Saturday, January 28, 2023

WOTC - Rivalry between America and China

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 85% of the respondents said that Singapore should not take any side on the rivalry between America and China. 15% said that Singapore should side China. None said that Singapore should side America.

Friday, January 27, 2023

WOTC - Report on the rivalry between America and China

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 82 % of respondents said that the state media should report the rivalry between America and China truthfully and without bias and let the public decide for themselves. 18% said that the media should report the event in a manner that protects the image of Singapore.

Review of ICBC bank (1398.HK)

 This is my review of ICBC bank (1398.HK)

Do we need a state funded media?

 1. Should the government spend $72 million a year to fund two medias, i.e. Channel News Asia and SPH? Do we need two medias?

2. Some people say that the state can save this money, as these medias are not doing useful work and the people can search for news on their own through the internet.
3. I hold the view that this money should be spent, and that it is useful to have two separate medias to cover two separate perspectives. However, they should avoid covering the same subjects, e.g. CNA should cover external issues and SPH should cover domestic issues.
4. The perspectives presented by the media should be factual and objective and promote the interest of Singapore. (This is different from promoting the interest of the ruling party).
5. There are many events happening around the world that have an impact on Singapore. The state funded media should cover the event so that the people in Singapore are aware about these events.
6. The government should also use the state funded media to explain to the people in Singapore on policies that they have taken that will affect their daily lives. The state media should also be used as a channel to provide feedback to the government.
7. There will be occasions that some events that happened in Singapore cause people in other countries to be upset. The foreign affairs ministry should, through the state funded media, provide an answer to the affected people in the foreign countries. The aim is to promote mutual understanding and cooperation.
8. In carrying out its role, the state funded media should adopt the following approach:
a) By factual and objective
b) Be positive and constructive
c) Be honest
9. The journalists have to rely on external sources, such as international news agencies. They should pay special attention to discern the objective facts from the subjective opinions (which may be smears and slanders). They should get the facts from several sources to give a more objective view.
10. Some people hold a negative view that the state funded media cannot be trusted as it is funded by the government in power, and that they will promote the interest of the ruling party. The state funded media should be aware of this mistrust and act constructively and honestly to regain the trust of these people.
11. For the majority of the people that trust the government, the state funded media provide a useful source of what is factual and reliable. This will guide them from being misled by unreliable sources of information.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

WOTC - Inquiry into SMT subscription statistics

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 93 % of respondents said that the President should call for a Commission of Inquiry into the SMT subscription statistics as the taxpayers are paying a lot of money to support Singapore Media Trust

Insufficient data

 I heard this joke spoken at an international insurance conference 40 years ago.

China had just opened up. A train was travelling in Inner Mongolia.
Three foreigners, who were visiting in China for the first time, looked out of the window and saw a lone sheep, black in color, in the distance.
A foreigner, who is a journalist, said "All sheep in Mongolia are black".
The second foreigner, who is an engineer, said "Sorry. There is one sheep in Mongolia that is black".
The third foreigner, who is an actuary, said, "To be exact, there is at least one sheep in Mongolia that is black, at least on one side".
I share this story to advise people not to make conclusions based on insufficient data.

Harmful effect of vaccine

1. Several people in chat groups shared reports and videos of young people who died suddenly a short time after they have been vaccinated. They used the event to imply that they vaccine is harmful to young people.

2. I have seen several dozens of these reports. I am sure that there are many more of these cases that I have not seen. Perhaps, the number of these cases amount to a few thousands.

3. Let us assume that there are 10,000 such cases. If 1 billion young people have been vaccinated, this represents 0.001 % of the cases. It is 1000th of 1%. It is small enough to be insignificant.

4. Even if there are no vaccination, perhaps a similar number would have died from "natural causes". They were not reported previously, because there was no major event that can be used to blame these unexpected deaths.

5. I do not rule out the small possibility that the vaccination could be the cause. But the incidence is too low for me to accept that it is the likely cause.

6. I do not trust our health authority totally, as they may be biased in favor of the vaccine. However, I trust them more than the "experts" who present an alternative theory against the vaccine.

Tan Kin Lian

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Do we need a state funded media?
2. Which system of democracy do you prefer?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

WOTC - Settlement of insurance claims

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 89% of respondents said that customers are not satisfied with the settlement of insurance claims due to disputes over coverage, exclusions and other clauses in small print.

WOTC - Visitors fromChina

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 55% of respondents said that it is not necessary to screen visitors from China because the covid virus is mild.

Quality of customer service depends on the process

1. I experienced many instances of poor customer service from Singapore companies.
2. Quite often, the poor service is caused by their bad process. They follow SOP (standard operating procedures) that are more focused on complying with process rather than on improving outcome for customers.
3. I have just experienced an excellent customer service from Plus500 (online trading platform).
4. I wanted to ask a question. In their app, they have a menu called Help. They provide an option to use WhatsApp.
5. I sent my question at night. I received a reply immediately. As the issue was quite complicated, I asked a few follow-up questions. I received prompt, clear and complete replies to each question.
6. A complicated matter was resolved to my satisfaction within half an hour. This is the time that I took trying to reach a Singapore company on a customer issue and had to give up after failing to talk to a person.
7. Plus500 has an office in Singapore. However, they do not follow the standard Singapore SOP. They followed a process that is customer friendly. I understand that this company started in Israel but has now gone international.
8. I like the following features of their customer service:
a) They make it easy for me to send a feedback.
b) They use WhatsApp, which is probably the most convenient form of communication.
c) I can send my query immediately and directly. I do not have to answer 5 to 10 pieces of data to start an inquiry.
d) They have a person to attend to my inquiry immediately.
9. I sent a detailed feedback to the staff. She replied immediately that she would forward it to the attention of the management team. I expect that they would act on my feedback.
10. I believe that the quality of service depends on how the process is handled. If Singapore companies can adopt a good process, like what Plus500 did, the quality of service would improve tremendously.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How often do you floss your teeth
2. Is Singapore making good progress over the past decade?
3. Do you like the CDC vouchers?

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WOTC - Insurance products

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 85% of the respondents said that MAS should not allow insurers to offer their products freely as it would create confusion for the public and lead to disputes over coverage and claims.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Bad customer service from Starhub

 1. My internet connection failed due to the storm.

2. I called Starhub hotline. It was a nightmare for me. I spent 9 mins on the first call, and it was cut off. I called again and there was no answer for 15 mins. I cut off the call.

3. It took me over 3 mins to clear through the nonsensical questions that do not apply to me before reaching the technical desk. After that, the call was not answered due to "large volume of calls".

4. Along the way, I was asked to state if I use a Linksys router. I checked the devices and found that I had a D-Link device and a Nucleus Connect device. I do not know if any of them are provided by Linksys.

5. I find it terrible that Starhub should ask this kind of question. I subscribe to the service of Starhub and it should not concern me about who they use to provide the router.

6. Starhub operates many business, such as mobile phone, internet, Netflix, Samsung phone, etc. They could have given a separate number for each business. Instead, they put all the business calls under one number and force the customer to waste over 3 minutes to clear through the screening.

7. Starhub customer service has been terrible for over a decade.

8. On many occasions, I wanted to move away from Starhub, but I was tied to a 2 year contract.

9. My experience with the customer service provided by many large businesses in Singapore has been poor. I find that bad customer service is probably a part of "Singapore culture".

Tan Kin Lian

WOTC - State funded media

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 81% of the respondents said that the state funded media should report independently, honestly and fairly (and not reflect Singapore's interest in the reporting).

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