Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Do You Think Reprised

It was Hri (MP, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) Kumar's version of "what do you think?" The questions he listed, for which he deigned to provide a single answer, covered two key failures in the present state of governance:

Housing (the shortage of at affordable prices):
- Should public housing be available to every Singaporean, regardless of financial circumstances? If not, what should the threshold for eligibility be?
- How should affordability be defined? MND uses the international benchmark of not spending more than 30% of salary to service your mortgage. If not that, then what? Currently, over 80% of HDB owners service their mortgages entirely from their CPF – in other words, no monthly cash outlay. Is that a good measure of affordability?
- Or is Government's role to ensure that everyone has a roof over their heads, whether owned or rented? If that is the KPI, it must follow that it is Government's responsibility to provide housing even for those who cannot live in their current homes because of conflicts with family members, or who cash out by selling their flats. These are two most common reasons given by my constituents who ask for rental flats. Should subsidised housing be provided to them on demand? If the answer is no, some will end up sleeping in public places. Do we accept that?

Transport (the government’s role to provide an efficient, affordable and extensive public transport and road network):
- Is it also Government’s role to make cars affordable to meet the aspirations of those who want to own one?
- If it is not, should it be concerned about the price of COEs for private cars or leave it to the market?
- If Government must keep COE prices low, what is “low”? And how should it determine who gets a COE?
- If Government should do away with COEs, how should it ensure smooth flowing traffic?

The simple response to this practising lawyer's line of questioning is a no-brainer: What the fish do you think we pay taxes for?

He was right on one point: "Unless we get into specifics, we will not get anywhere". That's why it is so irrritating each time the prime minister says, "My minister will provide the details" - that's when they start working on the housing options for singles.  The current crop of clowns don't seem to think through the issues before initiating the implementation of policies. Even Teo Chee Hean admitted as much when he said the Government recognises that population growth in recent years has outpaced the country's planned infrastructure capacity. So which fool let in the barbarian hordes without considering the havoc wreaked on housing and transportation? Probably all the fools - MND, LTA, HDB, SMRT - who pay themselves obscene salaries on account of their dubious claim on talent. Feel free to add to the list MINDEF (killing our young men with smoke grenades), MOH (mixing up babies with their natural mothers), MOE (denying PLSE top scorers their well earned recognition), etc, etc.

And when they run out of excuses, they rope in "experts" to put a spin on their debacles. Like the two nutty professors who, when they realised that OECD (2012) reports that the gross IRR for Singapore is only 13% for a working career of 40 years and 9.3% for a shorter career of 30 years, they resorted to inventing "Imputed Rent" to paint a rosier picture. In plain English that means, after paying the last installment of a 30-35 year loan, one has to move out of the house to generate a stream of rental income to supplement the CPF LIFE payouts. Or die starving in the pigeon hole in the sky.


  1. "MND uses the international benchmark of not spending more than 30% of salary to service your mortgage".
    This is a poor benchmark simply because the loan repayment period is not fixed. So, in order to keep housing "affordable" when prices rise, you extend the repayment period. The same 30% of salary took 15 years to pay in the 1980s but it takes 30 years today and simply means that housing was twice as affordable in the past.

    Hence this statement is either illogical or dishonest.

    1. Dishonest? No way, PAP is the cleanest and best run govt in the entire universe, too bad Korea did not agree... GIC tries to use paper companies to evade taxes and bypass Korean laws...

  2. Please keep your focus on your patriotic quota of converting just one of the 60% of your friends and relatives who voted for the PAP.
    Only votes for Opposition can reverse the dismal future of Singaporeans.

    The Pro Alien Party is only interested in enlarging the Singapore Reserves.
    They are not interested in the welfare of Singaporeans.
    In the mind of the Pro Alien Traitors.
    Singapore = Singapore Reserves
    There is no room in their heart & mind for Singaporeans.

  3. this article is much better and it makes clear what you want to say to the point.


