A Case for Car-Sharing in Singapore


I am behind Low’s case for an approach to car-sharing services that benefits consumers and does not over-protect taxi company incumbents (Straits Times). But I share a concern, that often in such debates, the (car-sharing, aka service providers) drivers’ interests to earn a honest living, could easily be side-lined.

Through my frequent car-sharing experiences, I received near unanimous feedback from existing drivers about their eroding earnings because of these intermediaries’ incredible market power to recruit other new drivers and set lower fares. Many of these drivers are full time drivers and they only receive about 80% of the final fares, after paying the intermediaries their cut. The drivers mentioned that they were considering a move back to regular taxi service once their current one-year contract is over, in order to earn a better and stable income.

In midst of these upcoming debates, regulators should never forget to put people interests, the commuters and the drivers, at the heart of their policy considerations.

Embracing the Global Sharing Economy – A UK policy reference

Share Key

Image Credit: Emilio Quintana (Creative Common)

An independent report (Nov 2014) comissioned by the UK Government on the potential, barriers and policy recommendations to embrace the sharing economy.

It’s key recommendations includes:

  1. “The Government should embrace the opportunities offered by the sharing economy, both to make its own operations more efficient, and to make better use of public resources.”
  2. “Regulations must be examined to ensure they are still fit for purpose and meet people’s expectations – particularly for accommodation and online task-sharing platforms.”
  3. “We need to support start-ups in the sharing economy – by encouraging experimentation and innovation – and sharing what works.”

Hope this will be useful reference for the all policy makers who are also considering the same issues for their own countries.

(H/T: Independent Report Urges UK to Embrace Sharing, Airbnb)

Invitation to the LKY School Alumni Chapter Kick off and Welcome Party

LKY-School-Alumni-Kickoff-Event-1-Aug-2014Calling all LKY School students and alumni join us for a social night where past, present and future students come together to share in the LKY School traditions. We would also like to take this opportunity to share the alumni chapter plans for the coming year.

Please register your RSVP at http://goo.gl/DtyDNN. We really hope to see you there.

LKY School Alumni Chapter (Singapore)LKYSPP-College-Green-Amazing-Race



A Primer on Internet Governance and the Role of ICANN

A link to the Council of Foreign Relations Internet Governance primer and a discussion on the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The primer also raises the question whether ICANN’s structure and operating model pose as boon or a threat to the governance of the Internet, whether Internet governance should in the hands of nation states or the “collective commons“.

The truth of travelling in India and possibly anywhere in the world.

India is a place rich with stories; in the classic sense, we can appreciate the immensity of a performance of the Ramayana and the reach of the latest Bollywood offering from Shah Rukh Khan, and this extends right down to our own individual experiences as travellers in a place that seems exotic and fantastic…

It is not despite the chaos, contradictions and confrontations that I love travelling in India; it is because of them and the stories they allow us to live out as protagonists and participants.

An extract from “Belly of the beast: the country that will change you” (Sydney Morning Herald)

Microsoft Research Asia Researcher Awarded the 2008 MIT TR35 Young Innovator Prize

Dr HUA Xian-Sheng, a lead reseacher from the Internet Media Group (Microsoft Research Asia) was awarded the 2008 MIT Technology Review Young Innovator prize. This award is given in recognition of Hua’s work in the content-based video analysis.

The amount of video on the Web is growing at an ­incredible rate. Effectively searching online video, however, remains difficult.

Hua hopes to crack the problem by teaching computers to recognize objects, scenes, events, and other elements of digital images. He uses machine-learning techniques and annotated videos to train computers to automatically categorize new videos. Click here to view a flowchart explaining Hua’s video search system.

Congrats Xian-Sheng!

Related links: