How should the COE quota be handled?

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How to deal with scam emails and phone calls

The incidences of scam emails and phone calls are rampant in Singapore. We need to understand the root cause and take the appropriate measures to deal with it.

For the past two decades, the Singapore authorities (and in particular the Ministry of Finance and the Monetary Authority of Singapore) have mandated government agencies and financial institutions to avoid sending  business communication  (i.e. statements, invoices, notices) by email, on the ground that emails may be hacked. 

These institutions stored their business communications in their websites and send email notifications to remind the public to login to the websites to retrieve these communications.

This practice has created an unintended consequence. The scammers realized that they could send false notifications to the public and direct them to their scam websites. The public did not realize that they were logging into the scam websites and the scammers were able to capture their login credentials. The scammers used the credentials to login to the real websites. 

It can be harmful if the credentials are to access bank accounts and allow money to be transferred.

To eradicate these scams, we have to deal with the root of the problem. The organizations should not store their business communications in their own websites. Instead, they should send these communications directly to the email accounts of the recipients or into a secure website (which I will name as the Business Mail website). 

Each person has an account in the Business Mail website, and the business communications from all participating organizations will be sent to this account.

The public is likely to login into one account regularly, maybe daily, as it contains the communications from all the relevant organizations. It is like opening the paper mail that is sent to his home address. 

When the Business Mail platform is created, there is no need for the individual organizations to send email notifications to the public. The public will not be scammed into accessing the scam websites. 

Tan Kin Lian 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

WOTC - Rental of Ridout Road bungalows

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 100 % of respondents said that there is no reason to keep the rental of the Ridout Road bungalows to the ministers private, as the rental of government properties are generally published in other situations.

CDC Vouchers

 I suggest a new approach to handle CDC vouchers in future.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues


1. China harass Filipino fisherman fishing near the Spratly Islands
2. Should trash bins be removed from public places?
3. Should seniors be given priority in queues?
4. Why is Causeway Link the only provider of bus services at Tuas checkpoint?

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WOTC - COI on Ridout bungalows

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 100% of respondents said that the President should call a COI on the rental of the Ridout bungalows to two ministers.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Ministers rent black and white bungalows from the government

 Many people are indignant that two ministers used, or rather abused, their ministerial positions to rent two black and white bungalows from the government.

They criticized the ministers in social media.
I hold a different opinion. I think that it is all right for the ministers to rent a bungalow at the market rental (based on the guide rental) and even to have preference in its allocation (i.e. no need for competitive bidding).
It is better for our ministers to be living in suitable accommodation that befit their status and office. These bungalows would be quite suitable.
The rental that they have to pay is based on the market rental. and is not subsidized. It may not have the mark up that comes with competitive bidding, but I think that competitive bidding is not necessary and not appropriate.
Like many Singaporeans, I find that the salaries paid to ministers are excessive, but that is a separate issue.
Here, we are talking about offering suitable accommodation to ministers at a market rental, and giving them the preference to pick a bungalow of their choice.
I know that many people will not agree with my view, but I still want to express what I think is right and proper. It is just an insignificant view.

WOTC - Health sector

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 92 % of respondents said that it is necessary to increase the resources due to a larger and aging population.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

WOTC - Treatment in public hospitals

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 100% of respondents said that the treatment time in public hospitals should be reduced as the patients should not be required to spend time waiting to be treated.

WOTC - Bus services

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of respondents said that the bus services should be optimized to reduce cost and fares.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the president call a COI to study rental of the Ridout bungalows?
2. Should the SLA inform the public about the rental of the Ridout bungalows?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should LTA cut down waste in bus services?
2. Is the acceptable to spend three hours to be treated in a public hospital?
3. Should more resources be put into the health sector?

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Monday, May 08, 2023

Top holdings of Berkshire Hathaway

 Here are my views on the top 5 stocks in the portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway (managed by Warren Buffet).

Inflation will remain high

 Many US banks, including the large ones, are in financial trouble. They have lent a few trillion dollars in 30 year mortgages at fixed interest rates of 3% or less. Based on the current high interest rates, the value of their mortgages could have fallen by 30% or more. The loss is staggering.

The banks are able to mark these mortgages as "held to maturity". They can spread out their losses over the next 30 years, but it will still be a painful loss.

If there is a large withdrawal of deposits, they have to sell off their mortgages at steep loss to pay the depositors. They have to recognize the losses immediately.

