Saturday, May 16, 2020

Vote in Wisdom of the Crowd

Submit your vote on these issues in The Wisdom of the Crowd. You will win a prize at the end of the month.

WOTC - Rally in the stock market

Wisdom of the Crowd: 80% of the respondents expect the current stock market rally to fizzle out. 20% are optimistic.

WOTC - Second wave of infection

Wisdom of the Crowd: 72% of the respondents said that the second wave of the infection will be less serious than the first wave. 28% expect it to be more serious.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

High death rates in UK, USA

The death rates in UK and USA increased sharply in recent months.  They have nearly caught up with Italy and Spain. The death per million population are Spain 584 Italy 514 UK 489 USA 259 What is the reason for the  sharp increase in UK and USA?

Unhappy with M of Manpower

My friend managed to find a job recently. She is disappointed with the policy of the M of Manpower.

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.

A sense of proportion

When I present a view after careful research, some people (I shall not call them idiots) will come to contradict and challenge me.

I find it difficult to engage in a discussion with them. They cannot tell the difference between 20 deaths (in Singapore) and 3,000 deaths (in Wuhan). They think both are the same in severity.

They cannot tell the difference between $60 billion and $60 million. They think both amounts are the same in magnitude.

They think that it is all right to spend $60 billion to reduce the number of infected cases. What nonsense!

They have no sense of proportion. They can't tell what is big, what is small, what is important, what is not.

They make their argument on lofty principles like "every life is invaluable".

What to do? I delete their nonsense. They can post their views in he insane ministers' Facebook pages. Their views will be welcome there.

WOTC - Increase in infection rates

Wisdom of the Crowd: 76% of the respondents said that the increase in infection of covid-19 will not lead to many deaths in Singapore.

WOTC - Extension of circuit breaker

Wisdom of the Crowd: 38% of the respondents agreed with the extension of the circuit breaker. 62% disagreed.

Use policy decisions based on risk evaluation

My friend sent me this link to an article about covid-19. I read it. It described the harm that the virus can do to the body.

 I replied to my friend that I do not pay attention to scare stories. Even though the stories may be true, it applies to a small number of people. I will wait for more cases to be confirmed before I worry about this outcome. Meanwhile, I will treat it like an accident. 

 He replied - spoken like a true statistician. 

I like to draw the following observations: 

a) It is important to look at the actual data and to assess the cost of risk - i.e. the severity (amount of loss) and the frequency (or likelihood). If the cost is high, we should pay attention. 

b) We should not worry about "what could happen". There are too many things that could happen. The sky could fall down, right? 

c) Policy decisions should be made by proper risk evaluation, i.e. the cost of risk. It should not be made by "what could happen".

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

PM Johnson faces a dilemma

PM Johnson of the UK faces a dilemma. The death rate in the UK for covid-19 is quite high, at 482 per million, just slightly below Italy and Spain. 

The lockdown has been damaging to the UK economy. He cannot continue the lockdown for much longer as the economic damage will be very serious. 

He starts a public communication campaign to encourage the UK residents to return to work, but to continue safe measures. The people are not convinced about the new message. They are scared of of covid. They do not want to be exposed to the risk of infection. 

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Why were there so few deaths among the infected foreign workers?

Vote in

WOTC - Mistake made by the ministerial task force

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.

WOTC - Is the corona virus already widespread in the community?

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.

A risk management issue

I wish to pose a risk management issue for you to consider.

A low income family has a small amount of savings. They child is seriously ill. The medical expense will wipe out the entire savings. The chance of survival is low.

Should the family use the savings in an attempt to save their child? The parents want to do the best they can for the child.

AGM Voting Software

I developed this platform for carrying out the voting in an AGM conducted over teleconferencing.

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 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

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Deaths per million

A good indicator of the severity of the covid-19 virus is the death per million of population. Here are the figures, ranked by country that are most severely hit. Most of these countries are in Europe and North America, which has just passed through winter. The countries in South East Asia have low rates as they are in the warm climate. Australia also just passed through summer and have low rates as well.

Some of the countries with cold climates have low death rates due to better social discipline. They include South Korea, Japan and China.

Risk management concept

Some people argued that human life is valuable and that every effort should be made to save every human life and that money should not be an issue.