    This lawyer is an ass-hole. if you cannot cash out of your public housing, which is by far the most expensive in the world, and the only asset you ever have in Singapore, what is the point of paying such a high price for the flat in the first place?

    notice the fucker lawyer didn't tell you why people cash out in the first place:

    1. medical cost?
    2. retirement?
    3. gambling?
    4. just want to spend monies.

    The simplest solution to the problem is not to have public housing at super high price. then the problem can be solved individually. not the entire singapore population is irresponsible.

    the reality is... current pap policies renders individual impotent. cannot help himself. pay not enough to feed a family and retire. pay not enough to buy mind you not rent a sufficiently big flat to have a family to make sure singapore has a self sustaining population.

    the govt has a responsibility in this mess. it builds the public housing. lend you the monies to buy. charge you every month to maintain it. public housing and when things screw up, it claims it is its fault.


    1. You have exposed what is the essential trait of PAP clowns, which is apparent lack of critical thinking in their arguments and multiple viewpoints the really the ground sentiments, which definitely not that they are incapable of critical thinking, but one that want to play safe to make himself and his party look good.

      For example, PAP clowns have the tendency to put forth arguments of general statement and hasty generalization, which does not reflect or reflect little of context of what really happening.

    2. Agree. When facing a difficult problem, they will blame international competition. But what the heck is that. They do not know and either are we. Shit, easy $m lah.

  4. As long, the accident rate does not exceed the international statistics, it is alright to have accidents in the Armed Forces.

    What do you think, we are....digits for their manipulation...Sack the Minister...

    1. Firstly do they know what the army is doing?

  5. What are they for,in Parliament, to collect the $16,000 and never questions the relevant laws, and allowed it to be passed.

    What do you think...

  6. Even the ex-CJ in his parting shot tells us money is the deterring factor in not sentencing the pastor to jail. Now tell me anyone smarter than him, which has a more deterring effect : a jail term or or a hefty fine especially on rich offenders ?

    Looks like even our justice system is now looking at the bottom line. Then shouldn't Law Minister start amending some of our laws if hitting the pocket is more important than sending out a deterring message by jailing any offenders ?

    Should PAP start changing its motto to "Money makes the world goes round" ?

    1. Of course PAP love money,

      for one,

      1) they save on operational cost in jail term like food and lodging,

      2) Can earn money through fining

      3) Make themselves look righteous and gracious by saying they are giving people

    2. 3) Make themselves look
      righteous and gracious by saying they are giving people 2nd chance ...

      still, I more inclined to believe that #1 & #2 are the main reasons given the lack of moral in PAP cronies.

  7. Perhaps we should also ask how MPs allowance and minister's pay be defined? I am not getting my worth as a tax paying citizen.

    1. Hmm... I wonder why they don't advocate international benchmark for minister's pay?

    2. Never have so much been taken by so few from so many


  8. Voting for the Pro Alien Party in GE 2016;
    Is like pouring gasoline into a fire;
    We are rewarding bad performance;
    Encouraging poor governance.

  9. Germany is the model we should aspire to: labour costs is contained because houses, transport and healthcare expenses for the whole country are carefully regulated to avoid housing and credit bubbles and igniting a spiral inflation cycle. As a result it the the world's greatest manufacturing economy (China is a copier and sweat shop, and like the MAS, it is a currency manipulator for decades) with the lowest unemployment and soundest money policy (until the stoopid latin and irish PIIGS cheated their way into the Euro. Germany is far richer than Singapore, Germans are far more productive and innovative, they do not have any natural resources. Why does PAP follow the anglo saxons, way of inflating us to hell, rather than prudent Germans? We are a nation of savers, the anglo saxons are spenders, how come we ended up with high inflation policies which punish savers?

    Second: if the objective was to regulate traffic as oppose to extract their pound of flesh, why use the COE system? Why make businesses pay for COE when the whole economy need to move people and goods around cheaply and productively? Why allow rentals and transport costs to escalate and create inflation spiral? If the intent was not profiteering or creating another housing bubble, why mark government-built mass market flats' selling price to private HDB transaction prices?

    Simple questions Singaporeans must ask themselves.

