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16 Jul 2019
Movement for change
View - 103
Why is HDB a mess and how can it be fixed

I have described the HDB as a mess. Let me explain why it is a mess and how it can be fixed. HDB is a mess for the following reasons: a) It is now costly and takes a large portion of the earnings of working people. b) It has many complicated rules on eligibility, pricing, access to grants and use of CPF savings. Most owners do not understand the rules and have to reply on the staff of HDB or the property agents to advise them. c) A......



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14 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 239
A train journey in Switzerland

18 years ago, I flew to Zurich and went to the train station to buy a ticket to take me to St Moritz in the mountains. The clerk could not speak English but understood what I wanted. He looked at the booklets and sold me three train tickets for different segments of the journey. I was horrified. If I have to leave the train at a station, how do I know which platform to take for the next train? Furthermo......



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14 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 49
Do you want Wigan Wolgate or Wigan Northwestern?

40 years ago, I was on a train in the UK and it passed a station called Wigan Wolgate. What a strange name. My English friend told me this joke. An Indian migrant lived in England for many years. He received a telegram that his mother in India is seriously ill. He has to return to India quickly. He went to the station in Wig......



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14 Jul 2019
Housing Development Board
Suggestion View - 1358
Be careful about buying a HDB resale flat

I want to give this word of caution to Singaporeans. Be careful when you buy a HDB resale flat. You may have heard about the money that people make when they sell their resale flat. You may have heard that many permanent residents made money when they sold off their HDB flat to return to their country. Those were cases in the past when the HDB resale market kept going up. It is no longer the case now.br data-tex......



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14 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 101
Do not make a useless motherhood statement

I posted a feedback about a Singaporean who arranged to attend an interview to work in a hawker stall but did not turn up. He did not inform the hawker to cancel the appointment. The pay was quite good. I asked - does this reflect a common problem faced by employers? Is this why they prefer foreigners? I received a comment that contains a motherhood statement - one swallow does not make a summer. This is what I call a "useless comment". It will be useful if the comm......



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13 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 157
Develop your character and be confident of your own views

I wish to share this observation about a young person, who probably reflects behavior of many young people in Singapore. This person passes a rude comment in my Page. I clicked on his link to see his profile. He made a post in his profile to express an opinion on another issue and ended it with this message - This is just my opinion. Don't bash me if you do not agree. I wondered - why is he so afraid ......



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13 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 137
Will people vote PAP during an economic recession?

The conventional thinking is that the people will vote PAP during an economic recession. By voting PAP, they hope to see stability and allow the PAP to find the solution to deal with the challenges. But they are mistaken. Here are my reasons: a) The current batch of leaders in the PAP are inexperienced. They will not have the vision and courage to think of new solutions. b) The challenges faced by Singapore require a......



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13 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 173
Measures to cope with the economic slowdown

The typical approach of the government to an economic slowdown is "train workers with new capabilities". We have tried this approach before. It is largely wasteful and ineffective. Are there other ways to deal with the situation? Here are my ideas. a)  Give subsidies to business to reduce their business cost, e.g. rental and employment of local workers, e.g. to allow business to claim for 20% of their rental expenses and the cost o......



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11 Jul 2019
DBS Bank
Feedback View - 171
iBanking website

The DBS iBanking website for individual customers require a special device for 2FA login and confirmation. It also provides an option for SMS OTP. As I left my device at home, I opted for SMS OTP to carry out a transaction in the office.  I was able to login and to request a payment transaction. It send a OTP to my mobile phone and asked me to use the device to convert the OTP. But my device is at home. So, I had to abandon th......



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11 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 178
Exempt essential products from GST

Many people are prepared to continue with GST, but they like essential products to be exempted. This is not as easy as it appears. What are the essential products? I suspect that they like these products to be exempted from GST. a) food, milk, etc b) medicine and medical expenses c) school books and other school expenses d) public transport e) utilities, such as water, electricity, gas Maybe there are other catego......



