Monday, November 3, 2014

A Lose-Lose Situation

A real sweet heart deal
Just like that, we lost out on $1.47 billion.

The nasty quarrel over development charges on former Malayan Railway land parcels is traceable to Singapore and Malaysia maintaining differing interpretations of the Points of Agreement (POA) that was signed in 1990. Subject being the issue of freehold land titles for three vacated plots of land in Keppel, Kranji and Woodlands to a joint venture company, M+S, when the Tanjong Pagar station was relocated.

Anyone associated with the property business knows that Singapore's standard practice of imposing development charges, in line with municipal law stipulations, to obtain planning permission is a juicy source of income.

It was said that initially Malaysia agreed, or appeared to agree with, Singapore's view that the charges were payable. Whoever said that was dead wrong, at no time did Malaysia believe these charges were payable. So off to a third party hearing in London went the deal breaker. The three-member panel of the arbitral tribunal, comprising a former English judge, a German legal expert and a former Australian chief justice, threw out Singapore's claim on last Thursday.

Interestingly, the tribunal also noted that during the hearing in July this year, Malaysian witness Nor Mohamed Yakcop had conceded that even if the charge was payable, the agreement was "a sweet deal" for Malaysia. So the outcome can only be a double win for Malaysia. Not exactly the common interpretation of a "win-win" situation.

So why were the Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs and Law Minister so "happy to accept" the international tribunal's decision? Most likely, it must be because the money lost need not be deducted from their own paychecks. Moving on is no fun, if you have to do it with your tail between your legs. All the more reason to keep harping on why our CPF must be returned, before more gets frittered away.

14 comments:

  1. Not to mention all those land swap in the prime district area of marina they are also getting. Definitely a sweeter-heart deal for our MY. What exactly do we get in exchange, other than the railway plot? Not even our CPF crumbs.

    http://www.newlaunchestate.com/marina-one/

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  2. $7billion worth of land parcel over 6 land swaps for Malaysia, some would say is cheap lah. How much would you pay for a peace of mind over security? The answer lies in our Defence spend! Plus by the time shinkasan train between MY_SG comes to reality, we should be expecting another population boom,easily 7m to 9m by 2030, no problem lah.

    Sunday papers already selling PAP doing a good "corrective course" post GE2011. Gound is so sweet again, they can taste victory soon. It will pave another decades of PAP dominance so 60% of silent majority singaporeans can be lord all over again, at their own stupid will. HUAT ah!!!

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    Replies
    1. Think money is not the issue. It is the issue is that our land is used by Malaysia to run its rail services and there is nothing we can do to revert this under the stupid British Law. Personally, losing money but getting back our sovereignty is not a bad thing after all.

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    2. Singapore's sovereignty is nothing but an illusion. As the original poster mentioned a pop of 7 to 9 mil... do you think that is going to be made up of citizens or foreigners given our fertility rates are beyond pathetic and shrinking further? If that comes to fruition we have already lost our sovereignty from within.

      Add to that the relectuance of our NS men. Then add the fact that we need to import all manner of food supply and raw materials? Never mind water as we can recycle our own piss.

      As it stands at present we need the foreigners to maintain foreign direct investments as the PAP themselves have conceded that without these foreigners there will be no jobs for locals. Imagine then paying for your imported food and water and your high priced hdb when there is no employment or taxes to collect? Neither is there enough land to grow your own rice and potatoes.

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  3. It's uncharacteristic of this greedy govt to give up so easily on money matters! The underlying reason is that the WTO aribitration has been used as a smoke screen to hide their incompetence and big blunder in the Points of Agreement with MY. Even a school boy would know that when two sovereign states sign an agreement, the internal laws of each state are irrelevant unless specifically cited in the agreement. Singapore has no case, and would surely wish to close it quickly before it becomes a source of embarrassment to the the PM, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the AGC.

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    Replies
    1. True, granted though, the agreement was signed decades ago where the understanding of legal parameters were not so clear cut. i doubt there was even an international arbitration court back then that was in charge of all these more trivial matters.

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  4. Actually hor, M-S is a private company incorporated as a joint venture to develop the said lands. Once the company is formed, shouldn't it be treated just like any other company subject to the relevant laws just like any other developer ?

    On the other hand, if it is exempted from paying any development charges, then shouldn't the selling prices of its sale units be given a discount to reflect the exemption ? Otherwise it only shows the developer is just as greedy as any other, isn't it ?

    Could it be that something fishing is happening behind the scenes ?

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    Replies
    1. Do HDB flat owners pay a development charge?
      Does HDB pay a development charge for developing HDB flats?

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    2. I think M-S, although a private company, is only an agent acting on behalf of the owners who are still the government(s) under the Points of Agreement. The owners and their agent, of course, will maximize their profit. Why would they care whether the development charges have been exempted? You may be right that there is something fishy behind the scene when greed is involved.

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  5. Poetic justice.

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    1. Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword. This episode will teach them a good lesson. They have to take it on the chin, no?

      It's one thing to apply their extractive policies against their own people, but quite something else against another country. It is truly a wonder that they have never lost a defamation suit here.

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  6. Relationship should grow stronger
    now that the row is settled and over.

    Maybe it is time to consider a remerger.

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    Replies
    1. linked by the causeway
      joined by common history
      both share the same greed

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    2. Singapore has nothing to offer Malaysia that would make the merger advantageous. The only resource we have is human resource and even then half of that is made up of foreigners. Something Malaysia can easily replicate if they want to by a open door policy.

      Nope. There is nothing Singapore brings to the table but a smug and superior attitude.

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