12/30/2008

Who is richer?

Things are not what they are today. What you see is not really what you get as many factors come into play. A person in Malaysia or Indonesia may own 2 or 3 houses but each costing $100k or $200k. A Singaporean may own just one HDB flat with a value of $700k. Who is richer? And the picture could change if the person owning 2 or 3 houses actually got them fully paid up or owes the bank a small loan. The Singaporean could be tied to a $500k loan and need a steady income to service that loan. And add to this, the cost of living in the neighbouring county is relatively that much lower than here. A dollar there could buy so much more. Who is richer?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

COL is only one aspect. What about security? Education for your kids? Are you seriously suggesting that the economies of any of our neighbours are on par with ours? These thigns come at a premium.

redbean said...

ya, there are more to just the value of houses or flats. for the malaysians and indonesians, i am not suggesting that singaporeans move there for we don't fit in, the locals are quite comfortable with their lifestyle and cost of living. even security is not a problem to them in many parts of malaysia and indonesia for the bumis.

we have our shopping complexes and modern facilities. they have their natural parks, the seas and the mountains. lifestyle preferences are personal. the city folks spend money to enjoy the natural stuff. the country folks may spend money to visit the city.

you need to look at the average locals here and there.

Anonymous said...

If I have to choose between life in Singapore and life in a small town in Malaysia, I would without hesitation choose the latter. Life here in this paradise is so very stressful and kiassu. You cannot help being caught up in the rat race and the stresses just to live a "normal" day to day existence. Give me a carefree and simple life any day. I willingly give up what we call the neccessities of life. Education for the children? Well I do not want my kids to have to go through what most children here are going through. I want them to be able to go out and play in the back streets, kicking a football with the neighbourhood children, go catch spiders or fighting fish. fly a kite, steal some rambutans from the neighbours etc etc. That is what I consider a good and rich childhood. Of course study is also important, but not tuitions classes after school for everyday of the week.

I rather die a poor person but have the children enjoy nature rather than put them through the constant pressure just to survive in this stressful "paradise".

Anonymous said...

Yes! Time to choose between money and happiness.

A friend who used to speak lowly of China in the past, recently visited Xiamen. When he returned, he told us he plans to settle down in China because the people in Xiamen 'hen you renqin wei' meaning the people in Xiamen have much more feelings for others around them.

Singaporeans are indeed losing more humanities in a society that stress too much on material achievements. Material achievements is a natural inclination for most, but to be materially rich to show off and boast is not the right purpose of attainment.

When a society breeds too much boast, envy and unceasing comparisons, a very unhealthy culture is inculcated. People in such society are perenially unsatisfied in their material craves for money, namesake and possessions.

We are rich materially BUT very poor in happiness and the hunger for more material achievements/attainments make a typical Singaporean forever a slave to his/her ambition.

A Happy 2009 To All !!!

patriot

redbean said...

lifestyle choices are very personal and vary according to individuals. some may like it here, some australia, some neighbouring countries. and china is getting more interesting to many of the retired chinese singaporeans.

our children are going through a very different experience here with a lot of emphasis on acquisition of modern and scientific knowledge. for those who succeed after going through the gruelling mills, they will turn out a very different people vis a vis the more laid back children of neighbouring countries.

both will live their lives in different ways. one thing comes out very distinctly is the over trained or over educated people here. i was looking at lam chih beng's cv. he got a post grad mba in finance. and he is playing golf as a career after spending probably half a million in money and the best part of his youth studying things that he is not using much in his chosen career.

this is like eng hen wasting his surgery skills as a politician or our top lawyers not practising law.

Anonymous said...

Singapore between 1970 and 1995 were the richest time (culture, values & space & not too many fw and FT(bonus)).

Anonymous said...

yes i agree we have seen better days..

If you live in another country, would you have the same job opportunities? People there are flocking here to make their future while we are looking over there. If you are not the striving type, you may like a slower pace country to live in, but would you really be happy to step back and watch the birds and bees when you are already used to the fast paced life here? Uptown boys like us have alot of getting used to low beat places like Malaysia Indonesia. If you are among the 200 odd centenarians living in some inaccessible longevity hill town in china would you be better off as compared to a short life in sg but one that is packed with flavours and experiences? It must be boring to eat the same fare day in and out, do simple repetitive tasks and talk to the same people for 100 years; you may own the hill, yet it may cost less than $100k but that's what you are good for. I still prefers the hustle and bustle of sg anyday.

Anonymous said...

Life is about tradeoffs. You think life in a small town in a neighbouring country is blissful? Try it and then come back and tell us how it is. If you have been born and bred in Singapore, I guarantee you will not last even for a month. It is a different thing to be going there as a tourist and to actually be staying there. Life in Singapore is far from perfect but I'd never trade it for a supposedly less stressful life in ANY ASEAN country or even China.

Anonymous said...

