Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bright Ideas From A New Citizen

This has to be one foreign talent with a capital "T". Billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi, a new citizen who ranks 23rd in the Forbes list of Singapore’s richest, is recommending that singles as young as 25 be allowed to buy subsidised HDB flats to "encourage sexual relationships and earlier marriages".

Not to worry, this being Singapore, if there's a bun in the oven, you can go ahead and plan the wedding dinner. Just make sure there are more invitees than the number of tables booked, not unlike Khaw Boon Wan's recipe of building flats just short of meeting demand. That's one way to guarantee a profitable enterprise.

But what if the gentleman turns out to be a cad, and refuse to protect the deflowered lady's honour? Then you are on track with the casino strategy, build first, worry about the proliferation of gambling ills later. Anyway, the billionaire also said, “Most of the girls and boys these days would like to have sex before they marry.” Modi, 64, who has three children and five grandchildren, must be speaking from first hand experience when he added authoritatively, "“There are no virgin marriages.”

Modi is the global chairman of Spice Global, an Indian conglomerate headquartered in Singapore. His Spice Innovative Technologies provides voice, data and computing services. If his local hires include Singaporeans, he would have realised that it's not a simple matter of boy meets girl to "counter a slump in the birthrate that’s depriving the economy of workers". Being so rich, he probably missed out on the small problem of affordability.

Yes, Khaw did announce plans to cut prices of flats by 30%, dream prices which can be financed by 4 years' earnings, but the details have yet to be revealed. Since January, mortgage  payments have been capped at 30 percent of monthly household income, when there were no restrictions on bank loans before. A 3-room flat, minimal requirement for a viable family setup, is still pegged at $255,000 at SkyPeak@Bukit Batok. That's easily a 20 year loan at 3% interest. And if Modi had considered national service, he should realise that a young male graduate having served two years drawing about $500 a month would have limited savings at age 25.

Perhaps Modi should also recommend scrapping the COE. The money saved should certainly help with the house purchase. While waiting for Khaw to improve on the waiting list, the baby production rigmarole can be initiated at a discrete car park. For recommended sites, check the press reports on the CNB and SCDF gratification court cases.


  1. Agree it is a good idea.
    But this was suggested before by earlier commentators in your earlier blog post re HDB for singles.

    In fact, many of us singles think Khaw has not taken a bold move in his revamped policy. By the time they are 35 and can buy BTO they would have missed the boat and made the decisions to be single to qualify. The new rule is hardly a game changer.

    I say build shoe-box units and lease them out for the $500-$1000 category which most young working adults may afford. This encourages their early independence and socializing at earlier ages.

    Singapore is the only place in the world where people have to get married before they can have/live in a place of their own. Incredulous. Stupid rules like this is devoid of any common sense and just blatant discrimination.

  2. not much time left to make out in a car, unless your parents are rich. the uber high prices mean the rest of us will soon have to do without our own wheels, so there'll be nothing to lend to the kids for an active night out.

    one only hopes that those rich kids making out are highly intelligent as well, to meet lee kuan yew's standards for reproduction. but if they are, and if they're responsible too, they'll be using some form of birth control.

    this govt really knows how to suck the fun out of sex and remove the joy of having children.
    but I guess that's besides the point. we need workers, and people to support the elderly.

    maybe they should just get a tribe of mechanical robots for the former (we have the human sort already, courtesy of the govt), and a lot of good walking sticks for the latter.

  3. Yes, agree with earlier commentator that this idea is not new and is definitely worth implementing to reverse the declining birth rate. Another issue is regarding the cost of HDB flats. As mentioned before, the PAP government needed a total mindset change to price the flats at cost, minus land price. Land belongs to all Singaporeans. The PAP government having taken over land at the cheap from its people is suppose to deliver affordable housing, which was the objective in the past. It appears that PAP lost its moral compass halfway when MBT was brought in and everything go downhill from then onwards. Singaporeans should vote the PAP out, as I don't see how they are capable of changing to set things right, back to HDB's original ojective to look after its people. Now, everything is about money, and it is clear that Khaw is pitting homeowners against homebuyers in his game of politics. Though shrewd, he is definitely an insincere and manipulative person not suitable for ministerial position.

    1. You are absolutely right. HDB, or to be exact our PAP Ministers, are only keen to build enough flats to meet about 30% of the demand at any one time, hence the over-subscription.

      If they can build enough in those olden days, why can't they do it now ? The obvious answer has to be that with the lopsided demand, they can always demand a premium just like COEs.

      In short, they are just being greedy. The problem is that they still don't realise the fact that housing or even cars to some families are a necessity rather than a luxury. That is probably why so many Singaporeans nowadays simply hate PAP for what it represents .... greed.

    2. IF they can build enough for 6.9m population, with 2m from foreigners, why can't they build for the hundred thousands of local young adults who can learn to start their independent lives earlier?

      The stupidity is so mind-boggling, people!

  4. Another thing, I read somewhere that this billionaire is spending $200 million buying over resorts at Batam and Bintan for investment. He is definitely very smart.

    1. There are many Dalits who have made it to Forbes millionaire/billionaire list. Had they stayed put in their original home country or even returning to India, they would have hurdles to overcome in the very harsh reality of their caste system. Although increasingly, capitalism has allowed some individuals to move up the social mobility more. Good that Mr Modi have made it.

