Saturday, February 06, 2021

I invested in these hot stocks

 I have invested in the following hot stocks:

HIMS - bought 1000 stock at $22.8. 
AQB - bought 5000 stock at $9.50
SENS - bought 10,000 stock at $2.50
GEVO - bought and sold the stocks on several rounds
BNGO - bought and sold the stocks on several rounds. 
NNDM - bought and sold the stocks on several rounds.

Difficult to understand the coverages under these insurance policies

 A policyholder has two insurance policies. She asked me to look at the coverages of these policies and help her to decide which policy to keep and which to give up. She needs to reduce her budget.

I studied the two policies and asked her to check with the insurance companies on the following:
AXA policy
You are covered for $150,000 in death benefit, terminal illness and permanent total disability and pay a premium of $150 a year.
You also have supplementary living accelerator benefit for $150,000 without the need to pay any premium.
It covers "a selected proportion of the sum assured" but does not specify the amount.
You need to ask AXA to explain what is being covered under the SLAB and what is payable in the event of a claim.
Otherwise, the premium of $150 a year sounds quite reasonable.

Tokyo Marine policy
You have to pay a premium of $519 a year for a sum assured of $100,000 and a minimum benefit of $250,000.
I do not know what is being covered.
You have to ask TM to explain the coverage to you.
The premium of $519 a year seems to be very high.

I find the two policy documents to be "horrible". I cannot understand what is being covered. It is not clear.

Maybe, you should send the documents to MAS and ask MAS to get the insurance companies to write policy coverages that are clear to the lay person.

I cannot understand why consumers accept policy wordings that are written in a very confusing manner and why MAS allows insurance companies to issue this type of policy wordings.

WOTC - Special centers for covid testing

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 93% of the respondents said that the government should set up special clinics to do covid testing.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues


1. Should incoming visitors be isolated for 14 days to prevent spread of covid infection?
2. Do you agree with the current measures to stop the spread of the covid infection?

Vote in

Is SHN and isolation really necessary and useful?

 I read a report that a 35-year-old visitor was tested positive for Covid-19, two weeks after completing her stay-home notice (SHN).

My concern is on the cost of the Stay Home Notice to the traveler. The restriction meant that the traveler is not allowed to engage in any activity for 14 days. What is the purpose when it does not help to prevent the spread of the virus?

It is even more costly to require a traveler has to stay in isolation in a hotel for 14 days. 

Rather than keep the traveller under SHN or isolation, I refer that they be tested for covid on entry and if found negative, they do not need to be kept under SHN or isolation. Instead, they can be asked to monitor their temperature every day for 14 or 21 days. If they have a temperature, they should go for another covid test.

We should not impose a high cost for the SHN or isolation, when the actual benefit is questionable.

There should be a balance between the actual risk and the cost of the SHN and isolation measures.

If we find, from actual experience, that incoming visitors without symptoms are spreading the virus seriously, we can return to the SHN/ isolation measures. In the meantime, there is no need to incur such a heavy cost when the actual benefit is questionable.

WOTC - Dealing with the covid pandemic

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of the respondents have a negative view of the performance of the ministers in charge of dealing with the covid pandemic.

WOTC - President Biden's first few days after inauguration

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 90% of the respondents are impressed with the steps taken by President Biden during the first few days of taking office.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

WOTC - Will Donald Trump maintain his popularity?

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 86% of respondents said that Donald Trump will soon be forgotten or reduce his popularity with Republican voters.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

My investment in Alibaba stock

 Here is a review of my investment in Alibaba stock (9988.HK and BABA).

Wisdom of the Crowd

 Votes on these issues and win a prize.

WOTC - Pardons by President Trump

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 78% of the respondents expect President Trump to issue many pardons before leaving the office of the president.

Investment in growth stocks

 I have $252,000 USD invested in 5 growth stocks. I now see a small loss of $3,250 in these stocks.

The BNGO, GEVO and SENS stocks now show a gain.

