Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 New Year Day’s Message to PM

Dear PM,
Thank you for taking the time to wish us Happy New Year Day’s via your NYD Message 2013. We understand that you are definitely busy with many initiatives and priorities such as the National Conversation, Budget 2013, Population Paper etc that you have not been able to decide on a by-election date for Punggol East SMC.
I read through the NYD Message 2013 and would like to add a heavy dose of reality and cynicism to the sugar coated over-optimism. Singapore has not made steady progress in 2012, instead the pain associated with a variety of breakdowns in the public transport system, SMRT bus driver strikes, escalating inflation (COEs, housing, daily necessities), over-crowding and continued foreigner “invasion” has made 2012 even worst for Singaporeans.
Tackling the specific points of the NYD 2013 message, the Singapore Conversion has been touted as the Silver Bullet to solve many of our problems and to engage Singaporeans to focus on their futures. The Main Stream Media has no doubt published many photos and videos of Singaporeans involved and enthusiastic about the Singapore Conversation. However, the enlightened ones have already dismissed the whole exercise as a pathetic wayang show ever since the netizens have identified numerous grassroots and PAP associated helpers in the televised debate. I continue to encourage my fellow enlightened Singaporeans to keep up their skepticism and instead insist on taking control of their own destinies by enacting change via the ballot box. It seems that is the only way we are heard.
On the population, the NYD 2013 message has step-sided the key point which Singaporeans have been shouting but never adopted. Singaporeans want to make sure that the guiding principle is “Singaporeans First and Foremost”.  There keeps on being this call and nag that we need to be inclusive of the new arrivals and share Singapore values regardless about where they originally came from. The question is how about all the Singaporeans that did National Service and lived in Hougang ? They had the true Singapore values but were always made to feel like second-class citizens via lack of upgrading and improvements to their estates. Are these Singaporeans worth less than the new arrivals? In my mind, the White Paper on the Population due out will undoubtly remain as a continued propaganda of needing to import foreigners (and if they are rich even better) into Singapore and lead to over-population of 6.5 million people in this crowded little island. What would not been explicated stated would also be the welcoming of rich foreign millionaires who buy their way into Singapore and inflate everything from cars to housing prices. Cases in point are COEs of over S$ 81,000 for 1,600cc and the ECs penthouses being sold for S$ 2.05 million. The imbued objective being, if you are not rich and cannot afford to stay or procreate in Singapore, you are welcomed to leave, even though you were born, raised and contributed to this country.
It is indeed ironic that the NYD 2013 message has also brought the issue on embracing the right values. When Yaw Shin Loong was implicated on his extra-martial affair, the full weight of the lynching party came down on him and requested that he come clean and that he had let down the voters in Hougang. When the same incident happened to Michael Palmer, the PR machinery was flawless in painting him in a good light and requested that he be given space and time to set things right. Double-standards don’t feature well in upholding right values, do they?
This issue on values also leads to another point of discussion, the claim that no system is perfect and that there will always been cracks. Perhaps then we should consider paying people in Public Sector senior positions and political leaders a lot less and not pegged their salaries to the private sector. This scheme may assure that they are joining to uphold the ethos of public service and not to uphold their lavish lifestyles. If Michael Palmer was paid only the median of the Singapore population salary, then maybe he would not be able to afford the expensive Monday-night rendezvous in Fairmount hotel or given to Laura Ong the expensive Dior handbag? Maybe he would focus on making ends meet like the rest of us and still be the MP for Punggol East SMC ?
The true values of the first generation leaders have seemed to be eroded over the years. When the odds were against them with the British departure, being kicked out of Malaysia, needing to provide affordable housing and good jobs to Singaporeans, the first generation leaders were fearless, innovative, self-sacrificing and focused on improving Singaporean lives. Interestingly, these values seemed to be demonstrated by the more credible opposition party members, who have everything to lose and nothing to gain if their political careers fail.  
This reflective response to the NYD 2013 message is intended to be a reality check on the year 2013 and beyond. The NYD 2013 message may have intended to be uplifting but Singaporeans have their eyes wide opened and now live by the creed, “Fool me once, Shame on you. Fool me twice, Shame on me.”

Monday, 10 December 2012

Question ? Why is Public Transport not under the purview of Public Servants?

See the last line in the report from MSM, I don't buy the argument that if the Public Transport System is nationalized it will result in a worse-off condition. Things are already so BAD, that it can only get better if it is nationalized.

The Public Utilities Board is a Stat Board under Public Servants. So does it mean that it is inefficient and that we do not get our water supply? The last I checked, I had water to bathe in...
The Public Libraries in Bukit Batok, Bedok, Toa Payoh etc are under Public Servants and we have iPads available for loan now! We have up-to-date books and newspapers... Without competition from another alternative, the Public Libraries are doing fine...

When you screw up, say you screw up lah, and correct the problem by taking the right steps to Nationalize SMRT and SBS Transit. 

From ChannelNewsAsia :-
SINGAPORE: Industry observers say transport operators should look at alternative ways to raise the salaries of bus drivers.

Passing the buck to commuters should be the last resort, say observers.

They are commenting on Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew's suggestion that bus fares may go up in future to help improve the wages of bus drivers and that the public transport fare review, due next year, will consider this issue.