Not all banks are caught in this financial crisis. Some may be less exposed than others. However, if some of the more exposed banks fail, they will affect the other banks due to "contagion". The whole banking system could be in crisis.

To avoid the fall of the banking system, the US Fed will have to lower their interest rate and allow inflation to remain high. The high inflation will mean that the ordinary people will pay for the losses through higher cost of living.

This is not fair to the ordinary people, but it is likely to be the outcome. I cannot see anyway that it can be avoided as the alternative is a collapse of the banking system, which will be disastrous.

The banks in Singapore are less exposed to this financial crisis, compared to the US banks. The Singapore banks do not offer long term mortgages at fixed interest rate. Some may fix the interest rate for up to 3 years, but the interest rate will be adjustable, i.e. floating, after this initial period.

The floating rate mortgages protect the banks from the fall in the property values (due to high interest rate). However, it does not protect the owners, who have to bear the loss. The owners who cannot afford the higher interest rate have to give up their property at large losses. It will impact the economy and the property market badly as well.

If the US Fed lower the interest rate to protect the banking system, it is likely that other countries will follow. The global economy will have a long period of high inflation, but it is probably better than a collapse of the banking and financial system.

Disclaimer - this is a personal view. I may be wrong.

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - Electricity tariff

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 75% of respondents said that Singapore should follow Thailand's example and reduce electricity tariff due to the hot climate.

Sunday, May 07, 2023

WOTC - Death sentence on drug trafficking

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of respondents said that we should be flexible in dealing with the actual circumstances, especially when poor people are ticked to become traffickers.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Ride hailing operators

 Here are the financial results of 5 operators of ride hailing services.

EV and battery manufacturers in China

 Here are the financial figures for the electric vehicle and battery manufacturers in China.

Review of Tesla stock

 I have US $1,070,000 invested in 5,300 shares of Tesla. It is now showing a loss of 17%.

I expect the stock price to recover by the end of 2Q and to show a profit by the end of 2023.

WOTC - Increase in ABSD

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the respondents support the huge increase in ABSD to cool down the property market.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. DPM's speech at May Day Rally, 2023
2. Will US banks collapse?
3. Will US interest rate remain high?
4. Will the property market in Singapore remain strong?

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WOTC - Peace in Ukraine

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 75% of respondents said that it would be difficult for China to help find peace in Ukraine.

Thursday, May 04, 2023

WOTC - New citizens

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 62% of respondents said that new citizens should serve National Service like local citizens.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

WOTC - Proficiency in English

Wisdom of the Crowd: 77% of respondents said that new citizens should be proficient in English to be able to integrate with the local population.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

WOTC - Seats in bus

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of respondents said that it is bad to have seats facing each other in a bus.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Twitter copies Tik Tok

 Twitter changed their screen recently. The "Home" screen now shows two tabs "For You" and "Following".

I think Twitter copied the successful screen of Tik Tok.
Instead of China copying America, now America copies China.
Tan Kin Lian

Living in Forest City

 I share my experience of living in Forest City

WOTC - 3,500 wealthy millionaires

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of the respondents had a negative view towards the news report that 3,500 wealthy millionaires are expected to become citizens of Singapore in 2023. They said that it would increase the cost of living.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

WOTC - Role of opposition in a democracy

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 79% of the respondents, in response to Lawrence Wong's remark that the government welcomes the role of the opposition in a democracy, said that Lawrence Wong talks only, but behaves differently.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Vote on these issues

 Vote on these issues in the Wisdom of the Crowd

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will China be able to help find peace in Ukraine?
2. Increase in ABSD for purchase of private property
3. Mandatory life sentence for drug traffickers
4. Thailand reduced electricity rates due to the hot climate

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WOTC - Change of prime minister

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the respondents said that things will get worse when there is a change of prime minister in Singapore.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

WOTC - Issues in Singapore

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 93% of respondents said that there are many issues in Singapore that remained hanging for a long time, and things are getting worse.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Simba made it difficult to cancel a line

 1. I made a post in Facebook that Simba had a bad practice in making it difficult for a customer to cancel a mobile line. They do not provide the "Cancel Line" function in their app or in their website, and also did not allow me to stop the monthly payment from my Simba wallet.