The EDIT and CSPR stocks show a loss. However, I expect these stocks to recover soon.

Monday, February 01, 2021

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the government set up covid testing centers?
2. Should we use self service kiosks for safe entry and temperature taking?

Vote in


Quora: Efficacy of Sinovac vaccine

 My crystal ball CB said - Boss, this is very complicated!

Quora: The Chinese COVID 19 vaccine from sinovac is reported to only be 50% effective vs 95% for domestic produced. Does this reflect quality control issues with regards to Chinese vaccines or is there another reason for the lower efficacy of this vaccine?

Ridzwan Abdul Rahman replied

I think this CNN report shows the evil intentions of Western press. CNN should have shown the full results, as follows:

Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing severe and moderate infections, 77.96 percent effective in preventing mild cases, and has an overall efficacy of 50.4 percent in Brazil's final-stage trials.

Why did CNN leave out the details? Bear in mind that almost all the trial participants in Brazil were high-risk medical workers, and the 77.96 efficacy for mild-case protection means the vaccine will reduce the amount of people needing hospitalization by 78 percent (compared to those who are not vaccinated), and none of them would have severe or moderate infections.

It should also be noted that Pfizer’s vaccine is not 100% effective against severe infections. The following statement was made in a report of Pfizer’s vaccine:

Of the 10 cases of severe Covid-19, nine were in the placebo group, an important finding which suggests the vaccine prevents not only mild cases, but the type of serious disease that leads patients to die or be hospitalized. ( Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is 95% effective, full results show )

If 9 out of 10 were in the placebo group, it means that one severe case was from the group that was given the vaccine. This means that the Pfizer vaccine is not 100% effective against severe cases, while the Sinovac vaccine is 100% effective against severe cases.

Furthermore, last month Turkish researchers said the Sinovac vaccine was 91.25% effective. This test was not done on high risk medical workers, unlike the one in Brazil.

The 50.4% efficacy rate means a 50.4% reduction in number of infections compared to those who do not take the vaccine, including very mild cases that do not require any treatment.

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 68% of the respondents find the current postal service to be unsatisfactory.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Shorted stocks

The retail investors who congregate at the Reddit website (Wall Street Bets) focus on a few stocks with high percentage that are shorted.
They now focus their attention on GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC).
The other stocks that may be short squeezed are shown below.

Survey form should be simple, short and relevant

I often get requests to complete online survey forms from corporations and government agencies.

I usually try to oblige.

When I open the form and find that it comprise of many pages and I have to complete one page before moving to the next, I always refuse to complete the survey form.

I want to see the entire form before I decide to complete it.

If the form is too long or ask ridiculous questions, I will decline to complete it.

If I have to complete one page before seeing the next page, I refuse to complete the form.

I hope that the people who design these forms are considerate to the public.

They should keep the form simple, short and relevant.

Make it simpler to fill up online forms

 Many people find it difficult to fill up the online forms in government websites. I suggest the following steps to simplify these online forms.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues


1. Which vaccine do you prefer?
2. What is the main reason for you to get vaccinated?

Vote in

Quora: How could the Chinese develop such an efficient COVID-19 vaccine?

Bill Williams, Social Scientist, Researcher, Author replied.

I googled about the Chinese vaccine. Tons of articles about Brazil reported 50% effectiveness on Chinese vaccines.

Our western media did not tell you the whole truth. 50% effectiveness was only reported by Brazil because the President of Brazil is pro-Trump. The rest of the 18 nations tested the Chinese vaccine and declared the effectiveness to be 80% on the average.

Our western propaganda media rushed to publish this fake information without validation and it spread like wildfire.

The latest was: their scientists corrected their president to announce that the effectiveness to 78 percent and eventually the President of Brazil bought 100 million doses from China. Please update your information.

WOTC - Impeach President Trump

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 83% of the respondents agree with the step taken by the US Congress to impeach President Trump.

A sad episode in Malaysia's political history.

