Thursday, November 25, 2010

Slaying of the Celtic Tiger....

Ireland announced a 4 year economic austerity plan today[Link] as the govt solicit EU and IMF aid. Graffiti in South Dublin

Ireland needs about 85billion Euros (S$145B) to stay afloat. This figure is massive for its population of 4.4 million people. It is more than Singapore's sovereign wealth (GIC + Temasek) which took 40 years of "squeezing the people" to you can imagine how long the Irish people will be squeezed by the IMF. The problems that Ireland faces today cannot even be imagined a few years back when Ireland was called the Celtic Tiger. The term "tiger" seems to be jinxed - 14 years ago, another group of countries known as Asian Tigers were caught up in what became the Asian Crisis which ended with a few of them (Thailand, S. Korea) going to the IMF for aid. However, the Asian Crisis seems to be miniscule now compared with the problems faced by some of the European countries. Thailand, for example, needed "only" US$17B which it repaid within 3 years.

Ireland as the Celtic Tiger [Wiki Link]had a fast growing economy that was envied . Its growth rate of 6-11% in the mid 90s to 2006 elevated Ireland from being one of the poorest countries to the wealthiest in Europe within a decade. During that period, the technocrats running Ireland were widely praised for good sound economic policies that attracted multinationals such as Microsoft, Dell and Intel through subsidies and co-investment by state agencies. A few problems that emerged from Ireland's rapid economic growth were "the growing consumerism during the boom years eroded the country's culture with the adoption of American capitalist ideals" (ref: Wikipedia). and rising income inequality - Ireland is the 2nd most unequal country in Europe. The problem that got Ireland into is current economic mess is the rise of property prices ...i.e. the housing bubble.

Housing prices in Ireland peaked in 2006 after about a decade of steady rise. Prices were steady in 2007 and started to fall in 2008-2009. When price of property fell, banks which made big loans to property buyers and developers became insolvent and needed to be rescued (here's a good report on Ireland's banking crisis : Link). When I go through various reports and articles about the housing bubble in Ireland one fact that struck me was the speculators and developers in Ireland became very confident that prices would keep rising because Ireland had an open door policy to attract immigrants from Eastern European countries. By 2006, the foreign born population in Ireland reached 10% and developers confident that they will keep coming and demand will keep rising borrowed heavily to buy land.

This is what "Irish housing bubble" looked like in the form of a chart (source wikipedia) :

I looked at the above chart for a while and realised something:

There was no period in the Irish housing bubble when prices rose as rapidly as they did in Singapore in the past 2-3 years when housing prices rose by more than 70%. For a long time, the PAP govt denied that we have a housing bubble. In Aug 2010, when the govt finally decided to implement cooling measures after Singaporeans expressed concerns about property prices for more than a year, Mr. Mah said this:

“We think that if we do nothing, there’s going to be a bubble. And when the bubble bursts – not if – there will be severe implications for individuals as well as for the economy as a whole,” said Mr Mah, Aug 2010.

Prior to that, Minister Mah spent much of his time telling ordinary Singaporeans that HDB flats were still affordable and so on. Well, I think we already have a bubble and when it bursts, there will be severe implications for individuals who took up big loans to purchase a home. There are many lessons from other countries (US, Spain, Ireland, UK etc) that tells us that we should have acted sooner and govts should be more proactive when tackling such problems. Minister Mah implemented the BTO scheme which under-supplied the public housing market as the number of immigrants coming to Singapore rose. Good economic times don't last forever and when bad times comes, it will become clearer to everyone what should have been done.


Anonymous said...

When I started out raising a home 25 years ago, my 5-room HDB flat costed S$77,700. Today my son has to fork out S$350k to buy a 4-room flat. His pay is not 4 times my pay of 25 years ago. More worrying is the fact that he is queing and queing and stil cannot get a flat. Maybe the ministar can enlighten us who are these 95% first timers applying for HDB flats. Are they Singaporeans or foreigners who just got new citizenship? dt

Anonymous said...