2. I had to make a Google search and found a 2 page physical form that I had to complete and submit it by email or visit to their office. As I do not have a scanner, it was difficult for me to submit the form (which I had to print out on paper and complete it).

3. I posted my experience, and state that it is a bad business practice for Simba to give this kind of trouble to a customer who needs to cancel a line.

4. I received several comments from other customers who agreed that the business practice was bad, and they encountered the same problem.

5. I received the following comments that disagreed with my post:

a) One said that they found the Simba line to be good
b) Another said that the price of the Simba line is attractive.
c) Another said that it was not difficult to complete the process to cancel the line and showed how it could be done.
d) Another said that Simba allowed a customer to cancel the line by sending an email to state the phone number and he had done it.
e) Another said that Mr. Tan frequently complained. (This person was banned for making this rude statement and personal smear).

6. I found the comments under para 5 to be irrelevant to my post. While they may like the Simba line, they should also be aware that some customers, like me, do not need the line and wish to cancel it. It is a bad practice, and is unacceptable, for Simba to make it troublesome for the customer to go through the painful process. Simba could have provided a function in their app or website for the customer to make this request.

7. In a reply from Simba, they said that the balance in my Simba wallet will not be refunded. I consider it it to be confiscation of my money and will take Simba to court on this matter (even if they have stated this in their terms and conditions).

8. I have found the price of the Simba line to be quite attractive ($5 for a senior plan) and the service to be acceptable. That is beside the point. It is not acceptable for Simba to make it difficult for a customer to cancel a line. 

9. Some people commented that other mobile operators also made it difficult for their customers to cancel a line. That is also irrelevant. This bad business practice should be stopped. 

10. I intend to make a complaint with the relevant authority (which I presume is IMDA). They cannot allowed their licensed operators to impose unacceptable business practices. 

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - Pricing of new HDB flats

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 56% of the respondents said that land prices should be removed from the pricing of new HDB flats to make them affordable.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should new citizens be proficient in English?
2. Should new citizens be required to serve National Service?

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WOTC - Change COE

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of respondents said that the COE should be changed to have stable prices set by the government. 38% said that it should be totally removed.

WOTC: Donald Trump in 2024

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 42% of the respondents expect Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination for 2024.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. DPM Wong - the govt welcomes the role of the opposition in a democracy
2. 3,500 wealthy millionaires are expected to be Singapore citizens in 2023
3. Buses with seats facing each other

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Friday, April 21, 2023

WOTC - Charges against Donald Trump

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of the respondents said that Donald Trump will be found guilty of the charge that is levied against him by the New York prosecutors.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

WOTC - Peace in Ukraine

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of the respondents said that China will be able to help achieve peace in Ukraine. The other 50% said that China will be unable to achieve this goal.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

WOTC - Macron's visit to China

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of respondents said that the visit of Macron to China was a success as it strengthened relations between China, France and the European Union.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Can a Malaysian buy property in Singapore?


Malaysians are allowed to buy certain types of property in Singapore, subject to certain conditions and regulations.
Under the Residential Property Act, foreigners are generally not allowed to purchase landed properties in Singapore, with the exception of those who are permanent residents or citizens. However, foreigners including Malaysians are allowed to buy certain types of non-landed properties, such as apartments and condominiums, subject to certain restrictions.
Foreigners who are not permanent residents or citizens of Singapore may be subject to certain additional requirements, such as obtaining approval from the relevant authorities for the purchase of a property that is subject to restrictions under the Residential Property Act. It is always recommended that foreign buyers consult with a qualified lawyer or property agent in Singapore to ensure they understand and comply with all applicable regulations and requirements.
Tan Kin Lian

Friendly and helpful Malaysians

 On my 3 hour journey from Gelang Patah to my home, I had to take the bus on 3 legs. For the first 2 legs (from Gelang Patah to 2nd link CIQ and then to Tuas CIQ), I had to ask other passengers or the counter staff for information on the bus to take, the place to wait for the bus and the waiting time.

I found the Malaysians to be polite and helpful. They were sincerely helpful. For the Chinese, I spoke in Mandarin and for the Indians and Malays, I spoke in English and sometimes in Malay. I appreciated their help.
On boarding the bus, I had to pay RM 4.50. I had RM 10 and the driver could not give change. The passenger behind me immediately gave me his RM 5 and asked me to pay the RM 10 for both of us. That save me RM 5.
I thanked him and he said that it was all right.
I found many Singaporeans to be generally helpful also, but there are some nasty ones, such as the people who make nasty comments now and then.
Tan Kin Lian

Grab app and outdated warnings

 I booked Grab to take me from Forest City to 2nd link CIQ.