It's not easy getting Singaporeans to come on board as bus drivers.

So salary increments might make the job more appealing.

The question is: who will foot the bill?

Some industry observers said it should not be assumed that commuters will have to bear the additional costs as the two public transport operators remain profitable.

"So, from the passengers' side and the general public point of view, it may be difficult for them to swallow," said Professor Lee Der-Horng, an associate professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS).

"...if they can first of all pursue their internal resources and try to improve their operations and see if they can further cut down operating costs, then perhaps, it wouldn't be necessary to approach the public and seek an increase in public transportation fare."

MP Gan Thiam Poh, who is also a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Transport, said: "I feel strongly that the operators should try to explore or exhaust other means, such as other revenue, such as revenue coming from advertisements, rental or whatever...I think passing on (the costs) to consumer, that should be the last resort."

But even if salaries for bus drivers are raised, it might not be enough to get Singaporeans to bite.

Industry observers say that the long hours, rigorous work and the desire to have a job of higher value are among the main reasons Singaporeans shun the job.

Hence, a dependency on foreign manpower in this area might become unavoidable.

According to the chairman of the Public Transport Council, Gerard Ee, Singapore also lacks the body count and has an ageing workforce. That is why it must look to foreign manpower to fill the gaps in certain essential industries.

"Some jobs are just not popular, and as long as people have choices, they will give it a miss," said Mr Ee.

Industry observers also suggested that the operators look beyond Malaysia and China when hiring bus drivers, "so we will not be overly-reliant on a particular country or a particular region", said NUS' Professor Lee.

Suggestions to nationalise public transport have been raised but some observers said that this could result in inefficiencies and a drop in service levels ????!!!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Residential projects due for completion next year are 2-3x more than usual.

Residential projects due for completion next year are 2-3x more than usual.

"We retain our negative view on the Singapore residential sector as we continue to see a rising threat of vacancy with an acceleration in physical completions in 2013-15," said CIMB in a report.
Vacancy rates for non-landed private units had increased from 5.9% to 6.1% qoq in 3Q12 as take-up continued to lag physical completions.
URA estimates that completions will rise from 16.1k units in 2013 to 23.1k units in 2015, which according to CIMB is 2-3x more than the historical average occupancy rate of 8k units per year.
"This will be compounded by impending completions of HDB units following aggressive building in the last three years. Around 83% of local residents still live in HDB flats. Incremental demand should also come under pressure from the Singapore government’s continuous reassessment of its liberal immigration
policies. PR conversions have tapered off, a glimpse of how tighter immigration is taking shape. Rising inventories against normalised population growth do not augur well for future take-up, in our view. While prices remain at record highs on low interest rates, policy risks remain an overhang," it said.

Even LHL admits that there is a property bubble.

“It is certainly something on Singaporeans’ minds. We have had a property boom, almost a bubble. It’s because liquidity is sloshing around worldwide and real interest rates are negative. People are looking for opportunities to invest their money and there aren’t a lot of exciting opportunities where you see growth and possible new breakthroughs right now."

Then why housing prices still increasing? Something is seriously wrong.....

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Dun be conned by the BULLSHIT from Main Stream Media!

There recently has been a lot of news in the Main Stream Media that employers are complaining that they do not have enought workers due to the foreign worker ratios.

To me it is all BULL SHIT ! The powers at hand are already using the main stream media to sell the fact that they need more foreigners in order for businesses to survive...So that they can import more to make your lifes more difficult...

Let me ask you whether the flood of foreigner have declined? NO! Only the pace of increase has decreased. They are still coming in droves and businesses are just drunk with cheap foreign workers that take up space and limited resources in Singapore. See attached website and tables

Say NO to BULL SHIT from businesses who should not be in Singapore in the first place if they do not want to hire Singaporeans!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Top Ten Signs you are a "Gangnam Style" Fanatic

Top Ten Signs you are a "Gangnam Style" Fanatic

No. 1 - You walk across all pedestrain crossings with the trademark horse-riding dance

No. 2 - The only clothes in your collection are suits with untied bow ties, and of course dark sunglasses

No.3 - You had plastic surgery to look fat and round like PSY, oops sorry, you just pigged out to get to the right size.

No.4 - All your mobile ring tones, alarm bell and door bell are the Gangnam Style song.

No.5 - You are responsible for at least 1% of the 580,000 million clicks on YouTube for the music video

No.6 - You have named your recently born dragon baby "Gangnam Long"

No. 7 - You can sing the song in the four official languages in Singapore. You are working on the Japanese and Thai versions now.

No. 8 - You hail taxis by doing the trademark lasso dance.

No. 9 -  You made so many failed parodies of the song that no one wants to dance it anymore with you.

No. 10 - You go up to the MacDonald's counter to order and start by saying to the 50+ year old Aunties, "Hey Sexy Lady...oh oh oh oh..."

Thursday, 11 October 2012

First Hand Acccount : Population Dialogue Session with Ministers

I was there at the dialogue session, it was so well orchestrated that it felt like a multi-level marketing "sales" event. It started with DPM Teo giving the presentation on fertility rates, immigration numbers etc and reinforced that immigration is needed to fill in the missing babies since 1980s. Charts, numbers and graphs were all used to appeal to the head to assure that infrastructure was being upgraded, immigration was calibrated etc. There was also an innovative use of an instant survey to ask a couple of questions.

