Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Straits Times Editorial: ...Its all YOUR FAULT!

This is an incredible editorial even by Straits Times standard. It makes no mention of HDB failure to sufficient housing when the foreign influx caused a population expansion of 400,000. The 23 Sept 2009 editorial puts the blame for all the unhappiness surrounding the surge in HDB prices squarely on ordinary Singaporeans :

"There is little doubt that state housing is affordable, whether new or resale"

"Home seekers create problems for themselves when, as seen, they buy bigger places than they can comfortably finance."

"They could also be unyielding about wanting to live.....for the (selfish?) child-minding convenience".


"This newspaper would go further: If they choose to be obstinate about quirks, they should not be hectoring the HDB for impossible concessions".


Well this newspaper is not a newspaper but a propaganda sheet. The PAP govt through its FT policy took in 400,000 people in 3 years without the corresponding increase of housing supply caused this problem. They now want Singaporeans to shoulder the burden - lower their expectations, shoulder more debt for housing or stay in smaller units. Straits Times is ridiculous to berate Singaporeans for being obstinate, unyielding and selfish.....this paper deserves its 142 ranking....it is nothing more than propaganda. They have sunk to a new low blaming a problem created by the PAP govt on ordinary Singaporeans who are now struggling to cope with the pain caused by poor govt planning.
--------------------------------------
Watching HDB price behaviour, sensibly
http://business.asiaone.com/Business/My%2BMoney/Property/Story/A1Story20090923-169356.html

There is a rising pitch of anxiety evident in queries and feedback about HDB housing in recent months. -ST -->
Wed, Sep 23, 2009The Straits Times

Editorial
THERE is a rising pitch of anxiety evident in queries and feedback about HDB housing in recent months. These have centred on affordability mainly, no surprise considering that the sudden spurt in private property prices since July has boosted HDB values, which already were holding better during the recession. Hence, complaints about cash over valuation. Why don't buyers exercise their democratic right to not pay a premium by looking in towns less 'prime'? Home buyers have also touched on policy issues like household income ceiling and the operation of ethnic quotas. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan addressed most outstanding grouses in a well-timed statement in Parliament last week, but such is the variety of need and the habits of personal preference that assurances would still leave some home-seekers unconvinced.
.
Affordability is a bugbear, which in turn influences notions of supply relative to demand. Median income and the ratio of household income used for loan service (up to 30 per cent, as a general rule) cited by the minister are indicative of most people's ability to pay, but these are rough guides. In every flat type of up to five rooms and the corresponding price ranges, households which fall below the median income line could progressively be less able to own their homes. That's a lot of families. Financing difficulty can also arise when a family chooses a bigger flat than it can pay for, or needs. There are far too many of these big-is-better purchasers. But this is also where the comprehensiveness of HDB's income-differentiated schemes and the different types of supporting grants available reinforce affordability.
.
There is little doubt that state housing is affordable, whether new or resale, if one considers carefully precise matching need. The HDB has every conceivable flat type and location to suit every budget. Home seekers create problems for themselves when, as seen, they buy bigger places than they can comfortably finance. They could also be unyielding about wanting to live in 'mature' towns or to be near their parents, for the (selfish?) child-minding convenience. It is an odd mentality that regards only as 'ulu' the new towns which otherwise score heavily in more spacious estate layout and the much nicer, contemporary design of flats. And what of 'distance'? Farthest points on this island are reachable inside an hour by public transport, faster by car. Mr Mah urged buyers to be sensible about making 'trade-offs' between location and price. This newspaper would go further: If they choose to be obstinate about quirks, they should not be hectoring the HDB for impossible concessions

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Journalism is the new prostitution - don't respect any journalists in Sg. They sell their conscience for a living. I think they should commit harakiri by their pens...

Anonymous said...

It's not even worth the paper it's printed on, let alone wiping your a$$ with it.

Anonymous said...

david marshall was absolutely spot on...they are pros...pay them their price and they will do your bidding! in this case i will not be surprised that they were "persuaded" to do so by you know who...the harsh vocab sugggests this...also, don't expect any more letters criticing the miw/hdb on their faulty planning and skewed reasoning to be published from now on..

Anonymous said...

Any idea who is the author of the article?

Fievel said...

We can collectively promote amongst blogs to stop purchasing a non-independent newspaper from the stands.

