Saturday, July 13, 2024

60 year leasehold property

 A 60 year leasehold property in Bukit Timah at $1,500 psf is an attractive price. It is equivalent to a price of $2,100 psf for a 99 year leasehold property.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Singapore people pays too much taxes

 The people of Singapore have to pay many layers of direct and indirect taxes.

The direct taxes are income tax, goods and services tax, vehicle taxes (including COE, road tax, petrol tax, parking fees and ERP), levy on foreign maids, taxes on liquor, tobacco, gambling and stamp duties.
Some of these taxes, such as COE and stamp duty on properties are big ticket items.
The indirect taxes are the low interest rate paid on Central Provident Fund savings (where the excess earnings become revenue to the government) and the high cost of housing (where a large part of the cost is revenue to the government).
The sale of state land is another large source of revenue to the government but it is accounted separately.
The government collects more revenue than is needed to provide the public goods. It generates a large surplus in most years, which are transferred to the national reserves or to various endowment funds (which are difficult to keep track of).
The alternative to generating a large surplus is to reduce the tax burden and lower the cost of living borne by the people.
Some of the government spending are unnecessary (such as the $550 million on ERP 2.0) or excessive (such as the very high salaries paid to political office holders). There are many other examples that have been quoted elsewhere
As the ordinary people struggle with the high cost of living, they should send a strong message in the coming general election that they want this important bread and butter issue to be addressed at its root cause.
Tan Kin Lian

Look beyond personal circumstances

 There are many people, especially among the better educated, who have accumulated some wealth over the past decades, and could comfortably afford the high cost of living today. I belong to this group.

However, I look beyond my personal circumstances and worry about the large numbers of people in our society, who have not accumulated sufficient savings and wealth, and cannot afford the high cost of living.
I also worry for the future generations who will not have the opportunities available to the earlier generation.
It is important that we elect a government that will address the root cause of the high cost of living, instead of giving small amounts of various vouchers that are inadequate and costly to administer.
Tan Kin Lian

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Secure platforms to receive genuine messages

 I suggest that the government should build a secure platform for government agencies and approved commercial organizations tto send genuine messages, and prevent scammers from sending fake messages.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Challenges for the prime minister

 The CNA headline said.

Handing over Singapore in good order: The legacy of Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore’s third Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s tenure has left its mark on the political and societal landscape of Singapore, with a pivot towards a softer, more collaborative approach to governance, analysts say.
TKL has a different view. This is a bad time for Lawrence Wong to take over. Singapore has a high cost of living. Many people are not able to get a well paying job that is sufficient to meet the high cost of living and high cost of housing.
Many businesses are also facing difficulties and have to retrench their workers or move to low cost countries.
The geopolitical conflicts will harm the world economy and that will affect Singapore badly.
It will not be easy for the new prime minister. Still, I wish him all the best.
Tan Kin Lian

High tax rates

 I prefer a country to have high tax rates, so that the public services can be provided for free or at low cost.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

CSI 300 (top China stocks)

 If you are interested in invest in the top blue chip stocks in China, you can buy the CSI 300 tracker fund listed in Hong Kong (under the symbol 3188.HK

Review of portfolio - 11 May 2023

 I held 80% of my porttfolio in China stocks. It appreciated by 3.5% yesterday.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

China stocks

 I invested in the China stocks with low price earning ratio (below 7 times) and good dividend yield (above 3%).

Here are the stocks that I invested.

Friday, May 03, 2024

Update on Country Garden

 I invested S$262,000 in Country Garden (2007.HK) and now see a loss of S$125,000.The stock is now suspended from trading.

Update on Baidu (0988.HK)

 I invested about S$420,000 in Baidu stock (0988.HK) a month ago. It dropped 7% (loss of S$30,000) and has since recovered and shown a profit.

Detail here:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Review of Tesla stock

 Here is my latest view on Tesla. I now hold only 1 share. I prefer to wait a few months before reinvseting in this stock. provided that there are positive developments on their market position on electric vehicles and on the launch of new products.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Trusted messages

 I am proposing to GovTech a platform to receive trusted messages from govt agencies and approved commercial organizations.

Friday, April 12, 2024

World Trade Organization

 The world trade organization promotes free trades and discourage countries from imposing tariffs or giving financial subsidy to their own producers. These rules are outdated and need to be revised.


 I suggest this approach to implement an apprenticeship system.

Improve job search

 We should improve the process of searching for jobs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

My review of Nvidia

 I do not have any holding in Nvidia. The stock price had increased by more than 3 times over the past year. Is it a good stock to invest for the future?

I give my view here.

Alternative to the tender system

 This is my alternative to the tender system to award government contracts. It can also be used in the private sector.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Medical care for pensions

 This retired senior civil servant is unhappy with the government who is not treating is retired civil servants fairly.