Kicking off the questions was Dr Amy Khor with whether the two child policy was so successful to cause the problems today. It was textbook answer of that the policy was needed at that time etc etc and they changed it in 1987. Then came the questions fast and furious. Out of the 35 questions I estimated, about one or two thanked the government, the majority about twenty questions were harsh and upset with the government, the rest were relatively neutral. The quality of some of the questions were quite weak, either unprepared or too narrow in focus. But some were thought provoking and related, e.g. Would Singapore return to Malaysia in the future if we did not have enough Singaporeans ? Why are PRs allowed unlimited time to decide if they want to be Singaporeans or not? Why still have landed properties if there is so constrained land in Singapore? Make it non existent for everyone. Why are we still selling our property to foreigners and the highest bidders when there is such a crunch ? Now the urban planning says 6 million in Singapore, but similarly in the past, Singapore was designed for 4 million, now we have 5.3 million. Who will know if the government screw up again and increase it to 8 million ? Would the government be ready to accept non traditional families like lesbians and single moms ?

The mood was definitely not kind to the Ministers. Whenever someone said something supporting Singaporeans, the audience would clap and cheer. One young Singaporean even addressed Dr Amy Khor's clarification that he was okay with 10 million in Singapore, he quipped,"I am okay with 10 million in Singapore with the appropriate infrastructure, ten million SINGAPORE citizens!" to loud applause. Another guy at the end of his question even said," I will be more comfortable with a Singaporean lesbian and her kid, then a foreigner!" The final blow was from a small business owner that even chided the Ministers Grace Fu and Tan Jin Chuan calling them managers rather than leaders and not having conviction to set a path forward or vision (Grace Fu on non traditional families) and unsure what economic growth is for Singapore (Tan Jin Chuan, which led him to return with a lengthly merry ground defense of himself)
So much so that DPM Teo had to admit that we are so used to scoring 99 percent that when we score 75 percent we get upset.

To be fair, I have to give credit to the Ministers and organizers for staying an extra hour till 10.30pm to try to address all the questions. I think some of the audience members should reflect how they wasted their opportunity to ask in-depth questions. Only two suggestions were picked up, one possible re-zone of the land use to increase land for housing and a special needs person as an NMP in the future.

From my perspective, the most disturbing was the wrap up by DPM Teo, he asked three questions, where Singapore wants to be in the future? What is the definition of a Singaporean ? And how these two questions affect the population in Singapore. For the first question, he painted an appealing vision that now 50 percent of the world's population lives in urban cities, and the future even more will live in cities, and that Singapore wants to be one of the key global cities in the world - vibrant and dynamic and cosmopolitan. The answer to the second questions is that the Singapore identity is always in flux and we are a migrant society. Everyone of us have some relative or parent or grandparents that were immigrants to Singapore. And the third question, was the text book answer that we needed a core of Singaporeans with the values and mores for society but we need to continue to supplement with young dynamic immigrants who provide the economic drive and the foreigners will return home and not be a burden to our society. All of these questions and their answers are logical and true, but it begs the question....

IS THE SURVIVAL OF SINGAPORE OR THE SURVIVAL OF SINGAPOREANS ? The key focus for our existing government ?

I pondered on this question as I took the Somerset MRT train north bound to the suburbs at 10.50pm after the dialogue session and found the train packed including a group of merry Americans, a loving Filipino couple and a Malaysian watching Ipoh parody of Gangnam style.

Then I realized the message I got from the dialogue session and the path our current leaders are taking us down, and the sad reality being, "Singaporeans are essentially migrants helping the survival of Singapore for the next batch of migrants."

Monday, 8 October 2012

Property News : I was correct !!!!!

On 5th October, Friday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it was capping the length of a home loan at 35 years.
With effect from 6th October, 2012:
1. All residential property loans will be subjected to a maximum of 35 years loan tenure, including HDB mortgage loan tenures.
2. Tighter rules will apply to borrowers taking loans longer than 30 years, or who want to have their loan periods extend beyond the retirement age of 65.
3. If they already have an existing mortgage and want to take another one that require these tighter rules for another property, the cash down payment is 60 per cent, instead of the current 40 per cent.
4. Same rules apply for refinancing loans.
5. Non-individual borrowers now subject to 40% loan limit (down from 50%)
See my blog post on 24 Sept 2012 urging the MND minister to impose similar measures, looks like MAS did it.

Not drastic measures, but in the right direction, a correction in the property prices is needed to ensure that the increase in property prices over the years do not outgrow the increase in real wages!!!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

6 Million in Singapore? Got enough oxygen to breathe or not?

6 Million in Singapore? I think even after the last elections, the PAP still does not get it !
They promised calibrated imports and reduction in work passes, but as time goes by there continues to be weak justifications and lame excuses on why we need more foreigners and why Singapore can squeeze more people in!!!!

WAKE UP! We do not want a country with 50% foreigners and 50% Singaporeans! And where everyone is struggling to breathe!
Singaporeans will definitely drop your votes in the next elections...mark my words....

Future MRT Train services...

Monday, 24 September 2012

Will Singapore follow Hong Kong to cap maximum loan tenor?