Politicians may hide behind the spectre of inflation and give that as the reason for such a astronomical increase.

Another worry is that during our times, the CPF contribution was much higher which meant that more could go towards paying for the home.

I don't think we could say the same now with the cap at $4,500, lower employer contribution and a maximum amount you could use for housing.

We live in interesting times.

Anonymous said...

Our finance minister said we are managing our hot money inflows well, not by restricting but by shunting to overseas investments or into local capital assets/infrastructure. How does that diminish our overall liability?. At the same time, our mass media reports rich China investors focussing more on Singapore in turn as HK and China clamp down on proper speculators there. So is our country presumably is the next rotational play?. Also what about other hot money inflows under the umbrella of PRs and newly minted residents here into property and shares, as can be evidenced by the spectacular and relentless rise of both so far. I am far from comforted by the minister's reassurances that we are immunised, as all these groups will move themselves and/or their assets out at short notice when the Asia story plays out. Its better to openly acknowledge the problem and start to take more concrete measures rather than indirectly fuel the optimism of the people to continue buying at such lofty levels.

Anonymous said...

I for one am hoping for a big property & economic crash in Singapore. Unfortunately the next major recession will be a long drawn one lasting a few years. Fortunes can only be made during times of crisis, hardship and uncertainty. Rothschild & Rockefeller knew this. Our early tycoons in Malaya and Singapore such as Tan Tock Seng, Eu Tong Sen, Gan Eng Seng, Tan Kah Kee etc also knew this and took advantage of opportunities in less-than-ideal environment. For the next 2 years, the economy & property prices will still be stable and positive. The next major recession will be 3 or 4 years down the road. It will be a painful one for most of the world. Developed countries will have used up all their bullets in combating the current economic downturn. Emerging countries will have seen the short-termism and ultimate futility of quantitative easing and bailing out insolvent companies and people. Asian countries especially will be more hardened to impose currency controls and let companies fail and nationalise key enterprises, wiping out shareholders, creditors and investors. Our govts will be ruthless as compared to the more accommodative western countries. It will take at least 3 years to start recovering from the next major recession. Property prices will drop & grind down by 50% till 2016 or 2017, before finding a floor. That will be the base for the next secular (as opposed to cyclical) bull run starting from 2017, and this can last till about 2033 with cyclical booms & busts along the way.

jamesneo said...

I concur with you anon 25/11/10 10:34. i believe the 18 year property cycle will mark the end of this property run. 1997+18=2015 plus and minus a few years.

However, whether we will have another secular bull run after 2017, i am not so sure as there are many problems like the middle class being wiped out during the financial crisis. Moreover, we will also be faced with the twin problem of extreme inflation in food and energy prices that will only become worse as we come to the end of the decade.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Spot on Lucky Tan!

Most of the big financial-economic crisis will start with housing bubble.

The worst kind of thinking is to treat properties, especially public housing, as "investment". That is utter rubbish. It will direct increase people's perception that it is ok to pay more now because it will increase higher and you can profit from such "investment".

The world has become a place where human beings are just becoming very short sighted going for quick money. Whatever money supply policy is implemented, most of this liquidity will just become hot money going into property and stock markets. It creates a boom and bust cycle, bubbles after bubbles, instead of channeling these money into productive investment that creates jobs.

You are right. All the signs are there that Singapore is going to suffer a sorry fate of bubble tumbling down but yet, our ministers are just waiting to be caught off guard.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

This FEAR that PAP is becoming complacent will spur many Singaporeans to vote the opposition in as many as possible to prevent furthur complacency set in.

DanielXX said...

aiya very easy la. if sinkie ppty too ex, just go north to search for greener pastures. KL ppty is 1/4 the price of its equivalent sG ppty and with the building of high-speed rail, i think kwek leng beng et al will soon have to eat grass.