    2. This pig probably has strings of properties and his vision is that by allowing singles of 25 years to buy HDB flats, would probably add more digits to his wealth.

      The rich will encourage investments of sorts, but looking at what happened around the world, all the wealth is flowing to a few ultra billionaires coffers, courtesy of those who believe in contributing to his growing empire.

      Owners of big banks now have another avenue to make sure they can get richer at the expense of depositors by confiscating part of their savings as has already happened in Cyprus, and depositors of Spainish and Canadian banks are discreetly looking to doing the same in time to come.

      All the wealth accumulated by pensioners and retirees are going to be decimated by all the greedy fat pigs with unsatiable apetites for money.

  5. Your are absolutely right that Khaw (or our PAP Ministers) always has this secret weapon of making sure that demand is always short of supply, same with COEs. If they can build enough flats in the olden days, why can't they do it now ?

    The obvious answer has to be that they can always charge a premium price when flats are over-subscribed, isn't it? Of course the grants are already built into the selling price, this they will never reveal to us like those hard truths, will they ?

    In their pursuit of greed, it seems our PAP leaders still don't understand that for some families, housing and even cars are a necessity rather than a luxury. Nowadays so many Singaporeans simply hate PAP for what it represents .... greed, anyone agree ?

  6. "While waiting for Khaw to improve on the waiting list, the baby production rigmarole can be initiated at a discrete car park. For recommended sites, check the press reports on the CNB and SCDF gratification court cases."
    I like that statement of facts! What a joke! Really langgar!

  7. Might as well just put up caravans in empty car parks for singles to rent? No need expensive housing. People reduce to living in caravans. I think he is just ridiculing the G for their incompetency.

  8. We all have to change our expectation and perception of the pro alien party to that of a greedy, self serving pig and we will be able to reconcile our disappointment.

  9. HDB will continue to build "affordable" flats for Singaporeans ..... but with less frills, reduced floor area and shorter lease term. Leopard never changes its spots. Some heads must roll before the government will start working for the people instead of making money out of them.

  10. There's still the affordable hotel 88 if you need some privacy time with your missus. Otherwise have to consider guerilla warfare in the parks. When the wants is greater than the needs, we will get creative to satisfy our needs

    1. We now do know for a fact that our much educated teachers now even resort to the HDB staircases for sexual trysts.

      What about those much less educated animals, with exception of Palmer I believe ?

  11. There is this belief that if you are a billionaire your views on any matter has to be respected. Particularly in Singapore when made by newly minted billionaire citizens on local issues. Stands to reason. How can you become a billionaire if you were not a genius? You are so grateful for their contributions that you forget to ask why they choose to give up their original citizenship for that of this little red dot. Some have suggested low or no taxes on their wealth.Not even after they die. But they are only made out of envy.

  12. Well, between the "There are no virgin marriages" and "Happily Ever After" fairytales, which version would you rather take?

    When you think this govt is so proud about taking a hard-nose pragmatic approach and not shying away from unpopular routes such as casinos and 6.9m WP etc, you wonder why they continue to bury their heads in the sand and not face up squarely to the real society changes in the values today?
    Even the Pope has to concede that state should recognize arrangement for LBGT gay people to live a loving supportive lives together, without saying Yes to marriage. What kind of dinosaurs are the PAP leaders?

    Just ask this question. In the end, if it's healthy happy babies that you want, then does it REALLY matter if they came from single parents, adopted parents or straight parents? As long as the state provide some basic help in those rare circumstances, and they are raised as Singaporeans and within a conducive Singapore environment, why do you care how it came before or after a marraige certificate or by which racial parents? The job of the govt is to aid and facilitate, not to hinder, hurdle and discriminate. That's the end of their job.

    1. Fairy-tale Policy3/29/2013 4:00 PM

      I feel so blessed that the government protect my wife and me from gays/single/unwed marriages so that we can safely go and import more foreign couples (& their in-laws) to make more non-singaporean babies. Yoo-hoo!

    2. "... then does it REALLY matter if they came from single parents, adopted parents or straight parents ?"

      The same does it matter if they came from mistresses, maids, or prostitutes ".

      PAP has to loosen up especially when prostitution is legal. To hell with those religious conservatives.

    3. One's occupation, marital status or sexual orientation has no bearings on how good you are as a parent. If you wish to raise a healthy child, by choice and conviction to be a good parent and to provide, then the society should make it right to support your choice. In the end, we are talking about for born and bred locals, not foreigner imports here.

  13. He should build a Spice hotel next to Zouk Clubs and sell rooms by the hours, and accept payment by store value cards lah.

  14. The Daily Mail, UK

    [The frugal billionaire:
    IKEA magnate lives in modest house, eats at his store's cafe and shops at local market]

    "Mr Ingvar Kamprad, who turns 87 tomorrow...
    he was once turned away from a swish business awards ceremony because he had just hopped off the bus and takes home the packets of salt and pepper from cafes."

  15. Dear PAPigs
    Here's a quote from a multi-millionaire:

    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells."
    -J. Paul Getty

    How about sharing some of your billions with us Singaporeans?
    before we vote you out?

    1. Hehe

      Pigs are smelly themselves, so whether their money smells or not, they cannot tell which is which.

      So, do not expect them to share their wealth with Singaporeans. Just vote them out.