On paper, the Government uses Certificates Of Entitlement to cap the growth of the car population. The growth was halved to 1.5% last year, although the growth in human population was significantly higher. Every 6 months, the Land Transport Authority determines how many COEs will be available, based on the number of vehicles taken off the road in the preceding 6 months. You don't need a genius to figure out that when motorists postpone their next car purchase because of economic uncertainty, less cars will be deregistered. The shrinking pool of COEs can only drive the demand and cost of premiums upwards, a vicious cycle spiralling into a black hole of misery. Control engineers will recognize it as a feedback loop gone horribly wrong.
Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport Dr Lim Wee Kiak articulated what the motoring public has been asking for umpteen years, to let the buyers bid for what they are prepared to pay. Said Dr Lim, "This means that when you bid for it you pay the actual price of what you bid. Rather than the current system where you pay the lowest (bid), not the highest." It also means car dealers will no longer have their way ripping off potential buyers with "guaranteed" COEs. He's filing a question on the issue to be addressed by Transport Minister
On subject of Christmas presents, what do you give to someone who has everything? Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew once told a group of young media folk he will retire when his data bank can be put into a thumbdrive. Guess what? The pdf version of Tolstoy's monumental "War And Peace", all of 2,882 pages, takes up only 6.23 megabytes. The e-book pdb version is only 1.75 MB. Lee's memoirs number only 680 pages (Vol 1, "The Singapore Story") and 778 pages (Vol 2, "From Third World To First"), including indexes. The Asia Wall Street Journal is giving away this 2 GB drive for free.