"Hit them where it hurts most." Sounds familiar?

Thirty Three Percent said...

"The 23 Sept 2009 editorial puts the blame for all the unhappiness surrounding the surge in HDB prices squarely on ordinary Singaporeans"

In a way this is true. 66% of Singaporeans are to blame. They have no right to be unhappy about what the government they put into power is doing to them.

Anon 10:24 (from "The cause of HDB resale price surge...") said

"The strident editorial in todays ST defending MBT and co is full of blame on the Singaporeans for being choosy and unrealistic...as always we are at fault, greedy, choosy, have high faluting ideals of equitability, and of course stoopid ( at least 66% are ) for self inflicted suffering and misery"

In a way this is not true. The 66% are not only inflicting misery on themselves, but they are also inflicting misery on the other 33%.

These Singaporeans, like that ST journalist, is helping to perpetuate the suffering for everyone.

For what? For what?

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
the article is so shitty and embarrassing to ShittyTimes that it does not even state who is the editor ? Normally, it will put the name of editors but it refrain from doing so for overwhelming propaganda piece of shit. Shit that explode right before your face.

Marc said...

That's why I don't read that trashy piece of shit and I would suggest everyone do the same.

And by calling it a piece of shit, I think even shit would feel insulted to be equated with the ST.

Anonymous said...

it's true. we shld all buy a house that is affordable according to our individual means.

now let me see... i shld be considering a one-room hdb flat for my family of four...

Fievel said...

Actually its not 66%. I for one has never gotten to vote in my GRC before. Always a walkover.

Why no opposition? If I even hint to my parents Im joining or associated with opposition parties, they'll get more worried and try to intervene, than if I told them I was going sky diving.

It's not 66.6%.

Anonymous said...

The Straits Times has no credibility in the first place. After this editorial, we can say this paper is only good for wrapping fish at the wet market.

skeptic said...

This ST report is balanced unbiased reporting according to Lui Tuck Yew.

Seriously, the PAP govt is one giant welfare state. Welfare to their ex-senior military officers!

They should just give him a pension and tell him to quit and shut up, no need to damage Singapore's media reputation further.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are more fussy and stubborn nowadays, which means us gahmen job is more difficult, should pay ourselves more $$$$$$$$$$ leh.

Anonymous said...

I think ST journalists are very well paid because ST can afford to pay them well in order to attract top talents, including foreign ones.

Top pay for top talent is the motto.

From ministers to editors to journalists. In fact some journalists have been inducted into politics and even rose to be ministers. These are the talents.

Anonymous said...

"david marshall was absolutely spot on...they are pros...pay them their price and they will do your bidding!"

Well, David Marshall was not much better himself, either.

He was paid as the PAP govt's Ambassador to France to defend its policies overseas, with fine wines & dines thrown in.

Not very different from its Ambassador to the USA, Prof Chan Han Chee, and its Ambassador-in-large, Prof Tommy Koh.

Anonymous said...

Wa pian! Only 4.8 million oladi like this. When 6.8 million, HDB
price=S$1 million

Anonymous said...

I heard that a scientific research has shown that migrating birds fly upside down when they fly over the Straits Times headquarters. The only conclusion that scientists have drawn is that the place is not worth shitting on.

Anonymous said...

Anon 23/9/09 13:43

Every1 has his price and it may not be money.

Mr Marshall loved his country and would serve in whatever capacity he can.

And Mr Marshall lost in the elections.

Mr Mah, who is in for one thing only, looks a sure-bet for the coming election.

The people may say that they want freedom, but they really prefer to be slaves.

Anti-Lucky

Anonymous said...

Pls read.

http://aaron-ng.info/blog/our-one-party-democracy.html

Anti-Lucky

Alan Wong said...

What bullshit is the ST Editor talking ? Did he checked his facts correctly ?

I thought it was the paternalistic PAP Govt who promoted the child minding convenience ? That was exactly why a greater housing grant was given to those who choose to live near their parents.

How come this has now become the home seeker's fault ?

Anonymous said...

Normally editorials are wriiten by senior writers (those who do opinion pieces ). Depending on the subject, it may be the beat editor. E.g health issues will be covered by the senior journalist covering the health beat. No by lines are used. In this instance I am very convinced it is by the top guy under instructions from GOD ...the language used is too unrestrained...certainly it is not written by the usual leader writer for real estate topics.