Anonymous said...

More FTs means lower wages or unemployment or under-employment for us.
Higher GDP means higher costs for us.
The life is geting more & more difficult.
For such "achievements", they were given higher & higher pays and bigger & bigger bonuses.

Anonymous said...

What is there to worry?

Over the next 5 years, there will be another 8 million foreigners immigrated to Singapore.

Of these 8 million foreigners, 3 million foreigners will become permanent residents.

Of these 3 million permanent residents, 1 million permanent residents will become new Singapore Citizens.

With so many peoples on these island, both the HDB and private property prices are going to increase by another 300%

jamesneo said...

anon 26/11/10 10:39 please stop talking rubbish. Singapore pop now is already unsustainable in terms of food , water and energy security. In the coming decade with the energy crisis leading to possible food price escalation, singapore is just a few days from starving if the daily truckloads/ship imports of food from malaysia, thailand, indonesia or air lifts of food from further away become too expensive to come

C H Yak said...

I concur fully with Lucky Tan.

You may want to read my Blog postings on "The Property Bubble & Investment Trap",

i) Part X and XI.

Links :-

(ii) my comments to James Neo's query (Nov 19) - "Back From Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China."

Interesting to note : HDB Resale index defied a "fall" in 2008~2009unlike the PPI but continued to shoot up when private property market recovered and rose to current "Bubble" high...yet no capital controls despite low SINBOR. MAS just warned about interest rate hikes but Tharman opened the gate to inflate the bubble in Parliament. MBT continues to make money thru more land sales. Developers continue to hold high pricing.

Anonymous said...

For those who bought investment property in 2006 or earlier, enjoy the ride for the next 2-3 years. But don't take your eyes off the road and be prepared to cut when property prices start sliding. Don't be greedy and hang on hoping for higher prices. Many people will be caught unaware and only read in the newspapers when prices already down 10-15%, then still hang on until prices already down over 20% and by then not willing to let go. By then economy will be in the shits and you're just 3 months mortgage arrears away from forced mortgagee sale if you kena retrenched or downsized. Most people are lazy and ignorant about their money. It's a simple thing to construct your own property index using caveats from URA website on sales of your condo project or similar nearby projects.

Anonymous said...

The reward sys is not quite right.
they are rewarded bec the cost of living increased (GDP increase).
if u are unemployed or underemployed, how to benefit from GDP growth?
If your wage is low, how to benefit from GDP growth.
They are rewarded bec they make our life more difficult.

Anonymous said...

James Neo

I hold the same view and unfortunately, fear too as you. If you look at Singapore, food and energy will always be the biggest risks for us since we are heavily reliant on external sources.

But what confounds me is that why some Singaporeans choose to sink $2 million into a property and not try to mitigate the above risks by investing in places like Australia, New Zealand and UK or even Malaysia. Properties in these places are satisfactorily priced though not on par with Singapore in terms of quality and safety.

We should be considering such alternatives since some of the richest people and even our politicians understand the consequence of such a scenario surfacing.

They have a leg here and another one elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Property or stock bubbles can happen anywhere.

Bubbles can also be the same anywhere but other things are different, for instance the type of government and the people. And this is different everywhere.

And the difference will also mean a difference in outcome from bubbles.

So despite property bubbles, Singapore may not suffer like Ireland because we have the PAP as government and Singaporeans (locals and Foreign talent turn PRS and citizens) as the electorate.

Is the government of Ireland similar to PAP? Is the Irish people similar to Singaporeans? Of course not. Hence outcome will also not be the same.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
I like your blog and at times were impressed with your analytical insights. Economics and politics are my interest and I would like to befriend like-minded ones. If you care, do drop me a note. I am contactable at

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 26/11/10 23:28

The outcome will not be the same. But I can assure you the outcome will be very similar. Look at Japan, Ireland, USA and Dubai when the property bubble burst.

