Sunday, April 17, 2011

Heart of the housing issue : Cost of Land.....

"LOWERING land cost as a way to reduce new Housing Board flat prices is tantamount to raiding Singapore's reserves This is because all land is sold at prices set by the Chief Valuer, and the land sale proceeds go into the reserves." - Mah Bow Tan[Link]

Well a few day ago,  he was saying that healthcare, defense and education expediture will have to be cut for the govt to sell flats cheaper. Now we get to the heart of the issue:

1. Most of cost of HDB flats comes from the land cost component.
2. Land cost is determined by a Chief Value in the govt.
3. When this land is sold, the money goes to the reserves (GIC).

The bottom line is when Singaporeans take up 25 year mortgages to buy homes, they borrow money from the bank to pay HDB and most of the money ends up in the GIC.  Minister Mah uses the phrase 'raiding the reserve' to describe the suggestion by Worker's Party to sell land at a more reasonable price. It is not true that the reserves are 'raided' because not a single cent needs to come out from the reserves to get this done - money will still flow from our pockets to grow the reserves albeit at a slower rate.

In the next few questions we asked to explore  have to ask are:

1. How can land be valued fairly?

2. How do reserves benefit ordinary Singaporeans in their lifetime once they grow beyond what is needed for cushioning economic crisis? Who really reserves really benefit?

3. How do we maximise the benefits of public housing for Singaporeans in the long term?

HDB's mandate is to build affordable homes. Unfortunately, nobody bother with the definition of the word "affordable" which has become one of the must abused words in Singapore. Does affordable means median annual income times 5 or 10? Does affordable simply means being able to service your housing loan which have tenures of 10, 20 or 35 years?  Because affordability was not defined, we have politicians arguing that it is still affordable after a 50% surge in prices.

"First the cost of new houses for 1st time buyers is about 23%...the cost of servicing the flat. That hasn't changed very much over time and is significantly lower than Hong Kong and most other cities. It is significantly lower than the developed countries at large. It is cheaper to own and service a mortgage on a house in Singapore than it is in any other developed countries..." - Minister Tharman in CNA Forum, on Singapore's future, April 2011 [[Video Link]

There are numerous flaws in Minister Tharman assertion in the recent forum but I put it up to show how determined PAP is to deny that serious problems faced by Singaporeans exist. To watch Minister Tharman say that Singaporeans have it good, homes are easily affordable....better than all other developed countries just add to the frustration of Singaporeans coping with the high cost of housing. I'm sure regular readers of this blog can pick out the flaws in Tharman's argument easily but for those are having trouble figuring it out here is the explanation. When Tharman talks about the relatively constant average quantum (23%) that 1st time buyers use to service loans, it counts only people who can afford a home - many can't afford homes give up looking for one. Also, they keep the quantum constant by buying homes smaller than what they want or need at less desirable locations and the tenure for loans has increased - in the past people finish paying their loans in 10 years or less now the tenture can be as long as 3 decades....there is a big difference between paying 23% of your income for 10 years vs 30 years.

He says we are better off  than Hong Kong which is no consolation given the housing misery there (unhappy Hong Kongers come out in force to protest every weekend for a good reason). He then goes on to make a very strange and really hard to believe assertion that the housing situation in Singapore is better than all other developed countries. Singapore has the 2nd highest population densities[Link] in the world and many cities in develop countries have suburban areas where housing is very cheap. Singapore is the 11th most expensive city in the world but is 43th and 49th in domestic wages and purchasing power respectively, along the likes of developing countries like Turkey, Slovakia and Qatar and far below the capitals of other Asian Tigers – Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong[UBS Report, Temasek Review on the report]. Singapore has the highest income in equality among developed countries which means that the lower rungs of our society are more adversely affected by high housing costs than else where in the world. Tharman's denial that there is a problem with high housing costs shows that there is no interest in govt to solve what many Singaporeans think is serious problem.

The undisputable truth is housing is far less affordable that it was 20 years ago. The median income rose 111% (not inflation adjusted) while the price of housing as measured by the RPI rose 342%. That is the source of unhappiness among Singaporeans and it is a very real problem:
The huge surge in housing prices came after the PAP govt liberalised CPF for the purchase of homes. That single move resulted in billions in CPF accounts mobilised for the purchase of private homes and HDB flats. Most of the money ultimately ended up in our reserves. Prior to that move, Singaporeans had enough in CPF for retirement and HDB provided what most people would consider affordable housing.  Once CPF was used for housing, our homes became inextricably linked to our retirement. In addition to this move,  our CPF is also locked to low fixed returns - the GIC borrows our CPF at low interest rates to invest for higher returns...yes another reserve building scheme at the expense of' our retirement. After adjusting for inflation, our CPF returns is way below other pension funds such Malaysia's EPF.  The situation is so problematic even pro-PAP writer Chua Mui Hoong called for CPF returns to be improved[Link]. The PAP solution to all these problems is to ask Singaporeans to retire later....and later..and perhaps never.

Now back to the issue of land valuation. Land in Singapore is a scarce and precious resource most of which was originally owned or acquired by the govt using the Land Acquisition Act. We can reclaim some land from the sea provided our neighbors don't complain but the total land area in Singapore won't increase much over time. Given this situation, the decision to make public housing the main form of housing under the control of the govt is a correct one. We have seen what happened in many developing countries where free market for land allowed the rich buy up most of the land and the poor people become landless, sometimes homeless  and trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty - the only solution left in places like Philipines was to carry land reform in which govt forcibly take back land and redistribute it to the lower classes. That is the bleak situation that public housing programs try to avoid - the dynamics of the free market for land which causes income gap to expand depressing your middle class and sending the lower class down to poverty. The purpose of public housing is defeated if we directly link the price of land for public housing to free market auctions to developers. The success of public housing is measured by affordability and progress is made when people take up less debt, have more disposable income, have a better quality of life and the effects of the income gap is mitigated through the public housing program. Under Minister Mah, the HDB failed to do all that and when confronted with WP's manifesto to improve the situation, Minister Mah is worried that our wages will flow at a slower rate into GIC's astronomical coffers - is he for more affordable housing or reserve building? Lets not forget the high resale prices is caused by govt move to open the flood gates to the foreign influx and the BTO which limits supply.

The situation might be slightly better if the govt articulates a clear plan on how the Singaporeans will benefit from the reserves in their lifetime. Will part of it flow back to improve the quality of retirement for Singaporeans? The GIC today provide high paying jobs for a small number of elites who manage the reserves. For a long time, Singaporeans have been asking for greater transparency and accountability in the management of the reserves...these are after all build from the sweat of Singaporean workers who have to get into heavy debt and delay their retirement to pay for expensive public housing.

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

Thank you for another insightful aritcle that picks apart the flawed reasonings of PAP.

Good one.

Best regards
Chong Han

Anonymous said...

I have already bought a resale flat and will be in debt for 30 years and with little or low CPF. From what I read, the situation does not look good for me. I hope God can look into this matter for all Singaporeans. We cant seem to rely on politicians to take care of us.

Anonymous said...

Continue from above
17/4/11 09:44


25 Sep, 2010, 03.46AM IST, Amiti Sen & Souvik Sanyal,ET Bureau

India presses Singapore to open up services sector

NEW DELHI: India has asked Singapore to open up more services to allow a greater number of
Indian professionals access the island nation’s cost accountancy and hospitality sectors. A
comprehensive bilateral trade agreement between the two countries is being reviewed. “We want to take advantage of the second review to get more in services and are exploring all
possibilities,” a commerce department official told ET.

Besides requesting Singapore to take deeper commitments in medical, health-related and
education services, India needs to ask for expanding the existing list of 127 occupations by which professionals are allowed entry into Singapore, pointed out Amit Mitra, secretary general, Ficci. “The additional list has to include chefs, physiotherapists, nurses, school teachers, nutritionists, professionals in
entertainment and hospitality sectors,” he said.

India has stepped up pressure on professional bodies from services sectors such as chartered accountancy and architecture to engage with their counterparts in Singapore to create conditions
for implementing liberal rules already provided for in the bilateral pact entered into in 2005.