A driver took my booking and the app said that she would appear in 4 mins. Later, it was changed to 8 mins and, after waiting for 5 mins, the pick up time was changed to 15 mins. I cancelled the call.
I made another booking. The app said that the driver was nearby, in Forest City, but he took over 10 mins to arrive. It should take only 2 mins.
I learned later that he was living in Forest City and had rented an apartment for RM 500 a month.
The Grab app sent me warning a message several times that it was compulsory to wear a mask. I searched for a mask that I carried in my bag.
When the driver arrived, he was not wearing a mask. I left the mask in my pocket as it was not necessary. The app was clearly outdated, and it continued to impose a useless and troublesome requirement.
Most people do not wear a mask in Johor now. I hardly see anyone wearing a mask in the malls or buses.
It is easy for the government to issue the mask mandate, but they do not seem to be taking the trouble to remove the mandate when it was no longer required.
I wondered why the IT developers in Grab continued to keep the useless message in their Malaysian app.
Tan Kin Lian
All reactions:
Tan Kin Lian

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Are there many issues that need to be fixed in Singapore?
2. Will things get better when there is a change of prime minister?

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WOTC - Retaliatory sanctions

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 70% of respondents said that China should retaliate against sanctions by western countries in a reciprocal manner.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should COE system be maintained?
2. Should land cost be removed for pricing new HDB flats?

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WOTC - Presidential election in Taiwan

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 73% of the respondents said that the people of Taiwan will vote for a Kuomintang candidate (who advocates reunification with China) at the next presidential election

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

WOTC - Treatment in Beijing

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of respondents said that Anwar Ibrahim received better treatment on arrival in Beijing, compared to Lee HL.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will Donald Trump be found guilty and jailed?
2. Will Donald Trump be the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election

Vote in

How to solve the HDB problem

 I offer this solution to solve the HDB problem.

WOTC - PM Lee arrive in Beijing

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 80% of the respondents said that the China foreign service did not regard PM Lee as a VIP, so he was taken on arrival into Beijing in a bus.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should China retaliate against sanctions imposed by western countries.
2. Was Macron's visit to China a success?
3. Will China be able to help to achieve peace in Ukraine?

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WOTC - Western leaders visit Taiwan

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 54% of the respondents said that China should ignore the visits of western leaders to Taiwan and avoid creating tension with western countries.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Use Whatsapp Business to provide good customer service

 I shared my positive experience about getting a quote to install invisible grill in my apartment in Forest City.

The website provided a link which allows me to assess the WhatsApp business account of the vendor. I was able to make my enquiry and the vendor replied immediate. We went through a few rounds of conversation.

It was extremely easy for me.

I shared my experience to encourage businesses in Singapore to adopt the same approach to communicate with their customers (for sales enquiries of customer service).

A few people replied that this practice has already been adopted in Singapore and implied rudely that I was outdated. I objected to these rude remarks.

I have contacted many businesses in Singapore on sales quotation and customer service, and my general experience is that these businesses make it difficult for their customers. They followed tiresome protocols. This applies mostly to large companies, but also to small companies as well.

I am sure that some businesses in Singapore do have good practices, but they tend to be an exception.

I shared my view to encourage businesses to adopt practices that are convenient for their customers. The modern platforms, such as Whatsapp Business, provide this facility for businesses to use.

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - South China Sea

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 67% of the respondents said that China should retain its claim over the South China Sea and negotiate with the neighboring countries.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

WOTC - Behavior of minister KS

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 93% of the respondents said that minister Shanmugam behaved in an oppressive manner and bullied Leong MW to withdraw some statements that were quite harmless.

Friday, April 07, 2023

NRIC should be used as a public data

 From time to time, I share a post in Facebook that exposes my NRIC. Several people sending private message to warn me about this exposure. I asked them - what is the risk that someone knows my NRIC?

Mostly, they are not able to give me a credible reason. They just think that it is risky to let other people know the NRIC.

To me, the NRIC is a public data, just like my name. 

Some people said that the NRIC could be used by a borrower to borrow money from the loan shark.