Will Singapore follow Hong Kong to cap maximum loan tenor?

Minister Khaw should !!

A recap of Hong Kong latest measures. The measures implemented by Hong Kong for mortgage applicants that have at least one existing mortgage are: a) debt-servicing ratio will be lowered to a maximum of 40% (previously 50%), and b) for mortgages assessed on applicant’s net worth, maximum loan-to-value (LTV) is lowered from 40% to 30% (applicants derive income from overseas, then LTV ratio is reduced by 20ppt). For all new mortgage applicants, the maximum loan term is now capped at 30 years.
The measures, if implemented, will have a bigger impact in Singapore than Hong Kong. The reduction in affordability would impact investment mass market demand negatively. However, the impact on the high-end segment is likely to be muted as buyers are generally cash-rich.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Singapore land for Singaporeans

When will Singapore do the same??!!! It is long over due!!!
! Singapore land for Singaporeans !

The leader of Hong Kong announced on Thursday that after years of price rises caused by an influx of rich buyers from mainland China, there will be measures put in place to prioritise the property market for local buyers. The chief executive, Leung Chun-ying said that he has instructed officials to make drafts for laws that would restrict the sales of certain properties to only Hong Kong residents, a measure being dubbed the ‘Hong Kong land for Hong Kong people’ policy, reported Asia One Business yesterday. 
This is to give priority to the housing need of the local residents,” said Leung.
 “We will continue to monitor the property market closely and introduce more measures if necessary,” he added.
Leung told reporters that the measures of the policy would include converting 36 sites from government and public-use buildings into residential buildings in order to boost land supply, providing space for an additional 12,000 residential units. Also included in the plans are measures to speed up approval for permitting the private selling of homes which would provide an additional 65,000 units during the next three to four years. The city has been constantly attempting to curb its increasing property prices, since home ownership is becoming beyond the reach of even the upper-middle class, a phenomenon which is fuelling public discontent.
Although Hong Kong has always been famous for its immensely high rents and rich tycoons, it is only in the last few years that property prices have surged, partly because of record low interest rates and partly due to wealthy investors from mainland China buying up homes at a rapid rate. Some analysts however, have said that the new policy plans will not be enough to keep the housing market in check.
“While the pledge to introduce more land in order to improve longer-term supply is welcome, the immediate impact appears limited, judging by the small amount of supply that will come through soon,” said Standard Chartered.
“Overall, we think the latest measures will at best help to calm the market,” added the bank in a research note.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, this year alone has seen the average price of homes in the city rise by approximately 13 percent. It has been reported that a luxury apartment in the city was sold for HKD470 million (US$60,598,040), making Hong Kong home to the most expensive condominium in Asia and the world’s second most expensive apartment outside of One Hyde Park in London.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The NUMBERS tell it all...

As at December 2011, we had 3.27 million Singapore Citizens (SCs), and 0.54 million Permanent Residents (PRs). Together, they made up the resident population of 3.81 million. We also had a non-resident population of 1.46 million who are working, studying or living in Singapore on a non-permanent basis. Singapore’s total population was 5.26 million.I add the two numbers together 0.54 million and 1.46 million and you get 2.0 million exactly.
So if you take this and divided by the total population you will get an astonishing 38% of people in Singapore who are not Native!
Please lah, always talk about productivity and using automation, and we still need 2 million foreigners in Singapore?!
I will continue to be against the current govt's foreign immigration policy and propogate that message to all I know.
Develop and respect your own citizens!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Singapore Flag Wayang Wayang

I am always amused every year that the grassroots people putting up the Singapore Flag think that everyone else are un-educated boozos. Everytime you see a block filled with singapore flags, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that the flags were put up by foreign labour, PRC or Bangla along the common corridor and not by the owners of the flats. Since there are over 40% of foreigners in Singapore, why dun we also put up PRC, India and Philippines flags up to wayang wayang!

True measure of patroitism is not by the blatant wayang wayang of how many flags are put up, but by exercising our vote to ensure that the party that puts Singaporeans' Interests First. I am proud of my country and of the true Singaporeans that given 2 years of their lifes for National Service, who have sacrificed their youth whilst being told that we had to take CPF cuts, and are trying to earn a honest living and bring up children whilst their jobs are being taken over by foreigners.

I salute you, the disadvantaged, long-suffering Singaporeans who have to tolerate high housing, COE prices, transport problems and overcrowding in Singapore. You are the epitome of True Spirit of the Singapore flag!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Greece ? Are the problems solved after the elections ?

Greek pro-bailout parties win knife-edge elections....

Greece ? Are the problems solved after the elections ?

- The Greek government still faces a huge gap between its liabilities and revenues and the country risks running of of cash.
- Greek Government coffers could be empty as soon as July, shortly after this month’s pivotal elections. In the worst case, Athens might have to temporarily stop paying for salaries and pensions, along with imports of fuel, food and pharmaceuticals.
- Young Greeks are voting with their feet and leaving Greeks for other European countries.
- Salaries and pensions in the private and the public sectors have been cut by up to 50 percent. With less cash, consumers have curbed spending, leading thousands of taxpaying businesses to fail.
Good Luck Greece, for your Euro Cup aspirations... You are up against Germany who wants to trounce you, both in soccer and for being such an economic spoilt brat.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Spot the Diff betw - ST and Today's Front Pages !!!

