Saturday, November 28, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues


1. Is Singapore an innovative company?
2. Are we over-reacting to a small number of covid infections?

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Friday, November 27, 2020

How to encourage innovation

 I saw a post that KFC has introduced a self driving kiosk to provide food to customers in Shanghai.

My question is - why does KFC not introduce this kiosk in Singapore?

Here is my answer:

Low risk of serious infection

 It is insane to continue the restrictions when the risk of serious infection is so low.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Wooden crossing and insane ministers

 I dedicate this story to our "insane ministers"

Safe to stop contact tracing work

Singapore has carried out 4,448,000 covid tests since the start of the pandemic.

We were testing an average of 15,000 people every day. The number of tests have probably scaled down in recent days - maybe to 10,000 tests a day.

We do not have any positive cases for the past two weeks, except for a few travelers returning to Singapore.

If we carry out so many tests (say 5,000 to 10,000 a day) and could not find any case of infected people in the community, it is safe to conclude that the virus has disappeared.

I prefer to stop all the restrictions now. Instead, we can focus on catching the symptomatic cases through temperature taking at self service kiosks.

It is insane to continue with the safe entry and contact tracing activities, which is probably useless.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. President elect Joe Biden had prepared the transition well.
2. Should we prepare for a 4 hour working week?

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WOTC - Will Joe Biden make a good president

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of the respondents said that Joe Biden will make a good president. The other 50% said that he will not.

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 50% of the respondents said that President Joe Biden will be good for America. The other 50% said that he will not solve America's problem.

It is time for us to work out a new arrangement involving working 4 hours a day, instead of 6 hours.

Work 4 hours a day

 It is time for us to work out a new arrangement involving working 4 hours a day, instead of 6 hours.

Allow withdrawal of CPF to alleviate drop in earnings

 Here is my suggestion to allow CPF to be withdrawn by members who suffer a drop of income due to the pandemic or other economic slowdown.

Do you like this approach?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is it safe to open the border for incoming tourists?
2. Should banks be allowed to sell investment products to their customers?
3. Is it justified for Medishield Life premium to be increased by up to 35%?

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WOTC - Hong Kong economy

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 58% of the respondents expect the Hong Kong economy to do well. 42% expect the economy to do badly.

WOTC - Will Donald Trump accept the results of the election?

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 80% of the respondents expect Donald Trump to challenge the results if he loses the election. This poll was taken before the election.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

We can open up the borders - the risk is low

 If we continue to close the border and make it difficult for travelers to come to Singapore, our business will continue to suffer. Many have to close down, leading to retrenchment of workers.

Can we take the risk and open our borders?

Yes, we should open our borders now. I believe that the risk is very small and can be managed.

Here are my reasons:

Friday, November 20, 2020

Provide facilities for US Navy

Should Singapore agree to the request by the US Navy to be their base? Will China sees this as a threat? How can the government respond to this request?

Effectiveness and safety of a vaccine

 There are two measures for a covid vaccine:

* Effectiveness
* Safety

Two vaccines are rated to be safe and 95% effective.

It does not mean that it is 5% unsafe.

These vaccines are considered to be 100% safe and 95% effective. It means that for 5% of the subjects, the vaccine does not provide the desired immunity.

Quite likely, it will not cause any harm either.

If a vaccine is not safe, i.e. known to have serious side effects, it will not be approved for use on people.

So, if the vaccine with 95% effectiveness is authorized for us, it is quite safe to use the vaccine.

Dealing with a non-existent risk

 The daily cases and deaths world wide from covid-19 have increased during the past weeks.

So, it is a concern in the countries, especially those with cold climates.
I can understand their concern, when the numbers are spiking up.
But the situation is different in Singapore.
But there has been no local infection for the past two weeks. They are a small handful of imported cases, but mostly mild). They do not spread anyway.

It the risk becomes real, we can then take the required measures and pay for their cost. There is no need to pre-empt and over-react to this potential risk.
It is insane for us to take expensive precautions against a risk that is somewhat non-existent in Singapore.
Anyway, we can continue our insanity and see more people lose their jobs, livelihood and close their business.

Difficult to use Trace Together for Safe Entry scanning

 Some people complained that it takes more time to use the Trace Together token for safe entry. At some places, they do not have the scanner.

They prefer to use the NRIC or concession transit card (which has the bar code) for scanning in.

I agree. If I have to scan in for Safe Entry, I use my transit card.

I have the Trace Together token and the TT app. But if I have to scan with Safe Entry, I will not use the TT token or app.

Okay, they will make it compulsory in December for entry to malls and other public places. Quite likely, I will stop visiting these places. (Shhhh, don't tell the insane ministers).

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Talk like DT

 At the Grassroots Club, a member (GRM) told me.

