The National Council Of Problem Gambling is currently the laughing stock of all campaigns since Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup Semi-Finals. However, as Argentina is now in the finals, NCPG will be one having the last laugh.

Germany won because Brazil's defense was non-existence throughout the match.

David Luiz was central defender but he was all over the place. Most of the goals scored was because David was out of position.

Marcelo, left back, played more like left wing. Left and center not working, the defence couldn't cope with Germany's attack. Replay showed that Germany had three attackers vs three or two Brazillian defenders.

The Business Insider has a good analysis of Brazil's defence or lack of it. Read here.

Argentina only conceded 2 goals so far and that was their third match against Nigeria and they already qualified for 2nd round. Argentina back four don't run up much. Messi also knows when to drop deep to help defence like he did against Belgium.

My prediction for the World Cup 2014 finals - Full Time 0-0 draw with Messi scoring a single goal in extra time or it will go into penalties with Argentina winning the World Cup.

If NCPG Andy's father put all his winning and son's savings in the final match for a Germany win, NCPG might have the last laugh.

AirAsia Flight AK278 skidded off the runway at the Bandar Seri Begawan International Airport (BWN) and the budget airline press release claimed that "evacuation of the passengers was performed in an orderly manner by the crew". A passenger of the flight posted on Facebook at the orderly manner wasn't as orderly as described by the press release.

Wrote Won Fabio,

We almost die in Air Asia plane crash in Brunei! We are in the darkness when it skidded during landing, we do not know what to do at all, no announcement, no instructions from the pilot when it crashed, we cannot see the " glow in dark" line on the floor,and i saw a long wire dropped from the compartment but none of the oxygen mask, one the Mr. flight attendant ( steward) make the whole situation worse, he shouted, Run Run Run !! yet we don't know where to run about, that was the time everyone got panic and try to escape, most of the passengers try to grab their luggage and making the escape so difficult, everyone try to push the people in front of them, making some people fell, it take too long before we can slide down from the plane and run to the field. Second incident, when we reach the bus, the bus door got stuck and we were trapped inside, and the worst part, something is burning, and everyone scream like hell once again. We manage to get out from the bus and we are all wet in the rain, now we are inside the hall, quarantined temporarily. This is so not my day !
Won Fabio also shared photos of the hasty evacuation.

AirAsia should take immediate action to look into why there was no instructions from the pilot,why the "glow in dark" line on the floor didn't glow in an emergency, and that the long wire dropped from the compartment by with no oxygen mask. Also, there should be questions about why the pilot gave no instructions and why the flight attendant told the passengers to run in the plane before the emergency slide was released. The latter could have caused more injuries especially in an emergency.

There are more questions raised than the press release itself. As a frequent flyer of AirAsia, it is important for the budget airline to conduct an investigation into these claims.

Social Lessons From KLM Tweet

It was meant as a cheeky tweet from Dutch airlines, KLM, but it ended up pissing almost the whole world. So what went?

KLM tweeted "Aidos Amigos!" #NEDMEX" with reference to the lost by Mexico to Dutch. Sounds innocent, but the whole world found it be "racist".

Wrote The Guardian,
The Hollywood actor Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal launched a foul-mouthed Twitter attack on KLM after the airline posted a tweet mocking Mexico and their defeat to Holland.

The A-list star wrote: “I’m never flying your shitty airline again. F--- you big time,” after the Dutch airline posted a picture and an infographic of a sombrero, moustache and serape blanket under the heading “Adios Amigos!”.
So why did KLM drew so much ire?

1. Be Humble In Victory and Gracious In Defeat 

Most sportspeople would have learn that those who are humble in victory and gracious in defeat are the best sportspeople around.

KLM, while trying to celebrate Dutch victory, sounded arrogant in bragging about it. At the end of the day, Mexico did lead and played a great match, only for a 88 min shot and a penalty in injury time to end the dreams of the Mexican.

If KLM did a more gracious tweet celebrating the match and its opponents, it would have gotten more goodwilll.

Humility goes a long way or many retweets. 

2. Your Passengers Are Not Just Dutch

KLM may be a Dutch airline, but given the flat world today, your passengers come from all over the world, including Mexico.

While it is great to celebrate the nation's victory, KLM should have considered that they do have a percentage of passengers, no matter how small, who take the airline.

Alienating your passengers isn't a great idea.

Social media isn't just an exercise of creating new ideas. You also have to consider your audience as Twitter is the medium of retweets.

(Update: I did try the app at Marina Square KFC. The counter didn't know what to do and had to look for the manager. The manager did know her stuff but was giving me the "why don't you pay with cash" look. Unlocking the smartphone, swiping the app and receiving payment probably took longer than paying with cash. When more start using Dash, merchant's concern would be if the payment process will lengthen the counter process.

Coincidentally, a friend updated on Facebook that he tried using the Dash ap at Compass Point KFC, but neither the staff or manager were aware on how to accept Dash.)

I downloaded the SingTel and Standard Chartered Bank app just after they announced it and I thought of reviewing it immediately. 