Spot the Difference in Front Page News between Today and The Straits Times, dated 28 May 2012.
I suspect that the Straits Times photographer has more money to buy a more expensive camera lens with Zoom Zoom function to capture that photo.
The poor cousin of Today newspapers only have limited funding so captured the full crowd.

So whose camera better?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

What is wrong with this picture????

Of the 122,600 jobs created in Singapore last year, about 70 percent, or 84,800 positions, went to foreigners, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower. [LINK]
Has there been any change since the May 2011 elections ????

Monday, 21 May 2012

Swiss Standard of Living? Set Swiss Standards of Citizenship Application instead

IN DECEMBER 1984, when Mr Goh Chok Tong and the second generation of leaders had established themselves in Cabinet, they unveiled an agenda for Singapore that encapsulated their visions for the next 15 years.

Vision 1999 saw Singapore becoming a “city of excellence” and a “society of distinction” by the turn of the century. It set one hard-numbers target, with which it became most closely associated: to achieve the 1984 Swiss standard of living, as measured by per capita output, by 1999.

Maybe they should set Swiss Standards of Citizenship Applications instead !!!

People who have been resident in Switzerland for twelve years – the years spent in this country between the completed 10th and 20th years are counted double for this purpose – may apply for naturalisation. Our office examines whether applicants are integrated in the Swiss way of life, are familiar with Swiss customs and traditions, comply with the Swiss rule of law, and do not endanger Switzerland's internal or external security. In particular, this examination is based on cantonal and communal reports. If the requirements provided by federal law are satisfied, applicants are entitled to obtain a federal naturalisation permit from the Federal Office for Migration. (minimum number of years is 12 years!)

Naturalisation proceeds in three stages. Thus the federal naturalisation permit only constitutes the Confederation's "green light" for the acquisition of Swiss nationality. However, the cantons and communities have their own, additional residence requirements which applicants have to satisfy. Swiss citizenship is only acquired by those applicants who, after obtaining the federal naturalisation permit, have also been naturalised by their communities and cantons. As a rule, there is no legally protected right to being naturalised by a community and a canton. (Which means that the locals must approve and support the candidate to be a citizen)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Non-citizen foreigners make up 45.4% of Singapore’s workforce - did a very interesting quick analysis of the work force in Singapore.
Now you know why you did not get promoted over the Foreign Talent/Trash !!!
Singapore Inc run by PAPAYA does not care about is just a corporate entity that will use you and dump you. Make sure you dump them, before they dump you!

From "There were 1,712,600 Singaporeans (“citizens”), 334,700 permanent residents (“PRs”) and 1,088,600 foreigners in the labour force as at June 2010.
If we group PRs together with foreigners — rightfully so because PRs aren’t citizens if you ask me — there are a total of 1,423,300 non-citizens among the total workforce of 3,135,900 workers.
1423300 / 3135900 = 45.39%
So, non-citizen foreigners make up 45.4% of Singapore’s workforce."

Friday, 27 April 2012

Singapore Self-Inflicted Inflation

The Straits Time on Friday 27 April published an Insight Article on "Made in Singapore" Inflation which hit 5.2 percent last year!

Notable phrases in the article included :
  • Trader Leon Tham, 29, who is based in New York and back here for a visit says," The cost of a car here is astronomical compared to that in the United States. And the price of a condo in Singapore might soon be more expensive than a similar one in New York. It is becomming very unaffordable even by global standards."
  • Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Mr Singh says " the Government has responsibility here, because the demand and supply imbalance was caused by planning issues." He adds : This was created internally because of our rapid population increase. So in housing, or transport, the pressure is to be expected."
  • What has caused the change? One factor is monetary policy in Western developed countries. They are keeping interest rates near zero in order to boost their anaemic economies, causing a raft of foreign money to flow to this part of the world and pushing asset prices, especially in the property market.
  • Similarly for cars. To fight congestion, a decision has been taken to reduce the annual rate of growth of the vehicle population from 1.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent from August. That could see COE prices already at a 20 year high soar past $100,000 in the next few months, warns Dr Chua.
Even anecdotal experience shows that actual inflation is more than 5.2 percent. Manual Car Wash has increased from $6 to $8 ! 33% increase! Even a bowl of mango sago dessert is now $4! compared to $3 previously!

Mr Singh says "The Governement knows what to do to make things comfortable. Unfortunately it cannot happen overnight."

Well here are some solutions that will immediately slow inflation down.
  1. Mandate that only Singaporean citizens are entitled to purchase COEs and they cannot be resold to PR or Foreigners. PRs and Foreigner can rent or take taxis or public transport.
  2. Mandate that new launches of Private Housing can be sold to all, but all resale Private Housing must be sold to Singaporeans. Make the PRs and Foreigners rent from Singaporeans.
  3. All foriegn capital influx must be taxed at 15% interest rates when put into Singapore banks or financial institutions, a corresponding increase in deposit rates for Singapore Citizens will then apply.
These measures will put money directly into the pockets of Singaporeans. All the useless COE and 10% additional buyers stamp duty for foreigners just put money into the Govt coffers! So that they have so much $$$ to give US$ 5 bln of Singaporean's money to IMF.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

There are at least 18,000 unsold private condos in Singapore! Are we breeding "ghosts"?

