Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

General Election 2015

Get this book for free

Here is an easy way to get a free copy of the e-book "Medical Bills for the Elderly" and save $4 and the hassle of making the payment.

Will these factors affect your vote in the general election?

If your current MP voted in support of the population white paper, will it influence your decision to vote for this MP?

If your current MP is a part time MP, will you give preference to another candidate who will work full time?

Give your answer in this website

Quality of service

Give your feedback on any 5 service organizations in Singapore and receive a prize - ebook on Financial Planning for Young People (usual selling price is $6).

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pie chart of votes - Wisdom of the Crowd

You can now view the pie charts of the issues that contain 10 or more votes. So far, most of the votes are against the current policies of the establishment. I hope that more of the pro-establishment votes will come in soon.

Swing against the PAP - my guess

Mr. Tan
What is your guess on the swing of votes for or against the PAP?
I expect the alternative parties to win 15 to 20 seats. The swing against the PAP is 5 to 7%.
Anyway, this is just my guess. I have participate in this contest to start it off, but if I win, my result will be excluded.

Think "Win-Win"

200 people have voted in this contest.

I sent an email to ask them to get their friends to join the contest.

One of them replied,
"Mr. Tan. If I get other people to join the contest, I will have a smaller chance to win the prize".

I replied to him:
"Ask your friend to join and ask him to share the prize with you, if he wins - because you recommended this contest to him."

Lesson: Think win-win. There is always an opportunity to improve your expected gain!

"Wisdom of the Crowd" website

The Wisdom of the Crowd website allows the ordinary people to cast their votes on issues affecting their lives and the lives of their children.
It is somewhat similar to the Swiss referendum system. The Swiss are asked to vote on their issues every three months. The results of the votes guide their government in formulating its policies and passing laws for the country.

Here are the issues that affect the lives of Singaporeans.
You can register here and cast your votes now.
After you have voted on 5 issues, you will receive a FREE copy of the e-book, "Medical Bill for the Elderly". It contains tips on how you can reduce the medical expenses for the elderly, including your parents.
Get your friends to cast their votes also. When an issue gets more than 100 votes, the results become more reliable.
Why is this website called "Wisdom of the Crowd"? The author of this famous book said that ordinary people, who are well informed of an issue, can collectively decide on what is the best solution for that issue.
So, this website allows ordinary people to cast their votes on these issue. Join "Wisdom of the Crowd" now.

President Obama is conveying my message

Mr. Tan
Which party do you endorse? Who will you vote for in your constituency?
Here are my top wish for this general election.…/my-top-wish-for-general-ele…
I will be voting in Ang Mo Kio GRC.
I will ask my friend to give you my message.

Guess the PAP share of vote in general election 2015

Here is an easy way for you to win a cash prize of $500 and it is FREE.
You only need to submit an entry to guess the percentage of the votes that will be obtained by the People's Action Party (PAP) at the general election on September 11, 2015.
TIP: The PAP won 60.1% at the general election in 2011. Will they have a higher or lower percentage of vote in 2015? See! It is easy to make your guess.
Only 210 entries have been submitted so far, so your chance of winning is quite good. Your entry can be submitted here:
After submitting your entry, tell your friends about it. If they win, ask them to give you a treat or share the prize - because you told them.
Good luck.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Swiss Referendum System

Mr. Tan,
You referred to the Swiss system of referendum. Can you explain how it works?

I asked the same question to a Swiss professor last year. He told me the following:

1. The government organize a referendum every 3 months.
2. Several questions are put to the citizens to vote.
3. The government provides a booklet to explain the issues that they have to vote on.
4. The citizens go to the poll and cast their votes on each issue.
5. The results of the polls are used by the government to decide on their policies and to recommend the laws in the passed in their legislature.
6. The law makers are guided by the views of the citizens.
7. The citizens can also recommend the issues to be put to the referendum, but they need to have a gather a certain number of signatures.

My "Wisdom of the Crowd" website is a small attempt to allow the citizens of Singapore to give their votes on issues affecting our lives. It is similar to the Swiss approach. However, I am using an online platform, and it is conducted the whole year round.

Give your support to this website, Get your friends to vote also. Our views can be credible if we can gather 1,000 votes, or better still 10,000 votes on any of the issues.