 A sad episode in Malaysia's political history.

Sarawak Report.
Fox Outfoxed? - Former AG's Explosive Memoir Blames Dr M For The Implosion Of Pakatan Harapan
31 January 2021
The former Attorney General, who resigned in the wake of the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration in March, has kept his counsel till now about what he observed at the heart of government as the coalition collapsed.

At the climax of an about to be published memoir, spanning his career as a reforming barrister in Malaysia, he reveals a series of previously unknown facts that shed crucial light on the significance of those events.

The chapter, which Tommy Thomas says it pained him to write given his overall respect for the former prime minister, details why in his analysis Dr Mahathir holds the greatest responsibility for the implosion of what had been a stable government.

“I have found these paragraphs difficult to write. It pains me to be critical of the Prime Minister who had appointed me, and stood by me over twenty months despite massive attacks from the majority race. But posterity will judge harshly the three decisions that Tun Dr. Mahathir took on Monday, 24th February 2020.”

In the largely dispassionate tone that characterises his narrative that nonetheless touches on many of the most emotional and dramatic moments in Malaysian history, Thomas brings a legal perspective as to where in his view Mahathir misstepped.

As AG at the time he had a unique insight.

The first surprise (or “utter shock” as Thomas describes it) came when a friend texted him at 1.30pm on Monday 24th February, the day after the so-called Sheraton Move, to say that Mahathir had submitted a letter of resignation to the King.

He immediately visited the PM’s private office to discover it was true. Until that point, says Thomas, he had been ‘bullish’ about the antics of the relative handful of defectors.

“If any politician in modern history anywhere in the world is fully conversant with the incumbent’s power or “kuasa”, as it is known in Malay, it is Tun Dr. Mahathir .. Indeed, Tun was often characterised by the opposition, sections of the media and his critics as a dictator. His powers stemmed from his occupation of the office of Prime Minister.”

writes Thomas, who appears to have found this surrender of powers “inexplicable”.

Damningly, Thomas also says it was “indefensible” because “it led to the collapse of the PH government, to the terrible disappointment of the majority of the electorate at GE14…. one can only characterise it as irrational. Indeed, bizarre.”

Although, opportunities were made available to undo the impulse, we learn they were undone by further ‘bizarre decisions” by Tun M:

“The Agong implored the Prime Minister to stay on. The Prime Minister insisted on resigning, which left His Majesty no option but to accept. The resignation took effect.”

Thomas then goes on to detail the nature of the sabotage that then took place. As he explains:

At this point of time, it would have been constitutional for the Agong to appoint the Deputy Prime Minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as the acting Prime Minister to allow the governing PH coalition to elect its new candidate for the office of Prime Minister… The resignation was confined to that office, not the entire government.

The Agong proceeded to act constitutionally by wanting to appoint Wan Azizah as Acting or Interim Prime Minister. Tun Dr. Mahathir put forward his own name. This is probably without precedent in modern politics.

So, having resigned as Prime Minister Mahathir demanded to be re-appointed as interim Prime Minister instead of his deputy as prescribed. As Tommy Thomas then explains, Mahathir used that position to carry out the third act of political suicide on behalf of the elected government that day. He sacked the entire Cabinet:

“Three practical consequences followed Tun’s insistence that the Cabinet must be dismissed, which the Agong constitutionally had to accept. First, the country was without an executive government for about three weeks. Secondly, ministers of the state and their deputies totalling about fifty were suddenly without a job. They reported to work on Monday morning in the usual way. They were dismissed at the end of the day. Thirdly, it made Tun terribly vulnerable because, by his own actions, he was left alone in government. All his support had vanished in minutes. A third inexplicable and indefensible decision. And, of course, bizarre.”