What is weighing on India’s mind most is the inability of professional councils from both
sides to take advantage of what has already been offered in the CECA. According to estimates made
by industry body CII, services exports from India to Singapore has gone up by 143% in 2008 to $1.5 billion after the implementation of the CECA.

The potential of increasing services exports to Singapore is huge as the country’s annual imports of services stands at around $80 billion. The second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement or CECA started in May this year and is likely to continue for a year
following which changes would be made to the existing agreement.

The CECA provides for mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) allowing professionals in nursing, dentistry, medicines, architecture and accountancy to practice in the other country purely on the basis of the qualifications acquired in the home country. Rules for finalising MRAs have not been framed as professionals in the respective sectors have not
shown much initiative to take the process ahead.

“During the second review, we are very serious about ensuring that professional councils meet and the
rules get framed,” the official pointed out. The governments finally made a few of the professional councils meet during the first review meeting last
month in Singapore and they will meet again in New Delhi later this month.

India’s accounting regulator Institute of Chartered Accountants of India , which participated in the meeting, is upbeat about the future but believes that MRAs could take more time. “While
regulators of both the countries have concurred on the need to allow their respective professionals to work in their territories, the Singapore
institute has asked us to wait because they are making some revisions to their curriculum,” said ICAI president Amarjit Chopra. He added the commerce
ministry has called for signing of the bilateral agreement even though the process of revision of
curriculum may be continued.

ICAI holds that since both Singapore and India are emerging economies, MRAs will be beneficial for both. The nursing councils also had a good meeting. The
dentistry and medical councils, however, have not met, and the chances of MRAs in these sectors are not very bright as they lack integration in the domestic market, the official added.

Anonymous said...

Actually it boils down to 2 things.

1. Some Singaporeans will definitely remain in Singapore, although a lot may have already emigrated to other countries.

2. There will always be foreigners willing to come here. If fewer want to come, just "lower the bar" and the govt wil get the numbers to come.

So as long as the above 2 things are always there, the high property prices can definitely be sustained and continue.

Unless

1. the GRC system is abolished.

2. the PAP is voted out or lose its 2/3 majority.

3. the whole of Singapore is hit by earthquake and tsunamis!

There is of course almost zero chance of the above 3 happening.

So, take care of yourselves.

hayek said...

I wish to provide an perspective on this issue.

Rent seeking elite is a perpetual in human civilization for 5000 years. In Singapore, this is done by creating artificial scarcity and forming cartel in certain enterprise, to fleece the productive population. Example, property, healthcare......etc

Even without HDB, the elite will create scarcity out of something else, eg water...etc

The French discovered a cure to this sick system by sending their elite to guillotine. And the purge of these parasite has benefit mankind henceforth.

Kojakbt said...

Excellent analysis by Lucky Tan. Lucky, if you are running for the Minister of Finance to replace Tharman, many Temasek Review readers will sure support you :)

The Govt is even more resolved to even sell HDB land to private developers at high price instead of building HDB flats these days:

http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/02/26/affordable-housing-government-saying-one-thing-but-glcs-doing-another-thing/

All these moves plus what Lucky has said in the article leads me to wonder. Is the PAP Govt trying to jack up land prices so as to help plug the hole that Ho Ching burnt in our reserves?

Anonymous said...

yes, in Temasek and GIC, the administrative charges in 2009 is $8 billion!!!

Terence said...

Lucky Tan,

thanks for this article. I have some questions:

1)How did you come to the assertion that "Most of cost of HDB flats comes from the land cost component"? I can't seem to figure that out.

2) Where did you get the data on RPI and MHI?

3) Is any data publicly available on the price appreciation of BTO flats, since the RPI only covers resale flats?

Kojakbt said...

Lucky, I do need to say one thing though. A property bubble has already been built up in Singapore. If we get HDB to now, say, price HDB at DSR of 23% but at 10-20 years mortgage tenure instead of 30 years, I'm afraid the drop in HDB prices will have an extensive effect on the prices of other properties. Everything may just collapse together.

Now, that may be a good thing for buyers but for existing home owners from HDB to private owners, many will face negative equity suddenly. Banks may start asking them to top-up in 10s or 100s of $K.

And the worst fear is this. According to ADB (http://www.moneytalk.sg/2011/01/increasing-housing-loans-held-by-banks.html), at 51% share of loans goes to property, Singapore's banking sector's exposure to property is the highest among the nine major economies of East Asia. If the property prices collapsed, our whole financial system may just end up with a sub-prime crisis like in Ireland...

We are now pretty screwed. Can't move forward, can't move backward, all thanks to Mah and gang. What do you think?

Sim WH said...

//Some Singaporeans will definitely remain in Singapore, although a lot may have already emigrated to other countries.//

They have. SG is losing 20% of its brightest & youngest Gen Y by the loadseats of SIA. They are the "disengaged & explorers"

If PAP is truly in touch with the ground, they would not have busy back-pedaling on the low population rates due to (1)n low TRF rate (2) high migration rate
and with a final nail in the coffin for singaporeans (3) low voice & accountability rate in SG.

Welcome to our dire situations. All made possible because of PAP policies.

http://bit.ly/hmRM5L

http://utwt.blogspot.com/2010/08/why-i-would-like-to-leave-by-kitana.html

Anonymous said...

So the higher the land costs, the higher will be our reserves? Hence the more wealthy Singapore will be?

Then why not increase the land cost even further?

And if so, the higher the property price, the more wealthy home owners will be? Even though they have only ONE house, the one they live in?

So if a 3 room HDB flat is valued on paper at $1 million, majority of homeowners are millionaires?

OK, maybe they can sell and downgrade to 2 room flat valued at $900K but is this the quality of life of a millionaire?

Definitely I would not wish to be this type of millionaire.

Anonymous said...

"Rent seeking elite is a perpetual in human civilization for 5000 years. In Singapore, this is done by creating artificial scarcity and forming cartel in certain enterprise, to fleece the productive population. Example, property, healthcare......etc"

True. The powerful and the more resoureful ones are able to get away with it by capitalizing on this because of a more wider information / knowledge gap in the past.

With the internet and a more knowledgeable society, this information / knowledge is getting more & more democratised and people are beginning to see more clearly what really bites in terms of information / misinformation.

That is why transparency is important so that right information contributes to right decision making, however one wants to interpret the information.

It is the duty of the people or society at large to ensure as much as possible that this rent seeking is not overdone especially when it comes to key important services where only certain previleged groups are tasked to service and are subject to heavier control, and the people have no choice except to pay for it.

Kojakbt said...

@Terence,

>> How did you come to the assertion that "Most of cost of HDB flats comes from the land cost component"? I can't seem to figure that out.

Here, read this:

http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2010/2/27190/construction-of-new-queenstown-hdb-flats-costs-120

HDB awarded a contract worth $99.8 million to Sim Lian Construction Co. for the building works at Queenstown involving 774 units.

This works out to a construction cost of $129,180 per unit (to be completed by Feb 2013).

Just to give you an idea of the pricing in Queenstown, Dawson new HDB units there cost from $400,000 to $650,000.

fyi.

hayek said...

Talking about HK.

In HK, there are probably 70% of land still undeveloped. Google map it and you will see.

What makes HK crazy real estate market is asshole like Lee Ka Shing who is determine to keep 99.9% of HK people out of reasonable living space.

The HK government is so systemically corrupt that she categorically reject the appeal of London to build public housing, increase social spending in the 70s. She refuse the advise of London in 70s to cover the budget by some sort of wealth tax, income tax or coporate tax.

The HK money elite is also good in co-opting the intellectual elite by giving them well paying jobs. This mute out social conscience.

Next, the HK money elite corrupt the middle class by tying a large part of their fortune in property. The selfish HK middle class is akin to committing financial suicide to their children when they hope that their property increase in value.

Meanwhile, those sham economist all over the world cheer HK is most "corruption free" country in the world.

WTF

Anonymous said...

Debunking what's in our reserves.

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/what-are-in-our-reserves-a-revisit/

Anonymous said...

My friend who is a scholar and getting married next year cannot afford to buy a new hdb because his combine income with his wife to be is more than 8k and buying a resale is so difficult - imagine having to cough up 60k cash to buy a resale 4room flat. End up they had to buy a small condo but end up being debt laden for the rest of his life. It is sad our own ppl cannot even afford to buy a public housing be it from hdb or resale.Even if they can buy, what happens to their CPF when they retire. Just way to little for retire. How can ppl be happy if we are living our lives like this even for Graduates. Can't even get a decent home. I am sure they would like to buy hdb but it has gone way up and too much restrictions for us all... MBT can still say he is proud of his policy! ARGH!

Anonymous said...

Damn those white-shirted cunning
brainiacs, they had it all figured!
Lower our pay-scale and raise
the cost of housing, they have made
us into virtual slaves to do their
biddings and to never get out of t this over-crowded,ever-
suffocating and ultra-expensive abode but only to help them amass greater fortune that never intend
to benefit the common Ah Seng.
Brilliant! Continue to vote PAP.

TheirFuture said...

PM just announced their motherhood manifesto" "Securing OUR future together".

Wowza...I think the keyword here is "OUR" = We the enRich MPs and our elites plus all those RC/PA/TC stooges/understudy-wannabe At the rest of our expenses !

Anonymous said...

Yep you are the hamsters on that wheeler aka the Singapore FLYER...the wheel is bigger now..to include all the daft FTs to join in the race.. remember to put on the running gears PM said they have provided us ok..

In short -
Run the Race, Keep your Pace, Bring us Face!! Jia you

Anonymous said...

There's no future. Just past & present..they have just been a non-stop struggle, while my government sit on our billiion dollars arse-set enhancing policies to select group.

Fed up with Progress.

hayek said...

WHY HDB PRICE IS LOW AND HOME OWNERSHIP INCREASE IN 70s?

Many people thank Goh Keng Swee and Lim Kim San for that? Are the 2 assholes really deserve the credit of giving Singaporean 100% home ownership as what is being spinned?

To beginning with, the land acquisition act is responsible for providing cheap land.

So why PAP comes up with land acquisition act? We need to look into the socio-political background then.

During the 50s, the most powerful groups in Singapore are those Tycoon related to Tan Luck Sye or Tan Kah Kee family, which is strongly chinese patriot. They are the biggest landlord in Singapore.

The PAPs are bunch of banana traitor-in-jap-occupation, led by LKY. British love LKY and hand over him the security appartus.

But in terms of wealth, especially landed property, those banana are no match with Chinese patriot.

Hence they hatch the land-acquisition act to seize and destroy the wealth of Chinese patriot.

During 70s, land price are deliberately kept low so that land acquisition is amount to confiscation.

But there is still deliberate damage targeting the farmers in Sembawang and Lim Choo Kang... by seizing their lands. This is because fucker Goh Keng Swee then started to industrialize Singapore and he target to move rural population in Singapore into factories to let MNC exploit.

Hence, alot of cheap housing estate were built to appease the condemned resettled population. And these housing estate like Bedok, Toa Payoh, Jurong are closed to industries.

Not unlike what foxconn dormitory.

hayek said...

We should thank those farmers and Chinese patriot tycoon who lost got their land confiscated in 70s for cheap HDB instead of scumbag like Lim Kim San.

The cheap HDB era is an abnormality which sprang out of power transfer from the Chinese patriot to PAP bananas.

In comparison, the structure of HK elite remain intact during that period. Hence, no cheap housing for HK.

Lucky Tan said...

Terrence,

the reference for the RPI vs Income can be found in an earlier posting of mine:

Link

We know that the major component of the price of a HDB flat is from land costs because we know the cost of construction is roughly $40-$80K based on tender returns of winning bid to build HDB flats - if you look at Johor when land is nearly free compared with Singapore, you can buy condos for under RM$100K:

http://www.johorproperty.com/

Housing is cost to our workers and they find it hard to price themselves competitively when cost of living is so high - the PAP resorts to calling workers fussy and demanding when they ask for better working conditions and workplace nearer to home to save some of their costs. The wages in JB is half to one third that of Singapore but there is more than a ten fold difference in housing cost. For that reason, in many parts of Malaysia e.g. KL purchasing power is higher than that of Singaporeans.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

hayek said...

-How Mah Boh Tan Corrupts our Mind-

Would you rather buy an apple for $0.01 or for $1000 0000.

--Buy it for $1000 000--

This is how Mah Boh Tan and all fucking no conscience econs professors, economist tries to make us stupid.

Given a choice, I would want for myself and my son a big house with a swimming pool for $1.

Somehow, there are liars like Mah Boh Tan who give his reasons to tell us that is a dangerous idea.

Many kind people are corrupted by his wicked lies.

While everyone knows Fascist and Commie and good in propaganda, the actual fact is the free market newspaper is the biggest liar in the world.

Mah Boh Tan is really Goebbel ala Singapore.

Anonymous said...

"For that reason, in many parts of Malaysia e.g. KL purchasing power is higher than that of Singaporeans."
Lucky 17/4/11 12:54

Then how come we have so many Malaysian professionals (eg engineers, doctors, accountants etc) working and living in Singapore?

And how come our people don't emigrate to KL and Malaysia?

OK don't say emigrate, why majority voters still want PAP to be government?

And why so few talents in the opposition?

And why Lucky Tan, which I have high regard for his writing skills, don't want to contest on the opposition ticket?

Lucky Tan said...

Kojabt,

The PAP created a problem akin to the housing bubbles all over the world. You get pain on the way up and even more pain on the way down.

The problem is when housing is too expensive it becomes hard to sustain. MM Lee came out to say HDB prices will be kept going up. No govt can keep housing going up faster than median income in the long run and when it comes down, the effects can be disastrous as we have seen in past few years. In Singapore, where housing became inter-twined with retirement, falling home prices will have more widespread effects.

We may have reached a point that is intractable i.e. you can't go either way so you try to stay put but the next major recession may not be too far away. Right now any solution or suggestion to fix the problem will always have other issues. One way is to apply WP's proposal after prices fall to prevent prices from rising too fast vs income.... even then those who bought at high prices have no good exits.

I guess once the mistake is maded and prices move too much vs income under PAP's asset enhance ideas, there are just no more elegant win-all solutions.

Anonymous said...

MBT: "Lowering land cost will "raid" our reserves"

So what does high Ministerial Salaries do to our reserves?

Anonymous said...

So....you guys are basicall saying your fellowmen are...daft or too stupid when doing their sum and therefore, ppl like leong sz should give them basic maths lessons before they give this country ppl a bad name?...when they formed LONG Q for...unaffordable homes?

Hipposition said...

"Lucky, I do need to say one thing though. A property bubble has already been built up in Singapore. If we get HDB to now, say, price HDB at DSR of 23% but at 10-20 years mortgage tenure instead of 30 years, I'm afraid the drop in HDB prices will have an extensive effect on the prices of other properties. Everything may just collapse together. "

Who cares. Just vote them into power. It is their turn to run the country.

My way or the high way. That is the real change.

Anonymous said...

I think Lucky needs to give the entire nation math lessons :)

Anonymous said...

an IQ lessons too

Anonymous said...

I think in this particular election - after all the gerry mandering, pork barrel politics and doctoring of figures, intransparency and above all, unaccountability, not to mention, the usual propaganda - it's safe for us to say, "Let's not give the government the benefit of the doubt anymore." :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

Thank you for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Still, we kick them out :)

But for the right reasons

Anonymous said...

//Then how come we have so many Malaysian professionals (eg engineers, doctors, accountants etc) working and living in Singapore?//

Becoz SG$ strong, and jobs aplenty so they make money here and go back to MY to spend cheap mah..
many got two homes you know.

//And how come our people don't emigrate to KL and Malaysia?//

Because Bumiputra-first policy get it!? Sinkies go there is 3rd class citizen. M'sians come here is first-class or on-par with Sinkies!

//OK don't say emigrate, why majority voters still want PAP to be government?//

(1) Bribe-n-bribe esp those runners in RC/YPAP/PA/CS/GLCs/FT/PAPwards -- all these complex multi-layered org/people are enough to form the 2/3 majority - all kiasi of the 'boss" as their livelihoods depends on the olee-garchies
(2) your MSM (states times & cheerleading News Asia) are enough to just give you ALL good news of ruling party. That's enough to blindly comfort alot of ostriches too busy to run the hamster wheel to look and see and care


//And why so few talents in the opposition? //
There are alot wat..where have you been? Just look around now..slowly coming out..and many more will start to defect from the Team A..just watch. That's why he doesn't want two Team As you see..worry that they will fed up and go join Opp..happening already..

