Monday, April 22, 2013

We Don't Need This

These are not the bullet points you like to see in a Powerpoint presentation. A Singapore Business reminded us of 8 facts about Singapore's housing and transport woes:

1 Singaporeans are experiencing greater pressure in the arenas of housing and transportation, as population density rose 20% from 2001 to 2011.
2 Commuting congestion generates stress.
3 Increasing transport cost raises cost of living.
Low accessibility among the low income.
The growth rate of housing prices is outstripping that of monthly incomes.
6 Resale flats are not accessible to the bottom 20% of young home buyers.
7 Erosion of long-term housing affordability.
8 Homelessness on the rise.

Observations about points 7 and 8 warrant further elucidation.
The official position is that housing is considered affordable if mortgages do not eat up more than 30% of income. The Housing Development Board (HDB) tracks housing affordability using the debt servicing ratio (DSR), the ratio of monthly household income to monthly housing instalments. This is a ticking time bomb as it is premised on 30-year loan repayment periods and present low interest rates. Even if rates can be artificially maintained at historic lows, it remains that 30 years of one's working life is encumbered with servicing a debt.  HDB reports that the DSR rose from 18% in 2007 to 24% in 2011. Data for 2013 not disclosed.

When Kishore Mahbubani was Singapore's permanent representative to the United Nations, he boasted before the world, "There are no homeless, destitute or starving people [in Singapore]…Poverty has been eradicated." According to the Singapore Social Health Project 2013, and similar reports from  Manulife Asset Management, the number of persons and families identified to be in need of shelter more than doubled from 2007 to 2010. Manulife’s analysis shows that the mere accumulation of wealth is insufficient to ensure income security in retirement, especially when the wealth is vested in concrete structures priced at arbitrary market values. The poor, it seems, will be with us always.


  1. You got the official position wrong. Proof read again. lolz

  2. HDB and Khaw have lost their moral compass. They are now looking after the pockets of rich property investor rather than the poor seeking shelter. Just take a look at the resale price index doubling every five years. Huat ah!

    1. Cow got his heart bypassed for $8. So he is heartless now.

    2. Right, and even dare to say that he did not say it...

  3. $8 to repair a sick heart must be only for hardware repair, the heartware or conscience could still be faulty as can be seen from his work.

  4. The cheapest heart operation is now available for US$800 in India, something really worth boasting about.

    PAP really know how to wayang. Why bother to charge him $8 when our taxpayers monies are already used to pay him an obscene 7-figure annual salary? Isn't it an insult that a S$M Pap Minister has to resort to this kind of cheap publicity to gain political mileage?

  5. "Poverty has been eradicated" when heart surgery is only $8.

  6. Q. What is the difference between a camel and a diplomat?
    A. A camel works for days without drinking; a diplomat drinks for days without working.

    Oliver Herford--Diplomacy is lying in state.

    Diplomats don't have to understand something to tell you about it.

    The old fart can't even think straight to write, he has to unleashed his equally senile dogs to lie incoherently about how important it is for bloggers to respect institutions after scandals galore from the senior people at the CNB, CPIB, NUS, SCDF, etc etc

  7. Dear me.
    Is Kishore lying when he said ""There are no homeless, destitute or starving people [in Singapore]…Poverty has been eradicated."?

    maybe Singapore Social Health Project 2013 is lying?

    Or maybe;
    homeless, destitute or starving people only live WITHIN Singapore
    and hence clearly,
    the homeless, destitute or starving cannot be said to be living IN Singapore.

    As for me.
    I'm voting out the hypocrites in GE 2016.