Saturday, December 12, 2020

Investing in a traded endowment policy

 I find this projected yield of 3.5% to 5% to be quite attractive and is better than investing in a fixed deposit.

Controlling the spread of the virus

 We should review our protocol in controlling the spread of the coronavirus and focus on the activities that are effective and do not cause harm to the economy and livelihoods.

Vaccine against covid-18

Out out of 10 Singaporeans will take the covid vaccine. The poll did not say, but I assume that the vaccine will be given free to the people, i.e. the cost is borne by the government.
I believe that the vaccine will be safe. It may not be effective in 10% of the cases (based on a 90% effectiveness rate), but it should not lead to any health concern.
It is all right to wait and let others try first. There is no hurry.
Anyway, the risk of being infected is low in Singapore and the virus is mostly mild, so there is no urgency to be vaccinated.
For me, I do not mind taking the vaccine first, if other people are scared of the possible side effect.
Why? I am willing to take a small risk. I am not scared like most other people. Hahaha!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Economic loss due to a bad decision

 One cruise was called back a day earlier due to an infected passenger (it turned out to be a false alarm).

1,600 passengers spoiled their holiday.

The next cruise was cancelled. Perhaps another 1,600 passengers spoiled their holidays.

All for what? For over reacting to a mild infection. The common sense approach is to confine the passengers and their close contacts to the isolation cabins.

I am told that the cruise ship have these isolation cabins for such purpose.

But the captain is probably forced to follow the protocol put forward by insane minsters!

Hello, it is more than 3,200 spoiled holidays. Quite likely, the experimental cruise to nowhere will be stopped. A few thousand jobs will be lost.

What is the lesson? There is no need to over react to a mild infection. There is no need to return the cruise ship to the port prematurely.

If several passengers are found to be infected, or if the infection is serious, it may be necessary to call off the cruise. But there is no need to take this action too early.

Risk of covid

 We can relax our control measures now.

Improve the Grab app

I wish to give this suggestion to Grab to improve the user experience with their app.

First, I like to share my experience.

I booked a Grab car yesterday. The app said that I had to wait 9 minutes for the car to arrive as the driver had to drop off another passenger on the way.

When the car arrived, I received a call from the driver to ask for the pickup point. He said that his app showed only "Midview City".

Here is the shortcoming with the app:

* When I made the request, I was not asked to confirm the pick up point.
* When the request was accepted, the interface did not show the pick up point.

The most important information for the driver and the passenger are - pick up point, destination, license plate and color of car, fare.

The app should show the above information prominently. It did not. Instead, I see a lot of irrelevant information, such as an advertisement, promotion, etc.

I hope that Grab will take this feedback and present the most important information to the driver and the passenger.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues


1. What should be the protocol to deal with an infected passenger on a cruise?

Vote in

Lesson from the cancelled cruise

 I give my observation about the cancellation of the cruise due to the discovery of one infected person. I hope that the people in charge and the citizens at large learn the lesson from this experience.

We should not over react and take extreme and wasteful decisions that have bigger and more adverse impact.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Why eCash will succeed when NETS and EZ Link did not

 Mr Tan,

I like your idea about using taping the eCash card to make payment from an e-wallet.

But this is similar to the NETS cash card and the eZ Link card, which were not widely accepted.

How do you plan to make the eCash card succeed, when the earlier platforms failed?


An important factor for the success of eCash is the adoption by the govt. The govt and MAS must make the decision that eCash platform will replace physical cash (i.e. notes and coins).

If this decision is taken, here are the steps to make eCash succeed:

* The govt should use eCash as the channel to manage the financial assistance schemes, e.g. the vouchers for the 150,000 low income families and the regular vouchers given by community development councils.

* The financial assistance will be transferred to the eCash cards digitally.

* Initially, the supermarkets (Fairprice, Cold Storage, Sheng Siong) can accept the eCash cards.

* Retail outlets can get the eCash device (POS device) by paying a fee of $100 (another $200 will be financed by the govt).

* Consumers can pay $2 to get a eCash card with self service kiosks located at food courts, bus interchange, MRT stations.

* Consumers can transfer money into eCash using PayNow (from their mobile phone) or at ATM machines or internet banking transfers.

The govt missed this opportunity to introduce eCash

 The govt missed this opportunity to use eCash wallet for the 150,000 households that are given financial assistance.

Build a network of underground walkways

 This photo shows a tunnel built by The Boring Company. It is 4 meter wide and is suitable for an electric vehicle to travel within the tunnel. It cost US $15 million per km to build the tunnel.

This size of tunnel is suitable as an underground pedestrian tunnel. I like to build a network of tunnel in each town, so that people can walk in the tunnel to get from one part of the town to another.
For example, they can walk in the tunnel to get to the MRT station, bus interchange, school or town center.
The tunnel is ventilated and is sheltered from the hot sun and rain. It is safe to walk in the tunnel. There is no need to cross roads which are used by vehicles.
Do you like this concept?
The cost of the underground network for the whole of Singapore is quite modest. It is less than the cost of the Downtown Line or the North South Highway. It can serve the whole of Singapore. I estimate the total cost to be $12 billion, or less.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

 Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is China behaving aggressively towards smaller countries?
2. Will Donald Trump perform well in the 2024 election?

Vote in

WOTC - Open the borders

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 85% of the respondents said that the borders should be opened now, to encourage incoming tourists.

WOTC - Sale of investment products by banks

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 100% of the respondents said that the current practice of allowing banks to sell investment products to customers should be changed.

Underground pedestrian walkways

 Do you like this suggestion to build a network of underground pedestrian walkways to encourage people to walk within a town?

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Vaccinating the people

 The governments will have the task of managing the logistics of vaccinating the people.

We can see which countries manage it well, and those that leave a mess.

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