    1. More Embarrassing Question #1

      POSB was sold to DBS.
      Was there a public tender to ensure competition and the highest price?
      Was POSB part of the Singapore Reserves?
      Was the Singapore President's approval obtained?

      Why did not our Shit Times ask these questions?
      What do you think?

  10. Don't be misled by "over 80% of HDB owners service their mortgages entirely from their CPF"
    We are talking only about people who can afford housing.

    For a party that always accuse the others of throwing rocks without solutions, we know the pot is calling the kettle black.

    1. How many of the 80% have sufficient retirement funds left after servicing their mortgages?

  11. Hello Tattler. I enjoy reading your blog. I hope you can contribute more meaningfully by dismantling the common myths that PAP throws at us with facts. Because all that you have posted so far serves only to the 40%. The 60% would find your articles difficult to swallow since it only serves to harden the stances of both sides.

    For example, I find myself having difficulty convincing my friends to give opposition a chance. They cited reasons which I find difficult to counter. Example the need to maintain political stability to continue attract foreign investment because as a small country, sg has no resources. They also say quality of opposition still not up to mark. Unless all of them are like CSM or LTK, they dare not vote. Then they also worry about the political impasse if our parliament is divided.

    I find it hard to convert them. It seems their reasons are valid, but without full facts, difficult to counter. Do you think you can help? Sometimes I feel politics is like a religion. You can prove of disprove god's existence until you see Him. I think what we need are facts, and solid ones.

    1. Your patriotic quota is to convert just one PAP voter from among the 60% of friends & relatives who voted PAP.
      Just one.
      Leave the rest to those who have not fulfilled their quota.

    2. PAP has used FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) and other tactics effectively to remain in power for an extended time. The Singapore political system is abnormal. All other developed countries have multi-party government and no single party has ruled a country for such a record time.

    3. It is very hard for most Singaporeans to see or understand the terrible situation they are in, or decode the systemic brain-washing carried out by the government and government-linked machinery until they have a chance to live and experience life in the REAL democratic countries.It is the "frog in a well" syndrome, unfortunately.

    4. You need to ask your friend, "What do you exactly mean by political stability, opposition not up to mark and political impasse?"

      Let them explain to you what they mean and then ask them:-
      1. If PAP loses majority seat (stress, it is unlikely), do you think Singapore will collapse? You mean Singapore Police Force and SAF will collapse or there will be no rule of law? If not, what is their exact concern?

      2. Do you believe that the current crop of new candidates presented by the PAP are much better than the opposition candidates? In what ways?

      3. Is an impasse in Parliament always bad? Have you ever have an impasse on some family decision and on hindsight found it to be the right decision?

      4. Would you prefer to work in a company where your boss makes all the decisions for you? Would you prefer if more ideas and feedback from different channels were included?

      5. If your doctor tells you that you need an operation, would you like to get a second opinion from another doctor or do you prefer to get the opinion of the first doctor's assistant?

      I hope this helps. Continue reading websites for alternative views and highlight some of the good articles to your friends from time to time.

      If nothing works for them, don't worry, turn your focus on others.

    5. Save the effort of trying to talk round believers of leeconomics.
      The apathetic Singaporeans should be the focus. They make up a significant proportion of the silent majority. If they are exposed to the misdeeds committed by the incumbents, the tide can change.

    6. For a start, tell and convince them to stop buying/reading the Sycophant Times and other mainstream media.

    7. Hi guys, thanks for all your responses. Certainly, I don't want to do the TCH "what do you think" style and throw question back at them. These are my friends and all university educated. Imagine what they can do if I can convert them. I think most of the 60% are like them. They think, but not critically. These are rational people. There is a good chance I can persuade them if only I have enough facts to back me up and convince them. What do you think?

    8. PAP has made significant policy mistakes over the past few decades that adversely impact people's lives. Do you agree with PAP's current policies in housing, transport, healthcare, defense, education, employment, immigration, and social services? If not, why are you afraid of alternate parties/policies that will benefit your family and future generations?

  12. Is this MP asking us the people of singapore who are paying his salary to answer those questions he put out???

    This is simply ridiculous...or worse...leetarded?


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