Central bank digital currency

 I expect that a country will successfully implement its central bank digital currency (CBDC) using this approach.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

How I qualified as an actuary

 I share this story of how I qualified to be an actuary while studying parttime and doing a full time job.

Actuarial knowledge

 Actuarial knowledge is not difficult, but you need to be good in mathematics and logic. It can be quite interesting and useful to acquire this knowledge.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Verify identity on online platforms

 I suggest the following approach to identify a person uniquely using a phone number that is verified with SingPass. This verified identity is to be used for online platforms.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Baidu stock fell 10%

 I suspect that the hedge funds are attacking the China stocks for geopolitical reasons.

How to sell NTUC Income shares

 Several shareholders have asked me for advise on how to sell NTUC Income shares. I am not familiar with the current arrangement. I asked them to seek advise from the corporate secretary of NTUC Income.

I checked with Google Gemini. Here are some relevant information.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Flat rate tax

 I prefer that a flat rate of tax be applied to all income, rather than a variable rate that is applied to differnt bands of income.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Thursday, February 22, 2024

China and the Asian Tigers

 China and the Asian tigers made significant economic development due to the inflow of foreign capital, technology and its largely authoritarian government.

Monday, February 19, 2024

SG Wallet and SG card

 I suggest that the government introduce the SG wallet and SG card for digital payment. It will soon become the dominant form of digital payment in Singapore.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Fear of retrenchment

 I send this suggestion to DPM Lawrence Wong on how to address the fear of retrenchment felt by workers in Singapore.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

My message to transport minister

 I sent this message to the minister for transport.

Dear Minister,
I have three suggestions on SimplyGo and ERP 2.0.
Integrate fare systems earlier than 2030
Use of SimplyGo for retail payments
I hope that you find them useful.
I am available to explain these suggestions to you or your officers.

Tan Kin Lian

Use of Simply Go card for retail payment

 I will suggest to the transport minister to use this approach to make the SimplyGo card actively used for retail payments.

Suggestion to phase in ERP 2.0

I will suggest to the transport minister to adopt this approach to phase in ERP 2.0

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Friday, February 02, 2024

Democracy, socialism and communism

 In this article, I explain my perspective of the difference between democracy, socialism and communist. I also explain why I prefer the socialist economic system and the communist political system.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Cost of constructing MRT lines

 The cost of constructing the MRT line in Singapore is several times higher than other Asian countries.

Cost of commuter train fares in major cities

 The cost of commuter train (MRT) per km is Singapore is similar to other major cities in Asia. It is less than half of the western countries.

Financial results of Land Transport Authority

 The Land Transport Authority is incurring a large deficit of $3 billion a year. This may lead to big hikes in public transport fare. It is urgent for LTA to rationalize the public transport system and reduced wasteful spending.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Currency manipulation

 The American government has a practice of accusing other countries of "manipulating their currencies". This is a false and dishonest accusation. Here is my perspective.

Make CNY a reserve currency

 I suggest that China should take the following step to make the CNY as an alternative reserve currency. This will reduce the dominance of the USD in the international financial system.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

An alternative reserve currency

 I offer this suggestion to the China government to develop the CNY as an alternative reserve currency. This will provide an option for central banks to invest their reserves in the CNY and China stocks.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Simply Go App

 I share my experience using the Simply Go app. To summarize, it was a frustrating and disappointing experience. The app was badly designed and contained bugs.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Loan for retrenched workers

 I suggest that the government creates a loan scheme that can be taken by retrenched workers, as a scheme of last resort.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Not for profit hospital

 The Ministry of Health wants to set up a not-for-profit hospital. I do not like this concept. I suggest a different approach to address the underlying problem.

Premature babies

 The cost of hospital care for premature babies should be handled through social insurance, and not by the parents or through private insurance.

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Apps developed by organizations

 I have more than 50 apps on my mobile phone. Most of them are not necessary.

The wasteful ones are the apps developed by government agencies and the commercial companies, such as those that provide banking, telephone, utility and other services.

Here is an alternative that is easier for customers, reduces the development cost of the organizations and reduce the scams that is quite common.

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Mathematics of bus routes

 I explain the mathematics of replacing the trunk bus services with a new system of services with fewer stops. It allows the bus system to operate more efficiently, but the passengers have to make more transfers.

Friday, January 05, 2024

BYD vs Tesla

 BYD sold more electric vehicles than Tesla during the last quarter of 2023. It overtook Tesla to be the market leader. However, its stock price fared worse than Tesla during the past 6 months.

A better way to run a democracy

 The democratic system adopted in many countries is generally bad. It is explained in this article.

I also give my views of a better way to govern a country to reflect the wishes of the people.

Taxi service

 I recall that taxis were easily available and the fares were low in Taiwan and Hong Kong

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