Skip Navigation Links

Back
11 Dec 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 204
Do not be jealous of permanent residents who made a profit on HDB flats

Many Singaporeans are unhappy that many permanent residents made a profit when they sell their HDB flats to return to their countries.  There permanent residents were allowed to buy the resale HDB flats at the market price from the original owners, who were Singaporeans.  During the past two decades, property prices in Singapore had gone up by a lot. The permanent residents benefited from this increase.  We should not overlook the fact ......



View full post

11 Dec 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 760
HDB lease decay - real or not?

There is a lot of discussion about the HDB lease decay. I will now add my view.  The HDB lease decay is used to describe the situation that the value of the HDB flat will become $0 at the end of the 99 year lease, and the value will start to drop after the remaining less becomes less than 30 years.  This is a fact. It cannot be disputed. If so, why did our government leaders said that the HDB flat was a good investment? Indeed, a generation ......



View full post

04 Dec 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 279
Tips on speculative investing

A reader was impressed with the profit that I achieved on my speculative portfolio. He asked if I can give a talk on investing. He will be interested to attend. He had invested before, and lost money on stocks. I wish to share some tips.  a) My positive investment result is largely based on luck. I made profits on two investments, namely Country Garden and Tesla. In both cases, I bought the shares after they have fallen more than 40% from their recent peak. I w......



View full post

03 Dec 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 240
Will the ban on PMD using footpath cause loss of vote to PAP?

I believe that it will cause a net loss of vote to PAP. Here are my reasons. 75,000 people are affected by the ban. They include 7,000 food delivery riders, whose earnings are now badly affected by the ban. There are another 68,000 riders who bought a compliant PMD for $500 to $1,000 to be used to get to the bus stop, train station or their place of work. These riders are also affected by the ban. Many of them bought the PMD on installment. They have ......



View full post

29 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 238
We have to unify Singaporeans

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. We were later divided by education - between graduates and non-graduates. This division was, sadly, made by government policy. These two groups were treated dif......



View full post

27 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 140
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. b......



View full post

25 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 252
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 pl......



View full post

24 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 293
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? The government has banned the use of PMDs on footpaths with immediate effect. It has affected two groups of users. The first group are the food delivery riders who need PMDs for th......



View full post

19 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 446
Why a Singaporean First policy is beneficial

I read a statement from a PAP minister reported in the Straits Times five years back. The minister stated that a "Singaporean First" policy is bad for the economy. I disagree.  Let me first define what is a "Singaporean First" policy. It implies that the government has a responsibility to ensure that Singaporeans have a good job that pays a remuneration that is adequate to meet the cost of living. How can the government achieve this responsibilit......



View full post

12 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 216
A platform for official messages

We need a platform for official messages from govt agencies and businesses. It has to be a separate platform from the social media. Let me illustrate the problem and what should be done to address it. I saw this message from the Singapore Armed Forces. They sent SMS to their serviceman and had to clarify that the message is genuine. It seems that the message could be forwarded by the recipients and modified causing unclarity on the authenticity of the messages.br /......



View full post

10 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 171
Hotel should improve their feedback system

Most hotels leave a feedback form for their guests to complete and give feedback about their stay. Here are some suggestions on how to improve the feedback forms. a) Simplify the feedback form by reducing the number of questions and allow the guest to provide an open ended feedback. If there is need for further information, it could be provided by a follow up call or e-mail. b) Give an acknowledgement or reply to the feedback. Most hotels hardly do so......



View full post

09 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 297
Japanese have a different way to manage their hotels

I am now staying at the Royal Nikko Hotel in Taipei. It is a Japanese brand hotel and runs along Japanese way. I share these interesting experiences. They have a door man to open the door and greet the guests. Apart from being polite, they are ready to give information and guidance. It is useful to guests. They offer Wifi without any password in the lobby. This is an excellent service. The Wifi in the guest room requires a password, but it is a s......



View full post

09 Nov 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 301
Japanese brand hotels operating overseas employ Japanese housekeeping workers

I am staying at the Royal Nikko Hotel in Taipei. I had a pleasant surprise about how this hotel operates. I pressed the service button by mistake. A minute later, a housekeeping worker opened the door. She was an elderly Japanese woman who spoke to me in Japanese. Why does this hotel employ a Japanese worker to work in Taipei? Surely it is too expensive for them? On reflection, it makes sense. They have many guests who are Japanese. These guests would......



View full post

30 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 287
Security in a condo

What is the purpose of employing security guards in a condo? The goal is to ensure that only residents and authorized visitors are allowed to enter the condo. Who are the authorized visitors and how are they to be identified? If a visitor said that his name is X and he is visiting Y at unit Z, the security guard can check with Y (by telephone) for confirmation. Or Y could have registered X in the online platform, for the security guard to check.  ......



View full post

29 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 261
Learning from other countries

When I visit another country, I pay attention to how their organize their society and give my observations on how things could be improved in Singapore. Some people have the mistaken impression that I found conditions in other countries to be better than Singapore. This is a wrong impression. Let me share my perspective. I do not point out what is wrong in other countries. This would give an appearance of arrogance. It would also be inappropriate beca......



View full post

27 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 311
What is wrong with the statement of moving closer to "ordinary Singaporeans"

There was an uproar over the statement, which was suspected to be given by a teacher of Raffles Girls School, that the school was being relocated to Bishan to be closer to "ordinary Singaporeans". The anger was so strong that the school had to disassociate itself from the statement. It said that the person who made the statement was not an official spokes person for the school. This person remain unnamed. I do not understand why some many people were upset about thi......