Scoot Airlines has a troublesome booking sysetm

I have given my feedback on my experience with booking a ticket with Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. The experience is bad. They should simplify their website and reduce the number of steps. Here is my fuller comment.

Do you have any feedback to share about any of the service organizations in Singapore .You can give five feedback and win a e-book prize "Financial Planning for Young People".

My top wish for General Election 2015

What is my top wish for the outcome of the general election that will be held on Sep 11, 2015?

Active Parliament

I wish to see an active Parliament. I wish to see people elected into Parliament who can play an active role in

1) Discussing the issues facing the people.
2) Discussing the policies proposed by the government to address these issues
3) Pass laws that will provide the legal force to address these issues.

This requires members who are able to spend full time in this job.

We should not elect part-time MP who are busy in the private sector jobs, such as doctors, lawyers or corporate managers. If they are elected, they should be willing to give up their current jobs to spend full time as a MP.

Perhaps, as a compromise, they can part a part time job that do not occupy more than 50% of their time.

Diverse Parties

It is preferable, but not essential, for Parliament to comprise of members from diverse parties. The most important goal is to elect people who can spend at least half of their time, but preferably all of their time, in their work as MP.

Group Representative Constituency (GRC)

This structure is very bad. It is the source of many of the problems that we face today - the disconnect and the loss of trust between the government leaders and the people. We should remove this structure at any early time in the future.

Government Ministers

 We need to address the issue of getting suitably people to be government ministers. Our current approach is flawed in at least two ways:

1)  To get the "suitable" people to become ministers, the ruling party has to provide a safe way to enter parliament through the GRC.

2)  We still face the risk of losing the "suitable" people in the general election.

We have all along followed the UK system of appointing ministers from the elected members of Parliament. We should, however, recognize that our Parliament has only 89 members, compared to a total of 1,400 members in the UK Parliament, comprising of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The UK has a larger pool of people to select their ministers.

We have to change our constitution or practice to follow the practice in the United States. The President can recommend people from outside of Parliament to be ministers, but the appointment has to be approved by their Congress. In our case, the appointment can be approved by our Parliament.

How to vote

I recommend my fellow citizens to vote for someone who is willing to serve as a full time MP. It does not matter whether they person wear white, blue, red, yellow or any other color. Cast your vote wisely.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Invest in your future for only $6

Many people, especially those who just started work, are likely to buy a bad life insurance policy that will make them poor for a long time.

They can avoid this fate by investing $6 and 2 hours of time to read this book. This book is written in the context of Singapore and gives practical advice on what the young person should do, and should avoid.

Act now, and make the right investment for your future.

If you have children who are going to start work soon, you should buy this book for them. It could be the best gift that you can give to them, for only $6.

Request for advice

I receive regular requests to give my views on problems faced by consumers. They usually provide incomplete details and hide their personal identity.

I do not wish to reply to these cases. If they wish to consult me, they have to register here.

They have to provide the actual name and contact and sufficient details. I will not charge any fee for the initial assessment.

I am willing to charge only on success, e.g. if a rejected claim is finally paid, or request for a donation to be made to the Financial Services Consumer Association.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Best wishes to the Reform Party

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam is providing soft but essential leadership to the alliance of the alternative parties.

His Reform Party was willing to step aside in Jurong and Clementi and give way to the other parties. He took out the challenge of fielding a team for the Ang Mo Kio GRC and did assemble a good team.

He is now willing to step in to contest Pioneer North, at short notice, if the National Solidarity Party intends to give it up.

He has clearly demonstrated the skill of give and talk and is unselfish in his approach.

His father, JBJ, must be smiling from heaven. I wish all the best to Kenneth. He deserves to win a seat in Parliament. That would be good for our Parliament and for Singapore.

Answers given to an international media

Dear Mr Tan, how are you?  Most grateful if you have some time to reply to a few questions given its election season.

1. What do you make of the state of affairs the opposition is in? And what's the impact to the ruling party? Can the opposition mount a convincing challenge? 

TKL: Several of the alternative parties (i.e. other than People's Action Party) are well organized. The Workers' Party is clearly a stronger party. The Singapore Democratic Party has also organized their strategy well and have issued several well written and convincing policy papers during the past two years. The new parties, such as the Reform Party and the Singapore First party look promising.

