Friday, December 22, 2017

Smart Factory Data Analytics

SPRING and IE Singapore are promoting the concept of the Smart Factory Industry 4.0 which includes using data analytics to improve efficiency and reduce manufacturing cost.

We wish to share with you a Smart Factory Data Analytics software tool that can help manufacturers to reduce their manufacturing cost. This tool was developed over the past eight years based on the consulting experience of the creator, Mr. Moses Tan.

We invite you to attend a seminar to learn about this software tool. After you become familiar with the tool, you can introduce it to manufacturers and earn consulting or referral fees.

The seminar introduces the concept of lean manufacturing in a simple and fun-manner. It includes a hands-on demo and case-study of how a manufacturer use the software to implement an aggressive and feasible factory cost reduction program.

Click here to view the PDF of the presentation.

If you are interested, you can register by clicking one of the link below.

9 Jan 2018 from 2 to 5 pm

This seminar is now offered FREE, so act now. A certificate of attendance will be given to each attendee.

If you have any question, you can reply to this email.

Mr. Moses Tan
Principal Lean/TPM Consultant
LeanCost international Pte Ltd

In collaboration with
Tan Kin Lian
Tan Kin Lian & Associates Pte Ltd.

Is Alibaba acting unreasonably against Ezbuy?

This article explains the dispute between ezbuy and Alibaba.…/ezbuy-refutes-alibaba-groups-…

Is Alibaba acting reasonably against Ezbuy? Give your vote in

Will the communication chief in SMRT make a difference?

Will the chief commuter engagement officer help to improve the performance of SMRT?

Give your vote in

Travel insurance may not pay for flight cancellation caused by the airline

It is bad for the insurance company to reject a claim for a delayed flight that is due to the fault of the airline.

Although the customer can get compensation from the airline, the compensation is hardly enough for the distress and expenses that have to be incurred.

For example, the family may have to skip some of the events during the journey.

In the past, the travel insurance policy pays a cash sum as a benefit, i.e. it is not related to the actual amount of the loss.

Now, it is excluded from some travel insurance policy issued by this company.

Read more at:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Not willing to participate in this kind of survey

I have often been approached by government agencies and respectable associations to participate in a survey. The promised that it would take 10 minutes to complete the survey.

I clicked on the link and found that it is a multi-page survey.

I stopped at that point and replied to the respected agency or association:

I refuse to answer any survey that present the questions to me one page at a time.

I want to see the all the questions before I decide to participate in the survey.

If I find that the questions were crafted in an inconsiderate manner, looking for answers to "unreasonable questions", I will also refuse to participate.

I do not believe the statement that it would take me only 10 minutes. I have been cheated often.

Rejected travel insurance claim

The travel insurance policies sold many years ago were quite straight forward. The travel insurance policy sold today can be quite complicated. What you expect to be covered may not be covered.

Do read the policy document carefully and decide if you really want to buy the travel insurance.

A policyholder made a claim for the cancellation of the flight. He was told that the policy does not pay for cancellation made by the airline.


Section 4 – Trip disruption
What we do not pay
12. Claims that result from flights being cancelled due to any fault on the part of the airline such as aircrew rotation, rescheduled flights or operational requirements, or mechanical breakdown of the airplane in which you have a pre-booked flight.

We regret to inform you that if you have missed your flight due to any fault on the part of the airline (for whatever reason be it operational requirements) will not be covered under your Travel Insurance.

Here is the link to the policy document. I find it quite difficult to understand the coverage and the exclusion.

My experience with a colonoscopy

When I was 62, I went to a private hospital to carry out a colonoscopy. I was told that it was necessary after passing age 60.

The procedure cost $1,500 plus another $500 to remove a polyp. The doctor told me to come back in 5 years time for the next examination.

Seven years later, I decided to go to a polyclinic to get an appointment as a subsidized patient. It was told that there is a waiting time. It is okay with me.

The polyclinic doctor asked many questions to determine if the colonoscopy was necessary. I told the doctor that I was told that it was advisable to carry out the procedure every five years.

Sorry, Mr. Tan. I still have to ask these questions to determine the necessity. Suddenly, the 5 years interval become not applicable.

I told the doctor that my previous procedure discovered a polyp that was found to be benign. Okay, it is now advisable to carry out another colonoscopy.

I had an appointment at KTP Hospital at a date that was more than a month away. I was not in a hurry, so the waiting time was okay.

I had to attend a pre-surgery appointment at KTP Hospital. I had to go through the interview again to determine if it was necessary. The earlier report from the polyclinic did not matter. I gave the doctor the same reply "I had polyp earlier". That opened the door.

I also had to go through financial counselling. The charge, after government subsidy, was estimated to be $1,000.

