Promoting Budget 2018 Through Social Media Influencers

Recently, it was reported that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) had retained social media influencers to promote Budget 2018.

That initiative has received many online rantings and mudslingings.

I do not pretend or want to pretend to be an expert in marketing.

And neither do I want to make a conclusive judgment on whether the MOF’s initiative was completely right or for that matter, all wrong.

There are imponderables that need to be considered before we know the complete truth.

To be fair to the MOF, there are missing information that prevent us from making the best of judgments.

Therefore, I wish to pose some questions to the supporters as well as to detractors of this initiative.

I believe that by asking appropriate questions, educated and enlightened persons can evaluate the epistemological basis of MOF’s initiative.

In other words, how do people know that the initiative is effective or ineffective?

And how do they know THAT THEY KNOW it is effective or ineffective?

By asking the right questions, they can also find the right information to make better-informed decisions.

After all, the quality of decisions and results oftentimes depends on the quantity of quality questions that are being posed to both the relevant personnel as well as to the other relevant publics.

In the process of doing so, bear in mind that marketing is not foolproof because the world is not made up of fools.

In addition, marketing is both an art and a science.

It is being executed in a fast-changing and an ever-evolving landscape.

Therefore, marketing cannot be fully considered as an evidence-based science.

Here are some questions for your consideration:

1. Which segment of the millennials is the MOF targeting?

Remember, millennials may not be the most interested in something as dry and probably as irrelevant to them as Budget 2018.

What if, for example, the MOF wanted to target millenials that are interested in lifestyle products and services, wouldn’t using social media influencers be a good way to reach out to them as long as it didn’t cost an arm or a leg?

How do you know that this initiative was not just a way to test a different approach to reach a niche group of millenials?

Who’s to say that it was definitely wrong and that there should not be any room for experimentation, especially if the marketer was planning to move into an uncharted territory?

2. Is this initiative a part of an integrated marketing campaign?

In a typical marketing campaign, a marketer would use an integrated approach of communicating different angles of a message to a targeted audience and do it through different channels.

Therefore, using social media influencers could be one of many strategies to reach the targeted market.

Perhaps, social influencers were being used to reach a niche segment of the targeted audience.

How do you know that taking such a novel approach would not attract the attention and interest of a niche segment of the millennials?

3. How much money did the MOF spend on this initiative?

How do you know that the MOF was not getting the best bang for a limited amount of bucks?

How do you know that it was not cost-effective?

Should the MOF reveal details of every initiative to the public and its related expenditures and potentially generate unnecessary polarizations, reactions and repercussions?

4. Was this approach innovative?

We want our government to be creative and innovative to help us survive and succeed in the new economy.

To be innovative, you need to experiment.

And to experiment, you need to try out-of-the-box approaches and potentially make mistakes.

And unfortunately, attract a lot of grumblings, grouses, and gripings.

How can we encourage the MOF to create new breakthroughs if we don’t give them some space and latitude to venture into new territories?

How do you know that the social media influencers and the resulting publicity – both good and bad – did not get the attention of the targeted niche segment?

How do you know that millennials in this segment will not pay closer attention to delivery of Budget 2018 on February 19, 2018?

How do you know that the whole campaign was ineffective and a waste of money?

The true measurement of any marketing campaign is in the results.

The good news is that whether by design or otherwise, the controversy of using social media influencers has generated more publicity for the national budget this year than in previous years.

Hopefully, the millennials will pay more attention to the annual national budgets.

After all, it’s the ruling government’s policy to save and invest about half of its revenue for the benefits of future generations.

There is hardly any government in the world that has taken a more conservative, prudent and effective approach to balance its budgets and prepare the country for a better future.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

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Formula For Financial Prosperity

Formula For Financial Prosperity

Financial Prosperity (FP) is the multiplier effect of financial technology (FT) on the sum total of human capital (HC), social capital (SC), and value-creating assets (VA) minus total expenditure (TE)

In short:

FP= FT(HC + SC + VA) – TE

The questions that beg to be answered are as follows:

Financial Technology (FT)

To create and accelerate the growth of your financial assets, you need to be supported by optimal financial technology.

Financial technology helps you achieve ever more wealth with ever less resources.

1. Do you have the requisite financial literacy knowledge and skills to be rich and wealthy?

2. Do you have the required structure, system, processes, infoccommunicatjon technology, and other resources to help you become financially free?

Human Capital (HC)

Wealth creation begins with re-creating yourself. The quality of your wealth depends on the quality of your life, livelihood and lifestyle.

The larger your capacity for creating wealth, the larger the amount of wealth you will attract and multiply in your life.

3. Do you have the appropriate plan, information, knowledge, capacity and expertise and very importantly, the financial habits and actionable steps to achieve financial success?

4. Do you have the wealth-creation wisdom, discipline, grit, tenacity, and resilience to press on until you reach your financial destination?

Social Capital (SC)

In creating wealth, like they say, it’s not just about what you know but also who you know.

Your net worth will tend towards the average net worth of your closest friends.

Therefore, increase your social capital to increase your financial capital.

5. Are you learning from and modeling after the top ranks of the rich and wealthy people?

6. Are you interacting with and building solid relationships with people who will drive you to improve your financial position and assets?

Value-Creating Assets (VA)

I have to state once again that I’m not a believer that you must have money to make money.

The easier and better way to create wealth is to monetize non-financial items and seek to maximize your returns from them.

7. Do you know how to translate what you already have or can develop in your life to become value-creating assets?

They include your focus, personality, mindfulness, vision, beliefs, values, leadership, integrity, passion, discipline, spirituality, capacity and competence, ideas, team, market intelligence, courage, creativity, innovation, learning and improvement process, initiatives, system, technology, productivity, connections, persuasiveness, deal making and management skills etc.