2. The opposition seems fragmented and the ambition appears not to run the country but to provide an alternative voice in parliament. Why is this so and does the current system of ncmp and nmp work? Is this real democracy?

TKL: It is a good strategy for the alternative parties to aim to provide an alternative voice in Parliament. We need policy issues to be actively debated in Parliament and for diverse points of views to be considered before the laws are passed. We also need the laws to be well thought through and clearly written.

The system of NCMP and NMP is not effective to provide the healthy debate. It is better to have law makers from several political parties that speak with the mandate of the people. I also hope that the ruling party will allow their MPs to speak freely from their own conscience and reflect the majority views of their constituents.

3. With Lee Kuan Yew no longer around, do you think more may be compelled to join the opposition or vote them in and why?

TKL: As Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is no longer around, there will be a small swing towards to alternative parties, but the impact will not be significant. Mr. Lee's influence had diminished somewhat over the years, as he had stepped down from active leadership for more than 20 years.

4. Is this election an opportunity for PM Lee to put in place the next generation of leaders? How crucial is it for the party's succession planning?

TKL: The system of self renewal adopted by the Peoples Action Party is not effective. If we are as the United Kingdom, there will be sufficient numbers of law makers to pick from, to form the next generation of leadership. I prefer the system in the United States where the President can pick his ministers from anywhere in the country, subject to endorsement of the Congress. This will provide a better choice.

5. Significance of this election as the first since the death of LKY? Will the Pap lose more seats or will it win more?

TKL: At the Punggol East by-election, there was a swing of 10% away from the PAP. At this general election, I expect the swing to be smaller, but there will still be a significant swing. The issues affecting the people, such as the high cost of living, the uncertainty over jobs, the over crowding of public transport and other public services, and the stressful life have not gone away.

I expect that the PAP will lose more seats in this general election, but they will be returned to power with a comfortable majority. My guess is that the alternative parties will win 15 to 20 seats.

6. What kind of role does social media play in the current election? In 2011, social media helped fanned tension and raised hot button issues such as immigration and transport congestion. Does legal action against bloggers Amos Yee and Roy Ngerng help the PAP's cause or not?

TKL: The social media continues to play an important role in providing alternative views and sources of information to the general public. However, some of the messages in the social media are extreme, so the public will have to be discerning about interpreting these views. Most of them are mature and know what information are reliable, and what are not.

Video on the Lehman Crisis

A company was engaged to make a video on the Lehman Crisis for a TV station. They must have received a handsome fee for the assignment.

They approached me to speak on the video. They offered a speaker fee of $200. I declined.

Stock broking firm cannot afford to pay a speaker fee

Dear Mr Tan
I read with regular interest your articles via your website.

As we provide our clients with regular investment education talks, UOB Kay Hian Investor Centre will like to invite you to give a special presentation on your views of the current stock market downturn.

We are unable to pay a speaker's fee for your appearance but hope that you will like to educate our clients on your views related to shares investing.

We schedule regular events and promotions for our clients on a weekly (smaller scale events) and monthly basis (larger scale events and seminars).

Sorry, I wish to decline

Our stock broking firms make millions of profits each year. They should be able to afford a speaker's fee. I wonder if they also invite their foreign speakers to speak for free?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stock market rout - impact on the general election

Will the stock market rout help the PAP in the general election? Will the voters vote PAP for an experienced government to steer the economy during the challenging times ahead?

My view. The stock market rout will add to the woes of the ordinary people who are now struggling with uncertain jobs, high cost of living, over crowding and a stressful lives. It will now impact more businesses who will now find it a struggle to stay profitable. There will be more retrenchment. More people will feel the pain.

But voting is on 9 September, before the pain comes in. Will people vote PAP for a steady hand in government? It is still too early for gauge the collapse of the stock market in their voting preference.

On balance, I think that the stock market rout will not have any serious impact on the voting pattern. The negative factors that impact their daily lives will continue to be a prominent factor. It will be bad for the PAP.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learn to be an entrepreneur with business simulation

It is difficult to run the airline in the business simulation game. The market is more competitive and cut-throat. (Isn't it the same for most businesses?).

If you make a mistake, you can lose a lot of money. Half the airlines are incurring losses. But the red airline (me) is still making a profit.

