Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sentosa - Popular island resort in Singapore,

Sentosa is a popular island resort in Singapore, visited by some twenty million people a year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore.

The name Sentosa translates as "peace and tranquility" in Malay, which was in turn derived from the Sanskrit term Santosha (संतोष, IAST: Saṃtoṣa), meaning "contentment, satisfaction". Sentosa was formerly known as Pulau Blakang Mati which in Malay means the "Island of Death from Behind".

The name Blakang Mati is rather old but may not have been founded in the nineteenth century as generally believed. In fact, there exists an island that was identified as Blacan Mati in Manuel Godinho de Erédia's 1604 map of Singapore. Other early references to the island of Blakang Mati include Burne Beard Island in Wilde's 1780 MS map, Pulau Niry, Nirifa from 1690 to 1700, and the nineteenth century reference as Pulau Panjang (J.H. Moor). However, early maps did not separate Blakang Mati from the adjacent island of Pulau Brani, so it is uncertain to which island the sixteenth century place names referred.

The island has gone through several name changes. Up to 1830, it was called Pulau Panjang ("long island"). In an 1828 sketch of Singapore Island, the island is referred to as Po. Panjang. According to Bennett (1834), the name Blakang Mati was only given to the hill on the island by the Malay villagers on the island. The Malay name for this island is literally translated as "dead back" or "behind the dead"; blakang means "at the back" or "behind" or "after"; mati means "dead". It is also called the "dead island" or the "island of the dead" or perhaps "island of after death".

Different versions of how the island came to acquire such an unpropitious name abound:

  • One account attributed the ominous name to murder and piracy in the island's past.
  • A second claimed that the island is the material paradise of warrior spirits buried at Pulau Brani.
  • A third account claims that an outbreak of disease on the island in the late 1840s almost wiped out the original Bugis settlers on the island. Dr Robert Little, a British coronerinvestigating the deaths, stumbled upon what was called Blakang Mati Fever, purportedly a type of fever caused by miasmastic fumes arising from decaying leaves andswampy water on the island. This event led to a controversy in medical circles at that time as to the causes of what was later recognised in 1898 as malaria spread by theAnopheles mosquito. The government's malaria research station was originally located here.
  • A fourth interpretation is that "dead back island" was so-called because of the lack of fertile soil on the hills. However, since the island creates an area of dead water behind it with no wind (hence "still behind" - still or stopped being an alternative translation of mati) it may be as simple as this — less romantic perhaps, but believable from a nautical viewpoint.

In 1827, Captain Edward Lake of the Bengal Engineers in his report on public works and fortifications had proposed an alternative name for Blakang Mati as the "Island of St George". However, the island was seen as too unhealthy for habitation and his proposed name was never realised.

In a 1972 contest organised by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, the island was renamed Sentosa, a Malay word meaning "peace and tranquility", from Sanskrit, Santosha.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, a number of pay-to-get-in tourist destinations were built on the island, most of which the local people found uninteresting. Consequently, there was a joke that the name Sentosa stood for "So Expensive and Nothing to See Also"

Saturday, June 24, 2017

名厨勞倫斯 Chef Lawrence APP is coming to Singapore!

Many of you might be puzzled why I'm writing this post today, as this new era of advertising for F&B is a concept by Royal Entertainment. This advertising concept start from write-up, social media posting, food listing, video productions to mobile game which will be launching in 2018. 

名厨勞倫斯 Chef Lawrence APP started on 1 April 2017, with one of my artistes Lawrence Hiew appointed to take up the role of "Chef Lawrence" as virtual and reality character by Royal Entertainment, specializing in doing food reviews, videos, events and advertising for F&B merchants. The advertising package is just $1000 for any F&B related merchants and owners from hawker, cafe, restaurant and food suppliers.

