Buying Insurance

Is buying insurance biblical ?  In other words, if we buy insurance,  do we lack trust in the Lord ? Since it is not specifically mentioned in the Scripture, then let it be treated as a matter of conscience.  Let each pray and decide.

Scripture does advise not to guarantee loan for anyone for fear of unforeseen default consequence affecting oneself and family. 

Proverbs 22:26-27 NLT

Don’t agree to guarantee another person”s debt or put up security for someone else.  If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.

So it is analogous and reasonable to take steps to mitigate unforeseen circumstances such as buying insurance for, in my opinion, insurance is like a collective pooling of resources in a community to help any individual in the community facing unforeseen emergency that require financial aid.

Whenever the Lord warns of impending disaster in Scripture, He expects the faithful to act to prepare.  The story of Joseph in mitigating the famine faced by his family is one good example.  

We are also told to be prudent.  

Proverbs 17:12

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.  The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

In my opinion, one ought to buy insurance such as hospitalisation insurance, fire insurance, travel insurance and dependent income insurance.

Reduce Cost-of-living In This Inflationary Climate

James 1:5-6

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

The whole world is facing inflation and high energy prices.  Believers in the lower income group need to seek the Lord’s wisdom to mitigate the cost of living.  Through early effort to preempt inflationary ills, one can stay calm and less stressful. Otherwise stress may affect one’s health which will be another expense not to incur.

Here are some common sense tips that will help to manage the mortgage, utility, grocery and other bills.

  1. Mortgage Payment.  With the US Federal Reserve likely to increase the interest rates to somewhere between 3 to 4% soon, the central banks of all nations will likely hike the same or more.  It is wise to seek fixed re-financing if one is unable to absorb such increases in his or her monthly expense budget.  With the housing prices still high now, downgrading to a smaller and less costly apartment is another alternative.
  2. Utility Bill.  One should study all the electricity plans offered by the various energy providers right away and decide on a fixed plan so that he or she will not be shocked with hefty increase in the near future. Choose the quasi-governmental provider if possible. The Europeans woke up one day to find the price of gas went up by a few times.
  3. Grocery Bill.  One should re-evaluate his or her diet and settle for a nutritious and economic diet replacing expensive fruits and vegetables with those of cheaper and similar nutritional value.  Sometimes eating out at the economy rice food-stall may be more economical than cooking because of the economy of scale. (Exercise more to keep fit. Exercise is also a good way of relieving stress.)
  4. Discretionary Expenses. Stop all non-essential expenses to build up an emergency savings fund.
  5. Transport. If possible, switch from private transport to public transport. That will relieve all kinds of unexpected car related hefty expenses.

Normalcy Bias

Prov 27:12 NLT

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

Our Lord had mentioned several times in Scripture that many will still be caught unawares despite the fact that He had given the signs and warnings concerning the end times.  It is really predictably irrational that even when the signs and mathematical certainty are there for any event, many will still be caught unawares.  It is a psychological state known as normalcy bias.  This state causes people to under-estimate the possibility of an impending disaster and the severity of its consequences.  They assume the event will not happen as it has never happened before.  People in this state tend to downplay the signs and infer a less severe outcome.

Of course, there are also people who over-react.  They will cry wolf every time some signs are evident.  Both are extremes to be avoided.

In the article “The Normalcy Bias and Bible Prophecy” by Todd Strandberg,  he writes, “One of the most tragic examples of the normalcy bias is the experience of the Jews in Nazi Germany.  Barton Biggs, in his book, Wealth, War and Wisdom, gave a very good description of what happened :

By the end of 1935, 100,000 Jews had left Germany, but 450,000 remained.  Wealthy Jewish families…kept thinking and hoping that the worst was over.  Many of the German Jews, brilliant, cultured, and cosmopolitan as they were, were too complacent.  They had been in Germany so long and were so well established, they simply couldn’t believe there was going to be a crisis and that would endanger them.  They were too comfortable.  They believed the Nazis’ anti-Semitism was an episodic event and that Hitler’s bark was worse than his bite.  They reacted sluggishly to the rise of Hitler for completely understandable but tragically erroneous reasons. Events moved much faster than they could imagine.”   (The above message is extracted from my book, The Coming Economic Flood.)

