How can that be? We are buying the pricey F-35 Lightning while our neighbours have to contend with the F-18 Hornet. Never mind if the $237-million (latest price estimate) F-35 has been banned from traveling within 25 miles of a thunderstorm, amid fears that lightning could cause its fuel tank to explode. Like those designer handbags, it's always the price tag that is the bragging factor.
And in spite of the umpteen rounds of cooling measures, the property market is doing just fine, thank you. New private home sales just chalked up an all-time high, the highest monthly sales volume since the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) began publishing monthly data in 2007. The total of 2,793 units sold beats the previous record of 2,772 in July 2009. Quite naturally, critics of Minister Khaw Boon Wan will claim he was never serious in addressing the bubble in the housing market. He was probably more concerned about losing the votes of those who had swallowed the asset enhancement poison pill, still waiting to cash in on their investment.
Even the used car sales dealers have much to cheer. Just when you thought the traffic situation will improve after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) introduced the loan curbs in February, the congestion is back. Thanks to the 2,500 used cars which are put back on the road. That's the number Singapore Vehicle Traders Association estimates have been sold after somebody with influence arm twisted MAS into relinquishing the borrowing limits for second-hand vehicles in that were in stock before February 25, the date when the new loan limits were imposed. Some 7,000 will qualify for full loans, thanks to the 60 day reprieve afforded by MAS. The policies to reduce vehicles on the road will have to take a step back, since business volume is always top priority in our culture of greed.
Ours is a place where a void deck, the empty space nobody wants a flat to be built in, can actually be marketed for $50,000 a month. The operator who rented the site above a multi-storey car park used the excuse to charge $1,777 for a place in her child care centre. Maybe the economist was right after all, only the sick can exploit the struggling masses to such an extent.