If you want to see how our advertising package can further benefits your business, assisting you to grow your customer's base and to promote your food, just contact Chef Lawrence's advertising hotline at +65 9877 0340 or email us at for a non-obligation meeting, 

For your information, Chef Lawrence have two celebrity foodies, namely Celebrity Foodie Xavier and Elen, and they will both sign on the Certificate of Achievement by Chef Lawrence if they felt that your food is up to standard. So what are you waiting for? Contact us for more information today!

Facebook: Chef Lawrence APP

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Learn more about the benefits offered by Personal Accident Insurance

A personal accident plan can ease the burden of medical costs, by transferring some risks to insurers

We all try our best to avoid accidents or being bitten by mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, for example, but they may still happen. Accidents, particularly serious ones, can cause a financial strain on a family, especially in the event of death, or permanent disability resulting in the loss of a job or a long period of medical leave.

The good news is that we can consider transferring some of these risks to insurers by purchasing a personal accident insurance plan which will ease the financial burden of medical expenses. These risks include not being financially prepared for medical treatment - those not covered by your hospitalisation plan such as some outpatient visits - and potential loss of income.

To stay relevant, the scope of coverage under a personal accident plan has evolved over the years. It includes medical expenses arising from infectious conditions such as hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), dengue fever and Zika, and even accidental food poisoning.

The Sunday Times outlines the benefits offered by personal accident insurance.

Q What is personal accident insurance?

A Personal accident insurance primarily covers accidental death and permanent disablement. Permanent total disablement occurs when the insured person is unable to work owing to accidental bodily injury. Some policies also cover permanent partial disablement, which includes loss of fingers/toes, third-degree burns, temporary total disablement and/or temporary partial disablement.

One important benefit is the provision of inpatient and outpatient medical expenses. In the event of minor accidents, such as a slip or fall, outpatient coverage for consultations comes in handy, as this is not covered under medical insurance - unless it is a pre- or post-hospitalisation treatment. This is one of the most common claims insurers receive, said Ms Koh Yen Yen, Sompo Insurance Singapore's chief distribution officer.

The weekly income benefit - which provides a cash benefit for every week of temporary disablement - is usually offered as an optional benefit or included in a comprehensive plan.

"This provides financial assistance to the family and is especially helpful for those who are self-employed," said Ms Koh.

Nowadays, it is common to find additional benefits like emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, and treatment by licensed Chinese physicians and chiropractors, in a personal accident cover.

Other notable benefits offered by some comprehensive plans include:

•Medical expenses as a result of specified infectious diseases such as avian influenza, Sars, Zika, HFMD, and dengue fever;

•Mobility aids, including purchase or rental of wheelchair as prescribed by the doctor;

•Facial reconstructive surgery after an accident; and

•Cash benefit for "happy events", such as for birth of child.

Q I already have a life insurance plan, a hospitalisation plan and a critical illness cover. Is personal accident insurance necessary?

A Some people consider their life and/or medical insurance policies to be sufficient to cover them in the event of an accident. And personal accident insurance does not provide coverage against sickness or general disability which would be covered under medical and critical illness coverage.

Still, many people are unaware of the complementary benefits provided by personal accident insurance so as to achieve more comprehensive financial protection, said Ms Koh.

A personal accident plan can complement a life insurance cover in that it pays for permanent partial disablement, temporary total disablement and/or temporary partial disablement. For example, in the event of the loss of sight in one eye, or the loss of the use of the fingers on one hand, there will not be a payout under a life insurance policy. But the personal accident plan will provide a payout.

A personal accident plan also pays on top of a life insurance policy for death and permanent total disability.

Ms Koh added that personal accident insurance complements medical coverage in that it pays for outpatient medical expenses, including treatments at Chinese physicians and chiropractors. Personal accident coverage also helps cover the co-insurance and/or deductible under a hospitalisation insurance plan or a company's outpatient medical insurance plan, for accident-related expenses.

Q Are there any terms and conditions that I should look out for in a personal accident plan?

A HL Assurance suggests that it is prudent to review your personal accident coverage every three to five years. This is because customers may be able to get improved products at similar premiums.

Ms Koh advised customers to look out for the variations in the coverage terms.

