Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bad service from Singapore Airlines hotline

In a Facebook post, Goh Meng Seng described his frustration in waiting for 30 minutes for the SIA hotline to pick up his call. Many people posted their comments describing the same frustration with their bad service.  Link

I have contacted the top management of Singapore Airlines on several occasions in the past to offer my service to improve their hotline and call center. They were not interested.

When I was in NTUC Income, I was able to get all calls answered within 3 rings, i.e. 1 minute. I think they are still able to maintain this standard today.

The NTUC Income call center handles a few thousand calls every day. I suspect that it is as busy as SIA.

It is sad that the top management of SIA does not pay attention, and the service quality can drop to very bad levels, leading to loss of several millions of dollars of revenue.

As a result, SIA has lost its top position in quality of service. It has even become unprofitable for the first time in his history.




Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for voting:

a) Do you agree with the move to cut down sugar in soft drinks?
b) What is the likely cause of the collision between the US destroyer and the oil tanker?

Vote in this website and win prizes.
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Do you agree with the proposal for public transport to go cashless by 2020? (53 Votes )

A majority of the Crowd is not supportive of the change to cashless.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=223

b) What is the best way to help the elderly poor in Singapore? (50 Votes )

A large majority prefers a monthly pension to be give to the aged above 75 subject to a means test.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=224

Vote on the current issues and win a prize.
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg






NTUC Income Guaranteed Life annuity


A consumer sent me the benefit illustration and asked if it offers a good return.

The consumer, age 65 male, invests a single premium of $300,000 and receives a guaranteed monthly annuity of $1,181.40 and a non-guaranteed addition that depends on the investment return of the life insurance fund.

The detailed analysis is shown in the PDF
http://www.fisca.sg/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ID=507

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Why is the Singapore Sale no longer great? (60 Votes )

40% said that we are doing the same thing for too long.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=221

b) Will the United States take a first strike against North Korea? (52 Votes )

Two thirds expect the issue to be resolved peacefully.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=222

Monday, August 21, 2017

Are gold medals authentic?

Someone asked if the gold medals awarded at the South East Asia games are "authentic".

I searched Google and go the following answer regarding the Olympic Gold Medals.

Quote:
The last series of Olympic medals to be made of solid gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. Olympic Gold medals are required to be made from at least 92.5% silver, and must contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold. All Olympic medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick.
Unquote.


I guess the gold medals in the SEA games have a lower gold content.

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting:

a) Should Singapore keep the mandatory death penalty for drug traficking? (48 Votes )

The majority like the death sentence to be made non-mandatory and reserved only for serious crimes.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=220


b) Will there be a contest for the reserved presidential election? (57 Votes )

A large majority expect a walkover. Sorry no public holiday.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=219




Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are two new issues for you to vote in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) How well did PM Lee perform at the ND Rally?
b) Do you agree with the three long term issues raised by PM Lee at the ND Rally?

Vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Win these prizes

Vote in The Wisdom of the Crowd and win these prizes.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/page/115

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the issues for voting today.

a) If President Trump is impeached, what will he do?
b) How can we help older PMETs to keep their jobs or find new jobs?

Vote in www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for you to vote:

a) Is it wise for Li Shengwu to leave Singapore to prevent being detained for the court hearing?
b) What should Desmond Kuek, CEO of SMRT do, following the frequent breakdowns?

Vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

You can win the following prizes by voting:
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/page/115

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Why do the experts plan a curved bridge for the RTS between Singapore and Johor Bahru? (48 Votes )

You can view the answer in:
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=217

b) Is it proper for the Johor Sultan to object to the design of the bridge? (46 Votes )

Three quarters of the respondents respect him for taking interest. It will force the planners to explain their reason for this decision.

http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=218






Friday, August 18, 2017

More efficient to pay directly into a bank account

Due to an oversight, I did not bank in a cheque within six months. It has expired.

I requested the payer to send me a replacement cheque. They wanted me to mail back the original cheque to them.

What for? The mail will take a few days to reach them. In some cases, it got lost.

This is an example of the wastefulness and inefficiency that is quite common in Singapore. In other countries, it is common for payment to be made by internet transfer to the payee account, instead of writing cheques.

I know of an insurance company in Indonesia that make claim payments directly into the bank account of the claimant.

Australian Senate

Instead of an Elected President which has now become very messy, we should consider the Australian system of a Senate that has significant powers to review major decisions taken by the government.