I did some research on what a colonoscopy cost in other cities, including Sydney, Australia. It was lower than $1,000 in a private clinic.

The operation was uneventful. They did not find any polyp at this occasion. The final bill came out to $600. I asked why was the estimate given by the financial counselor so much higher? I did not get any explanation.

I am certain that if I was paying in full as a private patient, I would not be asked any question. Our public hospital are in the business of making profit.

I do not like the PAP system of running Singapore. It is wasteful and result in costly medical procedures. It is also harmful for ordinary people.

Tan Kin Lian

Should the expensive bill be avoided?

Many people seek early investigation and treatment in a private hospital and incurred a large medical bill. Was it necessary for them to incur this expense?

Give your vote in

Was the expensive investiation necessary?

A mother suffered from some pain in the lower body. There was a waiting time for investigation in a public hospital. The children decided to send the mother to a private hospital.

It was not a serious condition. The treatment cost $10,000. It was deducted from the Medisave account of the children.

Is there a real need for the investigation to be carried out immediately, at great expense?

Would it be helpful for the mother to visit a general practitioner or the polyclinic to establish the need to be investigated early?

How many families are faced with this type of problem. How much of the Medisave savings are being wiped out which could have been avoided?

How can pop idols manage their stress and depression?

Recently a popular popular Korean pop idol, Kim Jong-hyun committed suicide as he was not able to manage the stress and depression.

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - How can pop idols manage their stress and depression?

Give your vote in

Public should not influence sentencing given by judges

Do you agree with the law ministers that the public should not influence the sentencing made by judges?

Give your vote in

Give reward to hackers who expose weaknesses in internet portals

Recently, Mindef announced that they would give attractive prizes for hackers to hack into their internet portals and expose their weaknesses.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Is it a good idea for Mindef to hire hackers to test the weaknesses in their internet portals?

46% of those who voted said that it is a good approach, but 54% disagreed for three reasons.

You can see the breakdown of the votes in

An expensive cafe may succeed

A new cafe opened in a new condo and charge price that is more than twice of other outlets.

I asked this question - Will a cafe charges, that charges twice the price of ordinary outlets, be viable?

To my surprise 71% said that it will succed and gave three reasons. Only 29% said that it will not.

You can see the breakdown of the votes in

Will BlueSG be successful?

A new car sharing operator called BlueSG has started operation in Singapore. It plans to increase its fleet considerably.

I asked the question - Will the electric car sharing scheme operated by Blue SG be successful?

80% of the people who voted said that it will not succeed. 20% said that it will.

You can see a breakdown of the reasons in

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fake claims of $40 million in Skills Future

A syndicate cheated Skills Future of $40 million in fraudulent claims. This is a staggering sum. Was the administrator grossly negligent or were some internal staff involved in the fraud?

Give your vote in

First instalment payment of $24,000 was not received

Mr. D bought an special endowment plan from a large life insurance company. He paid a monthly premium of $1,000 for 5 years, making a total contribution of $60,000. The premium stopped after that.

The policy was supposed to pay to Mr. D a cash payout of $24,000 at the end of the 5th 10th and 15th year. The total payout would be $72,000.

When Mr. D received the cheque for the final payment at the end of the 15th year, he realized that he had only received one payment previously. On further investigation, he discovered that he did not receive the first payment of $24,000.

Find out more about this case in

Trading in crypto currencies should be banned

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is urging the public to "act with extreme caution" and understand the "significant risks" they take on if they choose to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Read here.

My comment:
This advice will not reach the relevant people.
It is better for the trading in cryptocurrencies to be banned - following the approach taken by some other countries.

$40 million Skills Future scam

SINGAPORE: Five suspected members of a criminal syndicate have been charged with a series of offences, which resulted in close to S$40 million in fraudulent claims being paid out by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

Read here.

My comment:
I know that such a scheme will be subject to abuse and fraud. I worry about the ability of the Workforce Development Agency to manage the fraud.

They should not allow the fraud to reach such a scale. They should use data analtyics to identify the potential fraud and to take action much earlier.

If they are more pro-active, they fraudsters would not go to this extent.

What is smart data analytics? The scholars in charge of our government agencies could consult me. It is not tht difficult. It is really a matter of common sense.

I will write about it earlier.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

How much more will you pay for a freehold property?

What should be the difference in price between a freehold property and a 99 year leasehold property of the same size and in the same location?

Will you pay 5%, 10%, 20% or 30% more for the leasehold property?

Remember, at the end of 99 years, the leasehold property is worth $0 while the freehold property will continue to appreciate in value.

Most people are surprised with the answer. Make your guess and check the answer here.

