Thursday, 8 October 2015

Let Platforms Compete, But Do Not Compromise on Standards of Products/Services

And the likes of them


When assessing the problem, i.e. of how these innovations disrupt existing businesses, it is important to separate the competing platform from the products/services they provide.

While we should allow a more efficient platform to compete directly with existing more capital-intensive and clumsy set-ups, the regulation of the quality/standard of the products/services provided by anyone should not change.

Whether it is the Government looking at how to regulate these new animals, or market players thinking about what to do with the new threats, they should only focus on competing at the platform level, and not try to cut corners or reduce protection offered to the consumers.


Just because you are ordering from a more convenient platform such as Redmart, doesn't mean you are willing to compromise on the quality of foods and goods, right?

Doesn't mean AVA/CASE should bend over backwards and be more lax with Redmart if its goods/foods fall below acceptable (safety/quality) standards, right?

Similarly, for the cab industry, regardless whether Comfort buys or develops a UBER-like platform or becomes a supplier of cabs to UBER or UBER is allowed to continue its operations using private drivers, the protection of passengers should not be compromised.

Above and beyond the physical safety and security of passengers, the insurance protection of passengers needs to be compatible and commensurate with current minimum standards.

Consumers need to be educated about the differences in risk.

The difference between a licensed cab driver and the UBER driver is not just the training course and vocational licence of the former. It is the fact that the cab driver does this for a living and is accountable to his cab company, and so will be much less likely to be behave in a manner which threatens his livelihood.

For AirBnB, I don't see why the entry of a new platform means SINGOV has to review and relax its rules on disallowing short term rental of private homes.

If the rules on short term rental of private homes are relaxed, homeowners will be stuck with having to deal with strangers going in and out of their private estates on a daily basis.

And just in case anyone is under the delusion that the landlord has to be present when the AirBnB guests arrive, please note that in Japan, it is possible to check yourself into such apartments without having to interact with any human being.
This compromises safety and security for everyone else in the estate.

In addition, it is trite that the Management Committee has no real bite when it comes to enforcement of nuisance issues.
With AirBnB guests coming and going daily, the neighbours will not have real peace.

Even if there are legal means through which neighbours can take up issues with the owner of the AirBnB unit, this unit is likely to be owned by a foreigner, who is not in Singapore for you to 'community-mediate' with.

Further, once you start going down that slippery rabbit hole, you will probably end up with hourly rental in private homes near major prostitution/nightclub hubs.
This is not limited to traditional areas such as Geylang. 
Think Mount Sophia / Tiong Bahru area. 

Such flexibility will take on a life of its own and new hotspots will spring up.
Say around Marina Bay?

So, yes, while I absolutely appreciate the need for new platforms to wake up the idea of sleepy and mammoth products/service providers, I think policy-makers need to divorce the regulation of the platform from the regulation of the products/services.

Oh... and make damn sure 'em bastards pay taxes to us.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

My Kid Says... No Rolling in Mud

The kid was watching Shrek, when she saw Shrek rolling around in the mud.

Kid: Yhew! Mama! I don't want to roll in the mud.

Mama: OK.

Kid: I am not an ogre. I don't want to roll in the mud.

Mama: What if you were a piggy?

Kid: I am not a piggy! I am not an ogre. I don't want to roll in the mud.

Mama: Then what are you?

Kid: I am Singaporean!!


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Closer to 50s, than 20s

I stepped into a cab last evening.
The 50 year old uncle was blasting canto pop.
It was like we were on our way to Pub 1997.

First, it was Eason Chan, then someone else, then Sammi Cheng...
After the 3rd song, I realised that I knew the order of the songs.
So I asked the uncle what he was using for his music.

Then... I realised that this "uncle" and I used the same Spotify Canto Pop playlist.

Subsequently, a peer reminded me that my age was closer to this uncle than the kids I had been going to school with.



Coincidentally, I had a group chat with my Mummies group over Whatsapp last night.
We had been trying to meet up in person, but haven't been able to do so.

We discussed, inter alia, motherhood, homemaker-hood, our relationships with our kid(s), the fact that we are moving into our 40s next year, what our 30s meant etc.

I am glad to have such friends, who are able to reflect on themselves and help me to reflect upon myself.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Inspiring and Helping Kids of Ex-Offenders

RE: Less privileged children get driven around in luxury cars

"Underprivileged children and youth whose parents were or are in prison were taken for a spin in sports and luxury cars yesterday morning, as part of a community event organised by the Industrial and Services Co-operative Society (ISCOS), which helps ex-offenders and their families."

Can you think of more betterer arguments FOR such acts of charity?

1) When was the last time you did anything for charity?

2) Any act of charity is better than no act of charity. This shows that rich people care.

