Saturday, May 27, 2017

Analyses of financial products

This page contains the analyses of several insurance products and investments that are commonly sold in the market. Some are good for consumers, others are bad. The analyses are available only for FISCA members. There are analysis of many products. Only the most recent ones are shown. You can search for the old ones by typing the name of the product in the search box.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Are you a first time or second time buyer of a HDB flat?

The HDB allows a citizen to buy a subsidized flat two times. On the second time, the buyer has to pay a resale levy. This rule may look simple, but can be quite complicated to manage. It is giving headache to the front line staff of HDB and also to the general public.

Read more at:

Survey on Chee Hong Tatt and Paul Thambyah

Minister of state Chee Hong Tatt criticized Paul Thambyah for making unsubstantiated allegations on local doctors unhappiness with the employment of foreign doctors.

a) Was the MOS fair in his criticism?
b) Was Paul Thambyah a courageous person?

Here are the results of two surveys on this matter.

Survey on Baby Milk Power

Here are the results of two surveys.

You can view more survey results at

The truth about the interest rate paid by the Central Provident Fund

For many years, the Central Provident Fund has been paying an interest rate of 2.5% on the ordinary account and 4% on the special account. Many commentators pointed out that the CPF savings are invested by GIC which was able to earn a much higher return than the interest rate paid by CPF. They asked for transparency in the investment of CPF.

Here is the truth about the return provided by CPF to its members. And a suggestion on how to improve the current situation and make it more transparent and trusted.

Should Singapore have cancelled the joint naval exercise with India in the South China Sea?

Should Singapore have canceled our joint naval exercise with India in the South China Sea to avoid aggravating the misunderstanding with China? There are several options for you to vote on this issue in

Is policy A or policy B better?

I have often been asked for my views on whether policy A or policy B is better. The implicit assumption is that the consumer have to buy either A or B. It is like having to pay tax, i.e. they have no choice.

The consumer is asking the wrong question. A better question is - how should I plan for my future and to protect against the risk of premature death (by accident or illness) and to have sufficient savings for my retirement.

The answer to this important question can be obtained from:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Excellent follow up by Singapore Exchange

I congratulate Singapore Exchange for providing an excellent follow up to my feedback about the Central Depository. They called me to discuss my feedback and the actions that they can take to address them.

I hope that other big organizations in Singapore, including the government agencies, will follow this excellent example.

Congratulations, SGX.

Is our health care system a success?

This professor describes Singapore health care system as a success in providing affordable care. I disagree with him. I find our health care to be too costly for the nation and for the people. The charges for treatment are also too high and the out of pocket payments take away a large part of Medisave and personal savings.

The quality of the health care is good, but it is too expensive.…/commentary-singapore-s-hea…

Does an insurance policy cover terrorism?

If a person is insured under an insurance policy and dies from a terrorist attack, such as the one that occurs in Manchester or Jakarta, will the family be able to claim under the insurance policy?
You can find the answer here:

Issues affecting the future leadership of Singapore

There are three important questions affecting the future leadership of Singapore. Go to the website and vote on these issues.

We need many votes from ordinary people.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Login process for Corporate Pass should be simplified

I waited 6 years for IDA (now IDMA) to introduce the Corporate Pass. They now wants to make it compulsory for organisations to use the Corporate Pass, rather than the individual's Sing Pass.

The login for Corporate Pass is quite complicated for users. They require the user to provide the organization's UEN code and the user's personal code. This is a bad approach.

After that, they still have to go through a 2FA authentication. And search a complicated website for the transaction that they wish to provide.

This is sad. Singapore will still have to face a big challenge in introducing online transactions. This login system will discourage users.

What is a better login system? They should just follow Google or Facebook to allow people to login with their email address. THey can even allow the user to login with the Facebook or Google profile.

After logging in this easy way, they can present to the user the organization that they are authorised to access. In most cases, it will be a single organization. But some users may access a few organizations. This can be selected from a drop down list.

If a higher level of authorization is required, they can ask for the 2FA for this person. This should be made optional for first level access. It can be made compulsory for submitting transactions.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Unsatisfactory happenings with Uber

I encountered a few unsatisfactory happenings with Uber.

I called a UberX this morning. The app showed my pickup address is my home, which is correct. It showed that a car would arrive in 5 minutes.

I waited for the car for 25 minutes. During this interval, the app showed the arrival time as 2 min, 1 min, 3 min, etc. Finally, the driver called me and said that he is waiting for me at the pickup point which is a different location. I don't know why Uber gave him a wrong geo location (instead of my address). The driver than canceled the booking.

I found next that Uber charged me $6 for the canceled booking. I went through the app to get a refund. The app accepted the request and said that a refund of $6 would be given to me as a credit to be used for the next trip. It should appear in my app under Payment.

I went to check the credit. It did not appear.

There were two previous occasions where this "disappeared credit" had occurred. Two months ago, I canceled a booking after discovering that Uber gave a wrong pickup point (as their GPS was not working correctly). The charged a few of $6 to me and later give me a refund after my explanation. The refund appear in my account but disappeared after a few days.

I used Uber in Malaysia. The driver canceled the booking after 20 min. I reported to Uber and they credited MYR 5 to me. The credit never appeared in my account.
I had a difficult time to contact Uber on these issues. I find their business practice to be unsatisfactory.

Issue official mobile phones to policemen on patrol

The Police is issuing mobile phones to its personnel on the front line.

This is a good idea. A mobile phone is needed today, just like a pistol or baton is needed as a standard equipment for a policeman on patrol.

It will also be possible for the control center to know where the policeman is at any time, and whether they are on the move as they should be.

There could be abuse, i.e. the policeman would be browsing the social media or listening to music or making personal calls when they should be working, but this risk is already present, as they could be using their personal mobile phones.

These unathorised activities could be better monitored with the official phones.

Dealing with fake news

Governments around the world are addressing the issue of fake news. They are targeting the Internet giants, such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo. I think that this is a fair approach.

These giants are big enough to deal with the governments on what is "fake new" and "honest opinions".

The challenge is how to stop the spread of "fake news" after it has gone viral. The platform operator may delete the source of the fake news but they have to trace it all the way down the distribution chain.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Unhappy with lower payout under AIA policies

All my life I have believed in the concept of insurance, and that it can help when I am have falling ill or provide relief for my children when I finally leave this world behind.

I am writing an utterly bitter experience with AIA so those of you who consider insuring yourself with them, can hopefully benefit from my unfortunate incident. 

Let me share a little bit about my mother with you. She used to make coffee for a living, not rich but very thrifty; supporting the livelihood of 7 children. She loved her children and grandchildren with all her heart.

Wisdom of the Crowd issues and results

The results of the voting on these issues are now ready for viewing:

1. What is the best age to get married?
2. Will you get help to find a suitable partner?
3. Do you agree with the proposed ban on advertising for baby milk powder?

You can view the results in

JustGrab fare is misleading

JustGrab fare is misleading and is 50% higher than the return journey.

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