Why? I learn the pricing and marketing strategy by playing the games many times.

You can also learn the strategy.

A wonderful mother

A woman telephoned my office and ask the difference between the financial planning book that cost $12 and $6. One is a hard copy book and the other is a PDF book. 
She told me that she has stopped working and is buying the book for her daughter who has just started working.
What a wonderful idea. What a wonderful gift for the daughter. What a wonderful mother. 
Her gift may save her daughter $100,000 to $200,000 by making the right investment.
I recommended the $6 Financial Planning for Young People (PDF) which is an updated version.

Use the term 'public' patients

At KTP Hospital, there were many patients waiting in the public waiting area. Round the corridor, there was another large waiting area that was empty.
I guess that the empty waiting area was for private patients.
I wonder if many of the specialists were set aside for private patients (but the demand was low) and the specialists allocated for public patients had to cope with many patients.
I have decided to use the term 'public' patient rather than 'subsidized' patients. I do not like the terminology created by the elites.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Visit to KTP Hospital as subsidized patient

I went to a polyclinic in June to do an Xray and consult the doctor on a growth in my foot. The doctor referred me to KTP Hospital.

I had to wait 2 months to get an appointment in KTP Hospital. I now wish to share my experience for this visit as a subsidized patient.

I spent the time as follows:
a) Wait to be registered - 15 minutes
b)  Wait for the specialist to be ready - 15 minutes
c)  Saw the specialist - 15 minutes. She saw my foot and arranged an appointment for an operation.
d) Wait to make payment - 15 minutes
e) Wait for "financial counselling" for the surgery - 30 minutes

There is something wrong with the workflow. The actual time spent by the doctor was only 15 minutes. The other non-medical work took 75 minutes. I thought that the operation could be carried out today, but it had to be done on another appointment in two weeks time.

I was annoyed with waiting so long for "financial counselling". This was a bad description. Apart from telling me how much the operation  would cost, the main purpose was to explain the preparation for the surgery. A better description is "medical counselling".

I received a bill of $75 for this visit. The government provided a subsidy of 50% and the Pioneer Generation card paid 50% of the balance. Still, I had to pay $17.50 and spent time just for the specialist to see my foot and arrange the date of the operation.

I get the impression that "money" was the main focus, rather than the medical treatment. I hope that a future minister for health will increase the focus towards the medical treatment, rather than worry about collecting money.

We need a new approach to governing Singapore

Should we give the PAP the mandate to take us into the next 10 to 15 years?

My reply is - "No".
We need to send a strong message that the old style of governance, by people in the ivory tower, is not relevant today.
We need change.
We need a more active Parliament, where the law makers spend time to debate the key issues affecting our future.
We need a more diverse Parliament.
We need ministers who have spent many years on the issues affecting ordinary people before they are given the authority and trust to make decisions affecting our future. They cannot be parachuted into the position of important positions using the GRC system.

What is the best way to give this strong message? Vote for the alternative parties!

Use your database effectively

Many companies rely on their database, but they do not realize the following:
a) They are not processing the data efficiently
b) They are not realizing the full value of the data
I provide consultancy to improve your productivity and the value of your data.

Leaders who know how to cooperate, rather than compete

Mr. Tan
In PM Lee's National Day Rally, he talked about the changes in our neighboring countries and how some of their officials expect Singapore to be "sensitive" to their concerns.
We need leaders with the special skills and experience to handle these expectations. Do you agree?

I have heard this message many times over the past years. Our leaders used this message to scare the people into voting for them, based on their "ability" to handle these expectations.

The skills to handle these expectations do not come from people who were raised in the ivory tower, who think that they were "smart" and who treat other people with an arrogant attitude.

We need people who are comfortable in dealing with other people, have the skill to engage in a dialogue among peers and know to work in cooperation to find a "win win" solution.

We need people who know how to cooperate and do not focus only on competition. Sadly, our leaders do not have these skills - as they have done well by being competitive from their first year in school..

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How to replace an insurance agent

hi mr tan
Wondering u can advise me on how to deal with my current agent from GE. He is totally not professional in his job and I would like to replace him. How can i proceed and what avenue do I have on agent like this ? Thank you sir.

