Friday, February 24, 2017

Poor planning of bus services

I arrived at the bus stop before Thomson Plaza at 7 pm. I waited for bus 163. Two buses 410G arrived together. They were each 1/3rd full. Another 2 buses of the same service arrived together. (I forgot the number). They were half full. Bus 163 arrived after 10 minutes. It was crowded.

It is quite clear to me that the Land Transport Authority is not looking at the data showing the movement and occupancy of their buses.

If they did, they would have known that some services have low utilisation rate and other services are crowded.

I have observed this pattern for one year.

TKL's views of Budget 2017

My friend asked - "Mr Tan, what are you views of the budget?"

I replied - "I was disappointed. It failed to address the real issues facing the people."

If you want to know more about my views, you can attend the forum organized by The Online Citizen and Maruah. It will be held at 2 pm Bras Basah Complex on Saturday 25 Feb.

More details can be found here:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Basic skill to avoid retrenchment

Without the basic skill of problem solving, many workers are worried about getting retrenched or losing their jobs. However, if they have the basic skill of problem solving, they will be an asset to their boss and have a good chance of keeping their job and getting the next promotion.

Do you want to learn the skill of problem solving? You need the right approach and the right mindset. This 1 hour tutorial can give you the training on this approach.

Register now and attend the next session on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My views on Budget 2017

The minister for finance has unveiled the budget for 2017 in Parliament. The Straits Times called it "A Budget For Today and Tomorrow". Is it?

I find the budget to be uninspiring. I find it to be disappointing.

The primary role of a government is the welfare of the people. In a democratic country, the government is elected by the people to deal with the problems that the people are not able to do on their own.

The annual budget of the government is an opportunity for the government to identify the key challenges facing the country and the people, and to take appropriate measures to address these issues.

What are the problems facing the people? They are:

a) Availability and security of jobs
b) Cost of living
c) Cost of doing business
d) Low birth rate

I look at the budget to see how these issues were addressed. The budget does have a few measures to address the challenges faced by the economy in creating jobs. There is hardly any mention of the other three challenges.

Instead, there is a move to impose a carbon tax and to increase the cost of water. This must add to the cost of living and to the cost of doing business.

Even the business commuity has expressed disappointment at the budget. Link. There is an urgent need to address the cost of doing business and uncompetitiveness. The finance minister did not seem to think that we have this problem.

The finance minister has probably given up trying to get people to have more babies. The past baby bonus packages must have failed miserably.

In the area of job creation, the finance minister has missed the point. During the challenging times last year, the economy was able to create jobs, but the jobs seemed to be going to foreigners. This is pointed out in the article by Leong Szehian.

In the meantime, many people are being retrenched and have to work as taxi drivers. Even this line is tough, as there are too much competition for a smaller pool of customers.

Before any problem can be solved, we must understand the problem and especially the root causes of the problem.

Jobs are being created but they are going to foreigners. Why? Foreigners are cheaper and are not called up regularly for NS reservist duty. Employers prefer foreigners. Even the public sector create jobs for foreigners through outsourcing of many of the services that were previously done by locals, e.g. security, cleaning and administration.

As there is no minimum wage and foreigners can survive on lower salaries, many jobs will continue to go to foreigners.

With high cost of living and insecurity of jobs, the birth rate will remain low. This will be harmful for Singapore over the long term. We can survive as a country for foreigners, but the local population will continue to dwindle.

Local businesses and workers are now being encouraged to go abroad. It is an irony. When Singapore has to depend on foreigners to work here!

Singapore is clearly in a mess! The finance minister has not understood the key problems and challenges. This is reflected in his budget.

Tan Kin Lian

Monday, February 20, 2017

Countdown counter for the green man

At the pedestrian crossing in Yio Chu Kang Road, a young girl was pressing the stop button continuously. She was impatient for the green man to appear. She must have thought that the light will change more quickly when she press the button many times!

I have seen the pedestrain crossin gin Jakarta and Kluang, Johor. It has a countdown counter to show when the green man will appear. Someone, our pedestrain crossing does not show this useful information.

Jakarta and Kluang, and perhaps many other cities around the world are ahead of Singapore.

LTA not monitoring occupancy of buses?

At 6.30 pm, I waited for bus 163 at the stop before Thomson Plaza. Three 410G buses came by within 1 minute. They were quite empty. Two 980 buses came by. Bus 163 came after 15 minutes and was packed. I waited another 5 mintues for the next bus.

It seems that bus 163 is often packed while some of the other services are relatively empty. It appears that LTA is not monitoring the occupancy of the buses. Quite sad.

Visit and stay in Setia, Johor, February 2017

Here is a 16 min video of my visit and overnight stay in Setia Indah, Johor. This video contains a narration. I hope you enjoy understanding more about Johor Bahru. Setia is just 30 mins away from the causeway.

Take a long term view

Here is the price chart and the USD exchange rate over the past 5 years. although this is a blue chip share, the value of the investment can fluctuate by nearly 100% over this period - and it is both UP and DOWN.

You need to take a long term view when you invest in a blue chip share.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Invest in a blue chip share - case of Apple Computer

When you invest in a blue chip share, you may also experienced a wild swing, but you can afford to wait for a good time to sell the shares.

Here is my experience with Apple computers.

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