Comparing the properties between indomalaysia and singapore is like comparing the bic ball pen and the dupont pen. Both can work, one is cheaply available, the other is premium priced and sought after.

Anonymous said...

if the person owning 2 or 3 houses actually got them fully paid up or owes the bank a small loan. The Singaporean could be tied to a $500k loan and need a steady income to service that loan.


If you want quality, you have to pay for it. Nothing is for free bruther.

redbean said...

my post on this topic is not so much as swapping places. i am looking from the quality of life and cost of living of respective people in different countries.

we may have more modern facilities, better material comfort, but for what cost? they may be materially more down to earth, but their cost is much lower and they still live their lives. looking at the average folks, i think theirs are much better.

but if you have the dole, singapore is still the place. enjoy the best of the best with the world as your playground. this is paradise for the rich. but for the average folks, it is a case of pressure cooker experience all the way. the kids of the average families too have to fight real hard for a place in the sun.

Anonymous said...

yes, it is the market demand that drives up our prices, premium comes with a price.

Anonymous said...

redbean when you are in your 60s and retiring, you may like to consider making batam your santuary for daily needs.

redbean said...

not true. many of the price hike were not market driven. the govt has all the choice to keep the cost down but did not. jtc rentals, hdb prices and shop rentals etc, hospital fees, public transport, erps etc etc.

these are not market driven but self driven. the govt has all the means to lower cost and make life easier for the average folks. the more able have nothing to complain about as they can afford to pay for it. wait till they too feel the pinch then they will not be so smug.

there is no need to make singaporeans struggle and pay for a flat for 30 years with a huge chunk of their income. an average 3rm flat is going to cost $300k to $400k by the time it is fully paid. and these are people whose income are about $2.5k or less. why make their lives so tough when there is no need to. then the 4rm will be $400k to $500k on the average. that is a lot of money for the average family to pay in a life time.

and the cost is not an issue but 'market price'. so it is due to market forces, beyond our control, beyond the govt's control? you believe in that?

redbean said...

that's an option. but like patriot said, fukien in china is a more attractive alternative.

Anonymous said...

Who is richer doesn't matter. We will leave this world with nothing that we possess, so be happy with what you have, an attap house or a palace, it is the same in the end. This world is just but a hotel. We came, we stay and we leave. That's it. Nothing acually belongs to us.

Anonymous said...

Indeed true that power and wealth are transient; the purpose of our existence must be more meaningful than the cats', dogs' and animals'.

Anonymous said...

The government has no business being in business. I certainly will not be comfortable with a govt that sets benchmarks for health care, property prices and other necessities. They are just as clueless as the man in the street so how can anyone trust them to get it right. Contrary to popular belief, the government does not have the means control everything in Singapore. That is another myth that qualifies to go into your list, Red bean.

redbean said...

we all live and die. what we bring back with us is the experience and the emotions, nothing physical or material. what is good and exciting is very subjective. the town folks will indulge themselves in the theatres, the expensive arts, the shopping and the travelling, the good food etc. the country folks have their rustic experience. the australians enjoy their time in the wilderness and nature.

as for the part of govt in business, it will end up in many conflicting situations and will compromise itself. for profit or for the people? to make cost of living lower or to raise it for higher profit? and profit for what and for who?

Anonymous said...

No govt in this world does anything for the people. Politicians are bastards, wherever they hail from. Their only concern is with their own selfish interests. Accept that fact, and you will never again be hoping that the govt will ever take care of you and have your interests at heart. The only person who has your best interests at heart is yourself.

redbean said...

this is a good piece of advice and a good reminder to start 2009. but that does not mean that the people should behave like helpless sheep and allow things that are not favourable to them to continue.

the people must tell the politicians what they want and not let the politicians think and do what they think is good for them. it is not flogging a dead horse. if the politicians are talking cock, make sure they are reminded of it.

Anonymous said...

All politicians talk cock. They don't have to be reminded of it. It is one of the job requirements to be a politician, and a good one at that too. You should not ever put your faith or hope in any politician. TO do that is sowing the seeds of your future disappointment and sense of hopelessness. Always rely on yourself for you are your own best friend.

Anonymous said...

yes, perhaps with the exceptions of a few countries, like singapore and china most politicians are not respected in their own countries. Look at US, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Politicians are good at.. playing politics, but the ultimate game is about control. If they can, they will want full control over the media, housing, even things like the length of your hair, your choice of music or sweets, be it cakes or bubble gums and the way you marry and make kids. You will be punished if you dun conform to their taste, if for some fancy reasons the one in charge likes shoulder length hairstyle or pig tails, everyone must follow.


I suppose shih hwan ti the first never had it so good.

Anonymous said...