Please register here

Do not allow an insurance agent to CON or CONfuse you

Many young people were misled into buying the wrong life insurance policy. Their future savings are destroyed by a careless decision. This can be avoided if they only some some time to learn the fundamentals.

You can't have your cake and eat it

The idiom “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” illustrates the concept of making trade-offs and realizing that you can’t have something if you have another.

The phrase is often used when referring to compromises and alludes to making a choice between two options that could never be reconciled. In other words, the two options that are mutually exclusive.

I learned this concept when I was in school. Strangely, our leaders in the PAP did not understand this concept.

Mr LKY proposed the office of the elected President. This person is voted by the people and is given wide power to block the use of past reserves. This power was useful in case an alternative government is elected into office in Singapore. 

He did not anticipate that the first elected President, Mr. Ong Teng Cheong, would carry out his duty diligently as spelled out in the constitution and question how the current PAP government was spending the government funds and reserves.

The problem became more complex because the concept of current and past reserves was not clearly defined. It was a very bad idea to start with. 

After President Ong, the next two presidents were more relaxed about allowing the government to do what it wanted. This did not solve the problem entirely.

Some of their actions taken by the government appeared to contradict what was stated in the constitution, especially in the role of the elected president. One concerned citizen and politician, Mr. Kenneth Jeyaretnam, brought up a case in court that the government was acting against in constitution in granting a loan to the International Monetary Fund without the approval of the President.

I hope that this embarrassing situation will teach our leaders about the concept of "you can't have the cake and eat it". If they want better governance and control over the use of the past reserves, they have to abide by the constraints and allow the elected president to do his duty. If not, it is better to remove the powers and responsibility from the elected president.

They cannot have a president to check an alternative government, and expect the president to close both eyes when the unauthorized spending is carried out by the current PAP government.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Elected President - when will be the next election?

Mr. Tan
When will be the next Presidential Election?
Do you plan to contest again?

The next Presidential Election is due in 2017. The President holds office for a term of 6 years. The last election was in August 2011.

The PAP government will not change the constitution prior to the general election. They want the current president to exercise his powers in case the general election produces a new government.

After the general election, I expect the constitution to be changed to reduce the power of the elected president.  Perhaps they will revert to a ceremonial head of state, which was the situation in the past.

The current arrangement is impractical. The government keeps bypassing the president on key issues, such as the loan to the International Monetary Fund.

Mr. Kenneth Jeyaretnam had to take a case to the High Court to argue that the government is acting against the constitution. This is embarrassing for the government and also create a headache for the court.

I suspect that there will be no more election for the elected President. Whatever the outcome, I do not intend to contest the next Presidential Election. Once is enough.

Suitable to be a PAP minister

This Panasonic remote control is designed by a "smart" idiot. The battery died. My staff could not open it to replace the battery. I could not either. I asked two other young men to open it, and they gave up. 
I finally managed to find a solution. But, I declare that this remote control is designed by a "smart" idiot. 
If he came to Singapore, he will be suitable to be a PAP minister.

President Jokowi talks to the past presidents of Indonesia

During the 70th Independence Day of Indonesia, a newspaper published this photograph. It shows President Jokowi talking to the other past presidents of Indonesia.

The first president, Soekarno, told Jokowi - "I have an easier struggle compared to you. My struggle was to fight the Dutch who colonized Indonesia. Your struggle is to fight your own people".

He was referring to the difficulty that President Jokowi faced in getting changes passed through Parliament! Hahaha

Running an airline

Here is a chart showing the results of the business simulation game - to run an airline, at the end of round 10.

I am team 1 and my ranking is at the top. The other teams are simulated players - they provide their input at random. Being a person who can think, I am able to input better results.

The charts show:

Chart 1 - ranking of revenue for round 10 (Team 1 is at the top).
Chart 2 - ranking of profit for round 10 (Team is is at the top).
Chart 3 - ranking of cumulative profits (round 1 to 10) - Team 1 is at the top.

Helping a civil servant to get money back for her mother

A civil servant consulted me about her mother's case. She went to register in my consultancy website here:
She uploaded the benefit illustration for her mother's case and also provided her contact details. I called and spoke to her about the case.
Here is her reply to me.
Dear Mr Tan,
Thank you so much for your help as well as listening ear to my mother's insurance problem.
I am so glad I approached you and it has been amazing talking to you. I've learnt so much from you.

