3/31/2011

PAP to fight for Singaporeans

Someone told me that the PAP will be fighting for Singaporeans and the Singaporeans’ future. I must have missed this piece of good news. Anyway it is comforting to know that someone is fighting for Singaporeans. I feel good already, no, feel betterer. I was enjoying this feel good feeling while I laid back to enjoy the time passing by. The future is going to be good or at least something to cherish. There are a few things that caused my mind to be all tied up in knots. In the first place there must be something to fight about and someone to fight with. There must be this something, ok the future, and we need to fight with someone to have this future. Assuming the future is good and worth fighting for, so not need to dwell on it. Ok, who is going to deprive us of this future or take this future away from us that the PAP has to fight for us? If the army is not involved, so this somebody must be within the piece of rock, not another country right? Let me guess, the opposition parties? Maybe, if they got elected our future will be a goner. But they should not be a threat for at least a few more GEs as they are not going to be a force to be reckoned with in this election, or maybe even the next GE. So who is the PAP going to fight against for the future of Singaporeans? Don’t have leh, can’t think of anyone to fight with. The foreigners are here to help the Singaporeans also. The new citizens are already regarded as one of us. So good for them, good for Singaporeans. The PRs are also regarded as part of us and helping us also. Can someone enlighten me please. I am so dull. Who is going to take away the future of Singaporeans that the PAP has to fight to keep it for the Singaporeans. Can’t be a red herring right, that there is really no one to fight against.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

At last we get to hear that the PAP is fighting for Singaporeans, once every five years, and before election time. Wonderful things happen before every election.

Who and what are they fighting against is a good question. I can bet it is obviously not cost of living or HDB prices. The other point is that they have obviously not been fighting for Singaporeans all those 45 years. What were they up to? Oh I forgot. They were busy fixing opponents. Got no time to do the necessary duties.

At last the 'hard truth' is out.

Anonymous said...

Fighting for Singaporean ? Ask those investors who lost heavily in Minibond structure product whether the government fight for them. And compare that to our friends in Hongkong and the answer is very obvious.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The PAP is the government and the government is the PAP.

That has been said, well-established and no one has ever mounted a decent argument to prove otherwise. I'm talking about REALITY here, not some "theories" from the annals of political science and philosophy.

To me this claim by the PAP about "being for Sinagpore and Sinagpoeans" is utter smoke. What are they expected to say? That they are NOT for S'pore?

They can't say anything else. This is merely stating the obvious. Big fucking deal. Hot air!

Anonymous said...

Isn't that their job to fight for Singaporeans for voting them into power?

Dimwits uttering absolute nonsense just hoping to win more votes.

Anonymous said...

Don't bring in FTs, no need to fight for Singaporeans.

Don't cause housing problems, no housing problems to deal with.

Don't start fire no need to fight fire.

Anonymous said...

I remember the last time they did fight for the poor by introducing GST.

Anonymous said...

well said

Anonymous said...

The Leaders will be fighting the People(voters) to keep themselves in power.

patriot

OKL said...

I read Geopolitics, so I am familiar with the games that politicians play in order to gain ground.

Redbean, I might sound offensive by saying this, but I think this post suggests to me a little bit of complacency sinking in- our country is rich and we have "arrived". I hesitate to believe the bullshit we sell to foreign investors.

"busy fixing opponents"- true, but our standard of living has also increased. That's also a fact.

"stating the obvious"- true, every politician will say that. why even bother?

"bringing in FTs"- stresses the social fabric. correct, but what is the alternative? i struggle to believe that if we stop FTs coming in and subsequently the jobs they hold increase in wages due to market forces, we will be happy to see our youth doing those jobs or paying high conservancy charges.

don't get me wrong, i don't see bringing in FTs as a long term solution, but there has to be a better and well thought out alternative. until then, it's better to lose less than to lose big.

at the end of the day, all the stress is basically down to the fact that Singapore cannot afford to lose. Not in the monetary sense, but in the economic and political sense. No natural resources at all; if we want to win, we must crack our brains to stay ahead and polish other people's shoes.

unless we're tired of winning, which is another issue.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The same kind of thinking as Matilah. Never mind nationalities as long as they are talents. A better solution will be to ship out all the lazy and untalented Singaporeans and replaced them with foreigners.