Anonymous said...

Why the looong Q then? too much hell money izzit?

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

"So....you guys are basicall saying your fellowmen are...daft or too stupid when doing their sum and therefore, ppl like leong sz should give them basic maths lessons before they give this country ppl a bad name?...when they formed LONG Q for...unaffordable homes?"

When your roots are here and there os where your home is. When your time is up for marriage and for you to form your family of your own, your instinct is to get your own home and a lot do not have any choice but to buy at MARKET PRICE.

Unless and until you really reach the breaking point of TAK BOLEH TAHAN, you are still very attached to your country even if it is expensive. Similaryly to japan's fukushima where a lot of families are still staying put within the 20-30km zone knowing full well of the danger.

The problem does not lie with daft citizens, the problem lies with the fact that some people are capitalizing and taking full advantage on the trust that is being given to them.

Anonymous said...

if we are talking about numbers.. we just simply stick with the numbers. at the end of the day, the number must add up

the philosophical aspect is another issue all together though it will ultimately affect the numbers.

Anonymous said...

and you forgot..a lack of choice.

Soon, the NMP will be the ONLY "appointed" voices by PAP that will be the alternative "voices" for singaporeans. Just look at where is our unions today..the two unions leaders both in the English & Chinese forum - said nothing to support workers, just parroting what PM has said..find job, they will be ok!
Total goner, and now they have put in more "union leaders" whose salaries paid by PAP requires them NOT to understand. ..sad sorry state.

Anonymous said...

I think that what has been done in high property price cannot be undone without severe consequence. Don't get me wrong. I am strongly against high property price. But once we have high property price, it is just unwise to turn back to low property price.

Measures to lower the property price ( or even keep the nominal property price stagnant for years) will just screw fellow singaporean with 30 years mortgage and CPF money tied to their HDB flats.

We can blame PAP for the mess they have created. But lower the property price is not the solution.

The solution is to increase the house afford-ability without disturbing the house price. There are two ways to do it:

1) Gov offer one time "gift' money to every Singaporean to buy the HDB flat. This will instantly decrease the real house price for citizen.

2) Increase the income. This is tricky as the way Sing dollar appreciates against greenback is not helpful to increase Singapore workers nominal pay

Anonymous said...

1438

ok, what do u propose then?

the oppose are fielding a lot of business ppl, is that good?

Alan Wong said...

You name it, they will profit from it. Our PAP Ministers has turned our Singapore govt into this ugly monster that cares only about money above everything else.

For motor vehicles, they have already squeezed and profitted billions from all the COEs, road taxes, ERP fees they collected from car owners over the years. Even for taxis where taxi drivers depend on them to make a living, they also do it.

And now for public housing, they are making obscene profits from it and yet tell us that it is heavily subsidised.

What the fuck is PAP doing ?

Anonymous said...

if u r not clear, u will be floored

Anonymous said...

HDB prices are a scam. PAP tells you HDB flats cost so much becoz the land is expensive due to Singapore being a safe and dynamic city with strong demand from private developers and foreigners.

However, the big con is that HDB NEVER sell the land to you. They ONLY sell you the lease to the flat itself. This is different from 99-yr condo where they sell you the lease to your condo unit AND the lease to ownership of the land.

That's why many people question why HDB buyers need to pay property tax, since we don't even have leasehold ownership of land, unlike leasehold condo owners.

When you buy HDB flats, you're simply paying for the construction costs plus a markup. The land is not sold to you -- the land still sits on HDB's accounting books as their assets. I.e. the govt still has ownership of the $200M piece of land on which your HDB block sits.

Show me any black & white official document from HDB or any legal document from the Courts proving that HDB buyers have land rights or strata-title right, I will cut off my dick. HDB lessees are only 1 step above tenants who rent for 1 or 2 yrs on the open market, and far far below the property rights of private property owners (which is actually not much in S'pore).

Today, the construction costs for a 5-rm HDB is about $130K --- this includes cost-sharing for common areas such as multi-storey carpark, multi-function halls, playground, parks, landscaping, electrical substation etc etc.

New 5-rm HDB flats are being sold for about $380K. So the extra $250K is pure profits to HDB and the govt --- this all goes into the reserves for Ho Jinx, Lau Lee and Lee Junior to play with in GIC and TH.

Kojakbt said...

Lucky, agree with you. Situation is a bit intractable now. Can't move forward, can't fall back.

At best they can do is to slowly deflate the bubble over time until income catches up. But you are right, a recession may just be round the corner...

All this thanks to Mah and gang. They, of course have got no problems with their million dollar salaries but the man on the street is suffering...

Anyway, I like the statement you made in your article. Is Mah (or the PAP Govt) in the business to create affordable housings for the people or to create reserve for reserve sake?

Chess said...

My simple wish is that the oppos are capable of thinking. since they aren't, the incumbent does the thinking for them

When both of them think for us, they cancel each other out and we loses.

Anonymous said...

Biggest Joke yah?

Anonymous said...

Let's imagine this.

The "reserves" are analogous to your personal savings.
Your total wealth is your savings and your 10-room house, for example.

And let's imagine you've stopped working, and you're paying for your house via your savings. You decide to rent it out to off-set your house payments.

Your tenants tell you: Rent it to me cheap. It will not come from your personal savings. You'll just grow your savings slower. What would you do?

If I were you, I'll rent it out to someone else, at a reasonable price, just enough to make sure that my reserves are not touched, not to mention grown.

Similarly, Singapore's reserves are not grown by selling land. It's grown by using the land for commerce and industries. The government, whichever party it is, needs to decide whether to parcel out the land to housing or commerce. And the opportunity costs of parcelling it out to housing is not just the land-price; it also includes the costs of not leasing it out to, Lucas Works (if you had been following news recently), for example.

Whoever it was that commented that he would rather spend 1 cts on an apple than $100,000 is not wrong; so would I. The problem is, an apple is a commodity; Singapore's landmass isn't. Your inability to differentiate this makes you a poor economist, not MBT.

Joseph

Anonymous said...

"If I were you, I'll rent it out to someone else, at a reasonable price, just enough to make sure that my reserves are not touched, not to mention grown."

Joseph, you would do that? No profits?

CheckMate said...

//wish is that the oppos are capable of thinking. since they aren't, the incumbent does the thinking for them//

I don't think this is even a fair judgement!.
If the incumbent won't share key data/facts with you in a transparent manner, even the best mind CSM (or for that matter Bill Clinton) is not going to help you put forth a logical, fact-based proposal. That is one of the most potent and deceptive tactics PAP has over EVERYONE of us. They way they fudge and change data paints a thousand figures already! The wrong kinds unfortunately to mislead people.

Please don't fall into this intellectual sloppiness.

Anonymous said...

When fight an opponent on their turf, the chances of winning is very slim.

The minister has made a challenge in ST(sunday). That is your best bet, and perhaps, the only bet.

Anonymous said...

Take him on...if you know what you are doing.

Kojakbt said...

>> Basically HDB & PAP are just concern about opportunity costs for themselves. E.g. instead of selling a piece of land for $400M to private developers to build condos or commercial buildings, HDB & govt has to retain that $400M land on their accounting books as "land asset" and spend another $200M to build HDB flats, which HDB sells to people at overall price of $450M. So instead of getting one-shot $400M, HDB and PAP have to be content with getting $250M profit for their HDB flats.

Actually, they already started to sell lands to private developers.

http://www.todayonline.com/Business/EDC110225-0000220/CapitaLand-tops-record-19-bids-for-Bishan-site

Recently, HDB sold land to CapitaLand at $550 million for a site near Bishan MRT. This works out to $869 per sq ft per plot ratio.

CapitaLand plans to build a condominium which is at least 36 storeys high with 600 units.

Analyst estimated that the breakeven cost for the project will be about $1,290 to $1,320 psf, which is already about 30% more than the resale prices of existing condominiums in Bishan!

Anonymous said...

Where is the problem?

Anonymous said...

You playing chess. You are playing ping pong

Anonymous said...