I certainly will not be comfortable with a govt that sets benchmarks for health care, property prices and other necessities


I think the right way to assess the performance of leaderships is thru a happiness benchmark instead of simply dollars and cents. Singapore Inc is a concept cooked up by a few money faced mavericks and sold to the people as THE deal. It turns out that not everyone wants that, I think the slogans, For Singaporeans or Singaporeans First would better encapsulate the current feelings on the ground.

You get all the foreigners in and makes billions from them, the country boomed. What benefits do i get when my job and career prospects are affected, as they should be by this policy. Can I at least be compensated by the country when it allowed these foreign elements to invade us?

The country makes and keep trillions of reserves and the leaders are so proud of their success. What this has to do with its people is a more relevant concern.

Anonymous said...

these are not market driven but self driven. the govt has all the means to lower cost and make life easier for the average folks. the more able have nothing to complain about as they can afford to pay for it. wait till they too feel the pinch then they will not be so smug.


i disagree. to a large extent our market is indeed market driven. and if prices of land and important resources were cap or kept low, the foreigners would snap them up like candies. it has happened elsewhere, each time an economy opens up to the world, resources like land prices soared.

we used to be the pole of the original dragon economies. today some of the properties in phnom penh, seoul and of cos shanghai already cost more then ours.

yes the govt can, to a certain extent control prices of such resources as you have pointed out, by errecting barriers. but it will come at a price. when the country insulate the economy tightly and buckle against the world trends towards modern fdi, our 2 million locals will have plenty of jobs. as factory operators and technicians. ours will switch to be a low costs, low skills and low base manufacturing type of economy no different from the likes of laos, indonesia or cambodia.

much as i respect you redbean as a fair individual, it seems that you are too stubborn on your take about the dyanmic influence of market forces in our local market place. We are not the fishing kampung that you have grown in up anymore. Dun have too much of a suspicious mind, not everything is smelling of conspiracy. There are long term vision for the country, but for the lack in compassion on some areas we are progressing well.

redbean said...

ours is a control economy. the govt controls practically everything. anyone wants to disagree with this? the fallacy is that we preached to the world that ours is the freest economy.

and anon 3:17 believes that we cannot control the prices of housing and things that affects our people directly? we must leave everything to market forces? what have we left to market forces? what are there so much rules in buying a HDB flat? why are there so much rules in admission to hospital wards?

the simplest thing to do is control and managed prices. even salaries are managed. we have been controlling almost everything. but the things that we really need to control to benefit our citizens are not, and conveniently left to 'market forces.' actually it is market interference.

how many aspect of our lives are free, depending on market forces? your water pricing and electricity pricing, transport fares, petrol, all depends on market forces?

redbean said...

how many of you believe that the HDB is operating under market principles? you heard of the phrase resale levy? you know that you cannot buy smaller flats if your income is higher or you can't even buy HDB flats if it exceeds $8k? and all the strings of restriction.

market principle and logic is only applied when they want you to pay more. do you know how much we pay for water from malaysia and how much you are charge for it? why is public transport a monopoly? why is there a need for means testing in hospital? why didn't the hospital provide for more cheaper wards when the demand is there?

i could write a whole volume of non market practices here.

seek ye first the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Anonymous said...

The market is synchronous in both tandem and momentum, one input, price change affects the next. Thus the multiplier effects of costs, labor and all the rest of the stuffs, key resources like land and energy all added up will lead to fair value market pricing.

And we definitely got to pay more for treated water. hdb flats, with all the rules which i like to think of it as good social engineering are priced way below the private property's, therefore it is still a bargain where price is concern.

No, the point wasnt that we cannot control the prices of housing and things that affects our people directly. Yes to a certain extent the govt can indeed control prices of such resources as mentioned. However a distorted and an insulated market that is divergent to market trends will only lead to further inefficiencies and troubles. If the direction of the country and its economy is planned for the first world, it does not make sense to cap the prices of key resources at third world's.

Anonymous said...

Some readers talk about politicians being crooks,etc and no one to be trusted.That is just the common truth,only very stupid idiots do not know about this truth.

But readers who are more experienced should ask:is there any way to control the crooks so that it is more difficult to ripe off their people,yes,it is called check and balances,transparency,etc

If you are seasonal guys like some of our readers here,you should know that it is useless to replace Lee Teng Hui with Ah Bian,or the Chiang father and son with opposition,the importance thing is Ah Bian,after getting 700 million NT(S$35 million)political donations,would certainly spend the rest of his life in prison and a totally broken family,yes,indeed,he would pay a price.

Are there politicians getting 100 of $millions and would enjoy life till their last days on earth,yes,there are.

Happy new year to all.

redbean said...

the truth will always surface. the water shall recede to reveal everything.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.05pm, you only need to ensure the crroks don't swindle yourself. Thing is you always have to look out for Number 1 first and foremost. Checks and balance, transparency yada yada is just another way of putting an equally crooked bunch of bastards to check on the earlier one. That is a preposterous notion.