Wednesday, February 10, 2016


There are generally three forms of regulations to correct market failure:

  1. Economic regulation: To check exclusionary and exploitative conduct of players with Significant Market Power. This is exercised through price regulation, competition law, and other ex ante requirements including unbundling or requirements to provide access to essential facilities
  2. Public interest/ consumer protection: To correct negative externalities, ensure distributional justice and protect the consumer (e.g. through minimum quality of service, to ensure safety and security, correct information asymmetries, etc). This could take the form of universal service obligations, quality of service requirements, security screening/vetting, and consumer protection frameworks such as requiring key service terms to be clearly stated upfront and providing dispute resolution options.
  3. Technical regulation: To standardise, coordinate and ensure inter-operability. This is exercised through standards setting, registration and testing of the product/resource. 

There should also be attention paid to challenges of enforcing the regulations.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tips for Giving and Receiving Feedback

How to Give Feedback
  • Lead with intent. “The reason I am telling you this is …. I am hoping the result of this conversation will be ….”
  • Have a conversation. View the conversation as a two-way exchange, not a one-way dump.
  • Understand the goal. The purpose of constructive feedback is to encourage the other to move into a problem-solving conversation with you, not to “change” for you. The purpose of complimentary feedback is to help the other more fully own and leverage their strengths.
  • Focus on the behavior. Discuss its impact on you and/or your organization.
  • Language matters. Avoid attributions or labels such as “you are insensitive.” Do not make up stories about why they act in a certain way, such as “you don’t care.” Use “I” language instead of “You” language, but remember that saying “I feel that you are insensitive” and “I feel that you don’t care” is cheating.
  • Use inquiry. Ask what the other person hears you saying. Ask what is important to them. Ask what they need in return from you.
  • Reframe. Maintain the mental model that feedback is a gift — it is data. And more data is always better because it provides us with choices we wouldn’t otherwise have.
How to Be a Good Receiver of Feedback
  • Tamp down your defensiveness. Avoid justifying, explaining, or making the other person wrong. Remember that feedback is data and having data is better than not having it because it expands our choices and results in healthier relationships.
  • Become curious. Tell yourself: “This person is upset with something I do. If I can figure out what that is, I can move toward solving the problem.”
  • Repeat. Ask questions. “So, I hear that you are really annoyed and think I am not committed. Yes? It would be helpful to me if I understood what it is that I do that results in you feeling that way.”
  • Signal that you understand. “I hear that the fact that sometimes I don’t respond to your texts for several days is what leaves you feeling that I am not committed.” This is better than getting into an argument about whether or not you are committed.
  • Thank the giver. At some level they care enough to say something.
  • Know when to stop. It is OK, and even preferable, to say when you need to take a break and negotiate a time to return to the conversation. The giver may have waited until he or she was really upset before saying anything, and therefore it is often easier to take the issues a bit at a time.
Deborah Petersen

Note to self: always bear these in mind.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Sometimes I think about the reckless times in Shanghai, the times when nothing seems to matter but the next party or dinner. carefree. no commitments. no adult worries but the monthly utilities bill.

sometimes i do miss those times.
but then im also glad to be back.
cos this is the real world.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cyber Security

With technology infiltrating in every realm of our lives, cyber security becomes all the more pertinent.
Imagine the person who can hack into the network.

Inspired by:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Newcastle Reflections

Newcastle Reflections #1
I only like Newcastle insofar as it reminds me of Edinburgh

Newcastle Reflections #2
Entered the university by chance really. came across the students having their graduation ceremony and thinking of mine. congregating at mcewan hall. itwas Breezy but sunny. everyone looking smart in their graduation gown, me in my freshly cut bob. sitting in that dark,dark hall. waiting for your turn to be tapped on the head by someone's trousers. gathering with laura, rahima, hannah and some at balmoral hotel, sipping tea with their parents, feeling posh, feeling like i'm part of the system. just as these Newcastle students sit at quillan bros tea house sipping tea. looks like a lovely place to have tea. but it's not for me, at least not today. i shall continue my journey.

London Reflections 2015

London Reflections #1
Coming back to explore  previously unexplored territory. Thinking of the UK as a second home though I've never actually lived in London. But while the people and roads are unfamiliar. The systems, the signs, the accents, the vegetation, the air are all familiar, familiar enough not to give me a jarring sensation, the sensation that tells you're abroad in  brand, new exciting destination. Not to say I wasn't thrilled to be seeing a part of London I haven't seen before, not to say I don't enjoy, but it lacks the thrill and fear of a totally unknown destination. I guess I know what to expect and it is very comforting.

London Reflections #2
Walking my luggage as the residents walk their dogs along the scenic Thames path.

London Reflections #3
a moment of silence for the 7/7 victims. a complete silence as all stopped in their steps and lowered their heads. no clattering of utensils or shuffling of feet. till the intercom sparkled to life, bringing an end to the moment.

London Reflections #4
Kew Gardens is really pricey for a garden without much flowers.

London Reflections #5
An oak tree. Completely bizarre. An actor who doesnt know the script. A hypnotist who lost his skill. A father who lost his daughter. An audience is in the clouds as the two men switched between scripts. A free conversation.. that is totally scripted. The loss of girl who is not dead. The concept, the idea of a person. The concept, the idea of  play. An accident, the actor takes on the attributes of the playwright.

would love to spend more time figuring the play really.
but moving on for now..

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Balancing Local Sentiments and Economic Benefits

Read this article this morning, and felt that it really reinforced this belief I have, that sometimes governments need to be firm on their long-term goals because the people tend to be blinded by short-term effects without realising the long-term benefits. This came also in the wake of the various critical articles about LKY after his passing away earlier...

Hong Kong is now suffering a decline in tourism numbers of 34% y-o-y, influenced by the various anti-Chinese campaigns over the past year or so. The most recent public holiday in China, which usually brings an influx of visitors to Hong Kong, did little to alleviate the decline.

The anti-Chinese sentiments began with the influx of 'businessmen' bringing counterfeit goods to and fro Shenzhen and Hong Kong. These businessmen are seen to bring down the quality of life in Hong Kong as they are usually from the lower classes of society. A series of anti-Chinese incidents began as the Hong Kong residents began to see all Chinese visitors as threat to their society and way of living.

The incidents brought the effect that the residents hoped for, a decline in Chinese visitorship. However, the counterfeit goods smugglers, according to the article, not fazed by the bad attitude of the Hong Kong residents towards them given the potential profit to be earned, continue to come in large numbers. Instead, the higher quality Chinese high-spenders are deterred, opting for other (more luxurious/ better service most likely) destinations, affecting the service industry which had depended to a large extent on them.

Should the government have taken a harder stance on protesters, or should the protesters have been given their freedom of expression? It's hard to say really, but I'm imploring those who unconditionally advocate freedom of expression to think deeper about what this freedom really entails.


Thursday, March 26, 2015


Politics make me ugly.
They bring out a me that I hate and despise and want to laugh at. A me so full of angst at the world, at the inability of people to understand these bubbling problems, at the way I know so little, and at the frustration of never knowing enough. A me that rants about the problems, hurtfully, sharply, critically, rudely, that will never be resolved. A me that feels so weak and small and pathetic in this monstrous world out there.

But, I can't help commenting on things that I see.

The onslaught of posts about LKY led me to this ironic statement - who IS this Liu Shengjun -:
Columnist Liu Shengjun wrote that Singapore’s stability and efficiency are built on “Lee’s authoritarian charisma,” which has limited appeal in China’s consensus-driven government.