8. How are you going to develop the knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits (KASH) to help you run farther and faster on the financial journey?

Total Expenditure (TE)

It is not much of point to create wealth and then spend it unwisely.

9. Are you disciplined in your spending habits?

11. Have you mastered the skill for delayed gratification?

13. Are you able to find happiness and fulfillment without having to spend money and acquire material possessions?


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
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https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Resolving Roots Of Fake News And Not Just The Symptoms

A full scale investigation has been mounted to find out if Russia had used a combination of covert human agents and autobots to micro-target and manipulate voters’ opinions to influence outcomes of the 2016 presidential election.

That investigation may have major implications on not just the United States but also on the free world.

The lesson for Singapore is that we are not shielded from cyber threats by forces from within the country and without.

The authorities will have to step up their vigilance and efforts against these online influences and ensure that these influences do not not affect our security and stability.

Take for example many of the fake news from overseas about the Singapore-China relations.

Despite clarifications by our authorities and local press, there are still many Singaporeans who seem to believe another version or the other side of the story.

They form a position on that basis and are influencing people on the Net to tarnish our image and challenge our government’s foreign policy.

Some of the emotionally-charged online messages are beset with more lies, half truths, and other misinformation.

The authorities should explore ways to nip negative influences by its bud and prevent them from being spread to the public.

To do so, the authorities can improve the way they communicate truths and respond promptly to any misunderstanding and undue reaction.

They should look at ways to educate our people on how to research, think critically, and make better-informed judgements.

Key stakeholders from the public, private and people sectors can be roped in to help communicate vital messages, correct misinformation, and provide feedback to the relevant authorities.

Fact-checking systems can be set up to verify critical information and rate credibility and reliability of various sources of information.

The authorities should be prepared to take recalcitrants to task for deliberately spreading fake news, restrict or stop their sources of income, and if possible highlight their actions to the public.

They should explore ways to block fake news or tag these news wherever they appear on cyberspace.

In a highly interconnected world, cyber threats can cause major damages and affect progress of the country.

The authorities can cut lifelines of companies and individuals that promote and propagate fake news by restricting or stopping their revenues from advertisements and other sources of income.

Relevant governmental agencies should be prepared to take recalcitrants and their supporters to task and even press criminal charges against them.

Key stakeholders from the public, private and people sectors can set up fact-checking systems to verify vital information and rate credibility and reliability of social media sites.

They can also look into flagging and tagging sites that deliberately create and spread fake news and ensure that the tagging stays with these sites and fake news wherever they appear on social media spaces.

Explore possibilities of developing a “name and shame” database of recalcitrants so that all stakeholders can help to pressure them and stop the malpractice.

Technologies should be created to prevent fake news from being shared and even after they’ve been shared, these falsehoods can be deleted, corrected or tagged.

Consumers can be forewarned prior to them viewing these fake news or cautioned after they have viewed these news when they are found to be fake.

Just as importantly, the authorities should educate our people, from young to know how to research, think critically, and be discerning about credibility and reliability of the sources of information.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora
Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

My Wishlist For Budget 2018

1. Whither Singapore

In the past, we have excelled as a regional entrepôt and hub.

Moving ahead, through innovation, digitization and overseas’ expansion, we can reposition ourselves to become a Global Hub.

A hub that’s not just for transacting products, services and finance but also a hub for ideas, innovation, knowledge, talents, technology, expertise, connections and collaborations, and other resources.

Singapore can be a vital toll gate for global trade.

We can be an essential hub and spoke, and the node, router and connector of international commerce.

This is an opportune time for Singapore to rise up as many developed countries are adopting austerity measures and taking a cautious approach in response to the unpredictability of the global economy.

We can strengthen our capacity and capability to capitalize on the silver lining in every dark cloud and leapfrog over competing economies to forge a brighter future.

In the future, whenever a business or consumer buys or sells anything from one country to another, and even if the goods do not physically go through Singapore, we can have a stake in the transaction and generate benefits from it.

We can extract different values, including financial profits, from the transaction.

Singapore will become like a high value-added toll gate for international trade and commerce.

In this regard, we can take a leaf from Israel. Even though it is a small country in close resemblance to Singapore, it has however planted a large footprint in advanced technology and in many areas of daily life.

What’s holding us back is helping our people to master innovations and deep skills to pioneer new grounds and operate in a globalised economy.

Besides sending them out to the world, we should also bring the world to us.

We need to continue to attract an adequate pool of foreign enterprises, entrepreneurs and investors to help us capitalize on new and emerging products, markets, businesses, and opportunities.

To do that, we have to aggressively tackle undue concerns onforeign talents and dangerous rationale underpinning xenophobia. These challenges seem to be rearing its ugly head every now and then, and especially on the wild, wild web.

We need to promote the fact that if the right foreign talents are effectively assimilated and integrated into the workforce, it can be a plus factor to society and a major contribution to the economy.

There are ample evidences to suggest that diversity, pluralism and multiculturalism in our economy can contribute to improvecreativity and innovation.

The assimilations and contributions of talents from different countries, cultures, creeds and customs in our workforce can bring forth more unconventional ideas, concepts and models.

It will help to contribute to radical breakthroughs and results.

If we can leverage on a wider spectrum of local and overseas talents and enterprises, we’ll be in a stronger position to become a global hub of the new economy.

2. Culture For Entrepreneurship And Innovation

The quality of our achievements in the future economy depends on the quality of our culture for entrepreneurship and innovation.

To strengthen such a culture, we need to aggressively tackle and eradicate the culture of “kiasuism” – a culture that tends to avoid risks, abhor failures, and over-adore success stories.

As long as we consciously or subconsciously hold on to such a culture, it will prevent us from pushing the envelope, spreading our wings overseas, and challenging all odds to grow our economy.

