Two sets of numbers in Hsien Loong’s speech don’t really make sense. The first is the number of university places from 9,000 to 12,000 in a decade, from 2001 to 2011. By now every Singaporean should be familiar with the increase in population from 3m to the present 5m plus, or almost a doubling of the population in the last decade or so. The problem is so glaring that our super talents even failed to see and failed to provide for it. Go figure it out.
With such a huge increase in population and the provision of 18% of university places for foreign students, the total increase in places is only 3000 when the population gone up by nearly 3m. Maybe the number is too big and too fast that it is very difficult to grasp even for the most talented.
The other numbers, income ceiling for BTO flats from $8k to $10k and $10K to $12k for Exec condominiums. Superficially looks like a big relaxation. It was reported in the Today paper yesterday that a young couple whose combined income was $11k were feeling lucky. So happy, now qualifies to buy EC. Really?
In the past, when one registered to buy a HDB flat, they used your income from the date of registration. I was told that today, they used the income when one is offered the flat. (Correct me if I am wrong). Get the idea? This is one of the sick causes of why many young people got kicked out of the system when they could not get a flat within a few years.
Would the $11k couple still be qualified in 3 or 4 years time when the flat is built? For such mid level professionals, a couple of thousands of increment over a 3/4 year period is common. And there are two of them. It is quite possible that one year after registering they could see themselves disqualified with income exceeding the $12k.
Such situation will affect many in the $8k to $10k group who are eligible for BTO as well. It will affect the singles as well. So, is the increase/solution really effective, or will it help the singles and young couples or all the flat applicants?