You NAT playing chess. You playing ping pong

Anonymous said...

You play ping pong, they smeck your backside

Anonymous said...

While I do not agree with many PAP policies, I think it is only fair that land cost is priced in for all HDB flats. It is not fair for some privileged (defined as people earning less than $10k per month) being given free land, while those making more than $10k have to pay and arm and a leg to buy property. So a market subsidy where the lower strata of society (as defined as those earning less than $10k) is the way to go. If land is given free to some, it will motivate those who has the potential to earn more than $10k to slack so as to make less and get a hold of free land. Remember, the land cost of a 1200 sq ft pigeon hole is easily $400k. Why would anyone work hard to save $400k if u can get it free by virtue of earning less than $10k? Also it benefits only those with a family unit. Those singles will forever not be allocated free land.

Market subsidy is the FAIREST way to go. You get a discount from the market price compared to those who earn more than you.

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

Gorilla Monkey Seng seng wants to debate with people from planet of the apes. Got check mirror or not? lol

Lye Khuen Way said...

Yes, we have reach a point now that going forward or backward is going to be painful. All thanks to the warped logic of MBT. Yes, as citizens we bear part of the blame for "doing nothing " short of civil unrest !
Just have to wait for the bubble to burst.....
The man who could and dare to bite the bullet to correct the situation has no more authority as a PM. He had along these years been silent & I dare say, explicit agreement with these half-truths, so we can rule out a managed /calibrated climb down.
(If the Reserve are intact, just re-imburse the 'profit' that HDB made from 1stt timer)

Anonymous said...

One possible solution is to sell HDB flats as shorter leases. HDB flats are expensive because its like leasing 99 years upfront. So for those who cannot afford paying for 99 years of lease payments upfront, they can opt for 50 years lease or shorter at half the price.

And I think it is very childish and quite irresponsible for anyone to think and suggest that anyone deserves a 99LH land FOC. At best, it should be a subsidy from the market value.

So shorter lease term might be solution. Giving free land is not.

Anonymous said...

//If land is given free to some, it will motivate those who has the potential to earn more than $10k to slack so as to make less and get a hold of free land. //

ok I am going to state the very obvious here.
First of all, HDB is not a "free land". It is built on "free Air"(space") on a very small plot of land that belongs to the State after 99yrs!! There're actual land in NZ/M'sia/Canada/Thailand that you can OWN after 20-30yrs of mortgage payment! Where do you come from ??

Anonymous said...

What do you demolish?

Foolmethrice said...

Reading the PAP manifesto is like reading the biggest Insurance (remember AIG?) company making bogus and exaggerated insurance benefits that are guaranteed not payable , some say even after death. The premiums will only keep going up and upppppppp. Our standard of life will keep going down into the gutters, and our money drained out like the talents in SG.
Time to take up another policy that will save me not only from the perfect storm, but the lightning too.

Anonymous said...

Dont waste saliva and Take them on lah, if you got blain.

Anonymous said...

ppl from planet of the apes are far more intelligent, apperantly. lol

Tian Shek said...

The problem really is the land price is up till now still a "secret". I don't think giving land "free" to HDB is a feasible solution but the government being THE party with all the land must understand that it is also in the position to swing the market either way. In any other market, there are many parties selling and buying land, thereby the market forces works better.

In our case, we seems to have the government taking cue from the market blindly and pegging the land price it is selling.

Hypothetically, if land is price at X. When the housing market goes up by 10% and the price land being peg to the market that will result in the price of land going up to 1.1X which will in term start a chain of increases and a vicious cycle.

This is simplistic but it is very likely that some amount of this plus the artificial increase of demand using foreign imports has resulted in the phenomenal increase in the last 5 years.

Someone can prove me wrong but 1st please show us all the numbers!

hayek said...

Not free land or subsidize land.

Just increase salary of middle class Singaporean by 2x, while supplying land adequately, all problems will be settled.

Anyway, the HDB ponzi could not go much further from here right now. The good collateral are gone. If PAP tries to hike HDB price again without increasing wages, probably we are tip to have a big crash.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, would we enter into the next phase of battle? More PoP corn pls.hehe

Anonymous said...

Happy ping pong, me watching news for further development. Adios.

Anonymous said...

"If land is given free to some, it will motivate those who has the potential to earn more than $10k to slack so as to make less and get a hold of free land. Remember, the land cost of a 1200 sq ft pigeon hole is easily $400k. Why would anyone work hard to save $400k if u can get it free by virtue of earning less than $10k?"

So what do you think of hardcore labourers paving the road or pulling heavy high tension cables under the hot sun or aunties or uncles clearing food court tables working long hours but all of them getting less than $1k per month versus white collar jobs which may be paid more than 8k to 10k. Now which group is working harder. Do all jobs really pay 8k to 10k for all PMETs even if age permits you to work till 62.

Rewind to the good old days in the 70s or 80s, did you see your parents working any lesser hard because of the low HDB prices.

Why did you state with the premise "If land is given free to some" if land is not free in the first place. Who really owns the land.

How much did the old leaders pay when they got the land from malaysia during independence. If not for independence that they fought so hard to be self governing and self sufficient so that we can run our own lives and make it easier for ourselves, then for what did we fight for more ? To make it more difficult for ourselves now ?

A dollar saved for having to pay for land will mean a dollar more for food, health care or holiday and it could also mean taking off the rat-race work pressure & making it easier on work life in present context. It is not that you do not have to pay at all for the other construction & renovation costs of a house, nowsadays not cheap by any standard.

Anonymous said...

But PAP sure win. That settles the question. And all questions.

PatrickButler said...

haha PAP wants to help us build an endearing home...

why don't they start with HDB...it sounds like the prices has been very DEAR indeed...to the point of ...endangering!

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

from your article
Quote
Singapore has the highest income in equality among developed countries which means that the lower rungs of our society are more adversely affected by high housing costs than else where in the world.
Unquote

i think you intend to say income inequality rather then in equality.

Anonymous said...

ok after scrutinizing the manifesto these are what i translate

http://www.pap.org.sg/ge2011incl/manifesto2011eng.pdf


Provide new, high-quality and affordable HDB homes
• Upgrade and preserve the value of older homes and estates = exclude those in non-PAP wards

• Invest $60 billion to double our MRT network, so as to shorten commuting times and reduce crowding while keeping fares affordable
= now i worry how they will recoup that 60B..we all know what "affordable" means by now

• Enhance our green spaces and blue waters, and expand opportunities for recreation around the island, including building the new Sports Hub
= i hope you don't mean more wasteful events like YOG that overblown budget wth zero exposure.

Engage and deploy more quality teachers and allied educators in every school to develop the character, values and all-round abilities of our children
= u mean more cheap ones from accent-heavy India and China..and what characters/values have u been teaching our docile generation? Keep quiet, do your work and leave the governing to us?

Build more childcare centres and kindergartens in every neighbourhood and raise their quality, to give every child a good start in life and to support couples who want more children
= you forgot to add only couples with 'mean'testing" lah and yr good start applies to advantageous kids from good families & new PRs also entitled to scholarships

Above all, we must uphold the Singapore Spirit that enables us to compete in the world, constantly improve and take our nation to the next level.
= meaning you're going to up the notch by 3 levels and we know the roller coaster does not come with safety belt or net lah

Keep evolving and improving our democracy. The new election rules encourage greater competition and give alternative voices a larger representation in the next Parliament = wowza, this is the one i'm waiting to see..yep, our NMP will be your alternative voices..like the unions we will neuter them in time to come, no need for real Opposition Parties..1 party-rule rules!!

Help new Singaporeans integrate into our society and contribute actively = last but not least, pls also openly accept our new members to this elite club..esp those with crony links and FTs who didn't serve NS also can..as long as they stand on our side they are one of us

Sustain our collective will to safeguard the nation’s security and preserve what we have built up together = Best PART - Help us keep to the 3 main keyholders to our SWF namely My father who overseers GIC, my home overseers Temasek, my brother overseers CAAS in case we need to scoot. Trust us..

Anonymous said...