To remove the “kiasu” culture, we need to start from the young and help them inculcate a pioneering spirit throughout the formal educational system.

In rolling out Budget 2018, we should ensure that our students are given hands-on projects locally as well as overseas, to help them become self-directed learners, and learn how to contribute to the economy and society.

They should be given appropriate rooms to fail and latitude to come to terms with these failures or resolve them.

These projects should escalate in terms of potential challenges, complexities, and conflicts.

Through these projects, the students can develop self-discipline, determination, grit, perseverance and resilience.

In addition, they can inculcate skills that they may not learn through classroom-based programmes.

These skills include metacognitive and fluid intelligence skills, entrepreneurial and innovative skills, leadership and persuasion skills, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, financial literacy skills, and giving back skills.

These life skills can put them in a better position to contribute to the economy and society.

Unless and until, we develop a culture for entrepreneurship and innovation, we will not be able to respond to the tidal waves of changes and craft our own pathways to the future.

3. Improving Productivity

Budget 2018 should be a targeted, balanced and catalytic budget for strengthening enterprises and productivity.

Improving productivity is a major challenge, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because labour productivity is limited by finite resources of workers and operational capacities of businesses.

In the new economy where the battle line is not only defined by efficiency of the workforce but also on innovative value-creations of the enterprise, the Authorities will need to enhance productivity from a more holistic perspective.

It includes setting up the ecosystem to help SMEs create and develop game-changing business models, transform operational architectures, strengthen competitive advantages, and focus not only on value-additions but also on value-transformations and value-creations.

To do that, the Authorities may have to hire more and appropriate talents from the private sector to complement its strengths and cover its downsides.

These talents should have the requisite experience and expertise to understand challenges faced by SMEs and help them leverage on different resources that are provided for in Budget 2018 and other initiatives.

As many SMEs are limited in terms of their size, strength, scale and scope of operations, the Authorities will have to proactively reach out to them. These enterprises will need more personalised guidance to help them capitalize on various incentives and initiatives.

In rolling out Budget 2018, the Authorities will have to develop services that are customised to meet the needs and requirements of SMEs from different sectors and at different stages of their life cycles.

For example, in a fast-changing world, the Authorities will need to help enterprises set up environmental scanning and intelligence gathering systems on a global basis.

Such systems can help enterprises predict business trends; preempt opportunities; achieve first-mover advantages; move up the food and value chain; and become a market maker rather than a price taker.

Unless we improve our productivity level on a more holistic level, we will not be able to capitalize on opportunities in the future economy on a more stable, secure and sustainable basis.

4. Helping Elderly Workers

As one of the fastest-aging countries, we will be faced with a growing challenge of creating and sustaining employments for a growing pool of middle-aged and older workers.

The challenge of looking after them is compounded by decreasing total fertility rate, smaller family units, and longer life expectancy.

What’s more, as we come to grips with fast-improving disruptive technology, many of the jobs held by these elderly workers may become devalued and disintermediated.

Budget 2018 should herald the start of an aggressive long-term programme to help a fast-aging workforce enhance their employment prospect and employability.

We will do well to resolve the challenge now and continue to fine-tune the solutions so that we will be better prepared to resolve similar or even potentially worse problems in the future.

I trust the Ministry of Manpower’s Committee of Supply will not only cover how various initiatives will be carried out by the government.

It will also look into enrolling key stakeholders from the people, private and public sectors to collaborate and co-create solutions to tackle this issue.

For instance, to ensure that the elderly workers are gainfully employed, we need to make improvements to the supply and demand side of the employment market.

On the supply side, we must provide incentives to help the elderly workers improve their attitude, knowledge, skills, values to employers, and contributions in the workplace.

The incentives should help them to, for example, inculcate discipline for self-regulation, personal care, and lifelong learning.

Improve their passion, competence and fitness for gainful employment.

By helping elderly workers to work hard and smart, it can help eradicate contentions in

in many quarters that older workers have increasing medical and accidental problems, absenteeism rate, and labour turnover.

On the demand side, there should be stronger policies and regulations against age discrimination.

We need to educate employers to believe in the potentials of older workers, and help them invest in empowering these workers to take on different and even more difficult roles and responsibilities.

The Authorities can offer more targeted incentives, especially during these challenging times, to free up their workers to redesign, re-skill and retool themselves.

Enrich their job scopes, including developing flexi-time and flexi-place arrangements so as to enhance their commitments and contributions to workplaces.

Additional subsidies can be provided to employers to develop an elderly worker-friendly environment as well as organise health and wellness programmes for these workers.

It will not only strengthen their work productivity but also enhance their performance and contributions.

The Authorities should proactively look at how to engage the support of relevant grassroots organisations and VWOs, or even help to set up such organisations to headhunt these vulnerable workers and reach out to them.

In addition, these workers may need personal coaching to help them ascertain relevant training courses and register for these courses.

They may even need personalised guidance to help them participate in the courses and persevere to complete all the necessary training programmes.

By building a learning nation and a deep-seated culture for continuous improvements, our workers can continue to stay relevant and effective, and at the cutting edge of the new economy.

5. Addressing Decreasing Total Fertility Rate And Aging Population

The challenges of decreasing total fertility rate and aging population have a major impact on the strength and growth of our economy, security, and society on a long-term basis.

These challenges continue to loom just across our horizon.

Perhaps we need to take a stronger and braver move – a more comprehensive Next Generation Package (NGP) if you will – to turn the silver tsunami tide and improve the results on a more sustainable basis.

The proposed NGP should be a more targeted, holistic, catalytic, and impactful thrust. It should be implemented on a cross-governmental basis and be actively supported by the public, private and people sectors.

