27 September 2013

Chasing FIFA Youth World Cup Dream

Football Association of Singapore president Zainudin Nordin is dreaming of staging the FIFA U-17 or U-20 World Cup in Singapore in 2019.

Mr Zainudin's rationale[1]:

"If we are serious about youth development, I think we need to go for the tournament that is worthy of exciting our young. And that tournament cannot be less than the Youth World Cup.

"We can always aim for Asian Football Confederation or ASEAN Football Federation competitions. But the Youth World Cup is the pinnacle.

"It will leave a long-lasting impression on our young, and they will be excited that football is something they want to look at seriously."

16 September 2013

Chua Mui Hoong's "A Legislature That Is National, Not Partisan" Annotated

The Straits Times's opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong penned a piece entitled A Legislature That Is National, Not Partisan.

She asked, "Would the opposition here back a PM that in the House as Republicans have backed Obama?"

Below, I've annotated selected portions of her op-ed (in bold and italics).

President Barack Obama could use his power as commander in chief to order military action against Syria. Instead, he is turning to Congress for support, despite knowing how hard-going it will be.


In going back to the elected representatives of the people, [US president Barack Obama and British prime minister David Cameron] were no doubt swayed by a complex calculus of domestic political considerations, underlined by concerns about public support and international image.

At their heart, the decisions also show a commitment to democracy and stem from a respect for the people's voted representatives.

Ms Chua is contradicting herself. If President Obama, who has the authority to order military strikes on Syria, is turning to Congress for support, that is not a commitment to democracy. He is, as Ms Chua points out, looking for support.

13 September 2013

Reflections On Ng Ser Miang's Bid For IOC President

The recent International Olympic Committee proceedings in Buenos Aires received considerable coverage by MediaCorp.

What did the proceedings involve?

▪ Choosing the host city for the 2020 Games from among Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul.

▪ Choosing from among wrestling, squash and baseball which sport should be added to the 2020 and 2024 Games.

▪ Electing new members.

▪ Electing IOC executive board members.

▪ Electing IOC president.

I believe many Singaporeans had, at most, a passing interest in the outcome of the proceedings.

05 September 2013

Pitfalls of Front Loading MediShield Life

MediShield premiums increase as the insured person grows older (or more precisely, as he or she moves from a younger age band to an older age band).

Some younger people seem attracted to the idea of front loading (also known as pre-funding) his MediShield, according to media reports.

There are two main front loading arrangements:

▪ The premium remains constant, possibly in real dollar i.e., inflation adjusted terms, throughout the person's lifetime, subject to adjustments from time to time to ensure that MediShield Life remains financially sound.

▪ The premium increases as an individual ages, but at a slower rate than if it had been based on age alone.

Both arrangements appear to be driven by two concepts[1]:

▪ A younger person can afford to pay more than the low premium he is paying presently, especially if he is working, but he may not be able to afford the high premiums when he is older. So, in a sense, pay more now in return for paying not so much in the future.

▪ Younger people should subsidise the MediShield Life premiums of the elderly, to show gratitude to them for their contributions.

Some older people are naturally very excited about the possibility of younger people subsidising their MediShield Life premiums. That is, until they realise that their children and their children's children may be the ones bearing the financial burden.

What are the pitfalls of front loading MediShield Life?