3) These rich guys are using their flashy cars to inspire these poor kids. "If you work very hard like Uncle has, you can drive your own fancy car too! It would be a sign of your personal success!"

4) By giving kids with ex-offender parents a ride in fancy cars, it will help to break the cycle of inter-generational offending. It also extends friendship and support to these ex offenders and their kids.

Uncle, your car is AWESOME!!
Smell that leather! Smells like wealth!
When I grow up, I wanna be just like YOU!!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Lame 'Law School' Arguments

RE: Working mum to get $1 in maintenance

In a commentary on the appeals court's decision, two Singapore Management University law graduates have suggested that the award of $1 maintenance orders as the default position should be reviewed.

This should be considered "in an age when women are increasingly financially independent and spouses share familial responsibilities more equally", Ms Beatrice Yeo and Ms Fiona Chew wrote in a commentary published in Singapore Law Watch last week. "Arguably, the award of $1 maintenance simply to preserve the wife's future right to maintenance without further justification might also be said to be out of touch with the realities of today's more gender-equal era."

The 2 kids from SMU Law, who wrote the commentary on SLW, are out of touch with the realities of today, and of adult life in general.

Kids with hubris, created by a system filled with kids with hubris.
A problem I observed in law school about law school.

Having been crowned 1st runner-up at some Oxford mooting competition, or getting an A for a law school module, doesn't mean one can analyse real life problems, not to mention understanding what 'public policy' really means.

While such an argument might get you an A or even A+ for being audacious in your assignment/mooting attempt, one must be reminded that it only makes sense in the artificial law school environment. And 'sense' only in the sense of pretentious law school arguments.

In 'reality', where men and women neither enjoy similar remunerations for doing the same job, career advancement prospects with the same qualifications/work efforts, nor share equal child-rearing/home-making expectations/workloads, nor are treated similarly as a single father/mother, it is callous and ignorant to suggest that the wife's future right to maintenance should not be preserved.

This is also partly why I think the law degree in Singapore should only be a post-graduate degree, i.e. the law school candidate should have learnt and been trained in something else apart from law. Such is the American, French etc system, demanding more maturity and breadth, and basically common sense from the law school candidate.

So, girls, go get yourself married, have a kid or two, try establishing a career while balancing a family, marriage/love and sanity, and later perhaps get a divorce or two, look around at real working women from a social class other than those from your privileged class, then re-visit this issue.

In the School of Life, there is no way that the A+ answer is to remove the wife's right to future maintenance.

Note: Removing a wife's right to future maintenance is very different from leaving her right intact, but ordering to pay her only $1 maintenance. Can't just remove all wives' right to maintenance because minority of women make more money than their husbands.

Friday, 25 September 2015

My Kid Says... Blinky 属猫

Mama: 妈妈属什么?

Kid: Like me!!! 属龙! ROOOAARRR!!

Mama: 外公属什么?

Kid: Wow wow! 狗!

Mama: 对了。很好。

Kid: Blinky 呢? Blinky 属什么? Blinky 属猫吗?

Mama: 十二生肖没有猫啦。Hmmm... Blinky 是 1998年出世的。应该属虎。

Kid: *confused* Blinky 属猫啦! Tiger 属猫吗?还是属虎?

Mama: Erm... Tiger是1999年出世的。它属兔。

Kid: *even more confused and after a long pause* Blinky 属猫。它有whiskers.


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

We Are Still... Victorian

RE: Victorian women forced to give up their babies

"What was essential to Victorian England was that women stayed “pure” 
(there was, unsurprisingly, no parallel narrative of a “fallen man”) 
and what happened to the mothers who arrived with their babies at the Foundling hospital, 
as played out across the art and literature and music of the century, 
was to be a lesson to all the rest. 

The “fault” was all female; 
and for the women who fell, 
the drop was very far indeed."


I was talking to one of the boys in class.

24 years old.
His education profile is outstanding.
RI + RJC + NUS Law.
An excellent product of our meritocratic education system.


His assumption about Kervyn Lim's single motherhood was that she had a kid out of wedlock.
So, together with her modelling pics, that made her bimbotic and unworthy.

So yeah... He may be only 1 person, but certainly an important example of how we are still there...Victorian England...
Right this moment...
More than 100 years and billions of dollars spent on education later.

My Kid says... Littering

On our way to ballet class, the kid spotted a discarded raisin box lying on the pedestrian pathway.

Kid: Mama, look! Somebody threw the raisin box on the floor. That's wrong.

Mama: Uh huh.

Kid: You must throw it in the dustbin. Cannot throw on the floor. Somebody will scold you.

Mama: Who will scold you?

Yeye: Your parents. Your parents will say,"Don't do that!"

Indoctrination #538 is complete.