Have Singaporeans realised, besides the opposition parties raising and challenging the govt on the housing cost issue, NONE of the other 82 PAP MPs have come out to say that housing costs are out of control and something needs to be done..

imagine the scenario where PAP wins everything in the coming elections. OMG. for the next few years, Singaporeans will suffer under the hands of the PAP w/o anyone soeaking up for us.

Anonymous said...

"imagine the scenario where PAP wins everything in the coming elections. OMG. for the next few years, Singaporeans will suffer under the hands of the PAP w/o anyone speaking up for us."
Anon 17/4/11 18:28

Yes PAP will win everything, or almost everything. And there will not be anyone speaking for us. And even if they speak for us as good as Lucky Tan, nothing positive will also happen. That's why it is as good as not speaking at all.

Therefore if you cannot take it anymore, get out of this place and go to a better place.

If you cannot find a better place, then too bad lah. What to do?

Anonymous said...

If PAP wins all, then there will be more "Tenuring our future" .."Screwing our future".." while they "Grandeuring their future" somewhere.

GY have to uproot his family to get best medical treatment for his son in US..why do you think the local best hospitals/doctors here is not fit for him but fit for the peasants?
And I have to listen to this MG Chan lecturing me on some sexy rhetorics when he hasn't even step into the house in a command-control tone. Worse, the most parrot-mimicking MP wannabe who has no mettle to stand on SMC to have sound judgment and mind to speak for us?

We can take a cue from our malaysian counterparts.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/17/malaysia-politics-idUSL3E7FH01D20110417

Anonymous said...

More on HDB - Mah.

http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/papsicles-2/

Anonymous said...

"GY have to uproot his family to get best medical treatment for his son in US..why do you think the local best hospitals/doctors here is not fit for him but fit for the peasants?"
Anon 17/4/11 19:19

Where it is a matter of life and death, if you CAN AFFORD, you choose the best treatment available in the whole world, not best treatment available in Singapore!

Just like the government gets the best talents available from the whole world, hence you get foreign talents, not the best available in Singapore!

Get it?

Anonymous said...

So making money out of public housing is wrong. Is the govt making money out of singaporeans then? Stop passing the buck to someone else and maybe the trend will stop. Nothing in this country truly belongs to us. A 99 year old flat or a car. Even our organs dun belong to us as well. Little wonder why we dun have talents. Our people are stuggling even with basic needs, not wants. We are not living but struggling to make a living. How to move further when we are already a slave to our needs.People overseas can quit their jobs, do their studies full time and then with new knowledge, start businesses and lead the world by their noses with enterprises. Here when we stop, our mouth also stop. Who will pay for electric bills and our monthly flat instalments. Who will pay for our insurance. I dun expect Singapore to be a welfare state. If the govt can even pay for education fully for everyone in the first 6 years of their life. That is enuff. We are always co-paying for everything. If raiding our reserves is wrong. So is raiding our people is right? How do people give back to the country if they are not rich. Subsidies are all that are no more than we using our own money to subsidize ourselves. Procreation is a natural order of life. If such nature is impeded by so much obstacles, something is really wrong with the system. Well done. We look forward to more good years with you.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans greatest achievement in life is having paid fir that flat or car of theirs using their entire life. Can they do greater things. They can't becos the only ambition they have is their needs. Oh yah. They also contribute to the Singapore pools regularly so that they can get out of this cycle. Great ambitions! What's my stake in this country? My loved ones. Nothing else matters.

Anonymous said...

"Just like the government gets the best talents available from the whole world, hence you get foreign talents, not the best available in Singapore!"

Do you also mean Charles (Chip) Goodyear. One prominent name that comes to mind quite easily.

Name me five that really contribute to our country and the people in general. Not those who are making tonnes of money benefiting only themselves.

Anonymous said...

The situation Singapore is in now and what we will face is very similar to what USA housing crisis now. Prices rose too fast and too high, and when it drops, people will be asked to top up and those that can't will have to lose their homes. I guess they are looking after their own retirements rather than ours!

Anonymous said...

"The situation Singapore is in now and what we will face is very similar to what USA housing crisis now. Prices rose too fast and too high"

At least USD being the global trading & dominating foreign reserve currencies (operating in a more open system), USA can print lots of money to stimulate the enonomy, benefiting from the first right of use and also enjoying a much more greater seniorage effect when USD is exported in exchange for consumption. SGD can only operate in a local closed system.

Anonymous said...

"SGD can only operate in a local closed system."
Anon 17/4/11 20:33

As long as

1. PAP can win big,

2. no earthquakes and tsunamis strike Singapore,

3. no external military attack on Singapore,

it is OK.

And I see it being OK for a long, long time. May even surpass my life time.

So I am OK with it.

Anonymous said...

"Do you also mean Charles (Chip) Goodyear. One prominent name that comes to mind quite easily."
Anon 17/4/11 20:02

Because he was the best AVAILABLE then. There may exist better ones than him at that time but they may not want the post, hence not available to the government lah.

Just like there may be better ones below 30 than Tin Pei Ling but they do not want to be PAP candidate. So PAP choose the next best available one lah, and that is Tin Pei Ling.

Or just like the opposition is not ready to be the government so voters have no choice but to choose the next best available lah, which is PAP.

Tio bo? (right or not?)

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you but I know how to see/hear a BS when I've been in the sales industry for some time. Running for an election campaign is more than just doing nice speech. She should just speaks from the heart. Good luck to her.

And I'm seeing PAP moving into a Chinese Communism style of governance. All that comrades salutations are sending creeps down my spine.


http://bit.ly/gnfTeA

Anonymous said...

"it is OK.

And I see it being OK for a long, long time. May even surpass my life time.

So I am OK with it.
17/4/11 20:45"

Just three variables. Linear ? Japan has considered the tsunami and even contingency plans for nuclear accidents. And what happened ? one of the worst nuclear accidents after Chernobyl, not surpassing it for the current moment.

Why must PAP win big for SGD to be OK. Are there more that meets the eyes.

Kojakbt said...

Lucky, have you done a piece about Temasek Holding before? I understand that their management fee is pretty high? And of course, we know that management fee of the SWF comes from the fund itself...

Which means, in a way, we high land price, we are funding our reserves through our HDB debts incurred by us. And we are also funding these "chia liao bee" fund managers in Temasek Holdings?

Would I be fair to say that? LOL!

Anonymous said...

1. The pap government is making huge profits from the sale of the HDB to Singaporeans. That is why the reserves keep on growing and growing.
2. The reserves is more than $1 trillion and this is excessive. There is no need to increase it any further at the expense of Singaporeans.
3. Artificially deflating HDB prices have grave consequences for those who have big mortages to pay. Way back in the 85 recession, a number of out of job Singaporeans were caught by the negative equity trap. After forceably selling their property, the CPF still could not recover enough to top up the members cpf account plus interests.
4. The way forward is to raise the income of Singaporeans and to ensure some job security. This can easily be done by cutting back on the import of foreign workers. Some businesses will be hurt. If these businesses cannot afford the higher labour cost then they don't deserve to stay in Singapore. The economy will slow which is not a bad thing as the Singapore economy is now in overdrive with huge inflationary consequences.
5. The government should build more rental flats and relax rental conditions. In this way the youngs who cannot affort to buy their own homes can at least have a decent place to start a family. It will also make it easier for the old to monetise their only major assets. If they can easily rent a pigeon hole, then they are more willing to sell the one they own.

Anonymous said...

"...Minister Mah uses the phrase 'raiding the reserve' to describe the suggestion by Worker's PAP to sell land at a more reasonable price. "

Hey Lucky, do you know something we don't? I mean we've been suspecting WP isn't what WP used to be under JBJ...

Anonymous said...

so what if the houses increases in value if it becomes so hard to sell them away?

In short, asset secure, income insecure!

Anonymous said...

If we look at the housing issue from the political viewpoint, the Pappies are trying to achieve the following :

1) home owners will be slogging their life to service the housing loan that they have hardly time for recreation not to mention about volunteering in the opposition camp.

2) home owners are afraid to see their price of the flat falls so much so that they are ' forced ' to vote for the dog. However they fail to see that high value of flat does not make them any richer unless they have 2 or more properties.

So, do you think the Dog have the moral to look into this issue ?

Anonymous said...

I admire the PAP for one thing.