The NGP should address not only the roots but also the symptoms of the issues. It should seek to eradicate all the roots as soon as possible as time is of the essence.

For instance, many couples are still concern over the financial burdens of having and raising children. These concerns can have a stronger influence on couples’ decision to have a child than the pleasures of having one.

The NGP should take a multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and multifaceted approach to help, especially young couples, to defray major costs of bringing up their children. It includes costs of placing their children in childcare centres, medical costs, educational costs, and costs for major living essentials.

The NGP can lessen couples’ worries and encourage them to have more children and to have them earlier. It can lead to a more sustainable increase in the total fertility rate.

It can also encourage homemakers to join and contribute as part of the workforce. They can better focus on their work and in doing so, improve personal and organisational productivity.

There are also many other indirect but catalytic outcomes that can result in a cascade of positive benefits for our country, including building stronger families and communities, strengthening the economy, and developing a more caring, cohesive and compassionate society.

If it takes a village to bring up a child, let’s make Singapore the best village to bring up an appropriate quantity and quality of children to further secure and brighten our future.

6. Budget 2018: Helping Our SMEs To Fly

Local enterprises, especially SMEs, are struggling through the double whammy of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment as well as increasing business costs.

They operate in a tight labour market and face headwinds competing with online businesses and other direct and indirect players in an open and global environment.

One of SMEs’ biggest challenges is availability, affordability and accessibility of capital to help them compete and grow their businesses.

Perhaps, we should revisit the setting up of an EXIM Bank or a similar institution or initiative to help SMEs enhance their financial position, stability and growth.

SMEs have limited size, scale and scope of operation. It is more difficult for them to enjoy priority and dedicated services from mainstream banks and financial institutions, and to access alternative fundings.

In addition, SMEs have greater challenges to assure lenders of their financial position and credit-worthiness.

They also face challenges to convince lenders to invest in projects that are of a higher risk in nature, especially investments in new markets, technology, innovation and systems that are outside of the normal radar screen.

Mainstream banks and financial institutions are not inclined to go beyond offering conventional financial services to SMEs.

They are unlikely to provide strategic and long-term business services such as identifying new business opportunities and offering assistance to help SMEs capitalise on these opportunities.

They may not fully understand the practical needs of SMEs and be as willing to co-invest or share the risks with SMEs to capitalise on a project.

With their foci on their bottom lines, they are not as predisposed to invest in helping SMEs develop their infrastructure, supports and services, grow their businesses, and become the next generation of world-beaters.

An EXIM Bank or a similar venture can cover these essential gaps and also be more focused in meeting the other needs and requirements of SMEs.

For instance, it can provide leadership and advices to help SMEs merge their operations or hunt as a pack. By doing that, it can help them enjoy economy of scale, link diverse markets, and strengthen their competitive edge and value-additions.

7. Helping SMEs Set Up Corporate Universities

The government should apportion resources to help SMEs set up what they call a corporate university to strengthen their companies and provide ongoing and upgrading learning programmes to their workers.

The corporate university is a strategic tool that is widely leveraged upon by many great companies and is an important part of developed economies.

SMEs can explore running a corporate university on their own, as part of a strategic alliance, or in partnership with a business consultancy.

The relevant authorities can also encourage and empower local universities and other relevant bodies to provide such services to help SMEs and our senior professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) improve themselves and compete to succeed in the new economy.

A corporate university with a relevant hands-on curriculum can help SMEs enhance their business model transformations, lifelong learning programmes, knowledge management, and change management on both organisational and individual levels. It can also help foster a stronger branding, culture, loyalty, and affection for the company.

As part of an ongoing process, key stakeholders should help to research, launch, and leverage on best practice of corporate university.

8. Re-Cleaning Up Our Image

Our pursuit to have a squeaky clean image is one of the pillars of the Singapore system.

Without that image, there’ll be a cascade of negative effects on our government, economy, society and future.

In recent times, the graft scandal by Keppel O&M in Brazil as well as the cheating case involving former and current SMRT workershave put us in a bad light, both locally as well as overseas.

In the process of handling over the government to the fourth generational leadership, it is also time to review and strengthen some of the fundamentals in the way we run the country.

More specifically, the government should look at more effective ways to improve on accountability and transparency, combat corruption, establish more effective check and balance systems, enhance whistleblowing procedures, tackle money laundering, and improve availability of and accessibility to information.

The government needs to convene key stakeholders from the political, people, private, and public sectors to review, redesign and revitalize our current systems.

To assure our people, enterprises, investors, and partners of our commitment to improve the system, we should not only strengthen our squeaky clean image, we should also be seen to be improving our image.

9. Building A “Gotong Royong” Spirit

In the final analysis, the motives, means and ends of any budget is to improve quality of life. That should be the focus and basis for evaluating success of Budget 2018.

Budget 2018 should therefore catalyze our people to take a stronger ownership of our communities and country.

Together, we will create more initiatives to build on the “one united people” spirit and strengthen families and communities.

Develop a home where we will have a deeper sense of rootedness and belonging.

Help to take care of each other and look after the last, the least, the lonely, and the lost among us.

We should hold on to a deeper belief that it’s in our Little Bright Red Dot that we can find purpose for living, happiness and fulfillment on individual, family and community levels.

In rolling out Budget 2018, we should aim to build on such a “gotong royong” spirit by incentivizing more bottom-up and peer-to-peer initiatives.

It should encourage more partnerships between the public, private and people sectors and encourage key stakeholders to connect, collaborate and co-create solutions for our communities and society.

We certainly need to foster more helping hands, including non-governmental organizations and volunteers to strengthen the bond between families and communities.

These helping hands can also be deployed to help address challenges of an aging population and potential fault lines that can divide and polarize our people, including xenophobia, not-in-my-backyard syndrome, and even racial or religious misunderstandings.

