Saturday, September 24, 2016

Encourge people to acquire the skills for real jobs

The headlines in the Straits Times read "Job woes part of transition to quality growth: Lim Swee Say".

Is it?

I saw another article reporting that graduates from private schools found it difficult to get jobs.

When will our ministers realize the folly of the government policies practiced over the past few decades? It has resulted in a high influx of foreigners to do the real work in Singapore while our citizens pursue paper degrees that are not suited to the needs of the economy.

Some of these jobs are in the public sector, such as:

a) Police and immigration officers
b) Nurses

The bad policies of the government include:

a) Stopping the career path of non-graduates. This has recently been reversed for the Police service.
b) Paying low salaries for non-graduates jobs. This has led to outsourcing of immigration and security jobs to foreigners.

The public sector must set an example to pay adequate salaries and give career growth to people with experience, even if they are non graduates. Many of the real jobs in the economy need people with real skills that come through experience, and not from paper qualifications.

The public sector should reserves its policies of discriminating against non-graduats. It should set the examples and provide benchmarks for salaries and career growth to people who are willing to do the real work and to acquire the experience to do them well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Unable to find a suitable job

I met an old friend. He has been unemployed for nearly ten years after his previous company closed down. He applied for many marketing jobs but did not get any response.

I asked him to register in If any employer advertised a job that he is interested in, he will receive an email alert. He can apply for the job with just one click.

Wish him good luck.

Invest in an index fund

I have uploaded a video on investing in an index fund. This is a "must learn" for young people. If you invest your savings correctly, you can get 50% more than the poor investments that most naive people make.

To learn about the index fund, you can watch the video in this website.

Troublesome to sign in to DBS website

The DBS Ideal 3 system is quite troublesome. I have to enter my company code, personal code, PIN, token password, function 1 and the token OTP.

That is not enough for DBS.

The first time that I enter, the webpage said "You have made a mistake".  So I have to enter all the numbers one more time. It accepts my entry on the second attempt.

This has been occurring over the past few months. Each time, it only accept my entries on the second attempt. I suspect that there is something wrong with the DBS webpage.

It is not enough for DBS to design a complicated sign-in system. They insist on making the customer go through it twice.

Indonesian tax amnesty

My Indonesian friend told me. The Indonesian authority wanted to reach out to the Chinese community to tell them about the tax amnesty. They went to give a talk in the churches.

Normally, the attendance at the church is about half full. When the congregation heard about the talk on tax amnesty, the church overflowed. Many of the attendees had to listen to the talk from outside the main hall.

The tax amnesty plan was successful. Many people are taking advantage of the amnesty to declare their past earnings and be forgiven. They only have to pay a tax of 2%.

I read a report in Jakarta post that the take-up was initially low, but i the participation had increased tremendously in recent weeks.

President Jokowi had implemented this plan successfully.

Transport concession for Workfare recipients

I saw this fare table at the bus stop. It has the adult fare, senior citizen fare and student fare. But what is WTCS fare?

The legend says that it is the Workfare Travel Concession Scheme.

Why do we need this special fare structure? It is wasteful to create many schemes. There is the cost of implementing the change in fare structure into a few thousand buses and train stations and issuing the WTCS cards.

A better approach is to give a higher benefit to the Workfare recipients and make them pay the ordinary adult fare.

We are penny wise and pound foolish. We spend large sums of money that are unnecessary and could be avoided.

It is important to understand the question

I is important to understand the question before arriving at the answer.  For example - someoe may ask me - "Is X a good investment"?

Before I arrive at the answer, I need to study X. I study the document for X and look for the key facts. I evaluate the facts and then come to my conclusion.

In giving my reply, I present the key facts and my conclusion.

It is important for the readers to go through my process of arriving at my conclusion. They have to check the facts and the reasoning. They can then form their own conclusion, which may or may not be the same as my conclusion.

By going through this process, they will learn how to approach a similar question in the future.

NTUC Income Asian Bond Fund

I've been approached by a friend to invest in the NTUC Income Asian Bond Fund.
Being not a savvy investor even after reading its fine prints I'm still uncertain
whether this is a good product to take up. Would you be kind enough to advise
if this bond fund is profitable & safe for a low-risk appetite investor?

My answer is given here:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Swiber bonds

How to avoid being caught in Swiber bonds and similar investments.

Videos on financial planning and insurance

I have created four videos on financial planning and insurance. They are targeted at young people. I want to help them to make the right decisions for their future.

You can sign in with your Facebook or Google account and view these videos.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Whistle blowing

The best weapon in the fight against terrorism and commercial fraud is whistle blowing. The authorities can make the best use of information from ordinary people who encounter the terrorists and fraudsters in the daily life and work.

We need an effective system for the information to be recorded, screened, evaluated and acted.

We also have to overcome two difficulties:

a) The reluctance of the whistle blower to come forward - as they stand the risk of reprisals.
b) An effective way to process the large volume of data and information that is generated, so that the authorities are not overwhelmed.

The current approach taken by the authorities do not address the root problems. As a result, whistle blowing has not been effective. We need a new approach.

If the people in charge are keen to explore a new approach, they can contact me.

How to get the insurance company to review a rejected claim

The policyholder claim for cancer was rejected on the grounds that the cancer did not meet the condition for coverage. I helped the policyholder on how to get the insurance company to review the rejection.

Long delay in developing a new project

This new development, called the Flora, has been under construction for four years. It used to be the Seletar Gardens. There were a few coffee shops and eating houses which were well patronized.

When the project went for a collective sale a few years ago, the nearby residents lost the coffee shops and eating houses. The long delay makes the loss of the facilities more keenly felt by the residents.

Why should a new development take so long to be ready? The delay must also add to the cost of the development and the selling prices that have to be paid by the new owners. Surely, we can be more efficient in getting the new development ready within a short time?

My grand daugher, Nadya, was three years old when the old place was demolished. She is now seven years. I asked her if she remembered the coffee shop that she used to visit. She could. What happened to it? She said - there is a new construction.

I hope that the new development will be up soon. But it will probably take another two years.

Help to prevent suicide

I saw this poster at a bus stop. It is a wrist band with a message to help people who are suicide prone to seek help. There must be a high suicide rate that prompts this kind of action.

We need to address the root of the problem, rather than to treat the symptoms. I suspect that the high pressure to get good grades, lack of job opportunities and inadequate finances for the elderly must be the top causes.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pregnant women are discriminated at workplace

Being pregnant should be the happiest time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, many have to choose between family and career, because having a bun in the oven could get you passed over for a promotion, sidelined or even fired. While mothers and wives continue to help out with the family finances and fulfil their household duties, most are still getting the short end of the stick, writes Audrey Vijaindren
FINDING their positions redundant, being denied promotions, being placed on prolonged probation, demotion and even getting sacked — these are among the unenviable positions many Malaysian women have found themselves in, especially when they are with child.
Shocking as it may seem in this day and age, a recent Workplace Discrimination Survey by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) revealed that more than 40 per cent of women polled have experienced job discrimination due to their pregnancy.

My view:
The government must understand the root cause of this problem. Many employers do not like to pay full salary to mothers for a few months. They react through these discriminatory measures.

There is a solution. The government should pay the maternity benefit and recover it through a payroll tax.

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