I hope to help her mother to get back the $80,000 that she had paid in two years' premium to the insurance company. The surrender value is now only $40,000. The insurance company swallowed $40,000 in profits and expenses - all at the expense of an elderly woman who is not savvy about this type of bad product.

Practice to run an airline better than Tony Fernandez

I enjoy the business simulation game for airlines. It allows me to set the ticket price and capacity for each of 4 products (Asean, Asia, Europe and America) and to compete with other airlines for each round. The trend for demand and cost for the next round is given.
The airline game starts at 2 pm, 8 pm, 2 am and 8 am.
Enjoy. Practice and learn to be sharp in your pricing and marketing.

Click on "Guide PDF" for instructions on how to play the game.

Is it safe to walk into a bank?

If you walk into a bank in Singapore, you will probably feel that it is a safe place.
You may not realize that you can be robbed in broad daylight, and by someone working for the bank.
Read this story about an elderly lady who was taken for a ride also.

How to avoid a bad life insurance policy

Whenever I post a story about a bad life insurance policy that "rips off" the customer, I get requests to state the name of the insurance company or the name of the policy.

I decline to do so.

It is better for the consumer to be aware about what is a "bad product" and to use the benchmark to identify any bad product that may be offered to them.

If they put in the effort to understand what is a bad product and why it is a bad product, they can avoid similar bad products that are offered to them.

If they don't put in this effort, they are likely to be caught one day. By then, regret will be too late.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Do not allow your future to be destroyed by a careless mistake

Many young people were misled into buying the wrong life insurance policy. Their future savings are destroyed by a careless decision. This can be avoided if they only some some time to learn the fundamentals.

Develop your entrepreneurial skills

Here are instructions on how to play the Business Simulation Game and develop your entrepreneurial skills
Go to this website to play the online game:

Scoreboard of political parties and contest

The Workers Party is now at the top of the scoreboard. The National Solidarity Party has dropped to 2nd place. This must be due to the decision of the NSP to contest MacPherson in a three corner fight. Guess the party at the bottom of the scoreboard!

See the scoreboard here:

If you have not submitted your entry for the contest "Guess the PAP share of votes", you should do it now. Those who submitted earlier have a better chance of winning the prize.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Daylight Robbery

An 55 year old lady went into a bank. She bought a life insurance policy on the recommendation of the financial adviser. She had to pay an annual premium of $40,000 for 5 years, making a total of $200,000.

At the end of 10 years, she is projected to receive a maturity benefit of $236,000 provided that the insurance company is able to earn 4.75% on its investments.

If the insurance company did earn a return of 4.75%, the total premium paid during the 5 years, accumulated at 4.75%, would amount to $291,000. The insurance company took away $55,0000 (this is shown as "effect of deduction") and gave a return of only $36,000 to the policyholder.

If the insurance company did not earn a yield of 4.75%, it can reduce the amount paid to the policyholder and does not have to justify the reduction. It only offered a guaranteed sum of $181,000 (which is less than the total premium of $200,000). The insurance company is not taking any risk for the hefty "effect of deduction" of $55,000. All the investment risks are being shouldered by the elderly lady.

What is the amount of coverage provided by the life insurance policy? Almost nothing. The policy illustration stated that at the time of death, the amount that is paid out is the lower of 105% of the premium paid or the face amount. In the policyholder had died during the 10 year period, the policy would only pay out 5% more than the premium paid, It would not even pay out the actual yield  earned on the premium.

After paying the premium for two years, she wanted to reduce the annual premium. The insurance company told her that they would confiscated the excess premium that she had paid. For example, if she reduced the premium to $20,000 for the remaining three years, she would have to forego the excess $40,000 that was paid during the first two years.


The insurance company, which is an international life insurance company, reported profits of several billion dollars a year from their global operations, including Singapore. Guess where the profits come from? No prize for the right answer. Yes, it came from their policyholders, including this elderly lady .

When will the Monetary Authority of Singapore wake up and decide that this daylight robbery of the vulnerable citizens has to stop?

Business Simulation Game

I have developed a new version of the Business Simulation Game. I demonstrated it to a group of young and middle aged executives in an insurance company in Jakarta. They were quite interested in the game and started to login and submit their inputs.