Kojakbt said...

This crap piece of ST editorial really makes me (forgive me for not using a more civilized word) TULAN!

The editor even has the cheek to say that the rise in HDB prices is due to the recent "sudden spurt" in private property prices. May I remind the editor that when the private property was in doldrum 1-2 years ago, HDB resale prices did not go down with those of private property but held firm. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that HDB prices were held firm due to increase in demand from the new PRs/Citizens suddenly "appeared" in our landscape in the last 2-3 years.

Not surprisingly, the PAP Govt and, of course, their mouthpiece Straits Times, have been arduously avoiding mentioning the "foreign" factor in pushing up HDB prices. Mentioning it will be tantamount to slapping their own faces in light of their pro-FT policy.

In any case, our own true-blue, NS-serving Singaporeans are suffering. It may be true that Singaporeans are paying less than 30% of their income on housing now but do not forget, we used to be paying perhaps 20% or less for similar units!

Kojakbt said...

"this paper deserves its 142 ranking...."

Yes, for info, Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 144th out of 173 countries in the Press Freedom Index:

http://www.rsf.org/en-classement794-2008.html

And Freedom House in the "Freedom of the Press World Ranking" ranked Singapore 153rd together with Gabon and Iraq:

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=442&year=2008

"Freedom House has been at the forefront in monitoring threats to media independence since 1980. A free press plays a key role in sustaining and monitoring a healthy democracy, as well as in contributing to greater accountability, good government, and economic development. Most importantly, restrictions on media are often an early indicator that governments intend to assault other democratic institutions."

I will leave it to the good judgements of the netizens here to decide if our press is independent or not... :)

Anonymous said...

I have never associated the Straits Times with words like 'integrity' or 'truth', not unless I am talking about the lack of these qualities.

If placed in a library, I think the Straits Times should be classified with the 'Fiction' section.

sgcynic said...

Crap. That's why the writer hides behind the cloak of an anonymous "editorial".

Why don't voter exercise their democratic right to not pay a premium by looking in parties less 'prime'? Else we deserve the crap we get

After dishing out crap like this, the PAP can still "wonder" why they don't win the hearts and minds of voters.

Sigh. Too bad for our country that there are still those who are afraid of change. The ship's holed. Grap a pail or bail out. Or prepare to sink with the ship. The captain has his own dinghy.

Anonymous said...

Although I have not bought the Straits Times for many years I don't miss much in the way of news. Anyway they are not dependent on us for revenue, as most are derived by way of advertisements. whether you buy or not is not that important. As in any business, the prosperity of Singapore and hence more advertisements is good for them. Check the CATS under properties on Saturday and you can see the reason why they are so pro-HDB.

Having a monopoly on all such advertisements, is it any wonder why they see the need to be a propaganda tool? It's between a rock and a hard place, to do the other way will mean heads (literally Dept, Heads) will roll. Now what better alternative is there if you are a journalist, than to be compliant and don't rock the boat if you don't want to break your own ricebowl.

Anonymous said...

"Well this newspaper is not a newspaper but a propaganda sheet."

propaganda shit ???

no surprise, it is your fault again.

For the same titleship (e.g 3-rm, 4-rm, etc) in respect to many donkey years back, the size is not going to get any bigger (if not smaller) but for the prices, well ........

Anonymous said...

Wait you hear this when a 3room cost you $500,000.00

They may say:
Compared to cities like London and Tokyo, Singaporeans are really having a STEAL at this price.

We will ensure that all Singaporeans are well taken care of, but it is imposiible to fulfill FALALUTIN expectations.

Anonymous said...

Compare us to London or Tokyo?

Yet, the PAP's newspaper always forget to mention that we are not paid like residents of London and Tokyo!

Anonymous said...

I say - I'm seeing a PAP trend here. The way to solve singaporeans' problem... is to say there is no problem.

Anonymous said...

It's an Aspiration to own a HDB flat lah

Anonymous said...

'Mr Mah urged buyers to be sensible about making 'trade-offs' between location and price. This newspaper would go further: If they choose to be obstinate about quirks, they should not be hectoring the HDB for impossible concessions'

How dare the ST blame me for grumbling about the high HDB prices! How dare!

Anonymous said...

By the way, how many readers would read the Editorial section? Lets have a show of hands.