People are left holding on properties that are worth only a small fraction of what they paid. Banks and big property developers go bust because all the money they put into buying overpriced land can't be made back. Imagine our DBS and OCBC needing a bailout.

Jobs are lost when property bubble bursts. Your PRS will flee in horders to avoid paying up. We read of foreign workers (white collar) in Dubai who deliberately maxed their credit card limit just before flying home permanently. How are we going to catch them and make them pay up their debts?

Guess who will be left holding the basket when all these happen?

It has, and is already happening to other countries whose property bubble has burst. It will happen to us too, if we don't take precautions.

I own a property that is mostly paid up, and I don't feel my interest is taken care of, even as my property has doubled in value compared to what I paid 8 years ago. If I sell my property, I probably need to spend most of my profits to get a new place. So, not much of a profit unless I run road, and most of us Singaporeans don't plan to run road.

So, our Mah Bow Tan is an idiot for being happy about high property prices and being so slow to curb the property bubble.

Anonymous said...

That is it---

Just have my monring mee-prok tar and have a wonderful discussion with my neighbour. We concluded the golden years of Singapore is from 1980 to 1987, Singaporean are moving from Kampong to HDB and new families are being formed. PAP is moving into high wages industry and basic pay was raising every year, at least 10%. HDB was still very affordable between 50 to 150K from 3 roooms to EA.

After that GCT take over, the bubble started to form by LIM Heng Khiang.
the bubble burst in 1997 and until 2003 we are suffering from deflation.

GCT hand over to LHL and start another bubble using foreign talents and large influx of immigrants. Casino came in and off you go another buuble, best wage was stagnant and HDB caught sleeping not building much flats 20K in 5 years.use to 30K per year in good times.

So my good neighbourd concluded as long as there is continue immigrant coming in and the supply is tight, the bubble will go on. Once, supply exceeded demand and Forigners stopped coming in or have enought.

ha ha "that is it"- Machael Jackson

Anonymous said...

Anon 27/11/10 09:33

Don't worry. Sure have foreigner come one.

After all, the market to get foreigners is the whole wide world!

Where got problem not getting foreigners to come?

How? Just lower the standard for the type of foreigner to come!

Just like everything can sell. Just have it at the right price and demand will be there! All salesmen know this.

Anonymous said...

To Anon,

Everything can sell if the price is right. Ya, you want your children to live in this type of price or place

The situation we are in is caused by our shortsighted policy such as

1. Stopping at two until it is too late.
2. Depending MNC without inventing prodcut to sell.
3. Not letting to think for themselve and monopoly of the political , soical, domestic economy and including your money, house and educaton.
4. Control of the medial, destroy all the possible alternatives before it is allow to grow
5. steal others ideas or credit.

This election is very interesting, if they still can get 66.7%, I rest my case(the pain is not enought). if it is below 60%, is time for them to wake up.

Look at the starting pay of our young people and the price of house you need to pay.

Anonymous said...

When I started work, fresh graduate pay was 1200 but 5 room hdb was 40,000 so it takes 33 months to pay off a decent flat. Now my kid will start with 2700 but 5 rooms around 450,000 so it will take 166 months to pay off 5 times longer or 14 years before adding interest. So you figure out whose life is better.

Anonymous said...

hdb is only 99 years. whats the point of buying? it is like communistic here.

Anonymous said...

@27-11 8:19 Marboro tann is not an idiot as I'm sure our ministars own more than 1 property each. So why stop the music?

Anonymous said...

As much as the govt wants to hit the fancied 6mil population target, the foreigners must want to come too. Today Spore already has over 40% of residential population being foreigners, it is difficult to see how that number can still increase without major social and political backlash. Spore property is in a bubble now, and not a case of "not yet" as the clueless pap minister will have you believe.

Anonymous said...

Even teachers slao fed-up with the eval sys.
So are there many CS fed-up with the perf sys also?
The high bonuses may turn out to be a big source of unhappiness. said...