That is they can come up with all kinds of policies that make life difficult for you majority peasants but yet PAP can still win big at elections.

Very clever, right?

So folks, carry on debating and have fun, if these can help to release steam.

Anonymous said...

all these while PAP is milking Singaporeans. you mean you guys don't know meh?

Anonymous said...

I have posted on my newly created facebook an extract from the book "Men in White" to understand how state lands were acquired.

Check it out if you want to know.
link:
www.facebook.com/#!/notes/sgob-go/understanding-how-state-lands-were-acquired/101427513277784

Anonymous said...

What is "Worker's PAP"? I thought "Worker's Party" is one of the opposition parties in Singapore, while PAP is the incumbent ruling party. I'm confused. How come you have combined their names and called a party "Worker's PAP"? Who are you referring to? The PAP? Or the Worker's Party?

LeeRedArmy said...

Did anyone notice the poster of the manifesto?
The background is now a sea of red army..and if you watch the manifesto launch tv, they address each other as comrades...so did their YPAP website.

Communism is making a comeback..albeit in the guise of authoritarian + meritocracy. This is getting spooky..my ancestors didn't run away from china just so that my generations is going to live through another similar hell of mao era where everyone believes their own propaganda...so much for multi-racial inclusiveness. We are down in slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

//What is "Worker's PAP"? I thought "Worker's Party" is one of the opposition parties in Singapore, while PAP is the incumbent ruling party. I'm confused. How come you have combined their names and called a party "Worker's PAP"? Who are you referring to? The PAP? Or the Worker's Party?//

Hahaha ..quite obvious. A mole from PAP is trying to sow some suspicious seeds of Workers Party on popular blogs like this..LOL

Anonymous said...

For comic relief..but never say never!
If it happens, never say incredible!

http://catherinelim.sg/2011/04/17/a-little-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-2326

Anonymous said...

In other countries they have natural assets like minerals, oil and gas under the ground.

These can be extracted and sold and earn lots of money and so they contribute to the national reserves in terms of $$.

Although our ground is small, we also have no natural resources under the ground.

But we can build properties (concrete man made assets) above the ground.

And if we price these assets high enough, then our man made assets will contribute to the reserves in terms of $$ too.

Provided there are buyers for these assets. But where got problem?

Because foreigners want to buy them high and locals have no choice but also to buy them high.

Like that good or not?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

If I can recall correctly, the land price for all the HDB land is based on one price, city centre price. They have rationalised that all the land in the island is precious and the whole island is a city.

You can go figure how much they charge for the HDB land in town and in frontier towns

Anonymous said...

So bottom line, government wants us to be chained by debt of 30 years to contribute to the reserve of Singapore, which in turns are carelessly loss by Temasek's Ho Ching and LKY's GIC?

Anonymous said...

"They have rationalised that all the land in the island is precious and the whole island is a city."
redbean 18/4/11 09:24

As long as there are buyers, they have rationalised it correctly in the economic sense.

And as long as PAP can still win big at elections, they have also rationalised it correctly in the political sense.

So as a whole, everything is rationalised quite correctly. PAP deserved to remain as government.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

I think you meant to type "Workers' Party" in a part of your post but you put as "Workers PAP". Workers Party has not merged with PAP :)

SiegeAgain said...

I am not giving this maniac comrade MG Chan a chance to become hitler of the red-dot army! Not on my vote.
For someone yet to be elected to claim promises of 100 years of survival, he will go to war at all cost to win. If Lee is Bush, he is the new Dick.

http://www.straitstimes.com/GeneralElection/Videos/index_videos.html?videoid=62522

http://rsismilitarystudies.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/singapores-defence-spending-under-scrutiny/

Anonymous said...

Actually why would any big country want to attack Singapore? Got oil to grab or not?

If they attack, all the beautiful and expensive land and properties will be become worthless also. Hence they cannot even get the "reserves" from the high valuation of land and properties. And our other reserves are also invested elsewhere.

Some more we are an American ally and also a base to service the US Pacific fleet. Who dare to be funny with us without thinking twice?

Anonymous said...

a friend of mine used to work in GIC..
Over lunch one day, he accidentally spilled the beans on one project they were doing, saying that it sort of had no limit to its budget, meaning to say they could spend all they want. I was appalled to hear that.
I have a cousin who's teaching now. Recently, there was a move by the government to pump in a few million to improve and develop mother tongue right? She told me that she was given 8k to work on a project. She was told the money cannot be kept for future use and had to be all spent within 2 , by hook or by crook. This is good tax payer's money and the government is using it simply to make themselves look good during the elections.
Is this something a responsible government should be doing?

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, Lucky! I have been reading your site for a long time, and I think that this is one of your best ones. Please keep up the good work in bringing us insightful articles on what is REALLY going on here.

cheers
Gin

Anonymous said...

PAP can waste as much monies as they want.

How about 100 billion for Ho Ching to lost? Definitely that is no problem to them.

But PAP will neva spend a single cent of the monies they plundered from the poor to provide affordable healthcare and housing.

Anonymous said...

http://bit.ly/h3xgNa

Anonymous said...

http://theonlinecitizen.com/2007/01/after-the-spending-frenzy-comes-the-reality/

Found an old link dated 2007 on TOC. 4 years we can review what they have spent and recall what these"mind-googgling" opportunities are ..the influx of FTs. But did anyone hold them accountable for the spending they committed to do in the estates?

Anonymous said...

On Govt land sale

http://de-leviathan.blogspot.com/2010/09/government-land-sales-gls-bidding.html

Anonymous said...

SM Goh insisted TPL is a solid candidate pared from 200 top-calibre candidates.

In contrast, he said it's easier getting into the opposition parties because criterion not solid!

If so GCK should field his solid candidate in SMC should-to-shoulder with the Opp camps lah. Why stand on his & BG Chan shoulders instead?

Anonymous said...

"She was told the money cannot be kept for future use and had to be all spent within 2 , by hook or by crook"

Consumption contributes to GDP growth. The catch is that if you are not involved in the project, you get taxed for other people (you know which groups) to spend to benefit another group of service providers (make some guess here).

Some people will work like crazy to earn peanuts and yet get taxed while some others are paid to spend. That is why sometimes you have very clever people justifying how useful & worthwhile those expensive ergonomic chairs are.

Anonymous said...

"SM Goh insisted TPL is a solid candidate pared from 200 top-calibre candidates."
Anon 18/4/11 22:27

Because PAP is a solid party mah!
Of course they must also have solid candidates lah!

If not how can they every election win at least over 90 % of the seats?

And not just SM Goh or PAP leaders said but the majority of voters also said (with their votes), don't you know?

If this is not solid, then I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

PAP is solid because:

1. Their GRC system and strategy very solid.

2. Almost all the talents go to PAP. End up the opposition not much talents.

3. Their policies or even the way they talk can sometimes make you unhappy or even angry and insulted but they can still win big. Hence in a sense they don't really have to care how you feel. This I consider the most solid.

4. They can continue to win big for a long time.

5. Their election rallies not much people (doesn't matter) but the votes for them a lot (really matters)

Anonymous said...

Keep cost of land skyhigh that incumbent can secure a betterer future this coming GE. It so much betterest future that instead of taking 25-30 years to pay off mortgage, maybe need TWO generations. Any recession along the way, hdb dwellers homeless!

Anonymous said...

In school you learn a lesson then you are given a test. But life gives you a test then you learn your lesson.

Will Singaporeans pass their own exams?
More importantly, will Singaporeans support their own talents, and open up their backyard (own constituency wards) to help incubate Opposition candidates? When will we have our own steve jobs or apple like inventions if we don't even support local competition? Why do we even cry mother cry father then when the ruling party opens up the door to global competition from FT?

Anyway, our PAP gahment already have given themselves full marks...even before the polls happen, Gee.

http://nyti.ms/ggB3cp

NoActionParty (NAP) said...