There is a difference betw a hotel and a country. Never mind the colour of the cat as long as they can catch mice. This is valid only that they are all cats and not dogs or other animals.

Economic growth can be generated through different means. High economic growth could be self defeating when the high cost of inflation and living eat up every little gain and even lead to a lowering of the quality of life.

We may sneer at Japan or some European countries for lower economic growth. But don't forget, their standard of living is maintained, without the influx of foreigners to inflate their economies.

The crazy growth formula we are pursuing will lead to self destruction just like the unrestrained population growth in world population. High consumption of energy and resources will bring the end of life on this planet faster. We are just a microcosm of this phenomenon called growth.

A simpler way is like a glutton eating himself to death or bankruptcy.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The 2 keys to REAL economic growth is

I.Productivity
II.Capital formation

...or more easily remembered as your grandparent's good advice of “working hard, not over-spending and saving”.

In economics it is pointless taking 'macro' if the 'micro' isn't right. If REAL individual wealth is not created by the productivity and savings of individuals themselves, then your economy turns into an economy in which 'capital' is founded on collaterized debt – like many of the wetsern 'demo-Crazies'.

The reason China and India is giving the world an economics lesson is because their CONSUMPTION is less than their PRODUCTION – i.e. they work bloody hard, sell their stuff globally and RETAIN a huge part of their earnings.

Sure you can form policies which foster or promote economic growth. But if you don't have productivity, marketable goods and services and CAPITAL – either from your own savings or others (foreign investment) – any hope of real economic growth is impossible.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

A flat that cost $20k is now $400k. Is it productivity or something else? It looks good on paper, but no real growth. Just shouting and the price goes up, of course with some manipulation of supply and demand.

But some poor buggers are going to work for their whole life to pay for this nonsense which needs not be. So someone is going to be so much poorer, probably have to work for 30 years for the same flat when it could be fully paid in 10 years.

Is this a clever thing to do?

OKL said...

"A better solution will be to ship out all the lazy and untalented Singaporeans and replaced them with foreigners."

everyone is free to think what they want, but i never meant it that way. in fact, the govt probably doesn't think that way either, given all the skills upgrading subsidies.

"There is a difference betw a hotel and a country. Never mind the colour of the cat as long as they can catch mice. This is valid only that they are all cats and not dogs or other animals."

i agree entirely and i think this is where the govt didn't communicate the results very well; who are these PRs? who are these new citizens? i'm not that interested in the Work Permit / S-Pass holders because they leave after a short period of time.

I'm not sneering at Japan or Europe either; they have their own issues with low economic growth. You might think that they are doing well, but I can honestly tell you that is not the case, not when youth unemployment is ~20% in EU and Japan's part-time workforce is up to ~30%. What about debt and demographics? These issues are unseen, but play a major factor as well.

you are correct in pointing out that their standard of living is maintained without the high influx of foreigners in Japan, but what is the price to pay? the Japanese are working harder, if not just as hard as we are.

I'll also say that you are incorrect when u bundle Europe with Japan in the above sentence, because Europe has a high number of foreigners as well; Polish, African, Central Asian, Caribbean, Muslims etc; they are also contributing to the social tension in Europe.

"Economic growth can be generated through different means."

If you have a different idea/s, please voice it out. At this point, the Singapore economy is trying to transition from a export-oriented one to something that is slightly more driven by domestic consumption; there is already support from the govt in this regard in the form of startup subsidies, tax subsidies and worker skills subsidies. We can argue that it is not enough to compete with the MNCs, but it is a start; better to be prudent with taxpayer money, right?


"In economics it is pointless taking 'macro' if the 'micro' isn't right. If REAL individual wealth is not created by the productivity and savings of individuals themselves, then your economy turns into an economy in which 'capital' is founded on collaterized debt – like many of the wetsern 'demo-Crazies'."

"The crazy growth formula we are pursuing will lead to self destruction just like the unrestrained population growth in world population. High consumption of energy and resources will bring the end of life on this planet faster. We are just a microcosm of this phenomenon called growth."

the economic/monetary system that we are running necessarily means that govt spending generates private savings and more debt = more growth. you are correct in pointing this out as a problem, but is it a political issue or an economic issue?

i dont deny that investing in green technology is great, but look at how far US, EU and Japan has gone with it- green tech is still very expensive and even if it isnt, we still need to do studies on whether it is operationally feasible to do so in land scarce Singapore. yes, we can subsidize green tech development, which EDB is already doing, but how far and how much?