The high migration ratio will break down in few years, when China raise salary for its own worker to SG level as she is doing now.

Not many realise that already, engineers in major cities are being better paid than Singapore.

The wage suppression of PAP will then only allowed us to bring in the worst scumbag of China.

Anonymous said...

Singapore's economy has always operated on a basis of high rent and suppressed wages.

It is not surprising to find hawkers earning $3000 p/m, but having to service rentals of $8000 p/m. The salary gets worse for less skilled workers, whose income in absolute terms has not increased for the past 10 years, while the price of daily necessities has easily shot up by 50% since. Compare the price of a cup of coffee in 2000 to 2010 and you can see how much inflation has increased.

Our salaries increase by 3%, and PAP is whooping that it is great news. But when rent increases, it usually goes up by 20-30% at least.

I can't wait for the property bubble to burst, and let's see how the Singapore tiger gets gelded just like what has happened to Ireland and Dubai.

Kojakbt said...

Mah Bow Tan:
“Nobody, no matter how prescient, no matter how clever, would have been able to predict that this is what is going to happen this year. All of us were caught off-guard… I did not expect the prices to go up. But the point is, are we able to respond to this change. And the answer is yes.” – 29 December 2009

And did our Minister Mah able to “respond” to the change (he said ‘yes’ on 29th Dec 2009)?

Let’s see, according to the HDB Resale Index obtained from, the HDB resale price is still increasing as of last 3rd Qtr (i.e., since Mah’s commitment to dampen HDB resale price increase at end Dec 2009, nothing happens for the next 9 months!):

2010 1st Q – 155.0, 2.8% increase from previous Q
2010 2nd Q – 161.3, 4.1% increase from previous Q
2010 3rd Q – 167.8, 4.0% increase from previous Q

You decide if our million $$$ scholar Minister Mah can “respond” well to the change or not.

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

If you look at the graph of HDB Resale Index since its inception in 4Q98 (base value set at 100):

You can see that the HDB resale price is pretty stable hovering at about base value of 100 for the first 8 years until end 2006. After the last election in 2006, the HDB resale price skyrocketed coinciding with the huge influx of FTs coming into Singapore…

Anonymous said...

Foreigners got 7 in 10 new jobs
The latest official figures showed a record 156,900 foreigners joined the workforce, soaking up seven in 10 of the new jobs.
The remaining 64,700 new jobs went to Singaporeans and permanent residents.
These new numbers are derived from the labour market report for 2008.

Anonymous said...

According to some source, HDB is around 8% default.

Such high default rate inevitably will crash our property market if the government did not import foreigner.

I really hope Mah Boh Tan can jack up property further. Another 100% hike is good. What about a 20% forclosure for Singapore property?

And what if food price rises 300% next year? We really have no buffer, as PAP has suck us all dry.

Sit back and relax. I think we are razor thin into the next crisis.

Anonymous said...

People always want to ask for "free" service. People only want to pay when it is no choice. When it is "Bobian".
If u are able to make people "Bobian" but to pay, then it is very easy for u to make nomey.
But there is a limit, if always pay, pay pay, people will slowly get angry. When it reaches a point where it is totally beyond their means, how are they going to pay?

Anonymous said...

Want to control property prices? 1)lower the valuation of HDB by 25%2)raise interest rates on home loan to 3 - 5% above prime.
3)Owners of private properties cannot owned HDB. Those with existing units must either sell their private property or their HDB.
4) Only Singapore Citizens eligible to buy HDB flats. PR buying HDB flat must pay a 20% government levy
5) Tightened immigration policy.

Anonymous said...

I am being told this morning by my boss that I am overpaid. Can you imagine this? For the past 3 yrs, I have not had any increment & bonuses & I am still overpaid!! I am shell-shocked by this revelation by my employer. I am not sure what is going to happen. Maybe I will be retrench again being "too expensive" for my boss. If not, I will probably have to work extra hard to keep my job. I am already going into the office daily at least half an hour before the actual start time. What else do I need to do? Work 20 hrs a day???? Or should I be happy because I still have a job????

