The Train Miracle
The new fancy MRT signalling system has not been installed. The new trains on order won't be delivered until umpteen years down the road. Yet, inspite of these supposedly insurmountable encumberances, train waiting times managed to be shaved to an average 3 minutes. By simply tweaking the train schedule! The SMRT is adding more than 260 extra trips ahead of the December festive period, reducing the North-South Line wait at Yishun to 3 minutes, and the East-West Line wait from 6 to 4 minutes. Now why didn't they think of that before?
The Hospital Miracle
The project completion date was advanced not by 2 weeks, or 2 months. We are told, via Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong's blog, the new hospital at Sengkang will be on stream 2 whole years ahead of schedule - from 2020 to 2018! The last time a construction schedule was abbreviated so significantly was when the Marina Bay Sands
Two miracles in a row, it's almost enough to turn anyone into a religious convert. But just before you start believing again, they hit you with a property tax whammy. Just when inflation is about to knock your breath out following world wide forecasts of a gloomy future.
With home prices expected to fall 30 to 40 per cent over the next three years, Singapore's developers are already bracing for a moribund market and expect to take a hit in first-quarter earnings. The rebound they hoped for is turning out to be the stuff of dreams.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has decreed that 4- to 5-room HDB flat owners will have to pay $5 to $29 more property tax from 2012 onwards. Their justification is that property prices have been on the increase in the past years, without paying heed to what the doomsday sayers portend about the imminent future. Perhaps that's why they want to stiff you now, before the bubble bursts, and make them look silly for asking more money then. Adding insult to injury, they once again offer a one-off token rebate of $55, good for limited time only, while the hike will be in place for perpetuity. You expecting the IRAS will ever reduce the Annual Values (AV)? That would be a real miracle indeed.