Here is a description of how the Australian Senate works.

Quote:
The Australian Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Chapter I, Part II of the Australian Constitution. There are a total of 76 senators: 12 senators are elected from each of the six states (regardless of population) and two from each of the two autonomous internal territories (the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory). Senators are popularly elected under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation.

Unlike upper houses in most Westminster parliamentary systems, the Senate is vested with significant power, including the capacity to block all legislation, including Budget and Appropriation Bills, initiated by the government in the House of Representatives, making it a distinctive hybrid of British Westminster bicameralism and US-style bicameralism. As a result of proportional representation, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power. The governing party or coalition, which has to maintain the confidence of the lower house, has not held a majority in the Senate since 2005-2008 (and before that since 1981) and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.[4]

Senators normally serve fixed six-year terms (from 1 July to 30 June), unless the Senate is dissolved earlier in a double dissolution. Following a double dissolution half the state senators serve terms ending on the third 30 June following the election (i.e. slightly less than three years) with the rest serving three years longer. The term of the territory senators expires at the same time as there is an election for the House of Representatives. There is no constitutional requirement for the election of senators to take place at the same time as those for members of the House of Representatives, though the government usually synchronises election dates.

Unquote

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for your vote.

a) Will you avoid attending high profile, crowded events?
b) Who is the smartest and most capable minister in Singapore?

Vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg




Wisdom of the Crowd - result

Here are the results of the voting on these issues.

a) Why does the experts plan a curved bridge for the RTS between Singapore and Johor Bahru? (48 Votes )

The answer is found here:
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=217


b) Is it proper for the Johor Sultan to object to the design of the bridge? (46 Votes )

A large majority of the Crowd support the action taken by the Johor Sultan.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=218

Vote on the current issues, and win a prize, at
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why I invest in Forest City

Mr. Tan,
I read that you bought a unit in Forest City. What are the advantages of Forest City compared to other developments in Johor?

Reply
First, I must warn you that the price of Forest City is 20% higher than the top end developments in Puteri Habor. So, Forest City is expensive.

The key advantages of Forest City are set out in this marketing email:
http://tankinlian.blogspot.sg/2017/08/marketing-pitch-for-forest-city.html

My choice for Forest City are based on:
1. Within 1 hour drive from Second Link.
2. Located in a separate island away from the rest of Johor.
3. A futuristic city.
4. Suitable as a holiday home for my children and grand children.




Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for you to vote:

a) Will you be watching the National Day Rally on television?
b) Are you excited about the Smart Nation initiative?

You can vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Will the construction of the Kra Canal pose a big threat to Singapore's economy (43 Votes )

The results are quite worrying for Singapore. The Crowd thinks it will happen in the forseeable future.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=215

b) Should new citizens and permanent residents be required to serve National Service? (43 Votes )

The Crowd sends a very strong message to the government. 95% said that new citizens and permanent residents should be required to do National Service, like our local born.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=216

You can vote on other issues at:
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A smart way to introduce innovation

Here is a smart way to introduce innovation. I hope that the people responsible for Lee HL's Smart Nation project will consider these simple suggestions.

http://www.tankinlian.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ID=1404

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Make Singapore into a Smart City - the practical way

Here are some simple suggestions to make Singapore into a Smart City quickly and make an immediate and useful impact on the lives of the people.

We should use technology that are already proven and practical. They can be implemented easily and quickly and at very low cost.
http://www.tankinlian.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ID=1403

Smart Nation - a big disappointment so far

This is proof of the incompetence of Lee HL's government and on the minister in charge of the Smart Nation project, Vivian Balakrishnan.

They make a lot of hot air and grand promises but achieve very little. Most of their fancy projects did not take off the ground.

They need more practical people to run this Smart Nation initiative.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/commentary-singapore-s-smart-nation-vision-blurry-without-a-9122400?cid=emarsys-cna_20170815_0125_CNA+-+eNews2+-+Morning_newsletter_15082017_cna&sc_customer=10b49691-b4ce-46cc-9e58-1e4cec0f9b99&sc_src=email&sc_llid=142740&sc_lid=58549441&sc_uid=22K6jmHe3A

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues for voting

Here are the new issues for voting:

a) What is the best way to help the elderly poor in Singapore?
b) Do you agree with the proposal for public transport to go cashless by 2020?

Vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg




Marketing pitch for Forest City

Mr Tan,

I am Nurul from Forest City and I am wishing you and family are doing great where ever you are.

Here I would like to share with you the details and payment method as you are required to by pdf, not all the information i can have it because some of them will be write in S&P agreement that customer sign

*Advantage of Forest City*
1) Free Hold Property
2) No Inheritances Tax
3) New CIQ by land and sea to Singapore
4) City with a lot 5 stars and renowned facilities and amenities
5) Green and Smart City with no vehicle on its surface
6) 15 Mins away to future High Speed Rail (Station at Nusajaya)
7) Surrounded by world second biggest mangrove forest reserve
8) Duty Free Zone area
9) golf course resort will be design by Jack Nicklaus and opened at the end of this year
10) smart community ( smart home + smart security)
11) World-class medical services (MJ Group)
12) international school : Shattuck St. Marry's School (opened in August 2018)

Thank You and Have a Nice Day.

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Will there be a contest for the Presidential Election? (49 Votes )
Two thirds say that it will be a walkover. Sorry, no public hoilday. There is a small chance that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock will win his appeal.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=213

b) Should a by-election be called for Marsiling Yew Tee GRC after Halimah Yacob steps down? (46 Votes )

Three quarters said that a by-election should be called. They gave two reasons.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=214

Vote for the current issues at
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg






Monday, August 14, 2017

Buying an apartment in Forest City

I have recently purchased an unit in Forest City. It is 1,200 sq and cost about SGD 450,000 or about $400 psf. This is 20% more expensive than high end apartments in Puteri Harbor but is about one third of the price in Singapore.

I know that it is difficult to find a tenant or to sell my unit in the future, because there is massive over supply of apartments in Iskandar.

I was surprised that the apartments are selling quite well. I was earlier offered two apartments of 1,800 sf. I did not confirm it within 1 week and they were booked by other buyers.

I did not mind. My wife said that 1,800 sf is too big. So, we opted for the smaller size apartment.

An experience property agent who markets apartments in Puteri Harbor told me that Forest City has developed much better than most people expected. The sales reported by Forest City came from real buyers.

There is restriction on transfer of currency from China to Malaysia, but the buyers from China found a way to get round the restrictions. So, the sales have resumed.

I also read a report from Hong Kong that China had relaxed some of the restriction, but the details are not clear.

One advantage of Forest City is that it is half hour drive from the Second Link. There will be a separate CIQ which will reduce the clearance time. This makes Forest City a good choice for a second home or a holiday home.

The developer planned to bring an international school, a hospital and other business activities to Forest City. If they materialize, it will be good for Forest City. But they do not, Forest City is still an attractive concept.

If you have some spare money lying uninvested and wish to visit Forest City, you can contact me at kinlian@gmail.com.






Perfomance of Government Agencies

How does the Crowd rate the performance of these agencies? Apart from MRT, the performance of the other agencies improved in the latest week.


Find our more at
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/ChartJS.aspx



Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for you to vote.

a) Will the United States take a first strike against North Korea?
b) Why is the Singapore Sale no longer great?

Vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Performance score of senior ministers

Here are the performance scores of the senior ministers.


Wisdom of the Crowd - Results

Here are the results of the voting in the Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Will Li Shengwu be convicted of contempt of court? (51 Votes )
45% said "yes". But 55% said "no" for various reasons.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=211

b) Why don't the two governments introduce joint clearance at the causeway and 2nd link? (44 Votes )

The answer looks bad for both governments.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=212

Vote on the current issues in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd - result

Here are the results of the voting:

a) Professor Huang Jing is expelled for being an agent of influence for a foreign country. Which country? (51 Votes )

The answer may surprise you!
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=209

b) How should Li Shengwu respond to the action taken by the Attorney General on contempt of court? (47 Votes )

The answer is quite divided.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=210

You can vote on the current issues and win a prize.
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Provide dedicating parking zones for shared bikes

I suggest that the government should provide dedicated parking zones for shared bikes as part of the public infrastructure.  They should be located next to bus stops, MRT stations and shopping malls.

The users should be required by regulation to leave the shared bikes at the docking stations. This will allow the shared bikes to be docked in an orderly manner and also help other users to locate them.

It will help to promote the use of shared bikes and encourage the users to exercise as a healthy lifestyle habit.

Review the Privacy and Data Protection Act

The Privacy and Data Protection Act (PDPA) was passed in 2012.