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11 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 877
The secret of Ho Ching's salary

Ho Ching, wife of PM Lee, was appointed as CEO of Temasek Holdings, the state sovereign fund, in 2004.  Her salary as CEO has been a secret for 15 years. It has never been published. Most people assumed that she must have been drawing a very high salary. Some even speculated in the tens or hundreds of millions a year. They draw parallel with the salaries paid to the CEOs of the subsidiaries that are listed in the Singapore Exchange. How much is h......



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10 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Feedback View - 314
Give up Singapore citizenship

Is there a serious flaw in our government policy that encourages citizens to give up their citizenship? Let me share some thoughts.  An average of 1,200 people give up their citizenship each year between 2007 and 2011. This was reported in 2012. I am not able to get the  figures for subsequent years.  https://www.cha......



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09 Jul 2019
Prime Minister Office
Suggestion View - 68
Election boundary committee should be formed with approval of parliament

I am disappointed to learn that an MP of the Worker Party has to ask in parliament whether the election boundary committee has been formed. It is important for this committee to be appointed and approved by parliament.  Although the PAP controls the majority in parliament, and are likely to get their nominated candidates approved by parliament, it is still a proper process for the committee to be appointed by parliament.  The past practice a......



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09 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 179
Give some value to a HDB flat when the lease has expired

I have a discussion with a friend about the HDB mess. He said that the people who bought expensive HDB flats in the last 30 years paid too much and they will see their investment have no value at the end of the lease. We agreed on this point. But we disagreed on the alternative approach. I suggested that the government should allow the lease to be renewed for 10 years at a modest premium.br data-text......



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09 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 48
Respect the privacy

A newspaper in the UK published leaked documents about the remarks made by the ambassador to the US on the situation with the Trump administration. It was the duty of the ambassador to give a candid assessment. He did it in confidential documents to the UK government.  The publication of the leaked document caused a diplomatic row between the UK and US government.  I consider it to be wrong for the newspaper to publish what is obviously a co......



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08 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 194
How do you expect your changes to be implemented?

Someone asked me - Mr. Tan, you have made many suggestions to change many government policies and strategies. How do you expect to get these changes implemented, if you do not become the prime minister? Frankly, you chance of being PM is quite low, isn't it? Here is my reply. I cannot do much on my own, except to share my ideas and the changes that should be done to address the challenges faced by the people in Singapore.  If we want to see chang......



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08 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 282
Helping people to cope with the cost of living

Many people are struggling with the high cost of living and inadequate wages. There is little that the government can do to increase the wages of workers in the private sector or with improving the savings of retirees. These challenges will take a long time to address. However, there are a few things that the government can do immediately and urgently.  Here they are: a) Abolish GST, so that the cost of living can come down by......



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08 Jul 2019
Political systems
Feedback View - 722
Why I appear to be pro-China

Someone observed that I appear to be pro-China in my posts. He asked why do I support a communist country that bans Facebook, Google and other social media platforms and censors the flow of information to their citizens? Here are my reasons: a) China has been able to make tremendous progress in developing their country. b) It has brought hundred of million citizens out of poverty. c) It allows its own social media platfor......



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08 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 169
Lessons from the Woodlands double murder

If the accused had gambled in the integrated resorts, many people would use it as a reason to blame the government for the tragedy of the double murder. He did not. So, the government did not get the blame. But he did gambled in other conventional ways. I do not want to blame the government for allowing this tragedy to happen.  However, I like to point out that this tragedy highlights the weakness in our support system.  Let me share my view......



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07 Jul 2019
Ministry of Health
Suggestion View - 60
How to manage drug prices

New York Times Editorial Sound, Fury and Prescription Drugs Nothing typifies the failures of health care in the United States like prescription drugs. Americans pay more for their medications — including those developed in America, with taxpayer dollars — than residents of a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/369727-us-drug-prices-higher-than-in-the-rest-of-the-world-heres-why" rel="no......