Anonymous said...

u think u will still hv a job to pay for yr high expenses?
Once u loss yr job, u may not be able to find another one if u are already "old".
people with 20-30 years of experiences and a phd still hv to become a txi driver, bec the "boss" think that he is now too old.
Young people don't understand this,
or they do not want to udnertand. Old people who are rich do not understand this, or they are not interested to know.
people who pay high price for the property may understand this, but they hv "no choice" but to pay bec they need to hv somewhere to stay.
Who knows what will happen in 3-4 years time?

Anonymous said...

The scary thing is the high wont last forever & when the day comes, all hell will break loose, just like when shit hits the fan. It doesnt matter if you are 25 or 52, everyone along the line will suffer. By that time, I wont be surprised that most of the rich & elites have already cashed out & living on some paradise island!! There's no way we could get our money back since we dont even know how much we have in the reserve!! It could be a zillion dollars or just a few miserable billions. Our forefathers worked & sweated for Singapore hoping that the next generation will taste the sweetness of the harvest, but alas what we are getting now is just pits & some fallen leaves!! I am not saying that we are all starving & fighting over a loaf of bread but rather, if the government doesnt do anything, we will all suffer in the near future. Everything is going up except our salary; we are now using more of our pay for food & lodging. This couldnt be good cos we will have lesser to save for the rainy days. When the government asked us to be faster, better & cheaper, they should set an example & do the same too. Perhaps, lower rental, transport or taxes & not just suppress our salary. There are many ways to do business here less costly!

Anonymous said...


Based on a report from KPMG in September 2010, Singapore's national debt levels increased 10% from the preceding year.

It stands at 110% of GDP and puts us in the top 10 position in the world. I don't think PIIGS even come close to where we stand.

Is this worrying? Would you be able to blog about this and like to learn from your opinions.

Also, does that number include the CPF funds which I see as national debt.

Our CPF funds stand at above $100 billion today. said...

Re Annon 30/11/10 19:25
Singapore's government debt is mainly its CPF obligation towards its citizen.

That poses no danger to anybody in the government. In due time, PAP will confiscate or default everything. PAP PAP is already defaulting by keep on raising minimum sum and withdrawal age.

Those debts of PIIGS is a different story. Their creditors are Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.


And what make me piss off is that the corrupt politician actually make the citizen to bail our insolvent bank, and to the extend of 100 cent a dollar senior debt.

The PIGGS government should do a "argentina" or Dubai World. Give those banks a default, and give them back, 10c on a dollar.

Now, the only people happy are bankers. They will have fat bonus on the dead bodies of millions of unemployment, social service cut, collapse of education system and university of the PIIGS countries.

GetMahOut said...

Quick frankly, the first mental barrier to break is to not think anymore of setting roots here. Rather, one has to now not put staying in Singapore as a fixed factor in one's future decision. Staying in Singapore now should be a variable factor. When the situation is dropping from bad to worse, it's important to plan wisely and act quickly. The island is sinking day by day. The arrival of the casinos is a clear example. This is coupled with a overly priced PAP administration, one that has been complacent way too many times and still devoids the basic human decency to admit and improve. They're not talking sense. They're talking politics. Each time, Mah comes to the surface, it is not about talking sense. It's about making a political speech. His words are nothing but a political speeching.

Anonymous said...

When the country does not have any resources and has to rely on it's human capital to propel it's high growth trajectory, many things can go wrong. Very often due to factors outside human control. The way I'm looking at the situation, it appears that the very smart and ever calculative elite are all jumping on the gravy train and plundering the nation's wealth while at the same time trying to keep a lid on the citizen's unhappiness. Eventually, when things turn pear shaped, these people would be cashed up and left for greener pastures. With their millions they will be welcomed in any country with open arms. Most of their children are educated overseas and can easily settle abroad. If and when the opposition eventually take over, there will be only one note left in the vault. "Sorry, there's no money left."