As a people, we must have the self-efficacy to believe we can battle all odds as a country.

Every one of us carry equal responsibility to strengthen our social ecosystem and make Singapore a livable and lovable home.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

The Top 10 Highlights Of My Life in 2017 (Not in order of priority)

Five years ago, I was inspired by Andrew Chow to reflect on the year that has passed, then select and share the top 10 highlights of the year.

As I reflect on 2017, I continue to praise our Creator and give Him all the glory for another wonderful year.

2017 is one of the best years in my life.

I feel like the dots of the past are being connected to create crescendos of praise and worship, gratitude, purpose, service, contribution, achievement, fun and fulfillment.

While I’m excited about the blessings in 2017, I believe that the best years have yet to come.

Throughout the year, I’ve grappled with many possibilities and come to grips with opportunities that will take me to a higher level.

I’ve met many wonderful people and developed great relationships with them.

I’ve also had many great experiences that gave me a heightened sense of purpose, meaning, excitement and fulfillment.

I had a hard time picking the top ten highlights for 2017 because there were too many highlights and all of them were exciting for different reasons.

After a long deliberation, here’s my final shortlist.

The highlights in the shortlist are not listed in order of priority.

1. Journey of Learning, Improvement and Growth

In 2016, I continued my learning journey as a work-in-progress – a journey to improve my personal and professional life, and enhance my growth and contribution to humanity.

I continued to invest time, money and effort to meditate, reflect, pray, read, journal, attend classes and seminars, seek coachings and mentorship, ask questions, teach, network, learn online, write, brainstorm, create and innovate, participate in mastermind groups, advise, consult, visit exhibitions, and practise many other ways to improve myself.

Entrusted my life to our Creator to help me maximize my potential and bring out the best in me.

So far, I’ve completed a doctorate degree, two masters’ degrees, a bachelor degree, and nine other professional qualifications.

Attended many other learning programmes and have benefitted immensely from them.

Having said that, please note that I’m not on a paper chase. I’m among the last to believe that exams and grades should be allowed to define our lives.

Truth be told, I’ve lost most of my educational certificates.

I appreciate the values of lifelong learning to help me stay relevant and become an important net contributor to the people and environment around me.

I believe in the battle cry – learn or die!

In other words, the day that you stop learning is the day you start to decay and die.

Therefore, continue to learn until the last day of your life.

After another year of learning, I feel young and like a totally new person.

In 2018, I plan to read many books and craft deeper reflections about life, services and achievements.

I will also be pursuing many other learning opportunities and experiences.

I thank all my teachers, including those who had crossed my path for only a brief moment, for sharing their thoughts, experiences and lessons with me.

Please continue to teach me.

Join me in my “Slow Learners Club”?

2. Journey of Firing Up Dreams and Acting On Them

I’m a firm believer that dreamers create and re-create a better world.

The quality of their dreams can determine the quality of their lifestyles and achievements.

I’ve always taught my students to become visionaries and dream a Humongous, Electrifying, Life-Changing, and Magnetic (HELM) dream.

Such a dream will stretch them and help them to be passionate about their dreams and lives.

The dream will also help to change their lives and attract people to help them turn the dream into reality. Correspondingly, it’ll attract them to take massive actions to turn their own dreams into reality.

After my second “retirement,” I crafted a new dream.

To help generate more financial donations for a good cause than Mr. Bill Gates (Go ahead and laugh. I can take it).

The plan is simple.

I endeavor to inspire selected people to earn more than $10,000,000 so that they will give away at least $1,000,000 to charity.

I have conducted different ways of helping many people on a pro bono basis. They include seminars, mentorships, coachings, and trainings as well as advisory, counselling, and befriending sessions.

I want to inspire entrepreneurs, community leaders, students, and other deserving participants to achieve greater successes and fulfillment.

In doing so, they will donate their time, talents and treasures, including money to charity.

In 2017, I’ve spoken to more people in closed door sessions than I’ve ever done in my life.

I believe at some point, my dream will come true but more importantly, the world will become a much better home from it.

I’m excited about my goal. It has unleashed me for a life of passion, energy, and massive actions.

3. Journey of Fighting Poverty

Since 1972, when I was still in school and an idealistic boy (I’m still idealistic), I wanted to help eradicate two of the biggest problems in the world – poverty and war.

I thought to myself, if I could eradicate poverty, I would be able to eradicate war.

After all, if nobody is in need of anything, they would stop killing one another, wouldn’t they?

Much later, I learned from gurus such as the late Dr. Buckminster Fuller that there are adequate resources to eradicate poverty.

However, if you offer these resources, including money to the poor, many of them will eventually be poor again.

They will waste their money away and perhaps, that’s one of the key reasons why they are poor in the first place. They will not be inclined to learn, improve, and take action.

The poor don’t need a handout, they need a helping hand.

More than anything else, they need to improve their financial literacy/intelligence.

Financial intelligence is defined as the ability to create, save, invest, grow, protect, and spend money wisely.

Improving financial intelligence is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty.

The desire to help others improve their financial intelligence was a key driving factor in getting me to go back to school again.

I pursued a doctorate course of study and completed a dissertation revolving around financial intelligence at the University of Southern California in 2015.

I aim to leverage on the knowledge and expertise that I’ve received over the years to mentor, train, coach, and guide others to improve their financial position and results.

I hope to inspire others and even governments, non-governmental organizations, enterprises, religious organizations, and other entities to join me to improve financial literacy level and fight poverty.

Together, we can eradicate poverty.

Someday, the next generation will point to our generation and say, “That was the generation that got their act together. They joined hands together, fought poverty, and relegated poverty to history.”

In the near future, a small kid will visit a museum and point to exhibits on poverty and ask his parents, “What is poverty?”

