Sunday, May 31, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
During the two months of the circuit breaker, I managed to keep my weight at 72 kg.
On some days, it increased to 73 kg or 74 kg, but I exercised more to bring the weight back to 72 kg.
I frequently go on 90 min walk in the hot sun and wear a mask (as mandated by the insane ministers). Insane or not?
Shhhh. Don't tell them. When nobody is around, I take off the mask.
The insane ministers want me to get obese and to die from heart attack. Liddat? Why are they so bad?
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Someone asked me how I would have responded differently to the covid-19 pandemic, in the context of what has happened in Singapore.
My views have been stated in several dozen posts in the website called #HearMeOut.
I will summarize the key points here. You can check the earlier posts to verify the accuracy of this summary.
At the initial stage, PM Lee said that the virus will kill 0.2% of the infected people. He was looking at the global statistics available at that time. I agreed with that view. I was not concerned about the virus.
I agreed with the government's view that it was not necessary to wear a mask. I also agreed with the view that the limited stock of masks should be reserved for the health workers who were highly exposed to the risk of infection. The risk to the general public was negligible.
I changed my view about wearing of masks after a few weeks. I decided, out of common sense, that the mask can be washed and re-used and that the limited protection offered by the mask is better than no protection at all.
I would not consider it necessary to impose a rule to make it compulsory to wear a mask outdoors. The public should be advised to wear a mask when they are in crowded places. I would leave it to their common sense.
The government was alarmed when they found the large number of infected cases in the foreign worker dormitories. They were worried that the virus would spread in the general community.
They were also worried that the increase in cases would "overwhelm the healthcare system".
I think there were also worried that it would upset their contact tracing strategy.
They decided to call the circuit breaker and closed down workplaces and business outlets.
I publicly expressed in strong terms that it was a bad judgment on the part of the ministers. The cost to the government in relief measures and to the livelihood of several hundred of thousand families was horrendous. It was not necessary at that time.
Most people agreed with the view of the government, but I did not. I did not get much support for my alternative view.
Here is my perspective:
a) I never agreed with the strenuous efforts made in collecting contact tracing details. I felt that it was a waste of time that could have been better spent on other useful activities. I do not mind contact tracing by asking the infected people who they had met within the past two weeks. It is not comprehensive, but it is adequate.
b) I preferred that hand sanitizers be provided at all public places - and be clearly visible to everybody. Instead, they were made available in only a few places and most were hidden away.
c) I also preferred that the temperature scanning should be carried out by a central agency, using proper equipment and trained personnel, rather than be left to the workplaces (which were unreliable and waste a lot of manpower).
After the first four weeks of the circuit breaker, the ministers decided to extend it by another four weeks. I declared them to be insane.
Here are my reasons:
a) Although a large number of new cases were detected each day, it was the result of large scale testing in the dormitories.
b) Most of these cases were mild. Most of the infected people did not need hospital treatment. They could be quarantined in the isolation facilities. They were not dropping like flies.
c) The hospital system was not overwhelmed, even after the infected cases went past 20,000 and later 30,000. The number of severe ill patients under intensive care remained below 30. It has since dropped below 10.
d) The death rate in Singapore was extremely low. It was only 2 per million of population (it has since increased to 4). It was nowhere alarming, compared to over 400 per million in some countries.
e) The ministers lost their perspective. They were so worried about 30 deaths from covid-19. They forget that 20,000 people die every year in Singapore from all causes.
f) It was quite clear by that time that the virus was mild in Singapore, probably due to our warm climate. It was nowhere as lethal as the virus in cold countries.
The ministers, with the support of the public agencies and the military, were efficient in to set up 20,000 beds in the isolation centers within a few weeks. I said that it was commendable but not exemplary. Many other countries were able to carry out similar undertakings with similar success.
I consider the ministers to be insane in extending the circuit breaker. They confirmed their insanity by relaxing the circuit breaker in three phases, which, in effect, is prolonging the circuit breaker.
Some people supported the extension of the circuit breaker by stating that the number of deaths would have increased, if it was not done.
We do not know if this will become so serious. We do not know how many lives would have been saved.
We should not overlook the lives that were lost due to the circuit breaker, from people who delayed their treatment for other serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, and from people who suffered depression and other mental health issues.
One thing is clear. The circuit breaker cost $100 billion in taxpayer's money to provide relief to the affected businesses and households. This is only partial relief. It does not compensate them adequately for the full extent of their losses.