OKL said...

"The reason China and India is giving the world an economics lesson is because their CONSUMPTION is less than their PRODUCTION – i.e. they work bloody hard, sell their stuff globally and RETAIN a huge part of their earnings."

correct, we did that in the past- but is it a sustainable model? after all, there were numerous banking bailouts in China that were funded by the people and China's financial system remains incredibly fragile and translucent at best.

we are retaining our earnings; we re-invest them in CPF, in public infrastructure, in defense, in SMEs (transition) and perhaps most contentious of all, we created GIC and Temasek to invest these earnings, whether locally or internationally.

China and India are doing this because they can and they must; we cannot do this anymore because we don't have the capability to compete with them.
"The reason China and India is giving the world an economics lesson is because their CONSUMPTION is less than their PRODUCTION – i.e. they work bloody hard, sell their stuff globally and RETAIN a huge part of their earnings."

correct, we did that in the past- but is it a sustainable model? after all, there were numerous banking bailouts in China that were funded by the people and China's financial system remains incredibly fragile and translucent at best.

we are retaining our earnings; we re-invest them in CPF, in public infrastructure, in defense, in SMEs (transition) and perhaps most contentious of all, we created GIC and Temasek to invest these earnings, whether locally or internationally.

China and India are doing this because they can and they must; we cannot do this anymore because we don't have the capability to compete with them.

I agree that
a) importing FTs is not a long term solution

b) we should focus more on developing SMEs; but there COULD be a limit as to whether or not they can truly compete regionally, if not globally

c) inflation is a serious problem, but one that is more because of the global monetary system rather than govt policies (unless you want higher taxes)

d) the widening income gap is a major problem; every country is suffering from this problem. measures have been taken by the govt, with free-market principles and growth as the objective; if you look at policies in the EU, US, Japan and China, they don't even come close to what we are doing.

agreed, the results are still bad and more can be done. the question becomes; SHOULD the govt do it?

OKL said...

A flat that cost $20k is now $400k. Is it productivity or something else? It looks good on paper, but no real growth. Just shouting and the price goes up, of course with some manipulation of supply and demand.

But some poor buggers are going to work for their whole life to pay for this nonsense which needs not be. So someone is going to be so much poorer, probably have to work for 30 years for the same flat when it could be fully paid in 10 years.

Is this a clever thing to do?

-------

First off, I agree that 400k for a resale flat could be out of reach for a new couple, but the 400k paid also goes to the seller, who MIGHT re-invest or spend it. No one is putting a gun to the buyers to buy the flat at 400k... arguably, Singaporeans might not be able to afford it.

2ndly, 400k is not just a function of buying and selling; that's seriously undermining capitalism and the efforts of our forefathers. after all, security, stability etc; all play an unseen factor in prices (long term, not short term).

3rdly, we must consider what is the median/average wage when HDB flats were 20k. This I have no idea. I do know right now that the median/average wage is around 2.3k; around $5k for a couple. too much? I don't know. Too long? I don't know!

im more inclined to think that house-price inflation is also a result of the monetary system and ideals of the people. it might be a good idea to subsidize housing even more for locals, but we must take into account what happened in the US leading up to the 2008 financial crisis... while there might not be Mortgage Equity Withdrawals (MEWs), i'm quite sure that the money saved on mortgage payments will be spent elsewhere, manifesting itself as price inflation again.

when it comes to price, I really don't know.

Anonymous said...

If anyone came in to say something on a subject and concluded that he/she did not know or understand what he/herself was talking about; such as, quote: "When it comes to price, I really don't know"

What can readers learn or gain from reading such a comment?

I really don't know too.