•Definition of accident: An "accident" in a typical personal accident policy means an event caused by "violent, visible and external means". A more comprehensive policy would have a wider definition such as an "identifiable event which is sudden, unforeseen or unexpected". For example, policies with a more restrictive definition would not cover accidental choking.

•The coverage period after accident resulting in death or medically certified permanent disability: This period typically ranges from six months to as long as 18 months. A longer coverage period is more advantageous to the policyholder. For example, if the insured is unable to regain the use of a finger after months of therapy and is certified to be partially permanently disabled after the coverage period, no benefits will be payable to the insured, added Ms Koh.

Q How much would a personal accident cover cost?

A The premium payable for personal accident insurance is a lot lower than for a life insurance policy, for the same sum insured. There is no requirement for a medical examination and the policy does not take into account pre-existing medical conditions.

For an assured sum of $100,000, the annual premiums could range from $85 to $300. Liberty Insurance notes that for a smaller sum insured of $50,000, the premium may start from as little as $50 per year.

Mr Bevan Cheong, head of accident and health business, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore (TM), said that premiums on personal accident plans do not depend on age or gender. Instead, the criteria for pricing includes scope of coverage and the occupations of the insured persons.

"Premiums would depend on one's occupation. Customers in low-risk occupations such as administrators, editors, programmers, students, and so on, would pay the lowest premiums. Customers in high-risk occupations such as construction workers, deliverymen, high-rise window cleaners and welders would pay a substantially higher premium," he said.

Ms Koh said that there are also family plans that provide discounts for insuring the whole family - for example, free coverage for eligible children if both parents are insured. Family plans usually include the two parents, children who are studying full-time and those aged below 25.

Unlike medical insurance, personal accident policy premiums do not increase with age. However, note that there are age limits applicable, and the sum insured could be reduced for policyholders above a certain age.

Over at Tokio Marine, its TM PA plan offers free child cover for the policyholder, of up to four children below age 18, so long as one parent is insured. TM Protect PA offers enhanced coverage against three specific conditions - HFMD, dengue fever, and food poisoning, while TM Protect Mosbite covers any of five mosquito-borne diseases - dengue fever, Zika, yellow fever, malaria, and chikungunya (commonly known as "chicken malaria") - with a lump sum payout of up to $3,000 upon diagnosis. The annual premium for TM Protect MosBite with a $3,000 sum assured is $59.

TM PA and TM Protect PA plans offer worldwide coverage while TM Protect MosBite requires the covered diseases to be diagnosed in Singapore.

At Sompo, the most popular plan is PAStar, which offers benefits such as coverage for medical expenses incurred as a result of contracting 17 specified infectious diseases, including Zika, dengue fever, HFMD; full terrorism cover; re-employment benefit - which can be used to pay for courses that will allow the policyholder to engage in an alternative occupation; a baby bonus allowance of $100 on the birth of each child up to two children per policy year; and reconstructive surgery for facial disfigurement and trauma counselling expenses.

Q Who would need personal accident coverage more?

A Mr Ankush Bhardwaj, director, lifestyle underwriting, at AXA Insurance, advised that individuals who are vulnerable and exposed to greater risks would benefit from a good personal accident cover.

"This includes people who are in sports, children, the self-employed, the elderly and unemployed individuals, as they are not covered under any form of employee benefits," he said.

Mr Cheong said that those employed in high-risk occupations, such as construction workers or high-rise window cleaners, could consider this cover.

Ms Koh noted that the accident rate is higher for children and the elderly, compared with the general population base. As such, insurers have come up with products that cater to the needs of these groups.

For example, Sompo's PAJunior plan caters to children from as young as one month old. Child-friendly benefits include childcare and a school fee subsidy, which reimburses any childcare charges or school fees incurred during hospitalisation and while recuperating at home due to an accident; an additional sum insured during school sports and competitions; a quarantine allowance for 16 infectious diseases including HFMD and dengue fever; and cover for accidental food poisoning and insect/ animal bites.

