Wednesday, November 19, 2008

$2 COE - Sign of the times....

UPDATE : MOTOR trade associations representing hundreds of car dealers are doing the unthinkable: petitioning the Government to cut certificate of entitlement (COE) supply in the wake of plunging prices. The Singapore Vehicle Traders Association and the Automotive Importers and Exporters Association said nosediving COE prices - which culminated in a crash yesterday - will drive down the cost of new cars, killing the market for second-hand vehicles. Mr Neo Nam Heng, president of both trade associations, said the sector is heavily reliant on used car sales and reducing the number of COEs is necessary to 'save the industry from collapse' MY RESPONSE: Sorry guys but COE is used to control congestion not your profits. Having said that we have 2 things in Singapore with prices that wildly when boom turns to bust causing much pain sometimes estasy depending on your luck - COE and property. It is hard to ask the govt to bailout businessmen such as 2nd hand car dealers but they do have my sympathy as they operate in a somewhat "crazy" market.

The small car COE fell to $2. The other categories saw falls of around 50%.

Today I went to the hawker centre to my usual nasi lemak stall - the stall started selling $2 nasi lemak to compete against another nearby which has been doing it for 1 yr ..before this his average price was about $2.50 depending on what you ordered. A few months ago, I wrote in this blog that we will see a deflationary recession and inflation will be history at least for the next few months. Petrol prices are now at the lowest in 20 months. Rice has fallen has the price of sugar and other commodities. The only people still raising prices are our state owned monopolies. With 33,000 HDB flats in default, I wonder if housing price is the next shoe to drop. With the economy slowing and foreign workers who can't find jobs returning home, we may see a drop in rental.

My friends in the banking sector are extremely fearful after the 900 job cuts at DBS and the Citigroups announcement to layoff 50,000 people worldwide. Will the govt ever come clean and tell us the number of unemployed Singaporeans - instead of lumping it with other residents so we don't know how many are unemployed. With 8% of HDB flats with outstanding loans in default...wouldn't that point to an unemployment higher than the official of 2,3% for "residents".
A few of my friends in the semiconductor industry told me they will not be getting their 13th month - while they are not retrenching, things have slowed to a crawl.

Anecdotal evidence point to the economy falling off a cliff. It is in a state of shock and many in dire straits have not surfaced yet - imagine we have 8% people defaulting on HDB loans in past 3 months when the economy just started weakening many people will default in the next 12 months as the economy worsens. At some point, sufferers will start popping up en mass (at Hong Lim?). The govt appears to slow again and falling back on its mantra - retraining, job creation etc. What is needed is direct and immediate help - no more dithering. As a Singaporean, I really shudder to think what will happen if we go into next year with the lack of leadership we have seen in the past few months. Maybe the PAP Ivory Tower is now so tall they don't know what is happening at the ground.

It is a case of "can't believe until you see it". Until today, nobody believed the COE can drop to $2....nobody can believe there will be large number of people in affluent Singapore in dire straits. It is going to come....I'm very sure and I hate to see people suffering because we have leadership perpetually in denial. When they see jobless people, they say jobs are plentiful just don't be fussy. When people can't afford electricity, they tell these people they are using too much electricity and install a meter to force them to cut down. When people say flats are too expensive, they reply that people are buying flats that are too big ...please choose smaller ones. When people say they can't afford medical care, they reply that people would take better care of their health if medical care is more expensive....they say people will neglect their health just to use subsidised health care if it is not expensive enough. This type of logic worries me as we enter the worse recession in decades. Just look at govt behavior during the minibonds saga. This is a leadership that looks ready to abandon the people in their hour of need - they will deny, they will blame the people for their plight.


Anonymous said...

Our LEEder is not in favour of subsidising transport 'because then you will have unnecessary travel'.

Deity of Cannons said...

You know what is so pissed about whole shebang?
They just refused to take responsibility.
Saying everything is at fault except themselves.

Yeah, right.
Being Pi Aye Pi gives them a sort of Game Genie application, everything can be hacked, fixed and tailored accordingly to their whims.

Even if a Pi Aye Pi knocks someone down, he/she will say the person is drunk,high on drugs and so on, just to get off the hook.

The way I see it, Pi Aye Pi is a catch-all word for perfection.
Everything under their flag is perfect, everything else is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so fearful? Soon, with legalised organ trading, we Singaporeans will have 2 extra "assets" to sell to customers of the NKF. That should help us pay another 2 months of HDB mortgage kwa?

Anonymous said...

Yah lor... agree with Anon 9:55pm! If you really tak boleh tahan... then quickly sign the AMD (Advance Medical Directive) lor! That will help you pass on when you need to, and lessen the burden on our leaders, and THEIR economy...

Anonymous said...

Wah!! COE cheaper than my one ERP deduction every morning along Nicholl Highway!! Quick.... chop chop buy more cars ah! Garmen will be happy to fix more IUs in your new cars :p

Anonymous said...

Leadership ?? What leadership ??