I was totally shocked when I read through this report from Kim Eng on the state of the unsold private condos in Singapore. They have analyzed the data from HDB and URA websites and have put it in an easy to read categorized listing of the property developers land bank. Given some of the projects are due for launch and that property players play the game of releasing units in phases, but still 18,000 empty condos!???!

The government needs to put a firm stand on the release of these units and set a time line, e.g. 1 years after TOP, the units must be sold or put up for is ridiculous that so many empty units are housing "ghosts" when marriagable couples who can procreate SINGAPOREANS struggle to find a nest.

This country is importing foreigners and breeding "ghosts"!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Demise of the Singapore Dream 5Cs - The debate revisited

Reading this blog post from another blogger  caused me to re-visit the discussion about the Singapore Dream which was coined in the 1990s. Namely, Cash, Car, Credit card, Condominium and Country club membership.'s_of_Singapore

Let's first start with Cash : In fact, let's put this to the last topic and you will see why.

Car : Unless you have been living under the sea, you will realise that the price of Cars in Singapore has escalated to a ridiculous level. COE's right now are at S$82,000 for cars with a capacity about 1,600cc. For that price of the paper issued by the govt, you can buy TWO or THREE cars in Australia !

Credit Cards : This used to be an indication of your earning power and ability to hold a credit card. No more! Lots of banks now offer pseudo-Credit Cards that require no minimum income, just have the money in the bank. For example HSBC Secured Visa Credit Card, In any case, I never felt that this was a worthly matric for the Singapore Dream.

Condominium : Here is the big key item in the Singapore psyche, the key measure and determination that you studied hard, worked hard, you will buy a government HDB flat and then eventually upgrade to private property status. That is no longer the formula to success in Singapore property. Condo prices in Singapore are above S$1,000 per square ft and the soon to be lauched in Bishan Sky habitat is slated to be sold at S$1,600 to S$1,700 per square ft
Assuming a 1000 square ft apartment, that will cost S$ 1,700,000. With the median household income of
S$ 7,040 (2011 numbers) and rule of 1/3 of salary to be spent on housing. It will take 60 years to repay back the loan! (not even including interest!) Even with all the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), the private property prices are still ludicrous in Singapore!

Country club membership : This was another indication of making it in Singapore, with the opportunity to visit the country club with the family and have a game of golf during the weekend. The membership fees for these have also increased over the years, though not at a pace of housing and cars. The most expensive being where the top elites of Singapore pay, Singapore Island Country Club at more than S$ 200,000

Cash : So with all the large-ticket items above, do we have any cash??

The Demise of the Singapore dream, is not new, it has been succintly described in a New York Times Article in June 1996
"In paternalistic Singapore, we are told, 'Just listen to us and keep your nose clean and everything will be all right,' " said a professional woman in her early 30's who asked not to be identified.
"I studied, I got my degree, I got a good job," she said. "I did everything right, and it looks like I'll be living with my mother the rest of my life. I didn't make any eccentric choices; I didn't go into the arts or anything like that, and where's the payoff?"
In a plaint that is widely quoted here, Phua Mei Pin, a 19-year-old intern at The Straits Times, which generally presents the Government line, wrote in the newspaper last week of her generation's increasing disillusionment.
"I am not asking for an emperor's condos and stables of Benzes, just a small place I can belong to and that can belong to me," she wrote. "Already I have friends who are drawing up blueprints of their futures in Australia and America, where they believe they can stretch the same dollar much further."
In fact, the 5Cs as traditionally known in Singapore has been replaced by the following :-
Crush : As of 2011, the population of Singapore is 5.18 million people, of whom 3.25 million (63%) are citizens while the rest (37%) are permanent residents or foreign workers. Twenty-three percent of Singaporean citizens were born outside Singapore i.e. foreign born citizens. There are half a million permanent residents in Singapore in 2011. The infrastructure in Singapore is unable to cope with the sudden and uncomfortable influx.
Casino : Two integrated resorts here in Singapore with the intend to bring in foreign money has also the dark side of more and more Singaporeans getting into the addiction of gambling to revive the Singapore Dream.
Complaints : Related housing, transport cock-ups, taxi fare hikes, senior citizen facilities non-ideal location...the complaints go on and on.

Cock-ups : SMRT Train disruptions, Flash flooding in Orchard Road, Senior officials from the public sector dismissed etc.... Having pride ourselves that Singapore is a place that is efficient and clean, and where things get done, the series of boo-boos have been very embarrassing.
Change : At the end of the day, even if the Singapore Dream is not attainable by everyone in Singapore, there must be a hope eternal that it can be attained. When that Dream is no longer perceived to be achievable, then pragmatic Singaporeans will force a CHANGE to enable that Dream to be revived.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Monday, 27 February 2012

Credit Cards Annual Fee - Waiver via Telephone

[Commentary : Credit Card companies are getting a little smarter with regard to Credit Card annual fees. Now with DBS and ANZ, basically all you need to do is to get the waiver done over the phone instead of waiting for 15 mins on the phone to speak to someone. On the other hand, I have never used a HSBC credit card nor apply for one after they refused to waive the annual fee. I cut the credit card and sent it back to them. Annual Fees are arcane and banks should just do away with them all together, they make enough money from the 2% commission charges that they charge the merchant and the rental fees for the credit card machine. Guess who picks up the bill already for these charges? YOU DO!