Whatever the responses are, PAP are being too complacent sitting right up there shaking their legs and enjoy their life right now! Why pay our PM S$3.8M? Is it necessary? Where did all these money come from? US! Our hard earn money!!! ERP, COE HDB or whatever it is..... BULLSHIT! Did ERP resolve the traffic issue? NO! Increase in HDB price resolve our living issue? NO! People are bidding and waiting until they gave up and go for expensive resale as well! WTF are they doing? Providing lame concepts and scheme to ease the tension? I don't think so..... We never get to have free press.... we never get to express our real voice inside, we never get what we voted for..... PAP then and now is absolutely different! Our great grand fathers, grandfathers were promised with a shelter under HDB for everyone but today, is all Singaporean sheltered? You tell me.... Everything increases year to year.... the other thing that didn't increase? You tell me..... Yes indeed they built what SIngapore is today with pros and cons but I see more CONS than pros these days. As the generation gets more educated, do you think you still can CONS us like our grandparents? Even they know they are being conned but what can they do? If they go on strike, they will be throw into jail and they got nothing! If they express openly, more likely the same thing will happen... So when can we ever speak up our hearts? We can't.....

I remembered I saw the PM interview on channel news asia "LIVE" and we can sms to ask question.... That's totally fuck shit! They already scan your questions! Imagine if I wanna ask serious matter such as why is our PM being the highest paid man in the world in the government? Do you think he will answer? The media are already under the control of them and hence what we read, watch, hear are not the real thing!

Give opposition a chance.... they might be able to lead better? PAP is not the best always.... Stop paying them our hard earn money and let them enjoy their life! They got more than enough being in the Party but most important is MOST of them are CEO, Directors in various companies and organizations!!!! They well paid, very well paid...... and so are their families too! They are all linked up..... their cousins, brothers, sisters, uncle and aunt etc. This is absurd!
Stop increasing their cash flow and increase our debts!

Cut it out PAP!

Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose more and more people are no longer giving the government the benefit of the doubt with regard to what they are propounding.

Those times are coming to an end. It's the era of information now. The government need to be richer in mind and heart.

They can no longer keep up with propaganda. And they can no longer keep up with forcing the citizens to take on suffering while they live in comfort from their ivory towers.

That time is a bygone as Singaporeans, especially the young are disillusioned with the government's policies as they are directly hurt by it when they wait 5 years to buy a flat or worse, can't buy a resale flat 'cos the COV are $30 000 for a 4-room flat.

When you hurt the people, they will seek 'revenge' through their votes.

Good luck to the government this election. We won't be completely surprise of the results but we will definitely be surprise.

Ground sentiments are rife that the economy is not picking up and the MSM are not interviewing other regional economists to get an alternative opinion.

The world economy has not gotten better and in fact it is worsening as Japan, which is the second/third largest economy in the world is hit by a huge debt and natural disasters that is affecting its exports.

US is still down. Unemployment is rife in the US and Japan.

With these two heavyweights in bad shape and our dependence on them for trade, how could we be experiencing positive growth?

Yet, this is not the first time this has happened.

Reality check will come in after elections where GST will go up in stages.

As much as it is easier for the goveernment to tell us the economic situation has improved and we're experiencing growth, it is also equally easier and fast for the government to change its tack after the election.

So, I don't think many are giving the governments' words the benefit of the doubt as previously thought of.

Anonymous said...

the only way to rid all the sins here is for God to flood this place once again. this will show that all the wealth created is a bubble.

Kojakbt said...

Stop "Pinky" from becoming PM again

I'm going to start a campaign to stop LHL from becoming the PM and the only way is to vote him out altogether in this election.

Reason is this, we can see that for the past 5 years, the performance of PAP Govt under his leadership is a joke. Comparing to the PAP in the past, it pales. Singaporeans suffered more under LHL's Govt. There is no progress for us. Median salaries stagnated. Inflation crept up especially housing prices. Job competitions from FTs. Infrastructure overload. These are hallmarks of Singapore under LHL's leadership.

To me, he is a nincompoop, a daddy's boy. He cannot make decision and wavers on decision. He's got no guiding principle except one - GDP growth at all cost. If you google further, I'm sure you can find a lof of PAP's mistakes under his leadership for the past 5 years.

In this coming election, in all probability, it's likely PAP would win the largest chunk of votes and would likely form the Govt again (of course lah, if PAP is voted out completely, I got no complaints...).

So, I'm proposing that we don't let this weak princeling be the PM. As long as he wins the election, he will always be "blessed" by his father who is still inside PAP despite being a relic of near 90-year-old. So, if LHL wins, he will still be the PM for the next 5 years (another 5 more years of miseries for us peasants). Only way to stop him from becoming PM again is to vote him out completely from parliament this time. That way, PAP would be forced to choose another person to become PM. In my view, it's not that difficult to find another person better than "pinky" inside PAP.

What say you, bros and sisters?

NoActionParty (NAP) said...

Absolutely right! I'm already certain that my vote won't be with PAP! They caused too much, too much for us to bear. Our future seems gloomy and diminishing as a matter of fact. If a leader can lead well.... people under his reign will not mind paying taxes and etc. But if the chief is screwed then why are we paying him S$3.8M? WTF is this bullshit? I just don't see a reason for him to draw such a high salary! For doing nothing much in fact.... geez..... I somewhat felt that we are being dictated by PAP...... I remembered when LKY throw his partner into jail and accused him being communist.... I think they are the one instead! Holy shit...

Kojakbt said...

@Lucky and all,

Want to share this info with you guys. Just saw a documentary on China:

China's Ghost Cities and Malls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPILhiTJv7E

This is a very good news documentary. It's talking about China's over-building of houses for GDP growth sake. I was pretty amused when, inside the documentary, an analyst said:

"Essentially, it's the modern equivalent of building pyramids. It doesn't really add to the betterment of people's lives but all it does is it promotes GDP growth"

"It's not the quantity of GDP that matters, it's the quality"


sounds familiar?

Anonymous said...

to add on, the concept of Cash over Valuation (COV) shift the valuation upward by playing into the greed of the seller to sell beyond the valuation, thus driving up the total valuation over time.

Anonymous said...

Here is somethiong most youngsters have probably forgotten and hence it's not mentioned in the recent exposition about HDB cost.

In the past Singaporeans were told that HDB flats are heavily subsidised. We were told that the land the HDB block of flats sits on is so subsidised that we should not complain about the what a HDB flat cost.

So was this a lie after all?

We now discover that the land that a HDB sits on have been costed in. Wow.

In addition, the Chief valuer values it at market prices. Wow and wow.

In 1980 HDB sold their five roomed flat at $50,000. Today, 31 years later, they sell it at over $300,000. Have our real income increased at the same rate?

I have asked many young couples in their mid twenties why they have now tied the knot and the reply have been the same, cannot afford to buy a flat.

The government does not listen to her voters anymore and they don't hear this. Actually they do hear but they insist that the HDB flats are affordable and meanwhile import foreign labor knowing that if people don't have homes they don't marry and if they don't marry they don't have babies.

Its not that the schloars don't understand this. It's just that they don't really serve their voters in the street but the elites, their own kind.

It is the time for change and if the young voters want affordable homes then they really need to vote the opposition in.

Anonymous said...

Something is wrong.
Why must people work their whole life for a HDB flat ?

What quality of life if all their money is sunk into a HDB flat at the end of their working life ?

HDB flat should be affordable vs their income like our father day.

Pity the young generation with such a huge housing burden for all their working life.

Energy Patent Agent said...

I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often.

Steve S said...

they keep the quantum constant by buying homes smaller than what they want or need at less desirable locations and the tenure for loans has increased.

sale vaigra

T Barnaby said...

are cavities genetic

T Barnaby said...

are cavities genetic

mohamend loan said...


Do you need a Loan?
Are you looking for Finance?
Are you looking for a Loan to enlarge your business?
I think you have come to the right place.
We offer Loans atlow interest rate.
Interested people should please contact us on
For immediate response to your application, Kindly
reply to this emails below only.
mohamendloanservice@gmail.com

Please, do provide us with the Following information if interested.
1) Full Name:.........
2) Gender:.........
3) Loan Amount Needed:.........
4) Loan Duration:.........
5) Country:.........
6) Home Address:.........
7) Mobile Number:.........
8)Monthly Income:.....................
9)Occupation:...........................
)Which site did you here about us.....................
Thanks and Best Regards.
mohamendloanservice@gmail.com

www.mohammedloanserviceplc.com

Mark Bintu said...

I would just say thank you for sharing your post with us.

buy twitter followers