With the bleak economic results for the first 2 quarters of this year and negative growth forecast for the rest of the year and the ongoing pandemic second wave causing the reopening of the economies around the world to be delayed,  it will be foolhardy for anyone to believe in a soon and quick V shaped economy, and does nothing to prepare for a longer recession.

A few steps are necessary to overcome such a normalcy bias :

  1. Accept such times are in God’s end time timeline.
  2. Pray to God for wisdom.
  3. Assess the threat one will face.
  4. Sit down to plan and act right away to tide over.

It is better late than never to act to overcome one’s normalcy bias right away.


Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

The idiom refers to an attitude that is very careful and mean with small amount of money but very extravagant or wasteful with large sums.

You will think that one, who is careful and mean with small amount of money, is acting so because of his or her obsession in hoarding his or her money.  So it will not make sense for him or her to waste on large sums.

Yet it is a common fact because many are predictably irrational as I have shown in previous articles.

Here are some examples :

  1. Driving to a fairly remote petrol station to top up the gas because it is the cheapest.  Perhaps saving one or two dollars on the petrol but consuming 2 liters of petrol driving to and fro the station which cost 4 to 5 dollars.
  2. Always worry about spending money on petrol and yet own and hardly drive an expensive high capacity car which will depreciate to little in 10 years and will guzzle a lot of more petrol than a lower capacity car for the same mileage.
  3. Buying a lot of stuff in bulk with near expiry date. Trying to save 20% of the purchases but end up throwing away the excess when expired.
  4. Holidays are usually not planned earlier so as to enjoy very good discounted airfare prices. The savings are so substantial that it can mean enjoying a bit more on better class hotels and eating in better restaurants.

Sometimes it hurt relationship as such a “penny wise pound foolish” person may sting on paying for drinks with friends or relatives in a local coffee shop, but has no qualm in paying high  monthly mortgage interest running in the thousands of dollars.

Believers are not to live such a miserable existence as miserly persons.  Otherwise the miserliness reveals the condition and preoccupation of their heart in worshipping money rather than God.

I have seen many believers shooing away the poor elderly or invalids selling tissue paper in the train stations or local coffee shops but have no problem in paying for exorbitant car parking charges for the sake of a little convenience.  They may be unwittingly shooing away a brother or sister in Christ.  One day, when the Lord separate the sheep and the goats during the judgment of the sheep and goats, will we be flashed such scene of shooing away the least of the brothers ?  Matt 25:31-46.

Is it not wise to save on the pounds so that we can give the pennies to the poor, instead of being foolish to save the pennies and waste the pounds away ?

I have this joy of saving the pounds and giving to the least of the brothers and the poor and needy as well.  Is not the kingdom of God about peace and joy in the Holy Spirit ?   Rom 14:17.

Taking Care Of The Whole Being Of Spirit, Soul And Body

I learned from the internet blogs that the most popular course in the Harvard University is the Positive Psychology class taught by Dr Tal Ben-Shahar.  It attracts 1400 students per semester and 20% of Harvard graduates take this elective course. According to Ben Shahar, the class – which focuses on happiness, self-esteem and motivation – gives students the tools to succeed and face life with more joy.  According to most of the blogs, this 45-year-old teacher, considered by some to be “the happiness guru”, highlights in his class 14 or 15 key tips for improving the quality of our personal status and contributing to a positive life.  (Some blogs include tip no 15 of developing a sense of humour.  Some may dispute whether his tips mentioned God.  I believe it is possible as religious people are more likely to give thanks for everything they have and are generally more joyful in life.)

I have noticed that all these 14 or 15 key tips are advice to take good care of one’s whole being of spirit, soul and body.  As Ben Shahar is a Jew,  it is not surprising that his tips correlate with the general biblical principles and wisdom of living in the Kingdom of God which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Rom 14:17.   My comments on these tips made reference to the relevant Scriptural verses.

Tips For The Spirit

  1. Thank God for everything you have.  Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. Focus on the good things!
  2. Fervently believe in God. With him nothing is impossible!