OKL said...

lol, when I say "i don't know", i actually meant i'm not sure what sort of position i should take; too high, too low or just about right.. all i can say is "the cure for high prices is high prices and vice versa"

as a sidenote; if a house costs 400k for a new hdb flat, after a 10% downpayment, it would cost $1517/mth for a 30yr, fixed 3% mortgage loan.

as mentioned earlier, if a couple earns ~$5k/mth, they would be left with $3583 disposable income. note that I am excluding the fact that housing loans are paid through CPF.

and here's the 2nd reason why i said "i don't know"; if i assume $20/day exp for transport, food and $30/day for all other expenses (excluding car) per person, then the couple would end up with (20+30)*30*2 = $3000 exp per month, leaving $583 as savings.

is this a fair statement? i don't know because i don't have the stats to back me up, just anecdotal evidence and personal experiences.

in addition, what measures should we use to know whether the govt intervention has been effective? lower housing prices? equal housing prices? how low?

and if it is effective in lowering prices, wouldn't the people who bought the flats at these high prices be "under water"? should the govt then intervene to help them? using what measures? what about the banks- who hold those housing assets at below purchase value? what sort of impact would it have on the credit markets?

i hope whoever's reading sees my point, which may or may not be necessarily right- once the case for intervention in housing prices begins, you could basically make the case for intervention for any group.

yes, the govt CAN do this; but the question, like i stated before, is whether the govt SHOULD, since it necessarily means more bureaucracy, red tape and more political power for those in govt, which can result in more corruption.

like i said, I really don't know- making a sufficiently sound argument for intervention in prices for one side is easy, but when considering the overall picture, it becomes a really difficult thing to do.

OKL said...

sorry, 5000 - 1517 = 3483, not 3583 as noted above.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

It has been the position of some jokers in the party to challenge anyone who disagree with their policies to come out with a better alternative. I think we shall not belittle the complexities of decision making that affects the lives of people. Such decisions are made after a team of officers have made their studies and put up their proposals for implementation. Even then there could be several rounds of discussions and changes before a decision is made.

Some decisions are cock decisions but sounds very logical because they were based on cock premises.

This asset enhancement and inflation of HDB prices is a serious death trap for all. Everyday they are still asking smugly whether the people want the prices to go up or go down. The apparent answer must be up.

For people who have already owned a flat, sure. But for those growing up and have to buy in the future, it is going to be a nightmare if their incomes cannot meet up to the high prices.

What or how much should be reasonable to pay for a place to live? They are claiming 30% of two incomes and 30 years is a sound policy.

In the past, one single income of 20%, 15 years were all that was needed to clear the housing debt. And the other half can look after home and babies. The home was more like a home. Today the home is a hotel, just to sleep and the family bond is weak as both parents have to work to pay the housing debt. And they better make sure that they are employed over the 30 years or hell will break loose when their financial position is in trouble.

There are many serious implications on a policy like this and if one is to deal with it in depth, it takes serious effort and time to digest the issues and to come up with a position which will depend on the assumptions of what is a good life and a reasonable time to repay.

If the assumptions are cock, the decision will be equally cock, but sounds so logical and reasonable.

Now the people is accepting two incomes, 30% and 30 years as reasonable. I totally am against this assumption and premises.

The people also accept that HDB will build flats only when people sign on the dotted line and WAIT for the next 3 or 4 years. This is the most arrogant and irresponsible position to take. But without an alternative party to replace them, they will push such cock policies as the best and only right thing to do.

There are definitely better and more pro family ways about housing. This is only an example of cock policies that the people have to live with.

Why would someone come up with a solution for free when the person responsible to do the job is paid millions and has a team of talents to work out the sums?

Give me the resources and the money, and I will spend the time, with a team of experts, to come up with better alternatives than the current shit. I can't be doing someone's else job for free right?

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion here about housing in Sin.

Do allow this basically educated fellow country man to make some assertions.

A home fundamentally consists of a roof(house?home?land) over the heads for a family. IT IS AN INVESTMENT in a way, an investment to own ones' own house/land and to provide shelter, warmth and protections from the elements(weather) and unfriendly intruder, for the family.

MAKING MONEY(profit) IS SECONDARY TO MOST HOMEOWNERS, thus property price stability is of utmost importance to most people universally.

In the CONTEXT OF SIN, housing prices have been/being the GREATEST CONTROVERSY simply because the SELLING PRICE of property is WIDELY SUSPECTED to be MUCH HIGHER THAN THE COSTS OF BUILDING THEM.

In the Case of so-called PUBLIC HOUSING which IS CLAIMED TO BE HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED FOR 'QUALIFIED' APPLICANTS WITH HOST OF STRINGENT CONDITIONS, all the more complicate the whole issue of property pricings in Singapore.

