Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Security checks at the airport

Kelvin Tan Tuan Wei commented on the four passport checks at the airport:
They want BIG governments so that they can feel safe walking around the streets at 3am?
I will be quite happy to see more policemen patrolling the streetS at 3 am. 
But it is a waste of time to have the security guards check the passport four times at the airport (excluding the check in counter). Let us use our common sense to carry out the right activities, and not the wasteful, useless activities.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Use email to improve productivity

When I applied online for a visa to visit Australia, I received the visa approval immediately by email. When I called the high commission on a matter regarding the visa, they asked me to send my enquiry by email. They replied to the email within a day.
I find this process to be efficient.
The process adopted by our government agencies in Singapore is troublesome. I have to sign into their website with my SingPass ID and password. Soon they will introduce another level of security.
When an application is received, I received a notification by email or SMS. I have to sign into the website of the agency to retrieve the actual reply. They refused to send the reply by email.
This takes a lot of my time. It can be stressful and troublesome. Why does our government agency adopt this troublesome process?
I suspect that some minister must have given instruction a long time ago that email can be hacked and that official correspondence should not be sent by email. That must be several decades ago. Nobody reviewed this instruction. The inefficient and troublesome process is carried to this day.
This is Singapore! Sigh!

What's Wrong #9 - Too many passport checks at airport

When the passenger checks in at the airport counter, the staff checks the passport and issues the boarding pass. The passenger has to undergo four additional passport checks. This is explained below:

a)  Before entering the departure hall 

b)  On going through the automated gate (has to scan the passport and fingerprint

c)  After passing the automated gate. The security guard checks the passport against the boarding pass

d)  On entering the departure lounge.

What's wrong?

There is no need to check the passport and boarding pass so many times. Apart from a waste of manpower, it causes inconvenience to the passenger.

It should be possible to dispense with the check for (c). What is the real purpose of this check? The passenger was already checked before entering the hall and at the automated gate. 

The additional check at (c) was probably introduced several years ago when a passenger traveled on the passport belonging to a family member. The minister must have asked for this additional check at that time. This is probably not necessary, but nobody seemed to want to review this matter.
How to put it right
Stop the additional check at (c). We can rely on the automated gate to check that the passenger is using the correct passport. If the passenger has the wrong boarding pass, he or she would have been stopped at the check at (a) or at (d).

Haze issue

Is the government doing enough on the haze issue? Give your vote in this website.

Should we boycott the companies that are responsible for the haze? Give your vote in this website:

No Claim Discount on motor insurance

Mr. Tan
I parked my car on the road side and found that it was knocked the next morning. I submitted a claim to my insurer to repair the damages. They wanted to take away my No Claim Discount. Is it fair? This is not my fault.

The No Claim Discount is given by the insurer if the policyholder does not make a claim during the previous year. When you make a claim, regardless of who is at fault, you lose the No Claim Discount.

Actually, you do not lose it entirely. If your discount is more than 30% for the current year, it will be reduced by 30% the following year, so you still get a reduced discount.

Some insurance companies allow the policyholder to keep the discount if they can the third party insurer who agrees to pay for the repair. But, this is not a common practice.

Your case can be described as "hit and run". The other car hit your car and ran away. You are not able to trace the party at fault.

Some policyholders were involved in an accident, e.g. they hit a road curb or lamp post while being drunk. They drove back and reported a "hit and run" case the following day. The claim assessor may doubt the accident report submitted by the policyholder. This is why the NCD is taken away.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Take a little trouble to help a friend

My old colleague sent an email to me. His daughter is taking part in a contest. Can I go to the SPH website and vote for her?

I click the link to the SPH website. It was rather complicated. But, I went through the steps and voted for her daughter. I do take the trouble to help a friend.

I now like to ask you to take some trouble and register in this website.

After a successful registration, you will see a button called "Vote". It shows you a list of issues that you can vote on.

This website is much easier to register and use, compared to the SPH website. Do take a little trouble to help me, as I did for my friend.

Mis-selling of insurance products by banks

The Monetary Authority of Singapore can learn from their counterpart in India and make banks responsible for mis-selling of insurance products.

Help to shape the public opinion

I like to ask my regular visitors to play your part in helping to shape the public opinion in Singapore.
In this website, I have listed several issues that you can vote on. Your views will be aggregated with the views of other people and will form "the wisdom of the crowd".
You only need to register once. After that, you can vote on several issues. There are more than 20 issues that need your vote.
You can help to prove that the ordinary people can think as well as the people that sleep in Parliament. Cast your votes now on these issues.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Can Singapore afford the Scandinavian welfare system?

David Tan Guang Xiang asked:

Mr Tan, how about the aging population in Singapore. If we adopt the Scandinavian system, can our tax payers still support the system after 15-20 years when the baby boomers from the 60's are in their 70's and 80's.

The Scandinavian system will have its challenges. It can become more costly when the population gets older. But, it can be managed, e.g. by extending the retirement age or reducing the benefit.

The Singapore system also has its drawback, i.e. low income people having to work until they die.
The government think that they can avoid the risk of the welfare state, but it does not solve the problem. It only pushes the problem to the people.

Let your view carry weight

When you express an opinion randomly in the social media, it is soon forgotten. People hardly pay attention to your opinion.

If you express it by voting in this website, and your vote is combined with many other people with the same opinion, it carries a lot of weight.

Go to this website and vote on the issues. Let your vote count. Be united with other people who share the same view.

Uber and Grab Car

Should Uber and Grab Car drivers be required to take a Taxi Vocational Licence and to meet the same safety and maintenance standards as taxis?

Give your answer in this Wisdom of the Crowd website.

What's Wrong #8 - Taxi vocational license

The applicant is required to have one year of driving experience. He has to attend a 10 day full time training course to get a vocational taxi license. He spends five days to learn about rules and customer service and another five days to learn about locations and routes.

What's wrong?

There is no need to spend 5 days to learn about locations and routes. The taxi driver is likely to have a smart phone that can access Google Maps or other GPS navigation software. He only needs to spend one day to learn how to use the app. If he is already familiar with the app, this can also be dispensed.

How to put it right
The regulator can offer an option for the applicant to get the licence within 5 days, if they are familiar with the use of the smart phone and the GPS navigation software. Most applicants are likely to opt for this shorter training course. 

Our regulator should keep up with technology and encourage the taxi drivers to upgrade their skill and knowledge.

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