So remember to check your credit card statement and make sure they don't double dip their greedy fingers twice into the honey pot.]

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Property : Top bid of S$532psf ppr for Bedok South Ave 3 site

Property: Top bid of S$532psf ppr for Bedok South Ave 3 site. A consortium comprising Far East
Organisation's F.E. Lakeside, Frasers Centrepoint's FCL Topaz and Sekisui House Singapore submitted the top bid of S$345.9m or S$534.22psf ppr for a 99-year leasehold plot at Bedok South Avenue. The site has a maximum gross floor area of about 647,491sf, yielding an estimated 600 units comprising a mix of one- to four-bedroom apartments.
(Source: The Business Times)

UOB Kay Hian Comments: The measured seven bids for the site despite jittery market conditions is indicative of developers’ view that although prices are likely to moderate by 10-15%, demand is likely to sustain. We expect the breakeven price for the site at S$850-900psf and selling prices at above S$1,050psf. The bid is reasonable in our view considering nearby Optima @ Tanah Merah is selling in the subsale market at S$1,000-1,100psf. Bedok Residences, a hot new launch located above the Bedok MRT (one MRT away), is currently selling at a 20% premium to our price assumptions.

[Blog commentary] The bid price of S$532psf ppr is reasonable, but having the final selling price of S$1000+ psf still seems high for a OCR condo. We need a cold chill wind to bring the prices back to sanity  <S$1000 psf for heartland condos.

Monday, 6 February 2012

CNBC : Singapore Faces Growing Pains as Setbacks Pile Up

CNBC : Singapore Faces Growing Pains as Setbacks Pile Up
Published: Sunday, 5 Feb 2012 | 6:12 PM ET

[Commentary : Well-written article that captures the grouses of Singaporeans. I will not call it growing pains but instead "Singapore Experiences Hubris and Arrogance of the PAP as Setbacks Pile Up".
The article is also not totally accurate with the comments that the floods occured in the financial district, when it actually happened mainly in Orchard Road. "The financial district has been hit by flash floods up to ankle level, threatening to damage the Louboutin and Gucci shoes favored by many bankers."

What is disconcerting is the comment, if true, that the news of the CPIB investigations had to wait for a tabloid Chinese newspaper to discover and then the MHA admit to it. I wonder how much more dirt is around just waiting to be dug up?]  

Friday, 3 February 2012

Dr Toh Chin Chye vs Steve Jobs

I am sure everyone probably read on the news that one of the founding members of the PAP govt has passed away. I think we all express condolences to his family and loved ones. Nonetheless, it is inevitable that it made me think about the passing of a recent figure as well, i.e. Mr Steve Jobs.

When it was announced that Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. had passed away on 5 Oct 2011, I felt a saddening and souring of mood, even though I have never met him. I read all the eulogies written about him, and already knew before hand, how he set up Apple in his garage, how he was ousted from Apple by the very guy that he brought into the company, how he set up NeXT and Pixar and his triumphant return to Apple and revival of the company. Not to mention, the most inspirational speech he made in a commencement ceremony and his oft quoted phrase "Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry".

However, when it was announced that Dr Toh had passed on, my mind just drew a total blank. Who is he again?


The effects that Steve Jobs and Apple have on our lives are more personal and related to our daily ongoings than Dr Toh. My iPhone is used daily for me to text friends and relatives, check the stock market, find out if the traffic is bad on the expressway, my iPad is used for YouTube, Channelnewsasia, Asiaone, CNBC updates. I read books on iBooks and download music from iTunes. These machines have changed how I work, how I communicate, how I am entertained, how I travel and how I learn.

Sure, Steve Jobs was in his prime and a creative-destructive genius who changed the mobile phone, music, books and tablet industries, whereas Dr Toh had retired many years ago. Also the impact that Steve Jobs made was global rather than the confines of Singapore.

Nonetheless, I think I speak for many Singaporeans that the emotive ties that Singaporeans have towards our "leaders" pale in comparison to Global Leaders who have a direct impact on our lives. We do not really care who the next DPM is or who the next Govt is as long as they can deliver the goods. We are more concerned on the next MacBook Air model, the next BMW car model and the next Hollywood Blockbuster Movie.
The only emotive link we have with our current Singapore "leaders" is whether they are going to correct the inconveniences of FT policy, employment opportunities, the transportation problems, lack of affordable housing and Orchard Road floods. Essentially viewing them as problem-solving managers than awe-inspiring leaders who will improve our lives.

The inspirational rallying call and drive of the first generational leaders to better Singaporean lives from a third-world country have been displaced by Global Leaders who change our lives with all the ubiquitous machines and systems of this century. Good luck to whoever wants to run Singapore.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

FT policy may have helped widen income gap: panel

FT policy may have helped widen income gap: panel
[Commentary : We already knew that the FT Policy is flawed. No doubt we need specialized talent in Singapore and Singaporeans do not want to do menial jobs, however, the infrastructure, capacity and space to accomodate influxs in Singapore is very different compared to USA or Australia.