Many small businesses will not survive. Many families will have their finances completely ravaged.
The $100 billion could have been put to better use to waive GST totally for 8 years or to provide $800 a month to every person above age 70 for 25 years.
In the light of the uncertainty, what would I have done?
I would wait before calling the circuit breaker. I would see how bad the situation would develop, before taking extreme measures that are costly in economic terms and potentially more damaging in health and lives.
I would not act in haste or in panic. I would carry out my risk evaluation in a calm manner.
In the light of uncertainty, I would monitor and adjust our strategy in the light of new evidence. I would not take the extreme measures which may turn out to be the worst option.
I declare the ministers to be insane and that the government had wasted the $100 billion and cost a lot of damage to businesses and households.
Tan Kin Lian
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Friday, May 22, 2020
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Some people commented that they are having a good time - no need to work, get three meals a day and get paid in full.
But other people said that they depend more on overtime pay, so the confinement is hard on their finances.
It becomes a lose-lose situation.
Quora: If Trump were to cancel debt to China, would other countries think twice about buying US bonds in the future?
Let’s rephrase that: If Trump were to default on 4% of the US debt, would every investor in the world think twice about buying US bonds in the future?
Yes, yes they would. And for good reason. It would mean that the trustworthiness of the US government to pay back the debt — like it has been doing continuously since 1789 — is gone. The US would be a dead-beat nation, unable to raise money via debt it needs to finance its operations.
The US economy would collapse. Of the $22T GDP, a good $5T of that comes directly from government spending. Except the government can’t spend anything because they don’t have the money.
Taxes would go up sharply, and government spending would fall. Neither of which is particularly good for the economy.
Investors would flee US Bonds, driving the price of those bonds down and the yields up, reflecting the suddenly increased risk of owning the bonds. Prices of other bonds and of stocks, etc, would go up as literally tens of trillions of dollars flood the market from former US Bond-holders who now want something else, anything else, than US Bonds.
The main “country” that owns US bonds is the US. Not the US Government (although it owns quite a lot of US bonds), but the US public. Retirement funds, banks, wealthy individuals, companies, hedge funds, etc. The same is true for other “countries” that own US bonds — it isn’t just the governments, it’s other institutions as well. The reason it gets lumped all together is that the US Treasury reports only on the aggregate nationality of the bondholders. When you hear $1.268T of the US debt in February was owned by Japan, compared to $1.092T owned by China, that means that $1.268T of US debt was owned by entities based in Japan, not the Japanese government or the Japanese central bank.
It would also likely lead to Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. There is a very strong argument to be made that defaulting on the debt is unconstitutional. Certainly the completely foreseeable outcome of the debt is bad enough that even the Senate Republicans can’t cover for it.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Thursday, May 14, 2020
It has been difficult for me in the last 10 years. I was always working on contract basis even with same or 15% to 20% lower of my salary.
Employer still prefers to employ foreigners. They do not need to contribute CPF or pay levy (Employment Pass Holder) and with poor/lower staff benefits. Foreigners always like to claim everything they also can do.
They can come early and work very late every day. This has affected the jobs available for Singaporeans.
I saw the foreigners bring their own culture and provide assistance to the employer to get more of their friends being employed. Some even exploit our local employees.
The workplace becomes a small community of their own. It is sad to see it is happening in Singapore.
I was jobless for almost more than 1.5 years. I think likely due to above 55 years old and today employer still favoured foreign talents rather than employing Singaporeans even for the same pay.
I have many years of experience in several functions and vast knowledge and experience working with different multinational companies. Still I could not find an employer willing to give me the opportunity.
Perhaps this time I am lucky to find an employer willing to employ me for my experience that I can contribute and age is not a factor. I bring to them my knowledge of enterprise resource planning.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Wisdom of the Crowd: 48% of the respondents said that the ministerial task force made many mistakes along the way in the handling of the crisis. 40% said they overlook the overcrowding in the worker dormitories.
Wisdom of the Crowd: 76% of the respondents said that the corona virus was already quite widespread in the community but did not cause much harm. 24% said that it the virus was well contained and did not spread widely in the community.
Several managing agents representing a few hundred condos in Singapore are interested in using this platform during the circuit breaker period.
You can view the videos and explanation of this platform here http://tklcloud.com/Meeting/home.aspx It can also be used for AGMs for associations, socieities and listed companies.
If you know of anybody who is interested in this platform, please refer them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Some of the countries with cold climates have low death rates due to better social discipline. They include South Korea, Japan and China.
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