Thomas reminds readers how the exceptional circumstances at that time made the move all the more irresponsible:

“There is a practical reason why Cabinet ministers are not removed from office when a Prime Minister resigns. Every country needs a Government, even if it is a Caretaker Government prior to general elections, to govern. They are helming the ship of state. On 24th February 2020, Malaysia, in common with numerous countries across the globe, was in the cusp of the Covid pandemic. The country badly needed smart leadership. The Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad had been doing a splendid job in combating the terribly dangerous infections disease. Along with the Director-General of Health, Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Hisham bin Abdullah, we had a safe pair of hands to lead a response from the health perspective. Minister Dzulkefly enjoyed the confidence of the population. His dismissal bordered on irresponsibility.”

With the rules upended Thomas then details how further transgressions took place. He in his role as advisor to the government “informed His Majesty that the only correct and proper method of ascertaining the confidence of any person who seeks the office of the Prime Minister is on the floor of the Dewan Rakyat at the conclusion of a debate and vote. This is the only fool-proof method of appointment.”

However, as all Malaysians know, this is not what next transpired. On the evening of 25th February, following that meeting with the Agong, Thomas says he again met with the now interim prime minister to be greeted with more bizarre news. Mahathir informed him he had the unanimous support of all MPs to remain as prime minister – “I immediately asked: all 222 members of parliament? Tun responded in the affirmative.”

Hence, it would be ‘unity government’ Thomas relates. “Party positions would not matter for Cabinet appointments. Tun would have a complete free hand.”

Sacked To Please PAS!
It was then that Mahathir dropped what Thomas describes as further ‘bombshells’, including the fact that Tun had agreed to sack him as part of his bargain with the former opposition party leaders.

Until now, it has been publicly understood that Tommy Thomas only resigned in response to the departure of the prime minister who had appointed him. However, for the first time we learn from Thomas himself that Mahathir had already deserted his own AG.

In the same manner Tun explained to Thomas at this meeting between the two men that party leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng (who headed the two largest parties in his winning coalition at GE15) would likely not form part of his cabinet in the proposed ‘Unity Government’.

“Tun then dropped a bombshell. Tun stated that the UMNO and PAS leaders who had met him earlier in the day had two conditions before they would agree to join a unity government. First, they wanted Lim Guan Eng removed as Finance Minister.

Secondly, they wanted me removed as AG. Tun said that they were particularly incensed with my recent decision to drop all charges against all the LTTE suspects. According to them, this was a racist decision on my part. Tun said therefore I would have to leave. Tun replied that he will not renew my contract when it expires in June 2020, some three months away.”

Thomas initially agreed to the three months notice period, but the matter was to be over-taken by events as Mahathir’s plans unravelled in the face of the outraged response of his former allies. In fact, as the book confirms, it was Anwar who received the most votes from MPs when canvassed by the Agong the following day (92 as opposed to 62 for Mahathir).

Parliament was never recalled as it should have been to resolve the matter and the Agong appointed the rebel Home Minister, Muhyiddin (who did not receive a single vote) to form a minority administration.

“Tun Dr. Mahathir’s statement to me just the previous day that all 222 MPs had pledged their support to him had not materialised.”

observes a plainly frustrated Tommy Thomas. Again, the fault lay with Mahathir’s arrogant plan to deny his major allies their rightful role in Cabinet:

“Leaders of all political parties who had spent years ascending the ladder in the party hierarchy were told they were not guaranteed Cabinet posts. That flies against party politics practised everywhere at all times. Political leaders are ambitious: they yearn for Cabinet positions. There is nothing dishonourable about that. Another elementary miscalculation by Tun.”

After months of widespread confusion about the shifting alliances that caused the collapse of the Mahathir government this clear first hand account and analysis points a direct if sorrowful finger at the man the top law officer of the time clearly holds personally to blame.

“Justice In The Wilderness” by Tommy Thomas is published on January 30th and is available via Amazon and bookshops.

The narrative on the collapse of the Mahathir government is just part of a series of fascinating revelations about that administration’s 18 months in power and also earlier struggles for reform in which Tommy Thomas has played a leading role through Malaysia’s recent history.

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