This is an irrational approach. 

The flaws in this argument are:

Profitable companies return subsidies under Job Support schemes

Some profitable companies, such as banks and pharmaceutical companies, have returned the subsidies given by the government under the Job Support schemes.  Their action is laudable. However, some other profitable companies may pocket the subsidies.  This shows the weakness of the approach adopted by the finance minister to help business meet the cost of the circuit breaker measures. What is a better approach?

Learn the fundamentals of risk management

Many people think that the best option is to have a total lockdown of the economy to stop the spread of the corona virus. This is often the wrong approach. It is too costly.

In risk management, we have to consider several approaches and weigh the cost of each option. This takes into account the severity and the frequency.

This risk management concept is explained in this course. It is available FREE now.

The risk management concept can also apply to personal risk management, e.g. should you buy insurance, what kind, and is it worth it?

Immunity from the corona virus

Many people are worried that immunity from the corona virus will not last long. They will be reinfected by a mutation of the virus. 

That is true. 

Read this post to get a more complete understanding on this topic.

WOTC - Test the foreign workers

Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of the respondents said that the government should test all the foreign workers and allow the uninfected ones to return to work, instead of locking down the entire country.

WOTC: Extend the circuit breaker

Wisdom of the Crowd: 32% of the respondents support the decision of the government to extend the circuit breaker. The other 68% prefer other approaches to deal with the corona virus.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Will the second wave of the virus be serious?
2. With the benefit of hindsight, what is the best approach to stop the virus?

Vote in

Monday, May 11, 2020

Safe Entry app

The Safe Entry age is well designed. It is easy to use.  It records the particulars of a visitor who passes through a checkpoint of a mall or a facility. The person uses his mobile phone to register a safe entry. 

Its drawback is that it does not cater for a visitor who is not familiar with the use of a mobile app or does not have a mobile phone on the visit. 

Global trends on covid cases and deaths

These graphs of covid cases and deaths globally continue to show a healthy trend. The cases have stabilized. The deaths have dropped.

They support the views expressed by some epidemiologists (disease experts) that the virus have passed its peaks. Usually, they spread and caused deaths and illness for a few months.

Some other experts said that the drop is due to lockdown measures.

I believe the first group that it is the natural cause of a virus pandemic.

I also observed that the daily figures for a weekend tends to be lower. Perhaps some countries do not report fully during the weekends and push their figures to Monday.

Be respectful when giving your views

I have often seen people giving their views out of ignorance. They do not understand the subject well. They have gained some knowledge about the subject by reading the views of other people, but their understanding is limited. They challenge the views of other people who are usually more knowledgeable about the subject.  Here are some tips to avoid acting in what may appear to be an arrogant manner.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Stay Safe at Home

To stop the spread of the covid-19 virus, the government has introduced the circuit breaker and closed most workplaces and businesses. They compelled the people to stay at home and avoid going out for social activities.  Most people support these measures. They consider that it is very important to stop the spread of the virus. They consider the heavy economic cost, which I estimated to be $60 billion, to be worth the saving of lives. They do not realize that the conclusion is not as simple as it appears.

Herd immunity

Most people think that herd immunity is a risky strategy for a country to adopt, as the rapid spread of the covid-19 virus can cause serious illness and deaths. 

 There are several epidemiologists who prefer to avoid a lockdown, as it does not solve the problem. It will cause a lot of harm to the economy. When the lockdown is relaxed, as it cannot be continued for too long, the virus will continue to spread as a large proportion of the population has not gained immunity. 

These experts prefer a strategy to isolate and protect the vulnerable population, i.e the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, and allow the general population to gain the immunity. I wish to share the views of these experts and a political leader.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Are you alarmed at the increase of deaths from covid-19?
2. Will the covid-19 virus spread rapidly after the circuit breaker is relaxed?
Vote in

WOTC - Extend circuit breaker measures

Wisdom of the Crowd: 43% said that it was necessary for the government to extend the circuit breaker measures. 57% disagreed.

WOTC - Top executive salaries in Temasek Holdings

Wisdom of the Crowd: 96% of the respondents said that Temasek Holding should publish the salaries of its top executives.

Blog Archive