Here is the Guide to this game. Anyone can sign in to play the game on your own or to compete with friends. By practicing a few rounds, you will sharpen you skill in market and business development.

Read this guide and enjoy the game.

Give your views about the latest turn of events for the NSP and WP

If you dislike the National Solidarity Party for their "lack of integrity" or the Worker's Party for their "arrogance", you can give your views here:

And you can also predict the PAP share of the total votes here, and win a prize.

Difference between "competition" and "cooperation"

My friend in Jakarta have three children, aged 6 to 12. When I visited him during Indonesian Independence Day, I said that I would teach his children the difference between "competition" and "cooperation". He and his wife was interested on how I would do it.

I asked the three children to do the T-puzzle. If they are able to do the puzzle, they will get a prize. I asked what prize that like. They hesitated. How about ice-cream? They eyes lit up.

I said that everyone who complete the puzzle would win the prize. If they know the answer, they can teach their brother or sister. That is "cooperation".

If I give the prize only to the child who complete first, it becomes "competition". They will behave selfish, to win the prize.

After completing the T-puzzle, they went to do the other shapes. In the evening, we went out for dinner. After dinner, we dropped into the mini-mart and every child had the ice cream that they liked.

Here is the T-puzzle.

I told this story to my Indonesian client who run a new insurance company. He was surprised. He wanted his telemarketers to compete to improve their performance. He never realized that it would be better for them to cooperate and learn from each other. He wanted to try out my idea in his next campaign.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Will PAP lose the general election?

How well will the PAP fare in the forthcoming general election? Will they do better and get more than the 60.1% that they received in 2011? Will they suffer a swing of more than 10% as shown in the Punggol East by-election? Will the final outcome be somewhere in between?

Let me first list the factors in favor of the PAP

1. The poor management by the the opposition Workers' Party in running the Aljunied Town Council
2. The pride felt by Singaporeans in the 2015 South East Asian Games and the SG50 celebrations
3. The financial benefits given to the elderly under the Pioneer Generation Package
4. The fragmented alternative parties
5. The fear of toppling down the PAP government leading to instability

Here are the factors against the PAP

6. The difficulty faced by the middle aged PMETs and the young graduates in competing with foreigners for jobs
7. The daily overcrowding and frequent breakdown of the MRT trains
8. The constant criticism of the PAP in the social media on lack of transparency, arrogance and incompetence.
9. The high cost of living and cost of housing
10. The desire for more "opposition voices" in Parliament.

How do these two sets of factors balance out?

They do not look good for the PAP. The voters of Hougang and Potong Pasir have shown over the past two decades  that they are willing and able to take the unfair treatment in the upgrading of their estates. The voters of Aljunied are likely to ignore the alleged mismanagement of the town council, especially as the incumbent MPs had put much effort to build their personal relations with the residents.

The pride and celebration of the SEA Games and SG50 appear to be short lived.

Lets look at negative side for the PAP. The frustration of finding a job, over crowded trains and buses and the high cost of living is a daily reminder to the voters of the poor quality of life.

Even the possibility of voting the PAP out of power is no longer a fear factor. If the PAP does not have a majority in Parliament, they are likely to be the party with most seats and  lead the coalition government. Some of the ministers have shown that they are not competent.  It would be nice to have some ministers not in white.

The wisdom of the crowd, as reflecting in the "Guess the PAP share of votes" contest in my webstie suggests that the PAP will get 55% of the popular vote - a swing of 5%. I believe that the swing will be higher, maybe 7%. We may be looking at 15 to 20 seats for the alternative parties in the next Parliament.

May I say, "I may be wrong".

My friend, who worked in a government agency and is generally pro-PAP said, "I live in East Coast. I will vote opposition as I fear for the future of my children if the PAP continues with their current policies". Will this be the view of many people?

Scoreboard and contest for the forthcoming general election

The National Solidarity Party is more popular than the Workers Party in this scoreboard, but the results are based on inadquate responses and may be biased. The PAP is way down.

Take part in the contest to guess the PAP's total share of votes in the forthcoming general election.

This is a test of your personal judgment, but don't worry - nobody knows how you fare, except yourself! You can improve your skill by practice. 

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