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr Mah contradicts with his word. It just like the japan minister in the late 90s and look at japan now.

Anonymous said...

To: GetMahOut

Positive views from you but only if more Sinkies are able to seek their fortunes outside SG.

Perhaps the fear of getting out of one's comfort zones and the difficulties in relocating.

But we should really be setting out to explore other land of opportunities and cashing in on the overpriced properties here or at least invest in some under-valued properties in other countries.

Anonymous said...

How to work up to 65??
Nowadays young people already start to stab one aonther whne they are still young.
So how to work until 67 unless ......

Anonymous said...

The Conspiracy of Working Beyond Retirement

Why does the Government advocate it? By ensuring that everyone continues to be economically active, it means that the qualification for benefits and subsidies will be diminished. By pushing one to work beyond 55, 60, 65 or 67 for that matter, it focuses on pushing one to support their own livelihood as much as possible.

The state finds that it would not need to manage the burden as the responsibility lies on one self. In order for this to be norm, all workers need to be socialized into seeing that this is the way forward. And if you don't do it, there must be something wrong with you.

Anonymous said...

By asking us to work each extra year beyond retirement, it also means that the company each year will have one less job for fresh graduate. Unless of course, the company is growing every year, and can afford to keep hiring to keep up with its expansion.

A retiree who is hogging his job means a fresh grad from poly or uni will not be deprived of the job; be it a doctor, technician, clerk, civil servant, etc etc

Anonymous said...

""A retiree who is hogging his job means a fresh grad from poly or uni will not be deprived of the job;""

While u complain one job less that is taken up by the retiree, 10 FTs or even 100 FTs can be imported to take over your place. So why pointing finger at the poor retiree if he reaaly need the money / the job??

The problem is many people already cannot find a proper job when they are 40s or 50s, and yet no help or little help is given.
Now why putting so much efforts to help those "rich" retirees who are able to work until 60s?
If they do not really need a job at that age, why spent so much efforts to help them to continue working.
The rich are getting riches & riches.
When u are unemployed or udner-empolyed, then u will "admire" or "jealous about" those who still hv a job. But why are they not given due assistant?

Anonymous said...

Anon 07:48,

You are assuming that the economy is not growing and the job market is stagnant. The current situation we are facing is labour shortage. That's why the government in rather relaxed with immigration. Perhaps they have overdone it but the point is, in a growing economy, there will always be new jobs created and these need to be filled either by fresh graduates or poached from other employers.

Anonymous said...


I think many are not happy about 'No Retirement'. Personally, I would like to retire using my monthly CPF. However, I have ONE GREAT FEAR - will the age at which one can draw down one's CPF be pushed back after GE? Will EVERYBODY be SOMEHOW FORCED into CPF LiFE? I have monitored statistics about the older gen who opted into the scheme - about 30,000 out of about 700,000! For the state to compel "retirees" to work (toilet cleaners? Above 40 yrs, you're dead to job market), there are many instruments. If "retiree" can't pay a bill, subject "retiree" to interest payments & let the bill balloon.
That's one way & I can think of others.

Anonymous said...

By right, our CPF has long ago defaulted on CPF payouts, just like how banks and countries have defaulted on paying on their issued bonds.

But our CPF is smart enough to get around this problem by passing new laws to forbid us from taking out our CPF in one lump sum, lest we mismanage our money.

Perhaps banks will one day also stop paying their bond holders in one lump sum, and insist unilaterally on paying back in monthly installments, lest their bond holders can't manage their own money.

Our CPF is smart in their way of defaulting on our CPF reserves. At least the markets weren't alarmed and most people are still blissfully unaware that CPF has not enough money to pay all the eligible retirees one full lump sum.

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