However, while these policies apply to certain higher-risk groups, accidents, of course, can happen to anyone.

Q Customers tend to confuse personal accident with travel insurance. What are the differences?

A Mr Cheong said that personal accident insurance and travel insurance are designed to serve different purposes, although they may share some similar benefits. Personal accident insurance plans generally do not cover travel-related events such as trip cancellations, emergency medical assistance and evacuation, or baggage delays.

AXA's Mr Bhardwaj said that personal accident insurance covers the customer 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and usually applies regardless of where he is geographically. On the other hand, travel insurance covers the insured only when he is on a trip outside Singapore.

Ms Koh noted that personal accident cover is a standard benefit found in all travel insurance plans.

She said: "The personal accident section under a travel insurance plan is intended to cover accidents occurring during the trip, though some policies have extended them to cover accidents while travelling to and from the airport.

"To cater to some common adventurous activities undertaken during a trip, many travel plans now cover activities such as hot-air ballooning or underwater activities which may be excluded under personal accident insurance."

If you have any further doubt or question on Personal Accident Insurance, do contact me and I will be glad to be at your service to assist you in any of your financial planning and investment opportunities. 

Jacky Goh
Senior Financial Planner
Mobile: +65 9151 9924

Monday, April 3, 2017

Make Singapore a more gracious city in this world

As the founder of Happy People - Male Smiles Where We Go, it is really good to share awareness online so as to have a better outreach to the people out there, in order to help the less-fortunate. Have you follow Happy People Facebook page for more updates? Click HERE.

Many people asking me why there is a need to establish Happy People Facebook page, why there is a need to share or re-share other news on this page, and by doing so, I'm actually creating more workloads for myself. Yes, this is true, extra workloads, but if my little effort can create more outreach and awareness, why not?

Being a volunteer and coordinator at Project Awareness, I understand that many people are looking for volunteer works, many people wanted to lend their helping hand to the less fortunate and apart from the media reporting incidents on the less fortunate, there is not much platform we can get such information. 

I just want to do my part for this society and hope to make Singapore a more gracious city in this world. If you can be like me, a little effort can make a huge difference. If you have the extra time, help to spread the awareness online, join any volunteer work in Singapore, you will learn and understand the happiness within it.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Personal reference - Soi 55 Thai Milk Teas

Thai Iced Milk Tea shop Shop Soi 55 has gone from humble hawker stall at Golden Shoe to a dedicated Thai beverages and bites shop at One Shenton Way. They have also just opened another outlet at No 51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3. WOW. I remembered the one day during 2014 when I went down to the Golden Shoe Market intending to feature the uni-grads turned ‘hawkers’, behind the local start-up which was probably one of the first to sell Thai Iced Tea in a food centre.

The Thai beverages gained popularity with the CBD executives, and the owners eventually had to find a bigger space – at One Shenton Way (the building next to Asia Square, opposite SGX, diagonally opposite Lau Pa Sat). Its other branch is at The Cathay. The shop is so named due to the famous Sukhumvit Soi 55 street known for its exciting nightlife and cafe culture. 55 is also pronounced as “Haha” in Thai, a sign of laughter and joy.

If you haven’t realised, their Thai Iced Milk Tea has got a level higher, both in terms of aesthetics (can customise now) and taste (further fine-tuned). Making this probably one of the most instagrammable Thai Milk Teas in Singapore.

Here are some of the To-Order at Soi 55:

Not many people actually knows Soi 55 serves food now. Only available at the One Shenton outlet, the Thai Kebab with fillings of chicken with special Thai Green Curry sauce is quite legit.

Crisp outer layer, and warm satisfying fillings, mildly spicy. Works great as a grab-and-go meal, better than some boring sandwiches if I may say.