Non graduates can also do well in the workplace

Some people say that the pay for a non graduate is too low. So, they will do their best to get a degree.

They should also realize that the pay for the mediocre graduates are also poor. Worse, many of them cannot get a job and have to drive a private hire car.

The pay for a non-graduate may be low at the start. But it should increase over a few years, which is the same time that someone has to spend to get a degree.

Some jobs are dead end without any prospect for improvement. But it largely depends on the worker.

If the worker has initiative and is willing to spend time to continue learning and to acquire better knowledge and skill, e.g. through self study, he will have the prospects for advancement.

I know of many people who made progress on their own, without going to the university and without a degree. I happen to be one of them, so I can speak from personal experience. But I now of many other people who are more successful than me.

I will continue to advocate an alternative to getting a paper degree, especially for people who are not academically inclinded. The best gauge is - if you cannot make it to the local university, it is better to consider other options.

Tan Kin Lian

Strong competition between Comfort Taxis and Grab

Comfort Taxis and Grab are competing strongly to gain market share.

I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd - Is the fight between Comfort and Grab good for consumers?

48% said that it is good for consumers. But 52% said that over the long term, it will not be good. It is wasteful.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Are we already a smart nation?

PM Lee has set out the goal for Singapore to be a smart nation. Recently, a minister announced the initiatives that were taken and the progress made.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Are we already a Smart Nation?

10% of the people who voted said that we have made good progress in the new initiatives.

The other 90% said that we continue to be backward.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Strong measures taken by police

Recently, the police used strong measures to break into premises suspected of operating an illegal brothel.

I asked the question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Do you agree with the strong action taken by the police against the illegal brothels?

Here are the votes:

62% disagreed with the approach of the police. 38% supported it.

You can see the breakdown of the votes in

Thank goodness, we are insured

Mdm X upgraded to a private shield. Some time later, she went to a private hospital for cancer treatment. The medical bill amounted to $300,000.

The family thought - thanks goodness, we are insured. Otherwise, we will not be able to afford paying this bill.

Read about what happened:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Which is your favorite low cost airline?

Which is your favorite low cost airline?
Give your vote in

What are your views about Air Asia

What are your views about Air Asia.

Give your vote in

Making an unjustified criticism

I wish to quote another example about how people misinterpret the view of another person and start to attack that person.

For a long time, I advocated that people with spare money should keep their savings in CPF retirement account to enjoy the interest rate of 4% plus bonus. The interest rate is attractive for the low level of risk.

I also supported the view that people in need of money after passing age 55 should be allowed to withdraw their money. They should not be forced to keep their money to be paid out in installments over their lifetime.

Each person should make his (or her decision) based on his financial circumstances.

Somebody forgot the first part and remembered my second part. When he learned that I had kept my savings in CPF retirement account up to age 70, he criticized me for advocating the members should be allowed to withdraw their CPF at 55. He said, why do I recommend people to withdraw their savings at 55 when I kept it until age 70.

Many people have this bad habit of attacking another person based on a misinterpretation of his view. They do not attempt to check or clarify the view. But they feel entitled to make an unjustified attack.

I have another sad observation. There are bystanders who help to convey the unjustified attack, when they should take the opportunity to rebut it.

We need to have people with character and a sense of what is right or wrong.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Will the quick response teams be effective?

The police has established quick response team to patrol the crowded places. Will they be effective?

Give your vote in

Which economy strategy do you prefer

Which economic strategy should be taken by the government?

I give four options for you to vote in

Continuing decline in birth rate

The government has been trying to increase the birth rate in Singapore for the past three decades. The failed miserably and the birthrate continue to decline.

What are the main reasons for the continuing decline? I asked this question in the Wisdom of the Crowd.

Three factors accounted for 98% of the votes.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

Check medical history before accepting the application

I know of a few cases where the insurance company rejected a medical claim on the grounds of alleged non-disclosure of a past medical condition. Usually, the insured was not aware about the medical history or the need to disclose it. The medical bills can come to several tens or thousands of dollars.

I asked this question in The Wisdom of the Crowd - Should MAS disallow insurers from rejecting claims due to alleged non-disclosure of past medical history?

Here are the votes:
a) 58% said that the insurer should check on the medical history before accepting the application, rather than at the time of processing the claim.
b) 15% said the the insured is not aware of the need to disclose the medical history.
c) 13% said that the insurance policy should have an indisputability clause which bars the insurance company from disputing the claim on the grounds of non-disclosure after 1 year.
d) 8% said that the agent does not do a good job in asking for this information in the application.
e) 8% said that the current practice is satisfactory. The consumers should be responsible to disclose the past medical history.

A total of 92% said that the current practice should be changed.

You can view the breakdown of the votes in

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