The fight against poverty continues…

4. Journey of Moulding and Shaping Young Lives and Contributing to Society

As Chairman of Junior Achievement Singapore – a charity that conducts life skills training for students – I’m happy that we have enrolled more than 1700 volunteers to help us trained more than 110,000 students so far.

We trained young people in skills such as entrepreneurship, financial literacy, success, and work effectiveness skills on a pro bono basis so that they will be in a better position to succeed at work and in life.

I have also started teaching entrepreneurship, investment and other life skills.

I look forward to more opportunities to share my knowledge and skills with even more people in 2018.

5. Journey of Great Investments

As an active investpreneur, despite everything that doomsayers and naysayers had said, I enjoyed one of the highest ROIs in 2017.

I continued to invest in properties, businesses, stocks and other instruments of investments.

Over the years, my portfolio of investments has risen exponentially in total nett asset value.

Financial investment is not rocket science. You don’t have to fight “Star Wars” to achieve tangible and sustainable results.

There are sound investment strategies and techniques that you can use to strengthen your financial position and assets.

I’m happy that my business start-up blew my mind away with its financial bottom line.

Within 2.5 years, I believe our business can qualify to win an Enterprise 50 Award.

Unfortunately, we are too young and can only show two sets of audited accounts for the competition.

I wish more people will aspire to learn more about business and financial investment so that they can live a better life and increase their donations for worthwhile causes.

6. Journey of Teaching Others about Investments

In 2017, I have decided to step up my commitment to teach more people on how to invest and improve their financial income, competence, and growth.

The paradoxical truth is that the more I teach, the more I believe I am able to learn and become a better entrevestor.

What’s more, I can hunt as a pack with students. We can help each other source better opportunities, manage threats, and generate better returns.

In my passionate quest to help them achieve better returns, I have discovered some great investment strategies.

I’m testing these strategies in the field right now to make sure they work.

As I have always said, it only takes one good investment idea to make tons of money. And I have a few of them in my arsenal now.

In 2018, I plan to make my disciples fall off their chairs and jump with joy with some radical investment breakthroughs.

Look out for it!

7. Journey of Improving My Thought Processes and Inspiring Others through Writing

Since young, I had struggled with speaking and writing proper English, and I’m still struggling with it.

In 2017, I continued to develop and improve my writing skills through journaling, blogging, writing to the press, posting on my website, and crafting comments on social media.

I’m glad that I was once chosen as a “Writer of The Week” by The Straits Times.

Besides writing to the public, I continue to provide feedback to the Government as a responsible and active citizen.

I’m not shy to share my two cents’ worth on how to improve the community and country.

I’ll continue to do my small little part to strengthen Singapore’s position as one of the most admired countries in the world.

In total, I have crafted more than 2500 organic, zero-calorie, hypoallergenic, contaminant-free, and purely organic Love Notes to inspire readers to make full use of their lives and live a full life.

In this coming year, I aim to complete a few more items on my bucket list.

I want to produce a table-top book of inspiring messages and a CD of at least 10 original songs with lyrics adapted from my writings. I’ll also be writing a home-study manual for investment and producing a series of short multimedia learning programmes.

8. Journey of Public Service and Contribution

I have provided leadership and advisory services to charities, a national sports association, a family service centre, grassroots organizations, professional bodies, a government-appointed forum, and other non-government organisations.

On 9 August 2016, together with some friends, we started SG Serve, another charity to look after the poor, needy and disadvantaged.

I’m very proud of our volunteers for turning SG Serve into a national movement and it’s still growing at a faster pace than expected.

Through the two centers at Little India, we continue to look after the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and vocational needs of our migrant workers.

In addition, I have also been involved in raising funds for local charities and crisis relief efforts.

In 2017, together with a group of friends, we had organised an educational seminar at the Suntec Convention Centre to raise funds for the victims of Typhoons Haima and Nock-ten in the Philippines.

We also ran a charity dinner in the Grand Ballroom at the Orchard Mandarin Hotel for SG Serve and the Wrestling Federation of Singapore.

I continued to be a “professional beggar” for good causes and have helped to raise more than $300,000 to fund different charity projects in 2017.

Fundraising is not the easiest of work. It’s certainly not a task that most of us would like to do but it has to be done to ensure the survival and success of any charity body.

I organise these fundraising projects as a way to inspire others to actively participate in and support a good cause. When they seek to bless others, they will be blessed too.

So, if I come to you and “beg” you for donation, please don’t find an excuse to put down the phone or run away from me. I don’t have that many friends left to “abuse” now. Lol!

If possible, send me a private message now to donate to our next few charity projects in 2018, starting with raising of funds to support crisis relief efforts for victims of natural disasters, new projects to organise regular gatherings for the elderly, food distribution programmes, and other charity projects.

I am grateful to be given the opportunity to be of service to different communities and the society. These involvements have enriched my life and made me a better person.

My team and I are honored to receive the Champion of Good recognition from the National Voluntary and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).

9. Journey of Transforming the Business World

On 1 July 2011, my wife and I exchanged most of our shares in a public-listed real estate company for an 8-figure worth of money. The news has been splashed all over the mass media.

I walked out of the industry (退出江湖) a totally free man. Free to do whatever I want and have whatever time and resources needed to do it.

Many of my friends patted me on my back. They sent me many compliments and accolades.

They congratulated me and looked up to me as a model of their dream. A dream of every entrepreneur to take a company public, hand it over to a capable and resourceful leader, and move on to pursue the best of life.

Even my competitors who obviously hated me like poison in the past said words such as, “All the barbs we threw at you were just business. Nothing personal.

“You’re a good guy and you deserve to retire from the industry at the top and to enjoy a wonderful life ahead. Well done!”

Subsequently, I went on to accomplish many other dreams and ticked off many items off my bucket list.

