Thursday, 28 March 2019

Is Singapore a Good Country?

Well, we're ranked 23rd.

What is a "Good Country"? Good for whom?

This TED talk video (from 2014) provides one suggestion from Simon Anholt

At 12:13, he summarises what he means: The "Goodest" Country is one that gives more to humanity than any other country.

A "Good Country" is good for humanity, and for the world. A "Good Country" is not selfish.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Regulators and the Regulated - Boeing and the FAA

In a previous post, I wrote this:
The other (hidden) cost of a well-paid public service
In the aftermath of the US sub-prime mortgage financial crisis, one critique of the US system was that the salaries for US civil servants were so low that the brilliant "A" students were looking for jobs in the banking sector after graduation while the merely competent "B" students were getting hired by the government to regulate the banking sector. And they would be totally outclassed by the "A" students who would come up with new instruments (such as derivatives, collateralised debt obligations, etc) that the "B" students could not understand, let alone regulate, which led to the sub-prime crisis. (This is the short, highly abridged, explanation of the crisis.)
Singapore has the opposite problem.
Singapore has pursued and sought "A" students (scholars) and brought them into the ranks of the civil service. This allows for forward planning, policy development and review, and competent regulation and administration of policies and services.
Certainly we need "A" students in the Singapore civil service to develop coherent policies and regulate the private sector, but the "A" students are also needed in the private sector. We can tell if there are not enough "A" scholar graduates in the civil service  - poor regulatory oversight, private sector running circles around the regulators, etc.
How do we know if there are too many "A" students in the civil service? How can we tell if there is not enough innovation in the private sector?
We are working with a finite pool of talent. Paying for talent in the civil service may prevent a lack of talent in the civil service, but there is no way to prevent an over accumulation of talent in the civil service. 
How do we know if there is not enough talent in the private sector? Maybe the lack of innovation and entrepreneurs is an indicator?
If all the "A" students are in the government coming up with regulations, and the "B" students are in the private sector trying to work within the regulations, and unable to come up with innovative ways to succeed in spite of the regulations, perhaps that is why we have so few entrepreneurs?

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Comment: TCM as part of SG's Healthcare

A TCM practitioner caused a man to have his leg amputated due to the treatment he applied (a heat lamp, which is NOT TCM, no?)

For that malpractice, he was fined $5000 and suspended for 3 years.

This was a comment on Facebook:
Practitioner caused patient to lose a leg - $5000 fineDoctor got duped by imposter into disclosing medical information - $50,000 fineDoctor did not warn patient of side effect of steroid injection, patient suffered more pain and inflammation but did not lose any limbs - $100,000 fine 
Wow this is mind-blowing!

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Water under the bridge? I wish.

Has Malaysia (as our Minister for Foreign Affairs puts it) "lost its right to review" the water agreement?

Minister Vivian B. rebutted Dr Mahathir's assertion that Singapore has gotten rich from buying water from Malaysia at an unreasonable price. I'm paraphrasing and I may not have captured the gist of Dr Mahathir's ramblings because he doesn't make sense and trying to make sense of it is a futile exploration of the meanderings of senility. This was what was reported:
Speaking at the Johor Government Retreat with the Federal Cabinet in Putrajaya on Thursday, Dr Mahathir said Singapore has grown rapidly because of Malaysia’s supply of water to the Republic.
Right. It was all because of Malaysia's magical water and ONLY because of Malaysia's magical waters. That is why Malaysia is such a developed country today!