The GREATEST FALLACY is to interpret ones' house/home as a potential MONEY MAKING INVESTMENT. It is so ONLY WHEN A PERSON OWNS MULTIPLE PROPERTIES. And may add that in this land scare tiny rock, multiple properties owning should be discouraged if not totally outlawed.
......./2

Anonymous said...

OKL factored that the Couple spend $3000 on food, transport and other expenses, not including owning a car.

According to OKL, the Couple could have a monthly saving of $583 whereas it is only $383 when based on the figure that me worked out. HOWEVER, this is not the Issue for my discussion, I believe that other than food, transport and other necessities there are many other expenditures.
Married Couple with child/children have to spend on maternity/childcare. Those with non-working parents will have to care or contribute for them. Medical needs and cares for the family are also unavoidable, there got to be provisions for some entertainment/leisure/socializing and accidental expenditures as well. So, in my opinion the $583 or $383 cannot be deemed as a saving, me will say that such a couple is likely to suffer shortfall every month and overtime will be burden further when their kid(s) goes to school and their parents get more sickly as they age.

To conclude, me likes to say that it is a universally norm for most people to own just one house and stay put at one place for life. Therefore to artificially 'enhanced' or to have ones' property 'enhanced' is not only unnecessary. IT CONVERSELY AND UNNECESSARILY CREATES HARDSHIPS for house owner wilst it profits the developers and land lords.

patriot

Anonymous said...

2/....

It is also equally GREAT a fallacy to say that the Government OF Sin does not intervened in the HOUSING PLAN including the PRICINGS OF LAND AND BUILDINGS. The Land invariably belongs to the Country in the care of the Rulers. Even Private Lands and Properties are subjected to be acquired when and as required by the Authority and be compensated as assessed by It. Hence, property prices in Sin is more base on policy making than market forces. Each price movement in the Public Housing Scheme affects all properties. It is similar to when one limb is tied, it affects the whole body.

Next allow me to use Poster OKL's Comments to further discuss the specific example he/she had given.
A double income family with a combined income of $5000, let's assumed that it is before CPF Contribution(compulsory) and also let's assumed that total contributions by both amount to $1000(20% of pay). It left a combined total of $4000. According to OKL's example; the monthly installment works out to $1517 for a 30 Year repayment period. As the total $1000 CPF Contribution have to include Medisave and Non Ordinary account, it means that the Couple could only use less than $1000 from CPF as payment for the Mortgage.

Let's assumed again that the Couple could use $900 to pay for their house and the Monthly Installment as worked out by OKL is $1517, this means a shortfall of $617 which must be paid from their pockets. $4000-$$617 leaves the Couple $3383.

.......3/

Anonymous said...

Dear Readers;

my sincerest apology, the Three Part Comments are messy as there are double postings for the First Part and the Second Part was posted last.

Hope Mr Chua can delete the Extra Part and rearrange them in the right sequence, if possible.

And again, my apology.

patriot

OKL said...

good stuff fellas, let's keep it this way.

1) yeah, i completely missed out CPF contributions in my example. so, with that in mind;

a) one couple income = $5,000
b) less CPF @ 20% = $1,000
c) assuming $100/day exp (ALL exp, excluding car) for both = $3,000
d) less mortgage payment, principal $360,000*, 30yr fixed @ 3% = $1517/mth

net = a - b - c -d = -517

*after initial 10% deposit ($40,000)

however, if the HDB flat is paid using CPF, then the couple would have more disposable income and would roughly* look like this;

a) gross income = $5,000
b) less CPF @ 20% = $1,000
c) less all exp = $3,000
d) less mortgage payment = $517

net savings = a - b - c - d = $483

*i said roughly because there are differing contribution rates to the various accounts under CPF, which could vary the CPF payment for mortgages, but i would say that given the above, it is unlikely that the couple would have more than $500 in savings.

Just to be clear, in the example i use $20/day for transport and food expenses and $30/day for all other expenses, which is somewhat arbitrary- utilities, entertainment, clothes, computer, diapers, lottery, funeral/weddings, overseas travel, insurance etc - and comes up to $900/mth per person, $1,800 for the couple per month and $21,600/yr for the couple. No car included though.