They included completing my doctoral studies; raising funds to help start at least 5 charity centres; and supporting many other humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives.

Traveling around the world. Dining in the finest restaurants. Having fun in the best playgrounds.

Mentoring many successful investors and entrepreneurs. Investing in a few promising businesses.

Helping to list another company in the US.

Working on helping other entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Teaching business owners and CEOs to list their companies on a reputable securities exchange.

Giving lectures to thousands all over the world. Crafting many of my thoughts, experiences, and learning lessons on paper.

While I was enjoying my life, there was yet a void in my heart. There was something else I needed to do.

I did not feel that I was blessed so that I can just have a good life.

Deep in my heart, a dream was beginning to take shape. A higher calling was stirring in my being.

I did not fully understand this dream and the calling until awhile later.

Our founding father, the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, once quoted, “The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to every person in Singapore and elsewhere: Keep yourself interested, have a challenge.”

After talking to my counsellors and advisors, I affirmed again that I have one keen interest – entrepreneurship and investment.

Every molecule in my body shouts a business message. If you cut my veins, don’t be surprised that business opportunities will flow out.

Truth be told, I left the business world but the business world never left me.

In 2018, I plan to be proactive in the business world. There’s an unfinished business to be completed.

It’s not only about pioneering new business models. Not about growing companies. And absolutely nothing to do with profits – although all these are critical and important.

I believe with all my heart that if we are going to turn the world upside down or right-side up, we need a fourth key – every one of us in the business world.

When the private sector works closely with the public and people sectors, we can overcome challenges that the world is facing.

If every one of us join hands together and do our part to spread more love, compassion and kindness, we can make our world a better home.

We can also inspire a new generation to put to right all the wrongs in society. We can leave a better world for our children and our children’s children.

That’s why, I AM BACK (我重出江湖了)!

10. Journey of “Changing Lives Globally”

In 1990, my partner and I had a simple dream.

The simple dream? To change the world through world-class education.

Specifically, to engage world-class gurus to deliver cutting-edged messages to help our fellow humans change their lives and the world around them.

Today, Success Resources has customers from every continent except the Arctic and the Antarctic. (We are still waiting for the polar bears to register for our seminar to upgrade themselves. Lol!)

From President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, T. Harv Eker to Robert Kiyosaki, we have worked with some of the best in the world.

We have become arguably the largest personal seminar organizer in the world.

As a publicly listed company on ASX, we will press on in pressing on to fulfil our corporate mission – “Changing Lives Globally.”

As long as there is one more person, one more community, one more country in need of improving and achieving better results, we will be there. The revolution continues…

Looking to the future, I’m excited about my dream, vision, plan, action, and experience.

In conclusion, I want to say that deep in my heart, I want to fulfil our Creator’s blueprint for my life.

I want to continue to reach out to ordinary persons on the street and help them live an extraordinary life.

I’m grateful for and thankful to our Creator, my family, friends, colleagues, customers, and partners.

All of you have walked the journey with me and 2017 has been a great year. I have enjoyed every single moment of the journey and I’m thankful to each and every one of you for leading me, and standing by and behind me.

As the original Kampong Ah Boy (and now Kampong Ah Pek), I would never have imagined then that I would one day have a chance to travel all over the world, dine with Presidents and Prime Ministers, learn from world-class gurus, and enjoy the finest that life can offer.

I wrote this reflection in a hotel while having an overseas retreat with some of my colleagues and having a wonderful time.

My heart is filled – and in fact, overwhelmed – with gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for everything in my life.

I’m a work-in-progress and far from perfect.

Please forgive me if I have done anything wrong to you.

In 2018, please continue to teach me. Help me to live by one of my values:

The best way to live my life is to live my life for others. The more I reach out to bless the others, the richer and better my life will become.

By the love and grace of our God, I plan to make 2018 the best year ever in my life.

I’ll continue to fulfil my vision to build more dream-chasers, value-multipliers, change-makers, and world-beaters.

What about you? How do you plan to make 2018 the best year in your life?


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

An Optimist’s (or Simpleton’s) Brief Prediction for 2018

1. At the beginning of 2017, there were concerns about rise of nationalism and nativism, underpinned by Trump’s political manifesto and battle cry to make America great again, and underlying forces driving Brexit.

Political victories by Merkel, Macron and other leaders show that the developed world is not ready to erect walls and build a more protectionist, defensive, and a more regulated economy.

Instead, it is committed to have a rule-based international order and to develop a progressive and hopefully, a compassionate globalized economy.

Regional blocs, such as the EU and ASEAN, will become more compelled to close ranks. There will be a stronger drive to complete regional agreements such as the CPTPP and RCEP in response to influence of stronger economies such as the U.S., China and other competitive blocs.

Notwithstanding the need for a more peaceful world, there will be increased military spending to strengthen geo-political influence and security, and combat extreme terrorism.

2. The U.S. will continue to look inward to resolve many of its domestic issues, and prepare for the midterm election due in November 2018. It will have a lesser influential role in global affairs.

The EU will continue to focus on enhancing its unity, coming to grips with Brexit, and maintaining its edge.

As a result, China and Russia will expand their circles of influence.

Russia will leverage on its influence online and in the Middle East.

China and India will be the fastest growing economies. They will have undue influence politically, economically and militarily.

China will continue to shift from a labor-intensive to a higher value-added service market; and from a “made in China” to a “created in China” economy. There will be a balance between being an investment-dependent economy and a consumption-based economy.

China has been offering candies and cookies, especially to gain support for its Belt and Road Initiative, and will continue to do so in order to strengthen its ties with many Asian and African countries.