GRM - Mr. Tan, the covid-19 is a scam.
TKL - Why?
GRM - We have flu all the time. This year, they scare you with covid-19.
TKL - Why?
GRM - The govt around the world use it as an excuse to control people. (He did not want to say PAP govt).

Kamala! This member talk like Donald Trump. Did he realize that DT lose the election?

But I tend to agree with him. You read that in many countries, they are declaring that there is a big increase in infection. They did not say that the deaths remain stable and that the infected cases are mild. So, I agree with GRM - that the govts are using this as an excuse to control the people.

I don't want to say - especially the insane ministers in Singapore. There is hardly any new cases for two weeks, and they still report about "imported cases". They did not say that these cases are mild.

They also don't want to remove the circuit breaker. They must enjoy CB very much!

Why premium for private hospital insurance is high

 My friend told me that he heard of a case where a patient was treated in a private hospital and the bill was over $1 million. About 80% are covered by insurance. The patient died.

Guess who pays for the 80% of the bill? It is not the insurance company. It is the policyholders who bought private hospital insurance.
This is the reason for the premium rate to go up very high.
The insurance company is not able to control the large bills charged by the private hospitals. They increase the premium rate for the insurance.
If you do not want to pay the large premium rates, it is better to buy insurance for public hospitals, and not for private hospitals.

MAS allows the bank to sell this bad product

 An elderly lady went to a bank. The bank officer introduced her to a "retirement policy". It is a 16 year policy issued by a foreign company.

The bank officer told her that she can get out her money at the end of 5 years and enjoy an interest rate of about 5% for the 5 years. The interest is about 1% a year.
The lady invested $100,000 into this policy.
She does not understand how the policy works and the potential risks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Open up the economy safely

 We can open up the economy safely, by adopting sensible, sane measures to control the pandemic.

Contact tracing is a bad approach

 I explain why contact tracing is a bad approach and should be stopped.

Instead, we should put our resources to deal with the symptomatic cases.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

 1. Is it safe to stop safe entry recording and contact tracing?

2. Is safe entry ambassadors a good way to create jobs?

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WOTC - Claim for compensation for wrongful imprisonment

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 78% of the respondents said that the Attorney General should settle the claim for compensation by the Indonesian maid that was wrongly imprisoned. 22% said that it should be settled through the court.

WOTC - New wave of infection

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 78% of the respondents said that the new wave of infection will not increase the deaths significantly. 22% are worried about more deaths.

Is endowment policies a good investment?

 Dear Mr. Tan,

With the volatile stock markets and low yield on other investments, is it a better option to buy an endowment policy from a life insurance company? The projected return of 2% seems to be quite attractive.

I give my answer here:

Adopt a new approach to stop the spread of the coronavirus

 I have a conversation with a friend about adopting a new approach to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Instead of safe entry and contact tracing, we should focus on identifying the symptomatic cases - as they are more likely to spread the virus.

How to handle 1,400 calls a day

 If the government set up a hotline and receives 1,400 calls a day, they can adopt a "smart investigation" approach to handle these calls efficiently and get value from these calls.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Singapore has to address our economic challenge

 Singapore has been badly hit by the pandemic. This is due to the nature of our economy, which depends much on international trade.

Our economic growth has been worse than many other countries.

It will be a challenging time for Singapore.

It is very important for us to reduce our operating cost, and to cut out the wastage. We need to be more targeted at improving competitiveness and efficiency.

We cannot continue to be incompetent, complacent and wasteful!

The future for media companies

The media companies around the world are struggling. They are trying to move to the online channel, but have not been successful.

Singapore Press Holdings face a similar challenge.

What is the solution?

I have some ideas:

Singapore is adopting the wrong strategy towards controlling the pandemic

 I put forward the hypothesis that the super spreaders are likely to be those with symptoms and that the asymptomatic cases are less likely to spread the virus.

I did some research and found this statement in WHO's website.
It confirms my common sense.
It confirms my gut feel that the strategy adopted in Singapore - emphases on safe entry and contact tracing - is wasteful and unproductive. This strategy is, led by our insane ministers.

Transforming the economy after the pandemic

 Here are the views of the "experts" on how to transform the Singapore economy after the pandemic.

Sorry. I think they did not address the real issues and challenges facing Singapore.
They forget that we are a high cost economy and waste a lot of resources on unproductive work.
We need to focus on the real challenges - to be productive, to get rid of wastefulness, to be really innovative in a way that can make us more competitive.

Is this a more effective way to stop the spread of the corona virus?

 I put forward this suggestion on a more effective way to control the spread of the virus.

We should get away from the wasteful activities (such as contact tracing and safe entry recording) and focus on dealing with the symptomatic cases in a more effective manner.

Please help me to test this hypothesis by providing research information.

Friday, November 13, 2020

WOTC - What will happen to Donald Trump

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 53% of the respondents expect Donald Trump to be charged for tax fraud or abuse of power over the next year. 47% expect him to be re-elected as president or to retire quietly from politics.

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