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07 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 142
Give up a child for adoption

If a family is in financial distress and is not able to provide for their children, it is better for them to give a child for adoption by other parents who can better provide for the child. I share this story of a wealthy family who have adopted children. Mr. and Mrs. X had three sons. They wanted a daughter very much.  They got to know of a family who had a daughter that they were not able to raise. The adopted the daughter and treated her very ......



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07 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 83
Helping families to deal with financial stress (2)

You must have followed the news about the double murder in Woodlands. It is a very sad episode. It is a tragedy that could have been avoided. The father was in serious financial and mental stress. He has a large gambling debt. He could not find a solution. I have the impression that he must have loved his wife and daughter very much. But he could not find a solution and ended up in taking their lives. He also wanted to commit suicide. What alternative......



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03 Jul 2019
Out of the box
Suggestion View - 205
Set up an agency to handle whistle blowing

We need an avenue for members of the public to make a report about alleged misconduct, such as sexual harassment and suspected corrupt practices. Here are my thoughts about setting up an agency to handle whistle blowing. a) This agency should deal with reports against any party in the public or private sector. b) The whistle blower should be allowed privacy and protection from retribution from making the report. c) The agency should con......



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03 Jul 2019
Ministry of Education
Negative View - 9
Does MOE have whistle-blowing policy for sexual misconduct?

I was deeply perturbed to read that a male principal allegedly molested seven teenage boys on the premises of the secondary school he was heading (Principal allegedly molested 7 boys in school, June 27). The number of sexual offences committed by educators in the last few years is alarming. The perpetrators......



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03 Jul 2019
Privacy and Data Protection Act
Negative View - 92
First, it was nuisance SMSes; now I am getting calls

In the past month, I have been getting many more messages from online betting platforms and unlicensed moneylenders. They were sent via SMS and WhatsApp, and I would get them as often as three times a day. The last straw for me was when I started to receive unsolicited phone calls from these people, about three times a week. The caller would begin by saying: "Hello, brot......



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03 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Feedback View - 182
Helping families to deal with financial stress

You must have read the story of the double murder in Woodlands. The father suffered a severe drop in his income as a property agent and incurred a huge gambling debt. He killed his pregnant wife and young daughter. What could be done to deal with this kind of problem? Clearly, the family needed help to deal with the financial crisis and mental health. Here are some steps that could be taken: a) The father should seek medical help to dea......



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02 Jul 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 125
State our grievance clearly

We should state our grievance clearly. We should not vent our anger on the wrong issue or against the wrong people. Let me quote this example. There is a big protest in Hong Kong against the extradition law. Most of the protestors are young people who are not affected directly by the extradition law, but are unhappy with the high cost of housing and the lack of social mobility.  They should not vent their anger against the government on the extradition law. The......



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02 Jul 2019
Ministry of Education
Reply View - 4
MOE continues to improve teachers' welfare

We fully agree with Mr Ho Kong Loon (Do more to reduce teachers' workload, June 27) that the welfare of teachers must always be prioritised. The findings he refers to are from the Teaching and Learning International Survey 2018, a self-reporting global survey from the perspective of teachers. In it, Singapore teachers reported a two-hour reduction in their workload, compar......



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02 Jul 2019
Ministry of Social & Family Dev
View - 2
Duty of care may conflict with counsellor's duty of confidentiality

There has been much discussion on the issue of confidentiality in counselling (Review counselling system in all institutions, by Madam Shirley Woon Li Lin, June 19; and School counsellors need more support, by Mr Kuharajahsingam Karalasingam, June 21). Confidentialit......



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02 Jul 2019
Immigration and Checkpoint Authority
Reply View - 2
Consent needed for safe keeping of ICs

We thank Ms Helen Lim for her letter (Nursing homes shouldn't keep residents' identity cards, June 25 ). It is important for the Government to have up-to-date addresses of persons living in Singapore. Hence, the National Registration Act requires all NRIC (or IC) holders to report any change in their address to the Immigration & Checkpo......



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