Comments :

The Scripture exhorted us not to be anxious about anything but to bring everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving.   We are to focus and think on things that are true, honourable,  just, pure, lovely, commendable,  excellent and praiseworthy.  Phil 4:6-9.

Surely nothing is impossible with God as He is the Creator of the whole universe.  Luke 1:37.   And He will reward those who fervently believe in Him and seek Him diligently.  Heb 11:6.

Tips For The Body

  1. Practice physical activity.  Experts say exercising helps improve mood.  30 minutes of exercise is the best antidote against sadness and stress.
  2. Breakfast.  Some people miss breakfast for lack of time or not to get fat. Studies show that breakfast gives you energy, helps you think and perform your activities successfully.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes.  If your feet hurt you, you become moody, says Dr. Keinth Wapner, President of the American Orthopedics Association.
  4. Take care of your posture. Walk straight with your shoulders slightly backwards and the front view helps to maintain a good mood.
  5. What you eat has an impact on your mood.  Do not skip meals, eat lightly every 3 to 4 hours and keep glucose levels stable.- Avoid excess white flour and sugar.- Eat everything healthy. Vary your food.
  6. Take care of yourself and feel attractive.  70% of people say they feel happier when they think they look good.

Comments :

The body of a believer is the temple of the Spirit of God and obviously extreme good care of it has to be taken. 1 Cor 6:19-20. 1 Tim 4:8.    So whether we eat or drink, we do it all for the glory of God.   1 Cor 10:31.  When we are in good health so is our soul.  3 John 1:2.

Tips For The Soul

  1. Assertive.  Ask what you want and say what you think. Being assertive helps improve your self-esteem. Being left and remaining silent creates sadness and hopelessness.
  2. Spend your money on experiences.  A study found that 75% of people felt happier when they invested their money in travel, courses and classes; while only the rest said they felt happier when buying things.
  3. Face your challenges. Studies show that the more you postpone something, the more anxiety and tension you generate. Write short weekly lists of tasks and complete them.
  4. Put everywhere nice memories, phrases and photos of your loved ones.  Fill your fridge, your computer, your desk, your room, YOUR LIFE of beautiful memories.
  5. Always greet and be nice to other people.  More than 100 inquiries state that just smiling changes the mood.
  6. Listen to music (Praise God).  It is proven that listening to music awakens you to sing, this will make your life happy.
  7. Develop a good sense of humour.  Learn to laugh off matters, specially when things don’t go right for you.

Comments :

The Scripture exhorted us to count it all joy as we meet all kinds of trials in life because trials train us to be steadfast and yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  Besides, if we lack wisdom to face certain challenges, we can ask God and He will grant us generously.   James 1:2-4.  Heb 12:7-11.

Listening to music soothes our souls.  Whenever King Saul was tormented in his spirit, he would send for David to play him the lyre.  1 Sam 16:14-23.  Singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs is evidence of a Spirit filled life.  Eph 5:19.

Whenever we are nice to people speaking kind and gentle words,  not only we deflect animosity but we also gain friendship.  Prov 15:1.  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  Prov 16:24.

Always keeping a merry heart is not only good medicine for the body but also it bring out a cheerful face.  Prov 17:22.  Prov 15:13.  It can be achieved by developing a sense of humour and laughing off stressful matters.

It is the gift of God that we may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all our toil.  And spending on travel is one great satisfaction.  Eccl 3:13.

How Wealth Reduces Compassion

Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner ran several studies looking at whether social class (as measured by wealth, occupational prestige, and education) influences how much we care about the feelings of others.

The findings from these studies seem to go against common thinking that the wealthier we are, the more likely we are to act fairly.

In one study, they found that less affluent individuals are more likely to report feeling compassion towards others on a regular basis.

In another study, they found that those with less income and education, were more likely to report feeling compassion while watching the video of the cancer patients.

These studies built upon previous research that showed how upper class individuals are worse at recognizing the emotions of others and less likely to pay attention to people they are interacting with (e.g. by checking their cell phones or doodling).

That can explain why as a country progresses in affluence, the rich and poor divide will get wider causing social upheaval later.

Such scientific research findings actually lend weight to our Lord’s Word that it is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.  But of course, nothing is impossible with God.

Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10 proved it is possible for a rich man to give up the hold of possessions to be our Lord’s disciple.  Luke 14:33.  Though the rich majority are likely to end up like the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-29 who turned away from Jesus sadly.

The church has to command those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable and tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 1 Tim 6:17-19.

If human nature tends to be less compassionate when getting wealthier,  how amazingly true is the exhortation of Scripture that it is great gain to live in contentment with godliness.  1 Tim 6:6-10.



Some Tips To Save A Penny

Ask For Discount Always

It does not cost us anything to ask for discount in a restaurant or any entertainment  place.   Sometimes, out of goodwill, the restaurant may offer you a dessert free of charge even if there is no discount offer.

Dinner At The Mid Range Restaurants

Go around 9 pm as most restaurants take the last order at 10 pm.   As you finish your dinner at around 10 pm, they are likely offer you a dessert or cake which will otherwise be disposed anyway.   Similarly for food kiosks,  if you purchase at this late hour, you are likely to get a hefty discount or a lot more food thrown in free.

Discount For Members

Whether it is supermarket, restaurant or any entertainment place, sometimes members get to enjoy discounts and membership points to redeem gifts.  It is not a hassle to ask any member to make the purchase for you. You get to enjoy the discount while the member receives more membership points.

Car Park Charges

Once I parked my car in a 5 star hotel car park for several hours to attend a seminar.  The car park charges were exorbitant. In most 5 star hotels, if not all,  the guests are entitled to complimentary parking.   I went to the bar and asked the first foreign guest I saw sitting at the bar counter whether he was staying at the hotel.  When he replied in the affirmative, I asked him for a favor.  I asked if I could buy him a drink in exchange for his complimentary car park privilege.  He saw no harm as he earned another drink while I need not pay for the car park charges.  You may find yourself in such situation sometimes because the seminar or exhibition may be held in 5 star hotels but the organizer does not offer you complimentary parking.

Theme Park Entrance Tickets

Most theme park offers bulk discount and usually the shops just outside the entrance of the theme park may have these discounted entrance tickets.  It is not a hassle just to walk over to ask all these shops on the availability of these discounted entrance tickets.

Online Purchase

Do not be surprised that you can get even good quality brand goods delivered to your door-step for a fraction of what you will pay in the retail shops in the mall.   Today, so much stuff can be purchased online.

You can even design your own promotional banner, flyers, brochures,  curtains, covers, etc, for only a fraction of what you will pay engaging professional services in shops or offices.

Stretching The Dollar During Recession

Prov 6: 6-8.  Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

Prov 27:12.  The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

As mentioned in earlier articles on wisdom nuggets, there were 6 recessions in the last 30 years – 1985, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2008 and 2015 – with an average period of 6 years between recessions.  Getting lower prices for the big expense items such as an apartment and a car during a recession should be obvious as long as we are willing to wait out the 6 expansionary years between recessions.  But it is predictably irrational that many will still buy such big expense items during the expansionary years than the recessionary years.

Residential Apartment

2 of the largest expenses in life are an apartment and a car which most will take a mortgage loan and a hire purchase loan for 30 years and 10 years respectively.  If one could save up and buy at the next recession, one would have saved so much as to pay up such loans earlier than the stipulated loan tenure.

Allow me to share my personal experience as an example.  My peers and I started our career in 1985.  Most bought the public housing apartment in 1987 and paid up the mortgage loan by 1992.  Most then upgraded to private apartment in 1994 or 1995 at the peak of the housing prices after surviving the recession in 1991.  I decided to continue saving and skip the 1997 recession till the next recession in 2001 before considering upgrading.  Following is the comparison of our different financial status.

Year My Peer Myself
1992 Owned HDB apartment worth $ 350,000 Owned HDB apartment worth $ 350,000
1994 Bought 120 sq m private apartment for $ 975,000. Took 25 year loan of $ 600,000 and paid monthly installment of $3500. Continued to save $3500 per month and skip buying apartment in 1997 recession.
2001 Principal loan is still between $ 500K to $ 600K with 18 years’ loan repayment remaining. Had saved up $ 320,000 with compounded interest instead of paying monthly mortgage.
2002 Principal loan is still between $ 500K to $ 600K with 17 years’ loan repayment remaining. Bought a 210 sq m apartment for $ 800,000 with a 40% discount from 1995 prices.  With the HDB apartment sold at $350,000, $ 320,000 saved up and some CPF balance, I could almost pay up the apartment without taking any bank loan.