Over the past five years, I have been asked to give my consent for my personal data to be collected by the organization whenever I call their call center. If I have to submit a form, I am also asked to read several praragraphs explaining that I have to give my consent for the personal data to be collected.

I have encountered the request for consent a few hundred times.

Surely, this consent is not necessary and could be dispensed with?

If I call a call center or submit a form, I know that my personal data will be used for that transaction. Do I have any choice at all? If I do not give my consernt, how can I get the service that is needed?

This request for consent was caused by the requirement of the PDPA. It states that "Organisations may collect, use or disclose personal data only with the individual's knowledge and consent (with some exceptions)".

I suggest that th requirement for the customer consent be removed.

It can be quite tiresome for the customer to spend a minute to hear this message, when they have to worry about getting the request or transaction to be accepted.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results of the voting in The Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) Should taxis be allowed to deliver goods for ecommerce companies? (50 Votes )

Majority say "Yes".But other voters have some concern. Find out more at:
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=207

b) Is Lee HL practicising double standard when he did not sue his siblings for defaming him? (53 Votes )

More than half says "Yes". Find out the views of the others at
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=205

c) Will US sanctions against Russia lead to a trade war or serious conflict? (47 Votes )

The views are varied. Find out here.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=206

Give your votes on the active issues in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lee HL's style of government

I am unhappy with Lee HL's governemnt. They refuse to engage the public on issues of public interest, made odd decisions, and even refuse to explain their decisions to the public.

Here are some examples:

a) Design of the curved bridge between Singapore and Johor Bahu (Thank you Tuanku for bringing it up).

b) Why did it take 7 years to discuss this issue between the two governments and end up with an odd design.

c) Why did they charge Li Shengwu for scandalizing the court when many people like Kenneth Jeyaretnam had made stronger statements and were not charged?

d) Why did they expel Prof Huang Jing for "being an agent for a foreign country" when he was apparently doing his job to talk to people and get inputs for our government.

e) Why do they consider a person who has been involved in a senior positon with their party for 20 years considered to be suitable to be elected as an independent president?

Lee HL's highly paid ministers and civil servants must think that the ordinary Singaporeans are idiots. They are right. 70% are idiots for voting this kind of government.

Wisdom of the Crowd - new issues

Here are the new issues for your voting

a) Is it proper for the Johor Sultan to object to the design of the bridge?
b) Why does the experts plan a curved bridge for the RTS between Singapore and Johor Bahru?

Vote in
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg

Wisdom of the Crowd - results

Here are the results on the voting at the Wisdom of the Crowd.

a) What will happen to President Donald Trump? (54 Votes )
The top choices are that he will complete one term or will be impeached.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=202

b) What will America do about North Korea? (47 Votes
Nearly half of the Crowd thinks that America will continue to ask China to deal with the problem. The next choice is a limited military strike.
http://www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg/chart.aspx?ID=203

You can vote on other issues and win a prize.
www.wisdomofthecrowd.sg






Superannuation in Australia is better than CPF

Check this video out

https://vimeo.com/145196703

Look how easy it is for me to make investment switches for my own superannuation investment and how much control I have over how my money is invested.

Look also at how much returns I'm enjoying. Depending on the fund I choose returns can be anything from 3.4% p.a. for Bonds up to 16.99% p.a. for Global Environmental Opportunities (e.g. renewal energy and its related areas).

CPF is a ponzi fund by comparison. With CPF you get no choice I believe. And a terrible ROI of 2.5% right? I don't see ANY benefit at all with CPF. They make it complicated to access information and it's rigid rules mean that you essentially have no power to decide how your money is invested.

Superannuation in Australia is fantastic by comparison.

Also the website of my super fund shows me the returns over time for the one dozen or so options I get to choose from. I am able to vary the time period and see the graphs adjust immediately. I take note of the peaks and troughs and decide on which investment option based on my own stomach for risk and return.

Most of the investment options are very well managed and therefore I choose the one with the highest returns. When that fund falls, the other funds also fall with it but the fall is mostly similar in magnitude. The gains however can be double for the same period. So over time, I actually gain more by investing in a "higher growth" option.

This particular super fund I'm with has been voted Australia's "best super fund" for a number of years. The competition among super funds also results in better investment products and scrutiny from consumers and super fund consumer groups.

I hope you find this insight useful.

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