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Housing for the people -losing bearing, losing sight

Chok Tong's assurance of more affordable housing for the people is being met with a big dose of scepticism. Not many want to believe him and I can understand why. Unless the details are work out wit a big change in the arithmetics, it is going to be 'more of the same and nothing new'. The media is splashing across its pages with news of many more sites being offered or going to be offered for more private housing. That's where the demand is, probably from rich foreigners. One developer quoted in the media commented that the sites in Simei and Pheng Geck Avenue could fetch $1000 psf on completion. So what is new? $1000 psf is the new standard of affordability. There will be more on offer. Singaporeans can watch with their salivas dripping from their mouths while the rich foreigners will grab them up, some from ill gotten gains transferred here as new money. As one forumer, Joshua Selvakumar, wrote in the ST forum, how could prices come down when the bids by contractors are going higher by the day? He quoted a 'surprise bid of $251m' which was three times the trigger price of $82m. Who is going to pay for such a high bid? No need to ask. And there was a little comment by the govt that the sites on offer would be withdrawn if the bids fell below its expected price. Govt is not about making money, more money and more money. Govt is about giving the people a good life, the general well being of the people. Who cares about the trillions the govt has in the reserves? Who cares if they have lost hundreds of billions in their investment. What the people is concerned about are their basic needs, like a decent and affordable homes. Not the shoe box quality in Hongkong and the Hongkong prices. A reporter even compared this and said how grateful Singaporeans should be. if we reach such a state like in Hongkong, who is to be blamed. We don't need a govt that set these as the standard or quality of living for the people. If the land price is not controlled, no matter how many more sites are put up, the cost of housing will keep running away, out of sync. Housing, medical and education cannot be equated to a commercial enterprise with commercial aims and objectives, and making as much money as possible from the people. Are we going to have more of the same, more 'affordable' flats? Are the scepticisms of the assurance justified?


IMAGOD said...

The govt can't fight the market either -- at least not in the long-term.

If it subsidizes housing, someone else always ends up paying for it -- it's like the con-man's shell game: take from one side of the economy and transfer to another.

Whilst "commercial enterprise" is abut making profits, it is also on the consumer side about "profit". A consumer realises a "profit" when he buys a good in exchange for his money. He "gives up" his money (a lesser value to him) for the good he buys (a greater value to him).

The profit-loss mechanism is simply a system of market signals. You can take the "greed' emotion out of it.

Orange Bean said...

Mr Bean,

Don't forget LHL is very determined to ensure his policy of "Economic progress at ALL costs" to succeed. And his father and the whole Cabinet is behind him, so it seems.

Who will pay the costs of his "ALL Costs"?

In the end one of the "ALL costs" may turn out to be the cost of his leadership and the collapse of the PAP. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Why denigrate yourself with the shameless GCT. Hasn't this Goh admit that he have totally no idea where to get the $100 millions he promise to Hougang citizen if the ward is taken by PAP ? Now the whole newspaper daily print the con-man and the con-regime, and promote con-promise and nonsense.

How can you even bother to write article about him and yet not expose this con-man ?

redbean said...

hi Orange Bean, welcome to the blog.

whatever policies and grand plans, there is a cost involved. true. now we heard about a grand and spectacular city. you need grand and spectacular people with fat bank accounts or big salaries to live in such a place.

CBF workers would not be able to afford it here. They are simply out of sync in such a heavenly place.

and anonymous, i posted in another way just for discussion purposes. it would be very easy to lambast him like what you people have said. a little balance will be more interesting.

and IMAGOD, the consumer did not buy for profit. he trades money for something he needs at an equivalent value or at a value imposed on him by the profiteers.

a strictly private commercial enterprise is out there to make profit, even indecent and exorbitant profit which will eventually lead to a lopsided economy with the rich getting richer and poor poorer. but a govt is there to be a mediator, to prevent extremes. otherwise why have a govt?

a country will go to the dogs if a govt does not mediate and worst, also participates in the game of profiteering. such govts will see great results and great failures as failures is the natural end game.

Anonymous said...

But redbean, if such a govt that engages in profiteering also engages in schemes to say in power, what can you do? except accept it and live with it. As Matilah always says, people get the govt they deserve, or something like that. When candies are distributed all these problems will be forgotten. What say you redbean??????

The Pariah said...

"Losing bearing, losing sight", you say?

I'd say: "Already lost bearing, already lost sight". It happened nearly 3 decades ago lol!

The Pariah