I do not think that the loan sharks are stupid. They will not lend a few thousand dollars based on a false NRIC. The loan shark may insist on viewing the physical NRIC and will verify that it belongs to the borrower. Maybe a few loan sharks are stupid. But most of them are not.

Throughout the first 60 years of my life, the NRIC is a public data. It is used widely to identify a person.

This practice changed when one person, who happens to hold a senior position in a government agency, decides that it should be a private data. This person also happens to be related to a prominent government leader. I shall call him L.

L was responsible for the SingPass database, which used the NRIC as the ID and password for access. When a fraudster (say F) uses the NRIC of another person to access the SingPass database and gives the wrong password three times, L locks the account "for security reason". This caused inconvenience to the NRIC owner , who has to take a lot of trouble to unlock the SingPass account.

This probably happened to many people, causing a lot of problem to countless NRIC holders and the agency that manages the SingPass database.

To overcome this problem, L then decided that the NRIC should be a private data and not used publicly. 

I consider L to be an idiot. He does not need to lock the account. It would take F a few million tries to guess the correct password. Does F has so much time to waste? Even if F manages to have access, he cannot really do much harm.

L should learn how the big social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, manages this issue. They use the email address as the ID to log into the account and alert the account owner if there is a wrong password is used. They do not lock the account.

I use Google and Facebook frequently and do not have any problem with unauthorized access by other parties.

Now, I return to the use of NRIC.

I cannot see any harm that my NRIC is known to the wider public. I do not see how anybody can use the NRIC to access my private information, either from SingPass or other databases that use it as an ID.

It is a common practice for all accounts have to be accessed with an ID and protected by a password and sometimes by a 2FA PIN.

Many accounts use the email address or phone number as the ID, and these are widely know. Actually, the email address or phone number is more risky than the NRIC as marketers can send marketing emails and SMS to the owner. They cannot do anything with the NRIC.

It is clear to me that the NRIC can be used publicly. I am puzzled why so many people worry about the NRIC being known widely. Even if one idiot called L says that it is risky, the people should think and access if it is really the case.

Tan Kin Lian

Thursday, April 06, 2023

WOTC - Leong Mun Wai's statements in Parliament

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 100% of the respondents said that the statements made by Leong Mun Wai did not make allegations without checking the facts. His statements were largely correct, except for the use of the word "guilty" which he had withdrawn.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will the people of Taiwan vote for a presidential candidate that advocate independence?
2. What do the ordinary people of Taiwan prefer?

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Tuesday, April 04, 2023

WOTC - Pension age in France

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 64% of respondents said that it is unfair for the French government to increase the pension age to 64 years as they had promised a lower retirement age earlier.

Monday, April 03, 2023

WOTC - Presidential election

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 92% of respondents said that Lee HY should be allowed to contest the presidential election in 2023.

WOTC - Double standards

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 86% of the respondents said that double standards were applied in the treatment of the KOM and LHY issues.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why was PM Lee taken from Beijing airport in a bus?
2. Did China gave different treatment to Lee HL and Anwar Ibrahim?

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WOTC - A new BRICS currency

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of respondents said that it is better to use the Chinese yuan, rather than introduce a new BRICS currency. 43% said that a new BRICS currency is useful to reduce reliance on the US dollar.

WOTC - Pension scheme and higher life expectancy

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of respondents said that the pension age should not be increased with longer life expectancy. The working population should pay higher taxes to support the pension scheme.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should China give up its claim on South China Sea?
2. Should China object to western leaders visiting Taiwan?

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Letter to China's ambassador to Singapore