Knowing how vendors have to work out the kinks of their apps, I decided to wait a few weeks before reviewing it.

Now that it has been a few weeks, here are my thoughts.

1. Sign-up made easier

The first time I saw the Dash app, the sign up button wasn't in the front screen. You could only sign up after going through the list of SCB products. I guessed someone must have highlighted this and now the sign up button is at the front of the app.

Do note that signing up for the Dash app is to sign up for a SCB Dash bank account. If you are not looking to start one, Dash isn't for you.

Signing up for a new SCB Dash account requires you to snap a photo of your identification card, fill in some details and voila. 

If we can only bank in our cheques just by snapping a photo of it and skip the need to drop it in.

2. Pay Your Friends Via Mobile But They Need To Sign Up For Dash

After logging in, you can choose to pay friends or business by swiping up or down accordingly.

If you choose to pay your friends, swipe up and enter their mobile number. Your friends need to have a Dash account to receive the money. If they don't have a Dash account, they will receive an SMS to inform them that they have been paid via Dash and will be asked to sign up.

Maybe SCB hopes to capture more of the Singapore market virally. However, I see this more as a problem than a solution. SCB and Singtel need to spend money and time to achieve this quickly. 

Say I have Dash and I tell my friends I will pay them via Dash, they will chide me for not using cash. Peer pressure will get me to pash them cash. 

What if you made payment and your friend doesn't accept it? Dash will return your money in about 5 to 7 working days.

3. Payment At Merchant

To be honest, I have not made a payment yet on Dash. I did come across the Dash payment terminal at KFC but only after I paid with cash.

There was no sign at the entrance to state that "Dash Accepted Here" and when I was at the counter, I instinctively paid with cash. Only when I saw the Dash terminal, then it went "I should have enjoyed my free $10 Dash dollar here."

However, I assumed that the payment will also be easy. All you need to do is swipe down to pay merchant, enter the counter code and make payment.


Standard Chartered Bank and SingTel still have a long road ahead. Right now, except for free $10 upon sign up, there is no additional benefit to use the app to make payment - not many friends have a Dash account for me to make a transfer and there is no benefit for me to pay with Dash at the selected merchants.

Other credit cards offer rebates and discounts but Dash does not offer any for now. Maybe that will change soon.

For the merchants, while Standard Chartered Bank and Singtel may have gotten some of the big brands to do adopt this payment method, I have no doubts there was a lot of haggling on the cost of the terminal and the setup. 

Other merchants will not see the benefit of getting another payment terminal given the crowded space already at the counter. Besides the cost of the terminal, there will be the argument over transaction fees.

The lowest fees currently belongs to NETs and is about 1%, credit cards here are around 2.6%. As such, the transaction fee should be competitive to meet entice merchants to sign up.

And if merchants don't see any usage and they are still paying the terminal fees, it won't be any shock if they put out the terminal in less than a year.

The Poor's Curse Of Instant Riches

The Straits Times wrote of how the wife of the Indian cleaner, who was killed in an accident last year, squandered her $1 million dollars that came from insurance and donations in less than a year. 

Some have criticized that Straits Times reported this story to remind Singaporeans that getting one's full CPF could lead one to spend all at once and leaving one broke from retirement till death. 

I have to admit the CPF scheme is useful but the biggest problems are that the rules are too rigid and goalposts keep changing, that results in the people asking,"why?". 

Like a broken recorder, the answer is always "it is for your retirement" and this has eroded the trust between the people and the current government.

The story of the Indian lady is one I have heard many times duringy my six months in Koh Samui.

Prior to being a tourist island, Koh Samui was more known to be the main exporter of coconuts. Thus, the inner land was considered more valuable than the land by the beach.

As such, it was the eldest son or the most favorite child who inherited the inner lands. It was the rotten apple, the least favorite child or the youngest daughter who will get the beach front land. 

When the island was converted in a resort island, hoteliers paid big money to own the beach land. Guess who got rich instantly?

For some,the instant windfall actually proved to be their downfall. One story I heard that this real gangster of a son got so rich after selling his beach front property, he bought expensive cars and drank all day and night.

One month later, after a night of drinking, he danced on the open road and got knocked over by another drunk driver. He died on the spot.

Some of you reading this might go "See, that's why you can't release all the CPF monies at once." But, I haven't spoke about the culture difference yet.

One of the things I learnt about Thai culture, especially poor folks, is their attitudes towards life. They live for the day. Fortunately or unfortunately, this attitude is from the Buddha's teaching of impermanence. The Buddha also taught that things should not be taken in extremes dosages but somehow for this hero above, it never sank in.

Thus, whether it is the story of the Indian lady or the Thai dude, it is unique to the circumstances.

Will Singaporeans behave as such? A small minority will, but not a majority. The money gotten from CPF is not a sudden lottery win, but had work throughout the years. 

Furthermore, Singaporeans are also educated and exposed to various insurance and annuity schemes that they can look at to invest in.

If the money in CPF belongs to Singaporean, let them too have some transparency and control over the use, especially after retirement.

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