I think readers are more interested in the front page news, the stocks/share market, the sales advert and if time permits, the few juicy stories in the short local section.

By the way, now that singapore is 5 Million strong, there should be alot of news from 5 Million people, right? This local section can't be so short, can it? Don't tell me there is nothing to report?

Anonymous said...

In Singapore, people know that all the good schools are in good location. If Government seriously wants people to consider living in sub-urban area, they should either dropped their ranking system in determine access to the top secondary schools. They should also ensure that all top ranking school are equally distributed to north , south, east, west of Singapore. PLease integrated our local young students first, then think of integration between local and foriegner lah. it is like putting a cart in front of a horse.

Von Hayek said...

Our HDB is now became the mother of all Ponzi.

I always believe that our elites are the most useless benchmark with other countries.

Instead of creating value through engineering and scientific output, our elite try to generate wealth by bubble.

Anonymous said...

Wah lau eh, ST like that say also can! I think we should start a mass boycott of ST to show them that they should stop insulting the intelligence of S'poreans. The ST editorial proves that there are no journalists in Singapore, only propagandists.

Anonymous said...

Hi Von Hayek,

I agree with you regarding your view on the elites. They cannot come up with good ideas but they proclaim themselves top talent and pay themselves top $$$$$$$. Actually in terms of performance they are far far worse than other countries. Now they are so covetous and desperate to sustain the bubble and maintain their inflow of housing sales tax that they just tell singaporeans who are facing these problems to get lost. Where got problem? It's your fault.... you are lazy, complacent...do you see a pattern?

Anonymous said...

I have never for a single instance, believed that HDB is making a loss. I don't care what their books are saying.

Govt makes lots of money selling land to HDB. HDB makes a "loss" building flats on those land. Govt steps in to "subsidize" HDB with more money (profits from land sales to HDB).

So, just by adding a layer of management called "HDB", govt now claims that building homes for S'poreans is loss-making.

What utter rubbish!

Who does know that HDB = Govt, and that govt makes so much money from using the law to acquire land cheap and selling the land back to us at 100 times the profit

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans should play their part too in retaliation by not getting married and having no children. the imported foreigners will more than compensate for our 10 years worth of natural population growth (40k babies a year). with such high cost of starting up a family and having kids, only fools will consider setting up a family in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Actually I think govt is not worried about singaporeans not reproducing. Can just replace with more foreigners what! I think the worrying problem here is that we don't have any new growth engines. If the IR fails, the govt would look like a laughing stock. I wouldn't be surprised if there are going to be 'run road' politicians. Afterall Ho Ching can do a disappearing act when things look bad and resurface to kick out Goodyear. Just looking at the way they are cashing out, selling fixed assets, and living off property bubbles...we might just find an empty coffer... I think there is going to be a lot more surprises down the road...

disillusioned said...

I have always said that if Singapore is to sink one day, the MSM (esp the Shit Times) must take the bulk of the responsibities.
I would like to reiterate this statement.

Anonymous said...

If Sg sinks, I can't imagine any respectable newspaper that wants to employ them... they probably can only work for...North Korea! LOL

Ender said...

The price rises will stall one day. Once it starts to fall and people have negative equity on their homes, Singapore's economy will tank. A lot of the growth in Singapore today is generated by the property market. The eventual slowdown will hurt the economy a lot and show the weakness in our economy.

Fievel said...

"The price rises will stall one day. Once it starts to fall and people have negative equity on their homes, Singapore's economy will tank. A lot of the growth in Singapore today is generated by the property market. The eventual slowdown will hurt the economy a lot and show the weakness in our economy."

Ender, I agree with that 100%. Our numbers are too heavily dependent on the property sector now. Positive equity + high risk appetite is what is driving the Sg property mkt right now, but this cannot go on forever as we all know, and when it does retrace back and hits negative equity area, all the upgraders, investor, flippers, all kena at the same time. Look out for it!

Anonymous said...

"I say - I'm seeing a PAP trend here. The way to solve singaporeans' problem... is to say there is no problem."

No, no. That is too apathetic and conspicuous of gov. The gov way of been smart about solving the problem they cause is to say that it is your problem. Always work regardless of dissident.

Kojakbt said...