Some might think it's a lot, some might think it's too little, some might think it's just about right.. depends on your lifestyle and beliefs; the $30/day per person expenses can vary depending on your choices.

Patriot is right when he points out that there are other factors that can greatly impact the resulting savings- specifically medical bills and taking care of the elderly.

When it comes to medical bills, there’s the insurance industry that is playing a role in mitigating those costs- for a price of course. In essence, it is up to the individual to choose what sort of coverage they want and are able to pay.

Why can’t the govt just do blanket coverage instead of just Medisave? Imho, it’s too costly and results in A LOT of bureaucratic red tape. They have chosen to ensure that the insurance industry is properly regulated (avoiding the big insurance hoo-ha in the US, especially after Katrina) and give the citizens more choice, rather than opting to interfere in their lives. In addition, whether right or not, policy makers have decided not to go the way of Europe- for reasons stated above and also, they do not want to create a dependent mentality amongst the people. Pretty much in line with the “consumerization” recommendations that you read in almost every single research report today. It’s not the be-all end-all solution, but that’s another story for another day.

Caring for elderly is a virtue that should be promoted, but if we cite the example above for the couple, there is little/no time or money left to care for the elderly; the social fabric becomes tenuous, we run the possibility of breaking what made us strong in the first place- core family values- and replace them with the idealistic notion of “spontaneous cooperation”.

Personally, I think there’s not enough being done here by the govt, other than incentivising most of the population to stay close to their parents. Of course, should the govt intervene into family relationships? I don’t know, I’m more inclined to ask them to stay out of it.

OKL said...

Back to Housing prices;
I’ll start with the basics- yes, land is primarily owned by the state and even private properties are subject to “emergency” conditions… like what happened in Russia when Putin took control; what can you do when the secret service start storming your private property/s in the name of national interest?

I agree that the SGP govt plays a big role in housing prices; I don’t believe anyone is making a counter-argument for that. Prices are a reflection of many factors; security, infrastructure, amenities etc. These are “public factors” coming under the purview of the govt- if that contributes to higher housing prices, I think it’s perfectly fine.

Arguably, the situation was simpler in the past, where most people were buyers, or reluctant buyers at best (Singaporeans then didn’t want to move away from their kampongs). Now the situation is different; being fair in the past catered more to the buyers, rather than the sellers (govt)… today, both buyers and sellers are citizens. I could similarly argue on the other hand that because the population is aging, there should be less demand for HDB flats leading to lower prices, but this process is short circuited by the influx of FTs… but here’s an unknown; restricting the inflow of FTs might lower house prices, but would it increase the birth rate? Are housing prices/mortgage payments a significant factor in raising the birth rate? For me, it’s an unknown and I would be interested to have some input on this.

What about excessive selling prices relative to building costs? This one I seriously have no idea; I remember some time back Chiam See Tong asking about it and got stonewalled right? So I really have no reference for this. Still, I know that some profit has to be given to the builders and also HDB for them to improve their processes. As to how much and what is fair, I don’t know. I would really appreciate some real numbers; in fact, maybe HDB should just disclose it?

Speculation is another factor in rising house prices; I agree that Singaporeans should not be allowed to own more than 2 HDB flats, even if you’re just a co-owner, primarily to ensure each citizen has an equal chance to have a house and secondarily to curb speculation. There are other regulations in owning a flat, but it’s hard to say if those subsidies contribute to higher house prices… and if they do, do we withdraw the subsidies? Some might also point to the long waiting time for HDB flats and say that prices should be higher than it ought to be right now… I’m not so sure on this.

OKL said...

The main gripe I have with housing prices in general, is the number of condominiums sprouting out all over the place, mainly because one is allowed to own multiple private properties and due to rising incomes. The thing is what’s the damn difference between a condo and a HDB when both are located so close to each other? What’s the point of building a condo beside a HDB? The two are essentially the same, other than private facilities. I honestly believe that some of the land used to build these condos could’ve been used for more HDB flats and have the effect of making housing in general, more affordable for first time homebuyers by affecting the supply side directly.

I think what made the situation worse was the fact that the FTs came in without much coordination with the HDB, jacking up house prices and pushing down wages below the 50th percentile, affecting affordability, particularly for most first time homebuyers.