Soi 55 – One Shenton Way
1 Shenton Way, Singapore 068803 (Raffles Place, Downtown MRT, building behind Asia Square)
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)

Soi 55 – Ang Mo Kio
No 51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 #01-02A “51@AMK” Singapore 569922 (Ang Mo Kio MRT)

Soi 55 – The Cathay
The Cathay Level 5, 2 Handy Road Singapore 229233 (Dhoby Ghaut MRT)
Opening Hours: 2pm – 9:30 pm (Mon – Thurs), 11am – 12am (Fri – Sat), 11am – 9:30pm (Sun)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

AXA Shield Standard Plan - Your no-frills companion to MediShield Life - Call +65 9151 9924 NOW!

If you are looking for a medical insurance plan that provides additional cover on top of MediShield Life, but up to Class B1 wards in public hospitals, opt for AXA Shield Standard Plan and the complementary optional rider AXA Basic Care.

AXA Basic Care Rider
Get protected from the first dollar up.

👉 For all Shield plans in Singapore, including MediShield Life, whenever there is a claim, there is a deductible and a co-insurance component that you will have to pay for. In order to get reimbursed for these components, get protected with AXA Basic Care Rider.

*This rider is not payable by Medisave

For more information, do contact me at +65 9151 9924 for an free consultation today. 

AXA Shield Standard Plan
Provides coverage on top of MediShield Life to ensure you are better protected.

👉 Key Benefits of AXA Shield Standard Plan:
👉 Additional coverage targeted at Class B1 wards in public hospitals on top of MediShield Life coverage
👉 No maximum entry age
👉 Guaranteed renewability and lifetime cover, with an annual claim limit of S$150,000
👉 Letter of Guarantee (LOG) for hospitalisation, up to S$15,000 at public hospitals

*Payable by Medisave

MediShield Life
You are already protected by MediShield Life if you are a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.

👉 Compulsory for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents
👉 A basic health insurance plan, administered by CPF Board, sized to provide protection against large hospital bills in Class B2/C wards all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents for life, including those with pre-existing conditions.

*Payable by Medisave

For more details on MediShield Life, please kindly refer to

Find out more about our AXA Shield Standard Plan:

I will be glad to be at your service to assist you in any of your financial planning and investment opportunities. My contact information are as follow:

Jacky Goh
Senior Financial Planner
Mobile: +65 9151 9924

Monday, January 9, 2017

Interest Rates – Where Are We Going?

We live in a new world where some developed countries such as Switzerland and the Euro nations face negative interest rates. If I had written and submitted a paper on negative interest rates when I was an Economics student, I would have very likely received a Fail grade from my University professor. Simply because negative interest rates were unheard of and didn’t seem to ‘make any sense’ at that point of time.

But in the US, the Federal Board has moved in the opposite direction, raising the interest rates by 0.25% in December 2015. As long as the economy continues to grow and the employment rate improves, there will be more interest rate hikes to come. There’s bad news for those who have loans in Singapore, our loan rates tend to follow the US interest rates’ direction. In fact, our loan interest rates have risen since the beginning of 2015 in anticipation of the US rate hikes.

The not-so-bad news is that Singapore loan rates are expected to rise at a gradual pace in line with the US rate hikes. This is because the global economy is still in a recovery stage, especially for Japan and the European nations. For consumers or businesses that have debts, the gradual rise in rates gives them time to lower their debts downwards so as not be caught out by the higher debt costs. For those who are savers, your savings rates will likely improve over time.

Whether you are a debtor or a saver, you may be looking around the various financial institutions to refinance your loans at the lowest rates possible, or finding places to earn better returns from the current paltry bank deposit rates. We wish you all the best in managing your finances in this new period of rising interest rates.

Above article is by Ernest Low who holds an MBA from University of Liverpool and is the Head of Investment & Wealth Management with AXA Life Insurance Singapore. He has also written a money management book for kids called Starting Small Finishing Rich.

If you need any financial advise and consultation on any products from AXA, do contact me at +65 9151 9924 (Jacky Goh) for more information. I will be glad to serve you with no obligation, so that you can have a better understanding on how to manage your financial in a good way.