During the good years between recession, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) will be very high.  If we can change our cars during the recession, we will save much by paying less for the COE and the depressed car price as well.   Allow me to share my experience.  I traded in my 5 year old Mitsubishi Lancer in 2009 for a brand new Suzuki Swift and a 7 seater APV without forking out any money.   I was paying a HP installment of about $ 800 per month for the Lancer and when I took out both brand new cars at a total cost of $ 85,000, I continued to pay the same $800 plus installment for the next 10 years. The COE during the first 6 months of 2009 and the car price were so depressed that the COE offered by the car distributor was practically zero.


During recession,  you can get very cheap airfare, hotel and food during vacation travel.  For one vacation travel destination during the good economic years,  you can enjoy up to 3 vacation destinations.

Home Necessities

During recession, you can stretch the dollar so much for home renovation and repair,  replacement of necessary old home appliances and furnishing, and purchase of new clothing.  Depleting inventory becomes a top priority for all manufacturers faced with excess manufacturing capacity and you can expect very good discounted prices.

Offers Galore

Shopping and dining offers will be in abundance during recession.  Time to bless your family with treat to the finest restaurants but paying the price in fast food restaurants normally.

There is apprehension to spend during recession for fear of losing the job.  To me, it is irrational fear.  As there is a recession every 5 to 7 years, you still have to worry at the next recession when you have already bought a high priced apartment and a car during the good years anyway.  So instead of spending during the good years, save up this money till the next recession in a separate bank account.  This account should not have existed if you have spent this money away during the good years, and so you cannot treat this account as a rainy day savings account which is another separate account.


(Un)conventional Wisdom

All wisdom comes from God.  The wisdom God has given us generously is meant to be shared with fellow believers.

At exceptional times like recession, certain decisions made against conventional bias are necessary to stay afloat in business.

I would like to share on two business strategies which make a difference in recession times – turning a disadvantage into an advantage;  and risk pooling which is a mathematically proven stratagem.

Strategy Of Turning A Disadvantage Into An Advantage

When every competitor sees a disadvantage in certain business situation and reject or walk away,  we can triumph through accepting the challenge of the disadvantage and turn it to our advantage.

After the 9/11 terror attack on New York World Trade Center, the dot com bubble burst and the world plunged into recession.  All over the world, the factories were cancelling orders.  I was working for a global distributor of electronic components as the chief executive in Asia then.  I allowed all cancellation knowing that the customers would bully us by not accepting deliveries anyway.  I tried cancelling the same with our suppliers at the same time otherwise I might end up with a lot of inventory booked at higher prices in case there would be price erosion due to the recession.  The group CEO and the board of directors of this NASDAQ listed company thought I was rash to allow such cancellation causing a huge drop in order backlog.  The bigger competitors of ours faced the same dilemma but they refused to allow cancellation from the same customers.

Over the next few months, I received the main bulk of the orders back from our customers at lower prices but I also got lower prices from our suppliers who were keen to keep their factories going.   The customers simply kept rescheduling the orders retained by our competitors which were booked at higher prices as compared to ours.

We had the best sales performance in this particular recession year as a result of this unconventional decision.

Strategy Of Risk Pooling

Risk pooling is a known concept in controlling inventory.   Instead of having several warehouses in several countries to service the customers better but running the risk of having the wrong inventory in the wrong country all the time,  it is better to pool all inventory in one location and service all countries.  Today, the logistics capability of delivering to the doorstep by the courier services is efficient, fast and relatively cheap.  Even for sea freight, any delivery within Asia can be accomplished in one week including custom clearance.

Risk pooling has the advantage of reducing inventory carried in total in all locations and enables sharing of the same inventory across all locations.  It also enables savings in using less human resources to manage multiple warehouses and the rental cost as well.