Another point is building HDB flats based on demand, rather than “pushing” it through, which is something popular in society today. However, this demand includes investors and FTs, not just first time home buying Singaporeans. And as I mentioned earlier, the sudden influx of FTs probably screwed up the forecasts that HDB made… after all, it takes at least 3yrs to build a flat.

As a sidenote, I’m glad to see most of the frustration taken out at the govt instead of the FTs; rightfully so, they didn’t do anything wrong by any standards.

What about alternative solutions? Announce plans to build X number of HDB flats? That’s already done. Where do the FTs stay if not HDB? We’re already building a fair number of dwellings for the work permit holders. I myself am not very familiar with the housing market, so I’ll be interested in looking at the opposition and their proposals.

I understand the frustration when Ministers are highly paid and yet make mistakes like these, but how much they’re paid has nothing to do with my interest in thinking about better ideas. Yeah, they always challenge people to come up with another alternative, but there’s nothing wrong with that when their final proposal went through a good number of thinking and decision making by many parties… Call me idealistic or na├»ve if you must, but if we want better ideas, we just contribute them- what’s money got to do with it?

OKL said...

To sum up, a few things I’m looking for some quality opposing voice, a debate perhaps;
a) Aging population; as the boomers begin to retire, how might the govt assist to employ these people- utilizing their experience and talents- as opposed to letting an increasing number donate to the casinos. However, priority should be placed on their healthcare needs and whether the local healthcare industry is capable of providing those services. Clarity of insurance regulation must also progress to avoid political fallout from the failure of Insurance companies to pay claims.

b) Foreign Talents; clearly, it is not a long term solution to bring in FTs. At current birth rates, assuming the govt hits its target of 6.5m people by 2030, the ratio of SGPs to FTs will be almost 50:50, with a high possibility that FTs outnumber SGPs by then. Would like to see initiatives made at integrating these FTs into our society through more stringent measures and more incentives to increase the birth rates.

As a sidenote, I’ll also say that having kids is very much a personal decision. Sometimes I wonder if SGPs should just have as many kids as they want, which creates a real political problem and forces whoever is in power to do something real about it LOL.

c) Sports; wah lau, this one very demoralising lol… one of the things we didn’t put enough effort in achieving is Goal 2010 (Remember?). I don’t understand why we aren’t adopting the process model we used to grow our economy for sports… especially football- get the MNCs in, technology transfer and grow our own SMEs- get the big foreign clubs to set root here and look for soccer talents in the region and then grow the quality of local talents. Still, we need the support of the locals more than anything else… boycott the kelong EPL LOL!

As you can see, I’m more concerned about the domestic policies; when it comes to foreign policies, I think the PAP is doing a decent job and to be truthful, there’s not much we can do as a country. I am curious about the SGX-ASX merger and it’s regional political implications though; not much has been written about that other than the economics of it. There are also the holdings that Temasek (or GIC?) bought in the Thailand, Indonesia and Australian telecoms companies; why was it handled chiefly by Temasek and not the MFA when it is rather obvious that these are politically very sensitive issues? How are those progressing? As Russia emerges more and more as an energy supplier for the next 30-50yrs, are we prepared to ride that wave? Rising tensions in the Middle East could also cause some changes in the Muslim community in ASEAN, we must be aware of any changes… are we?

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matilah_Singapura said...

Solution to HDB lack of affordability?

How about micro apartments ?

Anyway, you might as well start getting used to it. At population levels of 10-15 million, these are what many single people might just be living in.

Quoted from the linked article:

"...[S]he was inspired by her father, a bankruptcy attorney, who taught her that you don't acquire what you can't afford."

Now how can you argue against such wise advice?

OKL said...

wow! tough spot!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

We must accept our limitations and do not over stretch these limits. Singaporeans have been indoctrinated with many ideas which they no longer question. Why do we need and allow so many PRs to come in. It is like an unavoidable truth. Why must public housing be built on demand and people made to wait 3 or 4 years?
Why must prices of a 99 year lease flat be priced at 30% of two incomes and clearable in 30 years?
Why GRCs, why one party is best, why $4m for a ceremonial President. Oops, he got power and responsibility over our reserves. Why can't any citizen be eligible to stand for election as President? Why ministers be paid more than an American President? ....
As natural as the sun shall rise. No need to question.