Here's another proof that the increase of HDB resale prices is linked to increase in number of FTs especially in the last 2 years:

http://i33.tinypic.com/4kyx3l.jpg

The correlation factor is very strong with a value of 0.83 (1.0 is the max meaning perfect correlation). And yet, our "honorable" mainstream media which Minister Lui keeps praising for its objectivity curiously remains silent on this issue.

Very sad....

Ghost said...

I think they are just trying to avoid saying that the population increase in Singapore is the reason for the property price increase

rookielim said...

This is the very reason why I have stop buying the papers. PLEASE BOYCOTT The Straits Times!

Anonymous said...

Duh! There are no journalists in singapore. Everything is controlled by the state. Just look at the ST , the quality of articles, they probably must have a quota of photos that need to be printed every day of ministers, politicians and of course the supremo leader LKY!!!
Hurt them in the wallet. STOP BUYING THE STRAITS TIMES!!

Von Hayek said...

Our fertility is 1.2 kids/woman and we are suppose to have a negative population growth now or somewhere near future.

We instead seen population explosion of African countries.

Very soon, aboriginal Singaporean will be diluted or extinct.

I dont PAP give a damn.

Anonymous said...

I do buy ST to read just to keep morale up.

But let us all pity the writers cause if they don't write accordingly and to the tune of our garhmen, they will surely be replaced by many others waiting in line to take their jobs.

ICE said...

It is time to change government.

Anonymous said...

The HDB can never lose money. Carparks do not come with your house. Assuming there are 1 million lots owned by the HDB it works out to $ 65 million dollars a month and $ 780 million a year. Carpark maintaining is minimal and cosists of probably tree branch cutting and a little paving here and there.
Loss indeed.

Anonymous said...

PAP is king. Dont offend them unless you have a pp elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

All I can say, any news come from LEE KUAN YEW GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED organization is bloody fucking shit.

LEE KUAN YEW is the master of all the lies just for his own sake for money and power.

Fuck all Singapore Government Cabinets and dogs.

When LEE KUAN YEW gone someday, I will slaughter each of them slowly.

Times will tell.....

Clear eyed said...

The writer of the editorial is indeed a rare talent and deserving of a multi-million $ paycheck. He/she is of ministerial calibre and would be a prize catch for the PAP.

Anonymous said...

The years after LSL took over have been one of great suffering and difficulties for singaporeans. I think he is unparalleled for his greed even compared to his predecessors. Their idea of solving problems is to say it is your problem. The tone that they used on singaporeans - the backbone of singapore society borders and the old folks that have contributed to singapore economy is unheard of in a democratic society - I cannot imagine any other elected party in this world talking like that. They have become the masters and we the slaves of this modern fiefdom. The cracks are showing and getting larger and larger by the day. We should do something about this as a people before the situation exacerbates.

Anonymous said...

"In 2008, our population grew by 5.5% to 4.84M[Link] that is an addition of roughly 250,000 people. There were 100,000 newly minted PRs and citizens in 2008 and these people become eligible to buy resale HDB flats. Even in this severe recession demand is up possibly because of new immigrants"."

5.5%,that must be another PAP man made world record again.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Say whatever we like, but who actually with property here will vote against PAP.

Even a pity 2 room flat owner, you can bet high chance they will be on PAP ticket, so that their asset will keep on going north.

Singaporean never care about their offspring whatever.

Over years, PAP feed us with asset enhancement drug, and now which property owner will want withdrawal symdrome of their net worth tank?

They will prefer to live in slavery heaven.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Singaporean deserves all these because of our collective wickedness.

In Europe, the elite and rich are willing to be tax over 50% transferring their wealth to the poor.

In Singapore, it is the poor bearing a higher personal proportion of tax burden through regressive tax system.

It is our parents that voted PAP. It is Singaporean collective nature to fleece its own people once they prosper.

Anonymous said...

So maybe what LKY says is true. We have to wait 10 more years for the old folks who vote PAP to die off or get sent to JB before we can see any electoral changes??? I think by that time, we would have a lot of casualties from the aboriginal singaporeans already...already now the damage is quite massive...

Anonymous said...

Only Singaporeans are dumb enough to continue to subscrbe to a newspaper that continuously insults them.

Maybe somebody ought to start a petition to get ST to apologise.

Anonymous said...

ST journalists should fall into the Hell of pulling out tongues for eternity - for lying to not 1, but 5 MILLION people.

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