I have one centralized warehouse in Singapore servicing Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Southeast Asia with satellite sales and marketing offices in all these countries as opposed to our competitors having an office cum warehouse in each Asian country.   As a result, the delivery performance of my company is consistently above 98% while the rest of the bigger competitors are at 90% giving us a place to be competitive against the much bigger competitors.


An Entrepreneur Is A Non-Conformist

In an earlier post on Wisdom Nuggets, I have shown going against predictably irrational behavior of the majority fueled by covetousness, one may ironically get the very results of what everyone is pursuing.

A disciple of Christ is a radical disciple. He refuses to conform to the world.  Even encountering storms in life, he will continue to trust in the promises of God.

Likewise an entrepreneur is a non conformist. In his earnest pursuit of the best value or solution for a given problem, he may go against conventional wisdom of the day. He strongly believe in his cause and persevere till he proves the effectiveness of the value or solution he has discovered.

Allow me to share some personal examples.

Once I was trying to introduce a new digital read-out into a market where the German brand was the most established. Most of the technicians were trained using the German brand of digital read-out in schools or training institutes. Conventional wisdom was that nobody would change to buy another brand regardless of the price. The German digital readout was sold for $ 3500 and the cost of installing it onto the machine was separate and cost another $ 1000 for the brackets and installment labor. Buyers could only take a hire purchase loan of 90% of the cost of the digital readout and not the brackets and labor cost. I decided to offer through the largest distributor of the machines in consignment a total package price of $ 2500 including brackets and labor. That would be a saving of $ 2000 and the buyer only needed to pay deposit of 10% of the total package cost which would be $ 250 and the rest could be covered by the hire purchase loan. But for the German brand, the buyer would need to fork out $ 1350. Within 2 years, the digital readout I promoted overtook the German brand to become No 1 seller in the market.

Once, I even made semiconductor chips with my brand name ANK (Anthony And Kenny). Conventional wisdom was that factories around the world would never buy such a high tech product from unknown brand names and unheard-of manufacturers. Creative Technologies and Aztech were 2 local companies which supplied 90% of the world’s demand for telephony cards – sound card and 56k modem rolled into one. They produced 1.4 million and 0.3 million cards per month respectively. Once there was a shortage of 4 semiconductors chips and one signal relay and Creative got most of the allocation from the suppliers leaving Aztech without any allocation. I was approached and I managed to turn on a relatively unknown factory in Europe to make these components for me and labeled ANK. At that time, the whole production in China for the signal relay was only 10,000 units a month and I needed 300,000 a month. I went to turn on the factories in Ningbo to get me this volume production. I had no knowledge of the manufacturing technology but that did not deter me to work out with the Chinese factories to produce such a relay which was manufactured in Japan at that time only.

Once when I was trying to introduce a new brand of washing machines into the crowded market here. All the distributors refused to promote seeing no particular advantage against the more superior Japanese and European brands. And I could not afford any advertising budget for these distributors as well. Conventional wisdom was to sell new entry brands at extremely low cost. I went to look for a large direct retail shop bypassing the big distributors. At that time, most brands retailed for $ 600 to 700 so I positioned my brand at $ 650 instead of selling really cheap though my cost to the retail shop was $ 250. That gave the retailer a cool $ 400 profit unlike the established brands which the retailer would get only $ 50 and the promoter at the shop would only get $ 5 for each machine sold. I ensured that the shop gave $ 50 as commission to the promoter and the machine had to be sold with gifts costing another $ 150. To the consumers, they would perceive a very good deal when they saw the gifts of Philips appliances costing $ 300. The promoter was so motivated to promote my brand because she would get 10 times more commission than selling other brands. We moved so many washing machines more against one European brand who had advertised over TV at that time.

Once I took over a failed food court from Kopitiam, a local chain of food courts at Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road. I turned it around offering SGD 2 for all meals from the stalls I owned while renting cheaply to other stallholders selling less popular food items. I got a different crowd of office workers from other food courts serving mainly tourists. It was a hybrid model of owning some stalls and renting out the rest. This gave economy of scale for the self owned stalls for labor and purchasing. Such hybrid model also kept all stalls running. Soon we had the big Filipino weekend patronage.