 27 March 2023

Excellency Sun Haiyan
Chinese Ambassador to Singapore
Dear Excellency
I have read your article dated 23 March 2023 posted in your website ( You have addressed your remarks to Singapore’s public and asked the question “What should we do?”
I wish to respond to your question and give my personal views as a member of Singapore’s public. My views are not the views of the Singapore government, but they do reflect the views of a large number of people that I interact with in social media platforms.
I have followed closely the impressive progress made by China over recent decades on its internal development and its diplomatic activities with countries around the world.
Global Security Initiative
I am impressed with China’s proposal of the Global Security Initiative, as set out in the GSI concept paper, and believe that it is a good framework to achieve peace around the world.
I also support China’s efforts to seek a political settlement to the Ukraine crisis and hope that it will eventually be accepted by the parties involved in the conflict.
I do not share the skepticism expressed in some quarters about the GSI or China’s approach to resolve the Ukraine crisis. These efforts will take time to be realized, and I am confident that the goals will be realized with patience and untiring effort.
I believe that the positive role and contribution by China can be appreciated more widely, if China takes steps to address the concerns of countries and peoples (who are otherwise positive towards China) on two issues, namely the South China Sea and Taiwan.
South China Sea
On the South China Sea dispute, many countries in the region (which are generally positive towards China) have concerns over the “nine dash line” and its impact on the UN convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS).
There are different views about the legitimacy of the claim by China on the areas covered by the “nine dash line”.
Rather than continuing with this dispute, I would suggest that China takes a magnanimous approach by allowing the neighboring countries to claim their exclusive economic zones within UNCLOS, in return for recognition by these countries for the China's right to retain control of the islands occupied by China for its military facilities to protect its trading routes (e.g. from being blocked by unfriendly powers).
If the neighboring counties accept the arrangement on these islands, China will recognize their right to develop the fishing, mineral and other resources within their exclusive economic zone for the benefit of their national development.
China has now reached a stage of its development that it can generously give up the rights to these resources to the neighboring countries.
Some countries, rightly or wrongly, hold the view that China is impatient to take over Taiwan within the near future. This appears to be the source of the tension over Taiwan and could be the excuse for some countries to engage in unfriendly activities towards China.
I would suggest that China remove this “excuse” by taking a more patient attitude towards Taiwan, as it has done in the past.
There is no need to allow other countries to harbor the impression that China aims to take over Taiwan in the new future. If political and military leaders from other countries wish to visit Taiwan, let them do so. They cannot do much harm (over and above what they have already done) and their visits may help the Taiwan economy to a small extent.
I hope that the people in Taiwan will realize that it is foolish to spend a lot of money to build a military capability against the mainland, when the money can be better spent to improve the living standards of the people.
As China continues to make good progress in its development and governance structure, many people will realize that China has a better governance model compared to the liberal democracies in western countries (which are falling apart and getting worse over the years.)
Given time, the people of Taiwan will also realize the advantage of the China governance model. I hope that the day will come, in the near future, that the people in Taiwan will elect a government that seeks to integrate with the rest of China.
I hope that the leaders in China can consider my suggestions regarding the South China Sea and Taiwan.

WOTC - Ukraine war

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 87% of respondents said that America and Europe wants Ukraine to fight Russia to the end.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

WOTC - Ukraine War

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 53% of respondents said that Russia will win the war in Ukraine within the next few months. 47% said that there was be a peace settlement.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

WOTC - Recent failures of banks

Wisdom of the Crowd: 69% of the respondents said that the recent failure of a few banks will cause a major problem as other banks in America and globally are likely to follow. 

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should a country increase its pension age in line with increase in life expectancy?
2. Is it fair for the government of France to increase the pension age from 62 to 64?
3. What is a better way to save for retirement?
4. Did Leong Mun Wai made allegations without checking the facts.
5. Did Leong Mun Wai act irresponsibly in Parliament?
6. Did minister Shanmugam acted fairly and objectively?

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Tik Tok in America

 The US Congress is currently scrutinizing Tik Tok's operations to assess whether the app poses a security threat that warrants its prohibition in America. The concern is that the data collected by the app could be accessed and used by the communist regime of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

In response, Tik Tok has clarified that the information belonging to American users is stored in the US, beyond the PRC government's reach. Tik Tok is a commercial enterprise that provides a valuable service to its users.
Approximately 150 million people in the US, representing almost half of the population, use Tik Tok, with most of them belonging to Gen Z, although there are also older users and small business owners. These entrepreneurs have found Tik Tok to be an effective and affordable tool to promote their services to customers.
If Tik Tok were to be banned, the users would likely feel angry towards the government and their representatives. They argue that the purported security risks are unfounded, and that those responsible for the decision are disconnected from the reality of modern technology. Many of them do not use Tik Tok anyway.
Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - China's role in Ukraine

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 56% of the respondents said that China will fail in its effort to find a peace settlement in Ukraine because the western countries would not allow this outcome.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should a country increase its pension age in line with increase in life expectancy?
2. Is it fair for the government of France to increase the pension age from 62 to 64?
3. What is a better way to save for retirement?

Vote in

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