The panel also questioned the desirability of Singapore continuing to rely on cheap foreign labour to remain competitive as he pointed out that heavy reliance on foreign workers will not lead to increasing wage shares for Singaporeans.

They have captured the ground's swell of resentment succintly :-

“There is a high degree of anxiety among young professionals on whether they can make it in Singapore (and) whether the government is prepared to give them a fair chance in this tough competition. If the middle-class feels that you work so hard and then you try to move up the income ladder but then lo and behold, you‘re competing with all these permanent residents – where’s the home court advantage?”.

Here is a case in point,

Employee A, Singaporean male, works in MNC technology company, has a science degree, a family of two kids and elderly parents. He starts work at 9 am after dropping off the kids at school. Does his best to complete his work and leaves at 5.30pm to get back and have dinner with parents and kids, works on the laptop just to try to catch up. Home is a modest 5 room HDB flat. Once maybe twice a year, he is called up for NS Reservist training for 2 weeks and has to attend remedial training for 20 evenings a year as he never had time to train for IPPT.

Employee B, foreigner, no family in Singapore, works for the same technology company, has a science degee too, but since he has ample time, he registers for a part-time MBA, he starts work at 6am, does the part of the work for another colleague, joins additional tasks force teams (and other wayang wayang) within the company, leaves the office at 7pm for his classes. Home is an expat package provided for condo.

You may argue, who is the happier and fulfilled person, it may be Employee A, but in the MNC company's eyes the more valuable person is Employee B because of what he gives all his time to the company and not to the nation or family/children. In bad times, whose head is first on the chopping block?]

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Newsflash : Mt Vernon site land sale price is 20% less than similar site across road

[Commentary : The chill is starting...Interestingly the SAME consortium bought the piece of land directly across the road. The Mt Vernon site $psf of GFA is S$ 495.19 psf. Whereas the one at Bartley Road was sold at  S$ 620.84 psf of GFA. A whooping 20% discount! If you look on Google Maps there is no significant difference in terms of amenities etc. The Circle Line MRT also has entrances on both sides of the road. Property prices will come down!!!]

SINGAPORE: A consortium - comprising Intrepid Investments, Sunmaster Holdings and TID Residential - has submitted the highest bid in the tender for a residential site at Mount Vernon Road.

The consortium submitted the top bid of S$388.11 million for the 20,810.9 sq m site.

Only five bids were submitted for the site even though it is a very accessible location, reflecting what an analyst said is the cautious attitude of developers following the latest property market-cooling measures.

"Response to the tender of the residential site at Mount Vernon reflects the cautious attitude of developers following the latest property measures introduced in December 2011 and in anticipation of a slowing economy in 2012," said CBRE Research's executive director Li Hiaw Ho.

The 99-year leasehold site is adjacent to Bartley MRT station of the Circle Line.

The lowest bid of S$250.8m was from Mezzo Development.

A condominium of around 20 storeys comprising some 800 units can be built on the site.

CBRE estimates that the condominium units could sell for between S$1,100 and S$1,200 psf.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

When I made the decision....

When I made the decision to take a shit in a coffeeshop toilet bowl, pain was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my bowel movements was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my baby-soft arse would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of sanitization even though I experienced a backsplash onto my arse. So it is with this recent smaller toliet bowl. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for me to balance while sitting on the bowl. - youarebetteroffted
Check out the rest of the funny versions at

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Potong Atrocious Pay - Chinese New Year Hong Bao for Singaporeans!

[Commentary : Excellent! Potong Atrocious Pay...however, remember that in April 2007 it took them only one month to increase their salaries and now it takes 7 months and a committee to cut their pay. It really begs the question, if PAP did not lose a GRC, a minister and two office holders in the recent elections will they have cut their pay?

The REAL HARD TRUTH is NO!  If Singaporeans did not exercise their vote in the recent elections, the practices of paying themselves disgusting amounts of $$$, increasing housing prices, increasing GST & ERP & COE, indiscriminate influx of foreigners etc would have continued.

If they lose two GRCs in the 2016 elections, will we see the GST reduced from 7% to 5%, Singaporeans preferred housing, schooling, business and employment policies, increased welfare for the poorest Singaporeans, establishment of a Singaporean minimum wage ?

SINGAPOREANS! It is time for us to take back the destiny of our country! Exercise your vote wisely in 2016 !]

SINGAPORE: The Review Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister to look at Ministerial salaries, has recommended cuts of between 36 and 53 per cent.

This was disclosed by Committee Chairman, Gerard Ee, on Wednesday at a
news conference .

The committee also recommended for the pension scheme to be removed entirely for new office holders.

This will be applicable to those who are appointed on or after 21 May 2011.

Those appointed before that, will also be affected.

The Committee was appointed after the general election in May last year, and had submitted its report to the Prime Minister on December 30.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced the review at the swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet in May last year.

Among the recommendations made are the Prime Minister's annual salary to be cut by 36 per cent, to S$2.2 million.

The President's annual salary is reduced by 51 per cent, to S$1.54 million.

The Speaker of Parliament will see the biggest percentage cut of 53 per cent, to S$550,000.

The lowest percentage change of a 20 per cent cut is for the Mayor and Senior Parliamentary Secretary positions.

Mayors will now get S$660,000 while Senior Parliamentary Secretaries will get S$572,000.