3. Trump’s conflicting views and potential conflicts of interests – potential conflicts between him and the electoral base, and potential conflicts of views between him and members of his team and with members of the Senate and House of Representatives will cause greater unreliability, unpredictability and uncertainty.

This will underpin increased volatility in the economy and the investment market, resulting in knee-jerk reactions and sharp movements.

4. Trump’s projected expansionary policies will increase budget deficit, put upward pressures on inflationary rates, and increase interest rates.

In the short-term, we are already seeing – and will continue to see – flight of capital to the U.S. and strengthening of the greenbacks.

5. The global economy will grow modestly.

There’ll be increasing inflationary rates across the developed world, and central banks will be pressured to tighten monetary policies and introduce heterodox measures to tame undue inflation.

6. In Singapore, there will be a reshuffling of the cabinet in 2018.

By then, the possible candidates to become first among equal will be shortlisted to three candidates, namely, Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung and Heng Swee Keat.

The 4G leadership team will run key positions in the cabinet. They will be more active in crafting policies and directions for the nation.

As we move closer to the next General Election, there will be lesser price increase for public goods.

The ruling government will strengthen its socialist roots to improve social safety net for the poor and needy, including those who fall between the cracks.

There will be more resources being apportioned to re-skill our people for the new economy, especially the senior PMETs.

The government will look into more holistic ways to look after the elderly (in view of the forthcoming silver tsunami), children of disadvantaged families, retrenched and displaced workers, and those who are physically challenged.

In the short-term, the government will have to step up to improve total fertility rate as it will have a major impact on our economy and society in the future.

The ruling party will leverage on the 200th anniversary celebration of the founding of modern Singapore in 2019 to entrench its political position for the next General Election.

Singapore’s economy will expand by about 3-3.5 per cent. It will continue to go through a challenging time to redesign and re-make the economy.

SMEs will go through a tough time to have a stable and secure footing in the new world of disorder. There will likely be more belt-tightening measures in response to the VUCA environment.

Retrenchment and unemployment rate will increase in the short- to mid-term, especially among senior PMETs which will be on the rise.

The government will continue to introduce different measures in response to recommendations by the Committee on the Future Economy to improve capacity, develop new markets, help re-skill vulnerable workers, and to boost innovation and value-creating programmes.

A higher allocation of Budget 2018 should be deployed to strengthen the economy, support business growth and ensure that our workers are productive in the new economy.

7. Government’s land sales will deliver 7,400 units to the market. In addition, collective recent sales will add another 9,300 units; notwithstanding there’s a lag time of 1-2 years before they come on stream.

All these units will weigh on the current over-supplied market.

The current heat in the market is driven by pent-up demand, hype from the mass media, sentiments from the ground, biddings from overseas players, and need for developers to grow their land banks.

The rental market is still sluggish and the government has no urgent intention to remove the cooling measures. Political reality suggests that the ruling government is less inclined to want the market to become bullish, especially as we edge towards the next General Election.

While sentiments can drive up the market in the short-term, the reality of supply and demand factors will hit home in the mid- to long-term,.

There’s no need to rush into the property market in the belief that there will be a V-shaped turn in the near future.

The authorities will be watching the property market closely to ensure that it will not be overheated and more importantly, it will not affect the ruling party’s political currency.

The underlying intention is that the property market will grow in tandem with the projected growth of the economy. Having said that, the growth will not be broad-based and will only be applicable in selected areas that are underpinned by positive fundamentals.

8. The world is at an inflection point to herald the advent of a new age, supported by accelerated growth of advanced technology.

If Singapore plays our game well, we can be one of the fulcrums of a neo-Renaissance Age.

Singapore can be a vital toll gate for global trade.

We can be an essential hub and spoke, and the node, router and connector of international commerce.

How then should you respond?

Unpredictability is not an enemy. Uncertainty is not a foe.

Look out for silver linings in every dark cloud.

For example, threats to the economy and trade disputes will trigger knee-jerk responses and overreactions in the investment markets.

There’ll be under-valued assets that will yield positive gains for mid- to long-term investors.

For entrepreneurs, the economic slowdown is one of the best times to fine-tune business models, increase market shares, improve operations, and prepare for an upturn.

In a challenging environment, there’ll be increasing demand for bonds and asset-backed investments.

Singapore will become more appealing as a safe haven.

Many foreign investors, such as Chinese investors, may hedge value of their assets, arbitrage foreign currency movements, and invest in selected properties for mid- to long-term gains.

There will be good buys in both business and investment markets.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones the most wonderful year and life ahead.

May all your dreams come true – beyond your wildest imagination.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Are You Changing Fast Enough?

Leaders have a tendency to over-focus on current systems without realizing that what has helped them succeed in the past may not help them succeed in the future.

In the process of working on urgent matters at hand, they may not realize that the landscape is changing.

In a disruptive future, it’s not uncommon for incumbents to hold on to status quo, especially if their current systems have won admirations, accolades, and awards.

And if their organizations have become like a big ship, it is even harder for them to make the necessary changes.

They may not be leading their organizations and people fast enough to meet demands of the future customers and economy.

Shape their people in meeting fast-changing needs of their communities and society as a whole.

In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, there is a need to continually transform current systems and at the same time, preempt and respond to disruptive forces.

To do that, leaders should be pioneers of change and catalysts for improvements.

Innovation should be at the core of the organizational culture, structure, system and operation.

Research and development should be strengthened at every level of the organizational hierarchy, right down to every team and individual.

There’s a heightened need for leaders to work closely with key leaders from not just the public but also from the people and private sectors to future-proof their organizations.

Have the grits, guts and gumption and be courageous and curious enough to establish experimental sites within the current system and without.

Pilot, prototype and pioneer radical breakthroughs for the betterment of their people.

Disrupt themselves for a brighter future and become the disruptor before they become disrupted by external forces.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!