View full post

17 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 314
My secret for a successful weight loss program

I lost 10 kg in 4 months. From a BMI of 29.3 (rated as obese), I reduced to 2.45 (rated as normal). My friend said that I achieved it through "determination". In reality, I have not changed my character. The primary driving force is explained by two words starting with M & E. These two words are "measurement" and "equipment". The measurement happened after I bought a smart weighing scale which measures not only the weight but many other indicators. They are summ......



View full post

09 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 494
Is the govt justified to increase the public transport fares?

The government has announced an increase in public transport fares, citing the recent increase in operating costs. Many people complained about this further increase in the cost of living.  The decision makers and their supporters pointed out that the public transport fares in Singapore are lower than the fares in the major cities in other developed countries.  I wish to give my views on this matter. a) I agree that the public transport fare......



View full post

09 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 322
Rule of the mob

When the protesters first came out into the streets to protest against the Extradition bill, I accept their right to lodge a protest although my personal view is that the bill was reasonable and necessary. When the protesters started to make other demands beyond the bill, I held a strong opinion against their actions. I consider it to be rule by the mob. It will lead to chaos and the breakdown of law and order and the destruction of society. The sympathisers of the ......



View full post

07 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 124
It is wrong to organize a petition against a court judgment

In passing a judgment, the judge has to consider all the relevant factors of the case and also protect the integrity of the court by upholding past decisions. If the judge has to change the principle made in past decisions, the judge has to have good reasons and has to state the reasons. It is not appropriate for ordinary people, who do not have access to the information available to the judge, to pass any opinion on the judgment. It is disrespectful to the judge and could be cons......



View full post

06 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 301
Possible to be take leadership in an unfamiliar industry

My friend criticized industry minister Chan for trying to teach businessmen how to expand their business overseas, when he did not have any experience in running a company. He also criticized the appointment of two army generals to run the SMRT and NOL without any industry experience. They did a poor job. I told him that Louis Gertsner took over IBM in 1993 without any prior experience in the computer industry. He did a good job in transforming IBM successfully.br ......



View full post

04 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 318
Be responsive to the wishes of the people

I asked the question - should a govt be responsive to the wishes of the people? The initial response - 83% certainly, 17% impossible.  Surely 100% should agree with this motherhood statement? Why did 17% said that it is impossible? Well, the 17% probably realize that it is difficult to determine the wishes of the people. In any issue, there will be some people who are in favor of one option, while others prefer another option.  ......



View full post

02 Oct 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 311
Will there be a decision on the RTS rail link within the one month extension?

I was delighted to read an online summary a few days ago - both countries agreed to an extension of the RTS rail link, without penalty. Wow! This is a change in attitude. Maybe it will lead to a climate of cooperation and friendship between the Singapore and Malaysia. Although the news report euphemistically said that it was an agreement on both sides, it was clear to me (I am not stupid, you know), that the delay was requested by the Malaysia and the Singapore side......



View full post

24 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 228
A new way to finance large losses

Most people look towards insurance to finance losses, such as health care bills, motor repairs caused by accidents, loss of property due to fire and disasters, etc. I wish to suggest a new way to finance these large losses.  First, I must state what are the disadvantages of using insurance to finance these losses: a) The losses tends to be higher than normal, because the insurance company pays for the loss. Motor repairs usually charge more for r......



View full post

24 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 90
Anonymous e-wallet

Some people did not like to use e-wallet to make payments because they are worried that their spending can be tracked.  I find this fear to be exaggerated.  Here are my reasons: a) Nobody is interested to know about any individual's spending among the millions of people in a country, except perhaps for the spouse or parents. b) If you really have to hide a specific payment, which is rather rare, you can find other ways to make......



View full post

23 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 91
Learn from Johore how to name our roads in a logical way

I like the way that Johor name their roads. Take a look at Jalan Setia. The roads that branch from it are called Jalan Setia 1, Jalan Setia 2, etc. The roads that branch from Jalan Setia 4 are called Jalan Setia 4/31, Jalan Setia 4/32, etc. It is a logical way to name the roads. Contrast it with the way that the planners in Singapore name our roads. We have Sin Ming Ave, Sin Ming Lane, Sin Ming Road, Sin Ming Drive. All of these roads are of the same size, i.e. Lane&n......



View full post

23 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 151
Why does China want to introduce a digital currency?

China already has two successful e-payment platforms, namely AliPay and WeChat Pay. It is widely used throughout China. Why does the govt want to introduce a digital currency? Here are my views.  I think the digital currency, which is denominated in yuan, will be used outside of China. At present, foreigners need to have a China bank account to open an account in AliPay and WeChat Pay. This is probably a regulation imposed by the China bank regulator. It is int......



View full post

13 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 248
Referendum for independence of Hong Kong

I suggest that China should hold a referendum for the people of Hong Kong - do you want to be independent of China? There are two possible outcomes: a) The majority vote for independence.  b) The majority vote to remain part of China. I think that the majority will vote to remain part of China. It is difficult for Hong Kong to be independent of China. They need water and power to be provided by China.  Maybe, they can b......



View full post

12 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 128
Disadvantage of blockchain technology

The proponents of blockchain are excited about its application. It remove the need for a trusted third party and allows all the participants to monitor the transactions and be assured that they are reliable.  This platform uses the concept of duplicating the database in many servers (called nodes) and comparing the results. If any of the database is hacked, the other database will be able to overrule that database using a voting and consensus system. I fin......



View full post

12 Sep 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 162
My views about bitcoin and cyptocurrencies

I wish to share my views about bitcoin and cyptocurrencies.  When I learned that bitcoin was built on the blockchain platform, I spent some time to learn about blockchain. I formed the opinion that it is an inefficient platform. I shall talk about it in a separate post. I met an expert in the blockchain platform. I asked him about the cost of processing a transaction using blockchain. He quoted a high figure that is not economically feasible. In defense, he sai......



View full post