Just a bunch of buraucrats pushing paper and covering their own backsides. When times are good, goes around gloating how good they are. When things go wrong, it's never their fault but everybody else's fault.

Leaders lead and motivate. National leaders mobilise the citizens at all times and their interest are aligned and intertwined with the common man. Leaders share rewards and take their share of responsibility for failures. Leaders earned the people's respect even though we may not agree all the times.

Do you feel motivated by our so called national leaders ? No, not me.

Do you want to line up behind them to go into battle together ? No, not me.

Do you feel your interest is aligned with theirs ? No, not me.

Do you feel they have earned your respect ? No, not me.

When they went about raising their salaries significantly, I had said that the true test will come when Singapore face her next crisis, will Singaporeans stand behind them ? That crisis is here. How will Singaporean respond ?

Anonymous said...

Almost 7 years since 2001 COE - $101... Now 2008 - $2 COE... hmmm just running in my mind...maybe some elite ppl on top buying new cars to replace the old one..... so coe must reduce for em.... :x

Looking at this must wait for another 7 years for COE to fall at this level again... ;)

yamizi said...

And we can do nothing about it right, Lucky?


Anonymous said...

some of their excuses have gotten so ridiculous that its even starting to piss off those that are usually apathetic to how the country is ruled.

Anonymous said...

Roll the tanks out, gentlemen.

before it's too late. A time will come when they will flee with your CPF $$$, and with their superior logic, they will tell you that they are parking the Singaporean reserves in a safe place in a Swiss Banks.

Anonymous said...

Don't speak too soon, Lucky Tan! Commodities may be on the decline but PAP will create new avenues to make up for the taxation shortfall, like Even More ERP, or a tax on the air that we breathe?

Anonymous said...

The leadership and denial is so woeful these days that if push comes to shove, I wont be surprised the cabinet will just up and quit the country and do a Marcos.

Clear eyed said...

What leadership? It's "Get out of my elite uncaring face"!

Anonymous said...

Australia Govt has given $1000 to all working family and tripled the first home grant to $21000 (with no condition attached). What is Singapore govt doing??? Dropped the ERP prices by 50 cent and only during sch hols?!

Anonymous said...

Look at MOT's reaction to the $2 COE, they have to study it carefully to find out how it happened. Looks like a case of "letting the market work as long as it works for us"... now they feel the pinch of lost revenue, and are surprised that people don't want to drive anymore after they raised the costs to astronomical levels...

Anonymous said...

Looking on the bright side, their incompetence\lack of action could be a blessing in disguise.

Assuming they have not been catching falling knivies, there will be more money to spend when the shit really hits the fan.

S&P fell thru the october lows. And this is just the beginning of what looks like a bad recession.


Our leaders look like saints\geniuses in comparison to the likes of Bush\Paulson\Cheney.


Anonymous said...

To be fair -

I applaud the govt for allowing more old citizens to go onto Public assistance scheme.

Thank you PAP. And thank you all bloggers for writing and watching out for the poor and aged.

Satay said...

This is it! Mr Lucky Tan has indeed lost its satirical mojo.

I quit you liao.

xNSman said...

Dear Lucky Tan,

Thanks for the enlightenment of your articles as well as the humor. Over the last couple of months, we sense an urgency in your articles and am thankful for the insightful writeups.

Anonymous said...

and guess what: if get elected again as the government, they will ask the people to take the bitter medicine again (ie cutting the cpf,...) instead of cutting the cost of business and living...., and on helping people, giving excuses like not eroding the work ethnics...

Anonymous said...

The reduction in number of coe is not going to help the motor vehicle sector much. People are now turning to public transport (no matter how unpleasant the experience is) or extending their current car lifespan.

the govt will definitely cut the coe, not because of the possible collapse of used car market. And definitely not because the current road is congested.

but becos the deficit is now projected at 3 times current.

LuckySingaporean said...


Its more like a sense of emergency rather than sense of urgency.

Anonymous said...

More Good Tears, guys!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to COE(for vehicle purchase), I will simply say it(COE) should be free by ballot(draw lots/tikam). An administrative fee is all that need be charged.

Certificate of Entitlement was 'invented' to control vehicle population. This stated sole purpose of COE seemed ineffective as car population is in fact growing. Though roads are built, widened and more tunnels and flyovers are built, roads are still congested.

As more ERPs are activated, the Relevant Authority appears to believe that this measure(ERP) 'will alleviate' road congestions and more vehicles can be COEed into the land. This will lead of course to more ERP Collections which means more revenue for the state, so why not curb less?

I see no determined and sincere efforts in vehicle population control.


Anonymous said...

Hate to say this, but people deserve the government they put in power. Just like the Yanks deserved George Bush, Singapore deserves the PAP since 66.6% of them are too blind. Glad I migrated to Australia a year ago. One of the best decision I've ever made.

Anonymous said...

$2 COE is a ploy by the PAP.
millions lost through Lehman, so this is a way to recoup lost "treasure" by enticing people to cars. more cars more ERP, possibility of more traffic fines, etc... said...

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